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Bride Roses   By: (1837-1920)

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Bride Roses


By W. D. Howells


Houghton, Mifflin and Company MDCCCC




Bride Roses


A Lady , entering the florist's with her muff to her face, and fluttering gayly up to the counter, where the florist stands folding a mass of loose flowers in a roll of cotton batting: "Good morning, Mr. Eichenlaub! Ah, put plenty of cotton round the poor things, if you don't want them frozen stiff! You have no idea what a day it is, here in your little tropic." She takes away her muff as she speaks, but gives each of her cheeks a final pressure with it, and holds it up with one hand inside as she sinks upon the stool before the counter.

The Florist: "Dropic? With icepergs on the wintows?" He nods his head toward the frosty panes, and wraps a sheet of tissue paper around the cotton and the flowers.

The Lady: "But you are not near the windows. Back here it is midsummer!"

The Florist: "Yes, we got a rhevricherator to keep the rhoces from sunstroke." He crimps the paper at the top, and twists it at the bottom of the bundle in his hand. "Hier!" he calls to a young man warming his hands at the stove. "Chon, but on your hat, and dtake this to Holt on! I forgot to but in the cart." He undoes the paper, and puts in a card lying on the counter before him; the lady watches him vaguely. "There!" He restores the wrapping and hands the package to the young man, who goes out with it. "Well, matam?"

The Lady , laying her muff with her hand in it on the counter, and leaning forward over it: "Well, Mr. Eichenlaub. I am going to be very difficult."

The Florist: "That is what I lige. Then I don't feel so rhesbonsible."

The Lady: "But to day, I wish you to feel responsible. I want you to take the whole responsibility. Do you know why I always come to you, instead of those places on Fifth Avenue?"

The Florist: "Well, it is a good teal cheaper, for one thing"

The Lady: "Not at all! That isn't the reason, at all. Some of your things are dearer. It's because you take so much more interest, and you talk over what I want, and you don't urge me, when I haven't made up my mind. You let me consult you, and you are not cross when I don't take your advice."

The Florist: "You are very goodt, matam."

The Lady: "Not at all. I am simply just. And now I want you to provide the flowers for my first Saturday: Saturday of this week, in fact, and I want to talk the order all over with you. Are you very busy?"

The Florist: "No; I am qvite at your service. We haf just had to egsegute a larche gommission very soddenly, and we are still in a little dtisorter yet; but"

The Lady: "Yes, I see." She glances at the rear of the shop, where the floor is littered with the leaves and petals of flowers, and sprays of fern and evergreen. A woman, followed by a belated smell of breakfast, which gradually mingles with the odor of the plants, comes out of a door there, and begins to gather the larger fragments into her apron. The lady turns again, and looks at the jars and vases of cut flowers in the window, and on the counter. "What I can't understand is how you know just the quantity of flowers to buy every day. You must often lose a good deal."

The Florist: "It gomes out about rhighdt, nearly always. When I get left, sometimes, I can chenerally work dem off on funerals. Now, that bic orter hat I just fill, that wass a funeral. It usedt up all the flowers I hat ofer from yesterday."

The Lady: "Don't speak of it! And the flowers, are they just the same for funerals?"

The Florist: "Yes, rhoces nearly always. Whidte ones."

The Lady: "Well, it is too dreadful. I am not going to have roses, whatever I have." After a thoughtful pause, and a more careful look around the shop: "Mr... Continue reading book >>

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