Wait for Mrs Willard (Paperback) ~ Dorothy Langley (Author) Cover Art

Wait For Mrs Willard (Paperback)

By: Dorothy Langley (Author)


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A NOVEL BY DOROTHY LANGLEY Simon and Schuster, New York, The characters and situations in this work are wholly fictional and imaginative do not portray, and are not intended to portray, any actual persons or parties. Wait For Mrs. Willard ID LIKE my library card, Charles, said Mrs. Willard. It was not yet seven oclock in the morning, but she was breathing hard. Her husband, as usual, noticed nothing. Certainly, dear 5 he replied, turning with a gleam of his glasses to remove it from the edge of his bedroom mirror. When youVe taken out the books, you will remember to give it back to me so that I can keep track of the date, wont you Mrs. Willards expression, in anticipation of argument, was already stubborn. She pushed back her slender shoulders and set her small chin forward. Her face, in repose that of a wistful small girl looking for a friend an expression some how intensified by the five solemn freckles on her slightly tilted nose bore marks of long-continued strain, and even the timidly curling hair about her temples wore its natural brightness with an odd appearance of apology. Her tone, however, was firm. I am not going to take out any books today, she said. What Mr. Willard stared at her, his small black eyes seeming to grow smaller and blacker. Then what do you want with your card I want to put it in my purse. Yesterday I wanted books, and I didnt have my card. Last week I wanted books, and I didnt have my card. The week before that Mr. Willard turned his back on her. You are quite well aware of my reasons for keeping your card. If you had any sense of responsibility in financial matters Mrs. Willard breathed harder. Financial Her husband lifted a hand for silence. A library fine to 3 you is nothing. To me, as to any responsible person, it repre sents waste. I will not permit waste in my household to satisfy a whim of yours, my dear. I am the head of this house. If you wish books, ask me for the card in the morning, take out the books, and return me the card when you come home in the evening. That is all. I wont said Mrs. Willard. Eh He turned, his spectacles flashing, to look at her. I earn my own money. I pay my library fines if I have any. This was true. Mrs. Willard was a compiler of indexes. She worked every day in the offices of a publisher who issued semiannually a cumulative bibliography of scientific publica tions. She was paid thirty dollars every week, and five dollars of this she was always allowed to keep. Her husband, who earned a somewhat larger sum, also limited himself to five dollars weekly. All the rest of their joint income went into what he called their common fund, a term highly irritating to Mrs. Willard, to whom common seemed a bizarre adjec tive to apply to a fund. If you wont give me my library card to do as I see with fit, she cried, beginning to stammer a little, Ill I mean, to do as I see fit with 111 tell them its lost and pay the fee and get a duplicate and Mr. Willard darkened visibly. Do you want me to swear at you he demanded, for he could be ruthless. If you like, she replied recklessly. That will be nice for the children to hear, wont it Mrs. Willard made an exasperated gesture there were times, really, she thought, when Charles had to be heard to be believed. This was, she supposed, what those had meant who once had warned her that Mr. Willard was of another generation. Mention of the children, nevertheless, was ordinarily enough to quell her. It was not so today. Her mind was made up. I want my The hall clock struck seven. Not a moment longer, though ready to bleed and die for principle, could she remain. The publishers office was an hours ride away, and Mrs. Willard was expected to punch the time clock at eight. She was very good at indexing. Lessons learned on the rack, if the pupils survive, are said to be lasting and Mrs...



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