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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 14, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-03-14/ed-2/seq-18/

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MRS. PICKETT'S CHAPERONE
By George Haskell
It was getting to be a joke in their
set that Mrs. Pickett, the gay widow;
kept her young niece for a chap
erone. True, Helen Bryan, who had
come to live with her aunt, was more
quiet in manner and less given to
gorgeous apparel, but it was not in
the least her intention to keep an eye
on her relative, whom she believed
entirely capable of taking care of
herself and whose brilliant conver
sation and witty repartee was as
much a deljght to her as to any of
Mrs. Pickett's admirers.
Helen's conversational gift took a
slightly different trend. She had also
a ready wit, but she had, too, senti
ment and imagination. Her poems
were beginning to find their way into
the best magazines and she often
found reading and study more allur
ing than bridge parties or teas. So
sometimes when they asked Mrs.
Pickett where her chaperone was
she would laugh and say she was be
ing shockingly neglected and who
could tell where such carelessness
would end. People who only met
Helen in company with her aunt nev
er really knew the girl, for Mrs. Pick
ett was the dominant individual who
took the conversational field and
kept it. Not that she meant to do
this, but she was simply bubbling
with wit and good humor and had to
effervesce. Naturally Helen did not,
under these circumstances, shine.
About six months after Helen
came to live with her aunt Wade
Barber came out of the west with
his pictures. He had some letters of
introduction to "good people," and
these, together with a prepossessing
rnpearance and a well-bred manner,
; r'ablished him in social circles,
.tie . i an exhibition of his pic
tures, hich were really good, and
sold son e.. Mrs. Pickett invited him
to call, i ad very soon he was paying ,
assiduous attention to the witty
widow.
"She must be all of 15 years older
than he is," said Mrs. Catt. "Why,
he doesn't look a day over 25."
"My dear," put in Mrs. SpanieL
"He must be near 30; and Eethl Pick
ett can't be a day over 40. Besides,
men of brains, poets and artists nev
er think about age; it's the mind and
soul that appeals to them."
"Any way," purred the' other, "no
one these days makes any account
He Recognized Her and Waited '
of the woman being older than the
man. I suppose, too, it would be a
pretty good thing for Wade Barber.
He's as ,poor as a church mouse, I
hear; and Mrs. Pickett has plenty of
money."
"He was speaking of Helen Bry
ant the other day to Miss Flint and
I heard her tell him the" niece was a
'Door relation'."

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