from Main Street, Gopher Prairie, to Main Street, Joralemon, she had not
stirred. There were the same two-story brick groceries with lodge-signs
above the awnings; the same one-story wooden millinery shop; the same
fire-brick garages; the same prairie at the open end of the wide
street; the same people wondering whether the levity of eating a hot-dog
sandwich would break their taboos.
They reached Gopher Prairie at nine in the evening.
"You look kind of hot," said Kennicott.
"Joralemon is an enterprising town, don't you think so?" She broke. "No!
I think it's an ash-heap."
He worried over it for a week. While he ground his plate with his knife
as he energetically pursued fragments of bacon, he peeped at her.
"CARRIE'S all right. She's finicky, but she'll get over it. But I wish
she'd hurry up about it! What she can't understand is that a fellow
practising medicine in a small town like this has got to cut out the
highbrow stuff, and not spend all his time going to concerts and
shining his shoes. (Not but what he might be just as good at all these
intellectual and art things as some other folks, if he had the time
for it!)" Dr. Will Kennicott was brooding in his office, during a free
moment toward the end of the summer afternoon. He hunched down in his
tilted desk-chair, undid a button of his shirt, glanced at the state
news in the back of the Journal of the American Medical Association,
dropped the magazine, leaned back with his right thumb hooked in the
arm-hole of his vest and his left thumb stroking the back of his hair.
"By golly, she's taking an awful big chance, though. You'd expect her
to learn by and by that I won't be a parlor lizard. She says we try
to 'make her over.' Well, she's always trying to make me over, from a
perfectly good M. D. into a damn poet with a socialist necktie! She'd
have a fit if she knew how many women would be willing to cuddle up to
Friend Will and comfort him, if he'd give 'em the chance! There's still
a few dames that think the old man isn't so darn unattractive! I'm
glad I've ducked all that woman-game since I've been married but----Be