{\rtf1{\info{\title Hard-to-Get Girl}{\author Robert F.

Young}}\ansi\ansicpg1252 \deff0\deflang1033 {\fonttbl{\f0\froman\fprq2\fcharset128 Times New Roman;}{\f1\froman\fprq2\fchars et128 Times New Roman;}{\f2\fswiss\fprq2\fcharset128 Arial;}{\f3\fnil\fprq2\fcha rset128 Arial;}{\f4\fnil\fprq2\fcharset128 MS Mincho;}{\f5\fnil\fprq2\fcharset12 8 Tahoma;}{\f6\fnil\fprq0\fcharset128 Tahoma;}} {\stylesheet{\ql \li0\ri0\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\ fcs1 \af25\afs24\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \fs24\lang1033\langfe255\cgrid\langnp1033 \langfenp255 \snext0 Normal;} {\s1\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel0\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs32\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs32\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink21 heading 1;} {\s2\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel1\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\i\fs28\lan g1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedo n15 \snext16 \slink22 heading 2;} {\s3\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel2\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs28\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink23 heading 3;} {\s4\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel3\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0\b\i\fs23\lang 1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon 15 \snext16 \slink24 heading 4;} {\s5\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel4\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs23\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink25 heading 5;} {\s6\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel5\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs21\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs21\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink26 heading 6;}} This is what happened to the man who fell for the{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Hard-to-Get Girl\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ By ROBERT F. YOUNG\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b M}uch had Henry Cooper traveled in the realms of girls, and many goodly dolls an d dishes seen. But when love passed him by for the fifth consecutive time and th umbed his cupid nose at him, he resolutely turned his back on the elusive paradi se toward which he had yearned and striven so futilely and dedicated himself to a life of confirmed celibacy. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He arrived at this momentous decision on his twenty-second birthday and he was still abiding by it when, several months later, he applied for work in the town of Ridgeville and accepted a job in the local brass foundry, running the hot-met al hoist for Furnace John Piwko. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Henry was a little disconcerted by Furnace John. There was something rather awe some about him. He was in his late fifties, and he had a heat-withered complexio n, a big blunt nose, burly shoulders and grapnellike hands. "This up," he said i n a deep, rumbling voice, after the foundry superintendent had left them togethe r. "This down." He emphasized the first statement with a yank on one of the hois t cables and the second with a yank on the other cable. Then, the fundamentals o f the operation explain to his\u8212?if not Henry's\u8212?satisfaction, he reste d his elbows on a packing box that functioned as a desk, lighted a cigarette wit h a kitchen match, and added a lungful of bluish smoke to the already bluish atm osphere. Henry took in his surroundings a little uneasily. He had never been in a nonferrous foundry before. In fact, he had never been in any kind of foundry b

henc e the hoist. Henry would have sworn he was pouring $1000 gold pieces. he p ulled forth an object that looked like a turtle with a long neck and four backs and. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He straightened. Presently. hence Furnace John. the basic {\i modus operendi} of which Furnace John had just finished explaining to him. It was some time before he realized that he was looking at several objects instead of j ust one\u8212?that the turtle's backs were the end products and that the necks a nd the spinal column were merely the solidified means the metal had followed in order to form them. A monorail extended in a straight line from one end of the big barnlike building to the other. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ The temperature inside the foundry was in the nineties: the temperature of the metal was in the twenty-two hundreds. Henry bent over it curio usly. A month ago he never would have dreamed that someday he'd be working in a foundry as a pour-off man's helper. the turtle's backs were book ends. His 'Forty-nine w as like an old and faithful dog that has served its master far beyond the call o f duty: relegating it to a used-car lot was unthinkable. and as soon as t hey replaced the crucible he hurried back to the merry-go-round. Furnace John donned apron. too. From the way that he glowered at the furnaceman and said "Too hot!" Fro m the way he poured it. the temperature in the vicinity of the cru cible was in the one hundred fifties. Not far from where he was standing. wondering what possible use there could be for such a monstrosity. laid it to one side. Inc. \par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Presently the furnaceman came over to the desk and told them that Number Three was ready. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He had been running the hoist for a little more than a week when Furnace John a sked him one morning if he liked {\i kielbasa}. the thought of quitting more remote from his mind than ever. eight mer ry-go-round racks stood in two staggered rows. Henry forgot all about quitting. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ " {\i Kielbasa}?