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´╗┐Title: Bab: a Sub-Deb
Author: Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 1876-1958
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bab: a Sub-Deb" ***

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BAB: A SUB-DEB

By Mary Roberts Rinehart

Author Of "K," "The Circular Staircase," "Kings, Queens And Pawns," Etc.



CONTENTS

     I      THE SUB-DEB
     II     THEME: THE CELEBRITY
     III    HER DIARY
     IV     BAB'S BURGLAR
     V      THE G.A.C.



CHAPTER I

THE SUB-DEB: A THEME WRITTEN AND SUBMITTED IN LITERATURE CLASS BY
BARBARA PUTNAM ARCHIBALD, 1917.

DEFINITION OF A THEME:

A theme is a piece of writing, either true or made up by the author,
and consisting of Introduction, Body and Conclusion. It should contain
Unity, Coherence, Emphasis, Perspecuity, Vivacity, and Presision. It may
be ornamented with dialogue, discription and choice quotations.

SUBJECT OF THEME:

An interesting Incident of My Christmas Holadays.

Introduction:

"A tyrant's power in rigor is exprest."--DRYDEN.

I HAVE decided to relate with Presision what occurred during my recent
Christmas holaday. Although I was away from this school only four days,
returning unexpectedly the day after Christmas, a number of Incidents
occurred which I believe I should narate.

It is only just and fair that the Upper House, at least, should know
of the injustice of my exile, and that it is all the result of
Circumstances over which I had no controll.

For I make this apeal, and with good reason. Is it any fault of mine
that my sister Leila is 20 months older than I am? Naturaly, no.

Is it fair also, I ask, that in the best society, a girl is a Sub-Deb
the year before she comes out, and although mature in mind, and even
maturer in many ways than her older sister, the latter is treated as a
young lady, enjoying many privileges, while the former is treated as a
mere child, in spite, as I have observed, of only 20 months difference?
I wish to place myself on record that it is NOT fair.

I shall go back, for a short time, to the way things were at home when I
was small. I was very strictly raised. With the exception of Tommy Gray,
who lives next door and only is about my age, I was never permitted to
know any of the Other Sex.

Looking back, I am sure that the present way society is organized is
really to blame for everything. I am being frank, and that is the way I
feel. I was too strictly raised. I always had a Governess taging along.
Until I came here to school I had never walked to the corner of the next
street unattended. If it wasn't Mademoiselle it was mother's maid, and
if it wasn't either of them, it was mother herself, telling me to hold
my toes out and my shoulder blades in. As I have said, I never knew any
of the Other Sex, except the miserable little beasts at dancing school.
I used to make faces at them when Mademoiselle was putting on my
slippers and pulling out my hair bow. They were totaly uninteresting,
and I used to put pins in my sash, so that they would get scratched.

Their pumps mostly squeaked, and nobody noticed it, although I have
known my parents to dismiss a Butler who creaked at the table.

When I was sent away to school, I expected to learn something of life.
But I was disapointed. I do not desire to criticize this Institution of
Learning. It is an excellent one, as is shown by the fact that the best
Families send their daughters here. But to learn life one must know
something of both sides of it, Male and Female. It was, therefore, a
matter of deep regret to me to find that, with the exception of the
Dancing Master, who has three children, and the Gardner, there were no
members of the sterner sex to be seen.

The Athletic Coach was a girl! As she has left now to be married, I
venture to say that she was not what Lord Chesterfield so uphoniously
termed "SUAVITER IN MODO, FORTATER IN RE."

When we go out to walk we are taken to the country, and the three
matinees a year we see in the city are mostly Shakspeare, aranged for
the young. We are allowed only certain magazines, the Atlantic Monthly
and one or two others, and Barbara Armstrong was penalized for having a
framed photograph of her brother in running clothes.

At the school dances we are compeled to dance with each other, and the
result is that when at home at Holaday parties I always try to lead,
which annoys the boys I dance with.

Notwithstanding all this it is an excellent school. We learn a great
deal, and our dear Principle is a most charming and erudite person. But
we see very little of Life. And if school is a preparation for Life,
where are we?

Being here alone since the day after Christmas, I have had time to think
everything out. I am naturally a thinking person. And now I am no longer
indignant. I realize that I was wrong, and that I am only paying the
penalty that I deserve although I consider it most unfair to be given
French translation to do. I do not object to going to bed at nine
o'clock, although ten is the hour in the Upper House, because I have
time then to look back over things, and to reflect, to think.

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
SHAKSPEARE.

BODY OF THEME:

I now approach the narative of what happened during the first four days
of my Christmas Holiday.

For a period before the fifteenth of December, I was rather worried. All
the girls in the school were getting new clothes for Christmas parties,
and their Families were sending on invitations in great numbers, to
various festivaties that were to occur when they went home.

Nothing, however, had come for me, and I was worried. But on the 16th
mother's visiting Secretary sent on four that I was to accept, with
tiped acceptances for me to copy and send. She also sent me the good
news that I was to have two party dresses, and I was to send on my
measurements for them.

One of the parties was a dinner and theater party, to be given by Carter
Brooks on New Year's Day. Carter Brooks is the well-known Yale Center,
although now no longer such but selling advertizing, etcetera.

It is tradgic to think that, after having so long anticapated that
party, I am now here in sackcloth and ashes, which is a figure of speech
for the Peter Thompson uniform of the school, with plain white for
evenings and no jewellry.

It was with anticapatory joy, therefore, that I sent the acceptances and
the desired measurements, and sat down to cheerfully while away the time
in studies and the various duties of school life, until the Holadays.

However, I was not long to rest in piece, for in a few days I received a
letter from Carter Brooks, as follows:


DEAR BARBARA: It was sweet of you to write me so promptly, although I
confess to being rather astonished as well as delighted at being called
"Dearest." The signature too was charming, "Ever thine." But, dear
child, won't you write at once and tell me why the waist, bust and hip
measurements? And the request to have them really low in the neck? Ever
thine, CARTER.

It will be perceived that I had sent him the letter to mother, by
mistake.

I was very unhappy about it. It was not an auspisious way to begin the
Holadays, especially the low neck. Also I disliked very much having told
him my waist measure which is large owing to Basket Ball.

As I have stated before, I have known very few of the Other Sex, but
some of the girls had had more experience, and in the days before we
went home, we talked a great deal about things. Especially Love. I felt
that it was rather over-done, particularly in fiction. Also I felt and
observed at divers times that I would never marry. It was my intention
to go upon the stage, although modafied since by what I am about to
relate.

The other girls say that I look like Julia Marlowe.

Some of the girls had boys who wrote to them, and one of them--I refrain
from giving her name had--a Code. You read every third word. He called
her "Couzin" and he would write like this:


Dear Couzin: I am well. Am just about crazy this week to go home. See
notice enclosed you football game.

And so on and on. Only what it really said was "I am crazy to see you."

(In giving this Code I am betraying no secrets, as they have quarreled
and everything is now over between them.)

As I had nobody, at that time, and as I had visions of a Career, I was
a man-hater. I acknowledge that this was a pose. But after all, what is
life but a pose?

"Stupid things!" I always said. "Nothing in their heads but football and
tobacco smoke. Women," I said, "are only their playthings. And when they
do grow up and get a little intellagence they use it in making money."

There has been a story in the school--I got it from one of the little
girls--that I was disapointed in love in early youth, the object of my
atachment having been the Tener in our Church choir at home. I daresay I
should have denied the soft impeachment, but I did not. It was, although
not appearing so at the time, my first downward step on the path that
leads to destruction.

"The way of the Transgresser is hard"--Bible.

I come now to the momentous day of my return to my dear home for
Christmas. Father and my sister Leila, who from now on I will term
"Sis," met me at the station. Sis was very elegantly dressed, and she
said:

"Hello, Kid," and turned her cheek for me to kiss.

She is, as I have stated, but 20 months older than I, and depends
altogether on her clothes for her beauty. In the morning she is plain,
although having a good skin. She was trimmed up with a bouquet of
violets as large as a dishpan, and she covered them with her hands when
I kissed her.

She was waved and powdered, and she had on a perfectly new Outfit. And
I was shabby. That is the exact word. Shabby. If you have to hang your
entire Wardrobe in a closet ten inches deep, and put it over you on cold
nights, with the steam heat shut off at ten o'clock, it does not make it
look any better.

My father has always been my favorite member of the family, and he was
very glad to see me. He has a great deal of tact, also, and later on he
slipped ten dollars in my purse in the motor. I needed it very much,
as after I had paid the porter and bought luncheon, I had only three
dollars left and an I. O. U. from one of the girls for seventy-five
cents, which this may remind her, if it is read in class, she has
forgoten.

"Good heavens, Barbara," Sis said, while I hugged father, "you certainly
need to be pressed."

"I daresay I'll be the better for a hot iron," I retorted, "but at least
I shan't need it on my hair." My hair is curly while hers is straight.

"Boarding school wit!" she said, and stocked to the motor.

Mother was in the car and glad to see me, but as usual she managed to
restrain her enthusiasm. She put her hands over some Orkids she was
wearing when I kissed her. She and Sis were on their way to something or
other.

"Trimmed up like Easter hats, you two!" I said.

"School has not changed you, I fear, Barbara," mother observed. "I hope
you are studying hard."

"Exactly as hard as I have to. No more, no less," I regret to
confess that I replied. And I saw Sis and mother exchange glances of
signifacance.

We dropped them at the Reception and father went to his office and I
went on home alone. And all at once I began to be embittered. Sis had
everything, and what had I? And when I got home, and saw that Sis had
had her room done over, and ivory toilet things on her dressing table,
and two perfectly huge boxes of candy on a stand and a Ball Gown laid
out on the bed, I almost wept.

My own room was just as I had left it. It had been the night nursery,
and there was still the dent in the mantel where I had thrown a hair
brush at Sis, and the ink spot on the carpet at the foot of the bed, and
everything.

Mademoiselle had gone, and Hannah, mother's maid, came to help me off
with my things. I slammed the door in her face, and sat down on the bed
and RAGED.

They still thought I was a little girl. They PATRONIZED me. I would
hardly have been surprised If they had sent up a bread and milk supper
on a tray. It was then and there that I made up my mind to show them
that I was no longer a mere child. That the time was gone when they
could shut me up in the nursery and forget me. I was seventeen years and
eleven days old, and Juliet, in Shakspeare, was only sixteen when she
had her well-known affair with Romeo.

I had no plan then. It was not until the next afternoon that the thing
sprung (sprang?) full-pannoplied from the head of Jove.

The evening was rather dreary. The family was going out, but not until
nine thirty, and mother and Leila went over my clothes. They sat, Sis
in pink chiffon and mother in black and silver, and Hannah took out my
things and held them up. I was obliged to silently sit by, while my rags
and misery were exposed.

"Why this open humiliation?" I demanded at last. "I am the family
Cinderella, I admit it. But it isn't necessary to lay so much emphacis
on it, is it?"

"Don't be sarcastic, Barbara," said mother. "You are still only a Child,
and a very untidy Child at that. What do you do with your elbows to rub
them through so? It must have taken patience and aplication."

"Mother" I said, "am I to have the party dresses?"

"Two. Very simple."

"Low in the neck?"

"Certainly not. A small v, perhaps."

"I've got a good neck." She rose impressively.

"You amaze and shock me, Barbara," she said coldly.

"I shouldn't have to wear tulle around my shoulders to hide the bones!"
I retorted. "Sis is rather thin."

"You are a very sharp-tongued little girl," mother said, looking up at
me. I am two inches taller than she is.

"Unless you learn to curb yourself, there will be no parties for you,
and no party dresses."

This was the speach that broke the Camel's back. I could endure no more.

"I think," I said, "that I shall get married and end everything."

Need I explain that I had no serious intention of taking the fatal step?
But it was not deliberate mendasity. It was Despair.

Mother actually went white. She cluched me by the arm and shook me.

"What are you saying?" she demanded.

"I think you heard me, mother" I said, very politely. I was however
thinking hard.

"Marry whom? Barbara, answer me."

"I don't know. Anybody."

"She's trying to frighten you, mother" Sis said. "There isn't anybody.
Don't let her fool you."

"Oh, isn't there?" I said in a dark and portentious manner.

Mother gave me a long look, and went out. I heard her go into father's
dressing-room. But Sis sat on my bed and watched me.

"Who is it, Bab?" she asked. "The dancing teacher? Or your riding
master? Or the school plumber?"

"Guess again."

"You're just enough of a little Simpleton to get tied up to some wreched
creature and disgrace us all."

I wish to state here that until that moment I had no intention of going
any further with the miserable business. I am naturaly truthful,
and Deception is hateful to me. But when my sister uttered the above
dispariging remark I saw that, to preserve my own dignaty, which I value
above precious stones, I would be compelled to go on.

"I'm perfectly mad about him," I said. "And he's crazy about me."

"I'd like very much to know," Sis said, as she stood up and stared at
me, "how much you are making up and how much is true."

None the less, I saw that she was terrafied. The family Kitten, to speak
in allegory, had become a Lion and showed its clause.

When she had gone out I tried to think of some one to hang a love affair
to. But there seemed to be nobody. They knew perfectly well that the
dancing master had one eye and three children, and that the clergyman at
school was elderly, with two wives. One dead.

I searched my Past, but it was blameless. It was empty and bare, and
as I looked back and saw how little there had been in it but imbibing
wisdom and playing basket-ball and tennis, and typhoid fever when I
was fourteen and almost having to have my head shaved, a great wave of
bitterness agatated me.

"Never again," I observed to myself with firmness. "Never again, If I
have to invent a member of the Other Sex."

At that time, however, owing to the appearance of Hannah with a mending
basket, I got no further than his name.

It was Harold. I decided to have him dark, with a very small black
mustache, and Passionate eyes. I felt, too, that he would be jealous.
The eyes would be of the smouldering type, showing the green-eyed
monster beneath.

I was very much cheered up. At least they could not ignore me any more,
and I felt that they would see the point. If I was old enough to have
a lover--especialy a jealous one with the aformentioned eyes--I was old
enough to have the necks of my frocks cut out.

While they were getting their wraps on in the lower hall, I counted my
money. I had thirteen dollars. It was enough for a Plan I was beginning
to have in mind.

"Go to bed early, Barbara," mother said when they were ready to go out.

"You don't mind if I write a letter, do you?"

"To whom?"

"Oh, just a letter," I said, and she stared at me coldly.

"I daresay you will write it, whether I consent or not. Leave it on the
hall table, and it will go out with the morning mail."

"I may run out to the box with it."

"I forbid your doing anything of the sort."

"Oh, very well," I responded meekly.

"If there is such haste about it, give it to Hannah to mail."

"Very well," I said.

She made an excuse to see Hannah before she left, and I knew THAT I WAS
BEING WATCHED. I was greatly excited, and happier than I had been for
weeks. But when I had settled myself in the Library, with the paper
in front of me, I could not think of anything to say in a letter. So I
wrote a poem instead.

             "To H----
             "Dear love: you seem so far away,
               I would that you were near.
             I do so long to hear you say
               Again, `I love you, dear.'

             "Here all is cold and drear and strange
               With none who with me tarry,
             I hope that soon we can arrange
               To run away and marry."

The last verse did not scan, exactly, but I wished to use the word
"marry" if possible. It would show, I felt, that things were really
serious and impending. A love affair is only a love affair, but Marriage
is Marriage, and the end of everything.

It was at that moment, 10 o'clock, that the Strange Thing occurred which
did not seem strange at all at the time, but which developed into so
great a mystery later on. Which was to actualy threaten my reason and
which, flying on winged feet, was to send me back here to school the
day after Christmas and put my seed pearl necklace in the safe deposit
vault. Which was very unfair, for what had my necklace to do with it?
And just now, when I need comfort, it--the necklace--would help to
releive my exile.

Hannah brought me in a cup of hot milk, with a Valentine's malted milk
tablet dissolved in it.

As I stirred it around, it occurred to me that Valentine would be a good
name for Harold. On the spot I named him Harold Valentine, and I wrote
the name on the envelope that had the poem inside, and addressed it to
the town where this school gets its mail.

It looked well written out. "Valentine," also, is a word that naturaly
connects itself with AFFAIRS DE COUR. And I felt that I was safe, for as
there was no Harold Valentine, he could not call for the letter at the
post office, and would therefore not be able to cause me any trouble,
under any circumstances. And, furthermore. I knew that Hannah would not
mail the letter anyhow, but would give it to mother. So, even if there
was a Harold Valentine, he would never get it.

Comforted by these reflections, I drank my malted milk, ignorant of
the fact that Destiny, "which never swerves, nor yields to men the
helm"--Emerson, was stocking at my heels.

Between sips, as the expression goes, I addressed the envelope to Harold
Valentine, and gave it to Hannah. She went out the front door with it,
as I had expected, but I watched from a window, and she turned right
around and went in the area way. So THAT was all right.

It had worked like a Charm. I could tear my hair now when I think how
well it worked. I ought to have been suspicious for that very reason.
When things go very well with me at the start, it is a sure sign that
they are going to blow up eventualy.

Mother and Sis slept late the next morning, and I went out stealthily
and did some shopping. First I bought myself a bunch of violets, with a
white rose in the center, and I printed on the card:

"My love is like a white, white rose. H." And sent it to myself.

It was deception, I acknowledge, but having put my hand to the Plow,
I did not intend to steer a crooked course. I would go straight to the
end. I am like that in everything I do. But, on delibarating things
over, I felt that Violets, alone and unsuported, were not enough. I felt
that If I had a photograph, it would make everything more real. After
all, what is a love affair without a picture of the Beloved Object?

So I bought a photograph. It was hard to find what I wanted, but I got
it at last in a stationer's shop, a young man in a checked suit with a
small mustache--the young man, of course, not the suit. Unluckaly, he
was rather blonde, and had a dimple in his chin. But he looked exactly
as though his name ought to be Harold.

I may say here that I chose "Harold," not because it is a favorite name
of mine, but because it is romantic in sound. Also because I had never
known any one named Harold and it seemed only discrete.

I took it home in my muff and put it under my pillow where Hannah would
find it and probably take it to mother. I wanted to buy a ring too, to
hang on a ribbon around my neck. But the violets had made a fearful hole
in my thirteen dollars.

I borrowed a stub pen at the stationer's and I wrote on the photograph,
in large, sprawling letters, "To YOU from ME."

"There," I said to myself, when I put it under the pillow. "You look
like a photograph, but you are really a bomb-shell."

As things eventuated, it was. More so, indeed.

Mother sent for me when I came in. She was sitting in front of her
mirror, having the vibrater used on her hair, and her manner was
changed. I guessed that there had been a family Counsel over the poem,
and that they had decided to try kindness.

"Sit down, Barbara," she said. "I hope you were not lonely last night?"

"I am never lonely, mother. I always have things to think about."

I said this in a very pathetic tone.

"What sort of things?" mother asked, rather sharply.

"Oh--things," I said vaguely. "Life is such a mess, isn't it?"

"Certainly not. Unless one makes it so."

"But it is so difficult. Things come up and--and it's hard to know what
to do. The only way, I suppose, is to be true to one's beleif in one's
self."

"Take that thing off my head and go out, Hannah," mother snapped. "Now
then, Barbara, what in the world has come over you?"

"Over me? Nothing."

"You are being a silly child."

"I am no longer a child, mother. I am seventeen. And at seventeen there
are problems. After all, one's life is one's own. One must decide----"

"Now, Barbara, I am not going to have any nonsense. You must put that
man out of your head."

"Man? What man?"

"You think you are in love with some drivelling young Fool. I'm not
blind, or an idot. And I won't have it."

"I have not said that there is anyone, have I?" I said in a gentle
voice. "But if there was, just what would you propose to do, mother?"

"If you were three years younger I'd propose to spank you." Then I
think she saw that she was taking the wrong method, for she changed her
Tactics. "It's the fault of that Silly School," she said. (Note:
These are my mother's words, not mine.) "They are hotbeds of sickley
sentamentality. They----"

And just then the violets came, addressed to me. Mother opened them
herself, her mouth set. "My love is like a white, white rose," she said.
"Barbara, do you know who sent these?"

"Yes, mother," I said meekly. This was quite true. I did.

I am indeed sorry to record that here my mother lost her temper, and
there was no end of a fuss. It ended by mother offering me a string of
seed pearls for Christmas, and my party dresses cut V front and back, if
I would, as she phrazed it, "put him out of my silly head."

"I shall have to write one letter, mother," I said, "to--to break things
off. I cannot tear myself out of another's Life without a word."

She sniffed.

"Very well," she said. "One letter. I trust you to make it only one."

I come now to the next day. How true it is, that "Man's life is but a
jest, a dream, a shadow, bubble, air, a vapour at the best!"

I spent the morning with mother at the dressmakers and she chose two
perfectly spiffing things, one of white chiffon over silk, made modafied
Empire, with little bunches of roses here and there on it, and when she
and the dressmaker were hagling over the roses, I took the scizzors and
cut the neck of the lining two inches lower in front. The effect was
posatively impressive. The other was blue over orkid, a perfectly
passionate combination.

When we got home some of the girls had dropped in, and Carter Brooks
and Sis were having tea in the den. I am perfectly sure that Sis threw
a cigarette in the fire when I went in. When I think of my sitting here
alone, when I have done NOTHING, and Sis playing around and smoking
cigarettes, and nothing said, all for a difference of 20 months, it
makes me furious.

"Let's go in and play with the children, Leila," he said. "I'm feeling
young today."

Which was perfectly silly. He is not Methuzala. Although thinking
himself so, or almost.

Well, they went into the drawing room. Elaine Adams was there waiting
for me, and Betty Anderson and Jane Raleigh. And I hadn't been in the
room five minutes before I knew that they all knew. It turned out later
that Hannah was engaged to the Adams's butler, and she had told him,
and he had told Elaine's governess, who is still there and does the
ordering, and Elaine sends her stockings home for her to darn.

Sis had told Carter, too, I saw that, and among them they had rather
a good time. Carter sat down at the piano and struck a few chords,
chanting "My Love is like a white, white rose."

"Only you know" he said, turning to me, "that's wrong. It ought to be a
`red, red rose.'"

"Certainly not. The word is `white.'"

"Oh, is it?" he said, with his head on one side. "Strange that both you
and Harold should have got it wrong."

I confess to a feeling of uneasiness at that moment.

Tea came, and Carter insisted on pouring.

"I do so love to pour!" he said. "Really, after a long day's shopping,
tea is the only thing that keeps me going until dinner. Cream or lemon,
Leila dear?"

"Both," Sis said in an absent manner, with her eyes on me. "Barbara,
come into the den a moment. I want to show you mother's Xmas gift."

She stocked in ahead of me, and lifted a book from the table. Under it
was the photograph.

"You wretched child!" she said. "Where did you get that?"

"That's not your affair, is it?"

"I'm going to make it my affair. Did he give it to you?"

"Have you read what's written on it?"

"Where did you meet him?"

I hesitated because I am by nature truthfull. But at last I said:

"At school."

"Oh," she said slowly. "So you met him at school! What was he doing
there? Teaching elocution?"

"Elocution!"

"This is Harold, is it?"

"Certainly." Well, he WAS Harold, if I chose to call him that, wasn't
he? Sis gave a little sigh.

"You're quite hopeless, Bab. And, although I'm perfectly sure you want
me to take the thing to mother, I'll do nothing of the sort."

SHE FLUNG IT INTO THE FIRE. I was raging. It had cost me a dollar. It
was quite brown when I got it out, and a corner was burned off. But I
got it.

"I'll thank you to burn your own things," I said with dignaty. And I
went back to the drawing room.

The girls and Carter Brooks were talking in an undertone when I got
there. I knew it was about me. And Jane came over to me and put her arm
around me.

"You poor thing!" she said. "Just fight it out. We're all with you."

"I'm so helpless, Jane." I put all the despair I could into my voice.
For after all, if they were going to talk about my private Affairs
behind my back, I felt that they might as well have something to talk
about. As Jane's second couzin once removed is in this school and as
Jane will probably write her all about it, I hope this Theme is read
aloud in class, so she will get it all straight. Jane is imaginative and
may have a wrong idea of things.

"Don't give in. Let them bully you. They can't really do anything. And
they're scared. Leila is positively sick."

"I've promised to write and break it off," I said in a tence tone.

"If he really loves you," said Jane, "the letter won't matter." There
was a thrill in her voice. Had I not been uneasy at my deciet, I to
would have thrilled.

Some fresh muffins came in just then and I was starveing. But I waved
them away, and stood staring at the fire.

I am writing all of this as truthfully as I can. I am not defending
myself. What I did I was driven to, as any one can see. It takes a real
shock to make the average Familey wake up to the fact that the youngest
daughter is not the Familey baby at seventeen. All I was doing was
furnishing the shock. If things turned out badly, as they did, it
was because I rather overdid the thing. That is all. My motives were
perfectly ireproachible.

Well, they fell on the muffins like pigs, and I could hardly stand it.
So I wandered into the den, and it occurred to me to write the letter
then. I felt that they all expected me to do something anyhow.

If I had never written the wretched letter things would be better now.
As I say, I overdid. But everything had gone so smoothly all day that I
was decieved. But the real reason was a new set of furs. I had secured
the dresses and the promise of the necklace on a Poem and a Photograph,
and I thought that a good love letter might bring a muff. It all shows
that it does not do to be grasping.

HAD I NOT WRITTEN THE LETTER, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO TRADGEDY.

But I wrote it and if I do say it, it was a LETTER. I commenced it
"Darling," and I said I was mad to see him, and that I would always love
him. But I told him that the Familey objected to him, and that this was
to end everything between us. They had started the phonograph in the
library, and were playing "The Rosary." So I ended with a verse from
that. It was really a most affecting letter. I almost wept over it
myself, because, if there had been a Harold, it would have broken his
Heart.

Of course I meant to give it to Hannah to mail, and she would give it to
mother. Then, after the family had read it and it had got in its work,
including the set of furs, they were welcome to mail it. It would go
to the Dead Letter Office, since there was no Harold. It could not come
back to me, for I had only signed it "Barbara." I had it all figured out
carefully. It looked as if I had everything to gain, including the furs,
and nothing to lose. Alas, how little I knew!

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay." Burns.

Carter Brooks ambled into the room just as I sealed it and stood gazing
down at me.

"You're quite a Person these days, Bab," he said. "I suppose all the
customary Xmas kisses are being saved this year for what's his name."

"I don't understand you."

"For Harold. You know, Bab, I think I could bear up better if his name
wasn't Harold."

"I don't see how it concerns you," I responded.

"Don't you? With me crazy about you for lo, these many years! First as
a baby, then as a sub-sub-deb, and now as a sub-deb. Next year, when you
are a real Debutante----"

"You've concealed your infatuation bravely."

"It's been eating me inside. A green and yellow melancholly--hello! A
letter to him!"

"Why, so it is," I said in a scornfull tone.

He picked it up, and looked at it. Then he started and stared at me.

"No!" he said. "It isn't possible! It isn't old Valentine!"

Positively, my knees got cold. I never had such a shock.

"It--it certainly is Harold Valentine," I said feebly.

"Old Hal!" he muttered. "Well, who would have thought it! And not a word
to me about it, the secretive old duffer!" He held out his hand to me.
"Congratulations, Barbara," he said heartily. "Since you absolutely
refuse me, you couldn't do better. He's the finest chap I know. If it's
Valentine the Familey is kicking up such a row about, you leave it to
me. I'll tell them a few things."

I was stunned. Would anybody have beleived it? To pick a name out of the
air, so to speak, and off a malted milk tablet, and then to find that it
actualy belonged to some one--was sickning.

"It may not be the one you know" I said desperately. "It--it's a common
name. There must be plenty of Valentines."

"Sure there are, lace paper and Cupids--lots of that sort. But there's
only one Harold Valentine, and now you've got him pinned to the wall!
I'll tell you what I'll do, Barbara. I'm a real friend of yours. Always
have been. Always will be. The chances are against the Familey letting
him get this letter. I'll give it to him."

"GIVE it to him?"

"Why, he's here. You know that, don't you? He's in town over the
holadays."

"Oh, no!" I said in a gasping Voice.

"Sorry," he said. "Probably meant it as a surprize to you. Yes, he's
here, with bells on."

He then put the letter in his pocket before my very eyes, and sat down
on the corner of the writing table!

"You don't know how all this has releived my mind," he said. "The poor
chap's been looking down. Not interested in anything. Of course this
explains it. He' s the sort to take Love hard. At college he took
everything hard--like to have died once with German meazles."

He picked up a book, and the charred picture was underneath. He pounced
on it. "Pounced" is exactly the right word.

"Hello!" he said. "Familey again, I suppose. Yes, it's Hal, all right.
Well, who would have thought it!"

My last hope died. Then and there I had a nervous chill. I was compelled
to prop my chin on my hand to keep my teeth from chattering.

