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for her. She had to do something with that Russian princess who is knocking about here now. They have n't been gone ten minutes.» I was interrupting-«Oh, was she here? What is she like? I have a real curiosity about that woman.»

Well, I have n't,» Mrs. Todd remarked dispassionately; «I don't think she's respectable, and I would n't meet her. I lay on my bed-it's the only place I can retire to-till they were gone. Poor Sue!» she added, with a pitying and humorous smile.

I knew the fine philosophy with which Mrs. Todd resigned herself to the fact that her daughter must know all sorts of people, and the yet finer poise with which she kept the choice of selection for herself, and I understood that exclamation and that smile. She had explained to me before that Sue liked to keep up the fiction, first of all to herself, that all her acquaintances were «lovely,» and her mother never, to her, expressed any serious disapprobation of any of them; she only refused to meet them.

«Did you know my son Jackson was here making us a visit?» the mother asked, after dismissing the daughter thus. «Yes; it does me good to see him, he 's such a piece of the past-a perfect chunk of the old South. He does n't fit in a flat very well, and he nearly dies of Araminta, not because she won't wait on him, she certainly won't on anybody, but because he thinks she does-a white woman, my dear! He has n't any sense, but he 's very good and very smart, and as long as he can't get along at all anywhere, and might as well be in one place as another, why, it's a real comfort to me to hear him talk the ideas I was raised on. I don't know what 's going to become of him. He don't believe in Sue working for a living; he objects strongly. He believes in woman being taken care of and protected. Poor Jackson! Sue's trying to get him something to do. I'm sure I don't know what it will be. She and Dr. Parsons talk about a pull, and it seems if you can pull a pull it is n't necessary to do anything else. But Jackson is not lazy; he 's only helpless. Yes; Dr. Parsons ought to be here now. I wish she was n't coming at all. I hate women doctors, but it suits Sue's plans to have her. Oh, she's nice enough, and she 'll look so prompt and businesslike when she gets here you'll think the sun is wrong about the hour. It's so tiresome to have that sort of affectation added to all the rest of our petticoat flummery.»

But Dr. Parsons did not make her visit that day. Mr. Todd came in, however, before

I left, and I made his acquaintance. He was a tall, sallow young man, handsome in an oldfashioned way, his dark curls a little long and his face clean-shaven. It was noticeable that, despite the curls and the shaving, he escaped the look of an actor-escaped it as completely as did Henry Clay or any other lawyer of his day. This was the odder because his face had nothing of the shrewd strength that marks the man of affairs; it was like a copy of the old-time lawyer type done by a bad artist-smooth and weak, but with something of the original in it. He had fine dark eyes that most of the time seemed to look afar into space-and to see nothing. He wore, of course, a black frock-coat, and he carried, when he entered, a gray soft hat. He made me a bow and kissed his mother's hand. That lady looked equally pleased and amused by this tribute, and remarked to me her manner suggested that her son was deaf-that she reckoned Jackson was the only man that would ever kiss her hand again in this world. Perhaps this is the place to state that she was a widow.

«Miss Addington 's been waiting a long time to see Dr. Parsons,» she said to her son.

He gave out a faint sound like a groan, and his mother brightened up and resettled herself as if to listen.

«Do you know this-this young lady?» he said to me.

I said I had come there to make her acquaintance; and with an amiable desire to further his mother's obvious intention and draw him out, I added that I was going to write something as to how a young woman arrives at a medical practice in New York.

«She arrives at the idea of practising such a profession through a miserable debasement of the idea of womanhood,» said Mr. Todd, solemnly, adding gently, «Do not think I make any personal reflection on-on Miss Parsons. I have not met the lady, but her acceptance in this household proves her right to that title.»

«Does it?» murmured his mother. Her son was going on, saying:

«She is doubtless a victim-a victim as even my own sister is»-then quickly and emphatically-«though in a much less degree -much less-to the monstrous inversions of order and right that in the North»-«Nawth,» he called it-«are to-day called progress. My sister is imbued with these ideas that she don't understand; she defends her position as a breadwinner-a position that woman should never fill.»

