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Mom changed too. I'd run to her, before Pop was like that. She'd joke me, real often. Cookies too. An' do little things for me that was real nice.
But, after, Mom changed. Natchul enough, I suppose. Pop settin' there, rockin', rockin', an' eatin' us out o' house an' home. No woman could stand it. But it made it hard
When a feller comes in tired, it ain't no time to pick at him. An' never no fun a-tall. But I never thought o' fun in them days. An' when the twins come, they made up for it, all right. They certainly was
Gee, Doc was mad. I never will forget his face. "By God, Mis' Barlow," he says. But Mom looked at him, an' he stopped. An' it was hard on her, too—she was dead right.
"An' the boy," he says, but easier. "You're wearin' him out, as it is. An' now this."
I remember how surprised I was that Doc thought o' me. I felt like cryin'. I wanted to tell him I was glad 'bout the baby, but I didn't, o' course. I went out.
It was a long time after that Doc come an' called me. I was in the barn.
"There's two of 'em," he told me. My skin prickled. "Girls. You got your hands full now, my boy." was sixteen then.
Gee! I had a fam'ly! Ain't many kids o' sixteen got a fam'ly! wasn't I the fool!
They ain't my fam'ly. An' I'm thirty-seven.
They ain't nothin' to me but two kid sisters. I been doin' for 'em for over twenty years, an' come right
down to it, I got no strings on 'em. This last summer learned me that, even though they has steadied down, now that they got to.
At first, there, gee, wasn't they cunnin'! Molly had all them little curls close to her head, an' Glen had that dimple. An' now they both got both. But at first they wasn't so much of a pair. They always clung to me. Mom took care of 'em good, o' course. But it was hard on Mom.
I couldn't be in none-just passin' through. But how them kids would reach for me! It makes a feller step out. I worked good.
They got to playin' round like a couple puppies. Only more fun. I was a big feller by then-'bout eighteen, an' tall an' broad. I'd took a spurt there, an' grew.
The summer people begun to come in 'bout that time. They liked to have me round, seems. I made good money. I dressed them kids good.
They was cute. No hand-medowns, always in pairs, like the Stuart girls down to the lake, summers. An' blues, for their eyes, like that artist said. It was fun, goin'
a long time too. I ain't one to begrudge.
It begun easy. I didn't notice at first. They changed to me when them fellers from the military school was campin' down to the lake, that first year. Everything was dressed up an' stylish. That all was new, hereabouts. The girls was sixteen.
They got goin' round. I liked to see 'em.
O' course I liked to see 'em. Asked to the city folks' houses, they was. I was proud. I'd walk by in the dark, times, when there was a party, an' look in. My girls was the purtiest o' the whole lot-blues, I kept 'em in-an' their fluttery curls. I'd puff up.
I done no harm. I wasn't about to find fault or to pry. I was just lookin' on. There ain't much to do for fun hereabouts. When Molly says to stop, I stopped, but I didn't get the meanin'. Only after, when I heard 'em all jokin' the kids 'bout the "night-watchman," an' somethin' 'bout their old man, an' they laughed like they done. It give me a funny feelin'. I thought one or the other of 'em would speak out an' say somethin'. They knew I wasn't mean. They knew I wasn't no nagI liked for them to be gay. ger. "Oh, him!" Molly says, an' Glen laughed too. It made me feel queer. I come away quiet.
It has grew. That was the first. I couldn't know, o' course, but it was a beginnin'.
That winter they went down to Dalleytown to the high school. By Gar, how wild they was! How they tore round, an' sung. How we ordered an' ordered! An' then the packages come!
They was real sweet to me them days here to the house, where no city folks could see 'em, o' course. I remember they used to hang on each arm, an' tease me for this, an' tease me for that. An' sometimes they'd push me in a chair, an' one would sit on my lap, an' one would stand behind an' hug my head. I'd make believe I wouldn't give in to 'em. Lordy, them was great times. We'd keep it up. How they'd tease me, an' laugh! "You big fool," Mom would say.
I missed them kids that winter. It was awful lonely.
"You big fool," Mom would say. "You're just ruinin' them girls. You dress 'em gay, you board 'em good; they should work to Dalleytown, like all the mountain girls does, that gets to the high school." I guess she was right too. But a feller's got to have some fun. An' Pop never said nothin'. He just set an' rocked, like always.
I liked buyin' for 'em. I liked to give 'em things.
I missed the kids terrible. I driv down an' got 'em for Saturdays an' Sundays real often that first winter. It made it nice. After, o' course, they had other things they had to do, an' couldn't get home so often. They was awful sweet 'bout it, so I never let on I minded.
But I minded terrible. I was all alone. A feller's got to have somethin'.
I'd try to visit with Pop. He'd listen all right, but he never was no talker hisself. He just set here an' looked at this stove. "You big fool," Mom would say to me, after.
It was that spring Pop died. He caught cold. It was awful quick. I
didn't miss him none. There was more room though. The house was too big, just Mom an' me. I missed the kids. It got terrible.
I went to see Sadie. It was hard someway. It's too bad. Pourin' out for 'em all these years-an' then that.
This last year to Dalleytown has took every cent. I thought when June come, things would ease up. But I should 'a' remembered last summer. I didn't, but I should 'a'. The city folks, an' all. The boys to the military camp-by Gar, the kids needs a lot.
"They won't wear blue no more," I thought. "Everything else, seems, but blue, like that artist said. So their eyes look different."
to get to go.
I thought she'd be glad to see me. She ain't married, nor so young no more neither, an' we has always knew each other. I done it right too. I went up there a Wednesday.
