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December 14, 1940 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1940-12-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

P-ag' Four

P'ERS PECTIVES

BROTHER TO THE OX
..By David Stevenson

HE girl stood on the threshold,
drew back her arm and threw
her Fifth Grade Reader across
the kitchen into the living room.
.h: ,smelled the fumes of fermented
cshas e that escaped from the kettle
oen he stove and made a face. "Sauer-
r'it again?" she asked. "Is that Pad-
dy going to come here for supper again
tonight, ma?"
'he woman adjusted the gas. Then
she pointed her cooking fork at the
chil and made an affirmative sound
whtch was not 'Ja' and not quite 'yeh.'
17 ow do you know? How'd you catch
on ,o quick? How you know he's com-
finc." she asked:
"s smelled it."
'\hy'd you make such a face? What's
the matter with sauerkraut? You better
Juil turning up your nose at things,
t' .. all. Besides, Paddy likes sauer-
9 .st
"stou never make anything I like any
o-e. It's always what Paddy likes.
lFvesy hing has got to suit Paddy. And
when you marry him it will be worse
thane ver."-
'?s woman laughed in the way that
he neighbors found objectionable, es-
p2,i5 ally late at night. "You just too
snnrt she told the child, "Who told
y ' was going to marry him?"
Th child ignored the question. "When
g' vou and him getting married?" she
w ked
'Wouldn't you like to know."
"2ome on, ma. Tell me."
°')')uldn't you like to know."
\Vthen is it going to be, ma?" the
' repeated, fighting to suppress her
'ryd is he going to pay the rent
o, Sunday or Monday?"
".udon't like the way you say that.
Katherine Brown. Think I'd marry him
jet so to pay the rent on a dirty base-
nint 'partment like this? What's the
r;ter with you? I got a good notion to
. p your face for you."
"s1ell, he is going to pay it, isn't he?"
r. Brown admitted he was.
atherine edged toward the living
ro ni door. "Well, I'll bet he don't know
t '," she said and ran into the bath-
iroe and locked the door before her
a riosr could find anything to throw at
iser Mrs. Brown rattled the knob and
ye'led until she heard Katherine cry-
g ; uad then went back to the kitchen.
V ss too bad Katherine and Paddy
dant get on together. It made it so
is harder marrying him. She threw
a :ettle lid on the floor to relieve her
oss'rs.gs
'he buzzer rang two short rings. She
tub, off her apron, pressed in on her
v1 ach, patted her cheeks, and shoved
th ltton which unlocked the door at
Ce ead of the stairs. There was a
av id of heels (Cuban heels which made
*i4 n inch taller than she) and then
t' . harp knocks on the door. "Any-
las, to home in there?"
" slhat do you think?" She flung open
t 4door and waited for him to take
as m. clh as he could of her into his
.r5 50.
":F'ow are you, honey?" he asked, re-
t* a bering the scene in that last show
thet had been something like this ex-
ct',t the heroine had lived in a pent-
te se instead of a basement. He sniffed
4ilyr. She told him it was sauerkraut
Ps ' he kissed her, sideways, just like
it (d in the movie magazine. When
tut was over she put the supper on
th table end they began to eat as soon
s 'she had promised Katherine she
ce 'd come out now without being
slped. Katherine refused to speak to
I' ohy, so Mrs. Brown set about cheer-
ss them up. She had a notion that hos-
".es must be entertaining, must make
" e feel happy. To make them laugh

you laugh yourself. The more you laugh,
the more they laugh, the happier you
all are. But it was hard to act happy
with Katherine sulking and Paddy just
smiling when he knew she was watching
him. What was the matter with Paddy?
She didn't have a "Mrs." in front of her
name for nothing; having had one hus-
band, she knew the signs. Paddy had
something to tell and he didn't want
to tell it. Mabe there was something
wrong with the sauerkraut. Maybe he
was going to walk out on her. Maybe
he wanted to tell her things like the
men in the movies told the pretty wo-
men, in open cars with the moon shin-
ing, in penthouse's with the moon shin-
ing, in boats with the moon shining.
But even if the ceiling light had been

"That's bad. How much was your
check?"
Never mind. They'll probably take me
back when the new model gets going.
They don't have many punch press
men like me." He said it with pride and
a little perplexity. Being laid off like
this was inconsistent with his own opin-
ion of himself and he was unwilling to
change his own opinion of himself and
unable to change the fact that he was
out of a job.
"Are you going to marry me Satur-
day, or not?" she asked, giving up being
subtle without having tried.
Paddy tapped the table with his fork.
"Well, this is what I figured out, honey."
He explained how much it would cost
to drive way down to Indiana just to

U S.er SO
Where leaves once hung I see the winter sky:
The trees have let their thousand colors fall.
These days are ruled by bare geometry:
Equations sing within the forms of all
This passionless revealed anatomy.
Now life is ordered and symmetrical:
There is no sign of summer's fantasy;
The earth is only loveless algebra.
Magic has passed; the branches' resignation
Silence desire. The wind has lost
Its, urging, the flowers that spoke consent
Are gone. Within this desolation
I walk alone, and know the ultimate cost
Of summer: all of beauty has been spent.
-Nelson Bentein

