“I am very well,” said Carroll. Then he pulled out his watch again, and Allbright noticed quickly that it was a dollar watch. He remembered his suspicion. “I must hurry if I am to get my train,” said Carroll. “You live here, Mr. Allbright?”
“Yes. I have lived here for twenty years.”
“Well, I am very glad to hear of your good-fortune. Good-day, Mr. Allbright.”
Carroll had not advanced three paces from Allbright before his feet glissaded on the thin glare of the pavement, he tried to recover himself, and came down heavily, striking his head; then he knew no more for some time.
Charlotte had expected her father home at a little after six o’clock that night. That was the train on which he usually arrived lately. She had not the least idea what he was doing in the City. She supposed he was in the office as he had been hitherto. She never inquired. With all the girl’s love for her father, she had a decided respect. She was old-fashioned in her ways of never interfering or even asking for information concerning a man’s business affairs.
Charlotte went down to the station to meet her father, as she was fond of doing. She had her dinner all ready. It was pretty bad, but she was innocently unaware of it. In fact, she had much faith in it. She had a soup which resembled greatly a flour paste, and that was in its covered tureen on the range-shelf, keeping hot and growing thicker. She had cooked a cheap cut of beef from a recipe in the cook-book, and that was drying up by the side of the soup. Poor Charlotte had no procrastination, but rather the failing of “Haste makes waste” of the old proverb. She had her cheap cut of beef all cooked at three o’clock in the afternoon, and also the potatoes, and the accompanying turnips. Salad at that time of the year she could not encompass in any form, but she had a singular and shrunken pudding on the range-shelf beside the other things. She set the coffee-pot well back where it would only boil gently, and the table was really beautifully laid. The child’s cheeks were feverishly flushed with the haste she had made and her pride in her achievements. She had swept and dusted a good deal that day, also, and all the books and bric-a-brac were in charming arrangement. She felt the honest delight of an artist as she looked about her house, and she said to herself that she was not at all tired. She also said that she was not at all hungry, even if she had only eaten a cracker for luncheon and little besides for breakfast. She realized a faintness at her stomach, and told herself that she must be getting indigestion. Her little stock of money was very nearly gone. She had even begun to have a very few things charged again at Anderson’s. Sometimes her father brought home a little money, but she understood well enough that their financial circumstances were wellnigh desperate. However, she had an