"It has to be, my dear," said father.
"After all, Jenny can do more for
Leila than we can. It will be a splen
did chance for the child to be taken
to Europe and put in a finishing
"And how about Lester?" asked
"Pooh!" answered father. And that
ended that conversation.
You bet Lester Blythe was raging
mad. He wasn't allowed to go to
Aunt Jenny's house, because she
hates young men, but he did manage
to see Leila on the rare occasions she
was let come home. Those were pain
ful meetings. Leila 'used to cry and
say she hated Aunt Jenny worse than
ever, and we would encourage her
and tell her to think of her duty to
her family. She was going to divide
all the spoil I mean Aunt Jenny's
money with us when she inherited it
And so she had to let Lester go,
which I believe is the correct term.
Now, to resume. Aunt Jenny and
Leila were to sail on the Saturday,
and the passages were booked, and
our house was mighty glum, I can
tell you. Leila had come to spend the
afternoon, and Lester, of course,
came hard upon her heels.
"Girls," says Claude, "it's their last
meeting. Let's leave the poor chumps
alone till father comes in."
We hated to do it, but we are all
sports, even including Peter. So we
left them. But somehow I couldn't
help overhearing what they were
saying as I sat reading quietly on the
hall chair, just outside the room.
"Oh, I daren't, Lester," I heard
Leila say, half crying.
"Why not, dear?" he was asking.
"Once we are married we dan snap
our fingers at the old cat. It's easy
to get the license, and I know a min
ister who'll do the trick, r saved up
five dollars last week on purpose. Say
you will, dearest?"
Whether Leila would have said she
would or4 not will never be known,
for at that moment in come father
and mother, and Aunt Jenny, too. We
all followed them into the parlor,
Lester and Leila were sitting at oppo
site ends of the lounge, looking at,,
opposite ends of the room, and it
looked sort of suspicious, but nobody
"I am absolutely ruined," says
Aunt Jenny. "Every penny I have,
except my little hoard of five thou
sand and the house, wiped out in that
Father shook his head. "Why didn't
you let me manage your affairs, Jen
ny?" he asked. "I could have told
you that company was fraudulent"
Aunt Jenny burst into tears, the
first time I had ever seen her do it,
and most of us started crying, too,
except Peter, who began to crow.
That boy will be a genius when he
"Leila, do you hear that? I am
ruined," says Aunt Jenny. "So you
will have to go back to your family,
and there will be no Europe for you,
and no finishing school, either."
I was amazed to see Leila go to
Aunt Jenny's side. "Never mind,
Aunt Jenny," she said. "We can stay
and keep house together, till till "
Then she began to blush and ev
erybody suddenly began looking at
"Till you're married to that scape
grace, I suppose," says Aunt Jenny.
And then she suddenly flung her
arms round Leila. After that she put
them round father and mother, and I
dodged into the corner for fear she
was going to slobber over me.
"I've been a pretty mean old
woman," she said. "I've known it,
too, but it was my money. I'm glad
it's lost. Will you forgive me, Ar
thur?" Father said there wasn't anything
to forgive, and he was sorry if there
had ever been any unpleasantness.
"Well, when do you young folks
want to get married?" asks Aunt
Jenny, looking sharply at Lester.
"Next " began Lester; but Leila
cut him short.
"As soon as Mr. Grimes raises Les-
ii jm" 'ittJinjw -yjJes.,. JTitJimiis'ts'
xml | txt