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Every Soul Hath Its Song

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154 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Every Soul Hath Its Song, by Fannie Hurst
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
www.gutenberg.net
Title: Every Soul Hath Its Song
Author: Fannie Hurst
Release Date: June 28, 2004 [EBook #12763]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EVERY SOUL HATH ITS SONG ***
Produced by PG Distributed Proofreaders
[Illustration: Fannie Hurst] EVERY SOUL HATH ITS SONG
BY
FANNIE HURST
AUTHOR OF
Just Around the Corner
"Oh, the melody in the simplest heart" BOOKS BY FANNIE HURST
EVERY SOUL HATH ITS SONG
JUST AROUND THE CORNER
Every Soul Hath Its Song
1912, 1916 TO
J.S.D. CONTENTS
SEA GULLIBLES
ROLLING STOCK
HOCHENHEIMER OF CINCINNATI
IN MEMORIAM
THE NTH COMMANDMENT
T.B.
SUMMER RESOURCES
SOB SISTER
THE NAME AND THE GAME EVERY SOUL HATH ITS SONG SEA GULLIBLES
In this age of prose, when men's hearts turn point-blank from blank verse to the business of chaining two worlds by cable
and of daring to fly with birds; when scholars, ever busy with the dead, are suffering crick in the neck from looking
backward to the good old days when Romance wore a tin helmet on his head or lace in his sleeves—in such an age
Simon Binswanger first beheld the high-flung torch of Goddess Liberty from the fore of the steerage deck of a wooden
ship, his small body huddled in ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Every Soul Hath Its Song, by Fannie Hurst
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 www.gutenberg.net
Title: Every Soul Hath Its Song
Author: Fannie Hurst
Release Date: June 28, 2004 [EBook #12763]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EVERY SOUL HATH ITS SONG ***
Produced by PG Distributed Proofreaders
[Illustration: Fannie Hurst]
EVERY SOUL HATH ITS SONG
BY
FANNIEHURST
AUTHOR OF
Just Around the Corner
"Oh, the melody in the simplest heart"
BOOKS BY FANNIE HURST
EVERYSOUL HATH ITS SONG
JUST AROUND THECORNER
Every Soul Hath Its Song 1912, 1916
TO
J.S.D.
CONTENTS
SEA GULLIBLES
ROLLINGSTOCK
HOCHENHEIMER OFCINCINNATI
IN MEMORIAM
THENTH COMMANDMENT
T.B.
SUMMER RESOURCES
SOB SISTER
THENAMEAND THEGAME
EVERY SOUL HATH ITS SONG
SEA GULLIBLES
In this age of prose, when men's hearts turn point-blank from blank verse to the business of chaining two worlds by cable and of daring to fly with birds; when scholars, ever busy with the dead, are suffering crick in the neck from looking backward to the good old days when Romance wore a tin helmet on his head or lace in his sleeves—in such an age Simon Binswanger first beheld the high-flung torch of Goddess Liberty from the fore of the steerage deck of a wooden ship, his small body huddled in the sag of calico skirt between his mother's knees, and the sky-line and clothes-lines of the lower East Side dawning upon his uncomprehending eyes.
Some decades later, and with an endurance stroke that far outclassed classic Leander's, Simon Binswanger had swum the great Hellespont that surged between the Lower East Side and the Upper West Side, and, trolling his family after, landed them in one of those stucco-fronted, elevator-service apartment-houses where home life is lived on the layer, and the sins of the extension sole and the self-playing piano are visited upon the neighbor below. Landed them four stories high and dry in a strictly modern apartment of three dark, square bedrooms, a square dining-room ventilated by an airshaft, and a square pocket of a kitchen that looked out upon a zigzag of fire-escape. And last a square front-room-de-resistance, with a bay of four windows overlooking a distant segment of Hudson River, an imitation stucco mantelpiece, a crystal chandelier, and an air of complete detachment from its curtailed rear.
But even among the false creations of exterior architects and interior decorators, home can find a way. Despite the square dining-room with the stag-and-tree wall-paper design above the plate-rack and a gilded radiator that hissed loudest at mealtime, when Simon Binswanger and his family relaxed round their after-dinner table, the invisible cricket on the visible hearth fell to whirring.