And he'd do it with Paddy's car for
just one hundred bucks of the insurance
company's dough. OK?
Paddy told him he'd think it over.
Of course, he told Maria, there would
be some risk. Not that he believed there
would be, but it was a good way totest
her love-see if she'd cough up enough
cash so that he could have her and
the car, too. But she said she didn't
have any money, not that much, any-
way. In spite of what she said, he knew
there was alimony or insurance coming
in from somewhere, but, at any rate.
it was decided that love of her must
come before love of car and Paddy left
to make arrangements with his friend.
He didn't come again until the fried
onions were ready to go on the taalf
the next night. After he had eaten as
much as he could hold, he wiped off his
chin and came straight to the point.
"We're going to get rid of the car," he
said.
"I knew you would," said Mrs. Brown,
smiling. For her, sitting there ona chair
which was not paid for, with her el-
bows on a table that was not paid for,
looking at the ice box that was not
paid for, for her the cup was brimming
over. "That's swell, honey," she said,
"I knew you'd do it."
"We're going to get rid of it tonight."
"Tonight? Already? So quick?"
"That's right. We're going to kiss
the old tub goodbye tonight."
'We?' Who do you mean by 'we?'"
she asked, that old expression of mis-
trust returning to her face. "Not going
to do it yourself, are you, Paddy?"
"Well, no, not me exactly."
" 'Exactly,' what do you mean by 'ex-
actly?'"
"You and me-and Katherine-" he
glared at Katherine. "You and me and
Katherine are going to the show." He
explained how they were going to be
stars. While the handsome guy with the
pretty name was chasing the pretty
dame on the movie film, they were go-
ing to be acting, too. He and his pal had
figured it out that way. Paddy would
park his car as close to the Dynamic as
he could. Then his pal would get in
and stick Paddy's spare key in the ig-
nition and-just like that- it would be
all done.
Maria was vastly flattered. She gig-
gled and wanted to know where he got
that stuff about being an actor. He
told her it was this way: They would
walk out there just as if they didn't
know what had happened. They would
go down to where they had left the
car. But, what do you know, it would
be gone. Simple, wasn't it? She admit-
ted it was, but Katherine wanted to
know just what she would have to say
and that took some figuring. This is
what Paddy worked out for them to
say:
Paddy-(loud enough for bystanders
to hear)-Oh my God, Maria, where is
my car gone to?
Maria-It isn't here, is it? Oh dear,
are you sure you left it here, dear? Are
you positive?
Katherine-Mr. Paddington, are you
certain you left your car here?
Paddy-(angrily) Yes, of course I am.
But now it has disappeared.
Maria-It's gone!, It's gone!
Katharine-It's gone! It's gone!
Paddy-I must find a policeman. My
car has been stole.
That satisfied Katharine, who now
emerged from her sulk and took on
all the signs of suppressed excitement,
dancing around the house and rehears-
ing her lines as if they had been a
Christmas verse for school. She per-
suaded her mother to leave the dishes
and hurried them out to the car. Paddy
caressed the knob on the steering wheel,
wiped some dust off the dashboard,
(Continued on Page Ten

the moon, what could he tell her with
Katherine sitting there?
"Say, Maria, I'd like to have a lit-
tle talk with you," Paddy said when he
couldn't hold any more food.
"O.K."
A pause, reasonably awkward.
Paddy glanced at Katherine. He knew
that she hated him and he thought she
was the only reason why Maria had
been so slow in saying Yes. And every
time he looked at her he caught her
staring at him, looking as if she had
just been kicked in the face. It made
him uneasy. He didn't want her around
at his private conversations. "I want
to see you alone," he told Mrs. Brown.
Maria looked at Katherine to tell
her to leave and it struck her how sad
the girl looked, as if she was trying not
to cry. If she sent Katherine away it
was the same as saying she loved Paddy
more than her. Katherine would take
it that way. She had been living alone
with Katherine since the older sister
had married; she had only known Pad-
dy three months. "She ain't going to
leave," she told Paddy. "Katherine, you
stay here. You don't have to leave."
The child tried to smile and wiped her
eyes on her'-wrist. Paddy took the last
piece of pie and retired into himself.
Mrs. Brown watched him closely. She
knew the signs and one of them was
that when a man keeps still you have
the best of him.
"What I wanted to say," he told her
while he on the last mouthful, "is that
I been laid-off."
"Laid-off!"
"They put a letter in my pay en-
velope."

get married. He had almost got her
to the point of admitting that marriage
was only a lot of words spoken by a
man with his collar on backwards, when
she caught on and said No.
"Uh-uh," she said. "No."
"But I'll be hired back in a month.
They got to have good men like me for
the new model." But she still refused.
He told her that she could still call
herself Mrs. Paddington, but it was no
go. (Paddington was his American name
after his favorite movie detective.)
"I ain't going to do that," she re-
peated. "It might give Katherine wrong
ideas. You can just forget about it."
"Well, if that's the way you feel about
it-" He waited and hoped for-a denial,
but not even the look on her face
changed. "You ought to have some faith
in me, honey," he said and acknow-
ledged his first defeat from her who
would soon be his wife. Then he ex-
plained his second plan. The man next
to him at work was really a smart guy.
This guy had a little business propo-
sition he would like to make to Paddy,
because Paddy was a friend of his, see.
Well, it was this way: Padd had insur-
ance on his car, didn't he? And did he
know what happened if your car got
stole and they never found it? Well,
the insurance company makes you sign
some papers and then you get a nice
big check. All you are out is your car
and Paddy could get a new one when
the new model came out. So this guy
'had let Paddy in on something really
big. This guy had lost his car. Did
Paddy know how? Well, he just drove
it into that old stone quarry that was
full of water he had told Paddy about.

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