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n't meet with much credence. "Why did
"Why did moving-picture show (a painted, yellown't he ever come before?” was Sadie haired thing who chewed gum like a cow, Kate's skeptical question.
But Santa was her description of the enchantress), Claus is undoubtedly coming this time. and he spent all of his money on the girl, I asked the doctor, out of politeness, to and never came home except when he was play the chief rôle at our Christmas-tree; drunk. Then he smashed the furniture and being certain ahead of time that he something awful. An easel, with her was going to refuse, I had already en- mother's picture on it, that she had had gaged Percy as an understudy. But there since before she was married, he had is no counting on a Scotchman. Sandy thrown down just for the pleasure of accepted with unprecedented graciousness, hearing it crash. And finally she had and I had privately to unengage Percy! just got too tired to live, so she drank a
bottle of swamp-root because somebody
had told her it was poison if you took it Tuesday. all at once.
But it did n't kill her; it Is n't it funny, the way some inconse- only made her sick. And he came back, quential people have of pouring out what- and said he would choke her if she ever ever happens to be churning about in their tried that on him again; so she guessed minds at the moment? They seem to he must still care something for her. All have no residue of small talk, and are this quite casually while she stirred her never able to dismiss a crisis in order to tea. discuss the weather.
I tried to think of something to say, This is apropos of a call I received to- but it was a social exigency that left me day. A woman had come to deliver her dumb. But Sandy rose to the occasion sister's child - sister in a sanatorium for like a gentleman. He talked to her beautuberculosis; we to keep the child until tifully and sanely, and sent her away the mother is cured, though I fear, from actually uplifted. Our Sandy, when he what I hear, that will never be. But, tries, can be exceptionally nice, particuanyway, all the arrangements had been larly to people who have no claim upon made, and the woman had merely to him. I suppose it is a matter of profeshand in the little girl and retire. But sional etiquette-part of a doctor's busihaving a couple of hours between trains, ness to heal the spirit as well as the body. she intimated a desire to look about, so I Most spirits appear to need it in this showed her the kindergarten-rooms and world. My caller has left me needing it. the little crib that Lily will occupy, and I have been wondering ever since what I our yellow dining-room, with its frieze should do if I married a man who deof bunnies, in order that she might re- serted me for a chewing-gum girl, and port as many cheerful details as possible who came home and smashed the bric-àto the poor mother. After this, as she brac. I suppose, judging from the theaseemed tired, I socially asked her to walk ters this winter, that it is a thing that into my parlor and have a cup of tea. might happen to any one, particularly in Doctor MacRae, being at hand and in a the best society. hungry mood (a rare state for him; he You ought to be thankful you 've got now condescends to a cup of tea with the Jervis. There is something awfully cerofficers of this institution about twice a tain about a man like him. The longer I month), came, too, and we had a little live, the surer I am that character is the
only thing that counts. But how on earth The woman seemed to feel that the can you ever tell? Men are so good at burden of entertainment rested upon her, talking! and by way of making conversation, she Good-by, and a merry Christmas to told us that her husband had fallen in Jervis and both Judies. love with the girl who sold tickets at a
P.S. It would be a pleasant attention if to read who is engaged to a politician. you would answer my letters a little more Read it, Gordon dear, and assiduously promptly.
train your character away from Numa's.
It 's the story of a politician who is disJohn Grier Home, December 29.
quietingly fascinating (like you). Who Dear Judy:
is adored by all who know him (like Sadie Kate has spent the week com
you). Who has a most persuasive way of posing a Christmas letter to you, and it
talking and makes wonderful speeches leaves nothing for me to tell. Oh, we've
(again like you). He is worshiped by had a wonderful time! Besides all the everybody, and they all say to his wife, presents and games and fancy things to
“What a happy life you must lead, knoweat, we have had hay-rides and skating- ing so intimately that wonderful man!" parties and candy-pulls. I don't know But he was n't very wonderful when whether these pampered little orphans
he came home to her-only when he had will ever settle down again into normal an audience and applause. He would children.
drink with every casual acquaintance, and Many thanks for my six gifts. I like
be gay and bubbling and expansive; and them all, particularly the picture of Judy,
then return morose and sullen and down. Junior; the tooth adds a pleasant touch to
"Toie de rue, douleur de maison," is the her smile.
burden of the book. You 'll be glad to hear that I 've placed
I read it till twelve last night, and out Hattie Heaphy in a minister's family,
honestly I did n't sleep for being scared. and a dear family they are; they never
I know you 'll be angry, but really and blinked an eyelash when I told them
truly, Gordon dear, there 's just a touch about the communion-cup. communion-cup. They've
too much truth in it for
entire given her to themselves for a Christmas ment. I did n't mean even to refer again present, and she went off so happily,
to that unhappy matter of August 20,clinging to her new father's hand!
we talked it all out at the time, but you I won't write more now, because fifty
know perfectly that you need a bit of children are writing thank-you letters,
watching. And I don't like the idea. I and poor Aunt Judy will be buried be- want to have a feeling of absolute confineath her mail when this week's steamer
dence and stability about the man I
marry. I never could live in a state of My love to the Pendletons.
anxious waiting for him to come home. S. McB.