With the oldest gesture of the shod age Mrs. Binswanger dived into her work-basket, withdrew with a sock, inserted her five fingers into the foot, and fell to scanning it this way and that with a furrow between her eyes.
"Ray, go in and tell your sister she should come out of her room and stop that crying nonsense. I tell you it's easier we should all go to Europe, even if we have to swim across, than every evening we should have spoilt for us."
Ray Binswanger rose out of her shoulders, her eyes dazed with print, then collapsed again to the pages of her book.
"Let her cry, mamma."
"It's not so nice, Ray, you should treat your sister like that."
"Can I help it, mamma, that all of a sudden she gets Europe on the brain? You never heard me even holler for Arverne, much less Europe, as long as the boats were running for Brighton, did you, mom?"
"She thinks, Ray, in Europe it's a finer education for you both. She ain't all wrong the way she hates you should run to Brighton with them little snips."
"Just the same you never heard me nag for trips. The going's too good at home. Did you, pop, ever hear me nag?"
"Ja, it's a lot your papa worries about what's what! Look at him there behind his paper, like it was a law he had to read every word! Ray, go get me my glasses under the clock and call in your sister. Them novels will keep. Mind me when I talk, Ray!"
Miss Ray Binswanger rose reluctantly, placing the book face downward on the blue-and-white table coverlet. It was as if seventeen Indian summers had laid their golden blush upon her. Imperceptibly, too, the lanky, prankish years were folding back like petals, revealing the first bloom of her, a suddenly cleared complexion and eyes that had newly learned to drop upon occasion.
"Honest, mamma, do you think it would hurt Izzy to make a move once in a while? He was the one made her cry, anyway, guying her about spaghetti on the brain."
"Sure I did. Wasn't she running down my profesh? She's got to go to Europe for the summer, because the traveling salesmen she meets at home ain't good enough for her. Well, of all the nerve!"
"Just look at him, mamma, stretched out on the sofa there like he was a king!"
Full flung and from a tufted leather couch Isadore Binswanger turned on his pillow, flashing his dark eyes and white teeth full upon her.
"Go chase yourself, Blackey!"
"Blackey! Let me just tell you, Mr. Smarty, that alongside of you I'm so blond I'm dizzy."
"Come and give your big brother a French kiss, Blackey."
"Like fun I will!"
"Do what I say or I'll—"
Mrs. Binswanger rapped her darning-ball with a thimbled finger.
"Izzy, stop teasing your sister."
"You just ask me to press your white-flannel pants for you the next time you want to play Palm Beach with yourself, and see if I do it or not. You just ask me!"
He made a great feint of lunging after her, and she dodged behind her mother's rocking-chair, tilting it sharply. "Children!" "Mamma, don't you let him touch me!"
"You—you little imp, you!" "Children!" "I tell you, ma, that kid's getting too fresh."
"You spoil her, Izzy, more as any one."
"It's those yellow novels, and that gang of drugstore snips you let her run with will be her ruination. If she was my kid I bet I'd have kept her in school another year."
"You shut up, Izzy Binswanger, and mind your own business. You never even went as long as me."
"With a boy it's different."
"You better lay pretty low, Izzy Binswanger, or I can tell a few tales. I guess I didn't see you the night after you got in from your last trip, in your white-flannel pants I pressed, dancing on the Brighton boat with that peroxide queen alrighty."
This time his face darkened with the blood of anger.
"You little imp, I'll—"
"Children! Stop it, do you hear! Ray, go right this minute and call Miriam and bring me my glasses. Izzy, do you think it's so nice that a grown man should tease his little sister?"
"I'll be glad when he goes out on his Western trip next week."
"Skidoo, you little imp!"
She tossed her head in high-spirited distemper and flounced through the doorway. He rose from his mound of pillows, jerking his daring waistcoat into place, flinging each knee outward to adjust the knifelike trouser creases, swept backward a black, pomaded forelock and straightened an accurate and vivid cravat.
"She's getting too fresh, I tell you, ma. If I catch her up round the White Front drug-store with that fresh crowd of kids I'll slap her face right there before them."
