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Newspaper Page Text
THE REVOLT OF MARY
By Hi Akers
(Copyright, 1917, W. G. Chapman.)
"But we can't afford it, my dear."
It seemed to Mary Beard-she must
shriek at that phrase. She had been
hearing it every time she suggested
the replenishing of any article of
wardrobe or house furnishings for
the last nine years, the period of her
married life. This time it was the
rug in the living room.
"Just look at it, Joe," she urged.
"It's getting so ragged it will soon
be dangerous to walk on. We will
have to have the bare floor."
"I think it could be mended," he
Mary looked at him as though get
ting up courage to say something
bolder than usual. Finally she made
"Joe," she said, "you've never told
me anything about your business. I
think I have a right to know."
"I thought you'd been down there
to the store enough to know we sell
hardware and auto supplies."
"Oh, you know what I mean." She
looked him straight in the eyes with
out flinching. "I want to know
what our income is."
Joe Beard was positively flabber
gasted. He had never confided this
matter to his wife, and had never
expected her to ask. Mary had al
ways accepted the situation and
made the best of it He began to
"Why, Mary, I I thought you
knew that our interests were identi
cal and that I was doing the best I
"That isn't the point," she broke
in. "Of course I knew that. Bu I
want to know just how things stand.
If business is in such a bad way that
I must go with a shabby old coat and
we must have bare floors I must
know just what we can afford, what
we can depend upon, so I can spend
the money to the best advantage, so
I can help economize."
"We are not exactly in a bad way,
but we are running pretty close.. I
always thought you had enough to
do in running the house, not to trou
ble about running the store," he an
swered, smiling at her in a way that
was intended to close the argument.
But it did not She persisted and he, (JTj
finding evasion ineffective, flung out
of the house in a high state of irri
tation without giving her any satis
faction. Beard's partner, Fred Fason, had
been married only five years, and as
they had lived out of town, Mary had
never visited them. They had now
been living in the city about six
weeks and Mary decided to call on
Mrs. Fason, partly for their better
acquaintnace, but mostly to find out
what she could not from her own
The apartment was very attractive
and Mary noticed that all the fur
nishings were much better than hers
had ever been. Mrs. Fason was fash
ionably dressed and a neat maid
opened the door. Mary was drawn
to the pretty little women, who was
about six years her junior. In a few
weeks they were seeing each other
Mary shrank from anything like
criticism of her husband to an out
sider, but she felt if it had to come
to that it must for she was deter
mined to know the true state of the
finances. She began by asking Mrs.
Fason if she thought the business
was not doing well. The lady looked
at her in undisguised astonishment
"Why, don't you know we were do
ing better this year than ever?"
"I don't know anything about the
business," replied Mary.
"You don't? Why Fred tells me
everything. I bet I know almost to
a dollar what the profits were last
year." And Mrs. Fason proceeded to
lay some figures before the greatly
surprised Mrs. Beard. "Yes," she
added, "Fred is not a bit extravagani,