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ " {\i . gloves and leggings and motioned for Henry to do the same. F urnace John had struck him as being anything but a book lover. Beyond them. if they hadn't had to pull another heat right away. Hence the foundry. If the content s of the crucible had been molten gold instead of molten brass. By the time the last of the molds that the machine molders had set upon the first two merry-go-round racks were filled. It was an even longer time before he realized what the backs were.efore. nevertheless. Possibly he would hav e. after knocking the sand free. Then they proceeded to pull and pour the heat. What was he pouring? \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ In his eagerness to find out. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He choked each sprue with elaborate care: he cut each stream of reddish-yellow metal at the precise millisecond: he did not spill a single drop. He nry was ready to terminate his career as a hoist operator. passing over the f urnaces and over the aisle between the merry-go-rounds. eight roaring pit furnaces emitted br ight yellow flames through round apertures in their lids. Either he had to make that payday a reality or sell his 'Forty-nine. He'd left his home town of Appleton wit h the intention of touring the surrounding countryside while awaiting word on th e post-college application he'd put in at Appleton Advertising.. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ It was a heat that was to have a profound influence on his life. Suspended from the monor ail was the hot-metal joist. He could tell that there was something special about it from the way Furnace John inspected th e metal. By the time he got there the shakeout man had already dumped the first mold and was reaching in to the resultant pile of steaming sand with a long-handled hook. but the am ount he'd saved up for his travels proved to be inadequate for the appetites of his 'Forty-nine jalopy. and when he reached Ridgeville he had barely enough cash left to see him through to a theoretical payday two weeks in the future.

the second oldest said in sudden exasperation . "Maybe. It was painted a brigh t red and was dominated by a staunch brick chimney. He pointed to the living-room door way. pop. flanked by vegetable gardens and backgrounde d by a small barn." Henry said." she said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was nothing complicated about the thought pattern that lay behind his ada mant attitude. followed suit. Maybe you should read book . majestically. who sat to his left. Therefore TV was a t hreat to the economic security of the Piwkos\u8212?a wolf on the doorstep dresse d in Steve Allen's clothing." Furnace John explained. in this case. was in English. ribboned amoung green fields beneath a sky that seemed suddenly bluer. Book ends were made to put books in between. STEVE ALLEN {\i i} TV {\i i to wszystk}!" Furnace John exclaimed suddenly." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But everybody watches TV. who ranged in age from the earliest teens to the latest. the more book ends they would need and the more orders there would be for the foundry to fill. A narr ow road wound up through elms and maples. pop!" \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "TV. bestowing on him a look that might have been f atal to a less cynical young man. which he had built himself. and her golden eye brows seemed about to take flight into the sunrise of her hair. Ha nk. when she and Henry were sitt ing on the sofa in the living room." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Steve Allen and big dumb wrestlers give you education like books. The house. "My E nglish teacher even said it's educational. Piwko lapsed into Polish. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I think you like. and Josephine. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The conversation. with patriarchal dignity. Furnace John stood up\u8212?awesomely. for Pete's sake." he asked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Henry turned to Josephine. "Can't yo u make him understand that those book ends don't mean his job?" \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "I can try. Her reaction dis concerted him. Henry wouldn't have had the remotest idea what they were talking about if weren't for the fact that some words aren't readily translatable from one language to another and sta nd out like loud signals to the groping listener. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They ate in the kitchen\u8212?Henry." Furnace John went on. pop. Anna left the table and scurried out of the kitchen." He lived atop the wide ridge from which Ridgeville derived its name. Her face was wide and warm. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ "What kind of set do you have?" he continued matter-of-factly." It was Christina. The daughters. but after a while Mrs. at first. Furnace John sat down. The more books peopl e bought. hah?" \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh. were a triple testimony to the fact that once upon a time their father had been far less fearsome of appearance. "It's not education you're worried about half so much as those silly book ends you pour at the foundry!" Abruptly she clapped her hand over her mouth. and Furnace John had gone outside. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ " {\i Ja tylko sysze} TV {\i i} STEVE ALLEN.Polski} sausage. The fewer books they bought. "Ha! Tell him what kind of set we got. "keeps kids from reading boo ks. The meal continued without further reference to TV. was fron ted by a dozen rows of grape-vines. his wife and their three dau ghters. "Do you like TV. the youngest daughter. he's right. wer e TV and Steve Allen. The signals. the fewer book ends they w ould need and the fewer orders there would be for the foundry to fill. the oldest daughter. Furnace John." Anna. TV kept p eople from reading books and consequently from buying them. I don't see why we can't have a set. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of course I like TV. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Henry looked dubious. though. and that their mother had taught the torches to burn bright. a chicken coop and a stand of beeches." Furnace John said. "You come supper my place tonight. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Can't you talk to him?" Josephine asked later on.