Sadie done nothin'. She talked o' this an' that, like women will. But it come to me there in Sadie's parlor that there weren't no likely woman on the whole mountain would have me. An' I'm a big feller, an' strong, an' a good worker. Her house is white painted, an' lots o' new furniture. Got a new roof, got a victrola.
It's these summer people. They have changed everything-but me. I been too busy, doin' for my girls, so's they'd be like the summer people.
I'm awful rough. The pretty pretty girls won't have me. Lots o' the plain ones got good hearts, I guess, if you get to know 'em-but you don't get to know 'em.
It was terrible stayin', but it was terrible to get to leave. I set there. After a while I come away.
I made up my mind then I was a old feller. But I felt bad.
was it: "Can we work him." I felt awful funny. An' after, too, when they come an' asked me, so pretty. Like always, it was, only I felt different. I ain't never felt the same since,
I just settled down to do for them kids. It come to me they was the only fam❜ly I'd have to do for. "I got them anyway," I thought. I worked fine, an' they was awful sweet, whenever they come home.
But last summer, it was, I heard 'em talkin'.
"Can we work him for it, do you suppose?" Glen says, low. That
An' their little wispy curls-I miss them curls. They're just a pair o' skinny boys, now.
When I come in, the night o' the accident, an' there was the crowd to supper, I was proud an' happy. "Them city fellers likes it to my house," I thought. I stood there by the sink, washin', an' combin' my hair.
I wasn't goin' in. I was dirtytired too. But by Gar, it is my house. An' then Glen come out, when she heard me, an' says to be quiet, an' not let on, the boys was in there—well, I had a funny feelin'. An' not come in, she says-I could have supper after-they was nearly through.
I set there in the dark. I didn't want no supper. After a while I
It was a grand night. Stars, an' the noise o' little bugs, like always on nice nights in August.
I felt like I'd lost somethin'. It
come to me then my girls was gone from me.
I was stewin' over it in my mind there in the dark, when I slipped on the ledge an' fell. An' the rock come after, an' pinned me down.
I lay there quite a while. But it got so I had to call to 'em. I couldn't stand it no longer.
They got me out, an' to the house. Doc Gordon come. He fixed me fine. It was terrible.
Don't the wind blow outside there!
I must stop thinkin' o' that. I He shouldn't speak to me like he can't stand it, even now.
Well-this all is right comfortable anyway. I never was rested before. Yes, the city fellers got me out an' up to the house an' helped Doc too. An' I been here ever since.
The girls started in when the schools opened, a couple weeks after. By Gar, that was six months ago. Don't time fly!
Glen there to the Ridge school, an' Molly to the Center. Twelve dollars a week apiece they makes. Twelve dollars a week, startin' in. Next year they figger to get more,
Mom took care o' me good. it was hard on Mom.
Doc stops by. He says to me: "You got to get goin', Jamie. It's time you stepped out."
But I tell him: "Oh, I step about a bit. I got to get the use back, o' course. It comes slow."
They ain't so brash spendin' of it neither, now they see how it's come by-an' Mom an' me to do for. They is lookin' ahead, like me.
"Keep at it, Jamie," Doc says. But I'm doin' fine.
"By God, Barlow!" he says this morning-different, he sounded. "Can't you see what's happenin' to you? Get up, man, an' do for yourself. I can't help you no more."
"I got to take it easy," I says. He made me feel bad, speakin' like that
"You big fool," he says, like I never heard him; an' then he says, "I never would 'a' believed it o' you, Jamie." He's different someway, an' I feel bad. I like Doc fine.
I kind o' wish Pop was here, now I'm in the house this way. Six months. I got to take it easy. It would be comp'ny, even though he never was one to talk neither. Only there ain't hardly space for two good chairs, an' this one o' his is right comfortable.
THE MENACE OF LEISURE What to Do with the Sixteen-Hour Day
N THE good old times before Labor was capitalized, the "twelvehour day," which then prevailed, quite naturally meant the working half of man's existence. The other half was hardly worth mentioning. Among the workers, there was little energy left over for discussing it; and among the capitalists, little interest-only a few visionaries bothered their heads about a division of their employees' lives so perfectly balanced that it was easy to accept it as a part of God's plan for the universe.
Then we awoke one morning (no longer ago than yesterday in the scheme of history) and found that the workday had been cut to eight hours. Here was a true revolution in human affairs. But this was not all. Talk was at once let loose about a still further reduction of the "day." An eminent English industrialist ventured the prophecy that if every one of his fellowcountrymen did his part, none need labor more than four hours out of the twenty-four. And Mr. Santayana, alarmed by the idea of overproduction, went so far as to suggest that "in a world composed entirely of philosophers, an hour or two a day of manual labor . . . would provide for material wants."
Although Mr. Santayana's world does not seem imminent, "overproduction" has become a bugbear of the hour, and it is already possible to see a good deal of truth in these speculations. Despite a temporary reaction here and there, as in Fascist Italy, the work period in many activities and in many countries has fallen well below the classic eight hours, if an average be taken for the whole year, and especially if time be taken out, as in football matches, for breaks in routine-like relighting tobacco and waiting for Central. This decrease in working hours in the formal employments is, of course, due to the new organization of industry, with its "mass production" and its machinery-so abhorred by the Butlerites. But the picture is nearly as impressive when one turns to the less organized and more informally employed. Think of the housewife of to-day and the comparative nothingness to which laborsaving devices and electrical appliances, antiseptics and contraceptics, have transformed her once endless drudgery. No wonder we have on our hands a Woman Problem, although this to come straight to the point is merely a part of the larger problem of human leisure.
Considering the dramatic fashion