The Pool in the Desert - Sara Jeanette Duncan - Страница 1 из 252


THE POOL IN THE DESERT
By Sara Jeanette Duncan
Contents
1. A Mother in India.
2. An Impossible Ideal.
3. The Hesitation of Miss Anderson.
4. The Pool in the Desert.
1. A Mother in India
Chapter 1.I
There were times when we had to go without puddings to pay John's
uniform bills, and always I did the facings myself with a cloth-ball to
save getting new ones. I would have polished his sword, too, if I had
been allowed; I adored his sword. And once, I remember, we painted and
varnished our own dog-cart, and very smart it looked, to save fifty
rupees. We had nothing but our pay--John had his company when we were
married, but what is that?--and life was made up of small knowing
economies, much more amusing in recollection than in practise. We were
sodden poor, and that is a fact, poor and conscientious, which was
worse. A big fat spider of a money-lender came one day into the veranda
and tempted us--we lived in a hut, but it had a veranda--and John
threatened to report him to the police. Poor when everybody else had
enough to live in the open-handed Indian fashion, that was what made it
so hard; we were alone in our sordid little ways. When the expectation
of Cecily came to us we made out to be delighted, knowing that the whole
station pitied us, and when Cecily came herself, with a swamping burst
of expense, we kept up the pretense splendidly. She was peevish, poor
little thing, and she threatened convulsions from the beginning, but we
both knew that it was abnormal not to love her a great deal, more than


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