Edna Ferber: Fanny Herself


Fanny told herself, before she went to bed Saturday night, that she hoped it would rain Sunday morning from seven to twelve. But when Princess woke her at seven-thirty, as per instructions left in penciled scrawl on the kitchen table, she turned to the window at once, and was glad, somehow, to find it sun-flooded. Princess, if you're mystified, was royal in name only--a biscuit-tinted lady, with a very black and no-account husband whose habits made it necessary for Princess to let herself into Fanny's four-room flat at seven every morning, and let herself out at eight every evening. She had an incredibly soft and musical voice, had Princess, and a cooking hand. She kept Fanny mended, fed and comfortable, and her only cross was that Fanny's taste in blouses (ultimately her property) ran to the severe and tailored.

"Mawnin', Miss Fanny. There's a gep'mun waitin' to see yo'."

Fanny choked on a yawn. "A what!"

"Gep'mun. Says yo-all goin' picnickin'. He's in the settin' room, a-lookin' at yo' pictchah papahs. Will Ah fry yo' up a li'l chicken to pack along? San'wiches ain't no eatin' fo' Sunday."

Fanny flung back her covers, swung around to the side of the bed, and stood up, all, seemingly, in one sweeping movement. "Do you mean to tell me he's in there, now?"

From the sitting room. "I think I ought to tell you I can hear everything you're saying. Say. Fanny, those sketches of yours are---- Why, Gee Whiz! I didn't know you did that kind of thing. This one here, with that girl's face in the crowd----"

"For heaven's sake!" Fanny demanded, "what are you doing here at seven-thirty? And I don't allow people to look at those sketches. You said eight-thirty."

"I was afraid you'd change your mind, or something. Besides, it's now twenty-two minutes to eight. And will you tell the lady that's a wonderful idea about the chicken? Only she'd better start now."

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