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"Well, Throcker, my boy, my ledge of Cherokee runs up here from the Canaan Tigmores, d'you know that?" said Madeira. He put his thumbs in his pockets and rocked upon the balls of his feet with a springing, tip-toe movement, as Throcker stopped them in front of a shaft out of whose cavernous depths a cage was swinging toward them. From Madeira's manner you might have inferred that the Cherokee had a Madeira permit to "run up here."
Next door, Serena and her mother were just heading out of their dressing room to the cashier's desk. “Serena!” Jenny called, without thinking twice. Serena turned around and Jenny blushed. She couldn't believe she was talking to Serena van der Woodsen while wearing a bright orange dress with a stupid ruffle on it. “Hey Jenny,” Serena said, beaming sweetly down at her. She walked over and kissed Jenny on both cheeks. Jenny sucked in her breath and gripped the curtain to steady herself. Serena van der Woodsen had just kissed her. “Wow, crazy dress,” Serena said. She leaned in to whisper in Jenny's ear. “You're lucky you don't have your mom with you. I got suckered into buying the ugliest dress in the store.” Serena held the dress up. It was long and black and completely gorgeous. Jenny didn't know what to say. She wished she were the kind of girl who could complain about shopping with her mother. She wished she were the kind of girl who could complain about a beautiful dress being ugly. But she wasn't. “Is everything all right, dear?” Maureen said, striding over and handing Jenny a strapless bra contraption to try on with her dresses. Jenny took the bra and glanced at Serena, her cheeks burning. “I'd better keep trying this stuff on,” she said. “See you Monday, Serena.” She let the curtain fall closed, but Maureen pulled it open a few inches. “That looks nice,” she said, nodding approvingly at the orange dress. “It suits you.” Jenny grimaced. “Does it come in black?” she asked. “But you're too young for black,” Maureen said, frowning. Jenny frowned back and handed the pile of reject dresses to Maureen, closing the curtain firmly in her face. “Thanks for your help,” she called. She yanked the orange dress over her head and whipped off her bra, reaching for a black stretch-satin dress she had picked out herself. Braless, she pulled the dress on over her head and felt it ooze all over her. When she looked up, little Jenny Humphrey had vanished from the dressing room. In her place was a dangerous, slutty sex goddess. Throw in a pair of kitten heels, a thong, and some Chanel Vamp lipstick, and she had it going on. No girl is ever too young to wear black. sunday brunch Late Sunday morning the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were crawling with people. Tourists, mostly, and locals who had come for a brief visit so they could brag about it to their friends and sound cultured. Inside, brunch was being served in the Egyptian wing for all the museum's board members and their families. The Egyptian wing was a superb setting for nighttime parties-glittering gold and exotic, with the moonlight shining dramatically through its modern glass walls. But it was all wrong for brunch. Smoked salmon and eggs and mummified Egyptian Pharaohs really don't mix. Plus, the morning sun was shining so brightly through the slanting glass walls, it made even the slightest hangover feel ten times worse. Who invented brunch anyway? The only decent place to be on Sunday mornings is in bed.The room was filled with large round tables and freshly-scrubbed Upper-East-Siders. Eleanor Waldorf, Cyrus Rose, the van der Woodsens, the Basses, the Archibalds, and their children were there, all seated around one table. Blair was sitting between Cyrus Rose and her mother, looking grumpy. Nate had been intermittently baked, drunk, or passed out since Friday, and looked woozy and rumpled, as if he'd just woken up. Serena was wearing some of the new clothes she'd bought shopping with her mother the day before, and she had a new haircut, with soft layers framing her face. She looked even more beautiful than ever, but nervous and jumpy after drinking six cups of coffee. Only Chuck seemed at ease, happily sipping his Bloody Mary. Cyrus Rose sliced his salmon-and-leek omelet in half and plunked it on a pumpernickel bagel. “I've been craving eggs,” he said, biting into it hungrily. “You know when your body tells you you need something?” he said, to no one in particular. “Mine's shouting, 'Eggs, eggs, eggs!' ” And mine's shouting, “Shut the fuck up,” Blair thought. Blair pushed her plate toward him. “Here, have mine. I hate eggs,” she said. Cyrus pushed her plate back. “No, you're growing. You need that more than I do.” “That's right, Blair,” her mother agreed. “Eat your eggs. They're good for you.” “I hear eggs make your hair shiny,” Misty Bass added. Blair shook her head. “I don't eat chicken abortions,” she said stubbornly. “They make me gag.” Chuck reached across the table. “I'll eat them, if you don't want them.” “Oh, now, Chuck,” Mrs. Bass clucked. “Don't be a piggy.” “She said she didn't want them,” Chuck said. “Right, Blair?” Blair handed her plate over, careful not to look at Serena or Nate, sitting on either side of Chuck. Serena was busy cutting her omelet into little squares, like Scrabble pieces. She began building tall towers of them. Out of the corner of his eye, Nate was watching her. He was also watching Chuck's hands. Each time they slid underneath the tablecloth and out of view, Nate imagined them all over Serena's legs.“Anyone see the Styles section of the Times today?” Cyrus asked, looking around the table. Serena's head shot up. Her picture with the Remi brothers. She'd forgotten all about it.She pursed her lips and slunk down in her chair, waiting for an inquisition from her parents and everyone else at the table. But it never came. It was part of their social code not to dwell on things that embarrassed them. “Pass me the cream, Nate darling?” Blair's mother said, while smiling at Serena. And that was that. Nate's mother cleared her throat. “How is the Kiss on the Lips party going, Blair? Are you girls all ready?” she asked, swigging her Seven-and-Seven. “Yes, we're all set,” Blair answered politely. “We finally got the invitations cleared up. And Kate Spade is sending over the gift bags after school on Thursday.” “I remember all the cotillions I used to organize,” Mrs. van der Woodsen said, with a dreamy expression. “But the thing we always used to worry about most was would the boys show up.” She smiled at Nate and Chuck. “We don't have to worry about that with you two, do we?” she said. “I'm all over it,” Chuck said, scarfing Blair's omelet. “I'll be there,” Nate said. He glanced at Blair, who was staring at him now. Nate was wearing that same green cashmere sweater she had given him in Sun Valley. The one with the gold heart. “Excuse me,” Blair said. Then she stood up abruptly and left the table. Nate followed her. “Blair!” he called, weaving his way around the other tables, ignoring his friend Jeremy, who was waving to him from across the room. “Wait up.” Without turning around, Blair began walking even faster, her heels clacking on the white marble floor. They reached the hallway to the restrooms. “Come on, Blair. I'm sorry, okay? Can we please talk?” Nate called. Blair reached the door to the women's room and turned around, pushing it halfway open with her rear end. “Just leave me alone, okay?” she said sharply, and went inside. Nate stood outside the door for a moment with his hands in his pockets, thinking. That morning, when he'd put on the green sweater Blair had given him, he'd found a little gold heart sewn into the sleeve. He'd never noticed it before, but it was obvious Blair had put it there. For the first time, he realized that she really meant it when she'd said she loved him. It was pretty intense. And pretty flattering. And it kind of made him want her again. It wasn't just any girl who'd sew a gold heart into your clothes. He had that right. Serena had to pee desperately, but she couldn't face being in the bathroom at the same time as Blair. After Blair and Nate had been gone for five minutes, though, Serena couldn't hold it any longer. She stood up and headed for the ladies' room. Familiar faces gazed up at Serena as she passed their tables. A waitress offered her a glass of champagne. But Serena shook her head and hurried down the marble hall to the bathrooms. Quick, heavy footsteps smacked on the floor behind her, and she turned around. It was Cyrus Rose. “Tell Blair to hurry if she wants dessert, will you?” he told her. Serena nodded and pushed open the door to the ladies' room. Blair was washing her hands. She looked up, staring at Serena's reflection in the mirror over the sink. “Cyrus says to hurry if you want dessert,” Serena said abruptly, walking into a stall, and banging the door shut. She pulled down her underwear and tried to pee, but she couldn't, not with Blair in the room. Serena couldn't believe herself. How many times in the past had she and Blair gone to the bathroom together, talking and laughing while they peed? Too many times to count. And now Serena felt so uptight in Blair's presence she couldn't go? It was a total mindfuck. There was a quiet, awkward pause. Don't you just hate awkward pauses? “Okay,” Serena heard Blair say before she left the bathroom. The door swung shut and Serena relaxed and started to pee. Cyrus caught Nate in the men's room. “You and Blair have a fight?” Cyrus asked. He unzipped his pants and stood at the urinal. Lucky Nate. Nate shrugged as he washed his hands. “Kind of,” he said. “Let me guess, it was about sex, right?” Cyrus said. Nate blushed and pulled a paper towel out of the dispenser. “Well, sort of . . .” he said. He really didn't want to get into it. Cyrus flushed the urinal and joined Nate at the sinks. He washed his hands and began fussing with his tie, which was bright pink with yellow lions' heads on it. Very Versace. Read: tacky. “The only thing couples really fight about is sex and money,” Cyrus observed. Nate stood there with his hands in his pockets. “That's all right, kid. I'm not going to give you a lecture or anything. This is my future stepdaughter we're talking about. I'm sure as hell not going to tell you how to get into her pants.” Cyrus chuckled to himself and left the bathroom, leaving Nate to stare after him. He wondered if Blair knew Cyrus was planning on marrying her mother. Nate turned on the tap and splashed cold water on his face. He studied himself in the mirror. He'd been up late last night with the boys, playing stupid drinking games to Tomb Raider. Every time they saw Angelina Jolie's nipples, they had to drink. He'd tried to drown his thoughts of Blair and Serena in as much booze as he could swallow, and now he was paying for it. His face was pale, there were brownish-purple circles under his eyes, and his cheeks were hollow. He looked like shit. As soon as this damned brunch was over, he was heading into the park for a smoke in the sun and couple of tall-boys. The perfect cure-all. But first he'd have to flirt with Blair a little bit. Enough to make her want him again.Atta boy. Instead of going back to her table when she left the ladies' room, Blair wound her way across the room, looking for Kati and Isabel's table. “Blair! Over here!” Kati called, patting the empty chair next to her. Their parents and friends were working the room, socializing, so the girls had the table to themselves. “Here,” Isabel said, handing Blair a glass full of champagne and orange juice. “Thanks,” Blair said, taking a sip. “Jeremy Scott Tomkinson just came over and tried to get us to come to the park with him,” Kati said. She giggled. “He's kind of cute, you know, in a Waspoid kind of way.” Hey, cool word! Isabel turned to Blair, rolling her eyes. “Isn't this boring? How's your table?” “Don't ask,” Blair said. “Guess who I'm sitting with?” The other two girls sniggered; they didn't have to guess. “Have you seen that billboard of her?” Isabel asked Blair. Blair nodded and rolled her eyes. “What's it supposed to be, anyway?” Kati said. “Her belly button?” Blair still had no idea. “Who cares?” “She has no shame,” Isabel ventured. “I actually feel kind of sorry for her.” “Me too,” Kati agreed. “Well, don't,” Blair said fiercely. Grrr. Nate pushed open the men's room door at exactly the same time that Serena pushed open the ladies'. Together, they walked down the hallway back to the table. “Nate,” Serena said, smoothing her new brown suede skirt over her legs. “Can you please explain why you're not talking to me?” “I'm not not talking to you,” Nate said. “See, I'm talking to you right now.” “Barely,” Serena said. “What happened? What's wrong? Did Blair say something to you about me?” Instinctively, Nate reached into his jacket pocket and fingered the flask of whiskey that was hidden there. He looked down at the marble floor, avoiding Serena's beautiful sad eyes. “We should get back,” Nate said, speeding up. “Fine,” Serena answered, trailing after him slowly. She had that sour salty taste in the back of her throat again, the taste of tears. She'd been holding them back for too many days now, and she could feel a tidal wave coming on. All of a sudden she would start sobbing, and she wouldn't be able to stop. When Nate and Serena took their places at the table, Chuck smirked at them knowingly. How was it? his face seemed to say. Serena wanted to hit him. She ordered another cup of coffee and dumped four teaspoons of sugar in it and stirred and stirred, like she was trying to stir a hole through the cup, the saucer, the table, and the floor, burrowing her way into some old pharaoh's tomb where she could cry and cry and no one would find her. Nate ordered a Bloody Mary. “Bottoms up!” Chuck said cheerfully, banging his glass against Nate's and taking a big gulp. Blair was back at the table. She had already devoured her crème brulée and was working on her mother's. It was full of chicken abortions, but she didn't care-she was going to throw it all up in a minute anyway. “Hey Blair,” Nate said softly, causing Blair to drop her spoon with a clatter. He smiled and leaned across the table. “That looks awesome,” he said. “Can I have a bite?” Blair's hand fluttered nervously to her heart. Sexy Nate. Her Nate. God, she wanted him. But she wasn't going to give up that easily. She had her pride. Blair regained her composure and pushed her plate toward him, reaching for her drink and downing the rest of it in one big swallow. “You can have the rest,” she said, and stood up. “Excuse me.” Then she clacked away in her heels to stick her finger down her throat in the ladies' room. Some lady. Disclaimer: All the real names of places, people, and events have been altered or abbreviated to protect the innocent. Namely, me. hey people! I thought S looked cute in her picture in the Sunday Times Styles section.
Then he bent his tall, awkward form down, and shook each little girl warmly by the hand. Everybody in the apartment was spell-bound by the incident—so simple in itself, yet revealing so much of Mr. Lincoln’s character.
“All at once, during one of these periods of life, a sudden flame cut across the night — a quick glare that lit up the dead earth, shortly; giving me a glimpse of its flat lonesomeness. The light appeared to come from the sun — shooting out from somewhere near its centre, diagonally. A moment, I gazed, startled. Then the leaping flame sank, and the gloom fell again. But now it was not so dark; and the sun was belted by a thin line of vivid, white light. I stared, intently. Had a volcano broken out on the sun? Yet, I negatived the thought, as soon as formed. I felt that the light had been far too intensely white, and large, for such a cause.
While I yet spoke, Josef came and set before the King a marvellousold wicker-covered flagon. It had lain so long in some darkened cellar thatit seemed to blink in the candlelight.
Grey laughed, and the rest of the party joined in.
No one can effectively defend a Government when it’s been in office several years. The Archdeacon took refuge in light skirmishing.
Much of his narrative here is devoted to accurate and well-written descriptions of the character of the country, and of its animals, reptiles, and the like. There is an amusing quaintness in some of his little pictures, as, for instance: “The Squash is a four-footed Beast, bigger than a Cat: Its Head is much like a Foxes; with short Ears and a long Nose. It has pretty short Legs and sharp Claws; by which it will run up trees like a Cat. The skin is covered with short, fine Yellowish Hair. The flesh is good, sweet, wholesome Meat. We commonly skin and roast it; and then we call it pig; and I think it eats as well. It feeds on nothing but good Fruit; therefore we find them most among the Sapadillo-Trees. This Creature never rambles very far: and being taken young, will become as tame as a Dog; and be as roguish as a Monkey.”
"Do you expect him to return shortly?""No," I said, "I do not."He was looking curiously at the expectant band of duns. I forestalledhis question.
During the ten days allowed her for preparation Kitty continued charmed with Hayden's idea of a butterfly dinner. It suited her volatile fancy. Her enthusiasm remained at high pitch, and she exerted herself to the utmost in behalf of her favorite cousin. As a consequence, although she made a pretense of consulting Hayden about the various arrangements, the final results were almost as much of a surprise to him as to the rest of the guests, and as he walked through his rooms at the last moment he admitted to himself that Kitty really had surpassed herself.
He walked over to St. Servan, and, after spending some time in taking a sketch of the walls and turrets of St. Malo, he hired a boat and rowed over to the island of Grand Bey, where he intended to visit Chateaubriand's monument. When he returned to the Hotel de France, he ordered his dinner to be brought up to his sitting-room; and long after the piquant little chambermaid had removed the cloth, and noiselessly left the great dark room, he sat wrapt deep in thought, brooding over the past and planning out the future, which seemed very uncertain to him at that moment.
These are to let you know, that upon the 25th May, the Thomas Allen, being vice-admiral, whose captain was Master Yorke; Master Gibbes, master; Master Christopher Hall, pilot, accompanied with the rear-admiral, named the Hopewell, whose captain was Master Henry Carew, the Master Andrew Dier, and certain other ships, came to Gravesend, where we anchored, and abode the coming of certain other of our fleet, which were not yet come.
‘Surely’, he cries, ‘it would have been better if I had never been conceived on this planet, if terrestrial life had remained for ever subhuman. For, though nature, red in tooth and claw, is brutish, man is devilish.’
Chapter 30详情 ➢
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