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15. CHAPTER FIFTEEN (continued)
New York, on her return, was something of a shock. She remembered how vividly fresh it had looked to her on the day of that first visit, months before. Now, to eyes fresh from the crisp immaculateness of Paris and Berlin, Fifth avenue looked almost grimy, and certainly shabby in spots.
Ella Monahan, cheerful, congratulatory, beaming, met her at the pier, and Fanny was startled at her own sensation of happiness as she saw that pink, good-natured face looking up at her from the crowd below. The month that had gone by since last she saw Ella standing just so, seemed to slip away and fade into nothingness.
"I waited over a day," said Ella, "just to see you. My, you look grand! I know where you got that hat. Galeries Lafayette. How much?"
"I don't expect you to believe it. Thirty-five francs. Seven dollars. I couldn't get it for twenty-five here."
They were soon clear of the customs. Ella had engaged a room for her at the hotel they always used. As they rode uptown together, happily, Ella opened her bag and laid a little packet of telegrams and letters in Fanny's lap.
"I guess Fenger's pleased, all right, if telegrams mean anything. Not that I know they're from him. But he said--"
But Fanny was looking up from one of them with a startled expression. "He's here. Fenger's here."
"In New York?" asked Ella, rather dully.
"Yes." She ripped open another letter. It was from Theodore. He was coming to New York in August. The Russian tour had been a brilliant success. They had arranged a series of concerts for him in the United States. He could give his concerto there. It was impossible in Russia, Munich, even Berlin, because it was distinctly Jewish in theme--as Jewish as the Kol Nidre, and as somber. They would have none of it in Europe. Prejudice was too strong. But in America! He was happier than he had been in years. Olga objected to coming to America, but she would get over that. The little one was well, and she was learning to talk. Actually! They were teaching her to say Tante Fanny.
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