en-fr  The purple dress Easy
Nous devons considérer la teinte connue comme pourpre. C'est une couleur justement réputée parmi les fils et les filles de l'homme. Les empereurs la revendiquent pour leur teinte particuliere. Les bonnes gens partout cherchent à mettre leur nez dans la teinte géniale produite par le mélange du rouge et du bleu. Nous disons des princes qu'ils sont nés pour la pourpre ; et pas doute ils le sont, car les coliques colorent leurs visages avec la teinte royale tout autant que le nez retroussé du gamin de bucheron. Toutes les femmes l'aiment, quand c'est à la mode.
Et aujourd'hui, le pourpre est porté. Vous le remarquez dans les rues. Bien entendu, d'autres couleurs sont tout aussi distinguées, en fait, j'ai aperçu l'autre jour une belle créature dans un albatros vert olive, avec une jupe à trois volants ornés d'inserts de soie carrés et un fichu drapé de dentelle ouvrant sur une veste froncée à manches bouffantes avec une bande de dentelles tenant deux volants rassemblés - mais on voyait aussi beaucoup de pourpre. Oh, oui, vous le faites ; il suffit de se promener dans la vingt-troisième rue l'après-midi.
Par conséquent, Maida, la fille aux grands yeux marron et à la chevelure cannelle dans le magasin Bee-Hive, dit à Grace la jeune fille avec la broche en strass et au parfum de menthe poivrée lors de son intervention : — Je vais avoir une robe pourpre, une robe pourpre taillée sur mesure pour Thanksgiving.
— Ah, c'est vrai, déclara Grace, en rangeant des gants 7-1 / 2 dans la boîte 6-3 / 4. Eh bien, pour moi c'est le rouge. On ne voit plus que du rouge sur la cinquième avenue. Et tous les hommes semblent aimer cela.
— Je préfère le pourpre, déclara Maida. Et le vieux Schlegel a promis de la faire pour 8 $. Elle va être magnifique. Je vais avoir une jupe plissée et une veste manteau doublée d'une bande de galon sous un col en tissu blanc avec deux rangées de ... — Roublarde ! Dit Grace avec un clin d'oeil instruit.
soutache tressée sur une surprenante veste blanche ; et un basque tressé et ... — Roublarde, roublarde ! Répéta Grace.
Manches gigots avec un ruban de velours tiré sur l'intérieure de la manche. Que veux-tu dire par là ?
— Tu penses que M. Ramsay aime le pourpre. Je l'ai entendu dire hier qu'il pensait que certaines des nuances sombres du rouge étaient etourdissantes.
— Je m'en moque, déclara Maida. Je préfère le pourpre, et ceux qui ne l'aiment pas peuvent prendre l'autre côté de la rue.
Ce qui suggère l'idée qu'après tout, les amateurs de pourpre peuvent être sujets à de légères désillusions. Le danger est proche quand une jeune fille pense qu'elle peut porter du pourpre, peu importe son teint et les opinions ; et quand les empereurs pensent que leur robes pourpres se porteront toujours.
Maida avait épargné 18 dollars après huit mois d'économie ; et avec cela avait acheté les marchandises pour la robe pourpre et payé à Schlegel 4 $ pour la façonner. La veille de Thanksgiving, elle aurait juste assez pour payer les 4 $ restants. Et puis, un jour férié dans une nouvelle robe, le terre offre-t-elle quelque chose de plus enchanteur ?
Le vieux Bachman, le propriétaire du Bee-Hive Store, offrait toujours un dîner à Thanksgiving à ses employés. Chacun des 364 jours suivants, à l'exception des dimanches, il leur rappellait les joies du banquet passé et les espoirs des futurs, les incitant ainsi à accroître l'enthousiasme dans le travail. Le dîner était donné au magasin sur l'une des longues tables au milieu de la pièce. Ils fixaient du papier d'emballage sur les devantures ; et les dindes et autres bonnes choses étaient apportées par la porte arrière du restaurant du coin. Vous remarquerez que le Bee-Hive n'était pas un magasin à la mode, avec des escalatiers roulants et des des Pompadours C'était assez petit pour s'appeler boutique ; et on pouvait réellement entrer et être servi et repartir. Et toujours aux dîners de Thanksgiving M. Ramsay Oh, la barbe ! J'aurais dû parler de M. Ramsay avant toute chose. Il est plus important que le pourpre ou le vert, ou même la sauce à la canneberge rouge.