Read "Numa" for yourself, and you 'll
see the woman's point of view. I 'm not P.s. Singapore sends his love to Togo, patient or meek or long-suffering in any and is sorry he bit him on the ear.
way, and I 'm a little afraid of what I'm
capable of doing if I have the provocation. John Grier Home, December 30. My heart has to be in a thing in order to Oh dear, Gordon, I have been reading make it work, and, oh, I do so want our the most upsetting book!
marriage to work! I tried to talk some French the other Please forgive me for writing all this. day, and not making out very well, de- I don't mean that I really think you 'll be cided that I had better take my French a “joy of the street, and sorrow of the in hand if I did n't want to lose it en- home.” It 's just that I did n't sleep last tirely. That Scotch doctor of ours has night, and I feel sort of hollow behind mercifully abandoned my scientific education, so I have a little time at my own dis- May the year that 's coming bring good posal. By some unlucky chance I began counsel and happiness and tranquillity to with "Numa Roumestan," by Daudet. both of us! It is a terribly disturbing book for a girl
January 1. and we put in
pretty terrible night. It Dear Judy:
developed afterward that the boy had Something terribly sort of queer has brought along with his luggage a bottle happened, and positively I don't know of liniment belonging to his employer. It whether it did happen or whether I was made half of alcohol and half of dreamed it. I'll tell you from the be- witch-hazel; and Thomas had refreshed ginning, and I think it might be as well his journey with this! if you burned this letter; it 's not quite He was in such shape that positively I proper for Jervis's eyes.
did n't think we'd pull him through You remember my telling you the case and I hoped we would n't. If I were a of Thomas Kehoe, whom we placed out physician, I 'd let such cases gently slip last June? He had an alcoholic heredity away for the good of society; but you on both sides, and as a baby seems to have should have seen Sandy work! That terbeen fattened on beer instead of milk. rible life-saving instinct of his was He entered the John Grier at the age of aroused, and he fought with every inch nine, and twice, according to his record of energy he possessed. in the Doomsday Book, he managed to I made black coffee, and helped all I get himself intoxicated, once
could, but the details were pretty messy, stolen from some workmen, and once and I left the two men to deal with him (and thoroughly) on cooking brandy. alone and went back to my room. But I
see with what misgivings we did n't attempt to go to bed ; I was afraid placed him out; but we warned the fam- they might be wanting me again. Toily (hard-working temperate farming- ward four o'clock Sandy came to my lipeople) and hoped for the best.
brary with word that the boy was asleep Yesterday the family telegraphed that and that Percy had moved up a cot and they could keep him no longer. Would would sleep in his room the rest of the I please meet him on the six o'clock train ? night. Poor Sandy looked sort of ashen Turnfelt met the six o'clock train. No and haggard and done with life. As I boy. I sent a night message telling of his looked at him, I thought about how desnon-arrival and asking for particulars. perately he worked to save others, and
I stayed up later than usual last night never saved himself, and about that disputting my desk in order and --sort of mal home of his, with never a touch of making up my mind to face the New cheer, and the horrible tragedy in the Year. Toward twelve I suddenly real- background of his life. All the rancor ized that the hour was late and that I I 've been saving up seemed to vanish, and was very tired. I had begun getting ready a wave of sympathy swept over me. I for bed when I was startled by a banging stretched my hand out him; he on the front door. I stuck my head out stretched his out to me.
And suddenly of the window and demanded who was I don't know-something electric hapthere.
pened. In another moment we were in "Tommy Kehoe,” said a very shaky each other's arms. He loosened my hands, voice.
and put me down in the big arm-chair. I went down and opened the door, and "My God! Sallie, do you think I 'm made that lad, sixteen years old, tumbled in, of iron?” he said and walked out. I went dead drunk. Thank Heaven! Percy to sleep in the chair, and when I woke Witherspoon was within call, and not the sun was shining in my eyes and Jane away off in the Indian camp! I roused was standing over me in amazed conhim, and together we conveyed Thomas sternation. to our guest-room, the only decently iso- This morning at eleven he came back, lated spot in the building. Then I tele- looked me coldly in the eye without so phoned for the doctor, who, I am afraid, much as the Alicker of an eyelash, and told had already had a long day. He came, me that Thomas was to have hot milk
every two hours and that the spots in your heart, for I know perfectly well Maggie Peters's throat must be watched. that you don't.
Here we are back on our old standing, Forgive me for that last letter if it and positively I don't know but what I hurt your feelings. Since I came to this dreamed that one minute in the night! asylum I am extremely touchy on the But it would be a piquant situation, subject of drink; you would be, too, if
, would n't it, if Sandy and I should dis- you had seen what I have seen. Several cover that we were falling in love with of my chicks are the sad result of alcoeach other, he with a perfectly good wife holic parents, and they are never going in the insane asylum and I with an out- to have a fair chance all their lives. You raged fiancé in Washington? I don't can't look about a place like this without know but what the wisest thing for me "aye keeping up a terrible thinking.” to do is to resign at once and take myself You are right, I am afraid, about it 's home, where I can placidly settle down being a woman's trick to make a great to a few months of embroidering "S. show of forgiving a man, and then never McB." on table-cloths, like any other re- letting him hear the end of it. Well, spectable engaged girl.