Amethyst earrings twinkled from her ears. "I like your f ather. "Brass seems kind of expensive for book ends. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "If there's ever a shortage of copper. you see}? he told himself. "Pigeons?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ " {\i Golabki}. It Was like Edison holding up the first electric-light bulb. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Beautiful." she said just before she went out. It was like Do ctor Johnson holding up The Dictionary. and I happen to be the legal secretary for the leading lawyer of Ridgevill e. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Henry reported his failure to Josephine on Saturday afternoon. {\i Pigs in the blanket}! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was a grueling match. "You know yourself. Just because my parents are immigrants and my father is a pour-off man in a b rass foundry is no reason for you to think we're peasants!" \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "I didn't mean to knock the chip off your shoulder. Her eyes sparkled. He beckoned to Henry to follow. "He's not coming to your house. The burnished surface. kindled. She was wearing a blue dress with tiny whitecaps printed on it. and on its outer side there was a bas-relief of an open book." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Brass heavier. " \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She put a big cabbage into the tote cart she was pushing. I think your mother is swell. It did no t endure for long. \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ "I won't." Henry said. It had been deburred and had been through the sand-blast machine. but finally his appetite won out over his discretion a . when he met her in the supermarket where she was doing the family shopping. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "I wonder why they don't make them out of iron?" Henry asked. run perfectly." he thought. and\u8212?" His voice trailed away." Henry added. It h ad a reddish-gold cast." he said in conclusion. Her face was like a bl ue-eyed flower. when he and Furnace John walked down to the book-end floor to see how the exalted castings had run. the raised letters." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We're having them for supper tonight. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Don't forget to talk to pop. Not for nothing had he loved and lo st for five times running. In the grinding room he picked up a book end from one of the benches." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I do read books!" Her blue eyes kindled "I also went two years to business col lege. Sure I like them." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Suddenly she smiled. after the first book-end heat. Will you come?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { He looked at her suspiciously." he said. But he refused to be impressed." Furnace John said. "You might as well f orget about Steve Allen. Furnace John had turned and was headed for the grinding room. He knew by heart all the little tricks and subtleties lovely women employ to break down a man's defenses. EX LIBRIS. He was a little bewildered. "Do you like pigeons? '" she asked. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He launched his short-lived campaign the next morning. {\i There. they'll have to make them out of iron." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Oh." Furnace John said simply. Furnace Jo hn held the book end up to the morning sunlight that was pouring through the gri nding-room windows. a nd machine parts that come in contact with water. her nose crinkled and dimples danced in her cheeks. And then he thought. of course. Just beneath the book. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ " {\i La belle dame sans merci}. Henry's carefully cultivated cynicism gloated. prefixed a little re ctangle in which the owner-to-be could have his or her name engraved." Henry went o n a little uneasily. and Jo sephine got up to leave. Furnace John didn't say anything. blazed forth in purest splen dor. and he was careful to keep the conversation on a businesslike level for the rest of its duration.s. They had. Pigs in the blanket. Around eight o'clock a horn sounded from the driveway. "that the principal uses for brass are plumbing fixtures.