M. Ramsay était le chef de rayon ; et en ce qui me concerne je suis amoureuse. Il ne pincait jamais les bras des filles quand il les envoyait dans les coins sombres du magasin ; et quand il leur racontait des histoires quand les affaires étaient ennuyeuses et que les filles ricanaient et disaient : — Oh, pshaw ! ce n'était pas du tout G. Bernard qu'ils voulaient dire. En plus d'être gentilhomme, M. Ramsay était étrange et original d'autres manières. Il était un excentrique de santé et croyait que les gens ne doivent jamais manger quoi que ce soit bon pour eux. Il était violemment opposé à quiconque qui soit à l'aise, et vienne à l'extérieur des tempêtes de neige, ou porte des galoches, ou prenne des médicaments ou se caresse de quelque façon que ce soit. Chacune des dix filles de la boutique avait de petits rêves de porc et de d'oignons frits chaque nuit pour devenir Mme Ramsay. Car, l'année prochaine, le vieux Bachman allait le prendre comme associé. Et chacune d'entre elles savait que si elle l'attrapait, elle mettrait en miettes ces mauvais concepts de santé avant que l'indigestion du gâteau de mariage ne soit terminée.
M. Ramsay était maître des cérémonies lors des dîners. Chaque fois, ils avaient deux Italiens pour jouer du violon et de la harpe et il y avait un petit bal dans le magasin.
Et ici étaient deux robes conçues pour charmer. Ramsay une pourpre et l'autre rouge. Bien sûr, les huit autres filles allaient aussi avoir des robes, mais elles ne comptaient pas. Peut-être qu'elles porteraient des chemisiers et de jupe noires, rien d'aussi resplendissant que le pourpre ou le rouge.
Grace avait aussi économisé son argent. Elle avait acheter sa robe toute faite. Oh, what's the use of bothering with a tailor when you've got a figger it's easy to get a fit the ready-made are intended for a perfect figger except I have to have 'em all taken in at the waist the average figger is so large waisted.
La veille, de Thanksgiving arriva. Maida se précipita vers la maison, impatiente et radieusee aux pensées du bienheureux lendemain. Her thoughts were of purple, but they were white themselves the joyous enthusiasm of the young for the pleasures that youth must have or wither. Elle savait que le pourpre lui irait, pour la millième fois, elle s'efforçait de s'assurer que c'était le pourpre. que M. Ramsay disait qu'il aimait et non pas le rouge. Elle rentrait chez elle d'abord pour prendre les 4 $ emballés dans un morceau de papier de soie dans le tiroir inférieur de sa commode, puis elle allait payer Schlegel et emmener la robe chez elle.
Grace vivait dans la même maison. Elle occupait la chambre au-dessus de Maida.
Chez elle Maida trouva la clameur et le trouble. La langue de la logeuse retentissait aigrement dans les couloirs comme le batteur d'une baratte tourbillonnant qui se mouvait dans de la crème fraîche . Et puis Grace descendit dans sa chambre pleurant avec des yeux aussi rouges que n'importe quelle robe.
— Elle dit que je dois partir, déclara Grace. Le vieux chameau. Parce que je lui dois 4 $. Elle a mis ma malle dans le hall et a fermé la porte. Je ne peux pas aller ailleurs. Je n'ai pas un sou en poche.
— Tu en avais hier, dit Maida.
— Je l'ai donné pour ma robe, déclara Grace. Je pensais qu'elle attendrait jusqu à la semaine prochaine pour le loyer.
Reniflement, reniflement, sanglot, reniflement.
Out came out it had to come Maida's $4.
"You blessed darling," cried Grace, now a rainbow instead of sunset. — Je vais payer la vieille chose et puis je vais essayer ma robe. Je pense qu'elle est divine. Monte et regarde-la. Je rembourserai l'argent, un dollar par semaine je t'assure.
Thanksgiving.
Le déjeuner était à midi. À midi moins le quart Grace se changea dans la chambre de Maida. Oui, elle était charmante. Le rouge était sa couleur. Maida était assise près de la fenêtre dans sa vieille jupe en cheviotte et son corsage bleu en train de faire un travail de reprise minutieux.
— Pourquoi, mon Dieu ! n'es-tu pas encore habillée ? Cria la rouge. — Comment ça va dans le dos ? Ne penses-tu pas que ces languettes de velours sont très chic ? Pourquoi ne t'habilles-tu pas, Maida ?
— Ma robe n'a pas été terminée à temps, répondit Maida. Je ne vais pas au dîner.
— C'est dommage. Pour quelle raison, je suis vraiment navrée, Maida. Pour quelle raison ne mets-tu pas autre chose et allez viens, c'est seulement les gens du magasin, tu sais, et ça ne les dérangera pas.
— J'avais prévu mon pourpre, déclara Maida. Si je ne peux pas l'avoir, je n'irai pas du tout. Ne te préoccupe pas de moi. File ou tu seras en retard. Tu es très jolie en rouge.
À sa fenêtre, Maida siégea la longue matinée et au moment du repas au magasin. Dans sa tête, elle pouvait entendre les filles qui se chamaillaient l'os à souhait, pouvait entendre le gloussement du vieux Bachman à ses blagues à double sens, pouvait voir les diamants de la grosse Mme Bachman qui venait au magasin seulement les jours de Thanksgiving et pouvait voir M. Ramsay se déplacer, alerte, gentil, cherchant le bien être de tous.
À quatre heures de l'après-midi, avec un visage inexpressif et un air sans vie, elle se dirigea lentement vers la boutique de Schlegel et lui dit qu'elle ne pouvait pas payer les 4 $ sur la robe.
— Mon Dieu ! s'écria Schlegel, en colère. Pourquoi avez-vous l'air si sombre ? Emportez-le. Il est prêt. Payez-moi dans quelques temps. Ne vous ai-je pas vu passer devant ma boutique tous les jours depuis deux ans ? Si je fais des vêtements, est-ce parce que je ne sais pas comment sonder les cœurs ? Vous me payerez plus tard quand vous le pourrez. Emmenez-la. Elle est bien réalisée, et si vous êtes jolie dedans, tant mieux. Alors. Payez-moi quand vous le pourrez.
Maida lacha une partie d'un millionième des remerciements en son cœur et se précipita avec sa robe. En quittant la boutique, un beau nuage de pluie tomba sur elle. Elle sourit et ne la sentit pas.
Mesdames, vous qui faites vos courses en voiture, vous ne comprenez pas. Jeunes filles dont les garde-robes sont payées par le compte paternel, vous ne pouvez pas commencer à concevoir que vous ne pourriez pas comprendre pourquoi Maida n'a pas ressenti le froid de la pluie de Thanksgiving.
À cinq heures, elle sortit dans la rue en portant sa robe pourpre. La pluie s'était accrue, et elle s'écrasait sur elle constamment, soufflée par le vent. Les gens se précipitaient chez eux ou dans leurs voitures, agrippés à leurs parapluies et leurs imperméables boutonnés jusqu'au cou. Beaucoup d'entre eux tournaient la tête pour admirer cette belle jeune fille sereine, au regard heureux dans sa robe pourpre qui traversait la tempête comme si elle se promenait dans un jardin sous le ciel d'été.
Je dis que vous ne le comprenez pas, mesdames à la bourse pleine et à la garde-robe variée. Vous ne savez pas ce que c'est de vivre avec une perpétuelle envie de jolies choses de se priver huit mois afin d'obtenir une robe pourpre et un jour férié simultanément. Qu'importe s'il pleut, grêle, vente, neige, tempête ?
Maida n'avait ni parapluie ni couvre-chaussures. Elle avait sa robe pourpre et elle marchait à l'extérieur. Laissant les éléments s'acharmer. Un cœur affamé doit avoir une croute au bout d'un an. La pluie descendait et coulait de ses doigts.
Quelqu'un tourna un coin et bloqua son chemin. Elle regarda les yeux de M. Ramsay, émerveillés d'admiration et d'intérêt.
