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Weekly Caledonian. (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) 1919-1920, April 09, 1919, Image 5

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THE WEEKLY CALEDONIAN, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 91919
PAGE FIVE
1 tf'Tni.;.-,: )TMt:r ni-i-W Bv ill
il a av njB. vwa v wiiiiam uuaiev reiiev i"
A 100,000-word Novel by the Editor of The Evening Caledonian about folks in a Vermont town like St. JohnsburyThe story
of two girls, each with a philosophy of life and of love and how those philosophies worked out in after life, the worldly glory of one
and the " greater glory " that came to the other. Follow it each night, chapter by chapter and read into the lines your own experience.
"lie. wanted mothering, I say," j ly softened into a .strange mellow
Robinson went on. "Every man thing and rang with the pain of it,
i .I' " when I love you, Dick!" she eon
wants it front a woman. I dont care ! , , , . . ' .' . . .
, , i eluded lamely. "Might as well finish
bow old men grow, they re only boys , wha(. you(, beeun Youc hu)t me
at heart. And when they grow up j already . more than I can . feel."
and get lonely and out of sorts theyj But for a moment he simply sat
want someone to whom they can 1 quiet, his eyes upon her, his heav
i. ,.;... mc nnri 00t uvn,rmt V, v-! '"PS closed flimly. He sat quiet until
If. nift . . ' j I J
and help. A successful wife under
stands that, though perhaps she
couldn't put it into line phrases,
it would sound maudlin, in their
boyhood days a mother fills that
place. It's the sterling-true function
of womankind without which she's
merely female and nothing else; men
come to look for it in all women, .
that influence over them, . that
sympathy, . and wherever you find
an unhappily married man you find
a fool of a woman too small-bored
to recognize it. You were too sel
fish and thoughtless to do that to
Herbert. He became discouraged
without knowing why he was discour
aged. He sought relief for his name
less heartache in drink. One thing
led to another and he wandered away
God knows where. He became a
. . . . i i . .
derelict because he was despondent
over a great disappointment which
stood out in nis lite lrremeaiaoie .
so he thought, . or at least he lost
i. ne.est ... ' ' "' '
ol accord with all the world, . and
he not you! paid the price!"
"Dick
haven't you any heart at.
all? Are you a cad after all . can t
yuJZi , "T" . , u 1
"Mibb did anybody ever take he
time or trouble to tell you this
tore?' !
"No one ever did because they had ,
too much regard for my feelings."
"Then it's time some really good ,
friendof your's cast aside pretty con- 1
ventionalities and gave you a strong j1
lnnfc t. thn Tvilii.,1 tinth. Sit oniet .
and hear me out; there's lots more I .
have to tell you. I'm coming down
to my own career in a moment,
why I hold these ideas that I do
why I won t marry you . or any
woman,
what?"
That should interest you,
"Yes," she whispered miserably.
"Very good. There was once a boy,
Dick Robinson, remember him? He
was a good sort . before he went
money-mad. But there was a time
when he wasn't money-mad. He loved j
you sincerely and deeply. He would
have made you a good husband. But '
you refused him . so long as there '
was money to be married elsewhere .
and when you finally came around to
turn in- alter years-ami displayed in
terest in him, the damage had been
done. You had sent him into his
money-inadness; his idea at first was
to acquire so much that it would
make your sorry. When he got go
ing he generated so much momentum
that he couldn't stop. The stuff own
ed him . got him like booze gets
some men. But at the same time he'd
generated enough common sense if
you want to call it that to see that
you weren't after him for the sake
of love for him, it was his money
and what it meant. And by that
time he loved his money too much to
let you dig your lily-white fingers,
your greedy fingers,
11 j,
uccijij uunii.
into his pile. He went away
away from
you. You had sent one man to dis
grace directly as the result of your
lack of maternitv. Mibb: vou sent
Dick Robinson's soul to hell, . the ' '
hell of worship of seven per cent., .
est love and willingness to get down I
,! ,,.!, .. u w.:,. ..
by your choice of wealth over hon-
man who loved you. But that isn't
all, Mibb"
"I am a hell-cat ain't I?" said the
woman bitterly. But it was sarcasm
and her voice was broken.
"No, just merely selfish, . fear
fully selfish, selfishness has been at
the bottoni of every shadow which
has crossed your life, Mibb."
"You! . telling this to me .
after all the ways you've made money
und the things you've done"
"Careful, Mibb. Maybe I've made
folks come up to the. scratch in busi
ness but I've gone on the level."
