Sunday, November 24, 2013

You know well enough how grateful I am

“Isaac my dear, you know well enough how grateful I am—”
“Becky my dear,” he says, with a note of disdain. “What I know is this: Anyone else in my position would have at his disposal at least two or three legally registered wives, not to mention a respectably large harem, full of concubines—”
Being a practical woman, she decides to ignore that. “Fine, then,” she says. “So now, dear: How about giving me some means of transportation? The rich women, I hear, those in the cities along the coast, in Ashdod and also in Ashkelon, they have started to buy new automobiles. And I, I live here in the desert but still, Isaac, I come from nobility, you know, from one of the richest families in the land.”
“What kind of transportation?”
“A camel, for instance,” she says. “Two humps, or more, as well as a driver or two, or more; and four leather saddles, the soft kind, of course. It would be but a small token, a token of prestige—”
“For goodness sake,” he groans. “It’s a camel you’re talking about—not a Rolls Royce!”
“I see,” she says. “You don’t love me anymore.”
For the first time in the conversation, his voice softens. “Don’t cry, Becky,” he pleads. “I love you. I will always love you—”
I imagine she must be smiling through the tears. “In that case,” she says, “I will always take such good care of you.”

Rebecca and Isaac, in A Favorite Son

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