Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

So our wedding supper was two stale ham sandwiches from the news butcher and a bottle of soda pop, split.

About eleven o'clock we finally reached the Lewis and Clark, where Briney had a reservation for us. The hack driver had apparently never heard of that hotel but was willing to search for it as long as his horse held out. He started away from the depot in the wrong direction. Briney spotted this and stopped him; the driver gave him an argument and some lip. Briney said, ‘Back to the depot; we'll have another hack. ' This ultimatum finally got us there.

I suppose that it was only to be expected that the night clerk had never heard of Briney's reservation. But Brian can't be pushed around and he won't be intimidated. He said, ‘I made my reservation by mail three weeks ago with a postal money order deposit. I have my receipt right here along with a letter of confirmation signed by your manager. Now wake him up and put a stop to this nonsense. ' Briney shoved the letter under the clerk's nose.

The clerk looked at it and said, ‘Oh, that Mr Smith And the bridal suite. Why didn't you say so? '

‘I did say so, ten minutes ago. '

‘I am very sorry, sir. Front! '

Twenty minutes later I was in a wonderful tub of hot, soapy water, just like Chicago six years earlier. I almost fell asleep in the tub, then realised that I was keeping my bridegroom out of the bath, and pulled myself together. ‘Briney! Shall I fill a tub for you? '

No answer. I dried off a bit, wrapped the towel around me, aware that I was a scandalous sight (and a provocative one, I hoped).

My gallant knight was fast asleep, still in his clothes, lying across the bedspread.

There was a silver bucket just inside the door - ice and a bottle of champagne.

I got out my nightgown (virginal white and perfumed; it had been Mother's bridal nightgown) and a pair of bunny slippers. ‘Brian. Briney. Please wake up, dear. I want to help you undress, and open the bed, and get you into it. '

‘Murrf. '

‘Please, dear. '

‘I wasn't asleep. '

‘No, of course not. Let me help you off with your boots. '

‘I c'n get ‘em. ' He sat up and reached for them.

‘Ali right, dear. I must let the water out of the tub, then I'll run a bath for you. '

‘Your water is still in the tub? '

‘Let it be; I'll use it. Mrs Smith, you couldn't get a tub of water dirty; you would just impart a delicious flavour?

Sure enough, my gallant knight did bathe in my bath water (still lukewarm). I climbed into bed. .. and was sound asleep when he came to bed. He did not wake me.

I woke up in darkness about two or three, frightened to find myself in a strange bed - then remembered. ‘Briney? '

‘You awake now? '

‘Awake some. ' I snuggled closer.

Then I sat up and got rid of that nightgown; I was getting bound up in it. And Briney took off his nightshirt, and for the first time both of us were bare all over and it was wonderful and I knew that all my life had just been preparation for this moment.

After an unmeasured time that had started out slowly, we both took fire together - after that, I was lying quietly under him, loving him.

‘Thank you, Briney. You are wonderful. '

‘Thank you. Love you. '

‘Love you, my husband. Briney. Where's your cat? In Cincinnati? In Rolla? '

‘Eh? No, no. In Kansas City. '

‘Here? Boarded with someone? '

‘I don't know:

‘I don't understand. '

‘You haven't picked it out yet, Mo. It's the kitten you're going to give me. Bride's present to the bridegroom. '

- ‘Oh! Briney, you're a scamp! ' I tickled him. He tickled me. It resulted, by stages, in Maureen being disgracefully noisy again. Then I got my back scratched. Having your back scratched is not the only reason to be married, but it is a good one, especially for those spots that are so hard to reach by yourself. Then I secratched his back. We finally went to sleep all tangled up in each other like a basket of kittens.

Maureen had at last found out what she was good for, her true destiny.

We had champagne for breakfast.