"Tell you what I'll do," he said, in a perfectly cheerfull tone that
made me cold all over. "I'll be the Cupid for your Valentine. See?
Far be it from me to see Love's young dream wiped out by a hardhearted
Familey. I'm going to see this thing through. You count on me, Barbara.
I'll arrange that you get a chance to see each other, Familey or no
Familey. Old Hal has been looking down his nose long enough. When's your
first party?"

"Tomorrow night," I gasped out.

"Very well. Tomorrow night it is. It's the Adams's, isn't it, at the
Club?"

I could only nod. I was beyond speaking. I saw it all clearly. I had
been wicked in decieving my dear Familey and now I was to pay the
Penalty. He would know at once that I had made him up, or rather he did
not know me and therefore could not possibly be in Love with me. And
what then?

"But look here," he said, "if I take him there as Valentine, the Familey
will be on, you know. We'd better call him something else. Got any
choice as to a name?"

"Carter" I said franticaly. "I think I'd better tell you. I----"

"How about calling him Grosvenor?". he babbled on. "Grosvenor's a good
name. Ted Grosvenor--that ought to hit them between the eyes. It's going
to be rather a lark, Miss Bab!"

And of course just then mother came in, and the Brooks idiot went in
and poured her a cup of tea, with his little finger stuck out at a right
angel, and every time he had a chance he winked at me.

I wanted to die.

When they had all gone home it seemed like a bad dream, the whole thing.
It could not be true. I went upstairs and manacured my nails, which
usually comforts me, and put my hair up like Leila's.

But nothing could calm me. I had made my own Fate, and must lie in it.
And just then Hannah slipped in with a box in her hands and her eyes
frightened.

"Oh, Miss Barbara!" she said. "If your mother sees this!"

I dropped my manacure scizzors, I was so alarmed. But I opened the box,
and clutched the envelope inside. It said "from H----." Then Carter was
right. There was an H after all!

Hannah was rolling her hands in her apron and her eyes were poping out
of her head.

"I just happened to see the boy at the door," she said, with her silly
teeth chattering. "Oh, Miss Barbara, if Patrick had answered the bell!
What shall we do with them?"

"You take them right down the back stairs," I said. "As if it was an
empty box. And put it outside with the waist papers. Quick."

She gathered the thing up, but of course mother had to come in just
then and they met in the doorway. She saw it all in one glance, and she
snatched the card out of my hand.

"From H----!" she read. "Take them out, Hannah, and throw them away. No,
don't do that. Put them on the Servant's table." Then, when the door
had closed, she turned to me. "Just one more ridiculous Episode of this
kind, Barbara," she said, "and you go back to school--Xmas or no Xmas."

I will say this. If she had shown the faintest softness, I'd have told
her the whole thing. But she did not. She looked exactly as gentle as a
macadam pavment. I am one who has to be handled with Gentleness. A
kind word will do anything with me, but harsh treatment only makes me
determined. I then become inflexable as iron.

That is what happened then. Mother took the wrong course and threatened,
which as I have stated is fatal, as far as I am concerned. I refused
to yeild an inch, and it ended in my having my dinner in my room, and
mother threatening to keep me home from the Party the next night. It was
not a threat, if she had only known it.

But when the next day went by, with no more flowers, and nothing
aparently wrong except that mother was very dignafied with me, I began
to feel better. Sis was out all day, and in the afternoon Jane called me
up.

"How are you?" she said.

"Oh, I'm all right."

"Everything smooth?"

"Well, smooth enough."

"Oh, Bab," she said. "I'm just crazy about it. All the girls are."

"I knew they were crazy about something."

"You poor thing, no wonder you are bitter," she said. "Somebody's
coming. I'll have to ring off. But don't you give in, Bab. Not an inch.
Marry your Heart's Desire, no matter who butts in."

Well, you can see how it was. Even then I could have told father and
mother, and got out of it somehow. But all the girls knew about it, and
there was nothing to do but go on.

All that day every time I thought of the Party my heart missed a beat.
But as I would not lie and say that I was ill--I am naturaly truthful,
as far as possible--I was compelled to go, although my heart was
breaking.

I am not going to write much about the party, except a slight
discription, which properly belongs in every Theme.

All Parties for the school set are alike. The boys range from
knickerbockers to college men in their Freshmen year, and one is likely
to dance half the evening with youngsters that one saw last in their
perambulaters. It is rather startling to have about six feet of black
trouser legs and white shirt front come and ask one to dance and then
to get one's eyes raised as far as the top of what looks like a
particularly thin pair of tree trunks and see a little boy's face.

As this Theme is to contain discription I shall discribe the ball room
of the club where the eventful party occurred.

The ball room is white, with red hangings, and looks like a Charlotte
Russe with maraschino cherries. Over the fireplace they had put "Merry
Christmas," in electric lights, and the chandaliers were made into
Christmas trees and hung with colored balls. One of the balls fell
off during the Cotillion, and went down the back of one of the girl's
dresses, and they were compelled to up-end her and shake her out in the
dressing room.

The favors were insignifacant, as usual. It is not considered good taste
to have elaberate things for the school crowd. But when I think of the
silver things Sis always brought home, and remember that I took away
about six Christmas Stockings, a toy Baloon, four Whistles, a wooden
Canary in a cage and a box of Talcum Powder, I feel that things are not
fair in this World.

Hannah went with me, and in the motor she said:

"Oh, Miss Barbara, do be careful. The Familey is that upset."

"Don't be a silly," I said. "And if the Familey is half as upset as I
am, it is throwing a fit at this minute."

We were early, of course. My mother beleives in being on time, and
besides, she and Sis wanted the motor later. And while Hannah was on her
knees taking off my carriage boots, I suddenly decided that I could not
go down. Hannah turned quite pale when I told her.

"What'll your mother say?" she said. "And you with your new dress and
all! It's as much as my life is worth to take you back home now, Miss
Barbara."

Well, that was true enough. There would be a Riot if I went home, and I
knew it.

"I'll see the Stuard and get you a cup of tea," Hannah said. "Tea sets
me up like anything when I'm nervous. Now please be a good girl, Miss
Barbara, and don't run off, or do anything foolish."

She wanted me to promise, but I would not, although I could not have run
anywhere. My legs were entirely numb.

In a half hour at the utmost I knew all would be known, and very likely
I would be a homless wanderer on the earth. For I felt that never, never
could I return to my Dear Ones, when my terrable actions became known.

Jane came in while I was sipping the tea and she stood off and eyed me
with sympathy.

"I don't wonder, Bab!" she said. "The idea of your Familey acting so
outragously! And look here" She bent over me and whispered it. "Don't
trust Carter too much. He is perfectly in fatuated with Leila, and he
will play into the hands of the enemy. BE CAREFUL."

"Loathesome creature!" was my response. "As for trusting him, I trust no
one, these days."

"I don't wonder your Faith is gone," she observed. But she was talking
with one eye on a mirror.

"Pink makes me pale," she said. "I'll bet the maid has a drawer full of
rouge. I'm going to see. How about a touch for you? You look gastly."

"I don't care how I look," I said, recklessly. "I think I'll sprain my
ankle and go home. Anyhow I am not allowed to use rouge."

"Not allowed!" she observed. "What has that got to do with it? I don't
understand you, Bab; you are totaly changed."

"I am suffering," I said. I was to.

Just then the maid brought me a folded note. Hannah was hanging up my
wraps, and did not see it. Jane's eyes fairly bulged.

"I hope you have saved the Cotillion for me," it said. And it was
signed. H----!

"Good gracious," Jane said breathlessly. "Don't tell me he is here, and
that that's from him!"

I had to swallow twice before I could speak. Then I said, solemnly:

"He is here, Jane. He has followed me. I am going to dance the Cotillion
with him although I shall probably be disinherited and thrown out into
the World, as a result."

I have no recollection whatever of going down the staircase and into the
ballroom. Although I am considered rather brave, and once saved one of
the smaller girls from drowning, as I need not remind the school, when
she was skating on thin ice, I was frightened. I remember that, inside
the door, Jane said "Courage!" in a low tence voice, and that I stepped
on somebody's foot and said "Certainly" instead of apologizing. The
shock of that brought me around somewhat, and I managed to find Mrs.
Adams and Elaine, and not disgrace myself. Then somebody at my elbow
said:

"All right, Barbara. Everything's fixed."

It was Carter.

"He's waiting in the corner over there," he said. "We'd better go
through the formalaty of an introduction. He's positively twittering
with excitement."

"Carter" I said desparately. "I want to tell you somthing first. I've
got myself in an awful mess. I----"

"Sure you have," he said. "That's why I'm here, to help you out. Now
you be calm, and there's no reason why you two can't have the evening of
your young lives. I wish _I_ could fall in Love. It must be bully."

"Carter----!"

"Got his note, didn't you?"

"Yes, I----"

"Here we are," said Carter. "Miss Archibald, I would like to present Mr.
Grosvenor."

Somebody bowed in front of me, and then straightened up and looked down
at me. IT WAS THE MAN OF THE PICTURE, LITTLE MUSTACHE AND ALL. My mouth
went perfectly dry.

It is all very well to talk about Romance and Love, and all that sort
of thing. But I have concluded that amorus experiences are not always
agreeable. And I have discovered something else. The moment anybody is
crazy about me I begin to hate him. It is curious, but I am like that. I
only care as long as they, or he, is far away. And the moment I touched
H's white kid glove, I knew I loathed him.

"Now go to it, you to," Carter said in cautious tone. "Don't be
conspicuous. That's all."

And he left us.

"Suppose we dance this. Shall we?" said H. And the next moment we were
gliding off. He danced very well. I will say that. But at the time I was
too much occupied with hateing him to care about dancing, or anything.
But I was compelled by my pride to see things through. We are a very
proud Familey and never show our troubles, though our hearts be torn
with anguish.

"Think," he said, when we had got away from the band, "think of our
being together like this!"

"It's not so surprizing, is it? We've got to be together if we are
dancing."

"Not that. Do you know, I never knew so long a day as this has been. The
thought of meeting you--er--again, and all that."

"You needn't rave for my benefit," I said freesingly. "You know
perfectly well that you never saw me before."

"Barbara! With your dear little Letter in my breast pocket at this
moment!"

"I didn't know men had breast pockets in their evening clothes."

"Oh well, have it your own way. I'm too happy to quarrel," he said. "How
well you dance--only, let me lead, won't you? How strange it is to think
that we have never danced together before!"

"We must have a talk," I said desparately. "Can't we go somwhere, away
from the noise?"

"That would be conspicuous, wouldn't it, under the circumstances? If we
are to overcome the Familey objection to me, we'll have to be cautious,
Barbara."

"Don't call me Barbara," I snapped. "I know perfectly well what you
think of me, and I----"

"I think you are wonderful," he said. "Words fail me when I try to tell
you what I am thinking. You've saved the Cotillion for me, haven't you?
If not, I'm going to claim it anyhow. IT IS MY RIGHT."

He said it in the most determined manner, as if everything was settled.
I felt like a rat in a trap, and Carter, watching from a corner, looked
exactly like a cat. If he had taken his hand in its white glove and
washed his face with it, I would hardly have been surprized.

The music stopped, and somebody claimed me for the next. Jane came up,
too, and cluched my arm.

"You lucky thing!" she said. "He's perfectly handsome. And oh, Bab, he's
wild about you. I can see it in his eyes."

"Don't pinch, Jane," I said coldly. "And don't rave. He's an idiot."

She looked at me with her mouth open.

"Well, if you don't want him, pass him on to me," she said, and walked
away.

It was too silly, after everything that had happened, to dance the next
dance with Willie Graham, who is still in knickerbockers, and a full
head shorter than I am. But that's the way with a Party for the school
crowd, as I've said before. They ask all ages, from perambulaters up,
and of course the little boys all want to dance with the older girls. It
is deadly stupid.

But H seemed to be having a good time. He danced a lot with Jane, who
is a wreched dancer, with no sense of time whatever. Jane is not pretty,
but she has nice eyes, and I am not afraid, second couzin once removed
or no second couzin once removed, to say she used them.

Altogether, it was a terrible evening. I danced three dances out of four
with knickerbockers, and one with old Mr. Adams, who is fat and rotates
his partner at the corners by swinging her on his waistcoat. Carter did
not dance at all, and every time I tried to speak to him he was taking a
crowd of the little girls to the fruit-punch bowl.

I determined to have things out with H during the Cotillion, and tell
him that I would never marry him, that I would Die first. But I was
favored a great deal, and when we did have a chance the music was making
such a noise that I would have had to shout. Our chairs were next to the
band.

But at last we had a minute, and I went out to the verandah, which was
closed in with awnings. He had to follow, of course, and I turned and
faced him.

"Now" I said, "this has got to stop."

"I don't understand you, Bab."

"You do, perfectly well," I stormed. "I can't stand it. I am going
crazy."

"Oh," he said slowly. "I see. I've been dancing too much with the
little girl with the eyes! Honestly, Bab, I was only doing it to disarm
suspicion. MY EVERY THOUGHT IS OF YOU."

"I mean," I said, as firmly as I could, "that this whole thing has got
to stop. I can't stand it."

"Am I to understand," he said solemnly, "that you intend to end
everything?"

I felt perfectly wild and helpless.

"After that Letter!" he went on. "After that sweet Letter! You said, you
know, that you were mad to see me, and that--it is almost too sacred
to repeat, even to YOU--that you would always love me. After that
Confession I refuse to agree that all is over. It can NEVER be over."

"I daresay I am losing my mind," I said. "It all sounds perfectly
natural. But it doesn't mean anything. There CAN'T be any Harold
Valentine; because I made him up. But there is, so there must be. And I
am going crazy."

"Look here," he stormed, suddenly quite raving, and throwing out his
right hand. It would have been terrably dramatic, only he had a glass of
punch in it. "I am not going to be played with. And you are not going to
jilt me without a reason. Do you mean to deny everything? Are you going
to say, for instance, that I never sent you any violets? Or gave you my
Photograph, with an--er--touching inscription on it?" Then, appealingly,
"You can't mean to deny that Photograph, Bab!"

And then that lanky wretch of an Eddie Perkins brought me a toy Baloon,
and I had to dance, with my heart crushed.

Nevertheless, I ate a fair supper. I felt that I needed Strength. It was
quite a grown-up supper, with boullion and creamed chicken and baked ham
and sandwitches, among other things. But of course they had to show it
was a `kid' party, after all. For instead of coffee we had milk.

Milk! When I was going through a tradgedy. For if it is not a tradgedy
to be engaged to a man one never saw before, what is it?

All through the refreshments I could feel that his eyes were on me. And
I hated him. It was all well enough for Jane to say he was handsome. She
wasn't going to have to marry him. I detest dimples in chins. I always
have. And anybody could see that it was his first mustache, and
soft, and that he took it round like a mother pushing a new baby in a
perambulater. It was sickning.

I left just after supper. He did not see me when I went upstairs, but
he had missed me, for when Hannah and I came down, he was at the door,
waiting. Hannah was loaded down with silly favors, and lagged behind,
which gave him a chance to speak to me. I eyed him coldly and tried to
pass him, but I had no chance.

"I'll see you tomorrow, DEAREST," he whispered.

"Not if I can help it," I said, looking straight ahead. Hannah had
dropped a stocking--not her own. One of the Xmas favors--and was
fumbling about for it.

"You are tired and unerved to-night, Bab. When I have seen your father
tomorrow, and talked to him----"

"Don't you dare to see my father."

"----and when he has agreed to what I propose," he went on, without
paying any atention to what I had said, "you will be calmer. We can plan
things."

Hannah came puffing up then, and he helped us into the motor. He was
very careful to see that we were covered with the robes, and he tucked
Hannah's feet in. She was awfully flattered. Old Fool! And she babbled
about him until I wanted to slap her.

"He's a nice young man. Miss Bab," she said. "That is, if he's the One.
And he has nice manners. So considerate. Many a party I've taken your
sister to, and never before----"

"I wish you'd shut up, Hannah," I said. "He's a Pig, and I hate him."

She sulked after that, and helped me out of my things at home without a
word. When I was in bed, however, and she was hanging up my clothes, she
said:

"I don't know what's got into you, Miss Barbara. You are that cross that
there's no living with you."

"Oh, go away," I said.

"And what's more," she added, "I don't know but what your mother ought
to know about these goingson. You're only a little girl, with all your
high and mightiness, and there's going to be no scandal in this Familey
if I can help it."

I put the bedclothes over my head, and she went out.

But of course I could not sleep. Sis was not home yet, or mother, and I
went into Sis's room and got a novel from her table. It was the story of
a woman who had married a man in a hurry, and without really loving him,
and when she had been married a year, and hated the very way her husband
drank his coffee and cut the ends off his cigars, she found some one she
really loved with her Whole Heart. And it was too late. But she wrote
him one Letter, the other man, you know, and it caused a lot of trouble.
So she said--I remember the very words--

"Half the troubles in the world are caused by Letters. Emotions are
changable things"--this was after she had found that she really loved
her husband after all, but he had had to shoot himself before she found
it out, although not fataly--"but the written word does not change. It
remains always, embodying a dead truth and giving it apparent life. No
woman should ever put her thoughts on paper."

She got the Letter back, but she had to steal it. And it turned out that
the other man had really only wanted her money all the time.

That story was a real ilumination to me. I shall have a great deal of
money when I am of age, from my grandmother. I saw it all. It was a trap
sure enough. And if I was to get out I would have to have the letter.

IT WAS THE LETTER THAT PUT ME IN HIS POWER.

The next day was Xmas. I got a lot of things, including the necklace,
and a mending basket from Sis, with the hope that it would make me
tidey, and father had bought me a set of Silver Fox, which mother
did not approve of, it being too expencive for a young girl to wear,
according to her. I must say that for an hour or two I was happy enough.

But the afternoon was terrable. We keep open house on Xmas afternoon,
and father makes a champagne punch, and somebody pours tea, although
nobody drinks it, and there are little cakes from the Club, and the
house is decorated with poin--(Memo: Not in the Dictionery and I cannot
spell it, although not usualy troubled as to spelling.)

At eleven o'clock the mail came in, and mother sorted it over, while
father took a gold piece out to the post-man.

There were about a million cards, and mother glanced at the addresses
and passed them round. But suddenly she frowned. There was a small
parcel, addressed to me.

"This looks like a Gift, Barbara," she said. And proceded to open it.

My heart skipped two beats, and then hamered. Mother's mouth was set as
she tore off the paper and opened the box. There was a card, which she
glanced at, and underneath, was a book of poems.

"Love Lyrics," said mother, in a terrable voice. "To Barbara, from
H----"

"Mother----" I began, in an ernest tone.

"A child of mine recieving such a book from a man!" she went on.
"Barbara, I am speachless."

But she was not speachless. If she was speachless for the next half
hour, I would hate to hear her really converse. And all that I could do
was to bear it. For I had made a Frankenstein--see the book read last
term by the Literary Society--not out of grave-yard fragments, but from
malted milk tablets, so to speak, and now it was pursuing me to an early
grave. For I felt that I simply could not continue to live.

"Now--where does he live?"

"I--don't know, mother."

"You sent him a Letter."

"I don't know where he lives, anyhow."

"Leila," mother said, "will you ask Hannah to bring my smelling salts?"

"Aren't you going to give me the book?" I asked. "It--it sounds
interesting."

"You are shameless," mother said, and threw the thing into the fire. A
good many of my things seemed to be going into the fire at that time. I
cannot help wondering what they would have done if it had all happened
in the summer, and no fires burning. They would have felt quite
helpless, I imagine.

Father came back just then, but he did not see the Book, which was then
blazing with a very hot red flame. I expected mother to tell him, and I
daresay I should not have been surprised to see my furs follow the book.
I had got into the way of expecting to see things burning that do not
belong in a fireplace. But mother did not tell him.


I have thought over this a great deal, and I beleive that now I
understand. Mother was unjustly putting the blame for everything on this
School, and mother had chosen the School. My father had not been much
impressed by the catalogue. "Too much dancing room and not enough tennis
courts," he had said. This, of course, is my father's opinion. Not mine.

The real reason, then, for mother's silence was that she disliked
confessing that she made a mistake in her choice of a School.

I ate very little Luncheon and my only comfort was my seed pearls. I was
wearing them, for fear the door-bell would ring, and a Letter or flowers
would arrive from H. In that case I felt quite sure that someone, in a
frenzy, would burn the Pearls also.

The afternoon was terrable. It rained solid sheets, and Patrick, the
butler, gave notice three hours after he had recieved his Xmas presents,
on account of not being let off for early mass.

But my father's punch is famous, and people came, and stood around and
buzzed, and told me I had grown and was almost a young lady. And Tommy
Gray got out of his cradle and came to call on me, and coughed all the
time, with a whoop. He developed the whooping cough later. He had on his
first long trousers, and a pair of lavender Socks and a Tie to match. He
said they were not exactly the same shade, but he did not think it would
be noticed. Hateful child!

At half past five, when the place was jamed, I happened to look up.
Carter Brooks was in the hall, and behind him was H. He had seen me
before I saw him, and he had a sort of sickley grin, meant to denote
joy. I was talking to our Bishop at the time, and he was asking me what
sort of services we had in the school chapel.

I meant to say "non-sectarian," but in my surprize and horror I regret
to say that I said, "vegetarian." Carter Brooks came over to me like a
cat to a saucer of milk, and pulled me off into a corner.

"It's all right," he said. "I 'phoned mama, and she said to bring him.
He's known as Grosvenor here, of course. They'll never suspect a thing.
Now, do I get a small `thank you'?"

"I won't see him."

"Now look here, Bab," he protested, "you two have got to make this thing
up You are a pair of Idiots, quarreling over nothing. Poor old Hal is
all broken up. He's sensative. You've got to remember how sensative he
is."

"Go, away" I cried, in broken tones. "Go away, and take him with you."

"Not until he had spoken to your Father," he observed, setting his jaw.
"He's here for that, and you know it. You can't play fast and loose with
a man, you know."

"Don't you dare to let him speak to father!"

He shrugged his shoulders.

"That's between you to, of course," he said. "It's not up to me. Tell
him yourself, if you've changed your mind. I don't intend," he went on,
impressively, "to have any share in ruining his life."

"Oh piffle," I said. I am aware that this is slang, and does not belong
in a Theme. But I was driven to saying it.

I got through the crowd by using my elbows. I am afraid I gave
the Bishop quite a prod, and I caught Mr. Andrews on his rotateing
waistcoat. But I was desparate.

Alas, I was too late.

The caterer's man, who had taken Patrick's place in a hurry, was at the
punch bowl, and father was gone. I was just in time to see him take H.
into his library and close the door.

Here words fail me. I knew perfectly well that beyond that door H, whom
I had invented and who therefore simply did not exist, was asking for my
Hand. I made up my mind at once to run away and go on the stage, and
I had even got part way up the stairs, when I remembered that, with
a dollar for the picture and five dollars for the violets and three
dollars for the hat pin I had given Sis, and two dollars and a quarter
for mother's handkercheif case, I had exactly a dollar and seventy-five
cents in the world.

I WAS TRAPPED.

I went up to my room, and sat and waited. Would father be violent, and
throw H. out and then come upstairs, pale with fury and disinherit me?
Or would the whole Familey conspire together, when the people had gone,
and send me to a convent? I made up my mind, if it was the convent, to
take the veil and be a nun. I would go to nurse lepers, or something,
and then, when it was too late, they would be sorry.

The stage or the convent, nun or actress? Which?

I left the door open, but there was only the sound of revelry below.
I felt then that it was to be the convent. I pinned a towel around my
face, the way the nuns wear whatever they call them, and from the side
it was very becoming. I really did look like Julia Marlowe, especialy as
my face was very sad and tradgic.

At something before seven every one had gone, and I heard Sis and mother
come upstairs to dress for dinner. I sat and waited, and when I heard
father I got cold all over. But he went on by, and I heard him go into
mother's room and close the door. Well, I knew I had to go through with
it, although my life was blasted. So I dressed and went downstairs.

Father was the first down. HE CAME DOWN WHISTLING.

It is perfectly true. I could not beleive my ears.

He approached me with a smileing face.

"Well, Bab," he said, exactly as if nothing had happened, "have you had
a nice day?"

He had the eyes of a bacilisk, that creature of Fable.

"I've had a lovely day, Father," I replied. I could be bacilisk-ish
also.

There is a mirror over the drawing room mantle, and he turned me around
until we both faced it.

"Up to my ears," he said, referring to my heighth. "And Lovers already!
Well, I daresay we must make up our minds to lose you."

"I won't be lost," I declared, almost violently. "Of course, if you
intend to shove me off your hands, to the first Idiot who comes along
and pretends a lot of stuff, I----"

"My dear child!" said father, looking surprised. "Such an outburst! All
I was trying to say, before your mother comes down, is that I--well,
that I understand and that I shall not make my little girl unhappy
by--er--by breaking her Heart."

"Just what do you mean by that, father?"

He looked rather uncomfortable, being one who hates to talk sentament.

"It's like this, Barbara," he said. "If you want to marry this young
man--and you have made it very clear that you do--I am going to see that
you do it. You are young, of course, but after all your dear mother was
not much older than you are when I married her."

"Father!" I cried, from an over-flowing heart.

"I have noticed that you are not happy, Barbara," he said. "And I shall
not thwart you, or allow you to be thwarted. In affairs of the Heart,
you are to have your own way."

"I want to tell you something!" I cried. "I will NOT be cast off! I----"

"Tut, tut," said Father. "Who is casting you off? I tell you that I
like the young man, and give you my blessing, or what is the present-day
equivelent for it, and you look like a figure of Tradgedy!"

But I could endure no more. My own father had turned on me and was
rending me, so to speak. With a breaking heart and streaming eyes I flew
to my Chamber.

There, for hours I paced the floor.

Never, I determined, would I marry H. Better death, by far. He was a
scheming Fortune-hunter, but to tell the family that was to confess all.
And I would never confess. I would run away before I gave Sis such a
chance at me. I would run away, but first I would kill Carter Brooks.

Yes, I was driven to thoughts of murder. It shows how the first false
step leads down and down, to crime and even to death. Oh never, never,
gentle reader, take that first False Step. Who knows to what it may
lead!

"One false Step is never retreived." Gray--On a Favorite Cat.

I reflected also on how the woman in the book had ruined her life with
a letter. "The written word does not change," she had said. "It remains
always, embodying a dead truth and giving it apparent life."

"Apparent life" was exactly what my letter had given to H. Frankenstein.
That was what I called him, in my agony. I felt that if only I had never
written the Letter there would have been no trouble. And another awful
thought came to me: Was there an H after all? Could there be an H?

Once the French teacher had taken us to the theater in New York, and a
woman sitting on a chair and covered with a sheet, had brought a man out
of a perfectly empty Cabinet, by simply willing to do it. The Cabinet
was empty, for four respectible looking men went up and examined it, and
one even measured it with a Tape-measure.

She had materialised him, out of nothing.

And while I had had no Cabinet, there are many things in this world
"that we do not dream of in our Philosophy." Was H. a real person, or
a creature of my disordered brain? In plain and simple language, COULD
THERE BE SUCH A PERSON?

I feared not.

And If there was no H, really, and I married him, where would I be?

There was a ball at the Club that night, and the Familey all went. No
one came to say good-night to me, and by half past ten I was alone with
my misery. I knew Carter Brooks would be at the ball, and H also, very
likely, dancing around as agreably as if he really existed, and I had
not made him up.

I got the book from Sis's room again, and re-read it. The woman in it
had been in great trouble, too, with her husband cleaning his revolver
and making his will. And at last she had gone to the apartments of the
man who had her letters, in a taxicab covered with a heavy veil, and had
got them back. He had shot himself when she returned--the husband--but
she burned the letters and then called a Doctor, and he was saved. Not
the doctor, of course. The husband.

The villain's only hold on her had been the letters, so he went to South
Africa and was gored by an elephant, thus passing out of her life.

Then and there I knew that I would have to get my letter back from H.
Without it he was powerless. The trouble was that I did not know where
he was staying. Even if he came out of a Cabinet, the Cabinet would have
to be somewhere, would it not?

I felt that I would have to meet gile with gile. And to steal one's own
letter is not really stealing. Of course if he was visiting any one and
pretending to be a real person, I had no chance in the world. But if he
was stopping at a hotel I thought I could manage. The man in the book
had had an apartment, with a Japanese servant, who went away and drew
plans of American Forts in the kitchen and left the woman alone with the
desk containing the Letter. But I daresay that was unusualy lucky and
not the sort of thing to look forward to.

With me, to think is to act. Hannah was out, it being Xmas and her
brother-in-law having a wake, being dead, so I was free to do anything I
wanted to.

First I called the Club and got Carter Brooks on the telephone.

"Carter," I said, "I--I am writing a letter. Where is--where does H.
stay?"

"Who?"

"H.--Mr. Grosvenor."

"Why, bless your ardent little Heart! Writing, are you? It's sublime,
Bab!"

