فصل 04

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فصل 04

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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4

Two different kinds of father

‘Jenny he isn’t going to be President of the USA, after all!’

We were driving back to Harvard.

‘You still weren’t very nice to him about it, Oliver.’

‘I said “Well done”!’

‘Ha! Oliver, why are you so unkind to your father? You hurt him all the time.’

‘It’s impossible to hurt Oliver Barrett the Third.’

‘No, it isn’t - if you marry Jennifer Cavilled . . . Oliver, I know you love me. But in a strange way you want me because I’m not a suitable woman for a Barrett to marry.

You are rebelling against your father.’

My father said the same thing a few days later when we had lunch together at the Harvard Club in Boston.

‘Son, you’re in too much of a hurry. The young lady herself is fine. The problem is you. You are rebelling, and you know it.’

‘Father, what worries you most about her? That she’s Italian? Or that she’s poor?’

‘What do you like most about her?’

‘I’m leaving.’

‘Stay and talk like a man.’ I stayed. Old Stonyface liked that. He’s won again, I thought angrily.

‘Wait a while, son,’ Oliver Barrett the Third continued.

‘That’s all I ask. Finish law school.’

‘Why do I have to wait?’ I was rebelling now.

‘Oliver, you are stilJ under twenty-one. In the eyes of the law you are not yet an adult.’

‘Stop talking like a lawyer, dammit!’

‘If you marry her now, you will get nothing from me.’

‘Father, you’ve got nothing that I want.’

I walked out of his club and out of his life.

After that, I was not looking forward to meeting Jenny’s father. She was his only child and her mother was dead. She meant a lot to him . . . I could see a lot of problems there.

And I was penniless. How is Mr Cavilleri going to feel, I thought, when he hears that young Barrett can’t support his daughter? Worse, she will have to work as a teacher to support him while he is at law school!

As we drove down to Cranston on that Sunday in May, I worried a lot about Mr Cavilleri’s feelings.

‘Tell me again, Jen.’

‘OK. I telephoned him, and he said OK.’

‘But what does he mean by “OK”?’

‘Are you trying to tell me that Harvard Law School has accepted a man who doesn’t know the meaning of “OK”?’

‘It isn’t a word that lawyers use much, Jen. Just tell me again. Please.’

‘He knows you’re poor, and he doesn’t mind. Stop worrying, Oliver.’

Jenny lived on Hamilton Street. It was a long line of wooden houses with children playing in front of them, and whole families sitting on their front steps. I felt like a stranger in a strange land as I parked the MG outside 189A Hamilton Street. Mr Cavilleri’s handshake was warm and strong.

‘How do you do, sir?’ I said.

‘I’m Phil,’ he said.

‘Phil, sir.’ It was a frightening moment. Then Mr Cavilleri turned to his daughter. Suddenly they were in each other’s arms, laughing and crying and kissing. I felt like a stranger.

For some time I did not have to speak much. ‘Don’t speak with your mouth full,’ my family had told me when I was a child. Phil and his daughter kept my mouth full all afternoon. I don’t know how many Italian cakes I ate. Both Cavilleris were very pleased.

‘He’s OK,’ said Phil at last.

‘I told you he was OK,’ said his daughter.

‘Well, I had to see for myself. Now I’ve seen him. Oliver—’

‘Yes, sir?’

‘Call me Phil. You’re OK.’

Later Phil tried to have a serious talk with me. He thought he could bring Oliver Barrett the Third and Oliver Barrett the Fourth together again.

‘Let me speak to him on the telephone,’ he said. ‘A father’s love is a very special thing . . . ‘

‘There isn’t much of it in my family,’ I said.

‘Your father will soon realize,’ he began. ‘When it’s time to go to the church—’

‘Phil,’ said Jenny gently, ‘we don’t want to be married in church.’

He looked surprised, then unhappy. But he spoke bravely.

‘It’s your wedding, children. You choose. It’s OK by me.’

My next meeting was with the Head of Harvard Law School.

‘I’ll need a scholarship for next year, sir,’ I said politely.

‘A scholarship? I don’t understand. Your father—’

‘My father has nothing to do with it, sir. We’ve had a disagreement, and he isn’t supporting me any more.’ The Head took off his glasses, then put them on again. I continued, ‘That’s why I’ve come here to see you, sir. I’m getting married next month. We’re both going to work during the summer. Then Jenny will support us by teaching.

But her teaching won’t pay enough to send me to law school.

Sir, I need a scholarship. I have no money in the bank.’

‘Mr Barrett, our scholarships are for poor people. And it’s too late to ask for one. I do not wish to enter into a family disagreement, but I think you should go and talk to your father again.’

‘Oh no!’ I said angrily. ‘I am not, repeat not, going back to my father to ask for money!’

When Jenny graduated from university that summer, all her relations came from Cranston to watch. We didn’t tell them about our marriage plans because we wanted a quiet wedding, and didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I graduated from Harvard the next day. Was Oliver the Third there in the university hall? I don’t know. I didn’t look for Old Stonyface in the crowd. I gave my parents’ tickets to Jenny and Phil, but as an old Harvard man my father could sit with the Class of ‘26. But why should he want to? I mean, weren’t the banks open that day?

The wedding was on the next Sunday. It was very quiet and very beautiful. Phil was there, of course, and my friend Ray Stratton. Jenny and I spoke about our love for each other and promised to stay together until death. Ray gave me the ring and soon Oliver Barrett the Fourth and Jennifer Cavilleri were man and wife.

We had a small party afterwards, just the four of us. Then Ray and Phil went home and Jenny and I were alone together.

‘Jenny, we’re really married!’

‘Yes. Now I can be as terrible to you as I like!’

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