Rogers, Toole, Hickey discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction


Fire ahead, Hickey told him. Well, there were these three lads, Patti to Irish man, patty the English man and patty the Scotsman and they were badly in need of now no smut misses Rogers snapped before he had uttered a wrong word at all. What smut, said O'Toole, getting offended, smut, think of the girls, misses Rogers said. Girls O'Toole sneered as he picked up the bottle of cream, which they'd forgotten to use with the jelly, and poured it into the carcass of the goose. Christ's sake man, Hickey said, taking the bottle of cream out of O'Toole's hand. Misses Rogers said that it was high time everyone went to bed as the party seemed to be over. The guests would spend the night in the commercial. It was too late for them to go home and also misses Rogers did not want them to be observed, staggering out of the house that hour. The police watched her like hawks, she said, and she did not want any trouble until Christmas was over at least. The sleeping arrangements had been decided earlier on. There were three bedrooms, brogan would have the room he always slept in, the other three men were to pitch in together in the second big bedroom, and the girls were to share the back room with misses Rogers herself. Come on, everyone, blanket street, misses Rogers said, as she put a guard in front of the dying fire and took the money from behind the owl. Sugar you, O'Toole said, pouring stout now into the carcass of the goose. Long John salmon wished that he had never come. He thought of daylight and his swim in the mountain river at the back of his gray stone house. A blush, he said aloud taking pleasure in the word, and in the thought of cold water touching him, he could do without people, people were dirty. He remembered catkins on a tree outside his window, catkins in February, as white as snow. Crystal, stir yourself, he said, as he put on her shoe and patted the calves of her legs. Brogan kissed the four girls and saw them across the landing to the bedroom. Mary was glad to escape without O'Toole noticing. He was very obstreperous and Hickey was trying to control him. In the bedroom she sighed, she had forgotten all about the furniture being pitched in there. Wearily they began to unload the things, the room was so crammed that they could hardly move in it. Mary suddenly felt alert and frightened because O'Toole could be heard yelling and singing out on the landing. There had been gin in her orange aid, she knew now, because she breathed closely under the palm of her hand and smelled her own breath. She had broken her confirmation pledge, broken her promise. It would bring her bad luck always. Misses Rogers came in, and said that 5 of them would be too crushed in the bed so that she herself would sleep on the sofa in the parlor for one night. Two of you at the top and two at the bottom, she said, and she warned them not to break any of the ornaments and not to stay talking all night. Night and God bless, she said, as she shut the door behind her. Nice thing, said dorso burn, bunging us all in here, I wonder where she's off to. We alone we curlers, crystal asked, to crystal, hair was the most important thing on earth. She would never get married because you couldn't wear curlers in bed. Ethno duggan said she wouldn't put curlers in now if she got 5 million for doing it, she was jaded. She threw herself down on the quilt and spread her arms out. She was a noisy, sweaty girl, but Mary liked her better than the other two..

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