To Love and To Honor(Sevmek ve Saygı Duymak)İngilizce Hikaye ve TercümesiForum AlevOctavus Roy Cohen
To Love and To Honor
It was rather surprising to discover a deep vein of sentiment in little Geoege Potter. I had been his fried and his lawyer for many years and had watch the always fat and once alert little man settle in to a domestic routine. He had been moderately succesfull in business, sufficiently succesfull to permit him to retire from business and to trawel about the world a little if he had wanted to do so. But instead he and Esther were content to sit night after night in their pleasant living room; she was busy with her sewing or reading, he passing the time with his excellent collection of postage stamps .
Looking back over the years of my friendship with Potter , I can see that the vein of romance had probably been there all the time . there was, for instance, his very romantic lowe-affair with Althea Deane – an affair which almost became a scandal. But just when peole began to gossip about them, George married her.
That marriage appeared to estinguish George Potter’s last spark of romanticism. It never had a change to be succesfull, and when Althea left him suddenly, George’s friend thougt that he was fortunate to lose her. Lare came the news of Althea’S death while living abroad, and a couple years of later George began to call up on Esther seriously. The people of our group were only slightly interested- it is dificult to become gereatly excited over a possible mariage when both the man and the woman are equally rather dull and uninteresting.
The marriage was a very nice affair. There followed the usual series of the parties for the newly maried couple . then it seemed George and Esther retired from life. Even his business affairs ran so well that there was little need on George’s part for my sevices as his lawyer- and when I never ceased to like him, we found less and less incommon as the years passed .
I couldn’t imagine that they were happy. There wasn’t eough sentiment - that’s the way I figured ut George . And nothing happened to change my oppinion until a few weeks before their twenty-fifth aniversery.
It was then that he came into my office , his fat little face shining with enthusiasm, and told me his unusual plans for the silver anniversary. His bright little eyes shone as he axplain the thing, and I’ll confes that I was prwtty well confused; not alone because his plan was sentimental and profoundly impressive, but mainly because it was quiet , dull, old George Potter who was planning this thing – the George Potter who had lived a quiet life since his second marriage and who had avoided social contacts.
According to waht George told me, he was doing this things for Esther’s shake. “It’ll please her “ he explained.“ Woman like that sort of thing, you know- and this seems to me a real idea. You have to be part of it, because you were to be a best man when Iand Esther were maried. It’s just a gesture on my part- a sort of sacrifice to please the old lady. “
I’ll say this for George, he didn’t do things halfway. Instead of the usual part, he presented a perfect duplication of his mariage to Esther twenty- five years before. there was even the same minister – very old now- and the same violenist who had played “ Oh promise me at the other ceremony. A good many of the oreginal guest were there. Most of us rather gray haired now. But the thing was very impressive: Esther in the same bridal dress she had worn twenty – five year before-- let out around the hips perhaps – and carrying a bouqued of bride roses, the bridesmaids in pink, with boughed of Killarney roses; even a person to carry the ring. It was great fun and very impressive where one might have expected it to be absurd.
As for Esther, I never saw a woman look more beautiful. she took on a aura of genuine beauty. Of course she would have been lest then human and far from feminine to have failed to responed to this magneficent exhibition of husbandly devotion.
But finally the ceremony was finished and the guests went to the dining room for the rich supper which had benn prepared by special cooks employed for this occasion . George and I were left alone and he sang exhousted into a chair. I placed my hand on his shoulder and congratulated him on the success of his party .
“You really think it was a success?“
“Wonderful! And,“ jockingly,“ you certainly should feel completely married . “
“Yes, I do.“ He became silent for a moment or two, and when he spoke again it was in a deeply serious tone.“ There is something I have got to explain to you as my friend and my lawyer” He stopped for a second, then asked suddenly:’’You remember my first wife?’’
‘’Althea?“ I was surprised by the question.“ Certainly.“
“ Did you know , “ he went on in a strange voice , “ that she died only last year ? “
“Good Lord! I thought she died twenty-seven years ago. “
“So did I,“ he said quitely. “ And when I married Esther , I thought I was a widower. But I wasn’t – and in case anything ever comes up – well, I want you to understand that affair tonight was a real wedding for Esther and me.“