Even Mrs. Todd found this not altogether amusing; an odd, troubled look crossed her

face, and I imagined I knew the kind of conversation in which poor, pleasant, good little Sue tried to be clever to keep from being frank, as frankness must suggest a question as to why this helpless brother did not support her.

«My sister is of course in no such position as Miss Parsons » - Mr. Todd was talking on, unconscious of us except as having ears into which true doctrine might be poured. «Miss Parsons may escape the worst of the natural results of her position; she is the product of sounder conditions than now surround her; but I cannot-as a man who knows the world I feel-> He stopped, with a little slow shake of the head, looking far through the boot his crossed legs brought before him. His silence told what his chivalry forbade him to speak -that in his opinion Miss Parsons was, as it were, a peach that, however fine, had inevitably lost its bloom.

«As a true Southerner you feel this, Miss Addington, I know," he added, with the kindly intention of relieving me from any imputation of complicity with evil.

"I think there is a great deal of truth in your views; but then, you see,» I went on rather flippantly, «I am not sure that Dr. Parsons is a peach. She may be just a common apple, with no bloom to lose.»

I quite forgot for the instant that this valuable simile had not been actually brought out. But it was no matter, for Mr. Todd did not remember either that his thought had remained unspoken. He answered solemnly, if his remark could be called an answer:

« Woman's delicacy is the flower of creation—a flower all things should combine to


«Sue ought to be able to get away from her disreputable princess by this time,» said his mother, briskly; «she was going to help her with a list of people who are interested in the Crippled Babies' Hospital. The princess is going to give some amateur theatricals for it. Sue has done a great deal to make the crippled babies fashionable.»>

Mr. Todd looked vaguely uncomfortable; he murmured something about womanly compassion.

«The princess is getting a fine social foothold,» said Mrs. Todd; «she knows just how to go to work.» Her blue eyes, still bright in her faded face, sparkled sweetly upon me.

«The Lord seems to cause several things besides the wrath of man to praise him,» I said; «but it's all too deep for me; it makes my head spin; your society is too stimulating-this was Mrs. Todd's frequent plea for seclusion.

"It does n't make Jackson's head spin. That's the comfort about Jackson: his views are settled.» And his mother's eyes rested on him with affection-and other things.

«A thinking man should understand his reasons for the belief that is in him,» said Jackson, with gentle complacency, rising to open the door for me.

I accomplished my meeting with Dr. Parsons soon, and, in technical phrase, «got a story out of her»-not this one; it accumulated more slowly. It was true she was not a talker, but she did answer questions well. She was a large, buxom, fresh-colored, goodlooking young woman, well dressed and well poised, looking on the world through a pair of clear brown eyes that, as you looked into them, seemed peculiarly free from speculation; they saw your clothes and the tables and chairs-the very converse of Mr. Todd's dark, luminous orbs, that never with any distinctness saw the tables and chairs, but were apt to dilate with reflection that omitted consideration of most mundane furniture.

Mrs. Todd, that kindly but rather appallingly overlooking and philosophical humorist, took a notion, as Sue phrased it, to invite Dr. Parsons and me to meet at luncheon.

«Mama used to love to bring nice people together so much,» said the daughter; «and now she hardly ever is well enough to take an interest in company, so I was mighty pleased when she said she wanted you two to come; and she wants you while brother is with us.»

Mrs. Todd was arranging a comedy for herself, and I might have disquieted myself as to what part I was to play; but I was content to let her cast it as she would, pleased to contribute blindly to her pleasure.

«How long is your brother to stay?» I asked idly.

Miss Todd's sunny face clouded a little. «Well, the truth is,» said she, «brother came on with an idea of remaining in New York. Things are so bad in the South, and he can't make the land we 've got pay at all. But I don't know, I'm sure » -full stop; then: «I've been trying to get him something to do under the city government, if it was only a very small position. I've got a cousin here that 's a Tammany man with some influence, and Dr. Parsons has an uncle with a pull-she told you about being a Board of Health doctor one year. But we can't expect to get anything for him right away; things will have to work round to it, and brother talks some about going back home. I don't know how he can do that either.»>

Miss Todd spoke the last sentence in a

tone of bothered meditation, and more to herself than to me. Plainly the care of the head of the house was heavy upon her. When I entered Mrs. Todd's ugly little parlor on the festal day I found Dr. Parsons already there. Mr. Todd was entertaining her. «Dr. Parsons is telling me about her work of mercy in certain tenement-houses," he said to me, with a faint stress on the word "doctor, as if to admonish me not to offend the lady's ears by omitting it, not to do so himself being a point of breeding to which principle must bend.

