Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Penrod & Sam)


After finishing up Penrod by Booth Tarkington. I quickly ordered the next book in the series, Penrod and Sam which we have thoroughly enjoyed. In this scene Penrod has just been give $2 and he sets off to buy a horn, which had recently become his greatest desire to have.

After thirty-five minutes after two, Wednesday afternoon, Uncle Joe's train came into the station, and Uncle Joe got out and shouted among his relatives. At eighteen minutes before three he was waving to them from the platform of the last car, having just slipped a two-dollar bill into Penrod's breast-pocket. And, at seven minutes after three, Penrod opened the door of the largest "music store" in town. 

A tall, exquisite, fair man, evidently a musical earl, stood before him, leaning whimsically upon a piano of the highest polish. The sight abashed Penrod not a bit--his remarkable financial condition even made him rather peremptory. 

"See here," he said brusquely: "I want to look at that big horn in the window."

"Very well, said the earl; "look at it." And he leaned more luxuriously upon the polished piano. 

"I meant--" Penrod began, but paused, something daunted, while an unnamed fear brought greater mildness into his voice, as he continued. "I meant--I----- How much is that big horn?" 

 "How much?" the earl repeated. 

 "I mean," said Penrod, "how much is it worth?" 

 "I don't know," the earl returned. "Its price is eighty-five dollars." 

 "Eighty-five----" Penrod began mechanically, but was forced to pause and swallow a little air the obstructed his throat, as the difference between eighty-five and two became more and more startling. He has entered the store, rich; in the last ten seconds he had become poverty-stricken. Eighty-five dollars was the same as eighty-five millions. (pp. 295-296)

This description made us all laugh, but I think it truly does describe how a kids (and adults) feel when their heart's desire is so far removed from reality.

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