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Then the house itself: To him, the ocean was a wasteland. She was sick of this adventure. Styles brushed sand from his trousers and turned to go.

Accustomed to judging her own mother prettier than every woman she encountered, Anna was disarmed by the evident glamour of Mrs. As they drove away from Mr. Beyond the windows of an adjacent front room, the sea tingled under a thin winter sun.

Her mother saved exotic feathers from her piecework and used them to trim his hats. Styles has a friend who grows them in a little house made of glass. It was warmed by its own woodstove. To which how to hook up post hole digger replied that his younger daughter had taken sick that morning, and his wife had stayed at home to nurse her.

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He chuckled and pulled flossie flirt pinterest to him. The light had changed, and the playroom felt heavy and dark. His nerves were gone; she had cured them. Anna promised that she would. She was not used to seeing her father nervous.

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If she could just feel it in her arms, she would be satisfied. She heard little of interest. A landscape of lost objects: He had always been in sight. Anna glanced several times at the Flossie Flirt, searching for some pretext to hold the doll without admitting she was interested.

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Holding their hats in the wind, they looked like actors in a silent picture. I just wanted to see what the small one was like. Her father eased the Model J against the curb and turned off the motor. First the ride had distracted her, sailing along Ocean Parkway as if they were headed for Coney Island, although it was four days past Christmas and impossibly cold for the beach.

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A quick survey discovered a Flossie Flirt doll, several large teddy bears, and a rocking horse. Styles was saying goodbye. They sat like adults on their small chairs, cloth napkins in their laps. Styles was a broad, imposing man with brilliantined black hair showing under his hat brim.

She resolved to keep her distance. Nurse had seen, and knew. Eventually, the boys left the train running and went to look at picture books. Dead bodies, her father always added, with a laugh. After lunch, as a reward for their fine behavior, Nurse allowed them to bundle into coats and hats and bolt from a back door along a path that ran behind Mr.

At the sight of her father in the front hall, Anna barely withstood an urge to run to him and hug his legs as she used to do. It was a Lionel train, the quality of the tracks palpable in the resolve with which they interlocked. They always looked, which was as useless when assembling things as studying a picture by touching it.

Miniature waves shrugged up under skins of ice that crackled when she stomped them. She heard him swallow dryly and felt a chirp of worry in her stomach. It had lasted far longer than their sociable visits usually did, and playing a part for the other children had exhausted Anna.

Politely but she hoped without visible awe, Anna accepted a glass of lemonade from a silver tray carried by a Negro maid in a pale blue uniform. It was the last house on the street, which dead-ended at the sea.

Right now that something was Anna. They were nearly home. Anna had been to the docks in winter, many times, but never to a beach.

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Yet there was something obscure about the man, something that worked against the clothing and automobile and even his blunt, deft conversation. Anna fastened the piece that was vexing the boys and took several more from the freshly opened box.

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They ate walnut cookies and watched the electric train race around the figure eight Anna had built, real steam straggling from its miniature smokestack.

Her father rubbed the middle of his forehead, then looked back at her. But never before to a private home like this.

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She had never seen such a toy, could not imagine how much it might cost. There was a feeling she had, standing at its edge: A shadow, a sorrow. Styles crouched beside her on the sand and looked directly into her face.

Some, like her father, might wear either, depending on the day.

He wished his Tabby had gone barefoot, too. Now it belonged to the union, which lent it back for her father to do union business. It was strange and painful to discover that old longing now, in this place. When Tabby left the room to answer a call from her mother, Nurse seized the Flossie Flirt and half flung it at Anna.

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Suppose one hit Lydia? She unrolled her wool stockings and placed her white, bony, long-for-her-age feet in the icy water. There was no sign of Mr. Anna guessed from the broad lay of her face and the merry switch of her eyes that Nurse was Irish, and felt a danger of being seen through.

In the end it was always the two of them in motion, Anna drifting on a tide of sleepy satisfaction. Anna watched the sea. A long arc of snow-dusted sand tilted down to the sea. Her father drove one-handed, a cigarette cocked between two fingers at the wheel, the other arm around Anna.