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Chapter 11

MAGGIE, MRS. FOUNTAIN, FOUNTAIN


Maggie: "Something the elevator-boy says he forgot. It came along with the last one."

Mrs. Fountain, taking a bundle from her: "If this is another bath-robe, Clarence! It is, as I live. Now if it is a woman sending it—" She picks up a card which falls out of the robe as she unfolds it. "'Love the Giver,' indeed! Now, Clarence, I insist, I demand—"

Fountain: "Hold on, hold on, my dear. The last bath-robe that came from a woman was for you."

Mrs. Fountain: "So it was. I don't know what I was thinking about; and I do beg your par— But this is a man's bath-robe!"

Fountain, taking the card which she mechanically stretches out to him: "And a man sends it—old Fellows. Can't you read print? Ambrose J. Fellows, and a message in writing: 'It was a toss-up between this and a cigar-case, and the bath-robe won. Hope you haven't got any other thoughtful friends.'"

Mrs. Fountain: "Oh, very brilliant, giving me a start like this! I shall let Mr. Fellows know— What is it, Maggie? Open the door, please."

Maggie, opening: "It's just a District Messenger."

Fountain, ironically: "Oh, only a District Messenger." He signs the messenger's slip, while his wife receives from Maggie a bundle which she regards with suspicion.

William Dean Howells

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