"Where does he live?"

"And is it all alone you are, on Xmas Night!" he burbled. (This is a
word from Alice in WonderLand, and although not in the dictionery, is
quite expressive.)

"Yes," I replied, bitterly. "I am old enough to be married off without
my consent, but I am not old enough for a real Ball. It makes me sick."

"I can smuggle him here, if you want to talk to him."

"Smuggle!" I said, with scorn. "There is no need to smuggle him. The
Familey is crazy about him. They are flinging me at him."

"Well, that's nice," he said. "Who'd have thought it! Shall I bring him
to the 'phone?"

"I don't want to talk to him. I hate him."

"Look here," he observed, "if you keep that up, he'll begin to beleive
you. Don't take these little quarrels too hard, Barbara. He's so happy
to-night in the thought that you----"

"Does he live in a Cabinet, or where?"

"In a what? I don't get that word."

"Don't bother. Where shall I send his letter?"

Well, it seemed he had an apartment at the Arcade, and I rang off. It
was after eleven by that time, and by the time I had got into my school
mackintosh and found a heavy veil of mother's and put it on, it was
almost half past.

The house was quiet, and as Patrick had gone, there was no one around in
the lower Hall. I slipped out and closed the door behind me, and
looked for a taxicab, but the veil was so heavy that I hailed our own
limousine, and Smith had drawn up at the curb before I knew him.

"Where to, lady?" he said. "This is a private car, but I'll take you
anywhere in the city for a dollar."

A flush of just indignation rose to my cheek, at the knowledge that
Smith was using our car for a taxicab! And just as I was about to speak
to him severely, and threaten to tell father, I remembered, and walked
away.

"Make it seventy-five cents," he called after me. But I went on. It was
terrable to think that Smith could go on renting our car to all sorts of
people, covered with germs and everything, and that I could never report
it to the Familey.

I got a real taxi at last, and got out at the Arcade, giving the man a
quarter, although ten cents would have been plenty as a tip.

I looked at him, and I felt that he could be trusted.

"This," I said, holding up the money, "is the price of Silence."

But If he was trustworthy he was not subtile, and he said:

"The what, miss?"

"If any one asks if you have driven me here, YOU HAVE NOT" I explained,
in an impressive manner.

He examined the quarter, even striking a match to look at it. Then he
replied: "I have not!" and drove away.

Concealing my nervousness as best I could, I entered the doomed
Building. There was only a hall boy there, asleep in the elevator, and
I looked at the thing with the names on it. "Mr. Grosvenor" was on the
fourth floor.

I wakened the boy, and he yawned and took me to the fourth floor. My
hands were stiff with nervousness by that time, but the boy was half
asleep, and evadently he took me for some one who belonged there, for
he said "Goodnight" to me, and went on down. There was a square landing
with two doors, and "Grosvenor" was on one. I tried it gently. It was
unlocked.

"FACILUS DESCENSUS IN AVERNU."

I am not defending myself. What I did was the result of desparation.
But I cannot even write of my sensations as I stepped through that fatal
portal, without a sinking of the heart. I had, however, had suficient
forsight to prepare an alabi. In case there was some one present in the
apartment I intended to tell a falshood, I regret to confess, and to say
that I had got off at the wrong floor.

There was a sort of hall, with a clock and a table, and a shaded
electric lamp, and beyond that the door was open into a sitting room.

There was a small light burning there, and the remains of a wood fire in
the fireplace. There was no Cabinet however.

Everything was perfectly quiet, and I went over to the fire and warmed
my hands. My nails were quite blue, but I was strangly calm. I took off
mother's veil, and my mackintosh, so I would be free to work, and I then
looked around the room. There were a number of photographs of rather
smart looking girls, and I curled my lip scornfully. He might have
fooled them but he could not decieve me. And it added to my bitterness
to think that at that moment the villain was dancing--and flirting
probably--while I was driven to actual theft to secure the Letter that
placed me in his power.

When I had stopped shivering I went to his desk. There were a lot of
letters on the top, all addressed to him as Grosvenor. It struck me
suddenly as strange that if he was only visiting, under an assumed name,
in order to see me, that so many people should be writing to him as Mr.
Grosvenor. And it did not look like the room of a man who was visiting,
unless he took a freight car with him on his travels.

THERE WAS A MYSTERY. All at once I knew it.

My letter was not on the desk, so I opened the top drawer. It seemed to
be full of bills, and so was the one below it. I had just started on the
third drawer, when a terrable thing happened.

"Hello!" said some one behind me.

I turned my head slowly, and my heart stopped.

THE PORTERES INTO THE PASSAGE HAD OPENED, AND A GENTLEMAN IN HIS EVENING
CLOTHES WAS STANDING THERE.

"Just sit still, please," he said, in a perfectly cold voice. And he
turned and locked the door into the hall. I was absolutely unable to
speak. I tried once, but my tongue hit the roof of my mouth like the
clapper of a bell.

"Now," he said, when he had turned around. "I wish you would tell me
some good reason why I should not hand you over to the Police."

"Oh, please don't!" I said.

"That's eloquent. But not a reason. I'll sit down and give you a little
time. I take it, you did not expect to find me here."

"I'm in the wrong apartment. That's all," I said. "Maybe you'll think
that's an excuse and not a reason. I can't help it if you do."

"Well," he said, "that explains some things. It's pretty well known, I
fancy, that I have little worth stealing, except my good name."

"I was not stealing," I replied in a sulky manner.

"I beg your pardon," he said. "It IS an ugly word. We will strike it
from the record. Would you mind telling me whose apartment you intended
to--er--investigate? If this is the wrong one, you know."

"I was looking for a Letter."

"Letters, letters!" he said. "When will you women learn not to write
letters. Although"--he looked at me closely--"you look rather young for
that sort of thing." He sighed. "It's born in you, I daresay," he said.

Well, for all his patronizing ways, he was not very old himself.

"Of course," he said, "if you are telling the truth--and it sounds
fishy, I must say--it's hardly a Police matter, is it? It's rather one
for diplomasy. But can you prove what you say?"

"My word should be suficient," I replied stiffly. "How do I know that
YOU belong here?"

"Well, you don't, as a matter of fact. Suppose you take my word for
that, and I agree to beleive what you say about the wrong apartment,
Even then it's rather unusual. I find a pale and determined looking
young lady going through my desk in a business-like manner. She says she
has come for a Letter. Now the question is, is there a Letter? If so,
what Letter?"

"It is a love letter," I said.

"Don't blush over such a confession," he said. "If it is true, be proud
of it. Love is a wonderful thing. Never be ashamed of being in love, my
child."

"I am not in love," I cried with bitter furey.

"Ah! Then it is not YOUR letter!"

"I wrote it."

"But to simulate a passion that does not exist--that is sackrilege. It
is----"

"Oh, stop talking," I cried, in a hunted tone. "I can't bear it. If you
are going to arrest me, get it over."

"I'd rather NOT arrest you, if we can find a way out. You look so young,
so new to Crime! Even your excuse for being here is so naive, that
I--won't you tell me why you wrote a love letter, if you are not in
love? And whom you sent it to? That's important, you see, as it bears
on the case. I intend," he said, "to be judgdicial, unimpassioned, and
quite fair."

"I wrote a love letter" I explained, feeling rather cheered, "but it was
not intended for any one, Do you see? It was just a love letter."

"Oh," he said. "Of course. It is often done. And after that?"

"Well, it had to go somewhere. At least I felt that way about it. So I
made up a name from some malted milk tablets----"

"Malted milk tablets!" he said, looking bewildered.

"Just as I was thinking up a name to send it to," I explained,
"Hannah--that's mother's maid, you know--brought in some hot milk and
some malted milk tablets, and I took the name from them."

"Look here," he said, "I'm unpredjudiced and quite calm, but isn't the
`mother's maid' rather piling it on?"

"Hannah is mother's maid, and she brought in the milk and the tablets,
I should think," I said, growing sarcastic, "that so far it is clear to
the dullest mind."

"Go on," he said, leaning back and closing his eyes. "You named the
letter for your mother's maid--I mean for the malted milk. Although you
have not yet stated the name you chose; I never heard of any one named
Milk, and as to the other, while I have known some rather thoroughly
malted people--however, let that go."

"Valentine's tablets," I said. "Of Course, you understand," I said,
bending forward, "there was no such Person. I made him up. The Harold
was made up too--Harold Valentine."

"I see. Not clearly, perhaps, but I have a gleam of intellagence."

"But, after all, there was such a person. That's clear, isn't it? And
now he considers that we are engaged, and--and he insists on marrying
me."

"That," he said, "is realy easy to understand. I don't blame him at all.
He is clearly a person of diszernment."

"Of course," I said bitterly, "you would be on HIS side. Every one is."

"But the point is this," he went on. "If you made him up out of the
whole cloth, as it were, and there was no such Person, how can there
be such a Person? I am merely asking to get it all clear in my head. It
sounds so reasonable when you say it, but there seems to be something
left out."

"I don't know how he can be, but he is," I said, hopelessly. "And he is
exactly like his picture."

"Well, that's not unusual, you know."

"It is in this case. Because I bought the picture in a shop, and just
pretended it was him. (He?) And it WAS."

He got up and paced the floor.

"It's a very strange case," he said. "Do you mind if I light a
cigarette? It helps to clear my brain. What was the name you gave him?"

"Harold Valentine. But he is here under another name, because of my
Familey. They think I am a mere child, you see, and so of course he took
a NOM DE PLUME."

"A NOM DE PLUME? Oh I see! What is it?"

"Grosvenor," I said. "The same as yours."

"There's another Grosvenor in the building, That's where the trouble
came in, I suppose, Now let me get this straight. You wrote a letter,
and somehow or other he got it, and now you want it back. Stripped of
the things that baffle my intellagence, that's it, isn't it?"

I rose in excitement.

"Then, if he lives in the building, the letter is probably here. Why
can't you go and get it for me?"

"Very neat! And let you slip away while I am gone?"

I saw that he was still uncertain that I was telling him the truth. It
was maddening. And only the Letter itself could convince him.

"Oh, please try to get it," I cried, almost weeping. "You can lock me in
here, if you are afraid I will run away. And he is out. I know he is. He
is at the Club ball."

"Naturaly," he said "the fact that you are asking me to compound a
felony, commit larceny, and be an accessery after the fact does not
trouble you. As I told you before, all I have left is my good name, and
now----!"

"Please!" I said.

He stared down at me.

"Certainly," he said. "Asked in that tone, Murder would be one of the
easiest things I do. But I shall lock you in."

"Very well," I said meekly. And after I had described it--the Letter--to
him he went out.

I had won, but my triumph was but sackcloth and ashes in my mouth. I had
won, but at what a cost! Ah, how I wished that I might live again the
past few days! That I might never have started on my Path of Deception!
Or that, since my intentions at the start had been so inocent, I had
taken another photograph at the shop, which I had fancied considerably
but had heartlessly rejected because of no mustache.

He was gone for a long time, and I sat and palpatated. For what if H.
had returned early and found him and called in the Police?

But the latter had not occurred, for at ten minutes after one he came
back, eutering by the window from a fire-escape, and much streaked with
dirt.

"Narrow escape, dear child!" he observed, locking the window and drawing
the shade. "Just as I got it, your--er--gentleman friend returned and
fitted his key in the lock. I am not at all sure," he said, wiping his
hands with his handkerchief, "that he will not regard the open window
as a suspicious circumstance. He may be of a low turn of mind. However,
all's well that ends here in this room. Here it is."

I took it, and my heart gave a great leap of joy. I was saved.

"Now," he said, "we'll order a taxicab and get you home. And while it is
coming suppose you tell me the thing over again. It's not as clear to me
as it ought to be, even now."

So then I told him--about not being out yet, and Sis having flowers sent
her, and her room done over, and never getting to bed until dawn.
And that they treated me like a mere Child, which was the reason for
everything, and about the Poem, which he considered quite good. And then
about the Letter.

"I get the whole thing a bit clearer now," he said. "Of course, it
is still cloudy in places. The making up somebody to write to is
understandable, under the circumstances. But it is odd to have had the
very Person materialise, so to speak. It makes me wonder--well, how
about burning the Letter, now we've got it? It would be better, I think.
The way things have been going with you, if we don't destroy it, it is
likely to walk off into somebody else's pocket and cause more trouble."

So we burned it, and then the telephone rang and said the taxi was
there.

"I'll get my coat and be ready in a jiffey," he said, "and maybe we can
smuggle you into the house and no one the wiser. We'll try anyhow."

He went into the other room and I sat by the fire and thought. You
remember that when I was planning Harold Valentine, I had imagined him
with a small, dark mustache, and deep, passionate eyes? Well, this
Mr. Grosvenor had both, or rather, all three. And he had the loveliest
smile, with no dimple. He was, I felt, exactly the sort of man I could
die for.

It was too tradgic that, with all the world to choose from, I had not
taken him instead of H.

We walked downstairs, so as not to give the elevator boy a chance to
talk, he said. But he was asleep again, and we got to the street and to
the taxicab without being seen.

Oh, I was very cheerful. When I think of it--but I might have known, all
along. Nothing went right with me that week.

Just before we got to the house he said:

"Goodnight and goodbye, little Barbara. I'll never forget you and this
evening. And save me a dance at your coming-out party. I'll be there."

I held out my hand, and he took it and kissed it. It was all perfectly
thrilling. And then we drew up in front of the house and he helped me
out, and my entire Familey had just got out of the motor and was lined
up on the pavment staring at us!

"All right, are you?" he said, as coolly as if they had not been
anywhere in sight. "Well, good night and good luck!" And he got into the
taxicab and drove away, leaving me in the hands of the Enemy.

The next morning I was sent back to school. They never gave me a chance
to explain, for mother went into hysterics, after accusing me of having
men dangling around waiting at every corner. They had to have a doctor,
and things were awful.

The only person who said anything was Sis. She came to my room that
night when I was in bed, and stood looking down at me. She was very
angry, but there was a sort of awe in her eyes.

"My hat's off to you, Barbara," she said. "Where in the world do you
pick them all up? Things must have changed at school since I was there."

"I'm sick to death of the Other Sex," I replied languidley. "It's no
punishment to send me away. I need a little piece and quiet." And I did.


CONCLUSION:

All this holaday week, while the girls are away, I have been writing
this Theme, for Literature class. To-day is New Years and I am putting
in the finishing touches. I intend to have it tiped in the village and
to send a copy to father, who I think will understand, and another copy,
but with a few lines cut, to Mr. Grosvenor. The nice one. There were
some things he did not quite understand, and this will explain.

I shall also send a copy to Carter Brooks, who came out handsomly with
an apoligy this morning in a letter and a ten pound box of Candy.

His letter explains everything. H. is a real person and did not come
out of a Cabinet. Carter recognized the photograph as being one of a
Mr. Grosvenor he went to college with, who had gone on the stage and
was playing in a stock company at home. Only they were not playing Xmas
week, as business, he says, is rotten then. When he saw me writing the
letter he felt that it was all a bluff, especialy as he had seen me
sending myself the violets at the florists.

So he got Mr. Grosvenor, the blonde one, to pretend he was Harold
Valentine. Only things slipped up. I quote from Carter's letter:


"He's a bully chap, Bab, and he went into it for a lark, roses and poems
and all. But when he saw that you took it rather hard, he felt it wasn't
square. He went to your father to explain and apologized, but your
father seemed to think you needed a lesson. He's a pretty good Sport,
your father. And he said to let it go on for a day or two. A little
worry wouldn't hurt you."


However, I do not call it being a good sport to see one's daughter
perfectly wreched and do nothing to help. And more than that, to
willfully permit one's child to suffer, and enjoy it.

But it was father, after all, who got the Jolt, I think, when he saw me
get out of the taxicab.

Therefore I will not explain, for a time. A little worry will not hurt
him either.

I will not send him his copy for a week.

Perhaps, after all, I will give him somthing to worry about eventually.
For I have recieved a box of roses, with no card, but a pen and ink
drawing of a Gentleman in evening clothes crawling onto a fire-escape
through an open window. He has dropped his Heart, and it is two floors
below.

My narative has now come to a conclusion, and I will close with a few
reflections drawin from my own sad and tradgic Experience. I trust the
Girls of this School will ponder and reflect.

Deception is a very sad thing. It starts very easy, and without Warning,
and everything seems to be going all right, and No Rocks ahead. When
suddenly the Breakers loom up, and your frail Vessel sinks, with you on
board, and maybe your dear Ones, dragged down with you.

     Oh, what a tangeled Web we wieve,
     When first we practice to decieve.
     Sir Walter Scott.



CHAPTER II

THEME: THE CELEBRITY

WE have been requested to write, during this vacation, a true and
varacious account of a meeting with any Celebrity we happened to meet
during the summer. If no Celebrity, any interesting character would do,
excepting one's own Familey.

But as one's own Familey is neither celebrated nor interesting, there is
no temptation to write about it.

As I met Mr. Reginald Beecher this summer, I have chosen him as my
Subject.

Brief history of the Subject: He was born in 1890 at Woodbury, N. J.
Attended public and High Schools, and in 1910 graduated from Princeton
University.

Following year produced first Play in New York, called Her Soul.
Followed this by the Soul Mate, and this by The Divorce.

Description of Subject. Mr. Beecher is tall and slender, and wears a
very small dark Mustache. Although but twenty-six years of age, his hair
on close inspection reveals here and there a Silver Thread. His teeth
are good, and his eyes amber, with small flecks of brown in them. He has
been vacinated twice.

It has alwavs been one of my chief ambitions to meet a Celebrity. On one
or two occasions we have had them at school, but they never sit at the
Junior's table. Also, they are seldom connected with either the Drama
or The Movies (a slang term but aparently taking a place in our
Literature).

It was my intention, on being given this subject for my midsummer theme,
to seek out Mrs. Bainbridge, a lady Author who has a cottage across the
bay from ours, and to ask the privelege of sitting at her feet for a few
hours, basking in the sunshine of her presence, and learning from her
own lips her favorite Flower, her favorite Poem and the favorite child
of her Brain.

     Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
     Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well.
     Duke of Buckingham

I had meant to write my Theme on her, but I learned in time that she
was forty years of age. Her work is therefore done. She has passed her
active years, and I consider that it is not the past of American Letters
which is at stake, but the future. Besides, I was more interested in the
Drama than in Literature.

Posibly it is owing to the fact that the girls think I resemhle Julia
Marlowe, that from my earliest years my mind has been turned toward the
Stage. I am very determined and fixed in my ways, and with me to decide
to do a thing is to decide to do it. I am not of a romantic Nature,
however, and as I learned of the dangers of the theater, I drew back.
Even a strong nature, such as mine is, on occassions, can be influenced.
I therefore decided to change my plans, and to write Plays instead of
acting in them.

At first I meant to write Comedies, but as I realized the graveity
of life, and its bitterness and disapointments, I turned naturaly to
Tradgedy. Surely, as dear Shakspeare says:

     The world is a stage
     Where every man must play a part,
     And mine a sad one.

This explains my sinsere interest in Mr. Beecher. His Works were all
realistic and sad. I remember that I saw the first one three years ago,
when a mere Child, and became violently ill from crying and had to be
taken home.

The school will recall that last year I wrote a Play, patterned on The
Divorce, and that only a certain narowness of view on the part of the
faculty prevented it being the Class Play. If I may be permited to
express an opinion, we of the class of 1917 are not children, and should
not be treated as such.

Encouraged by the Aplause of my class-mates, and feeling that I was of
a more serious turn of mind than most of them, who seem to think of
pleasure only, I decided to write a play during the summer. I would
thus be improving my Vacation hours, and, I considered, keeping out of
mischeif. It was pure idleness which had caused my Trouble during the
last Christmas holidays. How true it is that the Devil finds work for
idle Hands!

With a Play and this Theme I beleived that the Devil would give me up as
a totle loss, and go elsewhere.

How little we can read the Future!

I now proceed to an account of my meeting and acquaintence with Mr.
Beecher. It is my intention to conceal nothing. I can only comfort
myself with the thought that my Motives were inocent, and that I was
obeying orders and secureing material for a theme. I consider that the
atitude of my Familey is wrong and cruel, and that my sister Leila,
being only 20 months older, although out in Society, has no need to
write me the sort of letters she has been writing. Twenty months is
twenty months, and not two years, although she seems to think it is.

I returned home full of happy plans for my vacation. When I look back it
seems strange that the gay and inocent young girl of the train can have
been!. So much that is tradgic has since happened. If I had not had a
cinder in my eye things would have been diferent. But why repine? Fate
frequently hangs thus on a single hair--an eye-lash, as one may say.

Father met me at the train. I had got the aformentioned cinder in my
eye, and a very nice young man had taken it out for me. I still cannot
see what harm there was in our chating together after that, especialy as
we said nothing to object to. But father looked very disagreeable about
it, and the young man went away in a hurry. But it started us off wrong,
although I got him--father--to promise not to tell mother.

"I do wish you would be more careful, Bab," he said with a sort of sigh.

"Careful!" I said. "Then it's not doing Things, but being found out,
that matters!"

"Careful in your conduct, Bab."

"He was a beautiful young man, father," I observed, sliping my arm
through his.

"Barbara, Barbara! Your poor mother----"

"Now look here, father" I said. "If it was mother who was interested in
him it might be troublesome. But it is only me. And I warn you, here and
now, that I expect to be thrilled at the sight of a Nice Young Man right
along. It goes up my back and out the roots of my hair."

Well, my father is a real Person, so he told me to talk sense, and gave
me twenty dollars, and agreed to say nothing about the young man to
mother, if I would root for Canada against the Adirondacks for the
summer, because of the Fishing.

Mother was waiting in the hall for me, but she held me off with both
hands.

"Not until you have bathed and changed your clothing, Barbara," she
said. "I have never had it."

She meant the whooping cough. The school will recall the epademic which
ravaged us last June, and changed us from a peaceful institution to what
sounded like a dog show.

Well, I got the same old room, not much fixed up, but they had put up
diferent curtains anyhow, thank goodness. I had been hinting all spring
for new Furnature, but my Familey does not take a hint unless it is
cloroformed first, and I found the same old stuff there.

They beleive in waiting until a girl makes her Debut before giving her
anything but the necessarys of life.

Sis was off for a week-end, but Hannah was there, and I kissed her. Not
that I'm so fond of her, but I had to kiss sombody.

"Well, Miss Barbara!" she said. "How you've grown!"

That made me rather sore, because I am not a child any longer, but they
all talk to me as if I were but six years old, and small for my age.

"I've stopped growing, Hannah," I said, with dignaty. "At least, almost.
But I see I still draw the nursery."

Hannah was opening my suitcase, and she looked up and said: "I tried to
get you the Blue room, Miss Bab. But Miss Leila said she needed it for
house Parties."

"Never mind," I said. "I don't care anything about Furnature. I have
other things to think about, Hannah; I want the school room Desk up
here."

"Desk!" she said, with her jaw drooping.

"I am writing now," I said. "I need a lot of ink, and paper, and a good
Lamp. Let them keep the Blue room, Hannah, for their selfish purposes. I
shall be happy in my work. I need nothing more."

"Writing!" said Hannah. "Is it a book you're writing?"

"A Play."

"Listen to the child! A Play!"

I sat on the edge of the bed.

"Listen, Hannah," I said. "It is not what is outside of us that matters.
It is what is inside. It is what we are, not what we eat, or look like,
or wear. I have given up everything, Hannah, to my Career."

"You're young yet," said Hannah. "You used to be fond enough of the
Boys."

Hannah has been with us for years, so she gets rather talkey at times,
and has to be sat upon.

"I care nothing whatever for the Other Sex," I replied hautily.

She was opening my suitcase at the time, and I was surveying the chamber
which was to be the seen of my Literary Life, at least for some time.

"Now and then," I said to Hannah, "I shall read you parts of it. Only
you mustn't run and tell mother."

"Why not?" said she, pearing into the Suitcase.

"Because I intend to deal with Life," I said. "I shall deal with real
Things, and not the way we think them. I am young, but I have thought a
great deal. I shall minse nothing."

"Look here, Miss Barbara," Hannah said, all at once, "what are you doing
with this whiskey Flask? And these socks? And--you come right here, and
tell me where you got the things in this Suitcase." I stocked over to
the bed, and my blood frose in my vains. IT WAS NOT MINE.

Words cannot fully express how I felt. While fully convinsed that there
had been a mistake, I knew not when or how. Hannah was staring at me
with cold and accusing eyes.

"You're a very young Lady, Miss Barbara," she said, with her eyes full
of Suspicion, "to be carrying a Flask about with you." I was as puzzled
as she was, but I remained calm and to all apearances Spartan.

"I am young in years," I remarked. "But I have seen Life, Hannah."

Now I meant nothing by this at the time. But it was getting on my nerves
to be put in the infant class all the time. The Xmas before they had
done it, and I had had my revenge. Although it had hurt me more than it
hurt them, and if I gave them a fright I gave myself a worse one. As I
said at that time:

     Oh, what a tangeled web we weive,
     When first we practice to decieve.
     Sir Walter Scott.

Hannah gave me a horrafied Glare, and dipped into the Suitcase again.
She brought up a tin box of Cigarettes, and I thought she was going to
have delerium tremens at once.

Well, at first I thought the girls at school had played a Trick on me,
and a low down mean Trick at that. There are always those who think it
is funny to do that sort of thing, but they are the first to squeel when
anything is done to them. Once I put a small garter Snake in a girl's
muff, and it went up her sleave, which is nothing to some of the things
she had done to me. And you would have thought the School was on fire.

Anyhow, I said to myself that some Smarty was trying to get me into
trouble, and Hannah would run to the Familey, and they'd never beleive
me. All at once I saw all my cherished plans for the summer gone, and
me in the Country somewhere with Mademoiselle, and walking through the
pasture with a botany in one hand and a folding Cup in the other, in
case we found a spring a cow had not stepped in. Mademoiselle was
once my Governess, but has retired to private life, except in cases of
emergency.

I am naturaly very quick in mind. The Archibalds are all like that, and
when once we decide on a Course we stick to it through thick and
thin. But we do not lie. It is rediculous for Hannah to say I said the
cigarettes were mine. All I said was:

"I suppose you are going to tell the Familey. You'd better run, or
you'll burst."

"Oh, Miss Barbara, Miss Barbara!" she said. "And you so young to be so
wild!"

This was unjust, and I am one to resent injustice. I had returned home
with my mind fixed on serious Things, and now I was being told I was
wild.

"If I tell your mother she'll have a fit," Hannah said, evadently drawn
hither and thither by emotion. "Now see here, Miss Bab, you've just
come Home, and there was trouble at your last vacation that I'm like to
remember to my dieing day. You tell me how those things got there, like
a good girl, and I'll say nothing about them."

I am naturaly sweet in disposition, but to call me a good girl and
remind me of last Xmas holadays was too much. My natural firmness came
to the front.

"Certainly NOT," I said.

"You needn't stick your lip out at me, Miss Bab, that was only giving
you a chance, and forgetting my Duty to help you, not to mention
probably losing my place when the Familey finds out."

"Finds out what?"

"What you've been up to, the stage, and writing plays, and now liquor
and tobacco!"

Now I may be at fault in the Narative that follows. But I ask the school
if this was fair treatment. I had returned to my home full of high
Ideals, only to see them crushed beneath the heal of domestic tyranny.

     Necessity is the argument of tyrants;
     it is the creed of slaves.
     William Pitt.

How true are these immortal words.

It was with a firm countenance but a sinking heart that I saw Hannah
leave the room. I had come home inspired with lofty Ambition, and it
had ended thus. Heart-broken, I wandered to the bedside, and let my eyes
fall on the Suitcase, the container of all my woe.

Well, I was surprised, all right. It was not and never had been mine.
Instead of my blue serge sailor suit and my ROBE DE NUIT and kimona
etc., it contained a checked gentleman's suit, a mussed shirt and a cap.
At first I was merely astonished. Then a sense of loss overpowered me.
I suffered. I was prostrated with grief. Not that I cared a Rap for
the clothes I'd lost, being most of them to small and patched here and
there. But I had lost the plot of my Play. My Career was gone.

I was undone.

It may be asked what has this Recitle to do with the account of meeting
a Celebrity. I reply that it has a great deal to do with it. A bare
recitle of a meeting may be News, but it is not Art.

A theme consists of Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

This is still the Introduction.

When I was at last revived enough to think I knew what had happened. The
young man who took the Cinder out of my eye had come to sit beside
me, which I consider was merely kindness on his part and nothing like
Flirting, and he had brought his Suitcase over, and they had got mixed
up. But I knew the Familey would call it Flirting, and not listen to a
word I said.

A madness siezed me. Now that everything is over, I realize that it was
madness. But "there is a divinity that shapes our ends etc." It was to
be. It was Karma, or Kismet, or whatever the word is. It was written in
the Book of Fate that I was to go ahead, and wreck my life, and generaly
ruin everything.

