I folded my arms, but remained calm.
“Father,” I said, in a low and gentle tone, “need I remind you that it is at present almost seven P. M. and that the Stars and Stripes, although supposed to be lowered at sunset, are still hanging out this window?”
“Oh, that’s it, is it?” he said in a releived tone. “You’re nothing if you’re not thorough, Bab! Well, as they have hung an hour and fifteen minutes to long as it is, I guess the Country won’t go to the dogs if you shut that window until I get a shirt on. Go away and send Williarm up in ten minutes.”
“Father,” I demanded, intencely, “do you consider yourself a Patriot?”
“Well,” he said, “I’m not the shouting tipe, but I guess I’ll be around if I’m needed. Unless I die of the chill I’m getting just now, owing to one shouting Patriot in the Familey.”
“Is this your Country or William’s?” I insisted, in an inflexable voice.
“Oh, come now,” he said, “we can divide it, William and I. There’s enough for both. I’m not selfish.”
It is always thus in my Familey. They joke about the most serious things, and then get terrably serious about nothing at all, such as overshoes on wet days, or not passing in French grammer, or having a friend of the Other Sex, etcetera.
“There are to many houses in this country, father,” I said, folding my arms, “where the Patriotism of the Inhabatants is shown by having a paid employee hang out and take in the Emblem between Cocktails and salid, so to speak.”
“Oh damm!” said my father, in a feirce voice. “Here, get away and let me take it in. And as I’m in my undershirt I only hope the neighbors aren’t looking out.”
He then sneazed twice and drew in the Emblem, while I stood at the Salute. How far, how very far from the Plattsburg Manual, which decrees that our flag be lowered to the inspiring music of the Star-Spangled Banner, or to the bugel call, “To the Colors.”
Such, indeed, is life.
Later: Carter Brooks dropped in this evening. I was very cold to him and said:
“Please pardon me if I do not talk much, as I am in low spirits.”
“Low spirits on a holaday!” he exclaimed. “Well, we’ll have to fix that. How about a motor Picnic?”
It is always like that in our house. They regard a Party or a Picnic as a cure for everything, even a heartache, or being worried about Spies, etcetera.
“No, thank you,” I said. “I am worried about those of my friends who have enlisted.” I then gave him a scornful glance and left the room. He said “Bab!” in a strange voice and I heard him coming after me. So I ran as fast as I could to my Chamber and locked the door.
We are now in Camp, although not in Unaform, owing to the delivery waggon not coming yet with our clothes. I am writing on a pad on my knee, while my Orderley, Betty Anderson, holds the ink bottle.