“A very little spilt milk goes a long way. Five dollars is plenty for that and you know it.”
“How about me getting a stitch in my chin, and having to pay for that?”
I beleive I have not said that the milk man was cut in the chin by a piece of a bottle.
“Ten, then,” said my friend in need.
When it was all over, and I had given two dollars to the old woman who had been in the milk wagon and was knocked out although only bruized, I went on, thinking no more about the Stranger, and almost running into my father, who did not see me.
That afternoon I realized that I must face the state of afairs, and I added up the Checks I had made out. Ye gods! Of all my Money there now remaind for the ensuing year but two hundred and twenty nine dollars and forty five cents.
I now realized that I had been extravagant, having spent so much in six days. Although I did not regard the Arab as such, because of saving car fare and half soleing shoes. Nor the TROUSEAU, as one must have clothing. But facial masage and manacures and candy et cetera I felt had been wastefull.
At dinner that night mother said:
“Bab, you must get yourself some thin frocks. You have absolutely nothing. And Hannah says you have bought nothing. After all a thousand dollars is a thousand dollars. You can have what you ought to have. Don’t be to saving.”
“I have not the interest in clothes I once had, mother” I replied. “If Leila will give me her old things I will use them.”
“Bab!” mother said, with a peircing glanse, “go upstairs and bring down your Check Book.”
I turned pale with fright, but father said:
“No, my dear. Suppose we let this thing work itself out. It is Barbara’s money, and she must learn.”
That night, when I was in bed and trying to divide $229.45 by 12 months, father came in and sat down on the bed.
“There doesn’t happen to be anything you want to say to me, I suppose, Bab?” he inquired in a gentle tone.
Although not a weeping person, shedding but few tears even when punished in early years, his kind tone touched my Heart, and made me lachrymoze. Such must always be the feelings of those who decieve.
But, although bent, I was not yet broken. I therfore wept on in silence while father patted my back.
“Because,” he said, “while I am willing to wait until you are ready, when things begin to get to thick I want you to know that I’m around, the same as usual.”
He kissed the back of my neck, which was all that was visable, and went to the door. From there he said, in a low tone:
“And by the way, Bab, I think, since you bought me the Tie, it would be rather nice to get your mother somthing also. How about it? Violets, you know, or—or somthing.”
Ye gods! Violets at five dollars a hundred. But I agreed. I then sat up in bed and said: