Page 1

Fitzgerald - Bernice Bobs Her Hair

14 THE SATURDAY EVENING POST May 1, /920 ENNITCIS JR' a0CDgt E FTER dark on Saturday night one could stand on the first tee of the golf course and see the country club windows as a yellow expanse A over a very black and wavy ocean. The waves of this ocean, so to speak, were the heads of many curious caddies, a few of the more ingenious chauffeurs, the IILLLLUUSSTTRRAATTEEDD BY MAY WILSON golf professional's deaf sister—and there were usually ....." several stray, diffident waves who might have rolled inside had they so desired. This was the gallery. The balcony was inside. It consisted of the circle of wicker chairs that lined the wall of the combination clubroom and ballroom. At these Saturday-night dances it was largely feminine; a great babel of middleaged ladies with sharp eyes and icy hearts behind lor- gnettes and large bosoms. The main function of the balcony was critical. It occasionally - showed grudging admiration, but never approval, for it is well known among ladies over thirty-five that when the younger set dance in the summer time it is with the very worst intentions in the world, and if they are not bombarded with stony eyes stray couples will dance weird barbaric interludes in the corners, and the more popular, more dangerous girls will sometimes be kissed in the parked limousines of unsuspecting dowagers. But after all, this critical circle is not close enough to the stage to see the actors' faces and catch the subtler byplay. It can only frown and lean, ask questions and make satisfactory deductions from its set of postulates, such as the one which states that every young man with a large income leads the life of a hunted partridge. It never really appreciates the drama of the shifting, semicruel world of adolescence. No; boxes, orchestra circle, principals and chorus are represented by the medley of faces and voices that sway to the plaintive African rhythm of Dyer's dance orchestra. From sixteen-year-old Otis Ormonde, who has two more years at Hill School, to G. Reece Stoddard, over whose bureau at home hangs a Harvard law diploma; from little Madeleine Hogue, whose hair still feels strange and uncomfortable on top of her head, to Bessie MacRae, who has been the life of the party a little too long—more than ten years—the medley is not only the center of the stage but contains the only people capable of getting an unobstructed view of it. With a flourish and a bang the music stops. The couples exchange artificial, effortless smiles, facetiously repeat "la-de-da-dadum-dum," and then the clatter of young feminine voices soars over the burst of clapping. A few disappointed stags caught in midfloor as they had been about to cut in subsided listlessly back to the walls, because this was not like the riotous Christmas dances. These summer hops were considered just pleasantly warm and exciting, where even the younger marrieds rose and performed ancient waltzes and terrifying fox trots to the tolerant amusement of their younger brothers and sisters. Warren McIntyre, who casually attended Yale, being one of the unfortunate stags, felt in his dinner-coat pocket for a cigarette and strolled out onto the wide, semidark veranda, where couples were scattered at tables, filling the lantern-hung night with vague words and hazy laughter. He nodded here and there at the less absorbed and as he passed each couple some half-forgotten fragment of a story played in his mind, for it was not a large city and everyone was Who's Who to everyone else's past. There, for example, were Jim Strain and Ethel Demorest, who had been privately engaged for three years. Everyone knew that as soon as Jim managed to hold a job for more than two months she would marry him. Yet how bored PRESTON Every Saturday night he danced a long arduous duty dance with her to please Marjorie, but he had never been anything but bored in her company' " Warren "—a soft voice at his elbow broke in upon his thoughts, and he turned to see Marjorie, flushed and radiant as usual. She laid a hand on his shoulder and a glow settled almost imperceptibly over him. "Warren," she whispered, "do something for me-- dance with Bernice. She's been stuck with little Otis Ormonde for almost an hour." Warren's glow faded. "Why—sure," he answered half-heartedly. o"ti don't mind, do you? I'll see that you don't get stu"cYk. "'Sall right." Marjorie smiled—that smile that was thanks enough. "You're an angel, and I'm obliged loads." hut With a sigh the angel glanced round the veranda, - , Bernice and Otis were not in sight. He wandered back inside and there in front of the women's dressing room Il found Otis in the center of a group of young men who wets convulsed with laughter. Otis was brandishing a piece 0. timber he had picked up, and discoursing volubly. ,,,, "She's gone in to fix her hair," he announced %via's." "I'm waiting to dance another hour with her." Their laughter was renewed. vcraire'fdWetOtis resentfully. "She