At last, feeling I could stand no more, I said this to the Stranger as he was paying me. He was so surprized that he dropped a quarter in the road, and did not pick it up. I went back for it later but some one else had found it.
“Oh!” he said. “And all this time I’ve been beleiving that you—well, no matter. So you think it’s a mistake to delay to long?”
“I think when one has somthing Right or Wrong to do, and that’s for your conscience to decide, it’s easier to do it quickly.”
“I see,” he said, in a thoughtfull manner. “Well, perhaps you are right. Although I’m afraid you’ve been getting one fifty cents you didn’t earn.”
“I have never hung around,” I retorted. “And no Archibald is ever a sneak.”
“Archibald!” he said, getting very red. “Why, then you are——”
“It doesn’t matter who I am,” I said, and got into the car and went away very fast, because I saw I had made a dreadfull Slip and probably spoiled everything. It was not untill I was putting the car up for the night that I saw I had gone off with his overcoat I hung it on a nail and getting my revolver from under a board, I went home, feeling that I had lost two hundred dollars, and all because of Familey pride.
How true that “pride goeth before a fall”!
I have not yet explained about the revolver. I had bought it from the gardner, having promised him ten dollars for it, although not as yet paid for. And I had meant to learn to be an expert, so that I could capture the Crimenal in question without assistance, thus securing all the reward.
But owing to nervousness the first day I had, while practicing in the chicken yard, hit the Gardner in the pocket and would have injured him severely had he not had his garden scizzors in his pocket.
He was very angry, and said he had a bruize the exact shape of the scizzors on him, so I had had to give him the ten plus five dollars more, which was all I had and left me stranded.
I went to my domacile that evening in low spirits, which were not improved by a conversation I had with Tom that night after the Familey had gone out to a Club dance.
He said that he did not like women and girls who did things.
“I like femanine girls,” he said. “A fellow wants to be the Oak and feel the Vine clinging to him.”
“I am afectionate,” I said, “but not clinging. I cannot change my Nature.”
“Just what do you mean by afectionate?” he asked, in a stern voice. “Is it afectionate for you to sit over there and not even let me hold your hand? If that’s afection, give me somthing else.”
Alas, it was but to true. When away from me I thought of him tenderly, and of whether he was thinking of me. But when with me I was diferent. I could not account for this, and it troubled me. Because I felt this way. Romanse had come into my life, but suppose I was incapable of loving, although loved?