by John Steinbeck
Nearing the end of
the book now... Doc's friends
are giving him a surprise party about which he knows everything
except what time. As he waits for them to arrive and surprise
him, he "tidies" the Lab and allows himself the luxury
of enjoying his mood rather than trying to "shake" it.
Over at the laboratory, Doc had a little
whisky after his beer. He was feeling a little mellow. It seemed
a nice thing to him that they would give him a party . He played
the Pavane to a Dead Princess and felt sentimental and
a little sad. And because of his feeling he went on with Daphnis
and Chloe. There was a passage in it that reminded him of
something else. The observers in Athens before Marathon reported
seeing a great line of dust crossing the Plain, and they heard
the clash of arms and they heard the Eleusinian Chant. There was
part of the music that reminded him of that picture.
When it was done he got another whisky and he debated
in his mind about the Brandenburg. That would snap him
out of the sweet and sickly mood he was getting into. But what
was wrong with the sweet and sickly mood? It was rather pleasant.
"I can play anything I want," he said aloud. "I
can play Clair de Lune or The Maiden with Flaxen Hair.
I'm a free man."
He poured a whisky and drank it. And he compromised
with the Moonlight Sonata.
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