— Voyons, Miss Maida, dit-il, vous avez l'air simplement magnifique dans votre nouvelle robe. J'ai été très déçu de ne pas vous voir au déjeuner. Et parmi toutes les jeunes filles que j'ai connues, vous montrez le plus de bon sens et d'intelligence. Il n'y a rien de plus sain et tonifiant que de braver les intempéries comme vous le faites. Puis-je marcher avec vous ? "
Et Maida rougit et éternua.
1907
unit 1
We are to consider the shade known as purple.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 2
It is a color justly in repute among the sons and daughters of man.
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unit 3
Emperors claim it for their especial dye.
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unit 6
All women love it, when it is the fashion.
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unit 7
And now purple is being worn.
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unit 8
You notice it on the streets.
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unit 10
Oh, yes, you do; just take a walk down Twenty-third street any afternoon.
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unit 12
"Oh, are you," said Grace, putting away some 7-1/2 gloves into the 6-3/4 box.
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"Well, it's me for red.
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unit 14
You see more red on Fifth avenue.
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unit 15
And the men all seem to like it."
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unit 16
"I like purple best," said Maida.
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unit 17
"And old Schlegel has promised to make it for $8.
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unit 18
It's going to be lovely.
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unit 20
said Grace with an educated wink.
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unit 22
repeated Grace.
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unit 23
"...plaited gigot sleeves with a drawn velvet ribbon over an inside cuff.
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unit 24
What do you mean by saying that?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 25
"You think Mr. Ramsay likes purple.
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unit 26
I heard him say yesterday he thought some of the dark shades of red were stunning."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 27
"I don't care," said Maida.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 28
"I prefer purple, and them that don't like it can just take the other side of the street."
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unit 29
unit 32
On the day before Thanksgiving she would have just enough to pay the remaining $4.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 33
And then for a holiday in a new dress can earth offer anything more enchanting?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
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unit 36
The dinner was given in the store on one of the long tables in the middle of the room.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 40
And always at the Thanksgiving dinners Mr. Ramsay Oh, bother!
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 41
I should have mentioned Mr. Ramsay first of all.
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unit 42
He is more important than purple or green, or even the red cranberry sauce.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 43
Mr. Ramsay was the head clerk; and as far as I am concerned I am for him.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 45
it wasn't G. Bernard they meant at all.
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unit 46
Besides being a gentleman, Mr. Ramsay was queer and original in other ways.
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unit 47
He was a health crank, and believed that people should never eat anything that was good for them.
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unit 50
For, next year old Bachman was going to take him in for a partner.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 52
Mr. Ramsay was master of ceremonies at the dinners.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 53
Always they had two Italians in to play a violin and harp and had a little dance in the store.
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unit 54
And here were two dresses being conceived to charm.
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unit 55
Ramsay one purple and the other red.
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unit 56
Of course, the other eight girls were going to have dresses too, but they didn't count.
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unit 58
Grace had saved her money, too.
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unit 59
She was going to buy her dress ready-made.
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unit 61
The night before Thanksgiving came.
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unit 62
Maida hurried home, keen and bright with the thoughts of the blessed morrow.
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unit 66
Grace lived in the same house.
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unit 67
She occupied the hall room above Maida's.
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unit 68
At home Maida found clamor and confusion.
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unit 69
The landlady's tongue clattering sourly in the halls like a churn dasher dabbing in buttermilk.
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unit 70
And then Grace come down to her room crying with eyes as red as any dress.
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unit 71
"She says I've got to get out," said Grace.
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unit 72
"The old beast.
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unit 73
Because I owe her $4.
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unit 74
She's put my trunk in the hall and locked the door.
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unit 75
I can't go anywhere else.
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unit 76
I haven't got a cent of money."
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unit 77
"You had some yesterday," said Maida.
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unit 78
"I paid it on my dress," said Grace.
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unit 79
"I thought she'd wait till next week for the rent."
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unit 80
Sniffle, sniffle, sob, sniffle.
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unit 81
Out came out it had to come Maida's $4.
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unit 82
"You blessed darling," cried Grace, now a rainbow instead of sunset.
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unit 83
"I'll pay the mean old thing and then I'm going to try on my dress.
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unit 84
I think it's heavenly.
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unit 85
Come up and look at it.