"And you don't admit that your life
Khaii L.oiri..lt9 Un4- ...... n ..A f
1 odunii. , uiab UU tllC liv
ing selfishly now . alone and with
out a family . and for your own
enjoyment; not helping anybody or
doing anything to make the world
"euel mg more and more efficient in his
"No; I haven't gone to extremes , ljno . when all the time I'm dis
in this thing. And as for selfishness, trading his energies and making him
. at least I haven't always looked neither one nor the other. And it's
for the easiest way around things. I much the same with you women folks,
haven't dodged hard work. I haven't Mibb. The girls today marry the
asked others to carry my burdens, or, boys, true enough, and they rent a
finance me, or permit me to live on place and furnish it and raise their
the fruits of their labors." babies. But there's a hundred things
"You're "a man. You're supposed 1 to attract them and distract them and
to do hard things and cany burdens ' take them outside the homo while at
and finance yourself. I'm . I'm .'the same time they' try to keep the
a. woman!"
The man raised his eyebrows.
"That, Mibb,' he said "is the most
absurd thing you've said tonight.''
"Let's quit this," he snap
ped. "I'll be saying things for which
111 be sorry, . things unbecoming a
man who tries to preserve the ap
pearance of a gentleman."
"No," she said with feminine per-
versity. "You've started; go ahead
and finish! You've asked me if I ,
1
wanted to know why
linwan't 1
nmrriedi whv vou won't marrv when!
ried; wh
..... . . .
t wncn is
'her Voice SUddcn-
! his queer fit of temper passed. His
I face gradually softened. Over his
I features instead, came a look of hun
! ger and homc-siekness and longing,
. melancholy, . heartache. . It
I was a rather startling change. Ho
picked up a fruit knife and chew lines
i with its point in the cloth.
Twice he looked at her and drop
! ped his eyes again. There was a
I trace of cynicism in his voice as he
' said :
I "Mibb, . I'm not a woman-hater.
But I've simply lost faith in you wo
man. I r"ver knew a mother, though
like poor Herb, I felt the need of one.
When I grew up if I was attracted to
women it was for companionship and
sympathy and help. But somehow I
never connected right. The longer 1
luuni-ii nil: limit: lyiLlll 1 iM:i.tiiii:,
. . ,
i, ii.,. ..,.. i,:i4,.,. i !,.,,...,
I en for wives indeed, women for
pleasure, women for business, women
for careers, plenty of women for
everything but to go to with a weary
, . .,,,, hr,.,,'h., .,,i ., y,,t'
t Vulr i nit inL'iiii'nf inn irtI of innn'1 li f'tw
., t . r;1Mi, . , v, ,,' ,t ,;
jnn.t ,....:, if..ini rw vunmnn
there arc that do; but the crying need
h am, the of js
for that kin! of women, . the mat-j
enrol women Mibb" 1
. ' " :
r 1.nstant l'1fi wn f("T-ot ,
tV'. w" m?. !" he,l,.staik 'Tnx.
1"'s',lom jck uomnson. 1
ears a M10. bet01'c women
went outside the home and into busi-
"ei;s ana Kt snarled up with tads
"n(l lsms. they lldn't have much else
to occupy their attention but home
and folks and kids. All these folks
who want to "mend the status of
l'i' down-trodden and abused wo
mankind say it was narrowing and
degrading and enslaving. Hut
Mibb, . it did make mothers! The
business of womenfolks was to marry j
aid have homes and stay in those 1
homes and raise little kids. That '
was their function in life and having 1
no other it was imbred generation '.
after generation into their bone. Look ,
at the homes of fifty or a hundred j
years ago, Mibb. Look at some of i
those on the Vermont hillsides back
iiicrca-nwuimK iiKc -
inose o.a nomesteads today, Mibb. .
They've all gone with the 'old-fash-
;,i- i,V .j .:. :
them."
The woman wanted to say some
thing but she didn't know just what
it ought to be.
"I suppose industries that have
come in to make women's work eas
ier and yet that have taken her at
the same time out of the home and
into business, are responsible, Mibb.
