An April Afternoon by Philip Wylie

By Philip Wylie

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Music came from the piano like a rush of water, like still water, like wind-driven rains--and I think Connie cried, and I know I wanted to. When it was all over, I understood what Virginia felt about Bill and I knew that however much unhappiness he had brought me--her misery must be infinitely greater. CHAPTER IX Bill stayed with us that night. Everyone asked him simultaneously, when it became apparent that he was going to say goodnight. His brief hesitation was all the Sheffields needed for sensing that he could be prevailed upon--and when he said he had to go, they insisted.

There wasn't anything to say about that. My heart became cold and heavy again. I threshed the brush and by sheer accident found the ball, for which neither of us had really searched. " He walked up, nodding. " ''That note she left when she went away. " There was an inexpressible bewilderment in his voice. I tried to explain. "I think I do, John. That 'all for one' business. We don't bicker in our family. We don't salt our wounds. " He shook his head. "Not things like that. Connie was wholly wrong when she maintained that eloping in the night without a word to anybody was typical of what we've stood for.

He'd sailed boats--so he and Larry had a long and uninhibited conversation about matters of which I had by choice remained ignorant. Jibs, luffing and spinnakers, I think. His father had been a druggist and he was a broker, but Bill, nevertheless, had picked up somewhere a small stake of knowledge about brass manufacturing--so he met John interestingly and on his own grounds. With Connie he flirted just the right amount. And he knew one of my verses by heart. At first I thought Virginia had put him up to that, and I was sore.

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