“I should hope not,” said the Professor. “You needn’t tell me there are such women in the world. She is worse than Lucretia Borgia.”
“Of course she is in the world, Father Professor. You haven’t looked at a woman since mother died, nineteen years ago, so you are not strictly up-to-date.”
“I have hundreds of young women in my classes.”
“Learning Euclid,” interpolated Jarvis.
“Well, Euclid is more desirable than what your heroine learned and taught.”
“Not at all. She learned life.”
The Professor turned to Bambi.
“Have you any ideas in common with this person, my dear?”
“Oh, yes, some. All of us are freebooters in this generation.”
“Why have you never spoken to me of them?”
“Oh, Professor, I never bother you with ideas. Jarvis, I think if you do it over, you could sell it.”
“I hate doing things over—the spontaneity all gone.”
“Well, you’ve got to do it over, that’s all. You’ve murdered that woman, and it is wicked. She must be resuscitated and given another chance.”
“Will you help me?”
She looked at him with a quick flash of pleasure.
“Oh, I would so love to. I can’t help you build it, but I can tell you what I feel is wrong.”
“We will begin to-morrow.”
“Are all your works as extreme as this?” queried the Professor.
“They are all cross-sections of life, which is extreme,” replied Jarvis.
“You young people read riddles into life. It is as simple as two plus two is four.”
“There you are—two plus two does not necessarily make four. It makes five or forty. It depends on the symbols. Nothing in the world is exact, or final. Everything is changeable, fluidic. That’s the whole fabric of modern thought.”
The Professor’s horrified glance was turned upon them.
“Oh, dear, oh, dear, there you go, upsetting everything. You are a pair of maniacs, both of you. You ought to be shut away from people, with your wild ideas.”
He rushed out into his garden, sure of its calm, its mathematical exactness. He was really disturbed by the ultra-modern theories these ardent young iconoclasts forced him to consider.
“Poor Father Professor,” laughed Bambi, at his retreat.
“Why do you let him stay back there in the Middle Ages?”
“He’s happier there. It’s peaceful. Modern times distress him so when he remembers them.”
“I suppose you are not an average family, are you?” he asked.
“I suppose not,” she admitted.
“You are irritating, but interesting.”
“I warn you to let father alone. He’s too old to be hauled up-to-date. Just consider him an interesting survival and let him be.”
“I’ll let him be. I’ll put him in a play. He’s good copy.”
“He’ll never know himself, so it won’t matter.”