good friends we all were and had been for a long time at the Lilas and of all

Good friends we all were and had been for a long time

This preview shows page 10 - 12 out of 15 pages.

good friends we all were and had been for a long time at the Lilas and of all of the moves thathad been made and what they meant to all of us. I thought of telling Scott about this wholeproblem of the Lilas, although I had probably mentioned it to him before, but I knew he did notcare about waiters nor their problems nor their great kindnesses and affections. At that timeScott hated the French, and since almost the only French he met with regularly were waiterswhom he did not understand, taxi-drivers, garage employees and landlords, he had manyopportunities to insult and abuse them.He hated the Italians even more than the French and could not talk about them calmly even when he was sober. The English he often hated but he sometimes tolerated them andoccasionally looked up to them. I do not know how he felt about the Germans and theAustrians. I do not know whether he had ever met any then or any Swiss.On this evening in the hotel I was delighted that he was being so calm. I had mixed thelemonade and whisky and given it to him with two aspirins and he had swallowed the aspirinswithout protest and with admirable calm and was sipping his drink. His eyes were open now
and were looking far away. I was reading the crime in the inside of the paper and was quitehappy, too happy it seemed.“You’re a cold one, aren’t you?” Scott asked and looking at him I saw that I had beenwrong in my prescription, if not in my diagnosis, and that the whisky was working against us.“How do you mean, Scott?”“You can sit there and read that dirty French rag of a paper and it doesn’t mean a thing to you that I am dying.”“Do you want me to call a doctor?”“No. I don’t want a dirty French provincial doctor.”“What do you want?”“I want my temperature taken. Then I want my clothes dried and for us to get on an express train for Paris and to go to the American hospital at Neuilly.”“Our clothes won’t be dry until morning and there aren’t any express trains,” I said. “Why don’t you rest and have some dinner in bed?”“I want my temperature taken.”After this went on for a long time the waiter brought a thermometer.“Is this the only one you could get?” I asked. Scott had shut his eyes when the waiter came in and he did look at least as far gone as Camille. I have never seen a man who lost the blood from his face so fast and I wondered where it went.“It is the only one in the hotel,” the waiter said and handed me the thermometer. It was a bath thermometer with a wooden back and enough metal to sink it in the bath. I took a quickgulp of the whisky sour and opened the window a moment to look out at the rain. When Iturned Scott was watching me.I shook the thermometer down professionally and said, “You’re lucky it’s not a rectalthermometer.”“Where does this kind go?”“Under the arm,” I told him and tucked it under my arm.“Don’t upset the temperature,” Scott said. I shook the thermometer again with a singlesharp downward twitch and unbuttoned his pajama jacket and put the instrument under his

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture