“Why, I never expect to leave you forever,” she cried, caressing his scanty hair. “You couldn’t drive me away. This is home, and you’ve been too good to me all these years. I may want to travel after a while, but I’ll always come back to you, Daddy Crow.”
“I’m—I’m mighty glad to hear ye say that, Rosie. Ye see—ye see, me an’ your ma kinder learned to love you, an’—an—”
“Why, Daddy Crow, you silly old goose! You’re almost crying!”
“What’s that? Now, don’t talk like that to me, you little whipper-snapper, er you go to bed in a hurry. I never cried in my life,” growled Anderson in a great bluster.
“Well, then, let’s talk about something else—me, for instance. Do you know, Daddy Crow, that I’m too strong to live an idle life. There is no reason why I shouldn’t have an occupation. I want to work—accomplish something.”
Anderson was silent a long time collecting his nerves. “You wouldn’t keer to be a female detective, would you?” he asked drily.
Rosalie Has Plans of Her Own
“Do be serious, daddy. I want to do something worth while. I could teach school or—”
“Not much! You ain’t cut out fer that job. Don’t you know that ever’body hates school-teachers when they’re growed up? Jerusalem, how I still hate old Rachel Kidwell! An’ yet she’s bin dead nigh onto thirty years. She was my first teacher. You wasn’t born to be hated by all the boys in the district. I don’t see what put the idee of work inter your head You got ’bout eight thousand dollars in the bank an’—”
“But I insist that the money is yours, daddy. My fairy godmother paid it to you for keeping, clothing, and educating me. It is not mine.”
“You talk like I was a boardin’ school instead o’ bein’ your guardeen. No, siree; it’s your money, an’ that ends it. You git it when you’re twenty-one.”
“We’ll see, daddy,” she replied, a stubborn light in her dark eyes. “But I want to learn to do something worth while. If I had a million it would be just the same.”
“You’ll have something to do when you git married,” observed he sharply.
“I s’pose you’re goin’ to say you never expect to git married. They all say it—an’ then take the first feller ’at comes along.”
“I didn’t take the first, or the second, or the third, or the—”
“Hold on! Gosh a’mighty, have you had that many? Well, why don’t you go into the matrimonial agent’s business? That’s an occupation.”
“Oh, none of them was serious, daddy,” she said naively.
“You could have all of the men in the county!” he declared proudly. “Only,” he added quickly, “it wouldn’t seem jest right an’ proper.”
“There was a girl at Miss Brown’s a year ago who had loads of money, and yet she declared she was going to have an occupation. Nobody knew much about her or why she left school suddenly in the middle of a term. I liked her, for she was very nice to me when I first went there, a stranger. Mr. Reddon—you’ve heard me speak of him—was devoted to her, and I’m sure she liked him. It was only yesterday I heard from her. She is going to teach school in this township next winter.”