But he'd been smoking more than usual lately." Henry said. where their paths finally crossed. Suddenly he felt a big hand on his shoulder. \par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ "Hi. then. "And you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I think it was awfully mean of them. "Tell me something Hank. I've got a good notion to write them a letter and tell them so. {\i You see}? Aloud he said. I imag ine. Friday night. and he decided. Hank. Wednesday. without the slightest trace of the rancor he had expec ted. "How are you weathering the book-end crisis?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Fine." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Presently he realized that he was sitting all alone on the sofa. and the sound of a car back ing out of the driveway came distantly to his ears. around two o'clock . "I'll be there. The cigarettes were kept behind the counter where you checked out\u82 12?not stashed away among the cabbages or hidden in the frozen-food lockers. and Mrs. \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Henry didn't really have to go to that supermarket Saturday afternoon. neither TV nor Steve Allen was mentioned during the meal." a comradely voice said. "I\u8212?I really don't know. "Come." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ This time. Piwko had tak en up her crocheting needles. but I can find out. "There\u8212?there might be. We have beer together. Do you happen to know the ir address?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No." he said." Josephine finished triumphantly.nd he heard himself saying. it see med to Henry that she had spoken with unnecessary loudness. Josephine said. he made the rounds like a male Car ry Nation and put a verbal hatchet through every tavern TV set in Ridgeville." \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ . "Out in the kitchen with Furnac e John. canceling their order that way." she said brightly. that maybe he'd better replenish his stock." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\b M}onday afternoon the superintendent dropped the remark that the bookend order h ad been canceled. looking her straight in the eye. or concealed in the canned-fruit aisle. after he got his pay. Thursday and Friday Furnace John poured of f with a brooding countenance." Henry said. Does the television industry help brass foundries or does n't it?" Abruptly a horn sounded from the driveway. just in case\u8212?\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ Even so. {\i You see}? he told himself. In the back of his mind was the jarring memory of a door slamming. Again Henry's cynicism gloated." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Would you? This afternoon? I'd like to write them right away. He had b ought enough cigarettes the previous Saturday to last him for yet another week. But afterw ard. but it's a liability to any foundry that depends on casting book ends for ten to twenty per cent of its income. "It might help brass f oundries in general. when everyone\u8212?with the exception of Anna and Christina. spoke only when spoken to. there was no reason for him to go wandering through all the self-servi ce aisles. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Would you say half of them?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Furnace John's paper rustled. and Furnace John had settled down to his evening paper. Tuesday. "Quite a lot. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Would you say two thirds of them?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The room become ominously still. who jointly s hared the burden of doing the supper dishes\u8212?had retired to the living room . \par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ "Wouldn't it be logical to conclude." he said with elaborate aplomb. and then only in monos yllables. and she gave a little start. How many parts in the average TV set are made either partly or entirely out of brass and other copper-based alloys?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Considering the fact that she was sitting right next to him on the sofa. "t hat TV benefits rather than hurts the nonferrous industry?" \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ "Well\u8212?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Be honest now.

the superintendent explained sardonically. Halfway to he club one of his rear tires blew out. Henry a lmost said: but he didn't. and it was going on four when he finally caught up to the superintendent and his wife between the fifth and sixth holes. You should be glad instead of mad. The superintendent stared at him when e asked for the address. he had neglected to inform her of his vow. But come to think of it. and he certainly ought to know the book-e nd company's address if anybody did. After promising Josephine the address. according to the wa tchman. It was from Appleton Advertising Inc. and a moment later she blurted. "All right. "Once or twice. and headed for the Piwko house. then he showered. snoo ped through everything in the office and knew more about the company's business than the president himself did. Several miles farther on the other one blew out. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He decided to be magnanimous." \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "Why should I be glad?" She took down three cans of applesauce from a nearby sh elf and dropped them into her tote cart. the superintendent said. and I wouldn't have run out on you that way if you hadn't let me down. The Granov er Country Club was fifteen miles on the other side of Ridgeville. It was 5:30 when he finally st opped off at the hotel where he was staying. He had to walk three miles in the hot sun back to the car. "Have you ever had potato pancakes?" \p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Potato pancakes happened to be Henry's gastronomic Achilles heel. and when he received no answer he drove out to the superi ntendent's house on the chance that he might be working out in the yard. \par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ "We're having them for supper." he said. Henry decided." he said presently. He called fr om a nearby drugstore. By the time he got the tube back in the tire and the tire back on the wheel and the wheel back on the axle. the watchm an could tell him. shaved and change d. He was not. He stood there staring at the words for a long time. I'll give him a ring. The watchman. I didn't really have a date. And I'll bring the address too. \par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ Henry sighed. The superintendent usually wor ked in the office Saturday afternoons. "But I can't understand why you should w ant to tell them off. in view of his dedication to confirmed celibacy. Had she known he was coming for cigarettes? Had she expected to meet him the canned-fruit aisle? But he had never seen such a guileless count enance. informed Henry that the superintendent and his w ife had driven over to the Granover Country Club for a round of golf.. but if Henry needed it right away. he felt as though he'd just poured sixteen book-end heats without stop ping. "I'll come. But the superintendent. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There was a letter that had been forwarded from Appleton. lying on his dresser. and it was 5:15 by the time he convinced the watchman that he wasn' t a company spy and didn't have the slightest intention of turning the watchman in for knowing things he had no business knowing. No." he said casually. After a while he got sick of waiting and d ropped the letter to the top dresser drawer. It was almost five by the time Henry got back to Ridgeville. Henry felt a little foolish." The foundry was his first stop. but he was ca reful to keep his enthusiasm in check. So did the superi ntendent's wife. But for som e reason elation was not forthcoming. and informed him that his application ha d been accepted and that he could start work immediately. waiting for elation to overwhelm him. he was a little diffident about showing up without it. Will you come?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Do you really want me to?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Of course I do. He had to walk three miles in t he hot sun to a service station to get the tube patched and to borrow a hand pum p. "All right. who was. Why else would I be asking you if I didn't?'" To lure me into another one of your nefarious schemes to compromise your fathers values. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . amount ed to less than nothing. had gone home at noon. "I'm sorry about last Saturday. but the gardener. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was 3:30 when he reached the club.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He looked at her. he co uldn't recall the address offhand." It seemed to him that she was making a big issue out of something which.

listeni ng to the sporadic rustling of Furnace John's paper. shrouded the beeches an d the barn. after they got up from the table. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ He ought not have either\u8212?if Ridgeville hadn't been located between Applet on and a town which he had to visit several months later to interview a prospect ive advertising client. refurbished now and painted a robin's-egg blue. he only had to drive through. he didn't have to turn\u8212?But his 'Forty-nine." he began. the miles he'd walked. unless she's got a darn good reason to--such as telling someone she's already told twice bef ore that there's no sense in his blowing his horn outside her window any more. Up until tonight. He kept wondering why his heart was pounding so hard. that when a girl practically as ks you to put your arm around her. th en he hit the highway for Appleton. All he could think of were the two blowouts he'd had. in fact. Finally he climbed int o his car and backed out to the road. he told himself. She was sitting very close to him. Henry Cooper. The sky seemed bluer than ever. long enough on the back steps to light a cigarette. Josephine led him into living r oom Number Two. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He stopped long enough at the hotel to pack his clothes and to pay his bill. love had thumbed its cupid nose at him once again. b . confirmation and wedding celebrations. and the special one adjoining it. " she said. she doesn't bawl you out when you finally get around to doing so. Josephi ne met him at the kitchen door. a strange look on her face. not quite. Piwko for her potato pancakes. and he told himself that he'd never go back to Ridgeville again. She waved to him as he backed away. and her mouth moved us though she were shouting something. Consequently he was a little disc oncerted when. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ They sat down side by side on the brocaded sofa in the soft shadows that twilig ht was shedding through the tapestried windows. Even so. which was reserved for christening. he didn't have to stop. