“That’s right, you ask him; but be sure to tell him that I want it to be that way. Morton won’t make any fuss about it. I guess you do enough work for him. What’s he paying you, Daniel?”
“Eighteen hundred since he got the paper-mill receivership.”
She made no comment, but received the intelligence in silence. He knew from the characteristic quick movement of her eyelids that she was pondering the equity of this carefully; and his loyalty to Bassett asserting itself, he added, defensively:—
“It’s more than I could begin to make any other way; and he’s really generous about my time—he’s made it plain that he wants me to keep up my reading.”
“They don’t read much after they’re admitted, do they? I thought when you got admitted you knew it all.”
“Not if you mean to be a real lawyer,” said Dan, smiling.
“Well, I guess you had better go now. I don’t want to leave Sylvia alone up there, poor little girl. I’ll let you know when to come back.”
A SURPRISE AT THE COUNTRY CLUB
“That’s all right. I shall be glad to have you serve Mrs. Owen in any way. It’s a good deal of a compliment that she thought of you in that connection. Go ahead, and call on me if I can help you. You’ll have to furnish local bondsmen. See what’s required and let me know.”
Such was Bassett’s reply when Harwood asked his permission to serve as administrator of Andrew Kelton’s estate. Bassett was a busy man, and his domestic affairs often gave him concern. He had talked to Harwood a good deal about Marian, several times in fits of anger at her extravagance. His wife retired fitfully to sanatoriums, and he had been obliged to undertake the supervision of his children’s schooling. Blackford was safe for the time in a military school, and Marian had been tutored for a year at home. The idea of a college course for Marian had been, since Sylvia appeared, a mania with Mrs. Bassett. Marian had not the slightest interest in the matter, and Bassett was weary of the struggle, and sick of the idea, that only by a college career for her could Mrs. Owen’s money be assured to his children. Mrs. Bassett being now at a rest cure in Connecticut, and Bassett, much away from home, and seeing nothing to be gained by keeping his daughter at Fraserville, had persuaded Miss Waring to take her as a special student, subject to the discipline of the school, but permitted to elect her own studies. It was only because Bassett was a man she liked to please that the principal accepted Marian, now eighteen years old, on this anomalous basis. Marian was relieved to find herself freed of the horror of college, but she wished to be launched at once upon a social career; and the capital and not Fraserville must be the scene of her introduction. Bassett was merely tiding over the difficult situation until his wife should be able to deal with it. Marian undoubtedly wheedled her father a good deal in the manner of handsome and willful daughters. She had rarely experienced his anger; but the remembrance of these occasions rose before her as the shadowy background of any filial awe she may be said to have had.