Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon
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Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Revelations of a Wife, by Adele GarrisonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Revelations of a Wife The Story of a HoneymoonAuthor: Adele GarrisonRelease Date: April 19, 2004 [EBook #12084]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK REVELATIONS OF A WIFE ***Produced by Leah Moser and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.[Illustration: "LOOK AT ME, MARGARET."]REVELATIONS OF A WIFEThe Story of a HoneymoonBYADELE GARRISON1915, 1916, 1917CONTENTSCHAPTERI. "I WILL BE HAPPY! I WILL! I WILL!"II. THE FIRST QUARRELIII. KNOWN TO FAME AS LILLIAN GALEIV. DIVIDED OPINIONSV. "ALWAYS YOUR JACK"VI. A MAID AND MODELVII. A FRIENDLY WARNINGVIII. A TRAGEDY AVERTEDIX. THE GIRL ON THE TRAINX. GRACE BY NAME AND GRACE BY NATUREXI. "I OWE YOU TOO MUCH"XII. LOST AND FOUNDXIII. "IF YOU AREN'T CROSS AND DISPLEASED"XIV. A QUARREL AND A CRISISXV. "BUT I LOVE YOU"XVI. INTERRUPTED SIGHT-SEEINGXVII. A DANGER AND A PROBLEMXVIII. "CALL ME MOTHER—IF YOU CAN"XIX. LILLIAN UNDERWOOD'S STORYXX. LITTLE MISS SONNOT'S OPPORTUNITYXXI. LIFE'S JOG-TROT AND A QUARRELXXII. AN AMAZING DISCOVERYXXIII. "BLUEBEARD'S CLOSET"XXIV. A SUMMER OF HAPPINESS THAT ENDS IN FEARXXV. PLAYING THE GAMEXXVI. A VOICE THAT CARRIED ...



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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Revelations of a Wife, by Adele Garrison
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
Title: Revelations of a Wife The Story of a Honeymoon
Author: Adele Garrison
Release Date: April 19, 2004 [EBook #12084]
Language: English
Produced by Leah Moser and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
[Illustration: "LOOK AT ME, MARGARET."]
The Story of a Honeymoon
1915, 1916, 1917
Probably it is true that no two persons entertain precisely the same view of marriage. If any two did, and one happened to be a man and the other a woman, there would be many advantages in their exemplifying the harmony by marrying each other—unless they had already married some one else.
Sour-minded critics of life have said that the only persons who are likely to understand what marriage ought to be are those who have found it to be something else. Of course most of the foolish criticisms of marriage are made by those who would find the same fault with life itself. One man who was asked whether life was worth living, answered that it depended on the liver. Thus, it has been pointed out that marriage can be only as good as the persons who marry. This is simply to say that a partnership is only as good as the partners.
"Revelations of a Wife" is a woman's confession. Marriage is so vital a matter to a woman that when she writes about it she is always likely to be in earnest. In this instance, the likelihood is borne out. Adele Garrison has listened to the whisperings of her own heart. She has done more. She has caught the wireless from a man's heart. And she has poured the record into this story.
The woman of this story is only one kind of a woman, and the man is only one kind of a man. But their experiences will touch the consciousness—I was going to say the conscience—of every man or woman who has either married or measured marriage, and we've all done one or the other.
Revelations of a Wife
Today we were married.
I have said these words over and over to myself, and now I have written them, and the written characters seem as strange to me as the uttered words did. I cannot believe that I, Margaret Spencer, 27 years old, I who laughed and sneered at marriage, justifying myself by the tragedies and unhappiness of scores of my friends, I who have made for myself a place in the world's work with an assured comfortable income, have suddenly thrown all my theories to the winds and given myself in marriage in as impetuous, unreasoning fashion as any foolish schoolgirl.
I shall have to change a word in that last paragraph. I forgot that I am no longer Margaret Spencer, but Margaret Graham, Mrs. Richard Graham, or, more probably, Mrs. "Dicky" Graham. I don't believe anybody in the world ever called Richard anything but "Dicky."
On the other hand, nobody but Richard ever called me anything shorter than my own dignified name. I have been "Madge" to him almost ever since I knew him.
Dear, dear Dicky! If I talked a hundred years I could not express the difference between us in any better fashion. He is "Dicky" and I am "Margaret."
He is downstairs now in the smoking room, impatiently humoring this lifelong habit of mine to have one hour of the day all to myself.
