The delighted Bea helped her bring out the ancestral folding sewing-table, whose yellow and black top was scarred with dotted lines from a dressmaker’s tracing-wheel, and to set it with an embroidered lunch-cloth, and the mauve-glazed Japanese tea-set which she had brought from St. Paul.
Now she put on her new moleskin cap, which made her face small and innocent, she rubbed off the traces of a lip-stick—and fled across the alley before her admirable resolution should sneak away.
She knew that he was satisfied with Gopher Prairie, but it gave her vicarious hope to think of going, to ask for railroad folders at the station, to trace the maps with a restless forefinger.
In ready-made clothes and ready-made high-school phrases they sank into propriety, and the sound American customs had absorbed without one trace of pollution another alien invasion.
She recalled a hundred grotesqueries: her comic dismay at his having chewed tobacco, the evening when she had tried to read poetry to him; matters which had seemed to vanish with no trace or sequence.
He galloped to the station, brought home railway maps, and traced motor-routes from Gopher Prairie to Winnipeg or Des Moines or Grand Marais, thinking aloud and expecting her to be effusive about such academic questions as "Now I wonder if we could stop at Baraboo and break the jump from La Crosse to Chicago?"
When Mrs. Erdstrom had followed the doctor out of the room Carol glanced in a friendly way at the grained pine cupboard, the framed Lutheran Konfirmations Attest, the traces of fried eggs and sausages on the dining table against the wall, and a jewel among calendars, presenting not only a lithographic young woman with cherry lips, and a Swedish advertisement of Axel Egge’s grocery, but also a thermometer and a match-holder.