During the discussion Alice had dried her eyes and was listening to her uncle’s words. She now asked a question, “When will women vote, Uncle?”
“When it is deemed expedient for them to do so,” replied Uncle Ike. “The full privilege will not be given all at once. They will probably be allowed to vote on some one matter in which they are deeply interested. Education and the rum question are the ones most likely to be acted upon first. But the full ballot will not come, and now I know Alice will shake her head and say, ‘No!’ I repeat it—the full ballot will not come for woman until our social superstructure is changed. Woman will not become the political equal of man until she is his social and industrial equal; and until any contract of whatever nature made by a man and a woman may be dissolved by them by mutual consent, without their becoming criminals in the eye of the law, or outcasts in the eyes of society.”
At this moment Ezekiel looked in the door and said, “Alice’s room is nice and warm now.” Advancing, he took her hand and led her from the room. Uncle Ike thanked Quincy for his kindness and followed them. Quincy sat and thought. The picture that his mind drew placed the woman who had just left his room in a large house, with servants at her command. She was the head of the household, but no menial nor scullion. She did not work, because he was able and willing to support her. She did not vote, because she felt with him that at home was her sphere of usefulness; and then Quincy thought that what would make this possible was money, money that not he but others had earned, and he knew that without this money the question could not be solved as his mind had pictured it; and he reflected that all women could not have great houses and servants and loving husbands to care for them, and he acknowledged to himself that his solution was a personal, selfish one and not one that would answer for the toiling million’s of the working world.
After the great snowstorm.
Mandy was, of course, greatly pleased inwardly because Hiram had come through such a great storm to see her, but, woman-like, she would not show it.
So she said to Hiram, “Your reason is a very good one, and of course I am greatly flattered, but there must be something else besides that. Now, what have you got to tell me?”
“Well, the fact is, Mandy, I’ve got two things on my mind. One of ’em is a secret and t’other isn’t. I meant to have told you yesterday; but Mr. Sawyer kept me busy till noon, and the Deacon kept me busy all the afternoon, and I was too tired to come over last night.”
“Well,” said Mandy, “tell me the secret first. If the other one has kept so long it won’t spoil if it’s kept a little longer.”
Hiram had kept his eyes on the stove since taking his seat, and he then remarked, “I am afraid that cider will spoil unless I get a drink of it pretty soon.”