My mother taught me this when I was a tiny girl. My "thinking hour," she called it, a time when I solved my small problems or pondered my baby sins. All my life I have kept up the practice. And now I am going to devote it to another request of the little mother who went away from me forever last year.
"Margaret, darling," she said to me on the last day we ever talked together, "some time you are going to marry—you do not think so now, but you will—and how I wish I had time to warn you of all the hidden rocks in your course! If I only had
kept a record of those days of my own unhappiness, you might learn to avoid the wretchedness that was mine. Promise me that if you marry you will write down the problems that confront you and your solution of them, so than when your own baby girl comes to you and grows into womanhood she may be helped by your experience."
Poor little mother! Her marriage with my father had been one of those wretched tragedies, the knowledge of which frightens so many people away from the altar. I have no memory of my father. I do not know today whether he be living or dead. When I was 4 years old he ran away with the woman who had been my mother's most intimate friend. All my life has been warped by the knowledge. Even now, worshipping Dicky as I do, I am wondering as I sit here, obeying my mother's last request, whether or not an experience like hers will come to me.
A fine augury for our happiness when such thoughts as this can come to me on my wedding day!
Dicky is an artist, with all the faults and all the lovable virtues of his kind. A week ago I was a teacher, holding one of the most desirable positions in the city schools. We met just six months ago, two of the most unsuited people who could be thrown together. And now we are married! Next week we begin housekeeping in a dear little apartment near Dicky's studio.
Dicky has insisted that I give up my work, and against all my convictions I have yielded to his wishes. But on my part I have stipulated that I must be permitted to do the housework of our nest, with the occasional help of a laundress. I will be no parasite wife who neither helps her husband in or out of the home. But the little devils must be busy laughing just now. I, who have hardly hung up my own nightgown for years, and whose knowledge of housekeeping is mightily near zero, am to try to make home happy and comfortable for an artist! Poor Dicky!
I don't know what has come to me. I worship Dicky. He sweeps me off my feet with his love, his vivid personality overpowers my more commonplace self, but through all the bewildering intoxication of my engagement and marriage a little mocking devil, a cool, cynical, little devil, is constantly whispering in my ear: "You fool, you fool, to imagine you can escape unhappiness! There is no such thing as a happy marriage!"
Dicky has just 'phoned up from the smoking room to ask me if my hour isn't up. How his voice clears away all the miasma of my miserable thoughts! Please God, Dicky, I am going to lock up all my old ideas in the most unused closet of my brain, and try my best to be a good wife to you! I will be happy! I will! I WILL!
"I'll give you three guesses, Madge." Dicky stood just inside the door of the living room, holding an immense parcel carefully wrapped. His hat was on the back of his head, his eyes shining, his whole face aglow with boyish mischief.
"It's for you, my first housekeeping present, that is needed in every well regulated family," he burlesqued boastfully, "but you are not to see it until we have something to eat, and you have guessed what it is."
"I know it is something lovely, dear," I replied sedately, "but come to your dinner. It is getting cold."
Dicky looked a trifle hurt as he followed me to the dining room. I knew what he expected—enthusiastic curiosity and a demand for the immediate opening of the parcel, I can imagine the pretty enthusiasm, the caresses with which almost any other woman would have greeted a bridegroom of two weeks with his first present.
But it's simply impossible for me to gush. I cannot express emotion of any kind with the facility of most women. I worshipped my mother, but I rarely kissed her or expressed my love for her in words. My love for Dicky terrifies me sometimes, it is so strong, but I cannot go up to him and offer him an unsolicited kiss or caress. Respond to his caresses, yes! but offer them of my own volition, never! There is something inside me that makes it an absolute impossibility.
"What's the menu, Madge? The beef again?"
Dicky's tone was mildly quizzical, his smile mischievous, but I flushed hotly. He had touched a sore spot. The butcher had brought me a huge slab of meat for my first dinner when I had timidly ordered "rib roast," and with the aid of my mother's cook book and my own smattering of cooking, my sole housewifely accomplishment, I had been trying to disguise it for subsequent meals.
"This is positively its last appearance on any stage," I assured him, trying to be gay. "Besides, it's a casserole, with rice, and I defy you to detect whether the chief ingredient be fish, flesh or fowl."
"Casserole is usually my pet aversion," Dicky said solemnly. Look not on the casserole when it is table d'hote, is one of the pet little proverbs in my immediate set. Too much like Spanish steak and the other good chances for ptomaines. But if you made it I'll tackle it—if you have to call the ambulance in the next half-hour."
