"Cannery Row" 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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