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CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE
THE LINES I AM PUTTING IN DICK'S FACE
I haven't seen Dick in nearly a
week, although he has been in the
city. He is making a reorganization
of the book concern and Mrs. Selwin,
who takes breakfast with him nearly
every morning, tells me that he is
growing old every day. "I feel very
sorry for him," said Mrs. Selwin.
"He shows the scars of his business
troubles as well as those that are
You see, little book, I am trying
these days to keep out of his life as
much as possible and I told him when
I came over here that he must not
feel me on his mind day after day.
It seems to me, little book, as
though he had an added wrinkle
an added scar on his face every
time I see him, and I know that tired
oh, so hopeless look in his eyes
I have put there. It does not make
any difference that I have done this
unwittingly; that I would have saved
him from the horror of having a log
for a wife, even more than I would
have saved myself from being that
log if I could have done so.
Looking back over it all it seems
to me that I have been one of the
worst of wives. I, who wanted to be
one of the best.
I tried to say this to Dick the last
time he was in ere.
"Do you know, Dick dear, I some
times think I am like that old wom
an who was the wife of a veteran of
the civil war," I said as I reached up
my hand and smoothed his hair. "My
mother used to tell the story said
it was one of my father's favorites
of the veteran who, in all the glory
of a somewhat faded blue uniform,
brass buttons and white cotton
gloves, sat in the street car on his
way to the Fourth of July picnic.
"A stranger boarded the car and as
he sat facing the soldier and his
wife he engaged the man in conver
and the veteran said:
" 'Yes, sir, I've seen fighting. I
got this gash across the cheek at
Chickamauga. My stiff leg, by gosh,
comes from a ball in tie knee
Chancellorsville. This thumb was
shot off at Gettysburg and I lost the
tip of my ear at Spottsylvania.'
" 'Dear me,' said the stranger, 'how
interesting. You have indeed seen
hot fighting. But tell me, how did
you get that long, deep, murderous
dent down the side of your nose? A
cavalry charge hand to hand en
gagement'' "The veteran ignored the question
and began to talk about the heat
However, his wife interrupted.
" 'Go on, Bill,' she said impatient
ly, 'tell the gentleman how you got
the dent in your nose.'
" 'You shut up, Hannah,' said the
angered veteran under his breath.
'"I won't, neither,' said the old
woman. 'For it just about riles the
skin off me to hear you braggin' and
firaggin' about the marks you got in
the war, whilst you never open your
head about the finest and most no
ticeable mark of all the one I give
ye with the fire shovel.' "
Dick had to smile even when he
winced at the application.
"I didn't mean to hit you with the
fire shovel, Dick," I said. "I confess
at one time I wanted to hurt you
very much, but not in the way I have
done, and I want to tell you that I
differ from the old lady of my story
in not being proud of the scar that
I know I have put on your face."
Dick came across to the bed and
lifted me up into his arms. It nearly
killed me, but I did not make a sound
nor allow my flesh to cringe in the
"Margie, please don't make light
of your awful tragedy," he said.
"Sometimes it seems to me as
though I could not bear to see you
The talk soon turned to warfare here. Ofttimes when I come in in
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