“Stop that automobile!” I waved to a man who was coming down the street, and as he stopped I knelt and did the things Billy had made me learn how to do the first year we went to camp. And seeing the poor, tired soul had just fainted, and would come to in a minute, I spoke quick to the man looking down at her, scared to death, as were the children, who began to cry, and told him he wouldn’t have a wife much longer to be interfered with if he didn’t come down from that horse he thought he was riding and have some common sense.
“Don’t you see she is worn out,” I said, “and got nothing to go on with? Everything has given out, and the next time she drops over in this way she may never get up again.” I was putting some water on her face as I spoke, and, seeing her eyes begin to open a little, I called to Mr. Everett, who had gotten out of his car and was on the porch, to help Mr. Stafford put his wife in and take her to the hospital, and the frightened husband for once did as he was told. I hopped in with her and held her up and told Mr. Everett to drive like old Scratch, and he drove. It was all over so quickly nobody knew what had happened.
It was like somebody being kidnapped and dragged off by highwaymen, taking her away so hurriedly, but if it hadn’t been done that way there would have been endless talk and a thousand reasons why she couldn’t go; and if she hadn’t she would have soon gone for good. Sometimes somebody has to be high-handed, and even if that billy-goat of a husband pretends to resent what I did his wife isn’t resenting it, and she is the one that counts. I always agree with her that it was such a strange thing I happened to be there the day the note came. And also she thinks it strange I decided so quickly to take her to the hospital, when she had just said she couldn’t go. I tell her I do a good many things on the spur of the moment, and getting the men to pick her up and hurry away with her was just another case of spur, and she shuts her eyes when I say that and looks as if she is praying. The lucky part was her fainting at the right time. Anyhow, she is at the hospital, and that old rooster of hers is finding out a good many things it took her absence from home for him to learn. I never expect to get married. NEVER!
I have just found out why Elizabeth and Whythe had their break. Miss Bettie Simcoe told me. It took Miss Bettie some time to get at the bottom of it, but Elizabeth told her last night, and this morning I was given the information at the first moment Miss Bettie could get me to herself.
Elizabeth was dead right in the stand she took, but her little spurt of independence didn’t last long, and she is now ready to give in when the chance comes to give. Miss Bettie added that on her own account. Whythe couldn’t afford to be married, but that wasn’t to interfere with his marriage. He had expected to take Elizabeth to his mother’s home and plant her in it, but when he told her Elizabeth balked. She preferred to stay with her aunt Susanna after her marriage to going to Whythe’s home, and when she so informed him he said things he shouldn’t, and then both sent off skyrockets and the whole thing went up in the air. And then I came.