The Red House by Edith Nesbit

The Red House

byEdith Nesbit

Kobo ebook | March 30, 2016

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A pleasant, slightly bland, tale of romance after marriage. This novel also features a brief appearance of the Bastable children—in a sort of retelling of one of the Treasure Seekers stories from an adult viewpoint.

CONVENTIONALLY our life-story ended in a shower of rice at the church door, amid the scent of white flowers, with a flutter of white favors all about us. We left behind us those relatives whose presence had been so little desired by us during our brief courtship, and a high-heeled white satin slipper struck the back of the brougham as we drove off. It was like a parting slap on the shoulder from our old life—the old life which we left so gayly, eager to fulfil the destiny set as the end of our wooing's fairy story, and to “live happy ever after.”

And now all that was six months ago; and instead of attending to that destiny, the fairy princess and her unworthy prince were plunged over head and ears in their first quarrel—their first serious quarrel—about the real and earnest things of life; for the other little quarrels about matters of sentiment and the affections really did not count. They were only play and make-believe; still, they had got our hands in, so that when we really differed seriously we both knew exactly how to behave—we had played at quarrels so often. This quarrel was very serious, because it was about my shaving-brush and Chloe's handkerchief-case. There was a cupboard with a window—Chloe called it my dressing-room, and, at first, I humored her pretty fancy about it, and pretended that I could really see to shave in a glass that faced the window, although my shoulders, as I stood, cut off all light. But even then I used really to shave at Chloe's mirror after she had gone down to make the tea and boil the eggs—only I kept my shaving things in the embroidered vestments which my wife's affection provided and her fingers worked, and these lived in the “dressing-room.” But the subterfuge presently seemed unworthy, and I found myself, in the ardor of a truthful nature, leaving my soapy brush on her toilet-table. Chloe called this untidiness, and worse, and urged that I had a dressing-room. Then I put the brush away. This had happened more than once.

On this memorable morning I had set up the pretty ivory shaving-brush, clean and pleasant with its white crown of lather, among her hair-brushes. Chloe came up just then to ask me whether I would have two or three eggs. Her entrance startled me. I cut myself slightly, but infuriatingly, and knocked the brush down. It fell on Chloe's handkerchief-case—pink satin, painted with rose and cupids, a present. Chloe snatched it up.

“You are horrid,” she said. “Why don't you shave in your own dressing-room?”

Title:The Red HouseFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 30, 2016Publisher:CPLanguage:English

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