But even in your sorrow
you must be very proud to have been
the mother of such a son....
I am a Wisconsin girl—Madison.
When this is over and I come
home will you let me see you so that I may tell you more than
I can possibly write?
It was in March, six months later, that Marian King came. They had hoped for it, but never expected it. And she came. Four people were waiting in the living room of the big Baldwin house overlooking the river. Flora and her husband, Adele and Aunt Sophy. They sat, waiting. Now and then Adele would rise, nervously, and go to the window that faced the street. Flora was weeping with audible sniffs. Baldwin sat in his chair frowning a little, a dead cigar in one corner of his mouth. Only Aunt Sophy sat quietly, waiting.
There was little conversation. None in the last five minutes. Flora broke the silence, dabbing at her face with her handkerchief as she spoke.
“Sophy, how can you sit there like that? Not that I don’t envy you. I do. I remember I used to feel sorry for you. I used to say, ’Poor Sophy.’ But you unmarried ones are the happiest, after all. It’s the married woman who drinks the cup to the last bitter drop. There you sit, Sophy, fifty years old, and life hasn’t even touched you. You don’t know how cruel life is.”
Suddenly, “There!” said Adele. The other three in the room stood up and faced the door. The sound of a motor stopping outside. Daniel Oakley’s hearty voice: “Well, it only took us five minutes from the station. Pretty good.”
Footsteps down the hall. Marian King stood in the doorway. They faced her, the four—Baldwin and Adele and Flora and Sophy. Marian King stood a moment, uncertainly, her eyes upon them. She looked at the two older women with swift, appraising glance. Then she came into the room, quickly, and put her two hands on Aunt Sophy’s shoulders and looked into her eyes straight and sure.