Babbitt

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Author: Sinclair Lewis

II

Mrs. Babbitt returned in August.

On her previous absences he had missed her reassuring buzz and of her arrival he had made a fete. Now, though he dared not hurt her by letting a hint of it appear in his letters, he was sorry that she was coming before he had found himself, and he was embarrassed by the need of meeting her and looking joyful.

He loitered down to the station; he studied the summer-resort posters, lest he have to speak to acquaintances and expose his uneasiness. But he was well trained. When the train clanked in he was out on the cement platform, peering into the chair-cars, and as he saw her in the line of passengers moving toward the vestibule he waved his hat. At the door he embraced her, and announced, "Well, well, well, well, by golly, you look fine, you look fine." Then he was aware of Tinka. Here was something, this child with her absurd little nose and lively eyes, that loved him, believed him great, and as he clasped her, lifted and held her till she squealed, he was for the moment come back to his old steady self.

Tinka sat beside him in the car, with one hand on the steering-wheel, pretending to help him drive, and he shouted back to his wife, "I’ll bet the kid will be the best chuffer in the family! She holds the wheel like an old professional!"

All the while he was dreading the moment when he would be alone with his wife and she would patiently expect him to be ardent.

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Chicago: Sinclair Lewis, "II," Babbitt in Babbitt (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922), Original Sources, accessed February 21, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q87JXQDJZGR6VTW.

MLA: Lewis, Sinclair. "II." Babbitt, in Babbitt, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922, Original Sources. 21 Feb. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q87JXQDJZGR6VTW.

Harvard: Lewis, S, 'II' in Babbitt. cited in 1922, Babbitt, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 21 February 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q87JXQDJZGR6VTW.