Newspaper Page Text
"MA'AM?" BY GOUVERNEUR MORRIS
ILLUSTRATED BY DOM J. LAVIN
(Copyright by Chas. Scribner's Sons.)
(Continued from Saturday.)
"If I can help in any-way," said
Saterlee, somewhat grimly, "you can
count on me. . . Not," he said a
little later, "that I'm in entire sym
pathy with your views, ma'am. . .
tNow, if you'd said this man Saterlee
'ha'd divorced three wives. . ."
The lady started. And in her turn
; suffered from a torrential rush df
;blbod to the face. Saterlee perceived
it 'through her spread fingers, and
'"If you had said that this man,"
he went on, "had tired of his first
wife and had divorced her, or been
diyorced by her, because his desire
vwas to another woman, then I would
gd-'your antipathy for him,, ma'am.
But I understand he buried a wife,
and took another, and so on. There
is a difference. Because God Almighty
Himself says in one of His books that
man was not meant to live alone.
Mebbe the more a man loved his dead
wife the quicker is he driven to find
a living woman he can love. But for
people who can't cling together until
death and death alone "part 'em
for such people, ma'am, I don't give
"And you are wrong," said the
lady, who was nettled by the appli
cability of his remarks to her own
case. "Let us say a good woman
marries a man, and that he dies not
the death but dies to her. Tires of
her, carries his love to another, and
all that. Isn't he as dead, even if she
loved him, as if he had really died?
He is dead to her buried men don't
come back. Well, maybe the more'
she loved that man the quicker she
is to get the service read over him
that's divorce and find another
whom she can trust and love. Sup
pose that iappens to her twice. The
' cases would seem identical, sir, I
think. Except that I could under
stand divorcing a man who had be
come intolerable to me; but I could
never, never fancy myself marrying
ain if my husband had died still
loving me, still faithful to me."
"I take your point," said Saterlee.
"I have never thought of it along
those lines. But I may as well tell
you, ma'am, that I myself have buried
more than one wife."
"If we are to be on an honest foot
ing," said the lady, "I must tell you
that I have divorced more than one
husband, and yet when I size myself
up, I do not seem to myself a lost
woman. Itfs true that I act for my
"I know," he interrupted, "you are
Mrs. Kimbal. But I thought I knew
more about you than I seem to. I'm
Saterlee. And my business at Carca
sonne House is the same as yours."
She was silent for a moment. And
"Well," she said, "here we are. And
that's lucky in a way. We both, seem
to want the same thing that is, to
keep our children from marrying
each other. We can talk the matter
over and decide how to do it."
"We cajo. talk it over anyway, as
you say," said Saterlee. But " and
he fished in his pocket and brought
out his son's letter and gave it to
her. She read it in the waning light
"But," he repeated gently, "that
doesn't read like a letter that a brute
of a son would write to a brute of a
father; now, does it?"
She did not answer. But she open
ed her purse and took out a carefully
and minutely folded sheet of note
paper. "That's my Dolly's letter to me,"
she said, "and it doesn't sound
like " her voice broke. He took the
letter from her and read it.
- "No, it doesn't," he said. And he
said it roughly, because nothing
brought rough speech out of a man