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unit 86
I'll pay the money back, a dollar a week honest I will."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 87
Thanksgiving.
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unit 88
The dinner was to be at noon.
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unit 89
At a quarter to twelve Grace switched into Maida's room.
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unit 90
Yes, she looked charming.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 91
Red was her color.
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unit 92
Maida sat by the window in her old cheviot skirt and blue waist darning a st- Oh, doing fancy work.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 93
"Why, goodness me!
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unit 94
ain't you dressed yet?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 95
shrilled the red one.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 96
"How does it fit in the back?
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unit 97
Don't you think these velvet tabs look awful swell?
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unit 98
Why ain't you dressed, Maida?"
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unit 99
"My dress didn't get finished in time," said Maida.
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unit 100
"I'm not going to the dinner."
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unit 101
"That's too bad.
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unit 102
Why, I'm awfully sorry, Maida.
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unit 104
"I was set on my purple," said Maida.
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unit 105
"If I can't have it I won't go at all.
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unit 106
Don't bother about me.
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unit 107
Run along or you'll be late.
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unit 108
You look awful nice in red."
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unit 109
At her window Maida sat through the long morning and past the time of the dinner at the store.
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unit 112
"Gott!"
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unit 113
cried Schlegel, angrily.
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unit 114
"For what do you look so glum?
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unit 115
Take him away.
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unit 116
He is ready.
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unit 117
Pay me some time.
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unit 118
Haf I not seen you pass mine shop every day in two years?
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unit 119
If I make clothes is it that I do not know how to read beoples because?
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unit 120
You will pay me some time when you can.
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unit 121
Take him away.
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unit 122
He is made goot; and if you look bretty in him all right.
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unit 123
So.
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unit 124
Pay me when you can."
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unit 125
Maida breathed a millionth part of the thanks in her heart, and hurried away with her dress.
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unit 126
As she left the shop a smart dash of rain struck upon her face.
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unit 127
She smiled and did not feel it.
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unit 128
Ladies who shop in carriages, you do not understand.
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unit 130
At five o'clock she went out upon the street wearing her purple dress.
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unit 131
The rain had increased, and it beat down upon her in a steady, wind-blown pour.
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unit 132
People were scurrying home and to cars with close-held umbrellas and tight buttoned raincoats.
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unit 134
I say you do not understand it, ladies of the full purse and varied wardrobe.
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unit 136
What difference if it rained, hailed, blew, snowed, cycloned?
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unit 137
Maida had no umbrella nor overshoes.
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unit 138
She had her purple dress and she walked abroad.
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unit 139
Let the elements do their worst.
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unit 140
A starved heart must have one crumb during a year.
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unit 141
The rain ran down and dripped from her fingers.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 142
Some one turned a corner and blocked her way.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 143
She looked up into Mr. Ramsay's eyes, sparkling with admiration and interest.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 144
"Why, Miss Maida," said he, "you look simply magnificent in your new dress.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 145
I was greatly disappointed not to see you at our dinner.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 146
And of all the girls I ever knew, you show the greatest sense and intelligence.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 147
There is nothing more healthful and invigorating than braving the weather as you are doing.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 148
May I walk with you?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 149
And Maida blushed and sneezed.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 150
1907
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
Gabrielle • 13975  translated  unit 150  1 year, 5 months ago
Gabrielle • 13975  translated  unit 123  1 year, 5 months ago

We are to consider the shade known as purple. It is a color justly in repute among the sons and daughters of man. Emperors claim it for their especial dye. Good fellows everywhere seek to bring their noses to the genial hue that follows the commingling of the red and blue. We say of princes that they are born to the purple; and no doubt they are, for the colic tinges their faces with the royal tint equally with the snub-nosed countenance of a woodchopper's brat. All women love it, when it is the fashion.
And now purple is being worn. You notice it on the streets. Of course other colors are quite stylish as well-in fact, I saw a lovely thing the other day in olive green albatross, with a triple-lapped flounce skirt trimmed with insert squares of silk, and a draped fichu of lace opening over a shirred vest and double puff sleeves with a lace band holding two gathered frills - but you see lots of purple too. Oh, yes, you do; just take a walk down Twenty-third street any afternoon.