Gordon, I positively don't know what the I repeat very firmly that this letter
word “forgiving” means. It can't include is n't for Jervis's consumption. Tear it "forgetting," for that is a physiological into little pieces and scatter them in the process, and does not result from an act Caribbean.
of the will. We all have a collection of S.
memories that we would happily lose, but
somehow those are just the ones that inJanuary 3.
sist upon sticking. If "forgiving" means Dear Gordon:
promising never to speak of a thing again, You are right to be annoyed. I know I can doubtless manage that. But it is n't I 'm not a satisfactory love-letter writer. always the wisest way to shut an unpleas
m I have only to glance at the published ant memory inside you. It grows and correspondence of Elizabeth Barrett and
grows, and runs all through you like a Robert Browning to realize that the poison. warmth of my style is not up to standard. Oh dear! I really did n't mean to be But you know already --you have known saying all this. I try to be the cheerful, a long time—that I am not a very emo- care-free (and somewhat light-headed) tional person. I suppose I might write a Sallie you like best; but I 've come in lot of such things as: “Every waking mo- touch with a great deal of realness during ment you are in my thoughts.” “My this last year, and I 'm afraid I 've grown dear boy, I only live when you are near. into a very different person from the girl But it would n't be absolutely true. You you fell in love with. I 'm no longer a don't fill all my thoughts; 107 orphans gay young thing playing with life. I do that. And I really am quite comforta- know it pretty thoroughly now, and that bly alive whether you are here or not. I means that I can't be always laughing. have to be natural. You surely don't I know this is another beastly uncheerwant me to pretend more desolation than ful letter, -as bad as the last, and maybe I feel. But I do love to see you, you worse, - but if you knew what we 've just know that perfectly,-- and I am disap- been through! A boy --sixteen-of unpointed when you can't come.
speakable heredity has nearly poisoned preciate all your charming qualities, but, himself with a disgusting mixture of alcomy dear boy, I can't be sentimental on pa- hol and witch-hazel. We have been per. I am always thinking about the hotel working three days over him, and are just chambermaid who reads the letters you sure now that he is going to recuperate casually leave on your bureau. You need sufficiently to do it again! "It 's a gude n't expostulate that you carry them next warld, but they 're ill that 's in 't."
I fully ap
Please excuse that Scotch! It slipped awake, with a bright light in my eyes. I out. Please excuse everything!
jumped out of bed and ran to the winSALLIE.
dow. The carriage-house was a mass of
flames, and a shower of sparks was sweepN
ing over our eastern wing. I ran to the
bath-room and leaned out of the window. carriage House
I could see that the roof over the nursery was already blazing in half a dozen places.
Well, my dear, my heart just simply
did n't beat for as much as a minute. I
thought of those seventeen babies up un
der that roof, and I could n't swallow. Babies
I finally managed to get my shaking knees My
to work again, and I dashed back to the Yooms
hall, grabbing my automobile coat as I
I drummed on Betsy's and Miss Matthew's and Miss Snaith's doors, just as Mr. Witherspoon, who had also been wakened by the light, came tumbling upstairs three steps at a time, struggling into
an overcoat as he ran. Si
“Get all the children down to the dinJanuary 10.
ing-room, babies first," I gasped. "I'll Dear Judy:
turn in the alarm.” I hope my two cablegrams did n't give He dashed on up to the third floor you too dreadful a shock. I would have while I ran to the telephone--and oh, I waited to let the first news come by letter, thought I 'd never get Central! She was with a chance for details, but I was so sound asleep. afraid you might hear it in some indirect "The John Grier Home is burning! way. The whole thing is dreadful Turn in the fire-alarm and rouse the vilenough, but no lives were lost, and only lage. Give me 505,” I said. one serious accident. We can't help shud- In one second I had the doctor. Maybe dering at the thought of how much worse I was n't glad to hear his cool, unexcited it might have been, with over a hundred voice! sleeping children in this fire-trap of a "We 're on fire!" I cried. "Come building. That new fire-escape was abso- quick, and bring all the men you can!" lutely useless. The wind was blowing "I'll be there in fifteen minutes. Fill toward it, and the fames simply envel- the bath-tubs with water and put in blanoped it. We saved them all by the center kets." And he hung up. stairs--but I 'll begin at the beginning, I dashed back to the hall. Betsy was and tell the whole story.
ringing our fire-bell, and Percy had alIt had rained all day Friday, thanks to ready routed out his Indian tribes in dora merciful Providence, and the roofs were mitories B and C. thoroughly soaked. Toward night it be- Our first thought was not to stop the gan to freeze, and the rain turned to sleet. fire, but to get the children to a place of By ten o'clock, when I went to bed, the safety. We began in G, and went from wind was blowing a terrible gale from the crib to crib, snatching a baby and a blannorthwest, and everything loose about the ket, and rushing them to the door, and building was banging and rattling. About handing them out to the Indians, who two o'clock I suddenly started wide lugged them down-stairs. Both G and