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steadof going around like a dressod
up dude, that all the girls laugh at."
, rWhat do you mean?" stuttered
"Why, the girls say that if your
face isn't a cross between pa's and
, the blue-nosed mandril's, it's near
k "Come, children," interposed their
mother, rising, "let's leave father to
himself. We don't have to see him
all the day, so why should we?"
Jasper experienced the sensation
that his latest reform was uniting the
members of his family against him
like his earlier ones. He resolved to
persevere, however. Later in the day,
as he was smoking in the parlor, he
heard his daughter's voice raised
"How long have Jim and I got to
wait, ma? Father won't consent to
our marrying, I know, and we've just
got to wait until he drops off. He's
good for another thirty years, the old
"Well, what about me?" cried the
son petulantly, "Don't I want to get
the farm, instead of being hustled to
death on dog's wages? Why can't
we get rid of the old man and enjoy
"Heaven knows I've wished it long
enough," said their mother. "But
what's the use of wishing? If I had
the nerve I'd put priison in his coffee,
but I haven't so there."
Jasper Balsam turned white with
rage. He had always been a kind
father to his children, he had thought
his wife loved him. And now his
daughter wanted to marry Jim, a
farm-hand, a shiftless sort of fellow
who seemed the last person on earth
for any decent girl. He had never
suspected that! And his wife wanted
to poison him, and all three .longed
for his death! He jumped dut of his
"I heard you!" he bellowed. "Now
I know your hearts, thanks, to my
naxxj nlnn "Will wnnf" ma rfoarl mA
out of the way so that you can han
dle the old man's money, do you?, 1 1
suppose you'd like to get married
again, too, Mehitabel?"
"I would," answered his wife
promptly. "I'd like to marry a mari
withoutLscrubby black whiskers, who"
didn't chew tobacco."
"And I wish I wish I were rid of
ye all!" snorted the farmer, turning'
He went hack into the parlor, fill-i
ing it with a cloud ofsmoke as hef
puffed morosely at his pipe. That had
always been his privilege; unlike
many women, Mehitabel had never
raised objections to his smoking any
where in the house. She had been a
good wife to him and he had never
gttessed the feelings which she had
harbored in her heart. His children,
too what vipers he had been nour
ishing! He had offered to send the
boy to college, but Junius had de
clined. -And Octavia had been prom-
ised a new piano and music lessons
only the day before.
JHe stalked angrily upstairs .at
length andshut himself up -In the
spare room. His mind was filled with
turbulent and vindictive thoughts. If
they did not want him around hq
would go- away, but he would no (
longer support them.
Suddenly he heard low voices in
the hall outside his room. At -first he
could not distinguish what they were
saying, but then he heard his own
"Of course, father means well, if
he wouldn't take up with those crank
ideas," he was saying.
"I .think you were too mean for
anything, Juny," protested Octavia.
"Saying you wanted to get rid of him
so as to have the farm instead of be
ing hustled ''to death on a dog's
"And what about you, calling him
an old brute and wishing him to drop
off so that you -could marry Jim
Griggs?" demanded Junius.
"You knew I didn't mean that!"
cried the girl. "When I marry I am
going to try to find a man as good as
father. I was just pretending In or
,.-- A AA AA XL.