“Very little unless it’s the scenery along the bluff,” he replied, with the depression sounding still more clearly in his voice and his shoulders drooped against the unsympathetic old stone post in a way that sent a pang to my heart.
“Jamie, is all you’ve got tied up in the venture?” I asked softly, using the name that a very small I had given him in a long ago when the world was young and not full of problems.
“That’s not the worst, Evelina,” he answered in a voice that was positively haggard. “But what belongs to the rest of the family is all in the same leaky craft. Carruthers put Sallie’s in himself, but I invested the mites belonging to the others. Of course, as far as the old folks are concerned, I can more than take care of them, and if anything happens there’s enough life insurance and to spare for them. I don’t feel exactly responsible for Sallie’s situation, but I do feel the responsibility of their helplessness. Sallie is not fitted to cope with the world and she ought to be well provided for. I feel that more and more every day. Her helplessness is very beautiful and tender, but in a way tragic, don’t you think?”
I wish I had dared tell him for the second time that day what I did think on the subject but I denied myself such frankness.
Anyway, men are just stupid, faithful children—some of them faithful, I mean.
I felt that if I stood there talking with the Crag any longer, I might grow pedagogical and teach him a few things so I sent him home across the road. I knew all six women would stay awake until they heard him lock them in, come down to the lodge and lock his own door.
It is very unworthy of me to enjoy his playing a watch-dog of tradition across the road to an emancipated woman like myself. The situation both keeps me awake and puts me to sleep—and it is sweet, though I don’t know why.
God never made anything more wonderful than a good man,—even a stupid one. Lights out!
MAX AND THE ASAFETIDA SPOON
I do wish the great man who is discovering how to put people into some sort of metaphysical pickle that will suspend their animations until he gets ready to wake them up, would hurry up with his investigations, so he can catch Sallie before she begins to fade or wilt. Sallie, just as she is, brought to life about five generations from now, would cause a sensation.
Some women are so feminine that they are sticky, unless well spiced with deviltry. Sallie’s loveliness hasn’t much seasoning. Still, I do love her dearly, and I am just as much her slave as are any of the others. I can’t get out of it.
“Do you suppose we will ever get all of the clothes done for the twins?” Nell sighed gently as we sat on my porch whipping yards of lace upon white ruffles and whipping up our own spirits at the same time. Everybody in Glendale sews for Sallie’s children and it takes her all her time to think up the clothes.