What do you mean?
Watering the plants. Isn’t that what you meant?
You aren’t watering the plants. I’ve
been watching you for half an hour.
If you only would! But you keep forgetting what you are at.
I wish it were only forgetting—it’s remembering.
Oh Roger, don’t I know? But you mustn’t!
I suppose not. I suppose not.
I knew all along, and I kept away. How you felt, I mean. I ought to have come over a week ago. You haven’t anybody to talk to—that’s the trouble, Roger, really. I know. Now let’s have the whole thing out. Come. And don’t be afraid of me. Why, I could tie you all up in bandages if you needed it. And not flinch.
Yes, I guess you could.... It’s, it’s absurd how well I keep!
Hm. Isn’t it? You ought to be wilting away like a rose. But no, you keep your splendid strength and go on with two or three men’s work! What would your mother think if she heard you talking like that? Don’t you know that you couldn’t please her better than by going on as you are?
That’s so. Of course. But that really isn’t what I was thinking of. I was thinking how queer this whole business is. Take our family. As far back as I know we were always struggling along with many children and few means. I am the first one who could really make money. And just when I could make mother comfortable and easy ... besides, I’m all alone.
Ah, Roger, of course you feel that way! But you don’t really appreciate that wonderful mother of yours. Do you think her happiness depended on having a new house, and a car?
Didn’t she round out her life beautifully? Wasn’t she repaid for her struggles by seeing you succeed? Didn’t she pass away as quietly as going to sleep? And wasn’t her marriage happy? You don’t know how much a woman will meet with, if she’s happy!
That part of it I can face all right, though I suppose it’s hard for the ordinary selfish man to realize that love like mother’s is its own reward. But toward the end she suffered—she worried....