"Ach, at her age, Izzy, Miriam was just the same way, and now look how fine a boy has got to be before that girl will look at him. Too fine, I say!"
"Where's my hat, ma? I laid it here on the sewing-machine. Gee! the only way for a fellow to keep his hat round this joint is to sit on it!"
A quick frown sprang between Mrs. Binswanger's eyes and she glanced at her husband, hidden behind his barricade of newspaper. Her brow knotted and her wide, uncorseted figure half rose toward him.
"Izzy, one night can't you stay at home and—"
"I ain't gone yet, am I, ma? Don't holler before you're hurt. There's a fellow going to call for me at eight and we're going to a show—a good fellow for me to know, Irving Shapiro, city salesman for the Empire Waist Company. I ain't still in bibs, ma, that I got to be bossed where I go nights."
"Ach, Izzy, for why can't you stay home this evening? Stay home and you and Miriam and your friend sing songs together, and later I fix for you some sandwiches—not, Izzy? A young man like Irving Shapiro I bet likes it if you stay home with him once. Nice it will be for your sister, too—eh, Izzy?"
Mrs. Binswanger's face, slightly sagging at the mouth from the ravages of two recently extracted molars, broke into an invitational smile.
"Eh, Izzy?" He found and withdrew his hat from behind a newspaper-rack and cast a quick glance toward the form of his father, whose nether half, ending in a pair of carpet slippers dangling free from his balbriggan heels, protruded from the barricade of newspaper.
"That's right, just get the old man started on me, ma, too. When a fellow travels six months out of the year in every two-by-four burg in the Middle West, nagging like this is just what he needs when he gets home."
"You know, Izzy, I'm the last one to start something."
"Then don't always ask a fellow where he's going, ma, and get pa started too."
"You know that not one thing that goes on does papa hear when he reads his paper, Izzy. Never one word do I say to him how I feel when you go, only I—I don't like you should run out nights so late, Izzy. Next week again already you go out on your trip and—"
"Now, ma, just—just you begin if you want to make me sore."
"I tell you, Izzy, I worry enough that you should be on the road so much. And ain't it natural, Izzy, when you ain't away I—I should like it that you stay by home a lot? Sit down, anyway, awhile yet till the Shapiro boy comes."
"Sure I will, ma."
"If I take a trip away from you this summer I worry, Izzy, and if I stay home I worry. Anyway I fix it I worry." "Now, ma." "Only sometimes I feel if your papa feels like he wants to spend the money—Well, anything is better as that girl should feel so bad that we don't take her to Europe."
He jingled a handful of loose coins from his pocket to his palm. "Cheer up, ma; if the old man will raise my salary I'll blow you to a wheelbarrow trip through Europe myself."
"'Sh-h-h-h, Izzy! Here comes Miriam. I don't want you should tease her one more word to make her mad. You hear?"
In the frame of the doorway, quiescent as an odalisque and with the golden tinge of a sunflower lighting her darkness, Miriam Binswanger held the picture for a moment, her brother greeting her with bow and banter.
"Well, little red-eyes!"
"Izzy, what did I just tell you!"
His sister flashed him a dark glance, reflexly her hand darting upward to her face. "You!"
"Now, now, children! Why don't you and Miriam go in the parlor, Izzy, and sing songs?"
"What you all so cooped up in here for, mamma? Open the window, Ray; it's as hot as summer outside."
"Say, who was your maid this time last year, Miriam?"
"Mamma, you going to let her talk that way to me?"
"Ray, will it hurt you to put up the window like your sister asks?"
"Well, I'm doing it, ain't I?"
"Now, Miriam, you and Izzy go in the parlor and sing for mamma a little."
Miriam's small teeth met in a small click, her voice lay under careful control and as if each nerve was twanging like a plucked violin string.
"Please, mamma, please! I just can't sing to-night!"
She was like a Jacque rose, dark and swaying, her little bosom beneath the sheer blouse rising higher than its wont.
"Please, mamma!"
"Ach, now, Miriam!"
"Where's those steamship pamphlets, mamma, I left laying here on the table?"
"Right here where you left them, Miriam."
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