I locked the door behind Hannah, and stood with tradgic feet, "where the
brook and river meet." What was I to do? How hide this evadence of
my (presumed) duplicaty? I was inocent, but I looked gilty. This, as
everyone knows, is worse than gilt.

I unpacked the Suitcase as fast as I could, therfore, and being just
about destracted, I bundled the things up and put them all together in
the toy Closet, where all Sis's dolls and mine are, mine being mostly
pretty badly gone, as I was always hard on dolls.

How far removed were those Inocent Years when I played with dolls!

Well, I knew Hannah pretty well, and therfore was not surprised when,
having hidden the trowsers under a doll buggy, I heard mother's voice at
the door.

"Let me in, Barbara," she said.

I closed the closet door, and said: "What is it, mother?"

"Let me in."

So I let her in, and pretended I expected her to kiss me, which she
had not yet, on account of the whooping cough. But she seemed to have
forgotten that. Also the Kiss.

"Barbara," she said, in the meanest voice, "how long have you been
smoking?"

Now I must pause to explain this. Had mother aproached me in a sweet
and maternal manner, I would have been softened, and would have told the
Whole Story. But she did not. She was, as you might say, steeming with
Rage. And seeing that I was misunderstood, I hardened. I can be as hard
as adamant when necessary.

"What do you mean, mother?"

"Don't anser one question with another."

"How can I anser when I don't understand you?"

She simply twiched with fury.

"You--a mere Child!" she raved. "And I can hardly bring myself to
mention it--the idea of your owning a Flask, and bringing it into this
house--it is--it is----"

Well, I was growing cold and more hauty every moment, so I said: "I
don't see why the mere mention of a Flask upsets you so. It isn't
because you aren't used to one, especialy when traveling. And since I
was a mere baby I have been acustomed to intoxicants."

"Barbara!" she intergected, in the most dreadful tone.

"I mean, in the Familey," I said. "I have seen wine on our table ever
since I can remember. I knew to put salt on a claret stain before I
could talk."

Well, you know how it is to see an Enemy on the run, and although I
regret to refer to my dear mother as an Enemy, still at that moment she
was such and no less. And she was beating it. It was the referance to
my youth that had aroused me, and I was like a wounded lion. Besides, I
knew well enough that if they refused to see that I was practicaly grown
up, if not entirely, I would get a lot of Sis's clothes, fixed up with
new ribbons. Faded old things! I'd had them for years.

Better to be considered a bad woman than an unformed child.

"However, mother," I finished, "if it is any comfort to you, I did not
buy that Flask. And I am not a confirmed alcoholic. By no means."

"This settles it," she said, in a melancoly tone. "When I think of the
comfort Leila has been to me, and the anxiety you have caused, I wonder
where you get your--your DEVILTRY from. I am posatively faint."

I was alarmed, for she did look queer, with her face all white around
the Rouge. So I reached for the Flask.

"I'll give you a swig of this," I said. "It will pull you around in no
time."

But she held me off feircely.

"Never!" she said. "Never again. I shall emty the wine cellar. There
will be nothing to drink in this house from now on. I do not know what
we are coming to."

She walked into the bathroom, and I heard her emptying the Flask down
the drain pipe. It was a very handsome Flask, silver with gold stripes,
and all at once I knew the young man would want it back. So I said:

"Mother, please leave the Flask here anyhow."

"Certainly not."

"It's not mine, mother."

"Whose is it?"

"It--a friend of mine loned it to me."

"Who?"

"I can't tell you."

"You can't TELL me! Barbara, I am utterly bewildered. I sent you away a
simple child, and you return to me--what?"

Well, we had about an hour's fight over it, and we ended in a
compromise. I gave up the Flask, and promised not to smoke and so forth,
and I was to have some new dresses and a silk Sweater, and to be allowed
to stay up until ten o'clock, and to have a desk in my room for my work.

"Work!" mother said. "Career! What next? Why can't you be like Leila,
and settle down to haveing a good time?"

"Leila and I are diferent," I said loftily, for I resented her tone.
"Leila is a child of the moment. Life for her is one grand, sweet Song.
For me it is a serious matter. `Life is real, life is earnest, and the
Grave is not its goal,'" I quoted in impasioned tones.

(Because that is the way I feel. How can the Grave be its goal? THERE
MUST BE SOMETHING BEYOND. I have thought it all out, and I beleive in a
world beyond, but not in a hell. Hell, I beleive, is the state of mind
one gets into in this world as a result of one's wicked Acts or one's
wicked Thoughts, and is in one's self.)

As I have said, the other side of the Compromise was that I was not to
carry Flasks with me, or drink any punch at parties if it had a stick
in it, and you can generally find out by the taste. For if it is what
Carter Brooks calls "loaded" it stings your tongue. Or if it tastes like
cider it's probably Champane. And I was not to smoke any cigarettes.

Mother was holding out on the Sweater at that time, saying that Sis had
a perfectly good one from Miami, and why not wear that? So I put up a
strong protest about the cigarettes, although I have never smoked but
once as I think the School knows, and that only half through, owing to
getting dizzy. I said that Sis smoked now and then, because she thought
it looked smart; but that, if I was to have a Career, I felt that the
sootheing influence of tobaco would help a lot.

So I got the new Sweater, and everything looked smooth again, and mother
kissed me on the way out, and said she had not meant to be harsch, but
that my great uncle Putnam had been a notorious drunkard, and I looked
like him, although of a more refined tipe.

There was a dreadful row that night, however, when father came home. We
were all dressed for dinner, and waiting in the drawing room, and Leila
was complaining about me, as usual.

"She looks older than I do now, mother," she said. "If she goes to the
seashore with us I'll have her always taging at my heals. I don't see
why I can't have my first summer in peace." Oh, yes, we were going to
the shore, after all. Sis wanted it, and everybody does what she wants,
regardless of what they prefer, even Fishing.

"First summer!" I exclaimed. "One would think you were a teething baby!"

"I was speaking to mother, Barbara. Everyone knows that a Debutante
only has one year nowadays, and if she doesn't go off in that year she's
swept away by the flood of new Girls the next fall. We might as well
be frank. And while Barbara's not a beauty, as soon as the bones in her
neck get a little flesh on them she won't be hopeless, and she has a
flipant manner that Men like."

"I intend to keep Barbara under my eyes this summer," mother said
firmly. "After last Xmas's happenings, and our Discovery today, I shall
keep her with me. She need not, however, interfere with you, Leila.
Her Hours are mostly diferent, and I will see that her friends are the
younger boys."

I said nothing, but I knew perfectly well she had in mind Eddie Perkins
and Willie Graham, and a lot of other little kids that hang around the
fruit Punch at parties, and throw the peas from the Croquettes at each
other when the footmen are not near, and pretend they are allowed to
smoke, but have sworn off for the summer.

I was naturaly indignant at Sis's words, which were not filial, to my
mind, but I replied as sweetly as possable:

"I shall not be in your way, Leila. I ask nothing but Food and Shelter,
and that perhaps not for long."

"Why? Do you intend to die?" she demanded.

"I intend to work," I said. "It's more interesting than dieing, and will
be a novelty in this House."

Father came in just then, and he said:

"I'll not wait to dress, Clara. Hello, children. I'll just change my
coller while you ring for the Cocktails."

Mother got up and faced him with Magesty.

"We are not going to have, any" she said.

"Any what?" said father from the doorway.

"I have had some fruit juice prepared with a dash of bitters. It is
quite nice. And I'll ask you, James, not to explode before the servants.
I will explain later."

Father has a very nice disposition but I could see that mother's manner
got on his Nerves, as it got on mine. Anyhow there was a terific fuss,
with Sis playing the Piano so that the servants would not hear, and in
the end father had a Cocktail. Mother waited until he had had it, and
was quieter, and then she told him about me, and my having a Flask in
my Suitcase. Of course I could have explained, but if they persisted in
mis-understanding me, why not let them do so, and be miserable?

"It's a very strange thing, Bab," he said, looking at me, "that
everything in this House is quiet until you come home, and then we get
as lively as kittens in a frying pan. We'll have to marry you off pretty
soon, to save our piece of mind."

"James!" said my mother. "Remember last winter, please."

There was no Claret or anything with dinner, and father ordered mineral
water, and criticised the food, and fussed about Sis's dressmaker's
bill. And the second man gave notice immediately after we left the
dining room. When mother reported that, as we were having coffee in the
drawing room, father said:

"Humph! Well, what can you expect? Those fellows have been getting the
best half of a bottle of Claret every night since they've been here, and
now it's cut off. Damed if I wouldn't like to leave myself."

From that time on I knew that I was watched. It made little or no
diference to me. I had my Work, and it filled my life. There were times
when my Soul was so filled with joy that I could hardly bare it. I had
one act done in two days. I wrote out the Love seens in full, because I
wanted to be sure of what they would say to each other. How I thrilled
as each marvelous burst of Fantacy flowed from my pen! But the dialogue
of less interesting parts I left for the actors to fill in themselves.
I consider this the best way, as it gives them a chance to be original,
and not to have to say the same thing over and over.

Jane Raleigh came over to see me the day after I came home, and I read
her some of the Love seens. She posatively wept with excitement.

"Bab," she said, "if any man, no matter who, ever said those things to
me, I'd go straight into his arms. I couldn't help it. Whose going to
act in it?"

"I think I'll have Robert Edeson, or Richard Mansfield."

"Mansfield's dead," said Jane.

"Honestly?"

"Honest he is. Why don't you get some of these moveing picture actors?
They never have a chance in the Movies, only acting and not talking."

Well, that sounded logicle. And then I read her the place where the
cruel first husband comes back and finds her married again and happy,
and takes the Children out to drown them, only he can't because they can
swim, and they pull him in instead. The curtain goes down on nothing but
a few bubbles rising to mark his watery Grave.

Jane was crying.

"It is too touching for words, Bab!" she said. "It has broken my heart.
I can just close my eyes and see the Theater dark, and the stage almost
dark, and just those bubbles coming up and breaking. Would you have to
have a tank?"

"I darsay," I replied dreamily. "Let the other people worry about that.
I can only give them the material, and hope that they have intellagence
enough to grasp it."

I think Sis must have told Carter Brooks something about the trouble I
was in, for he brought me a box of Candy one afternoon, and winked at me
when mother was not looking.

"Don't open it here," he whispered.

So I was forced to controll my impatience, though passionately fond of
Candy. And when I got to my room later, the box was full of cigarettes.
I could have screamed. It just gave me one more thing to hide, as if a
man's suit and shirt and so on was not suficient.

But Carter paid more attention to me than he ever had before, and at
a tea dance sombody had at the Country Club he took me to one side and
gave me a good talking to.

"You're being rather a bad child, aren't you?" he said.

"Certainly not."

"Well, not bad, but--er--naughty. Now see here, Bab, I'm fond of you,
and you're growing into a mightey pretty girl. But your whole Social
Life is at stake. For heaven's sake, at least until you're married, cut
out the cigarettes and booze."

That cut me to the heart, but what could I say?

Well, July came, and we had rented a house at Little Hampton and
everywhere one went one fell over an open trunk or a barrell containing
Silver or Linen.

Mother went around with her lips moving as if in prayer, but she was
realy repeating lists, such as sowing basket, table candles, headache
tablets, black silk stockings and tennis rackets.

Sis got some lovely Clothes, mostly imported, but they had a woman come
in and sow for me. Hannah and she used to interupt my most precious
Moments at my desk by running a tape measure around me, or pinning a
paper pattern to me. The sowing woman always had her mouth full of Pins,
and once, owing to my remarking that I wished I had been illagitimate,
so I could go away and live my own life, she swallowed one. It caused a
grate deal of excitement, with Hannah blaming me and giving her vinigar
to swallow to soften the pin. Well, it turned out all right, for she
kept on living, but she pretended to have sharp pains all over her here
and there, and if the pin had been as lively as a tadpole and wriggled
from spot to spot, it could not have hurt in so many Places.

Of course they blamed me, and I shut myself up more and more in my
Sanctuery. There I lived with the creatures of my dreams, and forgot for
a while that I was only a Sub-Deb, and that Leila's last year's tennis
clothes were being fixed over for me.

But how true what dear Shakspeare says:

                         dreams,
     Which are the children of an idle brain.
     Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.

I loved my dreams, but alas, they were not enough. After a tortured
hour or two at my desk, living in myself the agonies of my characters,
suffering the pangs of the wife with two husbands and both living,
struggling in the water with the children, fruit of the first union,
dying with number two and blowing my last Bubbles heavenward--after all
these emotions, I was done out.

Jane came in one day and found me prostrate on my couch, with a light of
sufering in my eyes.

"Dearest!" cried Jane, and gliding to my side, fell on her knees.

"Jane!"

"What is it? You are ill?"

I could hardly more than whisper. In a low tone I said:

"He is dead."

"Dearest!"

"Drowned!"

At first she thought I meant a member of my Familey. But when she
understood she looked serious.

"You are too intence, Bab," she said solemly. "You suffer too much. You
are wearing yourself out."

"There is no other way," I replied in broken tones.

Jane went to the Mirror and looked at herself. Then she turned to me.

"Others don't do it."

"I must work out my own Salvation, Jane," I observed firmly. But she had
roused me from my apathy, and I went into Sis's room, returning with
a box of candy some one had sent her. "I must feel, Jane, or I cannot
write."

"Pooh! Loads of writers get fat on it. Why don't you try Comedy? It pays
well."

"Oh--MONEY!" I said, in a disgusted tone.

"Your FORTE, of course, is Love," she said. "Probably that's because
you've had so much experience." Owing to certain reasons it is generaly
supposed that I have experienced the gentle Passion. But not so, alas!
"Bab," Jane said, suddenly, "I have been your friend for a long time. I
have never betrayed you. You can trust me with your Life. Why don't you
tell me?"

"Tell you what?"

"Somthing has happened. I see it in your eyes. No girl who is happy
and has not a tradgic story stays at home shut up at a messy desk when
everyone is out at the Club playing tennis. Don't talk to me about a
Career. A girl's Career is a man and nothing else. And especialy after
last winter, Bab. Is--is it the same one?"

Here I made my fatal error. I should have said at once that there was
no one, just as there had been no one last Winter. But she looked so
intence, sitting there, and after all, why should I not have an amorus
experience? I am not ugly, and can dance well, although inclined to lead
because of dansing with other girls all winter at school. So I lay back
on my pillow and stared at the ceiling.

"No. It is not the same man."

"What is he like? Bab, I'm so excited I can't sit still."

"It--it hurts to talk about him," I observed faintly.

Now I intended to let it go at that, and should have, had not Jane kept
on asking Questions. Because I had had a good lesson the winter before,
and did not intend to decieve again. And this I will say--I realy told
Jane Raleigh nothing. She jumped to her own conclusions. And as for her
people saying she cannot chum with me any more, I will only say this: If
Jane Raleigh smokes she did not learn it from me.

Well, I had gone as far as I meant to. I was not realy in love with
anyone, although I liked Carter Brooks, and would posibly have loved him
with all the depth of my Nature if Sis had not kept an eye on me most of
the time. However----

Jane seemed to be expecting somthing, and I tried to think of some
way to satisfy her and not make any trouble. And then I thought of the
Suitcase. So I locked the door and made her promise not to tell, and got
the whole thing out of the Toy Closet.

"Wha--what is it?" asked Jane.

I said nothing, but opened it all up. The Flask was gone, but the
rest was there, and Carter's box too. Jane leaned down and lifted the
trowsers and poked around somewhat. Then she straitened and said:

"You have run away and got married, Bab."

"Jane!"

She looked at me peircingly.

"Don't lie to me," she said accusingly. "Or else what are you doing with
a man's whole Outfit, including his dirty coller? Bab, I just can't bare
it."

Well, I saw that I had gone to far, and was about to tell Jane the truth
when I heard the sowing Woman in the hall. I had all I could do to get
the things put away, and with Jane looking like death I had to stand
there and be fitted for one of Sis's chiffon frocks, with the low neck
filled in with net.

"You must remember, Miss Bab," said the human Pin cushon, "that you are
still a very young girl, and not out yet."

Jane got up off the bed suddenly.

"I--I guess I'll go, Bab," she said. "I don't feel very well."

As she went out she stopped in the Doorway and crossed her Heart,
meaning that she would die before she would tell anything. But I was
not comfortable. It is not a pleasant thought that your best friend
considers you married and gone beyond recall, when in truth you are not,
or even thinking about it, except in idle moments.

The seen now changes. Life is nothing but such changes. No sooner do
we alight on one Branch, and begin to sip the honey from it, but we
are taken up and carried elsewhere, perhaps to the Mountains or to the
Sea-shore, and there left to make new friends and find new methods of
Enjoyment.

The flight--or journey--was in itself an anxious time. For on my
otherwise clear conscience rested the weight of that strange Suitcase.
Fortunately Hannah was so busy that I was left to pack my belongings
myself, and thus for a time my gilty secret was safe. I put my things in
on top of the masculine articles, not daring to leave any of them in the
closet, owing to house-cleaning, which is always done before our return
in the fall.

On the train I had a very unpleasant experience, due to Sis opening my
Suitcase to look for a magazine, and drawing out a soiled gentleman's
coller. She gave me a very peircing Glance, but said nothing and at the
next opportunity I threw it out of a window, concealed in a newspaper.

We now approach the Catastrofe. My book on playwriting divides plays
into Introduction, Development, Crisis, Denouement and Catastrofe. And
so one may devide life. In my case the Cinder proved the Introduction,
as there was none other. I consider that the Suitcase was the
Development, my showing it to Jane Raleigh was the Crisis, and the
Denouement or Catastrofe occured later on.

Let us then procede to the Catastrofe.

Jane Raleigh came to see me off at the train. Her Familey was coming the
next day. And instead of Flowers, she put a small bundel into my hands.
"Keep it hiden, Bab," she said, "and tear up the card."

I looked when I got a chance, and she had crocheted me a wash cloth,
with a pink edge. "For your linen Chest," the card said, "and I'm doing
a bath towle to match."

I tore up the Card, but I put the wash cloth with the other things I
was trying to hide, because it is bad luck to throw a Gift away. But I
hoped, as I seemed to be getting more things to conceal all the time,
that she would make me a small bath towle, and not the sort as big as a
bed spread.

Father went with us to get us settled, and we had a long talk while
mother and Sis made out lists for Dinners and so forth.

"Look here, Bab," he said, "somthing's wrong with you. I seem to have
lost my only boy, and have got instead a sort of tear-y young person I
don't recognize."

"I'm growing up, father" I said. I did not mean to rebuke him, but ye
gods! Was I the only one to see that I was no longer a Child?

"Somtimes I think you are not very happy with us."

"Happy?" I pondered. "Well, after all, what is happiness?"

He took a spell of coughing then, and when it was over he put his arms
around me and was quite afectionate.

"What a queer little rat it is!" he said.

I only repeat this to show how even my father, with all his afection and
good qualities, did not understand and never would understand. My
Heart was full of a longing to be understood. I wanted to tell him my
yearnings for better things, my aspirations to make my life a great and
glorious thing. AND HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND.

He gave me five dollars instead. Think of the Tradgedy of it!

As we went along, and he pulled my ear and finaly went asleep with a
hand on my shoulder, the bareness of my Life came to me. I shook with
sobs. And outside somewhere Sis and mother made Dinner lists. Then and
there I made up my mind to work hard and acheive, to become great and
powerful, to write things that would ring the Hearts of men--and women,
to, of course--and to come back to them some day, famous and beautiful,
and when they sued for my love, to be kind and hauty, but cold. I felt
that I would always be cold, although gracious.

I decided then to be a writer of plays first, and then later on to act
in them. I would thus be able to say what came into my head, as it was
my own play. Also to arrange the seens so as to wear a variety of gowns,
including evening things. I spent the rest of the afternoon manacuring
my nails in our state room.

Well, we got there at last. It was a large house, but everything was
to thin about it. The School will understand this, the same being the
condition of the new Freshman dormitory. The walls were to thin, and so
were the floors. The Doors shivered in the wind, and palpatated if you
slamed them. Also you could hear every Sound everywhere.

I looked around me in dispair. Where, oh where, was I to find my
cherished solatude? Where?

On account of Hannah hating a new place, and considering the house an
insult to the Servants, especialy only one bathroom for the lot of them,
she let me unpack alone, and so far I was safe. But where was I to work?
Fate settled that for me however.

     There is no armour against fate;
     Death lays his icy hand on Kings.

     J. Shirley; Dirge.

Previously, however, mother and I had had a talk. She sailed into my
room one evening, dressed for dinner, and found me in my ROBE DE NUIT,
curled up in the window seat admiring the view of the ocean.

"Well!" she said. "Is this the way you intend going to dinner?"

"I do not care for any dinner," I replied. Then, seeing she did not
understand, I said coldly. "How can I care for food, mother, when the
Sea looks like a dying ople?"

"Dying pussycat!" mother said, in a very nasty way. "I don't know what
has come over you, Barbara. You used to be a normle Child, and there was
some accounting for what you were going to do. But now! Take off that
nightgown, and I'll have Tanney hold off dinner for half an hour."

Tanney was the butler who had taken Patrick's place.

"If you insist," I said coldly. "But I shall not eat."

"Why not?"

"You wouldn't understand, mother."

"Oh, I wouldn't? Well, suppose I try," she said, and sat down. "I am
not very intellagent, but if you put it clearly I may grasp it. Perhaps
you'd better speak slowly, also."

So, sitting there in my room, while the sea throbed in tireless beats
against the shore, while the light faded and the stars issued, one by
one, like a rash on the Face of the sky, I told mother of my dreams. I
intended, I said, to write Life as it realy is, and not as supposed to
be.

"It may in places be, ugly" I said, "but Truth is my banner. The Truth
is never ugly, because it is real. It is, for instance, not ugly if a
man is in love with the wife of another, if it is real love, and not the
passing fansy of a moment."

Mother opened her mouth, but did not say anything.

"There was a time," I said, "when I longed for things that now have no
value whatever to me. I cared for clothes and even for the attentions of
the Other Sex. But that has passed away, mother. I have now no thought
but for my Career."

I watched her face, and soon the dreadfull understanding came to me.
She, to, did not understand. My literary Aspirations were as nothing to
her!

Oh, the bitterness of that moment. My mother, who had cared for me as a
child, and obeyed my slightest wish, no longer understood me. And sadest
of all, there was no way out. None. Once, in my Youth, I had beleived
that I was not the child of my parents at all, but an adopted
one--perhaps of rank and kept out of my inheritance by those who had
selfish motives. But now I knew that I had no rank or Inheritance, save
what I should carve out for myself. There was no way out. None.

Mother rose slowly, stareing at me with perfectly fixed and glassy Eyes.

"I am absolutely sure," she said, "that you are on the edge of somthing.
It may be tiphoid, or it may be an elopement. But one thing is certain.
You are not normle."

With this she left me to my Thoughts. But she did not neglect me. Sis
came up after Dinner, and I saw mother's fine hand in that. Although not
hungry in the usual sense of the word, I had begun to grow rather empty,
and was nibling out of a box of Chocolates when Sis came.

She got very little out of me. To one with softness and tenderness I
would have told all, but Sis is not that sort. And at last she showed
her clause.

"Don't fool yourself for a minute," she said. "This literary pose has
not fooled anybody. Either you're doing it to apear Interesting, or
you've done somthing you're scared about. Which is it?"

I refused to reply.

"Because if it's the first, and you're trying to look literary, you are
going about it wrong," she said. "Real Literary People don't go round
mooning and talking about the ople sea."

I saw mother had been talking, and I drew myself up.

"They look and act like other people," said Leila, going to the bureau
and spilling Powder all over the place. "Look at Beecher."

"Beecher!" I cried, with a thrill that started inside my elbows. (I
have read this to one or two of the girls, and they say there is no such
thrill. But not all people act alike under the influence of emotion, and
mine is in my Arms, as stated.)

"The playwright," Sis said. "He's staying next door. And if he does any
languishing it is not by himself."

There may be some who have for a long time had an Ideal, but without
hoping ever to meet him, and then suddenly learning that he is nearby,
with indeed but a wall or two between, can be calm and cool. But I am
not like that. Although long supression has taught me to disemble at
times, where my Heart is concerned I am powerless.

For it was at last my heart that was touched. I, who had scorned the
Other Sex and felt that I was born cold and always would be cold, that
day I discovered the truth. Reginald Beecher was my ideal. I had never
spoken to him, nor indeed seen him, except for his pictures. But the
very mention of his name brought a lump to my Throat.

Feeling better imediately, I got Sis out of the room and coaxed Hannah
to bring me some dinner. While she was sneaking it out of the Pantrey I
was dressing, and soon, as a new being, I was out on the stone bench at
the foot of the lawn, gazing with wrapt eyes at the sea.

But Fate was against me. Eddie Perkins saw me there and came over. He
had but recently been put in long trowsers, and those not his best
ones but only white flannels. He was never sure of his garters, and was
always looking to see if his socks were coming down. Well, he came over
just as I was sure I saw Reginald Beecher next door on the veranda, and
made himself a nusance right away, trying all sorts of kid tricks, such
as snaping a rubber Band at me, and pulling out Hairpins.

But I felt that I must talk to somone. So I said:

"Eddie, if you had your choice of love or a Career, which would it be?"

"Why not both," he said, hiching the rubber band onto one of his front
teeth and playing on it. "Niether ought to take up all a fellow's time.
Say, listen to this! Talk about a eukelele!"

"A woman can never have both."

He played a while, struming with one finger until the hand sliped off
and stung him on the lip.

"Once," I said, "I dreamed of a Career. But I beleive love's the most
important."

Well, I shall pass lightly over what followed. Why is it that a girl
cannot speak of Love without every member of the Other Sex present, no
matter how young, thinking it is he? And as for mother maintaining that
I kissed that wreched Child, and they saw me from the drawing-room, it
is not true and never was true. It was but one more Misunderstanding
which convinced the Familey that I was carrying on all manner of afairs.

Carter Brooks had arrived that day, and was staying at the Perkins'
cottage. I got rid of the Perkins' baby, as his Nose was bleeding--but I
had not slaped him hard at all, and felt little or no compunction--when
I heard Carter coming down the walk. He had called to see Leila, but
she had gone to a beech dance and left him alone. He never paid any
attention to me when she was around, and I recieved him cooly.

"Hello!" he said.

"Well?" I replied.

"Is that the way you greet me, Bab?"

"It's the way I would greet most any Left-over," I said. "I eat hash at
school, but I don't have to pretend to like it."

"I came to see YOU."

"How youthfull of you!" I replied, in stinging tones.

He sat down on a Bench and stared at me.

"What's got into you lately?" he said. "Just as you're geting to be
the prettiest girl around, and I'm strong for you, you--you turn into a
regular Rattlesnake."

The kindness of his tone upset me considerably, to who so few kind Words
had come recently. I am compeled to confess that I wept, although I had
not expected to, and indeed shed few tears, although bitter ones.

How could I posibly know that the chaste Salute of Eddie Perkins and my
head on Carter Brooks' shoulder were both plainly visable against the
rising moon? But this was the Case, especialy from the house next door.

But I digress.

Suddenly Carter held me off and shook me somewhat.

"Sit up here and tell me about it," he said. "I'm geting more scared
every minute. You are such an impulsive little Beast, and you turn the
fellows' heads so--look here, is Jane Raleigh lying, or did you run away
and get married to somone?"

I am aware that I should have said, then and there, No. But it seemed a
shame to spoil Things just as they were geting interesting. So I said,
through my tears:

"Nobody understands me. Nobody. And I'm so lonely."

"And of course you haven't run away with anyone, have you?"

"Not--exactly."

"Bless you, Bab!" he said. And I might as well say that he kissed me,
because he did, although unexpectedly. Sombody just then moved a Chair
on the porch next door and coughed rather loudly, so Carter drew a long
breath and got up.

"There's somthing about you lately, Bab, that I don't understand," he
said. "You--you're mysterious. That's the word. In a couple of Years
you'll be the real thing."

"Come and see me then," I said in a demure manner. And he went away.

So I sat on my Bench and looked at the sea and dreamed. It seemed to
me that Centuries must have passed since I was a light-hearted girl,
running up and down that beech, paddling, and so forth, with no thought
of the future farther away than my next meal.

Once I lived to eat. Now I merely ate to live, and hardly that. The
fires of Genius must be fed, but no more.

Sitting there, I suddenly made a discovery. The boat house was near me,
and I realize that upstairs, above the Bath-houses, et cetera, there
must be a room or two. The very thought intriged me (a new word for
interest, but coming into use, and sounding well).

Solatude--how I craved it for my work. And here it was, or would be when
I had got the Place fixed up. True, the next door boat-house was close,
but a boat-house is a quiet place, generaly, and I knew that nowhere,
aside from the dessert, is there perfect Silence.

