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The Christmas Tree Essay

2464 words - 10 pages

Swain didn’t know what to wear to the wedding, so he consulted Mrs. Ford for advice. As always, she took the helm. She borrowed a suit from her son's closet that fit perfectly. Although they were close to the same size as her son, his shoes were too big for Swain. Magically, a dressy pair of shoes owned by husband came out of another closet and fit perfectly.
Mrs. Ford was the watchdog of the neighborhood and mentioned that she had seen the attractive redhead with glasses pick him up the other week in a car. She joked about Swain having a lady friend. Swain took it in stride. The story was that he had met her on one of his business trips, and she lived in a small village on the north side of London.
Without a cloud in the cerulean sky, Swain sat on his step, enjoying the day with his overnight valise next to him. The valise dotted with stickers from countries that he had never visited. A chauffeur stopped the elegant car in front of his cottage. Swain grabbed his valise, hurried down the walkway, and closed the small white picket fence gate to his yard behind him. The chauffer stood by the open car door and took his valise. He said, “Sir.” His face was as staunch as the guards at Buckingham Palace were. After Swain climbed in, he shut the door, deposited his valise in the trunk, and began their journey.
Ruth sat in an attractive blue dress with flouncy ruffles. She said, “Why, Mr. Swain, you look absolutely dashing.” She affectedly blinked her eyes at him.
Swain immediately felt self-conscious. Ruth put her hand on his arm. She said in a low voice for the chauffer not to overhear. “Please don’t take my comment too seriously. We’re supposed to be a couple today. Please remember that when we are at the wedding.” Her hand didn’t linger on his arm. At least she wasn’t a floozy, looking for the next man to capture.
On the ride, Swain noted that they were going east. They cordially spoke of the recent bad weather, the war, and the beautiful scenery out the car window. As they drove into Colchester, Swain knew this had to be the area for his contact—RAF Boxted Air Station.
The wedding was an outdoor affair. Although nippy out, it was a perfect day for a wedding; the sun was shining brightly in a cloudless sky. Ruth didn’t seem to notice the cool weather. When they got out of the car in front of the old estate, she handed Swain her blue knitted shawl. With the shawl wrapped over one arm, he greeted those introduced to him. When they seated themselves for the ceremony, Swain observed that all the men in RAF uniforms were friends of the grooms. The groom was in a RAF uniform instead of a tuxedo. The intimate look in the bride and groom’s eyes during the ceremony moved Swain. After the ceremony, the open-air tents were flooded with people. When Swain went to get glasses of punch and expected someone to pull him over to the side for a secret meeting. But throughout the reception, no one stopped him. The stuffy women at the table dropped comments about Ruth...

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