“Good heavens!” he said. “You don’t mean you’ve spent the whole business?”
I then got my Check Book from the tool chest, and held it out to him. Also the unpaid bills. I had but $40.45 in the Bank and owed $90.00 for the things mother had bought.
“Everything has gone wrong,” I admitted. “I love this car, but it is as much expence as a large familey and does not get better with age, as a familey does, which grows up and works or gets married. And Leila is getting to be a Man-hater and acts very strange most of the time.”
Here I almost wept, and probably would have, had he not said:
“Here! Stop that, Or I——” He stopped and then said: “How about the engagement, Bab? Is it a failure to?”
“We are still plited,” I said. “Of course we do not agree about some things, but the time to fuss is now, I darsay, and not when to late, with perhaps a large familey and unable to seperate.”
“What sort of things?”
“Well,” I said, “he thinks that he ought to play around with other girls so no one will suspect, but he does not like it when I so much as sit in a hammick with a member of the Other Sex.”
“Bab,” he said in an ernest tone, “that, in twenty words, is the whole story of all the troubles between what you call the Sexes. The only diference between Tommy Gray and me is that I would not want to play around with any one else if—well, if engaged to anyone like you. And I feel a lot like looking him up and giving him a good thrashing.”
He paid me fifty cents and a quarter tip, and offered, although poor, to lend me some Money. But I refused.
“I have made my bed,” I said, “and I shall occupy it, Carter. I can have no companion in misfortune.”
It was that night that another house near the Club was robed, and everything taken, including groceries and a case of champane. The Summer People got together the next day at the Club and offered a reward of two hundred dollars, and engaged a night watchman with a motor-cycle, which I considered silly, as one could hear him coming when to miles off, and any how he spent most of the time taking the maids for rides, and broke an arm for one of them.
Jane spent the night with me, and being unable to sleep, owing to dieting again and having an emty stomache, wakened me at 2 A. M. and we went to the pantrey together. When going back upstairs with some cake and canned pairs, we heard a door close below. We both shreiked, and the Familey got up, but found no one except Leila, who could not sleep and was out getting some air. They were very unpleasant, but as Jane observed, families have little or no gratitude.
I come now to the Stranger again.
On the next afternoon, while engaged in a few words with the station hackman, who said I was taking his trade although not needing the Money—which was a thing he could not possably know—while he had a familey and a horse to feed, I saw the Stranger of the milk wagon, et cetera, emerge from the one-thirty five.