"Dicky, you surely do not think I would use meat that was doubtful, do you?" I asked, horror-stricken. "Don't eat it. Wait and I'll fix up some eggs for you."
Dicky rose stiffly, walked slowly around to my side of the table, and gravely tapped my head in imitation of a phrenologist.
"Absolute depression where the bump called 'sense of humor' ought to be. Too bad! Pretty creature, too. Cause her lots of trouble, in the days to come," he chanted solemnly.
Then he bent and kissed me. "Don't be a goose, Madge," he admonished, "and never, never take me seriously. I don't know the meaning of the word. Come on, let's eat the thing-um bob. I'll bet it's delicious."
He uncovered the casserole and regarded the steaming contents critically. "Smells scrumptious," he announced. "What's in the other? Potatoes au gratin?" as he took off the cover of the other serving dish. "Good! One of my favorites."
He piled a liberal portion on any plate and helped himself as generously. He ate heartily of both dishes, ignoring or not noticing that I scarcely touched either dish.
For I was fast lapsing into one of the moods which my little mother used to call my "morbid streaks" and which she had vainly tried to cure ever since I was a tiny girl.
Dicky didn't like my cooking! He was only pretending! Dicky was disappointed in the way I received the announcement of his present! Probably he soon would find me wanting in other things.
As I took our plates to the kitchen and brought on a lettuce and tomato salad with a mayonnaise dressing over which I had toiled for an hour, I was trying hard to choke back the tears.
When I brought on the baked apples which I had prepared with especial care for dessert, Dick gave them one glance which to my oversensitive mind looked disparaging. Then he pushed back his chair.
"Don't believe I want any dessert today. The rest of the dinner was so good I ate too much of it. Eat yours and I'll undo your surprise."
"Whatever in the world?" I began as Dicky lifted the lid and revealed a big Angora cat. Then my voice changed. "Why, Dicky, you don't mean—" But Dicky was absorbed in lifting the cat out.
"Isn't she a beauty?" he said admiringly. But I was almost into the dining room.
"I suppose she is," I replied faintly, "but surely you do not intend her for me?"
"Why not?" Dicky's tone was sharper than I had ever heard it. He set the cat down on the floor and she walked over to me. I pushed her away gently with my foot as I replied:
"Because I dislike cats—intensely. Besides, you know cats are so unsanitary, always carrying disease—"
"Oh, get out of it, Madge," Dicky interrupted. "Forget that scientific foolishness you absorbed when you were school ma'aming. Besides, this cat is a thoroughbred, never been outside the home where she was born till now. Do you happen to know what this gift you are tossing aside so nonchalantly would have cost if it hadn't been given me by a dear friend? A cool two hundred, that's all. It seems to me you might try to get over your prejudices, especially when I tell you that I am very fond of cats and like to see them around."
Dicky's voice held a note of appeal, but I chose to ignore it. My particular little devil must have sat at my elbow.
"I am sorry," I said coldly, "but really, I do not see why it is any more incumbent on me to try to overcome my very real aversion to cats than it is for you to try to do without their society."
"Very well," Dicky exclaimed angrily, turning toward the door. "If you feel that way about it, there is nothing more to be said."
Then Dicky slammed the living room door behind him to emphasize his words, went down the hall, slammed the apartment door and ran down the steps.
Back in the living room, huddled up in the big chair which is the chief pride of the woman who rents us the furnished apartment, I sat, as angry as Dicky, and heartsick besides. Our first quarrel had come!
But the cat remained. What was I to do with her? There is no cure for a quarrel like loneliness and reflection. Dicky had not been gone a half-hour after our disagreement over the cat before I was wondering how we both could have been so silly.
I thought it out carefully. I could see that Dicky was accustomed to having his own way unquestioned. He had told me once that his mother and sister had spoiled him, and I reflected that he evidently expected me to go on in the same way.
On the other hand, I had been absolutely my own mistress for years, the little mother in a way being more my child than I hers. Accustomed to decide for myself every question of my life I had no desire, neither had I intention of doing, any clinging vine act with Dicky posing at the strong oak.
But I also had the common sense to see that there would be real issues in our lives without wasting our ammunition over a cat. Then, too, the remembrance of Dicky's happy face when he thought he was surprising me tugged at my heart.
"If he wants a cat, a cat he shall have," I said to myself, and calling my unwelcome guest to me with a resolute determination to do my duty by the beast, no matter how distasteful the task, I was just putting a saucer of milk in front of her when the door opened and Dicky came in like a whirlwind.
"How do you wear sackcloth and ashes?" he cried, catching me in his arms as he made the query. "If you've got any in the house bring 'em along and I'll put them on. Seriously, girl, I'm awfully sorry I let my temper out of its little cage. No nice thing getting angry at your bride, because she doesn't like cats. I'll take the beast back tomorrow."
"Indeed, you'll do no such thing," I protested. "You're not the only one who is sorry, I made up my mind before you came back not only to keep this cat, but to learn to like her."
Dicky kissed me. "You're a brick, sweetheart," he said heartily, "and I've got a reward for you, a peace offering. Get on your frills, for we're going to a first night. Sanders was called out of town, had the tickets on his hands, and turned them over to me. Hurry up while I get into my moonlights."
"Your what?" I was mystified.
"Evening clothes, goose." Dicky threw the words over his shoulder as he took down the telephone receiver. "Can you dress in half an hour? We have only that."
"I'll be ready."
As I closed the door of my room I heard Dicky ask for the number of the taxicab company where he kept an account. Impulsively, I started toward him to remonstrate against the extravagance, but stopped as I heard the patter of rain against the windows.
"I'll leave this evening entirely in Dicky's hands," I resolved as I began to dress.
Our taxi drew into the long line of motor cars before the theatre and slowly crept up to the door. Dicky jumped out, raised his umbrella and guided me into the lobby. It was filled with men and women, some in elaborate evening dress, others in street garb. Some were going in to their seats, others were gossiping with each other, still others appeared to be waiting for friends.
The most conspicuous of all the women leaned against the wall and gazed at others through a lorgnette which she handled as if she had not long before been accustomed to its use. Her gown, a glaringly cut one, was of scarlet chiffon over silk, and her brocaded cape was half-slipping from her shoulder. Her hair was frankly dyed, and she rouged outrageously.
I gazed at her fascinated. She typified to me everything that was disagreeable. I have always disliked even being in the neighborhood of her vulgar kind. What was my horror, then, to see her deliberately smiling at me, then coming toward us with hand outstretched.
I realized the truth even before she spoke. It was not I at whom she was smiling, but Dicky. She was Dicky's friend!
"Why, bless my soul, if it isn't the Dicky-bird," she cried so loudly that everybody turned to look at us. She took my hand. "I suppose you are the bride Dicky's been hiding away so jealously." She looked me up and down as if I were on exhibition and turning to Dicky said. "Pretty good taste, Dicky, but I don't imagine that your old friends will see much of you from now on."
"That's where you're wrong, Lil," returned Dicky easily. "We're going to have you all up some night soon."
"See that you do," she returned, tweaking his ear as we passed on to our seats.
I had not spoken during the conversation. I had shaken the hand of the woman and smiled at her.
But over and over again in my brain this question was revolving:
"Who is this unpleasant woman who calls my husband 'Dicky-bird,' and who is called 'Lil' by him?"
But I love the very air of the theatre, so as Dicky and I sank into the old-fashioned brocaded seats I resolutely put away from my mind all disturbing thoughts of the woman in the lobby who appeared on such good terms with my husband, and prepared to enjoy every moment of the evening.
"Well done, Madge," Dicky whispered mischievously, as, after we had been seated, I let my cloak drop from my shoulders without arising. "You wriggled that off in the most approved manner."
"I ought to," I whispered back. "I've watched other women with envious attention during all the lean years, when I wore tailor-mades to mill and to meeting."
Dicky squeezed my hand under cover of the cloak. "No more lean years for my girl if I can help it." he murmured earnestly.
Dicky appeared to know a number of people in the audience. A half-dozen men and two or three women bowed to him. He told me about each one. Two were dramatic critics, others artist and actor friends. Each one's name was familiar to me through the newspapers.
"You'll know them all later, Madge," he said, and I felt a glow of pleasure in the anticipation of meeting such interesting people.
Dicky opened his program, and I idly watched the people between me and the stage. A few seats in front of us to the left I caught sight of the woman who had claimed Dicky's acquaintance in the lobby. She was signaling greetings to a number of acquaintances in a flamboyant fashion. She would bow elaborately, then lift her hands together as if shaking hands with the person she greeted.
"Who is she, Dicky?" I tried to make my voice careless. "I did not catch her name when you introduced us."
"You'll probably see enough of her so you won't forget it," returned Dicky, grinning. "She's one of the busiest little members of the 'Welcome to Our City Committee' in the set I train most with. She won't rest till you've met all the boys and girls and been properly lionized. She's one of the best little scouts going, and, if she'd cut out the war paint and modulate that Comanche yell she calls her voice there would be few women to equal her for brains or looks."