Perhaps I'm wrong in judging you !
so harshly. But oh Mibb, . inside
. deep inside there's the awful i
i-iiuiiKei .11 a 101. 01 men, .
heart-hunger in a lot of men, . to;
1 .... .1. , . , ,
w V lneu ffami-uaaaies ktw. ;
i ; r, -
yet who never piucea a vaiue on . on you ana cio air fine couia to ais-1 on tne suriuce. 11 aoesn t go deep waR njneteeni But no was the busi
cause it hadn't been denied them, i courage you from bocomicjl i mother, enough, Mibb. It doesn't get down '0 mn j v,ni, ..,! 't i,
We're not raising families any more, 1
'Mibb. We're only having kids. We're ;
not mixing norms, w e re renting a
i. I ' 1 rr I
piace to live in ana lurnisning it with :
b8ht at n store. Everything's
shallow and transitory and unsatis-
turo. . awav from the fnmilv irlon.
flWflv from sjnliiT unTmfnnti'il i-ii.r. i I'
ged foundations of living."
The man drew a deep breath. For
a moment his jaw closed hard. Then
he went on:
"Oh I know we've got women that
are well-enough willing to marry the
men, . girls still fall in love with
the boys and the boys with the girls.
But I couldn't take a clerk out of
my office and put him half the time
in my engineering department and ex
pect him to keep on improving as a
clerk . following up the job, grow-
nome ana grauuauy we nome in
stinct of generations is being ironed
oue of them, Mibb. They want to do
a woman's work and at the same time
they want to do a man's work and the
good Lord only knows what to call
the things they do. They're forget
ting how to really truly mother,
Mibb. I heard a dam-fool female the
other day iret un on a soan-box and
yen that the child was the jailer of
the mother. As if there was any rea-
.. . - ... -
son whv it shouldn't be. Mibb?
And nil mankind knows is that some-
41. : 1 1 4J 1 1 1
l4,i,K uccn ujiiieu over i.u upset
, luciory ana anu.eu. nan tne time i -' uw mime uuincii , ne neen imumueu m uio .uutj nmtc me ( an( mother and then took a place
I we don't know what the matter is j was the pants and the checkbook and dawn ofHimc. The trouble is that with a firrn of wholesale shoemen in
I with us . we men of today. But 1 the wagcearner of your home I re- women are Consciously or uncon-. Lynn um Brocton. He used practi
dt's that we're getting away from na- 1 member how your dad sat around sciously forgetting how to mother, I calIv ,,is who)ft alar th -. t t
J X 1 111 I IT 1 J. , . t nil.. : I. .. .
somewhere and he's all at sea and
doesn't know where he gets oft" or
what's coming. And pretty soon,
either en masse or as an individual
he commences to feel that he doesn't
give a dam, Mibb. And when a man
gets to the point that he doesn't give
a damn, he isn't over-careful about
his relations in other matters. It's ail
a mixed-up and lamentable mess and
God only knows who's responsible,
liut it's coming over al society, Mibb,
r.oie and more every year and .
well.
the kids that are growing up
today . arc showing it."
Again the woman did not know
what to say. She felt! as if Dick Rob
inson had waded off beyond her depth
and if she tried to follow hini she
would flounder. If she had been
where she had been thirty years he
i'ore, up in Gold-Piece cabin, . she
might have tried to follow him. But
she hud dissipated the heritage that
lum fih.i: uiii iii;i n. nm; inu.-ti.
uio penally, . me penally 01 snence
. silence more than the mere si
lence of speech.
"Mibb,'' he concluded in a hollow
voice, " what this old world needs
today more than it ever needed it
before, isn't women to run business
and make governments and all that
rot. suppose it's all right in its way
to have women leavening up things a
trifle . but they've gone and over
done it, Mibb: they're overdoing it
u.eauy . ney nee,, o ne buck u
first principles . back to the good
.1 i. .1 1 1... -I.
old-fashioned family idea of home in-
elost ""' unMlflwh devotion to the
heartaches , 01 little kids and the so ul
sub u',t,ul lundeijicntuli. that the
lamily is the basis of society and
there's not a place on God's earth
where a man can learn to be a square
business man, a decent citizen, a cie-
dit to his creator, that beats hi
mother's knee, Mibb. Bring on your
damned old arguments about the up
lift of society and purification of
government and the refining influence
of women in business. Talk your
head off! That won't take from" the
heart of a man the ache after some
thing he can't express . the feeling
that he's all at sea somehow, . or
it won't put into his soul the whole
some love and veneration and respect
that he had for his mother who was
a woman and a wife first even if it
cost her her life and her reaso...
Mothers? The world's heartsick T')r
them, Mibb. God, I wish I had one .
right now!"
Finally the woman spoke.
"Well, don't suppose I can say any-
tmng. on Uuu score,
Dick. Some-
times Fve feU solne,
. ...
in my own life, . I've
wroi'g
had some
fearfully lonely moments, Did. when
I wondered if what the matter with
me was . was "
"Go ahead and say it!'" ordeied the
man. "It's nothing to b ashamed and a family to bind and inspire him.
of! Kids! that's it, isn t it? And Oh Mibb! There's so many women
why didi't you have them, . do you and men too who like to argue how
supposs if 1 .or 1 Herb had had three women live beside men and fight be
or four kids he'd gone off the ;vay side men and ought to vote beside
he did? Whv didn't vou have them, men . and dish out a beautiful lot
Mibb? Because of the whv yon was
brought up. Your mother kept try-
ing to save you from what she called
the drudgery of the home. I know;
j. . . . . 1
1 rcmemrer w ipui preuy c.ot es (
Why did she do it? : Because the
wasn't a mother herself. Oh) she
I (
1 il 1
muy nave gone tnrougn neii ;.nu
i- i 1
orougnt you into tne wona. xui
that s only an
hood, Mibb. E
incident in mo'hcr -
She wasnt living natur-
1 1 1.-
Will heavers store in
tnc oid nays
Uhcr than smoke his pipe with his
; feet on his own sitting-rook stove al.
home. And you had motherhood antl
( homchood ironed out of you the same
! as millions of young girls are getting
: R i!?""1 Ut f. t0'l!T" . ,
"Then you admit I wasnt to blame
. wnoi y, wick.
but I hold it wus up to you when
you reached maturity and age of
reason
yourself, to
correct
the
trouble, just as it's up to the women
of today to do it. Lord, the men it's making everything ' . even nVoth
ran't do.it; the women have got to crhood and domestic life, . overSin
do it for themselves." I to the same hit-or-miss, off-again-an
"But you'll admit that the drudgery
of the home is "
"Drudgery of the home hell!
There's no drudgery of the home on- j
Iv what women make for themselves. 1
TIiova sli.iiliroi.ir nrtATirUafa All nf .
ii hnva tmt tn nunjit mir pln'tlip fm
the things we make the world hand , battle and shield and protect you wo- U TUev must have been lonesome
over to us. It's all in the way you 1 men when at the same time you're &Jf0V he'"' aflei' L)cxiter went
look at a thing; what your mental at- scrambling away as fast as you can frees must have floated at times
titude is. I suppose sawing wood is' from filling tho function ycu're In ,n.the BPn,ce over her typecases; old
one of the hardest kinds of labor. ! tended by nature to fill in the hfidrt voices called across the years. On
Yet don't vou remeber old Bill of a man and the life of his firt.lily. days l4 must hav,e come "f1-
Fletcher up home? He said the Lord Oh hell, Mibb, I'm sick ef itj.'fiiek un- a" had to do was walk
sent him into the world apurposc to to death. I'll take your sicietjf in around the type-rack and find Jack at
saw wood and he was made to saw , the way I've taken .ifc ityc last two his old place over the imposing
wood and he was going to saw wood years for mental dhversioji. "But stones, or Daddy Joe over in the ad
and saw wood he did. The man was j soul diversion and sflsfactioh, and aUey. ' Lawrence Briggs rolling his
supremely happy in sawing wood. It's inspiration and that Jheart-huriger for fi'lass eye around the stove clandes-
the same with anything and everv-lthe
thing. It's all in your mental atti-
tuile. If vnu're a woman nnd hate
housework and motherhood and don't 1
use your brains in your work and .
.aon't know how to motner your nus-1
( band and your boys and get the best j
m. m .
results by the shortest route like
you'd have to do to be successful in j
L..n;MAnn ..4 ...... II.. ...T. .. t iAinll i3 41.A vnoillt nf ttnlr
uuaiiican, iiuiuiuujr iiui jvu uuvi; i-v
do in your natural sphere will bo
drudgery, won't it? And if you go on
creating this mangling myth about
the drudgery of the home and pass
it on to your daughter and she skims
it over as quickly as she can and
passes the idea on to her daughter,
pretty soon the drudgery or the home
is going to be a reality, isn't it? But
if you love your home and your ba
hies and look at your life work as the
luggest job under God's heaven, .
bringing human beings to life and
caring for them and rearing them in
to the stature of strong men and i
noble women if your mental atti
tude is right there wont' be much
drudgery in it, will there?"
"Dick" said the woman after a long
time, " I'm sorry; oh I'm so sorry
for lots of things. The pity of it is
that; for 1110 . it's too late to mend.
T .
. 1 guess . . you've
j VOU VC
told the truth, Dick. I
do know what's the matter with me.
Yes, I'll confers it. I t was the kids
. the little kids of my own that I
never had. I've lived a lonely abnor
mal life and I gi:ess . I guess .
it's up to me to pay the penalty.
Gawd, haven't I paid the penalty?''
she cried it out suddenly. "Dick, .
perhaps it was the longing for some
remnant of that satisfaction . that
I was seeking . though I wouldn't
hardly dare confess it to myself
whpn , w( t ,.,, W;U, y h ;
(i f.
"Ifopinv that I'd marry you? It's
too late, Mibb. I've seen too much;
I'm all burned out inside. I'm burn
ed out and blue and discouraged and
cynical. It's boon my lot to run up
against only the modern women
meaning the kind that sort of break
out in a riot when someone dares to
say that woman's place is in the
home. Maybe it's because I came a
way from a little town so early in
life. Whatever it is, it's done for
me."
There was an awful pathos in Dick
Robinson's voice. And something
stirred in the woman across the table,
. the woman who had wasted the
substance of her womanhood in sel
fish living. Perhaps it was the latent
spark of maternity; heart answering
heart in the loneliness of worklliness.
A choke came in her parched throat.
She reached forth her hands convul
sively. "Dirk," she whispered, " if you'd
only let me help you; if you only
would!"
"You can't!" he declared harshly.
"No woman can. I've seen so much
now that I wouldn't trust the best
woman that ever drew breath. The
time for that is on the threshold of
life, . not in the exit out into the
late afternoon, . when everything's
in the future and a man needs a
woman's help and a home behind him
of clap-trap about how legislation is
going to change this, that and the
other evil that's afflicting society. But
take it from an old rounder, Mibb,
1 , , 1
mat s an irreveiant ana snanow and ,
to the bedrock and the hard-pan of 1
human , nature and alter the causes !
a.1 j. lr ii .it p
mat are spreading tnc uisease 01 .
social aissat.siaction. iou cant leg-
jslate old mother Nature, Mibb. You
crr't.rip out in a generation all that's '
.!. n. 1
miod, mouier wieir kuis or tneir .
menfolk thcy'ro simply killing the
maternal instinct by distractions. 1
Our industrial gent'ation means fam-
dies moving arounafrom , town to
town where wages ate highest, .
ramI'inK out in rented Wters, get-
ting away from the land.Vfrom nub-
siantiai domestic foundation- weTC
going through a sort of raViftl hy-'
steria for shorter methods, fiulelcer ,
results, labor-saving devices,
mll-
lion distractions and diveraionVnd
-again-gonc-again pabulum. An-
where we're all going to bring up, the
good God in His infinite wisdom only
knows. Now you know what I mean
when I say I've got no use for your
rlllim !l mnmnnl Slim ihnt. T'm ovnoit.
'ed to carrv mv burdens nnH win mv
thing I call maternity, that's an-
i other thing, Mibb. J I don't' ever, ex-
nect to know it
id I m - sour and
caustic about it I inside and .there's
about as much chance of ever re-
1. m ' 11
rovenmr at my lime m .me as mere
is for the cost off living to go down,
Ana tnats hoti cnancei -
"Dick! Dick M And this, this, after
life!"
v. "'J
. "It looks as it is were, Mibb. Kind
of barren and lonely and unpleasant
to look forward to, isn't it?" He re
covered his old self with a sigh.
think of me in those times;
we re a pair or domestic cripples.
Let it go at that."
"Stolen sweets bitter almonds,"
muttered the woman. A man can be
lonely and forget; but a lonely wo
man is the loneliest creature on God's
footstool.
"Hell! Let's forget it, Mibb. I'm
going to order a drink!"
Which he did.
uver in me corner an orcnesira i,i,,m c)lil t .;,,, n,,t .., nh,v ..m.l hi,.
gan jazzy music for the theatre crowd
which was coming in.
CHAPTER IV.
In Which Herb Truman Comes Back,
Stays for But a Little While and.
Then Goes His Way Also Around
the Bend in the Road by the
Sumachs.
If Tom's decision to pass up
ministry for a newspaperman's
...
reer was another great disappoint
ment in his mother's life, old Mary
never made any fuss about it. If she
had ever dreamed of a time when she
should look up into a pulpit and see
her son there, preaching the message
of the good God to a world of sin
sick and heart hungry men and wo
men, and realized like many other
dreams of hers that it would never
materialize, she buried that also in
her poor tired mother-heart and went
rm unfkinrr in nrtiivi1n ftin inl nf 1hi
hnva
Tom Purse was .1 nond bov. TIp'il,'y'
was too good for the Boston Chronicle
oflice! He had been on the Hub
paper a year and seven months, send
ing what money he could back to
his mother, when word came that op -
portunity had opened for him to go
down to New York. He accepted the
place and then for a time we lost
track of him. Next we heard he was
married!
The other boys were coming along
now. Fred had taken an agricultural
course at Amherst and in the sum
mer he used the poor little hillside i
farm to try out his experiments. Then
no returned to conege eacn tan ann
left the hired man to reap the har-
vest. And many is the phenomenal
turnip or apple or melon that Mary
nrougiu us to tne omce wan a panic- ;
tic pride on her plain features fea
tures where now all traces of beauty
and girlhood had faded, leaving her
a plain old woman with hair rapidly
growing white. Then, after gradu
ation, the next we heard, ho had
taken a chair in an agricultural col
lege out in Ohio.
I'or some time Teddy worked for
us carrying papers and washing
forms and doing odd jobs. But
Teddv's mind worked in mechanical
grooves. lie nearly killed nimselt
trying out a home-made flying ma-
chine. And if we were to hesitate
and in a weak moment yield to the
wishes of Sam Hod, about the biggest
i 1 . . . r 1.1 1 . .
incident of drama wo could -drain
from those years "when nothin' didn't
. I happen" was the lime that he con
structed an automobile that got away
from him at the top of Maple Street
hill, careened wildly down into Main
Street and went bang into the win
dow of Ben Williams' clothing store.
The window was plate-glass and
Mary and Teddy had to pay for it.
He left school in the second year ol
a technical course to g" wii.h a firm j
of engineers out in Chicago who I
wanted young men badly in prosper
ous back-fire that resulted from the
1907 panic. Last we heard of Ted,
he was on a big bridge job somewhere
in western Pennsylvania.
I)ick staye(, a,.oum, Paris unti, hp
tj. (.j0j cf,. ,. ai
pn,.!. ,,,. ii' v,m,. ,i
'
X Utl.UltUlla UUI JUl.Ul niiuciuuiu UIIII
stuck to college afterward simply be-
cause ne thought it would eauin him 1
. ,1., u: L:t.,. tr., ,,i 1
,., wl,h fup hp!n nf'hi hroilU 1
aW!l W,ln lne "elP 01 n,s D'OtneiS
S1 1 1 ir lilt iirhrvlk c-fil.t iir
,... ,,0Hin,r mnnimr i.vntw,..
(,... ,. nxia,. ihmix.li c-i,ni'
Gcol.ge piowej through law-schooli
Ktayed for a time with a firm of Bos'
on attorneys and then went under
ilis own sai' tj,c last we heard of
hi hc was mun.ie( so fol. a lawyer
1)e must have pi.ospel.eji
)exl(.,. was the last to leave and
t,0 (iay he s,,t out for Pittsburg
there wasn't n more nitiful sirht in
Pans County than "Aunt Mary."
For that was the name the town gave
her in all kindness.
She laid her frail old hand down
quietly on the case and said in a
voice trembling with emotion:
"If only one of my boys had only
timed out a preacher! But not a
oi'e did! Not a one!"
That was the nearest to a com-
plftint we ever heard her make
"ny to tne terror OI .nme weavers
the other girl. But they were
gone. . juck anu un 01 tnem.
excepting mr. roimroa unggs ana
Sam Hod and herself . and the
cim r f tip it n t n n ri vi n fvnim hit hah n
.. ... ....Kr..
pen across this page travels slowly
now and tired.
nuu iiicii vuiiic tnc uuy wi.eu muiy
dumped her final stick and went out
AJ IL.. 11.. Jr. U. HT
to the Poor Purse Place and never
came back.
It was the day when Herb Trumann
showed up in the village.
I'or iieriicri Trumann dm one
day turn up again in Paris. The
door opened one summer's morning
and a big-bodied, loose-jointed rather
dilapidated individual shuffled into
the oflice dressed in a faded green
cutaway coat with two buttons rid
iculously high in the back, and a pair
of gray trousers badly bagged al the
I knees. He wore a derby hat, a
, sh0(.s in wnich w(,,.e sljts t0 eas0
, nis t0,I)r. A weeks ftTOWth ol- vel.y
white stubble was on an over-pink
jowl and he was given to wheezing.
"Is . Jack Purse in?
does he
WOrk here now?" asked this seedy in -
dividual of Myrtle Corey, our little
Marguerite-Clark proof wader
Myrtle was puzzled.
"Jack Purse! There's onlv
1 Purse around here and that's a wo
,uJ man. Aunt Mary Purse, who's leav-
! ing us today
1 don't know whether
her husband's name was Jack or not."
"I been away for quite a spell,"
apologized the derelict. "But Mary
Purse was Jack Purse's wife . I re
member that, well enough. Is Jack
workin' somewheres else?"
"Golly," exclaimed Myrtle, "he's
dead, linen dead ever so many
years; . long before my time!"
"Dead?'' The man repeated it in
a cracked voice. It didn't appear
that he quite comprehended. There
was an awkward pause.
Aiml
"Do you want me
1o call
"Yes,
I'd like to see Mary,
"R'uin!
1!"
Myrtle went out into the back room
1 but came back in a moment alone.
1 "The foreman says Aunt Mary
I came to work this morning but was -
n't feeling well and went heme, .
about an hour ago."
j "Went home?"
' "Out to the Poor Purse Place on
Cobb Hill."
"The poor Purse place? Did they
used to call it the Wheeler place?"
"I believe so."
"I think I been there. Maybe I'll
. K0 out , conM. )a!.k h.,.a to ;De
j pul.ses. 1 used to know 'em years
.. he s:ai(, whimsicaiiy( somehow
chjid-Uke,
He was moving toward the door
when Sam Hod came in. He cast a
curious glance at the visitor. Then
something stirred in Sam's memory.
"Good morning," he declared. "It
seems to me I remember your face
but I can't recall your name "
"Truman's my name, . Herbert
Truman! . my folks used to own
the Truman Carriage Works years
ago."
veiKorieu ugain me pour ucraici on
the sea ol human life.
j
He visited with us the balance of
j the forenoon ard we learned that he !
( 1 1 i 1 ... . I
had spent much of the intervening
time in Missouri and Kansas. He
kept making constant references to
"my son," so we inferred that he
had been married. But what had be
come of the wife or boy we couldn't
a very connected story,
quite make out, . nor could he tell
"Poor old Herb!' declared Sam
passing me in the back room. "Life
has done for him. As the young
folks say nowadays, he's a little bit
off his nut.'
"I think," said Herb finally in his
childish voice, " that I'll go out and
call on a few folks." and he men-
tioned several names. But we had to
tell him that the people he had come
to see, with the exception ot Mary .
Purse, were all moved away, scatter
ed, or dead.
"There's been quite a lot o'
changes," he said philosophically.
Mibb Henderson? is she here?"
We looked at him and wondered
if he realized he had once been mar-1
. , . . , - . t ho v ,
to her one night in the far western j
city. j
"No," we told him, "Harvey Hen-
derson died, you remember; Mrs. !
Henderson went off with her daugh-1
ter and we never knew what became t
of her." I
"And you don't know where she '
. .. -. i . u ...... . . . . V .IHU ......
is now?"
"No. Not the slightest idea.''
"I think," he said, these items
making 110 impression upon him,," 1
I'll go out and visit Mary Purse. I
used to like Mary Purse. She'll be,
glad to see me."
We brushed him off and knocked
the dents out of his derby hat and
Sam sent out and bought him a col
lar and tie so he could look his best
to visit Mary. He submitted calmly
to the dolling up and claimed he was
grateful when Sam gave him two
dollars. Then he shuffled out of the
office.
It must have taken Herb all day
to walk that six miles because it was
almost sunset when he turned finally
into the Purse yard.
Aunt Mary was sitting on the side
porch, just as she had been sitting
one day when Herb had entered the
yard to tell her the home was her's
no longer. She say the big flabby
hulk with the faded green coat and
the derby hat which had somehow
managed to get the dents back into its
crown on the way out, and she took
him for a tramp come to beg food.
He approached the steps and stood
there for a moment looking around as
though to fix something in his mem
ory. "Why," he said in simple surprise,
" I must o' walked out. And that!
was foolish. I oughter hitched up!
U.nrlr... Itr.ni.!.'
iiiuuuciy , .isiiiii
Mary started. Her eyesight was
failing her after the long years set
ting the little type faces. She came
down one step and peered closer in
to his face.
"Herbert!" she said thickly.