Therefore Maida the girl with the big brown eyes and cinnamon-colored hair in the Bee-Hive Store - said to Grace the girl with the rhinestone brooch and peppermint-pepsin flavor to her speech "I'm going to have a purple dress a tailor-made purple dress-for Thanksgiving."
"Oh, are you," said Grace, putting away some 7-1/2 gloves into the 6-3/4 box. "Well, it's me for red. You see more red on Fifth avenue. And the men all seem to like it."
"I like purple best," said Maida. "And old Schlegel has promised to make it for $8. It's going to be lovely. I'm going to have a plaited skirt and a blouse coat trimmed with a band of galloon under a white cloth collar with two rows of..."
"Sly boots!" said Grace with an educated wink.
"...soutache braid over a surpliced white vest; and a plaited basque and..."
"Sly boots, sly boots!" repeated Grace.
"...plaited gigot sleeves with a drawn velvet ribbon over an inside cuff. What do you mean by saying that?"
"You think Mr. Ramsay likes purple. I heard him say yesterday he thought some of the dark shades of red were stunning."
"I don't care," said Maida. "I prefer purple, and them that don't like it can just take the other side of the street."
Which suggests the thought that after all, the followers of purple may be subject to slight delusions. Danger is near when a maiden thinks she can wear purple regardless of complexions and opinions; and when Emperors think their purple robes will wear forever.
Maida had saved $18 after eight months of economy; and this had bought the goods for the purple dress and paid Schlegel $4 on the making of it. On the day before Thanksgiving she would have just enough to pay the remaining $4. And then for a holiday in a new dress can earth offer anything more enchanting?
Old Bachman, the proprietor of the Bee-Hive Store, always gave a Thanksgiving dinner to his employees. On every one of the subsequent 364 days, excusing Sundays, he would remind them of the joys of the past banquet and the hopes of the coming ones, thus inciting them to increased enthusiasm in work. The dinner was given in the store on one of the long tables in the middle of the room. They tacked wrapping paper over the front windows; and the turkeys and other good things were brought in the back way from the restaurant on the corner. You will perceive that the Bee-Hive was not a fashionable department store, with escalators and pompadours. It was almost small enough to be called an emporium; and you could actually go in there and get waited on and walk out again. And always at the Thanksgiving dinners Mr. Ramsay
Oh, bother! I should have mentioned Mr. Ramsay first of all. He is more important than purple or green, or even the red cranberry sauce.
Mr. Ramsay was the head clerk; and as far as I am concerned I am for him. He never pinched the girls' arms when he passed them in dark corners of the store; and when he told them stories when business was dull and the girls giggled and said: "Oh, pshaw!" it wasn't G. Bernard they meant at all. Besides being a gentleman, Mr. Ramsay was queer and original in other ways. He was a health crank, and believed that people should never eat anything that was good for them. He was violently opposed to anybody being comfortable, and coming in out of snow storms, or wearing overshoes, or taking medicine, or coddling themselves in any way. Every one of the ten girls in the store had little pork-chop-and-fried-onion dreams every night of becoming Mrs. Ramsay. For, next year old Bachman was going to take him in for a partner. And each one of them knew that if she should catch him she would knock those cranky health notions of his sky high before the wedding cake indigestion was over.
Mr. Ramsay was master of ceremonies at the dinners. Always they had two Italians in to play a violin and harp and had a little dance in the store.
And here were two dresses being conceived to charm. Ramsay one purple and the other red. Of course, the other eight girls were going to have dresses too, but they didn't count. Very likely they'd wear some shirt-waist-and-black-skirt-affairs nothing as resplendent as purple or red.
Grace had saved her money, too. She was going to buy her dress ready-made. Oh, what's the use of bothering with a tailor when you've got a figger it's easy to get a fit the ready-made are intended for a perfect figger except I have to have 'em all taken in at the waist the average figger is so large waisted.
The night before Thanksgiving came. Maida hurried home, keen and bright with the thoughts of the blessed morrow. Her thoughts were of purple, but they were white themselves the joyous enthusiasm of the young for the pleasures that youth must have or wither. She knew purple would become her, and for the thousandth time she tried to assure herself that it was purple Mr. Ramsay said he liked and not red. She was going home first to get the $4 wrapped in a piece of tissue paper in the bottom drawer of her dresser, and then she was going to pay Schlegel and take the dress home herself.
Grace lived in the same house. She occupied the hall room above Maida's.
At home Maida found clamor and confusion. The landlady's tongue clattering sourly in the halls like a churn dasher dabbing in buttermilk. And then Grace come down to her room crying with eyes as red as any dress.
"She says I've got to get out," said Grace. "The old beast. Because I owe her $4. She's put my trunk in the hall and locked the door. I can't go anywhere else. I haven't got a cent of money."
"You had some yesterday," said Maida.
"I paid it on my dress," said Grace. "I thought she'd wait till next week for the rent."
Sniffle, sniffle, sob, sniffle.
Out came out it had to come Maida's $4.
"You blessed darling," cried Grace, now a rainbow instead of sunset. "I'll pay the mean old thing and then I'm going to try on my dress. I think it's heavenly. Come up and look at it. I'll pay the money back, a dollar a week honest I will."
Thanksgiving.
The dinner was to be at noon. At a quarter to twelve Grace switched into Maida's room. Yes, she looked charming. Red was her color. Maida sat by the window in her old cheviot skirt and blue waist darning a st- Oh, doing fancy work.
"Why, goodness me! ain't you dressed yet?" shrilled the red one. "How does it fit in the back? Don't you think these velvet tabs look awful swell? Why ain't you dressed, Maida?"
"My dress didn't get finished in time," said Maida. "I'm not going to the dinner."
"That's too bad. Why, I'm awfully sorry, Maida. Why don't you put on anything and come along-it's just the store folks, you know, and, they won't mind."
"I was set on my purple," said Maida. "If I can't have it I won't go at all. Don't bother about me. Run along or you'll be late. You look awful nice in red."
At her window Maida sat through the long morning and past the time of the dinner at the store. In her mind she could hear the girls shrieking over a pull-bone, could hear old Bachman's roar over his own deeply-concealed jokes, could see the diamonds of fat Mrs. Bachman, who came to the store only on Thanksgiving days, could see Mr. Ramsay moving about, alert, kindly, looking to the comfort of all.
At four in the afternoon, with an expressionless face and a lifeless air she slowly made her way to Schlegel's shop and told him she could not pay the $4 due on the dress.
"Gott!" cried Schlegel, angrily. "For what do you look so glum? Take him away. He is ready. Pay me some time. Haf I not seen you pass mine shop every day in two years? If I make clothes is it that I do not know how to read beoples because? You will pay me some time when you can. Take him away. He is made goot; and if you look bretty in him all right. So. Pay me when you can."
Maida breathed a millionth part of the thanks in her heart, and hurried away with her dress. As she left the shop a smart dash of rain struck upon her face. She smiled and did not feel it.
Ladies who shop in carriages, you do not understand. Girls whose wardrobes are charged to the old man's account, you cannot begin to comprehend you could not understand why Maida did not feel the cold dash of the Thanksgiving rain.
At five o'clock she went out upon the street wearing her purple dress. The rain had increased, and it beat down upon her in a steady, wind-blown pour. People were scurrying home and to cars with close-held umbrellas and tight buttoned raincoats. Many of them turned their heads to marvel at this beautiful, serene, happy-eyed girl in the purple dress walking through the storm as though she were strolling in a garden under summer skies.
I say you do not understand it, ladies of the full purse and varied wardrobe. You do not know what it is to live with a perpetual longing for pretty things to starve eight months in order to bring a purple dress and a holiday together. What difference if it rained, hailed, blew, snowed, cycloned?
Maida had no umbrella nor overshoes. She had her purple dress and she walked abroad. Let the elements do their worst. A starved heart must have one crumb during a year. The rain ran down and dripped from her fingers.
Some one turned a corner and blocked her way. She looked up into Mr. Ramsay's eyes, sparkling with admiration and interest.
"Why, Miss Maida," said he, "you look simply magnificent in your new dress. I was greatly disappointed not to see you at our dinner. And of all the girls I ever knew, you show the greatest sense and intelligence. There is nothing more healthful and invigorating than braving the weather as you are doing. May I walk with you?"
And Maida blushed and sneezed.
1907