likes nicn ,,ignedh:yhyhe.yoy,tlu:vwdatroohro-nietbsi'nyts,trisinoem. ,e, of you cut - ore .ead, .siluinggg.ested a iri "you've just barely got used to her.. "Why the two-by-four, Otis?" in two-by-four? club. When shefo comes i ,1, This iisear Warren collapsed on a settee and howled w" glee. on the head and knock her in again' ,,h Y. mind, Otis," he articulated flnall- "h:0‘a:IdNtniesedrvesletiimulated a sudden fainting attack aan d hereltlisllItick to Warr'es'Inn Oh, out "If you need it, old man," he said hoarsest. ay No matter how beautiful or brilliant a girl °.I in be, the reputation of not being frequently caste. on makes her position at a dance unfortun.a,',_ Perhaps boys prefer her company to that of the butterflies with whom they dance a dozen tune; an evening, but youth in this jazz-nourished fAea eration is temperamentally restless, and the ",, efoxa same girl ...) . the aren afut llt afoxa trot ivo,i. e`u .;r'.,. f s m odri se t tahsan distasteful, When it comes to several dances and the int,. a missions between she can be quite sure thi.a'sn young man, once relieved, will never tread and ble Warren danced the next full dance with eBrn i.ce,ta finally, thankful for the intermission, he led her to a --she on the veranda. There was a moment's silence Owe did unimpressive things with her fan. "It's hotter here than in Eau Claire," she said. all be oor Warren stifled a sigh and nodded. It might be for al knew or cared. He wondered idly whether she was 3 Pt no conversationalist because she got no attention or g° then because she was a poor conversationalist. TO mu attention uu turned rather red. She might suspect his reasons for gou going to be here much longer?" he asked, 0,,,,i, aski "Another week," she answered, and stared at ". n m ill as if to lunge at his next remark when it left his lips. pulse he decided to try part of his line on her. He turn and laororkeendfaidtgheetrede.y esT. hen with a sudden charitable ireliti qui`eYtloyu. 've got an awfully kissable mouth," he begat' ...L, lit This was a remark that he sometimes made to gl/ ol f d such d an college proms when they were talking in just dark as this. Bernice distinctly jumped. She WV one red and became clumsy with her fan. 110 ha" ad ever made such a remark to her before. used, it, word had slipped out before she re oed,tde Too ouflgesh. she odte accustomed Though c id ed to be at7e d i I en was annfloiiplly.se lisite Warr laugh remark taken seriously, still it usually Pra.c°'shateci augh or a paragraph of sentimental banter. And he noble to be called fresh, except in a joking way. His char- impulse died and he switched the topic. , , ,‘ v• ast,' immmSetartaeidn.and Ethel Demorest sitting out as us gieTdhwis he This t tnirr with her orreelieinf aBsetrhniecsea'sbliencet, changed. Men not 2y He Wondered No Attention Idly Whether She Was a Poor Conversationalist Because She Got or Got No Attention Because She Was a Poor Conversationalist they both looked and how wearily Ethel regarded Jim sometimes, as if she wondered why she had trained the vines of her affection on such a wind-shaken poplar. Warren was nineteen and rather pitying with those of his friends who hadn't gone East to college. But like most boys he bragged tremendously about the girls of his city when he was away from it. There was Genevieve Ormonde, who regularly made the rounds of dances, house parties and football games at Princeton, Yale, Williams and Cornell; there was black-eyed Roberta Dillon, who was quite as famous to her own generation as Hiram Johnson or Ty Cobb; and, of course, there was Marjorie Harvey, who besides having a fairylike face and a dazzling, bewildering tongue was already justly celebrated for having turned five cart wheels in succession during the last pump-and-slipper dance at New Haven. Warren, who had grown up across the street from Marjorie, had long been wildly in love with her. Sometimes she seemed to reciprocate his feelings with a faint gratitude, but she had tried him by her infallible test and informed him gravely that she did not love him. Her test was that when she was away from him she forgot him and had affairs with other boys. Warren found this discouraging, especially as Marjorie had been making little trips all summer, and for the first two or three days after each arrival home he saw great heaps of mail on the Harveys' hall table addressed to her in various masculine handwritings. To make matters worse, all during the month of August she had been visited by her Cousin Bernice from Eau Claire, and it seemed impossible to see her alone. It was always necessary to hunt round and find someone to take care of Bernice. As August waned this was becoming more and more difficult. Much as Warren loved Marjorie, he had to admit that Cousin Bernice was sorta hopeless. She was pretty, with dark hair and high color, but she was no fun on a party.


Fitzgerald - Bernice Bobs Her Hair
To see the actual publication please follow the link above