I told her not to worry about the oldest son. He could go anywhere he wanted and with any one he wanted by the time he was through college, which his parents were working themselves to death to send him through, and it was very probable that several girls in town would be glad to add their grandfathers to his natural endowments before many years were over. But if she didn’t care for me to accept his attentions, as Miss Araminta Armstrong called them, I could always have an engagement when he asked me to go anywhere. She looked so shocked and distressed that I told her I didn’t approve of telling stories any more than she did, and for most sorts people ought to be branded, but I’d much rather tell one of that land than hurt a person’s feelings. And it wouldn’t be untrue to say I had an engagement, for I always had one to go everywhere and anywhere, even if I didn’t keep it; and again she coughed and looked so pained that I took her in my arms and whirled around the room with her and told her not to worry about me, either. I wouldn’t disgrace her by knowing the wrong people too well, but everybody had their peculiarities and one of mine was I was going to know anybody I wanted to. I always thought a lady could, and, besides, I liked any kind of person who was interesting, and the best born ones were often very stupid, which of course was the wrong thing to say. So I had to give her another whirl, and by the time she got her breath it was time to see about supper, and she has never referred to the subject since.
Miss Susanna is a darling little lady of the old school (whatever the old school was) and I love her, but I am of my time as she is of hers, and I don’t see her way any more than she sees mine. She ought to wear hoop-skirts and brocaded silks and lace fichus and mits, and sit with her beautiful hands folded in her lap and her tiny little feet on a footstool, and instead she works from morning to night trying to help the good-for-nothingest servants that were ever hired by tired ladies, except Uncle Henson, and Aunt Mandy, the cook, who have been with her for years and years. She’s worn out. That’s what’s the matter with Miss Susanna, and that selfish, lazy little piece of pinkness who is now