I have medical charge of some houses belonging to Mrs. Sam Hartley,» said Dr. Parsons, in her tranquil, impersonal way. «It's a new kind of charity she is starting; she pays for the medical supervision of some tenements she owns, and I 've got the place.»>

Oh, yes; I remembered now Miss Todd's talk the day she came to see if the «Appeal» would let her write up Mrs. Hartley in the society column.

I asked the doctor if she liked the work, and she answered, «I've just started on it, and there does n't seem much to do; the sanitary arrangements are pretty good; there's one interesting spinal case among the children.» «The practice of medicine among little children,» said Mr. Todd-«that seems like it would suit woman best.» He smiled upon the doctor, and at his own gallant insincerity in taking a tolerant tone.

"It does n't seem a very good branch for a specialty,» she replied; «people will call on their family physician too much to make it pay generally.»

Mr. Todd shook his head slowly, looking into space. «Woman ought not to feel that part of the burden of life; she ought not.>>

I saw that he was finding it necessary to air his views; he could no longer endure the suppression of truth.

"I wish she did n't,» said Dr. Parsons, evenly, simply, sincerely, as before; «I wish I did n't have to earn my living.»>

Like so many of her class, she plainly was attached to no advanced generalizations on the woman question »; she was prepared to meet a condition, not a theory.>>

What would you like to do?» I asked, while Jackson Todd turned on her a pitying gaze of new friendliness.

"Well, I don't know; I like medicine, but I'd rather have an income.»

«Most people would,» I laughingly declared. "Miss-Dr. Parsons shows her true woman's instinct,» said the man. And Dr. Parsons's clear face gave out the touching information

that Mr. Todd's comment, not mine, pleased her. She had had her womanliness questioned on the ground of her profession, even in New York; and now the Southerner's unexpected reading of feminine delicacies into her familiar sentiments gave her a gratification that was weakened by no sense of discrepancy between his view and hers. She had no such sense; the simplest metaphysical cogitation was not a familiar process to her mind.

Mr. Todd sat next her at table, and was particularly deferential to her and especially instructive, as if he felt sorry for her, and wished to show that he did not discount her personally because of her unfortunate position. He told her a great deal about government and society, -he was quite amazingly logical and able when he became sufficiently abstract, and she listened with just that same flattered, flattering, and non-comprehending indulgence that women usually give when men treat them to such talk. She evidently had not an atom of unfeminine interest in or familiarity with sociology or politics, and the fun of that was that Mr. Todd would have never so far forgotten himself as to launch into such exhaustive researches if he had not felt that Dr. Parsons was inevitably, by virtue of her title, half a man. assumed that she had fortified herself with much consideration of sociology, and he often accepted her vague assent as a surrender. Mrs. Todd did not miss the entertainment she expected. Sue looked and listened with anxious satisfaction.


« Brother is very smart,» she said in an aside to me as the others left the diningroom; «and I think Dr. Parsons enjoyed hearing him talk, don't you? If she wanted to, I know she could do a heap to help him. I rather reckon she likes him.>>

When we were once again in the parlor Mrs. Todd had me sit down by her, and held and patted my hand while she watched the others. They were bending together over an embroidered counterpane some great-grandmother had spun and woven and worked. Sue had never thought of showing it to the doctor till Jackson came-Jackson, redolent of the old South.

