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He liked to take her on his lap and examine minutely her fragrant, downy scalp and her eyes with their irises of morning blue. Having paid this homage John was content that the nurse should take her away.

Tots TV Birthday Surprise & Other Stories 1999 -newest s

After ten minutes the very vitality of the child irritated him; he was inclined to lose his temper when things were broken, and one Sunday afternoon when she had disrupted a bridge game by permanently hiding up the ace of spades, he had made a scene that had reduced his wife to tears.

This was absurd and John was ashamed of himself. She was two and a half, and this afternoon, for instance, she was going to a baby party.

Baby Party by Sccot Fitzgerald

The conversation terminated abruptly with a squawk which indicated that the telephone had been pulled violently to the floor. All the babies breaking things and grabbing at the cake, and each mama going home thinking about the subtle superiority of her own child to every other child there. He was in a good humour today — all the things in his life were going better than they had ever gone before.


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When he got off the train at his station he shook his head at an importunate taxi man, and began to walk up the long hill towards his house through the crisp December twilight. As he walked along drawing his lungs full of cold air his happiness increased, and the idea of a baby party appealed to him more and more. He began to wonder how Ede compared to other children of her own age, and if the pink dress she was to wear was something radical and mature.

Increasing his gait he came in sight of his own house, where the lights of a defunct Christmas-tree still blossomed in the window, but he continued on past the walk. As he mounted the brick step and rang the bell he became aware of voices inside, and he was glad he was not too late. The baby party started at half past four, but Edith Andros, calculating shrewdly that the new dress would stand out more sensationally against vestments already rumpled, planned the arrival of herself and little Ede for five.

When they appeared it was already a flourishing affair. Four baby girls and nine baby boys, each one curled and washed and dressed with all the care of a proud and jealous heart, were dancing to the music of a phonograph.

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Never more than two or three were dancing at once, but as all were continually in motion running to and from their mothers for encouragement, the general effect was the same. As Edith and her daughter entered, the music was temporarily drowned out by a sustained chorus, consisting largely of the word cute and directed towards little Ede, who stood looking timidly about and fingering the edges of her pink dress.

After some encouragement and a few mild pushes she was absorbed into the dance, and became an active member of the party. Edith stood near the door talking to Mrs Markey, and keeping an eye on the tiny figure in the pink dress.

Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories

She did not care for Mrs Markey; she considered her both snippy and common, but John and Joe Markey were congenial and went in together on the commuting train every morning, so the two women kept up an elaborate pretence of warm amity. Accepting a cup of tea she took a seat with two other ladies on a divan and launched into the real business of the afternoon, which of course lay in relating the recent accomplishments and insouciances of her child.

An hour passed. Dancing palled and the babies took to sterner sport.

Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories

They ran into the dining-room, rounded the big table, and essayed the kitchen door, from which they were rescued by an expeditionary force of mothers. Having been rounded up they immediately broke loose, and rushing back to the dining-room tried the familiar swinging door again. This phase of the party came to an end with the arrival of refreshments, a large cake with two candles, and saucers of vanilla ice-cream. Billy Markey, a stout laughing baby with red hair and legs somewhat bowed, blew out the candles, and placed an experimental thumb on the white frosting. The refreshments were distributed, and the children ate, greedily but without confusion — they had behaved remarkably well all afternoon.

They were modern babies who ate and slept at regular hours, so their dispositions were good, and their faces healthy and pink — such a peaceful party would not have been possible thirty years ago. After the refreshments a gradual exodus began. Edith glanced anxiously at her watch — it was almost six, and John had not arrived. She wanted him to see Ede with the other children — to see how dignified and polite and intelligent she was, and how the only ice-cream spot on her dress was some that had dropped from her chin when she was joggled from behind.

She broke away from her mother and approached Billy Markey, who held the toy closely in his arms. Ede stood regarding him with inscrutable eyes, and Billy laughed. The party had dwindled until, besides Ede and Billy, there were only two babies remaining — and one of the two remained only by virtue of having hidden himself under the dining-room table. It was selfish of John not to come. It showed so little pride in the child.

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The Baby Party and Other Stories

English Choose a language for shopping. Audible Download Audio Books. After The Great Gatsby brought him literary celebrity, Fitzgerald fell into a wild, reckless lifestyle of parties and decadence, while desperately trying to please Zelda by writing to earn money.

As the giddiness of the Roaring Twenties dissolved into the bleakness of the Great Depression, however, Zelda suffered a nervous breakdown and Fitzgerald battled alcoholism, which hampered his writing. In , he left for Hollywood to write screenplays, and in , while working on his novel The Love of the Last Tycoon, died of a heart attack at the age of forty-four. The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. Home Lit Study Guides F.


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