"But you haven't told me yet what her name is," I persisted.
"Well, in private life she's Mrs. Harry Underwood—that's Harry with her—but she's better known all over the country as the
cleverest producer of illustrated jingles for advertising we have. Remember that Simple Simon parody for the mincemeat advertisement we laughed over some time ago, and I told you I knew the woman who did it? There she is before you," and Dicky waved his hand grandiloquently.
"Lillian Gale!" I almost gasped the name.
"The same," rejoined Dicky, and turned again to his program, while I sat in amazed horror, with all my oldtime theories crumbling around me.
For I had read of Lillian Gale and her married troubles. I knew that Harry Underwood was her second husband and that she had been divorced from her first spouse after a scandal which has been aired quite fully in the newspapers. She had not been proved guilty, but her skirts certainly had been smirched by rumor. According to the ideas which had been mine, Dicky should have shrunk from having me ever meet such a woman, let alone planning to have me on terms of intimacy with her.
What should I do?
When the curtain went down on the first act I turned to Dicky happily, eager to hear his comments and filled with a throng of thoughts to wipe away any remembrance from his mind of the unhappiness that had promised to mar my evening, and which I feared he had read in my eyes. But just as I opened my lips to speak, he interrupted me with a startled exclamation:
"Sit down, Lil. Hello, Harry."
Dicky was on his feet in an instant and Lillian Gale was seated next to me with Dicky and her husband leaning over us before I had fully realized that the woman, the thought of whom had so disturbed my evening, was so close to me.
"I want you to know Mrs. Graham, Harry," Dicky said.
I glowed inwardly at the note of pride in his voice and looked up to meet a pair of brilliant black eyes looking at me with an appraising approval that grated. He was a tall, good looking chap, with an air of ennui that sat oddly on his powerful frame. I felt sure that I would like Lillian Gale's husband as little as I did the woman herself.
I was glad when the lights dimmed slowly, that the second act was about to begin. Mrs. Underwood rose with a noisy rustling of draperies. She evidently was one of those women who can do nothing quietly, and turning to me said, cordially:
"Be sure to wait for us in the lobby when this is over. We have a plan," and before I had time to reply she had rustled away to her own seat, her tall husband following at some little distance behind her, but apparently oblivious of her presence as if she were a stranger.
I didn't much enjoy the second act, even though I realized that it was one of the best comedy scenes I had ever seen, both in its lines and its acting; but I had a problem to settle, and I longed for the quiet hour in my own room which my mother had trained me to take every day since childhood.
Of course, I realized that Lillian Gale meant to have us join them for a supper party after the theatre. The invitation would be given to us in the lobby after the last act. Upon the way that I received that invitation must depend my future conduct toward this woman. I could not make one of the proposed party and afterward decline to know her. My instincts all cried out to me to avoid Lillian Gale. She outraged all my canons of good taste, although even through my prejudices I had to admit there was something oddly attractive about her in spite of her atrocious make-up.
But, on the other hand, she and her husband appeared to be on most intimate terms with Dicky. Would I seriously offend him if I refused to treat his friends with friendliness equal to that which they seemed ready to shower upon me?
"Would you like to walk a bit, Madge?" Dicky's voice started me into a recollection of my surroundings. I had been so absorbed in the problem of whether I should or should not accept Lillian Gale as an intimate friend that I did not know that the curtain had fallen on the second act, nor did I know how the act had ended. My problem was still unsolved. I welcomed the diversion of a turn in the fresher aid of the lobby.
As we passed up the aisle I felt a sudden tug, then an ominous ripping. The floating chiffon overdrapery of my gown had caught in a seat. As Dicky bent to release me his face showed consternation. Almost a length of the dainty fabric trailed on the floor.
I have schooled my self-repression for many a weary year. I feared my gown, in which I had taken such pride, was ruined, but I would not let any one know I cared about it. I gathered it up and smiled at Dicky.
"It really doesn't matter," I said. "If you'll leave me at the woman's dressing room I think I can fix it up all right."
Dicky drew a relieved breath. His heartily murmured, "You're a thoroughbred for sure, Madge," rewarded me for my composure. I was just woman enough also to be comforted by the whispered comments of two women who sat just behind the seat which caused the mischief.
"Isn't that a shame—that exquisite gown?" and the rejoinder. "But isn't she game? I couldn't smile like that—I'd be crying