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He handed her the slip of paper on which he'd jotted down the address. despite his high-flown resolutions. of all the nerve!" She got up abruptly and ran from the room. and the fields slept beneath the crisp white sheet s of the season's first snow. and his headlights picked up the belle dame sans merc i leaning with her elbows on the rolled-down window and talking earnestly with t he driver. "I saw you drive in. and the bright red clapboards of the house contrasted nicely with the glistening whiteness of the gardens and the vineyard: the stanch chimney stood out as individualistically as before against the backdrop of the beeches\u8212?No. He sat there for some time. he could deny the truth no longer: TV had come at last to the Piwkos'. A moment later he heard the front door slam. "I\u8212?" Two thi ngs happened then. It was an optical illusion. "It should have occurred eve n to someone as square as you are. stopped long. "Well. long enough in the kitchen to s ay good night to the kids. And then. half in anger. The first star flickered faintly in the east. Piw ko's needles. And she doesn't get up and run outside either.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Piwkos had two living rooms\u8212?the common one where they spent most of t heir time. seemed to have a mind of its own. to the clicking of Mrs. that he had to put his arm around her to get it out of the way. and presently she moved even closer\u8212?so close. "Jo. Then he go t up. "Did you get it?" she asked. but the roar of the engine drowned out whatever it was . \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ It was a Saturday afternoon. half in tears. to the water-muted sound of dishes in the kitchen sink. Henry had never been b eyond the boundries of living room Number One. with such near simultaneity that it was impossible for him to determine which occurred first\u8212?a horn sounded from the driveway and Josep hine said. enough in the living room to say good night to Furnace John and to thank Mrs. Above all. He had to back around the other car that w as parked in the driveway. and the incontrovertible fact that. and he didn't much care what it was anyway. D usk lay deep and dark over the vineyard and the gardens. \par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ At first Henry couldn't believe that the tinselly object attached to the chimne y top was real. But when he turned into the driveway and saw the telltale ribbon running down the side of the house .

half expecting it to turn into a boo kcase. when she and Henr y were sitting on the brocaded sofa in living room Number Two. and I get two cents' \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ royalty on every pair!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You\u8212?you get two cents royalty!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Certainly. And seated before it. a rather thick fog having settle d around his sensibilities. should have been. EX LIBRIS." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Henry continued to look at her\u8212?at her wide warm face." she went on. pop only made the down payment\u8212?my roya lties are taking care of the balance. And then he saw them. He lowered his eyes to where the raised letter s. embracing five new books\u8212?the Ex Libris book ends." T he antenna and the ribbon had not lied: a twenty-four-inch TV console now pre-em pted the spot where Furnace John's easy chair once had stood.ecause now there's someone else!" It was some time before Henry realized that he had taken her in his arms and was kissing her. gleaming dully on top o f the cabinet. But he paid little attention to what she was saying. were Furnace John himself. staring into the magic depth of the picture tube. wondering why it had turned into the bas-relief of a TV set. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "All right. and then. I'm the one who wrote the idea. Christina and Anna." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Henry said nothing. don't they?" Josephine said. I guess. In any event. Presently she drew gently away. Love had come to H enry Cooper. Furnace John stood up and shook hands. JOHN JOSEPH PIWKO. FOR THE TV SET\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ OF." Josephine explained later on. bu t I didn't get a chance to ask you. And you also know that they need something more substantial than a pair of c rocheting needles and an evening paper to keep them compatible and contented. Hank. and a set of book ends thrown in free with the purchas e of every TV console might be just the thing to placate their consciences\u8212 ?and stimulate sales. and saw instead. He kept right on looking at her. Th ey need a mutual interest. orders galore were pouring into the foundry\u8212?Don't look at me like that. Piwko." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Bewildered. I planned on having you help me. freshly engraved. Besides. picking one up and handing it to him. "that mom and pop never read a book voluntari ly. "How you like. No. \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Come on in the living room. Hank?" he asked enthusiastically. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You know yourself. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They're TV-console book ends. \par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ "Look nice. a major TV company went for the idea and first thi ng you knew. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{\s1 \afs32 {\b THE END\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{\par\pard\hyphpar }{\page } } . He stared at the place where the bas-relief of the open book was supposed to be. Mrs. It did nothing of the sort. Henry looked at the set again. "They come free w ith every console. her eyes--at the lovely light shining in those eyes that he himself had kindle d." she said "There's something I want you to see. Anyway. the book-end company wrote bac k it just might work because most people really do feel guilty about substitutin g TV viewing for reading. her bird-wing brows . they weren't the Ex Libris book ends after all. She took his hand. For the miracle of TV's coming to the Piwkos' had already been superseded by another.

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