“I will,” she said.
“How? I want plain statements from now on.”
“I will write you a letter to-morrow,” she faltered. “I will give you directions what to do. You’d better not come here till—till I have it all arranged. You know what they say about absence!”
“I know what they say about a good many things. But I want something besides say-so.”
“I will tell you in my letter what to do. Then you follow instructions.”
“I don’t like to go into a thing blind. What is the plan?”
“Oh, if I tell you all about it you’ll go and do something to spoil it,” she protested, impatiently. “A woman knows about such matters better than a man does. I will write to you at the State House. Now be patient!”
“I’ll be going before you preach any more patience to me,” he said, sourly. “I might be provoked into saying something you won’t like.”
After he had gone she rose and touched up her cheeks.
“The fool! They are all alike,” she muttered, viciously. “They pay. They never forget they have paid. Then they stand with their hand out—and just remember that they have paid. I am glad I bought this novel,” she added, taking the book from the couch and settling herself to read. “The woman who wrote it must have known human nature. If the plan worked in the case of the girl she writes about it ought to work in the case of Kate. If it doesn’t it will be his fault because he has hurried me so. A poor, persecuted woman can’t do everything.”
And she applied herself to her recently discovered manual of procedure in the case of stubbornness in a maid.
FARR HAS A VISION AND CLOSES HIS LIPS
Walker Farr put aside papers upon which he had been working since he had eaten his modest supper, and pulled on his coat and went forth into the evening. He strolled up one of the streets in the Eleventh Ward of Marion, manifestly glad to be out among the people.
He stopped at the curb and hailed the driver of a truck-wagon which was loaded down with kegs and jugs.
“Marston,” he said, when the driver halted, “it’s good to see the noble work going on.”
“Yes, and now that the babies aren’t dying off so fast old Dodd’s newspapers are claiming that the new filtering-plant is doing all the good, sir.”
“Well, it shows that our work is worth while if they’re claiming it, Marston. But we’ll wake up the folks all in good time. Do what we can for first aid, that’s the idea! The people are waking up to what we’re doing. And they are waking up in other places. I took a little run up state last week. Five other cities are going to try this co-operative scheme of getting good water to the poor folks until something better can be done.”
“You’ve got a head on you,” commended the driver. “It’s a little tough on tired horses to work at this after a day’s trudging on regular business, but my nags seem to understand what it’s all about—honest they do. I have hauled five hundred gallons this week. But I’d like to haul old Dodd up to Coosett Lake and drown him, if it wasn’t for spoiling water that the poor folks are drinking.”