He lived in close contact with nervous people who were disturbed if he cried; and so Corydon's energies were given to a terrified effort to keep him from crying. He must be dandled and rocked to sleep, he must be played with and amused, and have everything he cried for; and it was amazing how early in life this little creature learned the hold which he had upon his mother.
As fate would have it, there was some black paint left over; and to Corydon's horror it was announced that this would be used on the study. However, Thyrsis insisted that it was his study; and besides, there was some red paint left, with which he might decorate the window and the door-frame, and stripe the edges of the roof and the corners.
I'd just put down what happened to come into my mind. I wondered what they wrote about. Love I suppose. I'd sit and look about me and try to imagine what those people would have thought of the old Corydon's engine-room. Humph! Do you know what those thin, half-fed men and women thought the most important thing in the world?
But in less than a week they had run upon an obstruction; there was no quiet room for them at Corydon's save her bedroom, and one evening when Thyrsis came, she made the announcement that they could no longer study there. "Why not?" he asked. "Well," explained Corydon, "they say the maid might think it wasn't nice." She had expected him to fly into a rage, but he only smiled grimly.
At first this was agony to her she wanted to linger and get some semblance of the music; but Thyrsis would scold and exhort and shout, and pound out the time. And so, to Corydon's own amazement, it was not many weeks before she found that she was actually reading music, that they were playing it together.
He put the case down and came toward the bed. "I guess there is nothing wrong," he said, with a slight smile. He laid his hand upon the shuddering girl. "It is all right," he said, "I shall examine her in a few moments." He turned away, while Thyrsis and the young nurse held Corydon's hand and whispered to her soothingly.
At night she slept in fitful starts, and in the morning she lay pale and sombre. But when he came she was all brilliancy and animation. Section 6. Each night the doctor would look anxiously at his thermometer; it was a source of great worry to him and to Corydon's parents that the fever did not abate.
Then came the unwrapping of the bundles, and Corydon's guileless and joyful announcement that she had come upon a wonderful bargain in the dry-goods store, a beautiful piece of "turkey-red" cloth which would serve as the table-cover for which her soul had been pining and which she had obtained for the incredibly small sum of thirty cents! Whereupon, of course, Thyrsis began to exclaim in dismay.
There was very little about his book, but there was much about the picturesque circumstances under which he had written it. There was a description of their personal appearance of Corydon's sweet face and soulful black eyes, and of his broad forehead and sensitive lips. There was also a complete description of their domestic menage, including the chafing-dish and the odor of lamb-chops.
And now, when midnight came, Thyrsis would go out for a walk while Corydon went to bed; and then he would come in and make his own bed upon the floor, with a quilt which the landlady had given them, and a pair of blankets they had borrowed from home, and his overcoat and some of Corydon's skirts when it was cold.