Our Friend Manso

By Benito Pérez Galdós; Robert Russell | Go to book overview

XLVI
DID THEY MARRY?

YES, OF COURSE THEY DID! How could they not marry, since that was the logical and necessary solution? Conscience and Nature were both begging for it with a variety of pleas. I took special pains to bring it about. The turtledove-schoolmarm would have to live her whole life grateful to me, for without the aid of good old Manso it is certain that the desired salvation could not possibly have been achieved. For, indubitably, Manuel Peña was indecisive that night when I admonished him, and if his love was powerful, so too were his perplexities and worries, not to mention the influence exercised on him by his empty-headed chums and his doting mamma. Thus, I take pride in having resolved that difficult struggle on the side of good, and with just a few words aimed straight at the heart. I don't like to praise myself, so I'll continue my narrative . . . But not wishing to scramble the events, I'll backtrack just a bit to say that not twenty minutes had gone by since Doña Javiera had left, making that remark about my being hard to take, et cetera, when the doorbell rang.

A maid. "Madam says will you come down to look at some furniture."

"All right, I'll go down, I'm just finishing dressing."

A little later, ting-a-ling.

"Madam says will you please come down to look at some curtains."

Explanation: Señora de Peña was busy buying things to furnish her new home, and couldn't make up her mind about selecting anything without first consulting me. For her I was the sum of all human wisdom concerning everything God had created, or failed to create. Most particularly in matters of taste, my merest whims had the force of law.

I went downstairs. The whole parlor was filled with luxurious furniture, bought in well-known shops, and a French tapissier was showing samples of curtains, portières, and assorted yard goods.

-241-

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