“I don’t see what you’re making such a kick for. I wouldn’t have told you if I’d known you’d be so silly.”
And I heard Peggy say again:
“I want you to tell mother.” Her tone was perfectly even, but it sounded like Cyrus when he is angry. They both came in. Peggy was flushed, and her lips were pressed firmly together. She looked older than I have ever seen her.
“What’s the matter?” Ada asked them.
“Tell her,” Peggy commanded. Billy didn’t know what it all was about.
“Why, I just said I wondered what Aunt Elizabeth was telegraphing Harry Goward about, and now she drags me in here and makes a fuss,” he said, in an aggrieved tone.
“He was over at Whitman playing around the telegraph-office—he had driven over on the express-wagon—and when Aunt Elizabeth drove up he hid because he didn’t want her to see him. Then he heard the operator read the address aloud,” Peggy explained, evenly.
“Is this so?” Ada asked.
“Sure,” Billy answered, disgustedly, and made off as fast as he could.
“Now,” said Peggy, “I want to know why Harry wrote to Aunt Elizabeth, and why she telegraphed him—over there where no one could see her!” She stood up very straight. “I think I ought to know,” she said, gently.
“Yes, dear,” Ada answered, “I think you ought.”
I shall be sorry for Elizabeth Talbert if she has been making mischief.
IV. THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
by Mary Stewart Cutting
I have never identified myself with my husband’s family, and Charles Edward, who is the best sort ever, doesn’t expect me to. Of course, I want to be decent to them, though I know they talk about me, but you can’t make oil and water mix, and I don’t see the use of pretending that you can. I know they never can understand how Charles Edward married me, and they never can get used to my being such a different type from theirs. The Talberts are all blue-eyed, fair-haired, and rosy, and I’m dark, thin, and pale, and Grandmother Evarts always thinks I can’t be well, and wants me to take the medicine she takes.
But, really, I see very little of the family, except Alice and Billy, who don’t count. Billy comes in at any time he feels like it to get a book and something to eat, though the others don’t know it, and Alice has fits of stopping in every afternoon on her way from school, and then perhaps doesn’t come near me for weeks. Alice is terribly discontented at home, and I think it’s a very good thing that she is; anything is better than sinking to that dreadful dead level. She doesn’t quite know whether to take up the artistic life or be a society queen, and she feels that nobody understands her at home. It makes her nearly wild when Aunt Elizabeth comes back from one of her grand visits and acts as if she wasn’t anything. She came over right after the row, of course, and told me all about it—she