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The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories.

At last the Saturday came, and the Weekly Sagamore arrived.  Mrs. Eversly Bennett was present.  She was the Presbyterian parson’s wife, and was working the Fosters for a charity.  Talk now died a sudden death—­on the Foster side.  Mrs. Bennett presently discovered that her hosts were not hearing a word she was saying; so she got up, wondering and indignant, and went away.  The moment she was out of the house, Aleck eagerly tore the wrapper from the paper, and her eyes and Sally’s swept the columns for the death-notices.  Disappointment!  Tilbury was not anywhere mentioned.  Aleck was a Christian from the cradle, and duty and the force of habit required her to go through the motions.  She pulled herself together and said, with a pious two-per-cent. trade joyousness: 

“Let us be humbly thankful that he has been spared; and—­”

“Damn his treacherous hide, I wish—­”

“Sally!  For shame!”

“I don’t care!” retorted the angry man.  “It’s the way you feel, and if you weren’t so immorally pious you’d be honest and say so.”

Aleck said, with wounded dignity: 

“I do not see how you can say such unkind and unjust things.  There is no such thing as immoral piety.”

Sally felt a pang, but tried to conceal it under a shuffling attempt to save his case by changing the form of it—­as if changing the form while retaining the juice could deceive the expert he was trying to placate.  He said: 

“I didn’t mean so bad as that, Aleck; I didn’t really mean immoral piety, I only meant—­meant—­well, conventional piety, you know; er—­shop piety; the—­the—­why, you know what I mean.  Aleck—­the—­well, where you put up that plated article and play it for solid, you know, without intending anything improper, but just out of trade habit, ancient policy, petrified custom, loyalty to—­to—­hang it, I can’t find the right words, but you know what I mean, Aleck, and that there isn’t any harm in it.  I’ll try again.  You see, it’s this way.  If a person—­”

“You have said quite enough,” said Aleck, coldly; “let the subject be dropped.”

I’m willing,” fervently responded Sally, wiping the sweat from his forehead and looking the thankfulness he had no words for.  Then, musingly, he apologized to himself.  “I certainly held threes —­I know it—­but I drew and didn’t fill.  That’s where I’m so often weak in the game.  If I had stood pat—­but I didn’t.  I never do.  I don’t know enough.”

Confessedly defeated, he was properly tame now and subdued.  Aleck forgave him with her eyes.

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