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"Little Speck In Garnered Fruit"
by [?]

The honeymoon was at its full. There was a flat with the reddest of new carpets, tasselled portieres and six steins with pewter lids arranged on a ledge above the wainscoting of the dining-room. The wonder of it was yet upon them. Neither of them had ever seen a yellow primrose by the river’s brim; but if such a sight had met their eyes at that time it would have seemed like–well, whatever the poet expected the right kind of people to see in it besides a primrose.

The bride sat in the rocker with her feet resting upon the world. She was wrapt in rosy dreams and a kimono of the same hue. She wondered what the people in Greenland and Tasmania and Beloochistan were saying one to another about her marriage to Kid McGarry. Not that it made any difference. There was no welter-weight from London to the Southern Cross that could stand up four hours–no; four rounds–with her bridegroom. And he had been hers for three weeks; and the crook of her little finger could sway him more than the fist of any 142-pounder in the world.

Love, when it is ours, is the other name for self-abnegation and sacrifice. When it belongs to people across the airshaft it means arrogance and self-conceit.

The bride crossed her oxfords and looked thoughtfully at the distemper Cupids on the ceiling.

“Precious,” said she, with the air of Cleopatra asking Antony for Rome done up in tissue paper and delivered at residence, “I think I would like a peach.”

Kid McGarry arose and put on his coat and hat. He was serious, shaven, sentimental, and spry.

“All right,” said he, as coolly as though he were only agreeing to sign articles to fight the champion of England. “I’ll step down and cop one out for you–see?”

“Don’t be long,” said the bride. “I’ll be lonesome without my naughty boy. Get a nice, ripe one.”

After a series of farewells that would have befitted an imminent voyage to foreign parts, the Kid went down to the street.

Here he not unreasonably hesitated, for the season was yet early spring, and there seemed small chance of wresting anywhere from those chill streets and stores the coveted luscious guerdon of summer’s golden prime.

At the Italian’s fruit-stand on the corner he stopped and cast a contemptuous eye over the display of papered oranges, highly polished apples and wan, sun-hungry bananas.

“Gotta da peach?” asked the Kid in the tongue of Dante, the lover of lovers.

“Ah, no,–” sighed the vender. “Not for one mont com-a da peach. Too soon. Gotta da nice-a orange. Like-a da orange?”

Scornful, the Kid pursued his quest. He entered the all-night chop-house, cafe, and bowling-alley of his friend and admirer, Justus O’Callahan. The O’Callahan was about in his institution, looking for leaks.

“I want it straight,” said the Kid to him. “The old woman has got a hunch that she wants a peach. Now, if you’ve got a peach, Cal, get it out quick. I want it and others like it if you’ve got ’em in plural quantities.”

“The house is yours,” said O’Callahan. “But there’s no peach in it. It’s too soon. I don’t suppose you could even find ’em at one of the Broadway joints. That’s too bad. When a lady fixes her mouth for a certain kind of fruit nothing else won’t do. It’s too late now to find any of the first-class fruiterers open. But if you think the missis would like some nice oranges I’ve just got a box of fine ones in that she might–“

“Much obliged, Cal. It’s a peach proposition right from the ring of the gong. I’ll try further.”

The time was nearly midnight as the Kid walked down the West-Side avenue. Few stores were open, and such as were practically hooted at the idea of a peach.

But in her moated flat the bride confidently awaited her Persian fruit. A champion welter-weight not find a peach?–not stride triumphantly over the seasons and the zodiac and the almanac to fetch an Amsden’s June or a Georgia cling to his owny-own?