I investagated at once, but found the place locked and the boatman gone.
However, there was a latice, and I climbed up that and got in. I had a
Fright there, as it seemed to be full of people, but I soon saw it was
only the Familey bathing suits hung up to dry. Aside from the odor of
drying things it was a fine study, and I decided to take a small table
there, and the various tools of my Profession.

Climbing down, however, I had a surprise. For a man was just below, and
I nearly put my foot on his shoulder in the darkness.

"Hello!" he said. "So it's YOU."

I was quite speachless. It was Mr. Beecher himself, in his dinner
clothes and bareheaded.

Oh flutering Heart, be still. Oh Pen, move steadily. OH TEMPORA O MORES!

"Let me down," I said. I was still hanging to the latice.

"In a moment," he said. "I have an idea that the instant I do you'll
vanish. And I have somthing to tell you."

I could hardly beleive my ears.

"You see," he went on, "I think you must move that Bench."

"Bench?"

"You seem to be so very popular," he said. "And of course I'm only a
transient and don't matter. But some evening one of the admirers may be
on the Patten's porch, while another is with you on the bench. And--the
Moon rises beyond it."

I was silent with horor. So that was what he thought of me. Like all the
others, he, to, did not understand. He considered me a Flirt, when my
only Thoughts were serious ones, of imortality and so on.

"You'd better come down now," he said. "I was afraid to warn you until I
saw you climbing the latice. Then I knew you were still young enough to
take a friendly word of Advise."

I got down then and stood before him. He was magnifacent. Is there
anything more beautiful than a tall man with a gleaming expance of dress
shirt? I think not.

But he was staring at me.

"Look here," he said. "I'm afraid I've made a mistake after all. I
thought you were a little girl."

"That needn't worry you. Everybody does," I replied. "I'm seventeen, but
I shall be a mere Child until I come out."

"Oh!" he said.

"One day I am a Child in the nursery," I said. "And the next I'm grown
up and ready to be sold to the highest Bider."

"I beg your pardon, I----"

"But I am as grown up now as I will ever be," I said. "And indeed more
so. I think a great deal now, because I have plenty of Time. But my
sister never thinks at all. She is to busy."

"Suppose we sit on the Bench. The moon is to high to be a menace, and
besides, I am not dangerous. Now, what do you think about?"

"About Life, mostly. But of course there is Death, which is beautiful
but cold. And--one always thinks of Love, doesn't one?"

"Does one?" he asked. I could see he was much interested. As for me, I
dared not consider whom it was who sat beside me, almost touching. That
way lay madness.

"Don't you ever," he said, "reflect on just ordinary things, like
Clothes and so forth?"

I shruged my shoulders.

"I don't get enough new clothes to worry about. Mostly I think of my
Work."

"Work?"

"I am a writer" I said in a low, ernest tone.

"No! How--how amazing. What do you write?"

"I'm on a play now."

"A Comedy?"

"No. A Tradgedy. How can I write a Comedy when a play must always end
in a catastrofe? The book says all plays end in Crisis, Denouement and
Catastrofe."

"I can't beleive it," he said. "But, to tell you a Secret, I never read
any books about Plays."

"We are not all gifted from berth, as you are," I observed, not to
merely please him, but because I considered it the simple Truth.

He pulled out his watch and looked at it in the moonlight.

"All this reminds me," he said, "that I have promised to go to work
tonight. But this is so--er--thrilling that I guess the work can wait.
Well--now go on."

Oh, the Joy of that night! How can I describe it? To be at last in
the company of one who understood, who--as he himself had said in "Her
Soul"--spoke my own languidge! Except for the occasional mosquitoe,
there was no sound save the turgescent sea and his Voice.

Often since that time I have sat and listened to conversation. How flat
it sounds to listen to father prozing about Gold, or Sis about Clothes,
or even to the young men who come to call, and always talk about
themselves.

We were at last interupted in a strange manner. Mr. Patten came down
their walk and crossed to us, walking very fast. He stopped right in
front of us and said:

"Look here, Reg, this is about all I can stand."

"Oh, go away, and sing, or do somthing," said Mr. Beecher sharply.

"You gave me your word of Honor" said the Patten man. "I can only remind
you of that. Also of the expence I'm incuring, and all the rest of it.
I've shown all sorts of patience, but this is the limit."

He turned on his Heal, but came back for a last word or two.

"Now see here," he said, "we have everything fixed the way you said You
wanted it. And I'll give you ten minutes. That's all."

He stocked away, and Mr. Beecher looked at me.

"Ten minutes of Heaven," he said, "and then perdetion with that bunch.
Look here," he said, "I--I'm awfully interested in what you are telling
me. Let's cut off up the beech and talk."

Oh night of Nights! Oh moon of Moons!

Our talk was strictly business. He asked me my Plot, and although I had
been warned not to do so, even to David Belasco, I gave it to him fully.
And even now, when all is over, I am not sorry. Let him use it if he
will. I can think of plenty of Plots.

The real tradgedy is that we met father. He had been ordered to give up
smoking, and I considered had done so, mother feeling that I should be
encouraged in leaving off cigarettes. So when I saw the cigar I was sure
it was not father. It proved to be, however, and although he passed with
nothing worse than a Glare, I knew I was in more trouble.

At last we reached the Bench again, and I said good night. Our relations
continued business-like to the last. He said:

"Good night, little authoress, and let's have some more talks."

"I'm afraid I've board you," I said.

"Board me!" he said. "I haven't spent such an evening for years!"

The Familey acted perfectly absurd about it. Seeing that they were going
to make a fuss, I refused to say with whom I had been walking. You'd
have thought I had committed a crime.

"It has come to this, Barbara," mother said, pacing the floor. "You
cannot be trusted out of our sight. Where do you meet all these men? If
this is how things are now, what will it be when given your Liberty?"

Well, it is to painful to record. I was told not to leave the place for
three days, although allowed the boat-house. And of course Sis had to
chime in that she'd heard a roomer I had run away and got married, and
although of course she knew it wasn't true, owing to no time to do so,
still where there was Smoke there was Fire.

But I felt that their confidence in me was going, and that night, after
all were in the Land of Dreams, I took that wreched suit of clothes and
so on to the boathouse, and hid them in the rafters upstairs.

I come now to the strange Event of the next day, and its sequel.

The Patten place and ours are close together, and no other house near.
Mother had been very cool about the Pattens, owing to nobody knowing
them that we knew. Although I must say they had the most interesting
people all the time, and Sis was crazy to call and meet some of them.

Jane came that day to visit her aunt, and she ran down to see me first
thing.

"Come and have a ride," she said. "I've got the Runabout, and after that
we'll bathe and have a real time."

But I shook my head.

"I'm a prisoner, Jane," I said.

"Honestly! Is it the Play, or somthing else?"

"Somthing else, Jane," I said. "I can tell you nothing more. I am simply
in trouble, as usual."

"But why make you a prisoner, unless----" She stopped suddenly and
stared at me.

"He has claimed you!" she said. "He is here, somwhere about this Place,
and now, having had time to think it over, you do not Want to go to him.
Don't deny it. I see it in your face. Oh, Bab, my heart aches for you."

It sounded so like a play that I kept it up. Alas, with what results!

"What else can I do, Jane?" I said.

"You can refuse, if you do not love him. Oh Bab, I did not say it
before, thinking you loved him. But no man who wears clothes like those
could ever win my heart. At least, not permanently."

Well, she did most of the talking. She had finished the bath towle,
which was a large size, after all, and monogramed, and she made me
promise never to let my husband use it. When she went away she left it
with me, and I carried it out and put it on the rafters, with the other
things--I seemed to be getting more to hide every day.

Things went all wrong the next day. Sis was in a bad temper, and as much
as said I was flirting with Carter Brooks, although she never intends to
marry him herself, owing to his not having money and never having asked
her.

I spent the morning in fixing up a Studio in the boat-house, and felt
better by noon. I took two boards on trestles and made a desk, and
brought a Dictionery and some pens and ink out. I use a Dictionery
because now and then I am uncertain how to spell a word.

Events now moved swiftly and terrably. I did not do much work, being
exhausted by my efforts to fix up the studio, and besides, feeling that
nothing much was worth while when one's Familey did not and never would
understand. At eleven o'clock Sis and Carter and Jane and some others
went in bathing from our dock. Jane called up to me, but I pretended not
to hear. They had a good time judging by the noise, although I should
think Jane would cover her arms and neck in the water, being very thin.
Legs one can do nothing with, although I should think stripes going
around would help. But arms can have sleaves.

However--the people next door went in to, and I thrilled to the core
when Mr. Beecher left the bath-house and went down to the beech. What
a physic! What shoulders, all brown and muscular! And to think that,
strong as they were, they wrote the tender Love seens of his plays.
Strong and tender--what descriptive words they are! It was then that I
saw he had been vacinated twice.

To resume. All the Pattens went in, and a new girl with them, in a
One-peace Suit. I do not deny that she was pretty. I only say that she
was not modest, and that the way she stood on the Patten's dock
and pozed for Mr. Beecher's benafit was unecessary and well, not
respectable.

She was nothing to me, nor I to her. But I watched her closely. I
confess that I was interested in Mr. Beecher. Why not? He was a Public
Character, and entitled to respect. Nay, even to love. But I maintain
and will to my dying day, that such love is diferent from that
ordinaraly born to the Other Sex, and a thing to be proud of.

Well, I was seeing a drama and did not even know it. After the rest
had gone, Mr. Patten came to the door into Mr. Beecher's room in the
bath-house--they are all in a row, with doors opening on the sand--and
he had a box in his hand. He looked around, and no one was looking
except me, and he did not see me. He looked very Feirce and Glum, and
shortly after he carried in a chair and a folding card table. I thought
this was very strange, but imagine how I felt when he came out carrying
Mr. Beecher's clothes! He brought them all, going on his tiptoes and
watching every minute. I felt like screaming.

However, I considered that it was a practicle Joke, and I am no spoil
sport. So I sat still and waited. They staid in the water a long time,
and the girl with the Figure was always crawling out on the dock and
then diving in to show off. Leila and the rest got sick of her actions
and came in to Lunch. They called up to me, but I said I was not hungry.

"I don't know what's come over Bab," I heard Sis say to Carter Brooks.
"She's crazy, I think."

"She's seventeen," he said. "That's all. They get over it mostly, but
she has it hard."

I lothed him.

Pretty soon the other crowd came up, and I could see every one knew the
joke but Mr. Beecher. They all scuttled into their doorways, and Mr.
Patten waited till Mr. Beecher was inside and had thrown out the shirt
of his bathing Suit. Then he locked the door from the outside.

There was a silence for a minute. Then Mr. Beecher said in a terrable
voice.

"So that's the Game, is it?"

"Now listen, Reg," Mr. Patten said, in a soothing voice. "I've tried
everything but Force, and now I'm driven to that. I've got to have that
third Act. The company's got the first two acts well under way, and I'm
getting wires about every hour. I've got to have that script."

"You go to Hell!" said Mr. Beecher. You could hear him plainly through
the window, high up in the wall. And although I do not approve of an
oath, there are times when it eases the tortured Soul.

"Now be reasonable, Reg," Mr. Patten pleaded. "I've put a fortune in
this thing, and you're lying down on the job. You could do it in four
hours if you'd put your mind to it."

There was no anser to this. And he went on:

"I'll send out food or anything. But nothing to drink. There's Champane
on the ice for you when you've finished, however. And you'll find pens
and ink and paper on the table."

The anser to this was Mr. Beecher's full weight against the door. But it
held, even against the full force of his fine physic.

"Even if you do break it open," Mr. Patten said, "you can't go very far
the way you are. Now be a good fellow, and let's get this thing done.
It's for your good as well as mine. You'll make a Fortune out of it."

Then he went into his own door, and soon came out, looking like a
gentleman, unless one knew, as I did, that he was a Whited Sepulcher.

How long I sat there, paralized with emotion, I do not know. Hannah
came out and roused me from my Trance of grief. She is a kindly soul,
although to afraid of mother to be helpful.

"Come in like a good girl, Miss Bab," she said. "There's that fruit
salad that cook prides herself on, and I'll ask her to brown a bit of
sweetbread for you."

"Hannah," I said in a low voice, "there is a Crime being committed in
this neighborhood, and you talk to me of food."

"Good gracious, Miss Bab!"

"I cannot tell you any more than that, Hannah," I said gently, "because
it is only being done now, and I cannot make up my Mind about it. But of
course I do not want any food."

As I say, I was perfectly gentle with her, and I do not understand why
she burst into tears and went away.

I sat and thought it all over. I could not leave, under the
circumstances. But yet, what was I to do? It was hardly a Police matter,
being between friends, as one may say, and yet I simply could not bare
to leave my Ideal there in that damp bath-house without either food or,
as one may say, raiment.

About the middle of the afternoon it occurred to me to try to find a key
for the lock of the bath-house. I therfore left my Studio and proceded
to the house. I passed close by the fatal building, but there was no
sound from it.

I found a number of trunk-keys in a drawer in the library, and was about
to escape with them, when father came in. He gave me a long look, and
said:

"Bee still buzzing?"

I had hoped for some understanding from him, but my Spirits fell at this
speach.

"I am still working, father," I said, in a firm if nervous tone. "I am
not doing as good work as I would if things were diferent, but--I am at
least content, if not happy."

He stared at me, and then came over to me.

"Put out your tongue," he said.

Even against this crowning infamey I was silent.

"That's all right," he said. "Now see here, Chicken, get into your
riding togs and we'll order the horses. I don't intend to let this
play-acting upset your health."

But I refused. "Unless, of course, you insist," I finished. He only
shook his head, however, and left the room. I felt that I had lost my
Last Friend.

I did not try the keys myself, but instead stood off a short distance
and through them through the window. I learned later that they struck
Mr. Beecher on the head. Not knowing, of course, that I had flung them,
and that my reason was pure Friendliness and Idealizm, he through them
out again with a violent exclamation. They fell at my feet, and lay
there, useless, regected, tradgic.

At last I summoned courage to speak.

"Can't I do somthing to help?" I said, in a quaking voice, to the
window.

There was no anser, but I could hear a pen scraching on paper.

"I do so want to help you," I said, in a louder tone.

"Go, away" said his voice, rather abstracted than angry.

"May I try the keys?" I asked. Be still, my Heart! For the scraching had
ceased.

"Who's that?" asked the beloved voice. I say `beloved' because an Ideal
is always beloved. The voice was beloved, but sharp.

"It's me."

I heard him mutter somthing, and I think he came to the Door.

"Look here," he said. "Go away. Do you understand? I want to work. And
don't come near here again until seven o'clock."

"Very well," I said faintly.

"And then come without fail," he said.

"Yes, Mr. Beecher," I replied. How commanding he was! Strong but tender!

"And if anyone comes around making a noise, before that, you shoot them
for me, will you?"

"SHOOT them?"

"Drive them off, or use a Bean-shooter. Anything. But don't yell at
them. It distracts me."

It was a Sacred trust. I, and only I, stood between him and his MAGNUM
OPUM. I sat down on the steps of our bath-house, and took up my vigel.

It was about five o'clock when I heard Jane approaching. I knew it was
Jane, because she always wears tight shoes, and limps when unobserved.
Although having the reputation of the smallest foot of any girl in our
set in the city, I prefer Comfort and Ease, unhampered by heals--French
or otherwise. No man will ever marry a girl because she wears a small
shoe, and catches her heals in holes in the Boardwalk, and has to soak
her feet at night before she can sleep. However----

Jane came on, and found me croutched on the doorstep, in a lowly
attatude, and holding my finger to my lips.

She stopped and stared at me.

"Hello," she said. "What do you think you are? A Statue?"

"Hush, Jane," I said, in a low tone. "I can only ask you to be quiet and
speak in Whispers. I cannot give the reason."

"Good heavens!" she whispered. "What has happened, Bab?"

"It is happening now, but I cannot explain."

"WHAT is happening?"

"Jane," I whispered, ernestly, "you have known me a long time and I have
always been Trustworthy, have I not?"

She nodded. She is never exactly pretty, and now she had opened her
mouth and forgot to close it.

"Then ask No Questions. Trust me, as I am trusting you." It seemed to
me that Mr. Beecher through his pen at the door, and began to pace the
bath-house. Owing of course to his being in his bare feet, I was not
certain. Jane heard somthing, to, for she clutched my arm.

"Bab," she said, in intence tones, "if you don't explain I shall lose my
mind. I feel now that I am going to shreik."

She looked at me searchingly.

"Sombody is a Prisoner. That's all."

It was the truth, was it not? And was there any reasons for Jane Raleigh
to jump to conclusions as she did, and even to repeat later in Public
that I had told her that my lover had come for me, and that father had
locked him up to prevent my running away with him, imuring him in the
Patten's bath-house? Certainly not.

Just then I saw the boatman coming who looks after our motor boat, and I
tiptoed to him and asked him to go away, and not to come back unless he
had quieter boats and would not whistel. He acted very ugly about it, I
must say, but he went.

When I came back, Jane was sitting thinking, with her forhead all
puckered.

"What I don't understand, Bab," she said, "is, why no noise?"

"Because he is writing," I explained. "Although his clothing has been
taken away, he is writing. I don't think I told you, Jane, but that is
his business. He is a Writer. And if I tell you his name you will faint
with surprise."

She looked at me searchingly.

"Locked up--and writing, and his clothing gone! What's he writing, Bab?
His Will?"

"He is doing his duty to the end, Jane," I said softly. "He is writing
the last Act of a Play. The Company is rehearsing the first two Acts,
and he has to get this one ready, though the Heavens fall."

But to my surprise, she got up and said to me, in a firm voice:

"Either you are crazy, Barbara Archibald, or you think I am. You've
been stuffing me for about a week, and I don't beleive a Word of it. And
you'll apologize to me or I'll never speak to you again."

She said this loudly, and then went away, And Mr. Beecher said, through
the door.

"What the Devil's the row about?"

Perhaps my nerves were going, or possably it was no luncheon and
probably no dinner. But I said, just as if he had been an ordinary
person:

"Go on and write and get through. I can't stew on these steps all day."

"I thought you were an amiable Child."

"I'm not amiable and I'm not a Child."

"Don't spoil your pretty face with frowns."

"It's MY face. And you can't see it anyhow," I replied, venting in
femanine fashion, my anger at Jane on the nearest object.

"Look here," he said, through the door, "you've been my good Angel. I'm
doing more work than I've done in two months, although it was a dirty,
low-down way to make me do it. You're not going back on me now, are
you?"

Well, I was mollafied, as who would not be? So I said:

"Well?"

"What did Patten do with my clothes?"

"He took them with him." He was silent, except for a muttered word.

"You might throw those Keys back again," he said. "Let me know first,
however. You're the most acurate Thrower I've ever seen."

So I through them through the window and I beleive hit the ink bottle.
But no matter. And he tried them, but none availed.

So he gave up, and went back to Work, having saved enough ink to finish
with. But a few minutes later he called to me again, and I moved to the
Doorstep, where I sat listening, while aparently admiring the sea. He
explained that having been thus forced, he had almost finished the last
Act, and it was a corker. And he said if he had his clothes and some
money, and a key to get out, he'd go right back to Town with it and
put it in rehearsle. And at the same time he would give the Pattens
something to worry about over night. Because, play or no play, it was a
Rotten thing to lock a man in a bath-house and take his clothes away.

"But of course I can't get my clothes," he said. "They'll take cussed
good care of that. And there's the Key too. We're up against it, Little
Sister."

Although excited by his calling me thus, I retained my faculties, and
said:

"I have a suit of Clothes you can have."

"Thanks awfully," he said. "But from the slight acquaintance we have
had, I don't beleive they would fit me."

"Gentleman's Clothes," I said fridgidly.

"You have?"

"In my Studio," I said. "I can bring them, if you like. They look quite
good, although Creased."

"You know" he said, after a moment's silence, "I can't quite beleive
this is realy happening to me! Go and bring the suit of clothes,
and--you don't happen to have a cigar, I suppose?"

"I have a large box of Cigarettes."

"It is true," I heard him say through the door. "It is all true. I am
here, locked in. The Play is almost done. And a very young lady on the
doorstep is offering me a suit of Clothes and Tobaco. I pinch myself. I
am awake."

Alas! Mingled with my joy at serving my Ideal there was also greif. My
idle had feet of clay. He was a slave, like the rest of us, to his body.
He required clothes and tobaco. I felt that, before long, he might even
ask for an apple, or something to stay the pangs of hunger. This I felt
I could not bare.

Perhaps I would better pass over quickly the events of the next hour. I
got the suit and the cigarettes, and even Jane's bath towle, and through
them in to him. Also I beleive he took a shower, as I heard the water
running, At about seven o'clock he said he had finished the play. He put
on the Clothes which he observed almost fitted him, although gayer than
he usually wore, and said that if I would give him a hair pin he thought
he could pick the Lock. But he did not succeed.

Being now dressed, however, he drew a chair to the window and we
talked together. It seemed like a dream that I should be there, on such
intimate terms with a great Playwright, who had just, even if under
compulsion, finished a last Act, I bared my very soul to him, such as
about resembling Julia Marlowe, and no one understanding my craveing to
acheive a Place in the World of Art. We were once interupted by Hannah
looking for me for dinner. But I hid in a bath-house, and she went away.

What was Food to me compared with such a Conversation?

When Hannah had disappeared, he said suddenly:

"It's rather unusual, isn't it, your having a suit of clothes and
everything in your--er--studio?"

But I did not explain fully, merely saving that it was a painful story.

At half past seven I saw mother on the veranda looking for me, and I
ducked out of sight, I was by this time very hungry, although I did not
like to mention the fact, But Mr. Beecher made a suggestion, which was
this: that the Pattens were evadently going to let him starve until
he got through work, and that he would see them in perdetion before
he would be the Butt for their funny remarks when they freed him. He
therfore tried to escape out the window, but stuck fast, and finaly gave
it up.

At last he said:

"Look here, you're a curious child, but a nervy one. How'd you like to
see if you can get the Key? If you do we'll go to a hotel and have a
real meal, and we can talk about your Career."

Although quivering with Terror, I consented. How could I do otherwise,
with such a prospect? For now I began to see that all other Emotions
previously felt were as nothing to this one. I confess, without shame,
that I felt the stiring of the Tender Passion in my breast. Ah me, that
it should have died ere it had hardly lived!

"Where is the key?" I asked, in a wrapt but anxious tone.

He thought a while.

"Generaly," he said, "it hangs on a nail at the back entry. But the
chances are that Patten took it up to his room this time, for safety,
You'd know it if you saw it. It has some buttons off sombody's batheing
suit tied to it."

Here it was necessary to hide again, as father came stocking out,
calling me in an angry tone. But shortly afterwards I was on my way
to the Patten's house, on shaking Knees. It was by now twilight, that
beautiful period of Romanse, although the dinner hour also. Through the
dusk I sped, toward what? I knew not.

The Pattens and the one-peace lady were at dinner, and having a very
good time, in spite of having locked a Guest in the bath-house. Being
used to servants and prowling around, since at one time when younger I
had a habit of taking things from the pantrey, I was quickly able to see
that the Key was not in the entry. I therfore went around to the front
Door and went in, being prepared, if discovered, to say that somone was
in their bath-house and they ought to know it. But I was not heard among
their sounds of revelry, and was able to proceed upstairs, which I did.

But not having asked which was Mr. Patten's room, I was at a loss and
almost discovered by a maid who was turning down the beds--much to
early, also, and not allowed in the best houses until nine-thirty, since
otherwise the rooms look undressed and informle.

I had but Time to duck into another chamber, and from there to a closet.

I REMAINED IN THAT CLOSET ALL NIGHT.

I will explain. No sooner had the maid gone than a Woman came into the
room and closed the door. I heard her moving around and I suddenly felt
that she was going to bed, and might get her ROBE DE NUIT out of the
closet. I was petrafied. But it seems, while she really WAS undressing
at that early hour, the maid had laid her night clothes out, and I was
saved.

Very soon a knock came to the door, and somhody came in, like Mrs.
Patten's voice and said: "You're not going to bed, surely!"

"I'm going to pretend to have a sick headache," said the other Person,
and I knew it was the One-peace Lady. "He's going to come back in a
frenzey, and he'll take it out on me, unless I'm prepared."

"Poor Reggie!" said Mrs. Patten, "To think of him locked in there alone,
and no Clothes or anything. It's too funny for words."

"You're not married to him."

My heart stopped beating. Was SHE married to him? She was indeed. My
dream was over. And the worst part of it was that for a married man
I had done without Food or exercise and now stood in a hot closet in
danger of a terrable fuss.

"No, thank Heaven!" said Mrs. Patten. "But it was the only way to make
him work. He is a lazy dog. But don't worry. We'll feed him before he
sees you. He's always rather tractible after he's fed."

Were ALL my dreams to go? Would they leave nothing to my shattered
ilusions? Alas, no.

"Jolly him a little, to," said----can I write it?--Mrs. Beecher. "Tell
him he's the greatest thing in the World. That will help some. He's
vain, you know, awfully vain. I expect he's written a lot of piffle."

Had they listened they would have heard a low, dry sob, wrung from
my tortured heart. But Mrs. Beecher had started a vibrater, and my
anguished cry was lost.

"Well," said Mrs. Patten, "Will has gone down to let him out, I expect
he'll attack him. He's got a vile Temper. I'll sit with you till he
comes back, if you don't mind. I'm feeling nervous."

It was indeed painful to recall the next half hour. I must tell the
truth however. They discussed us, especialy mother, who had not called.
They said that we thought we were the whole summer Colony, although
every one was afraid of mother's tongue, and nobody would marry Leila,
except Carter Brooks, and he was poor and no prospects. And that I was
an incorrigable, and carried on somthing gastly, and was going to be put
in a convent. I became justly furious and was about to step out and tell
them a few plain Facts, when sombody hammered at the door and then came
in. It was Mr. Patten.

"He's gone!" he said.

"Well, he won't go far, in bathing trunks," said Mrs. Beecher.

"That's just it. His bathing trunks are there."

"Well, he won't go far WITHOUT them!"

"He's gone so far I can't locate him."

I heard Mrs. Beecher get up.

"Are you in ernest, Will?" she said. "Do you mean that he has gone
without a Stich of clothes, and can't be found?"

Mrs. Patten gave a sort of screach.

"You don't think--oh Will, he's so tempermental. You don't think he's
drowned himself?"

"No such luck," said Mrs. Beecher, in a cold tone. I hated her for it.
True, he had decieved me. He was not as I had thought him. In our to
conversations he had not mentioned his wife, leaveing me to beleive him
free to love "where he listed," as the poet says.

"There are a few clues," said Mr. Patten. "He got out by means of a wire
hairpin, for one thing. And he took the manuscript with him, which he'd
hardly have done if he meant to drown himself. Or even if, as we fear,
he had no Pockets. He has smoked a lot of cigarettes out of a candy box,
which I did not supply him, and he left behind a bath towle that does
not, I think, belong to us."

"I should think he would have worn it," said Mrs. Beecher, in a
scornfull tone.

"Here's the bath towle," Mr. Patten went on. "You may recognize the
initials. I don't."

"B. P. A.," said Mrs. Beecher. "Look here, don't they call that--that
fliberty-gibbet next door `Barbara'?"

"The little devil!" said Mr. Patten, in a raging tone. "She let him out,
and of course he's done no work on the Play or anything. I'd like to
choke her."

Nobody spoke then, and my heart beat fast and hard. I leave it to
anybody, how they'd like to be shut in a closet and threatened with a
violent Death from without. Would or would they not ever be the same
person afterwards?

"I'll tell you what I'd do," said the Beecher woman. "I'd climb up the
back of father, next door, and tell him what his little Daughter has
done, Because I know she's mixed up in it, towle or no towle. Reg is
always sappy when they're seventeen. And she's been looking moon-eyed at
him for days."

Well, the Pattens went away, and Mrs. Beecher manacured her Nails,--I
could hear her fileing them--and sang around and was not much concerned,
although for all she knew he was in the briney deep, a corpse. How true
it is that "the paths of glory lead but to the grave."

I got very tired and much hoter, and I sat down on the floor. After what
seemed like hours, Mrs. Patten came back, all breathless, and she said:

"The girl's gone to, Clare."

"What girl?"

"Next door. If you want Excitement, they've got it. The mother is in
hysterics and there's a party searching the beech for her body, The
truth is, of course, if that towle means anything."

"That Reg has run away with her, of course," said Mrs. Beecher, in a
resined tone. "I wish he would grow up and learn somthing. He's becoming
a nusance. And when there are so many Interesting People to run away
with, to choose that chit!"

Yes, she said that, And in my retreat I could but sit and listen, and
of course perspire, which I did freely. Mrs. Patten went away, after
talking about the "scandle" for some time. And I sat and thought of the
beech being searched for my Body, a thought which filled my Eyes with
tears of pity for what might have been, I still hoped Mrs. Beecher would
go to bed, but she did not. Through the key hole I could see her with a
Book, reading, and not caring at all that Mr. Beecher's body, and mine
to, might be washing about in the cruel Sea, or have eloped to New York.

