The Brimming Cup

Overview

April, 1909.
Lounging idly in the deserted little waiting-room was the usual shabby, bored, lonely ticket-seller, prodigiously indifferent to the grave beauty of the scene before him and to the throng of ancient memories jostling him where he stood. Without troubling to look at his watch, he informed the two young foreigners that they had a long hour to wait before the cable-railway would send a car down to the Campagna. His lazy nonchalance ...
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Overview

April, 1909.
Lounging idly in the deserted little waiting-room was the usual shabby, bored, lonely ticket-seller, prodigiously indifferent to the grave beauty of the scene before him and to the throng of ancient memories jostling him where he stood. Without troubling to look at his watch, he informed the two young foreigners that they had a long hour to wait before the cable-railway would send a car down to the Campagna. His lazy nonchalance was faintly colored with the satisfaction, common to his profession, in the discomfiture of travelers.
Their look upon him was of amazed gratitude. Evidently they did not understand Italian, he thought, and repeated his information more slowly, with an unrecognizable word or two of badly pronounced English thrown in. He felt slightly vexed that he could not make them feel the proper annoyance, and added, "It may even be so late that the signori would miss the connection for the last tramway car back to Rome. It is a long walk back to the city across the Campagna."
They continued to gaze at him with delight. "I've got to tip him for that!" said the young man, reaching vigorously into a pocket.
The girl's answering laugh, like the inward look of her eyes, showed only a preoccupied attention. She had the concentrated absent aspect of a person who has just heard vital tidings and can attend to nothing else. She said, "Oh, Neale, how ridiculous of you. He couldn't possibly have the least idea what he's done to deserve getting paid for."
At the sound of her voice, the tone in which these words were pronounced, the ticket-seller looked at her hard, with a bold, intrusive, diagnosing stare: "Lovers!" he told himself conclusively. He accepted with a vast incuriosity as to reason the coin which the young foreigner put into his hand, and, ringing it suspiciously on his table, divided his appraising attention between its clear answer to his challenge, and the sound of the young man's voice as he answered his sweetheart, "Of course he hasn't any idea what he's done to deserve it. Who ever has? You don't suppose for a moment I've any idea what I've done to deserve mine?"
The ticket-seller smiled secretly into his dark mustache. "I wonder if my voice quivered and deepened like that, when I was courting Annunziata?" he asked himself. He glanced up from pocketing the coin, and caught the look which passed between the two. He felt as though someone had laid hands on him and shaken him. "Dio mio" he thought. "They are in the hottest of it."
The young foreigners went across the tracks and established themselves on the rocks, partly out of sight, just at the brink of the great drop to the Campagna. The setting sun was full in their faces. But they did not see it, seeing only each other.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491045350
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 7/19/2013
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.22 (d)

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