Susan of the WAVES by Allen Eppes

Clipped from US, California, Oxnard, Oxnard Press Courier, October 16, 1943

reUirc ly»41f»t*sheSusan Esterbrook, New forkclamour cirl. la seriously consid-erin* Joining tbe Wuct or ttM Waves, partly booauae she wants to emulate tbe patriotism of ber favorite cousin. Rankin, wbo Is overseas. Sbe turns down proposals of manlaye from Pierre Dupre. a Fighting Frenchman.from Dick Craig, a yonnc manwbo has a Washington war Job. At a canteen for servicemen, she is attracted to Harvey Rogers, a young flyer, because be looks Uke Rankin. She Invites him to tbe Ester brook borne for dinner. Her father, tbe owner of a war plant. Is deeply Impressed by Harvey and asks blm to come oat to the plant and speak to tbe workers.After dinner, while Susan andSusan Ufted ber tear-stained face. -Forgive me. Harvey.” said. -I’m a fine example of anAmerican girl facing a war, But Rankin was all wound up with my life.”1 understand,** said Harveywill go now. I know you and y folks will want to be alone.**like those, in uniformSusan1ftThey got up and walked silently to the front hall. There. Mr. and Mrs. Esterbrook Joined them.“1 wish I could find words. said Harvey to express my sympathy But I never was good at saying things. Writing them was easier. When he had gone. Susan turnedto her parents.“That settles it?*’ she said, hervoice tense. *T’m joining theWAVES!But. Susan, her mother pro9#Harvey are In the conservatory. Mrs. Esterbrook suddenly appears, white and trembling, bolding a telegram In her band. It announces that Ranklu has been killed.upset.sayingOh, yes. I do!Susanmgoing to get into a uniform and and make someone pay for what's been done to Rankin.** She was a bit hysterical and knew It. but she was nonetheless sincere and determined. Please don't try to argue with me. Mother, nor you. Dad.CHAPTER VI USAN took the telegramthenbothnofatherI shan’! she sobbedNokissedDon't Susan, her mothersaid. “Please!THE next morning, when Susan arose, she was still sad and sobs that heartsick. She had slept very little.But Susan paid noteat sobs shook herattentionMrs. Esterbrookthose. oncetore at her throat, ins arm about heihead against hU shoulder, trying to comfort her.It’s not fair. Busan said chokingly. He had ao much to live tor Ht was so young. Oh. Harvey. 1can't bear It—1 can’t!There, there, darling! Harveysoothed her. the endearment seem* mg perfectly natural.U kst her a glass of sherry. Mm. laterbrook said.She gave a last look at net daughter in the arm* of an almost total stranger, and hurried out.Harvey slipped. He held herand hud been troubled when she did sleep by dreams o! uu-flung battle-froms — dreams through which Rankin Esterbrook moved.After such a night she welcomedthe morning unci the pule Miniumthat pushed wan fingers throughthe slats of the Venetian blind*.Her mother came m wlulc shewas dressingNow. listen Susan she bee tn. bagthis mining up idea of vour u uueriv absurd, ana—I tee nothing at all absurdabout it.pieass lot's not discuss it.Busan interrupted. AndWeeping will do no good. shesaid, as gently as she could. But if you must shed tears, shed them for Rankin—not for me.Poor dear Rankin. her mothersaid. He was as determined as you are. If he’d stayed and worked in the factory with your father, he wouldn’t haveRankin did just what any young man would have done. Susan cut in. My heart aches for him, and 1*1) miss him beyond words, but I wouldn't have had him do otherwise.I can't see why you don’t go on helping at the canteen, or sell bonds, or something, and marry Dick. You’d be happy In Washing* ton. said her mother.I would not, said Susan. Sometimes 1 think 1 shall neverbe happy again.Nonsense i You’re young, and youth forgets quickly.Perhaps in your generation of young people. said Susan, but not mine. Don't forget we were born during a war period, and ws Uvcd through depression days.Then there's Pierre. her mo*ther said, apparently not havingpaid the slightest attention to whatBusan had said, Any girl mightfind happiness in a villa. Pkrre'fvery nice.You dldnt think so a whllsback. Busan reminded her. ButI suppose any old port in a stormsuite you. In other words, you'd rather I'd marry almost anyone than get into the scrap.Of course not I Mrs. Esterbrook said. But, Susan, can't you aeethat—-**Let's not go over it all again.* Susan pleaded. I’m late. I want to grab a bite, and walk down tothe aubway with Dad.She caught up her hat, coat, ana and walked out.WAVES are even allowed to serve overseas. said 8usan. I’ll findthat out this morning.You mean you're going to—to Join up today?**I’m going to take the first steps I toward doing so.Oh. 8usan. how can you be soobstinate 1** Mrs. Esterbrook founda handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes. You’re selfish—that’s what you are.**SU8AN found herself hardeningdeep down inside. Once her mother’s tears might have been ef-l win uiacuas it, ner inutneisaid determinedly. **I have a right to do so. You're my daughter, and it's my duty to try to dissuade you from making a mistake.**“I’m not making a mistake. Susan retorted. And even though I am your daughter, r tn twenty-four, a woman in years, and an individual on my own.Mrs. Esterbrook sighed. She watched Susan draw on her thin nsive stockings, and shook her mournfully.)u'U not be able to wear hose she said. once you'reallze that. Susan, black cotton stock-Mrs. Esterbrook exclaimed _ ... t too much for —for even Uncle Sam to ask of a girl!**Calm yourself Mother. Susan said, pushing a foot into a trim slippei. The WAVES do nof wear black cotton hose. How Uke her blessed, frivolous-minded parent to harp on that angle!you. my only child, going overseas!’* said her mother. It breaks my heart.not auite certain thebe continued*was gonegone(The sharoctet* i* thie serial artget if lout iIMA Sf Orustfte rusutsiae Oe.i