“Clark,” she said softly, “I wouldn’t change you for the world. You’re sweet the way you are. The things that’ll make you fail I’ll love always– the living in the past, the lazy days and nights you have, and all your carelessness and generosity.”
“But you’re goin’ away?”
“Yes– because I couldn’t ever marry you. You’ve a place in my heart no one else ever could have, but tied down here I’d get restless. I’d feel I was– wastin’ myself. There’s two sides to me, you see. There’s the sleepy old side you love; an’ there’s a sort of energy– the feelin’ that makes me do wild things. That’s the part of me that may be useful somewhere, that’ll last when I’m not beautiful any more.” She broke off with characteristic suddenness and sighed, “Oh, sweet cooky!” as her mood changed. Half closing her eyes and tipping back her head till it rested on the seat-back she let the savory breeze fan her eyes and ripple the fluffy curls of her bobbed hair. They were in the country now, hurrying between tangled growths of brightgreen coppice and grass and tall trees that sent sprays of foliage to hang a cool welcome over the road. Here and there they passed a battered negro cabin, its oldest white-haired inhabitant smoking a corncob pipe beside the door, and half a dozen scantily clothed pickaninnies parading tattered dolls on the wild-grown grass in front. Farther out were lazy cottonfields, where even the workers seemed intangible shadows lent by the sun to the earth, not for toil, but to while away some age-old tradition in the golden September fields. And round the drowsy picturesqueness, over the trees and shacks and muddy rivers, flowed the heat, never hostile, only comforting, like a great warm nourishing bosom for the infant earth. “Sally Carrol, we’re here!” “Poor chile’s soun’ asleep.”
“The Ice Palace” is a modernist short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in The Saturday Evening Post, 22 May 1920. It is one of eight short stories originally published in Fitzgerald’s first collection, Flappers and Philosophers (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920), and is also included in the collection Babylon Revisited and Other Stories (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1960).
Sally Carrol Happer, a young southern woman from the fictional city of Tarleton, Georgia, is bored with her unchanging environment. Her local friends are dismayed to learn she is engaged to Harry Bellamy, a man from an unspecified Northern town. She brushes off their concerns, alluding to her need for something more in her life, a need to see “things happen on a big scale.”
Sally Carrol travels to the North during the winter to visit Harry’s home town and meet his family. The winter weather underscores her growing disillusion with the decision to move north, until her moment of epiphany in the town’s local “Ice Palace”. In the end, Sally Carrol returns home.
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