Something in her face, ner voice,
her manner of repeating bis name, did
the business. His wandering thoughts
came back. He recognized her in
that moment and he recognized him
self and he looked down at himself
and out around the yard ns though us
tonished to find himself there.
"I come out to see you, Mary," he
said. "It's a long, long time since
we had a talk."
He sat down opposite her precisely
as he had seated himself one .-um-
lnrrs day 111 me year
before. And
j the past all rose npara'n before both
. of them
"W'heie have you be. 11 all :his time,
lk'i hi i-L?" she asked ia a voice nul
one lov with sympathy.
"Somewhere. . out there! he
said thickly with a wave of his fray
ed arm to the west. "There's been
so many places. 1 can't remember
them all. Just sort o' wandered a
round, Mary, lookin' for happiness.
Don't press me about it. It's you I
wan't to hear about."
And she told him. She told him
about the home on Pleasant Street
and its ending; about. Jack's worries
and struggles and heart holies and
disappointments. She told him too,
about Jack's passing and the years
she had spent since in the Telegraph
I oflice. She told him about each boy
i itm wv,,.r(. he was and what h." had
become and how well he was doing.
And through it all, something of his
; own old personality coming back
through the hazes of an abused mind
and memory, he sat there and never
j interrupted. When she was finished
; with the story down in the present, it
was a different Herbert than the one
, who had left our office who said:
! "And ain't it terrible lonesome for
Hvin' out here alone in this Cobb
1 11111 nouse now mat nexiers gone
1 and old Mrs. Morrow is dead?"
j Old Aunt Mary shut her lips tight
ly to keep back the emotion. But the
tear.; would not slay leashed.
"Yes," she said huskily, "but I love
il. I lived here as a girl and droam
j cd dreams of the future here and left
the old russet apple tree that now is
; only a lightning blasted stump down
! in the orchard here, to go -to Paris
I and take up my life-work there. It
j was here that I buried mother. It
! was here that I came with Jack and
; our family of six little boys. Life
was full of many beautiful things
' then. And the place still stands for
, them now. Jack's coffin was carried
out this door. One by one I watched
the boys go away to college and later
out of my life through this chip-cluttered
yard and down the road and a
round the bend where the sumachs
hid them.
"No, II
The dear
it .voui.i r
else now i .
are all I'
but they'r "
The old man rubbed his lace and
seemed startled to find the stubble
upon it. He made as though to say
something and then checked himself.
For with her eyes fixed on the peace
ful scene in the valley below them
Mary was going on:
"The place is filled with ghosts,
Herbert, but I am not afraid of the
ghosts. There is the ghost of the
little girl who played around here
1 and down under the old russet apple
uee anA the stone wall and the fence
by the woods that have all been cut
away. There is the ghost of my mo-
ther that comes to me in the evenings
and sits with me. by the open window
when the moon is high and the frogs
are peeping. Then there are other
little ghosts boys that once called
me mother and that I worked for and
gave my life for and who are some-
where out in the world now doing the
wain's wmrt LnA t T t. 4W
.... . . ..v.... ...... J v M. .1 bllV,OU
little ghosts again often, Herbert,
toddling through the rooms, playing
about the old toy-scarred furniture
. . . it may sound eery to you, but
many is the door that I open to feel
the presence therein of those who
have gone far off. And I am not
afraid."
Herbert was now quite himself
again. But he was a broken-down old
man.
iviary, ne saiu in his queer
cracked voice, "I loved you once, did-
n't I? You know that."
"Yes, Herbert dear, I believe you
did."
"I wish it was so that we could
we could spend our last few years
together."
She covered her care-lined features
with her gnarled , red hands for the
moment. She lifted them again with
a wonderful gentleness upon her face.
"It would be sacrilege, Herbert,"
she said. "Sacrilege to the ghosts
the memories the ones who are gone.
Not now, Herbert. It it too late. If
you had come ten years ago when I
was struggling to raise the boys, per
haps the drama of our lives might
have had a different ending. But I
am an old woman now, Herbert. I
feel somehow that my work is almost
done. When Jack died the minister
who is also old now, preached a beau
tiful sermon about loaning our loved
ones to eternity to make our antici
pation of death out-balance our fear
of its shadows. I know now what
the minister meant."
(Continued next week)
FAISI TIETHE'J?' ,?,'!!?
I . .....I TV ... r
1 1 "'i ur .r r mi ' :'.!'u'-li.)V.
Deowslifc Supplj Co., OspU 32, BinjS3'.;a, a, Y.
7
1
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