Chapter 15 Summary
Only Scripps, Mandy, Diana, and the "drummer" are sitting in the beanery now. The drummer also eventually leaves. Mandy is talking to Scripps, leaning on the counter. Scripps has his eyes fixed on her. Diana is not listening or even pretending to. She knows it is over but decides to make one more attempt. She addresses him, and he answers her shortly, asking what is on her mind. She asks if he would like to go home now. The new papers have arrived. She begs him to come home with her. Scripps looks up, and Diana thinks that perhaps he is going to come home after all. She tells him that there is an article by Mencken, whom he used to enjoy. Scripps refuses to leave, saying that he no longer cares for Mencken. Diana’s head drops. She knows now that she has lost him. She sits crying silently while Mandy begins talking again.
Suddenly Diana sits up; she has one last request to make. She knows he might refuse her, but she still must ask. She asks if she may take the bird home with her. He agrees carelessly. She picks up the birdcage in which the bird is fast asleep. She thinks that he looks like an old osprey from her home in the Lake Country. She thanks Scripps and leaves. She takes the birdcage and the copy of The Mercury magazine, gives one last backward glance at Scripps, and leaves. Scripps does not even notice she is gone, he is so intent on what Mandy is saying.
Mandy asks Scripps about the bird Diana just took. Scripps is mildly surprised to learn that she took the bird. Mandy reminds Scripps that he used to wonder what kind of bird it was, which reminds her of a story. A friend of hers, Ford, was stationed in England at a marquis’s castle. He was sitting in the library one night and noticed a stuffed flamingo in the middle of the wall. Scripps says that the English know about interior decoration. Mandy asks Scripps if his wife was English, and Scripps tells her she was from the Lake Country. Mandy continues with her story. Ford was interrupted by the marquis’s guests, who wanted to see the library. Gosse, one of the guests, looked at the flamingo and pronounced that it was in no way his idea of a flamingo. The other guest, a professor, replied, “No, Gosse, that’s God’s idea of a flamingo.” As Mandy finishes her story, Scripps tells her that he loves her and that she is his woman. Mandy says that she has known he was her man for a long time. She tells him another story, but all Scripps can think of is how many women he has. As he listens to Mandy talk, he thinks of the squaw who had been thrown out into the night. He tries to listen, but his mind keeps wandering out into the night.