“By the way,” he said. “I thought I saw you running a car the other day. You were chasing a fox terier when I saw you, but I beleive the dog escaped.”
I looked at him and I saw that, although smiling, he was one who could be trusted, even to the Grave.
“Carter,” I said. “It was I, although when you saw me I know not, as dogs are always getting in the way.”
I then told him about the pony cart, and the Allowence, and saving car fare. Also that I felt that I should have some pleasure, even if sub Rosa, as the expression is. But I told him also that I disliked decieving my dear parents, who had raised me from infancy and through meazles, whooping cough and shingles.
“Do you mean to say,” he said in an astounded voice, “that you have bought that car?”
“I have. And paid for it.”
Being surprized he put a moth ball into his mouth, instead of a gum drop.
“Well,” he said, “you’ll have to tell them. You can’t hide it in a closet, you know, or under the bed.”
“And let them take it away? Never.”
My tone was firm, and he saw that I meant it, especialy when I explained that there would be nothing to do in the country, as mother and Sis would play golf all day, and I was not allowed at the Club, and that the Devil finds work for idle hands.
“But where in the name of good sense are you going to keep it?” he inquired, in a wild tone.
“I have been thinking about that,” I said. “I may have to buy a portible Garage and have it set up somwhere.”
“Look here,” he said, “you give me a little time on this, will you? I’m not naturaly a quick thinker, and somhow my brain won’t take it all in just yet. I suppose there’s no use telling you not to worry, because you are not the worrying kind.”
How little he knew of me, after years of calls and conversation!
Just before he left he said: “Bab, just a word of advise for you. Pick your Husband, when the time comes, with care. He ought to have the solidaty of an elephant and the mental agilaty of a flee. But no imagination, or he’ll die a lunatic.”
The next day he telephoned and said that he had found a place for the car in the country, a shed on the Adams’ place, which was emty, as the Adams’s were at Lakewood. So that was fixed.
Now my plan about the car was this: Not to go on indefanitely decieving my parents, but to learn to drive the car as an expert. Then, when they were about to say that I could not have one as I would kill myself in the first few hours, to say:
“You wrong me. I have bought a car, and driven it for——days, and have killed no one, or injured any one beyond bruizes and one stitch.”
I would then disapear down the drive, returning shortly in the Arab, which, having been used——days, could not be returned.
All would have gone as aranged had it not been for the fatal question of Money.