I lothed her.

At last I must have slept, for a bell rang, and there I was still in the
closet, and she was ansering it.

"Arrested?" she said, "Well, I should think he'd better be, If what you
say about clothing is true.... Well, then--what's he arrested for?...
Oh, kidnaping! Well, if I'm any judge, they ought to arrest the
Archibald girl for kidnaping HIM. No, don't bother me with it tonight.
I'll try to read myself to sleep."

So this was Marriage! Did she flee to her unjustly acused husband's side
and comfort him? Not she. She went to bed.

At daylight, being about smotherd, I opened the closet door and drew a
breath of fresh air. Also I looked at her, and she was asleep, with her
hair in patent wavers. Ye gods!

The wife of Reginald Beecher thus to distort her looks at night! I could
not bare it.

I averted my eyes, and on my tiptoes made for the Window.

My sufferings were over. In a short time I had slid down and was making
my way through the dewey morn toward my home. Before the sun was up,
or more than starting, I had climbed to my casement by means of a wire
trellis, and put on my ROBE DE NUIT. But before I settled to sleep
I went to the pantrey and there satisfied the pangs of nothing since
Breakfast the day before. All the lights seemed to be on, on the lower
floor, which I considered wastful of Tanney, the butler. But being
sleepy, gave it no further thought. And so to bed, as the great English
dairy-keeper, Pepys, had said in his dairy.

It seemed but a few moments later that I heard a scream, and opening my
eyes, saw Leila in the doorway. She screamed again, and mother came and
stood beside her. Although very drowsy, I saw that they still wore their
dinner clothes.

They stared as if transfixed, and then mother gave a low moan, and said
to Sis:

"That unfortunate man has been in Jail all night."

And Sis said: "Jane Raleigh is crazy. That's all." Then they looked at
me, and mother burst into tears. But Sis said:

"You little imp! Don't tell me you've been in that bed all night. I KNOW
BETTER."

I closed my eyes. They were not of the understanding sort, and never
would be.

"If that's the way you feel I shall tell you nothing," I said wearily.

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" mother said, in a slow and dreadful voice.

Well, I saw then that a part of the Truth must be disclosed, especialy
since she has for some time considered sending me to a convent, although
without cause, and has not done so for fear of my taking the veil. So I
told her this. I said:

"I spent the night shut in a clothes closet, but where is not my secret.
I cannot tell you."

"Barbara! You MUST tell me."

"It is not my secret alone, mother."

She caught at the foot of the bed.

"Who was shut with you in that closet?" she demanded in a shaking voice.
"Barbara, there is another wreched Man in all this. It could not have
been Mr. Beecher, because he has been in the Station House all night."

I sat up, leaning on one elbow, and looked at her ernestly.

"Mother" I said, "you have done enough damage, interfering with
Careers--not only mine, but another's imperiled now by not haveing a
last Act. I can tell you no More, except"--here my voice took on a deep
and intence fiber--"that I have done nothing to be ashamed of, although
unconventional."

Mother put her hands to her Face, and emited a low, despairing cry.

"Come," Leila said to her, as to a troubled child. "Come, and Hannah can
use the vibrater on your spine."

So she went, but before she left she said:

"Barbara, if you will only promise to be a good girl, and give us a
chance to live this Scandle down, I will give you anything you ask for."

"Mother!" Sis said, in an angry tone.

"What can I do, Leila?" mother said. "The girl is atractive, and
probably men will always be following her and making trouble. Think of
last Winter. I know it is Bribery, but it is better than Scandle."

"I want nothing, mother," I said, in a low, heartstricken tone, "save to
be allowed to live my own life and to have a Career."

"My Heavens," mother said, "if I hear that word again, I'll go crazy."

So she went away, and Sis came over and looked down at me.

"Well!" she said. "What's happened anyhow? Of course you've been up to
some Mischeif, but I don't suppose anybody will ever know the Truth
of it. I was hopeing you'd make it this time and get married, and stop
worrying us."

"Go away, please, and let me Sleep," I said. "As to getting married,
under no circumstances did I expect to marry him. He has a Wife already.
Personally, I think she's a totle loss. She wears patent wavers at
night, and sleeps with her Mouth open. But who am I to interfere with
the marriage bond? I never have and never will."

But Sis only gave me a wild look and went away.


This, dear readers and schoolmates, is the true story of my meeting with
and parting from Reginald Beecher, the playwright. Whatever the papers
may say, it is not true, except the Fact that he was recognized by Jane
Raleigh, who knew the suit he wore, when in the act of pawning his ring
to get money to escape from his captors (I. E., The Pattens) with. It
was the necktie which struck her first, and also his gilty expression.
As I was missing by that time, Jane put two and two together and made an
Elopement.

Sometimes I sit and think things over, my fingers wandering "over the
ivory keys" of the typewriter they gave me to promise not to elope with
anybody--although such a thing is far from my mind--and the World seems
a cruel and unjust place, especialy to those with ambition.

For Reginald Beecher is no longer my ideal, my Night of the pen. I will
tell about that in a few words.

Jane Raleigh and I went to a matinee late in September before returning
to our institutions of learning. Jane cluched my arm as we looked at our
programs and pointed to something.

How my heart beat! For whatever had come between us, I was still loyal
to him.

This was a new play by him!

"Ah," my heart seemed to say, "now again you will hear his dear words,
although spoken by alien mouths.

"The love seens----"

I could not finish. Although married and forever beyond me, I could
still hear his manly tones as issueing from the door of the Bath-house.
I thrilled with excitement. As the curtain rose I closed my eyes in
ecstacy.

"Bab!" Jane said, in a quavering tone.

I looked. What did I see? The bath-house itself, the very one. And as
I stared I saw a girl, wearing her hair as I wear mine, cross the stage
with a Bunch of Keys in her hand, and say to the bath-house door.

"Can't I do somthing to help? I do so want to help you."

MY VERY WORDS.

And a voice from beyond the bath-house door said:

"Who's that?"

HIS WORDS.

I could bare no more. Heedless of Jane's Protests and Anguish, I got
up and went out, into the light of day. My body was bent with misry.
Because at last I knew that, like mother and all the rest, HE TO DID
NOT UNDERSTAND ME, AND NEVER WOULD. To him I was but material, the stuff
that plays are made of!

     And now we know that he never could know,
     And did not understand.
     Kipling.

Ignoring Jane's observation that the tickets had cost two dollars each,
I gathered up the scattered Skeins of my life together, and fled.



CHAPTER III

HER DIARY: BEING THE DAILY JOURNAL OF THE SUB-DEB

JANUARY 1st. I have today recieved this dairy from home, having come
back a few days early to make up a French Condition.

Weather, clear and cold.

New Year's dinner. Roast chicken (Turkey being very expencive), mashed
Turnips, sweet Potatos and minse Pie.

It is my intention to record in this book the details of my Daily Life,
my thoughts which are to sacred for utterence, and my ambitions. Because
who is there to whom I can speak them? I am surounded by those who
exist for the mere Pleasures of the day, or whose lives are bound up in
Resitations.

For instance, at dinner today, being mostly faculty and a few girls
who live in the Far West, the conversation was entirely on buying a
Phonograph for dancing because the music teacher has the meazles and
is quarentined in the infirmery. And on Miss Everett's couzin, who has
written a play.

When one looks at Miss Everett, one recognises that no couzin of hers
could write a play.

New Year's resolution--to help some one every day. Today helped
Mademoiselle to put on her rubers.


JANUARY 2ND. Today I wrote my French theme, beginning, "Les hommes
songent moins a leur AME QU A leur CORPS." Mademoiselle sent for me and
objected, saying that it was not a theme for a young girl, and that I
must write a new one, on the subject of pears. How is one to develope in
this atmosphere?

Some of the girls are coming back. They stragle in, and put the favers
they got at Cotillions on the dresser, and their holaday gifts, and each
one relates some amorus experience while at home. Dear dairy, is there
somthing wrong with me, that Love has passed me by? I have had offers
of Devotion but none that apealed to me, being mostly either to young or
not atracting me by physicle charm. I am not cold, although frequently
acused of it, Beneath my fridgid Exterior beats a warm heart. I intend
to be honest in this dairy, and so I admit it. But, except for passing
Fansies--one being, alas, for a married man--I remain without the Divine
Passion.

What must it be to thrill at the aproach of the loved Form? To harken
to each ring of the telephone bell, in the hope that, if it is not
the Idolised Voice, it is at least a message from it? To waken in the
morning and, looking around the familiar room, to muze: "Today I may see
him--on the way to the Post Office, or rushing past in his racing car."
And to know that at the same moment HE to is muzing: "Today I may see
her, as she exercises herself at basket ball, or mounts her horse for a
daily canter!"

Although I have no horse. The school does not care for them, considering
walking the best exercise.

Have flunked the French again, Mademoiselle not feeling well, and
marking off for the smallest Thing.

Today's helpfull Deed--asisted one of the younger girls with her
spelling.


JANUARY 4TH. Miss Everett's couzin's play is coming here. The school is
to have free tickets, as they are "trying it on the dog." Which means
seeing if it is good enough for the large cities.

We have desided, if Everett marks us well in English from now on, to
aplaud it, but if she is unpleasent, to sit still and show no interest.


JANUARY 5TH, 6TH, 7TH, 8TH. Bad weather, which is depressing to one of
my Temperment. Also boil on noze.

A few helpfull Deeds--nothing worth putting down.


JANUARY 9TH. Boil cut.

Again I can face my Image in my mirror, and not shrink.

Mademoiselle is sick and no French. MISERICORDE!

Helpfull Deed--sent Mademoiselle some fudge, but this school does not
encourage kindness. Reprimanded for cooking in room. School sympathises
with me. We will go to Miss Everett's couzin's play, but we will dam it
with faint praise.


JANUARY 10TH. I have written this Date, and now I sit back and regard
it. As it is impressed on this white paper, so, Dear Dairy, is it
written on my Soul. To others it may be but the tenth of January. To me
it is the day of days. Oh, tenth of January! Oh, Monday. Oh, day of my
awakning!

It is now late at night, and around me my schoolmates are sleeping the
sleep of the young and Heart free. Lights being off, I am writing by the
faint luminocity of a candle. Propped up in bed, my mackinaw coat over
my ROBE DE NUIT for warmth, I sit and dream. And as I dream I still hear
in my ears his final words: "My darling. My woman!"

How wonderfull to have them said to one Night after Night, the while
being in his embrase, his tender arms around one! I refer to the heroine
in the play, to whom he says the above raptureous words.

Coming home from the theater tonight, still dazed with the revelation of
what I am capable of, once aroused, I asked Miss Everett if her couzin
had said anything about Mr. Egleston being in love with the Leading
Character. She observed:

"No. But he may be. She is very pretty."

"Possably," I remarked. "But I should like to see her in the morning,
when she gets up."

All the girls were perfectly mad about Mr. Egleston, although pretending
merely to admire his Art. But I am being honest, as I agreed at the
start, and now I know, as I sit here with the soft, although chilly
breeses of the night blowing on my hot brow, now I know that this thing
that has come to me is Love. Morover, it is the Love of my Life. He will
never know it, but I am his. He is exactly my Ideal, strong and tall and
passionate. And clever, to. He said some awfuly clever things.

I beleive that he saw me. He looked in my direction. But what does it
matter? I am small, insignifacant. He probably thinks me a mere child,
although seventeen.

What matters, oh Dairy, is that I am at last in Love. It is hopeless.
Just now, when I had written that word, I buried my face in my hands.
There is no hope. None. I shall never see him again. He passed out of my
life on the 11:45 train. But I love him. MON DIEU, how I love him!


JANUARY 11TH. We are going home. WE ARE GOING HOME. WE ARE GOING HOME.
WE ARE GOING HOME!

Mademoiselle has the meazles.


JANUARY 13TH. The Familey managed to restrain its ecstacy on seeing me
today. The house is full of people, as they are having a Dinner-Dance
tonight. Sis had moved into my room, to let one of the visitors have
hers, and she acted in a very unfilial manner when she came home and
found me in it.

"Well!" she said. "Expelled at last?"

"Not at all," I replied in a lofty manner. "I am here through no fault
of my own. And I'd thank you to have Hannah take your clothes off my
bed."

She gave me a bitter glanse.

"I never knew it to fail!" she said. "Just as everything is fixed, and
we're recovering from you're being here for the Holadays, you come back
and stir up a lot of trouble. What brought you, anyhow?"

"Meazles."

She snached up her ball gown.

"Very well," she said. "I'll see that you're quarentined, Miss Barbara,
all right. And If you think you're going to slip downstairs tonight
after dinner and WORM yourself into this party, I'll show you."

She flounsed out, and shortly afterwards mother took a minute from the
Florest, and came upstairs.

"I do hope you are not going to be troublesome, Barbara," she said. "You
are too young to understand, but I want everything to go well tonight,
and Leila ought not to be worried."

"Can't I dance a little?"

"You can sit on the stairs and watch." She looked fidgity. "I--I'll
send up a nice dinner, and you can put on your dark blue, with a fresh
collar, and--it ought to satisfy you, Barbara, that you are at home and
posibly have brought the meazles with you, without making a lot of fuss.
When you come out----"

"Oh, very well," I murmured, in a resined tone. "I don't care enough
about it to want to dance with a lot of Souses anyhow."

"Barbara!" said mother.

"I suppose you have some one on the String for her," I said, with the
ABANDON of my thwarted Hopes. "Well, I hope she gets him. Because if not
I darsay I shall be kept in the Cradle for years to come."

"You will come out when you reach a proper Age," she said, "if your
Impertanence does not kill me off before my Time."

Dear Dairy, I am fond of my mother, and I felt repentent and stricken.

So I became more agreable, although feeling all the time that she does
not and never will understand my Temperment. I said:

"I don't care about Society, and you know it, mother. If you'll keep
Leila out of this room, which isn't much but is my Castle while here,
I'll probably go to bed early."

"Barbara, sometimes I think you have no afection for your Sister."

I had agreed to honesty January first, so I replied.

"I have, of course, mother. But I am fonder of her while at school than
at home. And I should be a better Sister if not condemed to her old
things, including hats which do not suit my Tipe."

Mother moved over magestically to the door and shut it. Then she came
and stood over me.

"I've come to the conclusion, Barbara," she said, "to appeal to your
better Nature. Do you wish Leila to be married and happy?"

"I've just said, mother----"

"Because a very interesting thing is happening," said mother, trying to
look playfull. "I--a chance any girl would jump at."

So here I sit, Dear Dairy, while there are sounds of revelery below, and
Sis jumps at her chance, which is the Honorable Page Beres ford, who is
an Englishman visiting here because he has a weak heart and can't fight.
And father is away on business, and I am all alone.

I have been looking for a rash, but no luck.

Ah me, how the strains of the orkestra recall that magic night in the
theater when Adrian Egleston looked down into my eyes and although
ostensably to an actress, said to my beating heart: "My Darling! My
Woman!"


3 A. M. I wonder if I can controll my hands to write.

In mother's room across the hall I can hear furious Voices, and I know
that Leila is begging to have me sent to Switzerland. Let her beg.
Switzerland is not far from England, and in England----

Here I pause to reflect a moment. How is this thing possible? Can I love
to members of the Other Sex? And if such is the Case, how can I go on
with my Life? Better far to end it now, than to perchance marry one, and
find the other still in my heart. The terrable thought has come to me
that I am fickel.

Fickel or polygamus--which?

Dear Dairy, I have not been a good girl. My New Year's Resolutions have
gone to airey nothing.

The way they went was this: I had settled down to a quiet evening,
spent with his beloved picture which I had clipped from a newspaper.
(Adrian's. I had not as yet met the other.) And, as I sat in my chamber,
I grew more and more desolate. I love Life, although pessamistic at
times. And it seemed hard that I should be there, in exile, while my
Sister, only 20 months older, was jumping at her chance below.

At last I decided to try on one of Sis's frocks and see how I looked in
it. I though, if it looked all right, I might hang over the stairs and
see what I then scornfully termed "His Nibs." Never again shall I so
call him.

I got an evening gown from Sis's closet, and it fitted me quite well,
although tight at the waste for me, owing to Basket Ball. It was also
to low, so that when I had got it all hooked about four inches of my
LINGERIE showed. As it had been hard as anything to hook, I was obliged
to take the scizzors and cut off the said LINGERIE. The result was good,
although very DECOLLTE. I have no bones in my neck, or practicaly so.

And now came my moment of temptation. How easy to put my hair up on
my head, and then, by the servant's staircase, make my way to the seen
below!

I, however, considered that I looked pale, although Mature. I looked
at least nineteen. So I went into Sis's room, which was full of evening
wraps but emty, and put on a touch of rouge. With that and my eyebrows
blackend, I would not have known myself, had I not been certain it was I
and no other.

I then made my way down the Back Stairs.

Ah me, Dear Dairy, was that but a few hours ago? Is it but a short time
since Mr. Beresford was sitting at my feet, thinking me a DEBUTANTE,
and staring soulfully into my very heart? Is it but a matter of minutes
since Leila found us there, and in a manner which revealed the true
feeling she has for me, ordered me to go upstairs and take off Maidie
Mackenzie's gown?

(Yes, it was not Leila's after all. I had forgotten that Maidie had
taken her room. And except for pulling it somewhat at the waste, I am
sure I did not hurt the old thing.)

I shall now go to bed and dream. Of which one I know not. My heart is
full. Romanse has come at last into my dull and dreary life. Below, the
revelers have gone. The flowers hang their herbacious heads. The music
has flowed away into the river of the past. I am alone with my Heart.


JANUARY 14TH. How complacated my Life grows, Dear Dairy! How full and
yet how incomplete! How everything begins and nothing ends!

HE is in town.

I discovered it at breakfast. I knew I was in for it, and I got down
early, counting on mother breakfasting in bed. I would have felt better
if father had been at home, because he understands somwhat the way They
keep me down. But he was away about an order for shells (not sea; war),
and I was to bear my chiding alone. I had eaten my fruit and serial, and
was about to begin on sausage, when mother came in, having risen early
from her slumbers to take the decorations to the Hospital.

"So here you are, wreched child!" she said, giving me one of her coldest
looks. "Barbara, I wonder if you ever think whither you are tending."

I ate a sausage.

What, Dear Dairy, was there to say?

"To disobey!" she went on. "To force yourself on the atention of Mr.
Beresford, in a borowed dress, with your eyelashes blackend and your
face painted----"

"I should think, mother," I observed, "that if he wants to marry into
this family, and is not merely being dragged into it, that he ought to
see the worst at the start." She glired, without speaking. "You know," I
continued, "it would be a dreadfull thing to have the Ceramony performed
and everything to late to back out, and then have ME Sprung on him. It
wouldn't be honest, would it?"

"Barbara!" she said in a terrable tone. "First disobedience, and now
sarcasm. If your father was only here! I feel so alone and helpless."

Her tone cut me to the Heart. After all she was my own mother, or at
least maintained so, in spite of numerous questions enjendered by our
lack of resemblence, moral as well as physicle. But I did not offer
to embrase her, as she was at that moment poring out her tea. I hid my
misery behind the morning paper, and there I beheld the fated vision.
Had I felt any doubt as to the state of my afections it was settled
then. My Heart leaped in my bosom. My face sufused. My hands trembled so
that a piece of sausage slipped from my fork. HIS PICTURE LOOKED OUT AT
ME WITH THAT WELL REMEMBERED GAZE FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE MORNING PAPER.

Oh, Adrian, Adrian!

Here in the same city as I, looking out over perchance the same
newspaper to perchance the same sun, wondering--ah, what was he
wondering?

I was not even then, in that first Rapture, foolish about him. I knew
that to him I was probably but a tender memory. I knew, to, that he was
but human and probably very concieted. On the other hand, I pride myself
on being a good judge of character, and he carried Nobility in every
linament. Even the obliteration of one eye by the printer could only
hamper but not destroy his dear face.

"Barbara," mother said sharply. "I am speaking. Are you being sulkey?"

"Pardon me, mother," I said in my gentlest tones. "I was but dreaming."
And as she made no reply, but rang the bell visciously, I went on,
pursuing my line of thought. "Mother, were you ever in Love?"

"Love! What sort of Love?"

I sat up and stared at her.

"Is there more than one sort?" I demanded.

"There is a very silly, schoolgirl Love," she said, eyeing me, "that
people outgrow and blush to look back on."

"Do you?"

"Do I what?"

"Do you blush to look back on it?"

Mother rose and made a sweeping gesture with her right arm.

"I wash my hands of you!" she said. "You are impertanent and indelacate.
At your age I was an inocent child, not troubleing with things that did
not concern me. As for Love, I had never heard of it until I came out."

"Life must have burst on you like an explosion," I observed. "I suppose
you thought that babies----"

"Silense!" mother shreiked. And seeing that she persisted in ignoring
the real things of Life while in my presence, I went out, cluching the
precious paper to my Heart.


JANUARY 15TH. I am alone in my BOUDOIR (which is realy the old
schoolroom, and used now for a sowing room).

My very soul is sick, oh Dairy. How can I face the truth? How write it
out for my eyes to see? But I must. For SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. The play
is failing.

The way I discovered it was this. Yesterday, being short of money, I
sold my amethist pin to Jane, one of the housemaids, for two dollars,
throwing in a lace coller when she seemed doubtful, as I had a special
purpose for useing funds. Had father been at home I could have touched
him, but mother is diferent.

I then went out to buy a frame for his picture, which I had repaired by
drawing in the other eye, although licking the Fire and passionate look
of the originle. At the shop I was compeled to show it, to buy a frame
to fit. The clerk was almost overpowered.

"Do you know him?" she asked, in a low and throbing tone.

"Not intimitely," I replied.

"Don't you love the Play?" she said. "I'm crazy about it. I've been back
three times. Parts of it I know off by heart. He's very handsome. That
picture don't do him justise."

I gave her a searching glanse. Was it posible that, without any
acquaintance with him whatever, she had fallen in love with him? It was
indeed. She showed it in every line of her silly face.

I drew myself up hautily. "I should think it would be very expencive,
going so often," I said, in a cool tone.

"Not so very. You see, the play is a failure, and they give us girls
tickets to dress the house. Fill it up, you know. Half the girls in the
store are crazy about Mr. Egleston."

My world shuddered about me. What--fail! That beautiful play, ending "My
darling, my woman"? It could not be. Fate would not be cruel. Was there
no apreciation of the best in Art? Was it indeed true, as Miss Everett
has complained, although not in these exact words, that the Theater was
only supported now by chorus girls' legs, dancing about in uter ABANDON?

With an expression of despair on my features, I left the store, carrying
the Frame under my arm.

One thing is certain. I must see the play again, and judge it with a
criticle eye. IF IT IS WORTH SAVING, IT MUST BE SAVED.


JANUARY 16TH. Is it only a day since I saw you, Dear Dairy? Can so much
have happened in the single lapse of a few hours? I look in my mirror,
and I look much as before, only with perhaps a touch of paller. Who
would not be pale?

I have seen HIM again, and there is no longer any doubt in my heart.
Page Beresford is atractive, and if it were not for circumstances as
they are I would not anser for the consequences. But things ARE as they
are. There is no changing that. And I have reid my own heart.

I am not fickel. On the contrary, I am true as steal.

I have put his Picture under my mattress, and have given Jane my gold
cuff pins to say nothing when she makes my bed. And now, with the house
full of People downstairs acting in a flippent and noisy maner, I shall
record how it all happened.

My finantial condition was not improved this morning, father having not
returned. But I knew that I must see the Play, as mentioned above, even
if it became necesary to borow from Hannah. At last, seeing no other
way, I tried this, but failed.

"What for?" she said, in a suspicous way.

"I need it terrably, Hannah," I said.

"You'd ought to get it from your mother, then, Miss Barbara. The last
time I gave you some you paid it back in postage stamps, and I haven't
written a letter since. They're all stuck together now, and a totle
loss."

"Very well," I said, fridgidly. "But the next time you break
anything----"

"How much do you want?" she asked.

I took a quick look at her, and I saw at once that she had desided to
lend it to me and then run and tell mother, beginning, "I think you'd
ought to know, Mrs. Archibald----"

"Nothing doing, Hannah," I said, in a most dignafied manner. "But I
think you are an old Clam, and I don't mind saying so."

I was now thrown on my own resourses, and very bitter. I seemed to have
no Friends, at a time when I needed them most, when I was, as one may
say, "standing with reluctent feet, where the brook and river meet."

Tonight I am no longer sick of Life, as I was then. My throws of anguish
have departed. But I was then uterly reckless, and even considered
running away and going on the stage myself.

I have long desired a Career for mvself, anyhow. I have a good mind, and
learn easily, and I am not a Paracite. The idea of being such has always
been repugnent to me, while the idea of a few dollars at a time doaled
out to one of independant mind is galling. And how is one to remember
what one has done with one's Allowence, when it is mostly eaten up
by Small Lones, Carfare, Stamps, Church Collection, Rose Water and
Glicerine, and other Mild Cosmetics, and the aditional Food necesary
when one is still growing?

To resume, Dear Dairy; having uterly failed with Hannah, and having
shortly after met Sis on the stairs, I said to her, in a sisterly tone,
intimite rather than fond:

"I darsay you can lend me five dollars for a day or so."

"I darsay I can. But I won't," was her cruel reply.

"Oh, very well," I said breifly. But I could not refrain from making a
grimase at her back, and she saw me in a mirror.

"When I think," she said heartlessly, "that that wreched school may be
closed for weeks, I could scream."

"Well, scream!" I replied. "You'll scream harder if I've brought the
meazles home on me. And if you're laid up, you can say good-bye to the
Dishonorable. You've got him tide, maybe," I remarked, "but not thrown
as yet."

(A remark I had learned from one of the girls, Trudie Mills, who comes
from Montana.)

I was therfore compeled to dispose of my silver napkin ring from school.
Jane was bought up, she said, and I sold it to the cook for fifty cents
and half a minse pie although baked with our own materials.

All my Fate, therfore, hung on a paltrey fifty cents.

I was torn with anxiety. Was it enough? Could I, for fifty cents, steel
away from the sordid cares of life, and lose myself in obliviousness,
gazing only it his dear Face, listening to his dear and softly modulited
Voice, and wondering if, as his eyes swept the audiance, they might
perchance light on me and brighten with a momentary gleam in their
unfathomable Depths? Only this and nothing more, was my expectation.

How diferent was the reality!

Having ascertained that there was a matinee, I departed at an early hour
after luncheon, wearing my blue velvet with my fox furs. White gloves
and white topped shoes completed my outfit, and, my own CHAPEAU showing
the effect of a rainstorm on the way home from church while away at
school, I took a chance on one of Sis's, a perfectly madening one of
rose-colored velvet. As the pink made me look pale, I added a touch of
rouge.

I looked fully out, and indeed almost Second Season. I have a way of
assuming a serious and Mature manner, so that I am frequently taken
for older than I realy am. Then, taking a few roses left from the
decorations, and thrusting them carelessly into the belt of my coat,
I went out the back door, as Sis was getting ready for some girls to
Bridge, in the front of the house.

Had I felt any greif at decieving my Familey, the bridge party would
have knocked them. For, as usual, I had not been asked, although playing
a good game myself, and having on more than one occasion won most of the
money in the Upper House at school.

I was early at the theater. No one was there, and women were going
around taking covers off the seats. My fifty cents gave me a good seat,
from which I opined, alas, that the shop girl had been right and busness
was rotten. But at last, after hours of waiting, the faint tuning of
musicle instruments was heard.

From that time I lived in a daze. I have never before felt so strange.
I have known and respected the Other Sex, and indeed once or twise been
kissed by it. But I had remained Cold. My Pulses had never flutered.
I was always conserned only with the fear that others had overseen
and would perhaps tell. But now--I did not care who would see, if only
Adrian would put his arms about me. Divine shamlessness! Brave Rapture!
For if one who he could not possably love, being so close to her in her
make-up, if one who was indeed employed to be made Love to, could submit
in public to his embrases, why should not I, who would have died for
him?

These were my thoughts as the Play went on. The hours flew on joyous
feet. When Adrian came to the footlights and looking aparently square
at me, declaimed: "The World owes me a living. I will have it," I almost
swooned. His clothes were worn. He looked hungry and ghaunt. But how
true that

     "Rags are royal raimant, when worn for virtue's sake."

(I shall stop here and go down to the Pantrey. I could eat no dinner,
being filled with emotion. But I must keep strong if I am to help Adrian
in his Trouble. The minse pie was excelent, but after all pastrey does
not take the place of solid food.)


LATER: I shall now go on with my recitle. As the theater was almost
emty, at the end of Act One I put on the pink hat and left it on as
though absent-minded. There was no one behind me. And, although during
Act One I had thought that he perhaps felt my presense, he had not once
looked directly at me.

