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Authors: Louis Auchincloss

Tags: #General Fiction

Watchfires (37 page)

BOOK: Watchfires
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His vision had subjected him to a strain that was ill-advised for a heart that had already been the victim of one near-fatal attack, and he turned to go into the house and call his carriage. In the big hall an anxious Fred caught up with him.

"Are you all right, Dad?"

"Perfectly, my boy. Go back to the party. I'm just going home for a little rest before dinner."

But when his landau pulled up at the front door, he instructed his coachman to drive to the Island Cemetery. The man knew, without being told, that he should go directly to the Handy plot, and he waited as usual on his seat while Dexter pushed open the iron grille gate and went in.

On a vast marble slab a marble angel brooded over a huge urn. It was the tomb of Charles Handy, who had survived to his ninetieth year. To one side a modest headpiece denoted the final resting place of his daughter Joanna, subservient to her sire in death as in life. Dexter, seeing it, always recalled with satisfaction that, thanks to Rosalie, Joanna had at least escaped her father during the war.

He turned to the other side of Mr. Handy's memorial where Rosalie and Selby were buried. The latter had a thin piece of white marble marked with his dates and the words: "Given little, he gave much." Rosalie's slab, at her request, had only her name, her dates and the legend: "Wife of Dexter Fairchild."

Standing before it, uncovered, he bowed his head for several silent minutes. Then he chuckled aloud. "You're still helping to keep me from making a total ass of myself, both of you," he murmured. "Keep it up, my darlings! It shouldn't be too much longer."

BOOK: Watchfires
13.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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