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Bambi   By: (1876-1920)

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by Marjorie Benton Cooke

Illustrated by Mary Greene Blumenschein

Originally Published in 1914



With thanks to her for being Herself!



She saw Jarvis before the curtain, making a first night speech.

Bambi fluttered the joy bringing letter above her head and circled the breakfast room in a whirl of happiness.

"Good evening, Mrs. New York, and all you people out there! We're here, Jarvis and I."

"Well, believe me, that high brow stuff is on the toboggan."

"Tell your husband to put you in a play, and I'll put it on." "Much obliged, I'll tell him. Good morning."

Her tale had the place of honour and was illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg, the supreme desire of every young writer.

"Softlings! Poor softlings!" Jarvis muttered, Bambi's words coming back to him.

"I have got to do something violent, Ardelia. I am going to jerk the stems off of berries, chop the pits out of cherries, and skin peaches."

He taught himself to abandon his old introspective habits during these days on the box.



"Professor James Parkhurst, I consider you a colossal failure as an educator," said Francesca, his daughter, known to friend and family as Bambina, or Bambi for short.

Professor Parkhurst lifted a startled face from his newspaper and surveyed his only child across the breakfast table.

"My dear, what causes this sweeping assertion of my incompetence?"

"I do! I do! Just what did you expect me to do when I grew up?"

"Why, to be happy."

"That's the profession you intended me for? Who's to pay the piper? It's expensive to be happy and also unlucrative."

"I have always expected to support you until your husband claimed that privilege."

"Suppose I want a husband who can't support me?"

"Dear me, that would be unfortunate. It is the first duty of a husband to support his wife."

"Old fashioned husbands, yes but not modern ones. Lots of men marry to be supported nowadays. How on earth could I support the man I love?"

"You are not without talents, my dear."

"Talents? You almost said accomplishments! If you were not living in the Pliocene age, Professor James Parkhurst, you would know that accomplishments are a curse accomplishment is the only thing that counts. I can sing a little, play the piano a little, auction bridge a good deal; I can cook, and sew fancy things. The only thing I can do well is to dance, and no real man wants to be supported by his wife's toes."

The Professor smiled mirthlessly. "Is this a general discussion, or are you leading to a specific point, Bambi?" he inquired.

"It's a specific charge of incompetence against you and me. Why didn't you teach me something? You know more about mathematics than the man who invented them, and I am not even sure that two and two make four."

"You're young yet, my dear; you can learn. What is it you want to study?"

"Success, and how to get it."

"Success, in the general sense of the word, has never seemed very important to me. To do your work well "

"Yes, I know. It is the fact that you have not thought success important that hampers me so in the choice of a husband."

"Bambina, that is the second time a husband has been mentioned in this discussion. Have you some individual under consideration?"

"I have. I have practically decided on him."

"You don't tell me! Do I know the young man?"

"Oh, yes Jarvis Jocelyn."

"He has proposed to you?"

"Oh, no. He doesn't know anything about it. I have just decided on him."

"But, my dear, he is penniless."

"That's why I reproach you that you haven't brought me up to support Jarvis in a luxury he will have to get used to."

"But why have you settled on this youth? I seem to recall a great many young men who are always about. I presume they admire you. Certainly this dreamer is the most ineligible of them all."

"Oh, that yes. That's why I must take him. He'll starve to death unless some one takes him on, and looks after him."

"Isn't there some asylum, perhaps?"

Bambi's laugh rang out like a chime... Continue reading book >>

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