But the hat captured his erant gaze, as one may say. And, after capture,
it remained on my face, so much so that I flushed and a woman sitting
near with a very plain girl in a Skunk Coller, observed:

"Realy, it is outragous."

Now came a moment which I thrill even to recolect. For Adrian plucked
a pink rose from a vase--he was in the Milionaire' s house, and was
starving in the midst of luxury--and held it to his lips.

The rose, not the house, of course. Looking over it, he smiled down at
me.


LATER: It is midnight. I cannot sleep. Perchanse he to is lieing awake.
I am sitting at the window in my ROBE DE NUIT. Below, mother and Sis
have just come in, and Smith has slamed the door of the car and gone
back to the GARAGE. How puney is the life my Familey leads! Nothing but
eating and playing, with no Higher Thoughts.

A man has just gone by. For a moment I thought I recognised the
footstep. But no, it was but the night watchman.


JANUARY 17TH. Father still away. No money, as mother absolutely refuses
on account of Maidie Mackenzie's gown, which she had to send away to be
repaired.


JANUARY 18TH. Father still away. The Hon. sent Sis a huge bunch of
orkids today. She refused me even one. She is always tight with flowers
and candy.


JANUARY 19TH. The paper says that Adrian's Play is going to close
the end of next week. No busness. How can I endure to know that he
is sufering, and that I cannot help, even to the extent of buying one
ticket? Matinee today, and no money. Father still away.

I have tried to do a kind Deed today, feeling that perhaps it would
soften mother's heart and she would advance my Allowence. I offered to
manacure her nails for her, but she refused, saying that as Hannah had
done it for many years, she guessed she could manage now.


JANUARY 20TH. Today I did a desparate thing, dear Dairy.


"The desparatest is the wisest course." Butler.


It is Sunday. I went to Church, and thought things over. What a
wonderfull thing it would be if I could save the play! Why should I feel
that my Sex is a handycap?

The recter preached on "The Opportunaties of Women." The Sermon gave
me courage to go on. When he said, "Women today step in where men are
afraid to tred, and bring success out of failure," I felt that it was
meant for me.

Had no money for the Plate, and mother atempted to smugle a half dollar
to me. I refused, however, as if I cannot give my own money to the
Heathen, I will give none. Mother turned pale, and the man with the
plate gave me a black look. What can he know of my reasons?

Beresford lunched with us, and as I discouraged him entirely, he was
very atentive to Sis. Mother is planing a big Wedding, and I found Sis
in the store room yesterday looking up mother's wedding veil.

No old stuff for me.

I guess Beresford is trying to forget that he kissed my hand the other
night, for he called me "Little Miss Barbara" today, meaning little in
the sense of young. I gave him a stern glanse.

"I am not any littler than the other night," I observed.

"That was merely an afectionate diminutive," he said, looking
uncomfortable.

"If you don't mind," I said coldly, "you might do as you have
hertofore--reserve your afectionate advances until we are alone."

"Barbara!" mother said. And began quickly to talk about a Lady Somthing
or other we'd met on a train in Switzerland. Because--they can talk
until they are black in the face, dear Dairy, but it is true we do not
know any of the British Nobilaty, except the aforementioned and the man
who comes once a year with flavering extracts, who says he is the third
son of a Barronet.

Every one being out this afternoon, I suddenly had an inspiration, and
sent for Carter Brooks. I then put my hair up and put on my blue silk,
because while I do not beleive in Woman using her femanine charm when
talking busness, I do beleive that she should look her best under any
and all circumstances.

He was rather surprized not to find Sis in, as I had used her name in
telephoning.

"I did it," I explained, "because I knew that you felt no interest in
me, and I had to see you."

He looked at me, and said:

"I'm rather flabergasted, Bab. I--what ought I to say, anyhow?"

He came very close, dear Dairy, and sudenly I saw in his eyes the
horible truth. He thought me in Love with him, and sending for him while
the Familey was out.

Words cannot paint my agony of Soul. I stepped back, but he siezed my
hand, in a caresing gesture.

"Bab!" he said. "Dear little Bab!"

Had my afections not been otherwise engaged, I should have thriled at
his accents. But, although handsome and of good familey, although poor,
I could not see it that way.

So I drew my hand away, and retreated behind a sofa.

"We must have an understanding, Carter" I Said. "I have sent for you,
but not for the reason you seem to think. I am in desparate Trouble."

He looked dumfounded.

"Trouble!" he said. "You! Why, little Bab"

"If you don't mind," I put in, rather petishly, because of not being
little, "I wish you would treat me like almost a DEBUTANTE, if not
entirely. I am not a child in arms."

"You are sweet enough to be, if the arms might be mine."

I have puzled over this, since, dear Dairy. Because there must be
some reason why men fall in Love with me. I am not ugly, but I am not
beautifull, my noze being too short. And as for clothes, I get none
except Leila's old things. But Jane Raleigh says there are women like
that. She has a couzin who has had four Husbands and is beginning on
a fifth, although not pretty and very slovenly, but with a mass of red
hair.

Are all men to be my Lovers?

"Carter," I said earnestly, "I must tell you now that I do not care for
you--in that way."

"What made you send for me, then?"

"Good gracious!" I exclaimed, losing my temper somwhat. "I can send for
the ice man without his thinking I'm crazy about him, can't I?"

"Thanks."

"The truth is," I said, sitting down and motioning him to a seat in my
maturest manner, "I--I want some money. There are many things, but the
Money comes first."

He just sat and looked at me with his mouth open.

"Well," he said at last, "of course--I suppose you know you've come to a
Bank that's gone into the hands of a reciever. But aside from that,
Bab, it's a pretty mean trick to send for me and let me think--well, no
matter about that. How much do you want?"

"I can pay it back as soon as father comes home," I said, to releive his
mind. It is against my principals to borow money, especialy from one who
has little or none. But since I was doing it, I felt I might as well ask
for a lot.

"Could you let me have ten dollars?" I said, in a faint tone.

He drew a long breath.

"Well, I guess yes," he observed. "I thought you were going to touch me
for a hundred, anyhow. I--I suppose you wouldn't give me a kiss and call
it square."

I considered. Because after all, a kiss is not much, and ten dollars is
a good deal. But at last my better nature won out.

"Certainly not," I said coldly. "And if there is a String to it I do not
want it."

So he apologised, and came and sat beside me, without being a nusance,
and asked me what my other troubles were.

"Carter" I said, in a grave voice, "I know that you beleive me young
and incapable of Afection. But you are wrong. I am of a most loving
disposition."

"Now see here, Bab," he said. "Be fair. If I am not to hold your hand,
or--or be what you call a nusance, don't talk like this. I am but
human," he said, "and there is somthing about you lately that--well, go
on with your story. Only, as I say, don't try me to far."

"It's like this," I explained. "Girls think they are cold and distant,
and indeed, frequently are."

"Frequently!"

"Until they meet the Right One. Then they learn that their hearts are,
as you say, but human."

"Bab," he said, sudenly turning and facing me, "an awfull thought has
come to me. You are in Love--and not with me!"

"I am in Love, and not with you," I said in tradgic tones.

I had not thought he would feel it deeply--because of having been
interested in Leila since they went out in their Perambulaters together.
But I could see it was a shock to him. He got up and stood looking in
the fire, and his shoulders shook with greif.

"So I have lost you," he said in a smothered voice. And then--"Who is
the sneaking schoundrel?"

I forgave him this, because of his being upset, and in a rapt attatude I
told him the whole story. He listened, as one in a daze.

"But I gather," he said, when at last the recitle was over, "that you
have never met the--met him."

"Not in the ordinery use of the word," I remarked. "But then it is
not an ordinery situation. We have met and we have not. Our eyes have
spoken, if not our vocal chords." Seeing his eyes on me I added, "if
you do not beleive that Soul can cry unto Soul, Carter, I shall go no
further."

"Oh!" he exclaimed. "There is more, is there? I trust it is not
painfull, because I have stood as much as I can now without breaking
down."

"Nothing of which I am ashamed," I said, rising to my full height. "I
have come to you for help, Carter. THAT PLAY MUST NOT FAIL."

We faced each other over those vitle words--faced, and found no
solution.

"Is it a good Play?" he asked, at last.

"It is a beautiful Play. Oh, Carter, when at the end he takes his
Sweetheart in his arms--the leading lady, and not at all atractive. Jane
Raleigh says that the star generaly HATES his leading lady--there is not
a dry eye in the house."

"Must be a jolly little thing. Well, of course I'm no theatricle
manager, but if it's any good there's only one way to save it.
Advertize. I didn't know the piece was in town, which shows that the
publicaty has been rotten."

He began to walk the floor. I don't think I have mentioned it, but that
is Carter's busness. Not walking the floor. Advertizing. Father says he
is quite good, although only beginning.

"Tell me about it," he said.

So I told him that Adrian was a mill worker, and the villain makes him
lose his position, by means of forjery. And Adrian goes to jail, and
comes out, and no one will give him work. So he prepares to blow up
a Milionaire's house, and his sweetheart is in it. He has been to the
Milionaire for work and been refused and thrown out, saying, just before
the butler and three footmen push him through a window, in dramatic
tones, "The world owes me a living and I will have it."

"Socialism!" said Carter. "Hard stuff to handle for the two dollar
seats. The world owes him a living. Humph! Still, that's a good line to
work on. Look here, Bab, give me a little time on this, eh what? I may
be able to think of a trick or two. But mind, not a word to any one."

He started out, but he came back.

"Look here," he said. "Where do we come in on this anyhow? Suppose I do
think of somthing--what then? How are we to know that your beloved and
his manager will thank us for buting in, or do what we sugest?"

Again I drew myself to my full heighth.

"I am a person of iron will when my mind is made up," I said. "You think
of somthing, Carter, and I'll see that it is done."

He gazed at me in a rapt manner.

"Dammed if I don't beleive you," he said.

It is now late at night. Beresford has gone. The house is still. I take
the dear Picture out from under my mattress and look at it.

Oh Adrien, my Thespian, my Love.


JANUARY 21ST. I have a bad cold, Dear Dairy, and feel rotten. But only
my physicle condition is such. I am happy beyond words. This morning,
while mother and Sis were out I called up the theater and inquired the
price of a box. The man asked me to hold the line, and then came back
and said it would be ten dollars. I told him to reserve it for Miss
Putnam--my middle name.

I am both terrafied and happy, dear Dairy, as I lie here in bed with a
hot water bottle at my feet. I have helped the Play by buying a box,
and tonight I shall sit in it alone, and he will percieve me there, and
consider that I must be at least twenty, or I would not be there at
the theater alone. Hannah has just come in and offered to lend me three
dollars. I refused hautily, but at last rang for her and took two. I
might as well have a taxi tonight.


1 A. M. THE FAMILEY WAS THERE. I might have known it. Never do I have
any luck. I am a broken thing, crushed to earth. But "Truth crushed to
earth will rise again."--Whittier?

I had my dinner in bed, on account of my cold, and was let severly alone
by the Familey. At seven I rose and with palpatating fingers dressed
myself in my best evening Frock, which is a pale yellow. I put my hair
up, and was just finished, when mother nocked. It was terrable.

I had to duck back into bed and crush everything. But she only looked in
and said to try and behave for the next three hours, and went away.

At a quarter to eight I left the house in a clandestine manner by means
of the cellar and the area steps, and on the pavment drew a long breath.
I was free, and I had twelve dollars.

Act One went well, and no disturbence. Although Adrian started when he
saw me. The yellow looked very well.

I had expected to sit back, sheltered by the curtains, and only visable
from the stage. I have often read of this method. But there were no
curtains. I therfore sat, turning a stoney profile to the Audiance, and
ignoreing it, as though it were not present, trusting to luck that no
one I knew was there.

He saw me. More than that, he hardly took his eyes from the box wherein
I sat. I am sure to that he had mentioned me to the Company, for one and
all they stared at me until I think they will know me the next time they
see me.

I still think I would not have been recognized by the Familey had I not,
in a very quiet seen, commenced to sneaze. I did this several times, and
a lot of people looked anoyed, as though I sneazed because I liked
to sneaze. And I looked back at them defiantly, and in so doing,
encountered the gaze of my Maternal Parent.

Oh, Dear Dairy, that I could have died at that moment, and thus, when
streched out a pathetic figure, with tubroses and other flowers, have
compeled their pity. But alas, no. I sneazed again!

Mother was weged in, and I saw that my only hope was flight. I had not
had more than between three and four dollars worth of the evening, but
I glansed again and Sis was boring holes into me with her eyes. Only
Beresford knew nothing, and was trying to hold Sis's hand under her
opera cloak. Any fool could tell that.

But, as I was about to rise and stand poized, as one may say, for
departure, I caught Adrian's eyes, with a gleam in their deep depths. He
was, at the moment, toying with the bowl of roses. He took one out,
and while the Leading Lady was talking, he eged his way toward my box.
There, standing very close, aparently by accident, he droped the rose
into my lap.

Oh Dairy! Dairy!

I picked it up, and holding it close to me, I flew.

I am now in bed and rather chilley. Mother banged at the door some time
ago, and at last went away, mutering.

I am afraid she is going to be petish.


JANUARY 22ND. Father came home this morning, and things are looking up.
Mother of course tackeled him first thing, and when he came upstairs I
expected an awful time. But my father is a reel Person, so he only sat
down on the bed, and said:

"Well, chicken, so you're at it again!"

I had to smile, although my chin shook.

"You'd better turn me out and forget me," I said. "I was born for
Trouble. My advice to the Familey is to get out from under. That's all."

"Oh, I don't know," he said. "It's pretty conveniant to have a Familey
to drop on when the slump comes." He thumped himself on the chest.
"A hundred and eighty pounds," he observed, "just intended for little
daughters to fall back on when other things fail."

"Father," I inquired, putting my hand in his, because I had been bearing
my burdens alone, and my strength was failing: "do you beleive in Love?"

"DO I!"

"But I mean, not the ordinery atachment between two married people. I
mean Love--the reel thing."

"I see! Why, of course I do."

"Did you ever read Pope, father?"

"Pope? Why I--probably, chicken. Why?"

"Then you know what he says: `Curse on all laws but those which Love has
made.'"

"Look here," he said, sudenly laying a hand on my brow. "I beleive you
are feverish."

"Not feverish, but in trouble," I explained. And so I told him the
story, not saying much of my deep Passion for Adrian, but merely that
I had formed an atachment for him which would persist during Life.
Although I had never yet exchanged a word with him.

Father listened and said it was indeed a sad story, and that he knew my
deep nature, and that I would be true to the End. But he refused to
give me any money, except enough to pay back Hannah and Carter Brooks,
saying:

"Your mother does not wish you to go to the Theater again, and who are
we to go against her wishes? And anyhow, maybe if you met this fellow
and talked to him, you would find him a disapointment. Many a
pretty girl I have seen in my time, who didn't pan out acording to
specifications when I finaly met her."

At this revalation of my beloved father's true self, I was almost
stuned. It is evadent that I do not inherit my being true as steal from
him. Nor from my mother, who is like steal in hardness but not in being
true to anything but Social Position.

As I record this awfull day, dear Dairy, there comes again into my mind
the thought that I DO NOT BELONG HERE. I am not like them. I do not even
resemble them in features. And, if I belonged to them, would they
not treat me with more consideration and less disipline? Who, in the
Familey, has my noze?

It is all well enough for Hannah to observe that I was a pretty baby
with fat cheaks. May not Hannah herself, for some hiden reason, have
brought me here, taking away the real I to perhaps languish unseen and
"waste my sweetness on the dessert air"? But that way lies madness.
Life must be made the best of as it is, and not as it might be or indeed
ought to be.

Father promised before he left that I was not to be scolded, as I felt
far from well, and was drinking water about every minute.

"I just want to lie here and think about things," I said, when he was
going. "I seem to have so many thoughts. And father----"

"Yes, chicken."

"If I need any help to carry out a plan I have, will you give it to me,
or will I have to go to totle strangers?"

"Good gracious, Bab!" he exclaimed. "Come to me, of course."

"And you'll do what you're told?"

He looked out into the hall to see if mother was near. Then, dear Dairy,
he turned to me and said:

"I always have, Bab. I guess I'll run true to form."


JANUARY 23RD. Much better today. Out and around. Familey (mother and
Sis) very dignafied and nothing much to say. Evadently have promised
father to restrain themselves. Father rushed and not coming home to
dinner.

Beresford on edge of proposeing. Sis very jumpy.


LATER: Jane Raleigh is home for her couzin's wedding! Is coming over. We
shall take a walk, as I have much to tell her.


6 P. M. What an afternoon! How shall I write it? This is a Milestone in
my Life.

I have met him at last. Nay, more. I have been in his dressing room,
conversing as though acustomed to such things all my life. I have
conceled under the mattress a real photograph of him, beneath which he
has written, "Yours always, Adrian Egleston."

I am writing in bed, as the room is chilley--or I am--and by putting out
my hand I can touch His pictured likeness.

Jane came around for me this afternoon, and mother consented to a walk.
I did not have a chance to take Sis's pink hat, as she keeps her door
locked now when not in her room. Which is rediculous, because I am not
her tipe, and her things do not suit me very well anyhow. And I have
never borowed anything but gloves and handkercheifs, except Maidie's
dress and the hat.

She had, however, not locked her bathroom, and finding a bunch of
violets in the washbowl I put them on. It does not hurt violets to wear
them, and anyhow I knew Carter Brooks had sent them and she ought to
wear only Beresford's flowers if she means to marry him.

Jane at once remarked that I looked changed.

"Naturaly," I said, in a BLASE maner.

"If I didn't know you, Bab," she observed, "I would say that you are
rouged."

I became very stiff and distant at that. For Jane, although my best
friend, had no right to be suspicous of me.

"How do I look changed?" I demanded.

"I don't know. You--Bab, I beleive you are up to some mischeif!"

"Mischeif?"

"You don't need to pretend to me," she went on, looking into my very
soul. "I have eyes. You're not decked out this way for ME."

I had meant to tell her nothing, but spying just then a man ahead who
walked like Adrian, I was startled. I cluched her arm and closed my
eyes.

"Bab!" she said.

The man turned, and I saw it was not he. I breathed again. But Jane was
watching me, and I spoke out of an overflowing Heart.

"For a moment I thought--Jane, I have met THE ONE at last."

"Barbara!" she said, and stopped dead. "Is it any one I know?"

"He is an Actor."

"Ye gods!" said Jane, in a tence voice. "What a tradgedy!"

"Tradgedy indeed," I was compeled to admit. "Jane, my Heart is breaking.
I am not alowed to see him. It is all off, forever."

"Darling!" said Jane. "You are trembling all over. Hold on to me. Do
they disaprove?"

"I am never to see him again. Never."

The bitterness of it all overcame me. My eyes sufused with tears.

But I told her, in broken accents, of my determination to stick to him,
no matter what. "I might never be Mrs. Adrian Egleston, but----"

"Adrian Egleston!" she cried, in amazement. "Why BARBARA, you lucky
Thing!"

So, finding her fuller of simpathy than usual, I violated my Vow of
Silence and told her all.

And, to prove the truth of what I said, I showed her the sachet over my
heart containing his rose.

"It's perfectly wonderfull," Jane said, in an awed tone. "You beat
anything I've ever known for Adventures. You are the tipe men like,
for one thing. But there is one thing I could not stand, in your
place--having to know that he is making love to the heroine every
evening and twice on Wednesdays and--Bab, this is WEDNESDAY!"

I glansed at my wrist watch. It was but to o'clock. Instantly, dear
Dairy, I became conscious of a dual going on within me, between love and
duty. Should I do as instructed and see him no more, thus crushing
my inclination under the iron heal of Resolution? Or should I cast my
Parents to the winds, and go?

Which?

At last I desided to leave it to Jane. I observed: "I'm forbiden to try
to see him. But I darsay, if you bought some theater tickets and did not
say what the play was, and we went and it happened to be his, it would
not be my fault, would it?"

I cannot recall her reply, or much more, except that I waited in a
Pharmasy, and Jane went out, and came back and took me by the arm.

"We're going to the matinee, Bab," she said. "I'll not tell you which
one, because it's to be a surprize." She squeazed my arm. "First row,"
she whispered.

I shall draw a Veil over my feelings. Jane bought some chocolates to
take along, but I could eat none. I was thirsty, but not hungry. And my
cold was pretty bad, to.

So we went in, and the curtain went up. When Adrian saw me, in the front
row, he smiled although in the midst of a serious speach about the world
oweing him a living. And Jane was terrably excited.

"Isn't he the handsomest Thing!" she said. "And oh, Bab, I can see that
he adores you. He is acting for you. All the rest of the people mean
nothing to him. He sees but you."

Well, I had not told her that we had not yet met, and she said I could
do nothing less than send him a note.

"You ought to tell him that you are true, in spite of everything," she
said.

If I had not decieved Jane things would be better. But she was set on my
sending the note. So at last I wrote one on my visiting card, holding
it so she could not read it. Jane is my best friend and I am devoted to
her, but she has no scruples about reading what is not meant for her. I
said:


"Dear Mr. Egleston: I think the Play is perfectly wonderfull. And you
are perfectly splendid in it. It is perfectly terrable that it is going
to stop.

"(Signed) The girl of the rose."


I know that this seems bold. But I did not feel bold, dear Dairy. It was
such a letter as any one might read, and contained nothing compromizing.
Still, I darsay I should not have written it. But "out of the fulness of
the Heart the mouth speaketh."

I was shaking so much that I could not give it to the usher. But Jane
did. However, I had sealed it up in an envelope.

Now comes the real surprize, dear Dairy. For the usher came down and
said Mr. Egleston hoped I would go back and see him after the act was
over. I think a paller must have come over me, and Jane said:

"Bab! Do you dare?"

I said yes, I dared, but that I would like a glass of water. I seemed to
be thirsty all the time. So she got it, and I recovered my SAVOIR FAIR,
and stopped shaking.

I suppose Jane expected to go along, but I refrained from asking her.
She then said:

"Try to remember everything he says, Bab. I am just crazy about it."

Ah, dear Dairy, how can I write how I felt when being led to him. The
entire seen is engraved on my Soul. I, with my very heart in my eyes,
in spite of my eforts to seem cool and collected. He, in front of his
mirror, drawing in the lines of starvation around his mouth for the next
seen, while on his poor feet a valet put the raged shoes of Act II!

He rose when I entered, and took me by the hand.

"Well!" he said. "At last!"

He did not seem to mind the VALET, whom he treated like a chair or
table. And he held my hand and looked deep into my eyes.

Ah, dear Dairy, Men may come and Men may go in my life, but never again
will I know such ecstacy as at that moment.

"Sit down," he said. "Little Lady of the rose--but it's violets today,
isn't it? And so you like the Play?"

I was by that time somwhat calmer, but glad to sit down, owing to my
knees feeling queer.

"I think it is magnifacent," I said.

"I wish there were more like you," he observed. "Just a moment, I have
to make a change here. No need to go out. There's a screan for that very
purpose."

He went behind the screan, and the man handed him a raged shirt over the
top of it, while I sat in a chair and dreamed. What I reflected, would
the School say if it but knew! I felt no remorce. I was there, and
beyond the screan, changing into the garments of penury, was the only
member of the Other Sex I had ever felt I could truly care for.

Dear Dairy, I am tired and my head aches. I cannot write it all. He was
perfectly respectfull, and only his eyes showed his true feelings.
The woman who is the Adventuress in the play came to the Door, but he
motioned her away with a waive of the hand. And at last it was over, and
he was asking me to come again soon, and if I would care to have one of
his pictures.

I am very sleepy tonight, but I cannot close this record of a
w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l d-a-y----


JANUARY 24TH. Cold worse.

Not hearing from Carter Brooks I telephoned him just now. He is sore
about Beresford and said he would not come to the house. So I have asked
him to meet me in the Park, and said that there were only to more days,
this being Thursday.


LATER: I have seen Carter, and he has a fine plan. If only father will
do it.

He says the Theme is that the world owes Adrian a living, and that the
way to do is to put that strongly before the people.

"Suppose," he said, "that this fellow would go to some big factery, and
demand work. Not ask for it. Demand it. He could pretend to be starving
and say: `The world owes me a living, and I intend to have it.'"

"But supose they were sorry for him and gave it to him?" I observed.

"Tut, child," he said. "That would have to be all fixed up first. It
ought to be aranged that he not only be refused, but what's more, that
he'll be thrown out. He'll have to cut up a lot, d'you see, so they'll
throw him out. And we'll have Reporters there, so the story can get
around. You get it, don't you? Your friend, in order to prove that the
idea of the Play is right, goes out for a job, and proves that he cannot
demand Laber and get it." He stopped and spoke with excitement: "Is he a
real sport? Would he stand being arested? Because that would cinch it."

But here I drew a line. I would not subject him to such humiliation. I
would not have him arested. And at last Carter gave in.

"But you get the Idea," he said. "There'll be the deuce of a Row, and
it's good for a half collumn on the first page of the evening papers.
Result, a jamb that night at the performence, and a new lease of life
for the Play. Egleston comes on, bruized and battered, and perhaps
with a limp. The Labor Unions take up the matter--it's a knock out. I'd
charge a thousand dollars for that idea if I were selling it."

"Bruized!" I exclaimed. "Realy bruized or painted on?"

He glared at me impatiently.

"Now see here, Bab," he said. "I'm doing this for you. You've got
to play up. And if your young man won't stand a bang in the eye, for
instanse, to earn his Bread and Butter, he's not worth saving."

"Who are you going to get to--to throw him out?" I asked, in a faltering
tone.

He stopped and stared at me.

"I like that!" he said. "It's not my Play that's failing, is it? Go and
tell him the Skeme, and then let his manager work it out. And tell him
who I am, and that I have a lot of Ideas, but this is the only one I'm
giving away."

We had arived at the house by that time and I invited him to come in.
But he only glansed bitterly at the Windows and observed that they had
taken in the mat with Welcome on it, as far as he was concerned. And
went away.

Although we have never had a mat with Welcome on it.

Dear Dairy, I wonder if father would do it? He is gentle and
kind-hearted, and it would be painfull to him. But to who else can I
turn in my extremity?

I have but one hope. My father is like me. He can be coaxed and if
kindly treated will do anything. But if aproached in the wrong way, or
asked to do somthing against his principals, he becomes a Roaring Lion.

He would never be bully-ed into giving a Man work, even so touching a
Personallity as Adrian's.


LATER: I meant to ask father tonight, but he has just heard of Beresford
and is in a terrable temper. He says Sis can't marry him, because he
is sure there are plenty of things he could be doing in England, if not
actualy fighting.

"He could probably run a bus, and releace some one who can fight," he
shouted. "Or he could at least do an honest day's work with his hands.
Don't let me see him, that's all."

"Do I understand that you forbid him the house?" Leila asked, in a cold
furey.

"Just keep him out of my sight," father snaped. "I supose I can't keep
him from swilling tea while I am away doing my part to help the Allies."

"Oh, rot!" said Sis, in a scornfull maner. "While you help your bank
account, you mean. I don't object to that, father, but for Heaven's sake
don't put it on altruistic grounds."

She went upstairs then and banged her door, and mother merely set her
lips and said nothing. But when Beresford called, later, Tanney had to
tell him the Familey was out.

Were it not for our afections, and the necessity for getting married, so
there would be an increase in the Population, how happy we could all be!


LATER: I have seen father.

It was a painfull evening, with Sis shut away in her room, and father
cuting the ends off cigars in a viscious maner. Mother was NON EST, and
had I not had my memories, it would have been a Sickning Time.

I sat very still and waited until father softened, which he usualy does,
like ice cream, all at once and all over. I sat perfectly still in a
large chair, and except for an ocasional sneaze, was quiet.

Only once did my parent adress me in an hour, when he said:

"What the devil's making you sneaze so?"

"My noze, I think, sir," I said meekly.

"Humph!" he said. "It's rather a small noze to be making such a racket."

I was cut to the heart, dear Dairy. One of my dearest dreams has always
been a delicate noze, slightly arched and long enough to be truly
aristocratic. Not realy acqualine but on the verge. I HATE my little
noze--hate it--hate it--HATE IT.

"Father" I said, rising and on the point of tears. "How can you! To
taunt me with what is not my own fault, but partly heredatary and partly
carelessness. For if you had pinched it in infansy it would have been a
good noze, and not a pug. And----"

"Good gracious!" he exclaimed. "Why, Bab, I never meant to insult your
noze. As a matter of fact, it's a good noze. It's exactly the sort of
noze you ought to have. Why, what in the world would YOU do with a Roman
noze?"

I have not been feeling very well, dear Dairy, and so I sudenly began to
weap.

"Why, chicken!" said my father. And made me sit down on his knee. "Don't
tell me that my bit of sunshine is behind a cloud!"

"Behind a noze," I said, feebly.

