“This is an official committee to invite you to be the guests of Mr. William Forsythe on a hay-mooning on Friday next, to start from his home at the hour of seven-thirty, in honor of the birthday of his daughter, Miss Phyllis, who is quite as surprised as the rest of you. The rest of this speech will be continued on that evening.” And he was gone before anybody got any breath again.
That’s what my father meant by showing my friends that he appreciated them.
But Belle Kirby’s expression would make anybody with a sense of humor laugh. Can live coals be showered on a person if nobody ever intended it?
The desire to be popular may be one of the unworthy ambitions of a person’s heart, yet there is nothing in the world so delightful as having it happen to you. And if having almost everybody like you, and show it by being nice and friendly to you on all occasions, makes you happy your own self, how much more happy you are when somebody you love gets a slice of it all along with you!
My father is getting to be one of the beloved men of this town, like Judge Luttrell and the Colonel. It has been going on gradually for some time, but I was afraid to notice it for fear I was mistaken. Such is the result of the sincere prayers of a daughter, and I certainly was sincere in wanting this reform. And better than even his sitting and smoking and joking in the Judge’s office and walking down the street in a friendly manner with Mr. Chadwell is the notice that Mr. Douglass Byrd has been taking of him lately. The Idol has been to see him twice, in the evening, and both times I have heard my father’s jolly laugh boom out in a way the nurse says will have to stop, for it made Mother ask to see him and be ill because she couldn’t. And just day before yesterday Father came up the street with the great inventor, and they both came in and sat with Roxanne and me on the cottage porch to smoke their cigars. Roxanne was just sweet and good and easy with Father like she always is. I don’t believe that girl was ever conscious of her feet and hands and blushes In all her life. I forget mine when I am with her.
Well anyway, Father was delighted with her and showed it plainly. And if he liked her, he was positively funny when he met Lovelace Peyton. The snake-doctor came around the house, as usual galloping on the stick horse, and in one hand he had one of his best bottles full of something awful to look at and that smelled worse, even through the cork.
“Mister,” he said, looking Father gravely and courteously in the face, “you got cholera bad and might die to-night if you don’t take medicine quick. It’s in this bottle; shake it well.” And while the Idol made a grab for him he put that bottle right in Father’s hand and backed off out of reach.
Roxanne was distressed at Father’s having taken that awful smell into his hands, and Mr. Douglass tried to make him give it back to Lovelace Peyton; but Father wrapped it in two handkerchiefs and put it, smell and all, into his pocket.