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When a Man Marries

Almost, But Not Quite
Dal had been acting strangely all day. Once, early in the evening, when I had doubled no
trump, he led me a club without apology, and later on, during his dummy, I saw him
writing our names on the back of an envelope, and putting numbers after them. At my
earliest opportunity I went to Max.
"There is something the matter with Dal, Max," I volunteered. "He has been acting
strangely all day, and just now he was making out a list--names and numbers."
"You're to blame for that, Kit," Max said seriously. "You put washing soda instead of
baking soda in those biscuits today, and he thinks he is a steam laundry. Those are
laundry lists he's making out. He asked me a little while ago if I wanted a domestic
finish."
Yes, I had put washing soda in the biscuits. The book said soda, and how is one to know
which is meant?
"I do not think you are calculated for a domestic finish," I said coldly as I turned away.
"In any case I disclaim any such responsibility. But--there is SOMETHING on Dal's
mind."
Max came after me. "Don't be cross, Kit. You haven't said a nice word to me today, and
you go around bristling with your chin up and two red spots on your cheeks--like
whatever-her-name-was with the snakes instead of hair. I don't know why I'm so crazy
about you; I always meant to love a girl with a nice disposition."
I left him then. Dal had gone into the reception room and closed the doors. And because
he had been acting so strangely, and partly to escape from Max, whose eyes looked
threatening, I followed him. Just as I opened the door quietly and looked in, Dallas
switched off the lights, and I could hear him groping his way across the room. Then
somebody--not Dal--spoke from the corner, cautiously.
"Is that you, Mr. Brown, sir?" It was Flannigan.
"Yes. Is everything here?"
"All but the powder, sir. Don't step too close. They're spread all over the place."
"Have you taken the curtains down?"
"Yes, sir."
"Matches?"
"Here, sir."
"Light one, will you, Flannigan? I want to see the time."
 
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