«Poor Sue!» said her mother; «her heart's in her mouth, she 's so dreadfully anxious to get the doctor to help us out with Jackson. M-m-m,» she mused, after a pause; «I wonder if I could help her out. Does it strike you »

she began her sentence with unusual emphasis, looked at me suddenly, then stopped «no, it never would strike you »—she returned to her usual sweet, amused drawl

«you are too smart ever to have the right things strike you-like Jackson.>>

I thought this was very «mean,» and said so, as it was my particular pride that I did grasp realities-that I was not like Jackson. << Which way do you go from here?» Mrs. Todd asked by way of reply.


"So does the doctor. I wish, my dear, if you'll pardon me and take an explanation later, that you'd go first, and say you are going up-town. If you don't say that, she'll go with you.»>

I said there was nothing delighted me more than to be part of a plot, even though I knew not what part or what plot; and I took myself off.

Now it so fell out that two weeks later Dr. Parsons and I saw something more of each other. The «Evening Appeal» was always changing hands and policy, and just now Mr. Samuel Hartley bought a controlling share of its stock, and the editorial staff were obliged to find entirely new lights on the question as to whether or not he stole the railroad; and it fell to me to write a «special» on Mrs. Hartley's management of her tenement-houses, particularly illuminating the philanthropic care she showed for her tenants' health. I made a tour of the houses with Dr. Parsons, and we found one case of pneumonia that the doctor pronounced interesting. I thought the patient-a beautiful four-year-old baby girl-interesting; her mother, with a new baby, was lying helpless in the same room, and I was troubled that the child should lack proper nursing. Finally I saw a chance to add new features to my article, and perhaps save a life (it might perhaps better be lost, but to reason at all seems to be to reason too curiously for this world), and I said I'd sit up that night with the baby. Dr. Parsons promised to call again after I returned.

Mrs. Hartley's tenements were in Leroy street, and into that grimy but fairly wellintentioned quarter I came alone on this raw March evening.

The O'Grady family, whose interests had combined with those of the «Appeal» to bring me here, were a pleasing company, and I feel inclined to stray from my text and tell how Chimmy,» aged nine, and by profession a bootblack, tended the new baby, and how Mary, my patient, turned her lovely, longfringed dark eyes here and there to follow it about, as if new babies were as rare and precious as diamonds in Leroy street; but all that went, and more properly, into the «Ap

peal,» and now my business lies chiefly with other people. Dr. Parsons disappointed me; anxious hours passed, and she did not come. At last, after midnight, she entered the O'Grady front door. She had been called out of town, but had come to Mary's rescue and mine as soon as she could get back; there was another patient in the next house that she wished to see, too. She examined Mary, went out and made her other visit, came back, and said she was going to stay till morning. I protested, but protesting against such impersonal obstinacy as Dr. Parsons's seemed a feeble process. She said her cars had stopped, Mary was in a critical state, another new baby was imminent two floors above, it was snowing, and she was going to stay; also she was going to get all the sleep she could, and she made up the fire in the stove, spread her ulster and mine on the floor, and settled herself for a nap.

Toward daylight she slept soundly, and she was undisturbed till the O'Grady family were astir and Chimmy was again busy with the baby. Then she arose, said Mary was better, and we had better go home; but just then she was called to the case two floors above, and I waited for her-there was a good deal to be done for the O'Gradys if one wished to do it. Chimmy and I made conversation about the weather; it was still snowing.

Well, it was rather an important matter, read in the light of future events, that that baby should have chosen just that time to get himself born. He seemed to be a businesslike baby, and caused no unnecessary delay; but when the doctor and I finally did start home, to start was all we could do. We might have made the journey an hour earlier, but now it was nearly nine o'clock and we were facing the «big blizzard » — the historic blizzard. We did not face it long; we let ourselves be blown back into the entry, and there very thankfully caught the breath that had been knocked out of us. «What can we do?»

<<What will those poor O'Gradys do?»

Chimmy just then blew in upon us; he had started out after milk, had been unable to reach the grocer's, and had crawled home on his hands and knees.

We were a houseful of women, children, and sick persons besieged by the storm. There was no visible male head to the O'Grady family (O'Grady had chosen this time, I understood, for a not unprecedented holiday from domestic cares), and the men who were, so to speak, on duty had departed before the blizzard had shown its true character. We

went back to the O'Grady home and consid- and organized labor to that end. At first all ered. Before we arrived at any conclusion the aborigines were inclined to << wait till it something new happened: Mr. Jackson Todd, let up.» Mr. Todd gazed at them with the snow-plastered and panting, came upon us. I commiseration of intellect for childishness. was dumfounded; Dr. Parsons was not; she «But if it don't abate?» he inquired. And turned from bending over Mrs. O'Grady's bed, in the teeth of what was going on no one the new baby in her hands. rose to combat his fixed idea that weeks of such weather were to be expected in a Northern winter. All acquiesced finally in his measures for meeting an arctic age. With the help of some borrowed money the house laid in fine supplies, and I suppose neighboring houses, when the time of dearth came, suffered the more for these efforts of ours; but philanthropy never bears examination.

«Why, Mr. Todd!» she exclaimed quite placidly.

«Angels of mercy!» said Jackson, his voice uneven with feeling. «Now that I know I have found you, I'll go beat some of this snow off.» "How in the world did he know we were here?» I exclaimed.

«Why, I told them there yesterday that you were going to stay here last night; I suppose they thought you might need help.» Mr. Todd, as he turned his steaming self about before the rusty cooking-stove, said: "My mother thought you would be here, Dr. Parsons; she said she knew you'd hate to leave Miss Addington when you got around here-so late, too.»

Dr. Parsons smiled sweetly, remarking to me, «I told Mrs. Todd I had to go out of town; I went from her house.>>

I did not conceive that Dr. Parsons had stayed on my account, and I was puzzled, trifling as the matter was, to hear of Mrs. Todd talking such nonsense.

Before we could think of getting away ourselves, something must be done for the people about us. Mr. Todd showed to advantage in his hearty desire to help everybody. He was happy in the whole thing, for he took the storm as a fair example of Yankee weather, and all helplessness against it as evidence of Yankee inefficiency.

«Now there 'll have to be some more coal here pretty soon,» said he, hefting the halfempty sack beside the stove; «and everything is getting blocked up pretty fast. It is a singular thing to me that Yankees don't seem to know how to meet their own climate better.» «T ain't never like dis before,» declared Chimmy, showing a remarkable comprehension of English, and a wounded vanity as touching as surprising. But neither Mr. Todd nor Dr. Parsons heard him; they were talking about coal and milk, and canvassing plans for our escape. He buttoned up and wrapped up and tied up to go on errands with winning cheerfulness. He staggered back under a load that won him the patronizing approval of two or three men of the house who had managed to return to their homes. There was a busy hour spent in victualing the garrison, for Mr. Todd stirred up every one with his lurid views of the siege,

Anyhow, it was all very becoming to Dr. Parsons; she warmed into a human vivacity and sensibility beyond my previous notion of the possible.

«Now you must go and find some way to take care of us,» she declared at last, speaking merrily to Mr. Todd. «You remember the way to that block I told you about? I'm sure I don't know what would become of us if it were n't for you. And while you are gone I'll get the baby to sleep.» And suiting the action to the word, she took up the baby and began unscrupulously rocking it.

«Of course the baby was asleep,>> I said to myself, in idle, passing wonderment. «<What is there about the study of medicine that takes all the natural woman instinct out of women? She'll wake that baby next!»

Mr. Todd reconnoitered as far as Greenwich Avenue; that he did not get hopelessly lost down there, where the oldest inhabitant may miss his way in fair weather, is a fact creditable to his inherited instinct for a trail. He returned with a thrilling tale of whitened beings sliding down the columns of the elevated road in escape from snowbound trains. We-the doctor and I-could not hope to reach our homes, and he had found for us a nearer haven in a lodginghouse, a kind of queer hotel, such as might be looked for in that quarter. Mr. Todd proposed to convey us one at a time to this many-odored port.

«Get your things on, Miss Addington; I'll take you first, if you like.»>

I looked at the doctor, as one will in such a case, not replying instantly; and she said promptly:

«I'll go first, if you 'd rather; I'd just as


I had no preference about it, so she did go first.

«I'll get back as soon as I can, Mrs. O'Grady,» she said, standing by the bed as

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