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Newspaper Page Text
THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME
By Robert Sladen
Five years had passed since Millie
Rogers had left her father's home to
;o on the stage, and during those
ive years her father had tried in vain
:o shut the girl out of his heart
Never during that time had her name
passed his lips.
His Puritan training had e.voked in
Millie only stubbornness. Even
when she was just big enough to tod
dle across the floor she had seemed
made for light and laughter. Her
gayety had shocked the old man; he
could not understand how he could
have given life to a child like that.
The austerity of his religion hung
gloomily about him.
It hung gloomily about his wife,
too. Samantha Rogers had accom
modated herself to his life, but she
secretly yearned for the old days of
harmless jollity before her marriage.
The soberness of the new life had
weighed her down. ' Then Millie was
born. Insensibly mother and daugh
ter drew together.
Jf Jim Rogers was aware that he
was being shut out from the lives of
his womenfolk he said nothing, but
went his way, growing sourer and
grimmer as the years went by. As
she grew older he ceased to scold his
daughter; he accepted her as a mis
fortune, and it was not until she an
nounced her intention of going on
the -stage that his repressed anger
"If you sell yourself to the devil
you are no longer any child of mine!"
he said. "I've borne with you these
twenty years, but there's a limit"
"Many good women are on the
stage," said Millie.
"There is no union between sin
and righteousness," answered Rog
ers. "Play-acting and dancing are
the deadly sins. You can make your
"I'm going then," said Millie, who
had her father's obstinacy of char
acter. "I'm going and you can ask
me, to come back when you want
Rogers did not reply. The next
day Millie left home, and the mother,
terrified by the unyielding face of her
husband, could only weep and fur
tively press her savings into the girl's
hand. Later these came back- Let
ters arrived, too, but Rogers pretend
ed never to notice them. It was only
when his wife prepared to spend a
"Play-Acting and Dancing Are the
couple of days in the city that he let
his oppressed heart reveal itself.
"I know where you are going,
wife," he said, "a"nd you don't go. If
you leave my house you never come
For once the spirit of the woman
who had once been so gay flared up.
"I'll go," she cried. But-half an hour
later she went to her husband. "I'll
stay for your sake, Jim," she said.
As the years passed the house grew