So he said he liked my noze, even although somwhat swolen, and he kissed
it, and told me I was a little fool, and at last I saw he was about
ready to be tackeled. So I observed:

"Father, will you do me a faver?"

"Sure," he said. "How much do you need? Busness is pretty good now,
and I've about landed the new order for shells for the English War
Department. I--supose we make it fifty! Although, we'd better keep it a
Secret between the to of us."

I drew myself up, although tempted. But what was fifty dollars to doing
somthing for Adrian? A mere bagatelle.

"Father," I said, "do you know Miss Everett, my English teacher?"

He remembered the name.

"Would you be willing to do her a great favor?" I demanded intencely.

"What sort of a favor?"

"Her couzin has written a play. She is very fond of her couzin, and
anxious to have him suceed. And it is a lovely play."

He held me off and stared at me.

"So THAT is what you were doing in that box alone!" he exclaimed. "You
incomprehensable child! Why didn't you tell your mother?"

"Mother does not always understand," I said, in a low voice. "I thought,
by buying a Box, I would do my part to help Miss Everett's couzin's play
suceed. And as a result I was draged home, and shamefully treated in the
most mortafying maner. But I am acustomed to brutalaty."

"Oh, come now," he said. "I wouldn't go as far as that, chicken. Well, I
won't finanse the play, but short of that I'll do what I can."

However he was not so agreable when I told him Carter Brooks' plan. He
delivered a firm no.

"Although," he said, "sombody ought to do it, and show the falasy of
the Play. In the first place, the world doesn't owe the fellow a
living, unless he will hustel around and make it. In the second place
an employer has a right to turn away a man he doesn't want. No one can
force Capitle to employ Labor."

"Well," I said, "as long as Labor talks and makes a lot of noise, and
Capitle is to dignafied to say anything, most people are going to side
with Labor."

He gazed at me.

"Right!" he said. "You've put your finger on it, in true femanine
fashion."

"Then why won't you throw out this man when he comes to you for Work? He
intends to force you to employ him."

"Oh, he does, does he?" said father, in a feirce voice. "Well, let him
come. I can stand up for my Principals, to. I'll throw him out, all
right."

Dear Dairy, the battle is over and I have won. I am very happy. How true
it is that strategy will do more than violance!

We have aranged it all. Adrian is to go to the mill, dressed like a
decayed Gentleman, and father will refuse to give him work. I have said
nothing about violance, leaving that to arange itself.

I must see Adrian and his manager. Carter has promised to tell some
reporters that there may be a story at the mill on Saturday morning. I
am to excited to sleep.

Feel horid. Forbiden to go out this morning.


JANUARY 25TH. Beresford was here to lunch and he and mother and Sis had
a long talk. He says he has kept it a secret because he did not want his
Busness known. But he is here to place a shell order for the English War
Department.

"Well," Leila said, "I can hardly wait to tell father and see him curl
up."

"No, no," said Beresford, hastily. "Realy you must allow me I must
inform him myself. I am sure you can see why. This is a thing for men to
settle. Besides, it is a delacate matter. Mr. Archibald is trying to get
the Order, and our New York office, if I am willing, is ready to place
it with him."

"Well!" said Leila, in a thunderstruck tone. "If you British don't beat
anything for keeping your own Counsel!"

I could see that he had her hand under the table. It was sickning.

Jane came to see me after lunch. The wedding was that night, and I had
to sit through silver vegatable dishes, and after-dinner coffee sets and
plates and a grand piano and a set of gold vazes and a cabushon saphire
and the bridesmaid's clothes and the wedding supper and heaven knows
what. But at last she said:

"You dear thing--how weary and wan you look!"

I closed my eyes.

"But you don't intend to give him up, do you?"

"Look at me!" I said, in imperious tones. "Do I look like one who would
give him up, because of Familey objections?"

"How brave you are!" she observed. "Bab, I am green with envy. When I
think of the way he looked at you, and the tones of his voice when he
made love to that--that creature, I am posatively SHAKEN."

We sat in somber silence. Then she said:

"I darsay he detests the Heroine, doesn't he?"

"He tolarates her," I said, with a shrug.

More silense. I rang for Hannah to bring some ice water. We were in my
BOUDOIR.

"I saw him yesterday," said Jane, when Hannah had gone.

"Jane!"

"In the park. He was with the woman that plays the Adventuress. Ugly old
thing."

I drew a long breath of relief. For I knew that the Adventuress was at
least thirty and perhaps more. Besides being both wicked and cruel, and
not at all femanine.

Hannah brought the ice-water and then came in the most madening way and
put her hand on my Forehead.

"I've done nothing but bring you ice-water for to days," she said. "Your
head's hot. I think you need a musterd foot bath and to go to bed."

"Hannah," Jane said, in her loftyest fashion, "Miss Barbara is woried,
not ill. And please close the door when you go out."

Which was her way of telling Hannah to go. Hannah glared at her.

"If you take my advice, Miss Jane," she said. "You'll keep away from
Miss Barbara."

And she went out, slaming the door.

"Well!" gasped Jane. "Such impertanence. Old servant or not, she ought
to have her mouth slaped."

Well, I told Jane the plan and she was perfectly crazy about it. I had
a headache, but she helped me into my street things, and got Sis's rose
hat for me while Sis was at the telephone. Then we went out.

First we telephoned Carter Brooks, and he said tomorrow morning would
do, and he'd give a couple of reporters the word to hang around father's
office at the mill. He said to have Adrian there at ten o'clock.

"Are you sure your father will do it?" he asked. "We don't want a
flivver, you know."

"He's making a principal of it," I said. "When he makes a principal of a
thing, he does it."

"Good for father!" Carter said. "Tell him not to be to gentle. And tell
your Actor-friend to make a lot of fuss. The more the better. I'll see
the Policeman at the mill, and he'll probably take him up. But we'll get
him out for the matinee. And watch the evening papers."

It was then that a terrable thought struck me. What if Adrian considered
it beneath his profession to advertize, even if indirectly? What if he
prefered the failure of Miss Everett's couzin's play to a bruize on the
eye? What, in short, if he refused?

Dear Dairy, I was stupafied. I knew not which way to turn. For Men are
not like Women, who are dependible and anxious to get along, and will
sacrifise anything for Success. No, men are likely to turn on the ones
they love best, if the smallest Things do not suit them, such as cold
soup, or sleaves to long from the shirt-maker, or plans made which they
have not been consulted about beforhand.

"Darling!" said Jane, as I turned away, "you look STRICKEN!"

"My head aches," I said, with a weary gesture toward my forehead. It did
ache, for that matter. It is acheing now, dear Dairy.

However, I had begun my task and must go through with it. Abandoning
Jane at a corner, in spite of her calling me cruel and even sneeking, I
went to Adrian's hotel, which I had learned of during my SEANCE in
his room while he was changing his garments behind a screan, as it was
marked on a dressing case.

It was then five o'clock.

How nervous I felt as I sent up my name to his chamber. Oh, dear Dairy,
to think that it was but five hours ago that I sat and waited, while
people who guessed not the inner trepadation of my heart past and
repast, and glansed at me and at Leila's pink hat above.

At last he came. My heart beat thunderously, as he aproached, strideing
along in that familiar walk, swinging his strong and tender arms. And I!
I beheld him coming and could think of not a word to say.

"Well!" he said, pausing in front of me. "I knew I was going to be lucky
today. Friday is my best day."

"I was born on Friday," I said. I could think of nothing else.

"Didn't I say it was my lucky day? But you mustn't sit here. What do you
say to a cup of tea in the restarant?"

How grown up and like a DEBUTANTE I felt, dear Dairy, going to have
tea as if I had it every day at School, with a handsome actor across!
Although somwhat uneasy also, owing to the posibility of the Familey
coming in. But it did not and I had a truly happy hour, not at all
spoiled by looking out the window and seeing Jane going by, with her
eyes popping out, and walking very slowly so I would invite her to come
in.

WHICH I DID NOT.

Dear Dairy, HE WILL DO IT. At first he did not understand, and looked
astounded. But when I told him of Carter being in the advertizing
busness, and father owning a large mill, and that there would be
reporters and so on, he became thoughtfull.

"It's realy incredably clever," he said. "And if it's pulled off right
it ought to be a Stampede. But I'd like to see Mr. Brooks. We can't have
it fail, you know." He leaned over the table. "It's straight goods, is
it, Miss er--Barbara? There's nothing foney about it?"

"Foney!" I said, drawing back. "Certainly not."

He kept on leaning over the table.

"I wonder," he said, "what makes you so interested in the Play?"

Oh, Dairy, Dairy!

And just then I looked up, and the Adventuress was staring in the door
at me with the MEANEST look on her face.

I draw a Veil over the remainder of our happy hour. Suffice it to say
that he considers me exactly the tipe he finds most atractive, and that
he does not consider my noze to short. We had a long dispute about this.
He thinks I am wrong and says I am not an acquiline tipe. He says I am
romantic and of a loving disposition. Also somwhat reckless, and he
gave me good advice about doing what my Familey consider for my good, at
least until I come out.

But our talk was all to short, for a fat man with three rings on came
in, and sat down with us, and ordered a whiskey and soda. My blood
turned cold, for fear some one I knew would come in and see me sitting
there in a drinking party.

And my blood was right to turn cold. For, just as he had told the
manager about the arangement I had made, and the manager said "Bully"
and raised his glass to drink to me I looked across and there was
mother's aunt, old Susan Paget, sitting near, with the most awfull face
I ever saw!

I colapsed in my chair.

Dear Dairy, I only remember saying, "Well, remember, ten o'clock. And
dress up like a Gentleman in hard luck," and his saying: "Well, I hope
I'm a Gentleman, and the hard luck's no joke," and then I went away.

And now, dear Dairy, I am in bed, and every time the telephone rings
I have a chill. And in between times I drink ice-water and sneaze. How
terrable a thing is Love.


LATER: I can hardly write. Switzerland is a settled thing. Father is not
home tonight and I cannot apeal to him. Susan Paget said I was drinking
to, and mother is having the vibrater used on her spine. If I felt
better I would run away.


JANUARY 26TH. How can I write what has happened? It is so terrable.

Beresford went at ten o'clock to ask for Leila, and did not send in his
card for fear father would refuse to see him. And father thought, from
his saying that he had come to ask for somthing, and so on, that it
was Adrian, and threw him out. He ordered him out first, and Beresford
refused to go, and they had words, and then there was a fight. The
Reporters got it, and it is in all the papers. Hannah has just brought
one in. It is headed "Manufacturer assaults Peer." Leila is in bed, and
the doctor is with her.


LATER: Adrian has disapeared. The manager has just called up, and with
shaking knees I went to the telephone. Adrian went to the mill a little
after ten, and has not been seen since.

It is in vain I protest that he has not eloped with me. It is almost
time now for the Matinee and no Adrian. What shall I do?


SATURDAY, 11 P.M. Dear Dairy, I have the meazles. I am all broken out,
and look horible. But what is a sickness of the Body compared to the
agony of my Mind? Oh, dear Dairy, to think of what has happened since
last I saw your stainless Pages!

What is a sickness to a broken heart? And to a heart broken while trying
to help another who did not deserve to be helped. But if he decieved me,
he has paid for it, and did until he was rescued at ten o'clock tonight.

I have been given a sleeping medacine, and until it takes affect I shall
write out the tradgedy of this day, omiting nothing. The trained nurse
is asleep on a cot, and her cap is hanging on the foot of the bed.

I have tried it on, dear Dairy, and it is very becoming. If they insist
on Switzerland I think I shall run away and be a trained nurse. It is
easy work, although sleeping on a cot is not always comfortible. But
at least a trained nurse leads her own Life and is not bully-ed by her
Familey. And more, she does good constantly.

I feel tonight that I should like to do good, and help the sick, and
perhaps go to the Front. I know a lot of college men in the American
Ambulence.

I shall never go on the stage, dear Dairy. I know now its decietfullness
and visisitudes. My heart has bled until it can bleed no more, as a
result of a theatricle Adonis. I am through with the theater forever.

I shall begin at the beginning. I left off where Adrian had disapeared.

Although feeling very strange, and looking a queer red color in my
mirror, I rose and dressed myself. I felt that somthing had slipped, and
I must find Adrian. (It is strange with what coldness I write that once
beloved name.)

While dressing I percieved that my chest and arms were covered
with small red dots, but I had no time to think of myself. I sliped
downstairs and outside the drawing room I heard mother conversing in a
loud and angry tone with a visitor. I glansed in, and ye gods!

It was the Adventuress.

Drawing somwhat back, I listened. Oh, Dairy, what a revalation!

"But I MUST see her," she was saying. "Time is flying. In a half hour
the performance begins, and--he cannot be found."

"I can't understand," mother said, in a stiff maner. "What can my
daughter Barbara know about him?"

The Adventuress snifed. "Humph!" she said. "She knows, all right. And
I'd like to see her in a hurry, if she is in the house."

"Certainly she is in the house," said mother.

"ARE YOU SURE OF THAT? Because I have every reason to beleive she has
run away with him. She has been hanging around him all week, and only
yesterday afternoon I found them together. She had some sort of a Skeme,
he said afterwards, and he wrinkled a coat under his mattress last
night. He said it was to look as if he had slept in it. I know nothing
further of your daughter's Skeme. But I know he went out to meet her. He
has not been seen since. His manager has hunted for to hours."

"Just a moment," said mother, in a fridgid tone. "Am I to understand
that this--this Mr. Egleston is----"

"He is my Husband."

Ah, dear Dairy, that I might then and there have passed away. But I did
not. I stood there, with my heart crushed, until I felt strong enough to
escape. Then I fled, like a Gilty Soul. It was gastly.

On the doorstep I met Jane. She gazed at me strangely when she saw my
face, and then cluched me by the arm.

"Bab!" she cried. "What on the earth is the matter with your
complexion?"

But I was desparate.

"Let me go!" I said. "Only lend me two dollars for a taxi and let me go.
Somthing horible has happened."

She gave me ninety cents, which was all she had, and I rushed down the
street, followed by her peircing gaze.

Although realizing that my Life, at least the part of it pertaining to
sentament, was over, I knew that, single or married, I must find him.
I could not bare to think that I, in my desire to help, had ruined
Miss Everett's couzin's play. Luckaly I got a taxi at the corner, and
I ordered it to drive to the mill. I sank back, bathed in hot
persparation, and on consulting my bracelet watch found I had but twenty
five minutes until the curtain went up.

I must find him, but where and how! I confess for a moment that I
doubted my own father, who can be very feirce on ocasion. What if,
madened by his mistake about Beresford, he had, on being aproached by
Adrian, been driven to violance? What if, in my endeaver to help one who
was unworthy, I had led my poor paternal parent into crime?

Hell is paved with good intentions. SAMUEL JOHNSTON.


On driving madly into the mill yard, I sudenly remembered that it was
Saturday and a half holaday. The mill was going, but the offices were
closed. Father, then, was imured in the safety of his Club, and could
not be reached except by pay telephone. And the taxi was now ninty
cents.

I got out, and paid the man. I felt very dizzy and queer, and was very
thirsty, so I went to the hydrent in the yard and got a drink of water.
I did not as yet suspect meazles, but laid it all to my agony of mind.

Haveing thus refreshed myself, I looked about, and saw the yard
Policeman, a new one who did not know me, as I am away at school most of
the time, and the Familey is not expected to visit the mill, because of
dirt and possable accidents.

I aproached him, however, and he stood still and stared at me.

"Officer" I said, in my most dignafied tones. "I am looking for a--for a
Gentleman who came here this morning to look for work."

"There was about two hundred lined up here this morning, Miss," he said.
"Which one would it be, now?"

How my heart sank!

"About what time would he be coming?" he said. "Things have been kind of
mixed-up around here today, owing to a little trouble this morning. But
perhaps I'll remember him."

But, although Adrian is of an unusual tipe, I felt that I could not
describe him, besides having a terrable headache. So I asked if he would
lend me carfare, which he did with a strange look.

"You're not feeling sick, Miss, are you?" he said. But I could not stay
to converce, as it was then time for the curtain to go up, and still no
Adrian.

I had but one refuge in mind, Carter Brooks, and to him I fled on the
wings of misery in the street car. I burst into his advertizing office
like a furey.

"Where is he?" I demanded. "Where have you and your plotting hidden
him?"

"Who? Beresford?" he asked in a placid maner. "He is at his hotel, I
beleive, putting beefstake on a bad eye. Beleive me, Bab----"

"Beresford!" I cried, in scorn and wrechedness. "What is he to me? Or
his eye either? I refer to Mr. Egleston. It is time for the curtain
to go up now, and unless he has by this time returned, there can be no
performence."

"Look here," Carter said sudenly, "you look awfuly queer, Bab. Your
face----"

I stamped my foot.

"What does my face matter?" I demanded. "I no longer care for him, but I
have ruined Miss Everett's couzin's play unless he turns up. Am I to be
sent to Switzerland with that on my Soul?"

"Switzerland!" he said slowly. "Why, Bab, they're not going to do that,
are they? I--I don't want you so far away."

Dear Dairy, I am unsuspisious by nature, beleiving all mankind to be my
friends until proven otherwise. But there was a gloating look in Carter
Brooks' eyes as they turned on me.

"Carter!" I said, "you know where he is and you will not tell me. You
WISH to ruin him."

I was about to put my hand on his arm, but he drew away.

"Look here," he said. "I'll tell you somthing, but please keep back.
Because you look like smallpox to me. I was at the mill this morning.
I do not know anything about your Actor-friend. He's probably only
been run over or somthing. But I saw Beresford going in, and I--well, I
sugested that he'd better walk in on your father or he wouldn't get in.
It worked, Bab. HOW IT DID WORK! He went in and said he had come to ask
your father for somthing, and your father blew up by saying that he knew
about it, but that the world only owed a living to the man who would
hustle for it, and that he would not be forced to take any one he did
not want.

"And in to minutes Beresford hit him, and got a responce. It was a
Million dollars worth."

So he babbled on. But what were his words to me?

Dear Dairy, I gave no thought to the smallpox he had mentioned, although
fatle to the complexion. Or to the fight at the mill. I heard only
Adrian's possable tradgic fate. Sudenly I colapsed, and asked for a
drink of water, feeling horible, very wobbley and unable to keep my
knees from bending.

And the next thing I remember is father taking me home, and Adrian's
fate still a deep mystery, and remaining such, while I had a warm sponge
to bring out the rest of the rash, folowed by a sleep--it being meazles
and not smallpox.

Oh, dear Dairy, what a story I learned when haveing wakened and feeling
better, my father came tonight and talked to me from the doorway, not
being allowed in.

Adrian had gone to the mill, and father, haveing thrown Beresford out
and asserted his principals, had not thrown him out, BUT HAD GIVEN HIM
A JOB IN THE MILL. And the Policeman had given him no chance to escape,
which he atempted. He was dragged to the shell plant and there locked
in, because of spies. The plant is under Milatary Guard.

AND THERE HE HAD BEEN COMPELED TO DRAG A WHEELBARROW BACK AND FORTH,
CONTAINING CHARCOAL FOR A SMALL FURNASE, FOR HOURS!

Even when Carter found him he could not be releaced, as father was in
hiding from Reporters, and would not go to the telephone or see callers.

HE LABORED UNTIL TEN P. M., while the theater remained dark, and people
got their money back.

I have ruined him. I have also ruined Miss Everett's couzin.

* * * * *

The nurse is still asleep. I think I will enter a hospitle. My career is
ended, my Life is blasted.

I reach under the mattress and draw out the picture of him who today
I have ruined, compeling him to do manual labor for hours, although
unacustomed to it. He is a great actor, and I beleive has a future. But
my love for him is dead. Dear Dairy, he decieved me, and that is one
thing I cannot forgive.

So now I sit here among my pillows, while the nurse sleeps, and I
reflect about many Things. But one speach rings in my ears over and
over.

Carter Brooks, on learning about Switzerland, said it in a strange
maner, looking at me with inscrutible eyes.

"Switzerland! Why, Bab--I don't want you to go so far away."

WHAT DID HE MEAN BY IT?

* * * * *

Dear Dairy, you will have to be burned, I darsay. Perhaps it is as well.
I have p o r e d out my H-e-a-r-t----



CHAPTER IV

BAB'S BURGLAR

"MONEY is the root of all Evil."

I do not know who said the above famous words, but they are true. I know
it but to well. For had I never gone on an Allowence, and been in debt
and always worried about the way silk stockings wear out, et cetera, I
would be having a much better time. For who can realy enjoy a dress when
it is not paid for or only partialy so?

I have decided to write out this story, which is true in every
particuler, except here and there the exact words of conversation, and
then sell it to a Magazine. I intend to do this for to reasons. First,
because I am in Debt, especialy for to tires, and second, because
parents will then read it, and learn that it is not possable to make a
good appearence, including furs, theater tickets and underwear, for a
Thousand Dollars a year, even if one wears plain uncouth things beneath.
I think this, too. My mother does not know how much clothes and other
things, such as manacuring, cost these days. She merely charges things
and my father gets the bills. Nor do I consider it fair to expect me
to atend Social Functions and present a good appearence on a small
Allowence, when I would often prefer a simple game of tennis or to lie
in a hammick, or to converce with some one I am interested in, of the
Other Sex.

It was mother who said a Thousand dollars a year and no extras. But I
must confess that to me, after ten dollars a month at school, it seemed
a large sum. I had but just returned for the summer holadays, and the
Familey was having a counsel about me. They always have a counsel when I
come home, and mother makes a list, begining with the Dentist.

"I should make it a Thousand," she said to father. "The child is in
shameful condition. She is never still, and she fidgits right through
her clothes."

"Very well," said father, and got his Check Book. "That is $83.33 1/3
cents a month. Make it thirty four cents. But no bills, Barbara."

"And no extras," my mother observed, in a stern tone.

"Candy, tennis balls and matinee tickets?" I asked.

"All included," said father. "And Church collection also, and ice cream
and taxicabs and Xmas gifts."

Although pretending to consider it small, I realy felt that it was a
large amount, and I was filled with joy when father ordered a Check Book
for me with my name on each Check. Ah, me! How happy I was!

I was two months younger then and possably childish in some ways. For I
remember that in my exhiliration I called up Jane Raleigh the moment she
got home. She came over, and I showed her the book.

"Bab!" she said. "A thousand dollars! Why, it is wealth."

"It's not princly," I observed. "But it will do, Jane."

We then went out and took a walk, and I treated her to a Facial Masage,
having one myself at the same time, having never been able to aford it
before.

"It's Heavenley, Bab," Jane observed to me, through a hot towle. "If I
were you I should have one daily. Because after all, what are features
if the skin is poor?"

We also had manacures, and as the young person was very nice, I gave her
a dollar. As I remarked to Jane, it had taken all the lines out of my
face, due to the Spring Term and examinations. And as I put on my hat,
I could see that it had done somthing else. For the first time my face
showed Character. I looked mature, if not, indeed, even more.

I paid by a Check, although they did not care about taking it, prefering
cash. But on calling up the Bank accepted it, and also another check for
cold cream, and a fancy comb.

I had, as I have stated, just returned from my Institution of Learning,
and now, as Jane and I proceded to a tea place I had often viewed with
hungry eyes but no money to spend, it being expencive, I suddenly said:

"Jane, do you ever think how ungrateful we are to those who cherish us
through the school year and who, although stern at times, are realy our
Best Friends?"

"Cherish us!" said Jane. "I haven't noticed any cherishing. They
tolarate me, and hardly that."

"I fear you are pessamistic," I said, reproving her but mildly, for
Jane's school is well known to be harsh and uncompromizing. "However,
my own feelings to my Instructers are diferent and quite friendly,
especialy at a distance. I shall send them flowers."

It was rather awful, however, after I had got inside the shop, to find
that violets, which I had set my heart on as being the school flour,
were five dollars a hundred. Also there were more teachers than I had
considered, some of them making but small impression on account of
mildness.

THERE WERE EIGHT.

"Jane!" I said, in desparation. "Eight without the housekeeper! And she
must be remembered because if not she will be most unpleasant next fall,
and swipe my chaffing dish. Forty five dollars is a lot of Money."

"You only have to do it once," said Jane, who could aford to be calm, as
it was costing her nothing.

However, I sent the violets and paid with a check. I felt better by
subtracting the amount from one thousand. I had still $945.00, less the
facials and so on, which had been ten.

This is not a finantial story, although turning on Money. I do not
wish to be considered as thinking only of Wealth. Indeed, I have always
considered that where my heart was in question I would always decide for
Love and penury rather than a Castle and greed. In this I differ from
my sister Leila, who says that under no circumstanses would she ever
inspect a refrigerater to see if the cook was wasting anything.

I was not worried about the violets, as I consider Money spent as
but water over a damn, and no use worrying about. But I was no longer
hungry, and I observed this to Jane.

"Oh, come on," she said, in an impatient maner. "I'll pay for it."

I can read Jane's inmost thoughts, and I read them then. She considered
that I had cold feet financially, although with almost $945.00 in the
bank. Therefore I said at once:

"Don't be silly. It is my party. And we'll take some candy home."

However, I need not have worried, for we met Tommy Gray in the tea shop,
and he paid for everything.

I pause here to reflect. How strange to look back, and think of all
that has since hapened, and that I then considered that Tommy Gray was
interested in Jane and never gave me a thought. Also that I considered
that the look he gave me now and then was but a friendly glanse! Is it
not strange that Romanse comes thus into our lives, through the medium
of a tea-cup, or an eclair, unheralded and unsung, yet leaving us never
the same again?

Even when Tommy bought us candy and carried mine under his arm while
leaving Jane to get her own from the counter, I suspected nothing. But
when he said to me, "Gee, Bab, you're geting to be a regular Person,"
and made no such remark to Jane, I felt that it was rather pointed.

Also, on walking up the Avenue, he certainly walked nearer me than Jane.
I beleive she felt it, to, for she made a sharp speach or to about his
Youth, and what he meant to do when he got big. And he replied by saying
that she was big enough allready, which hurt because Jane is plump and
will eat starches anyhow.

Tommy Gray had improved a great deal since Xmas. He had at that time
apeared to long for his head. I said this to Jane, SOTO VOCE, while he
was looking at some neckties in a window.

"Well, his head is big enough now," she said in a snapish maner. "It
isn't very long, Bab, since you considered him a mere Child."

"He is twenty," I asserted, being one to stand up for my friends under
any and all circumstanses.

Jane snifed.

"Twenty!" she exclaimed. "He's not eighteen yet. His very noze is
imature."

Our discourse was interupted by the object of it, who requested an
opinion on the ties. He ignored Jane entirely.

We went in, and I purchaced a handsome tie for father, considering it
but right thus to show my apreciation of his giving me the Allowence.

It was seventy five cents, and I made out a check for the amount and
took the tie with me. We left Jane soon after, as she insisted on
adressing Tommy as dear child, or "MON ENFANT," and strolled on
together, oblivious to the World, by the World forgot. Our conversation
was largely about ourselves, Tommv maintaining that I gave an impression
of fridgidity, and that all the College men considered me so.

"Better fridgidity," I retorted, "than softness. But I am sincere. I
stick to my friends through thick and thin."

Here he observed that my Chin was romantic, but that my Ears were
stingy, being small and close to my head. This irratated me, although
glad they are small. So I bought him a gardenia to wear from a
flour-seller, but as the flour-seller refused a check, he had to pay for
it.

In exchange he gave me his Frat pin to wear.

"You know what that means, don't you, Bab?" he said, in a low and
thriling tone. "It means, if you wear it, that you are my--well, you're
my girl."

Although thriled, I still retained my practacality.

"Not exclusively, Tom," I said, in a firm tone. "We are both young, and
know little of Life. Some time, but not as yet."

He looked at me with a searching glanse.

"I'll bet you have a couple of dozen Frat pins lying around, Bab," he
said savigely. "You're that sort. All the fellows are sure to be crasy
about you. And I don't intend to be an Also-ran."

"Perhaps," I observed, in my most dignafied maner. "But no one has ever
tried to bully me before. I may be young, but the Other Sex have always
treated me with respect."

I then walked up the steps and into my home, leaving him on the pavment.
It was cruel, but I felt that it was best to start right.

But I was troubled and DISTRAIT during dinner, which consisted of mutton
and custard, which have no appeal for me owing to having them to often
at school. For I had, although not telling an untruth, allowed Tom to
think that I had a dozen or so Frat pins, although I had none at all.

Still, I reflected, why not? Is it not the only way a woman can do when
in conflict with the Other Sex, to meet Wile with Gile? In other words,
to use her intellagence against brute force? I fear so.

Men do not expect truth from us, so why disapoint them?

During the salid mother inquired what I had done during the afternoon.

"I made a few purchaces," I said.

"I hope you bought some stockings and underclothes," she observed.
"Hannah cannot mend your chemises any more, and as for your----"

"Mother!" I said, turning scarlet, for George--who was the Butler, as
Tanney had been found kissing Jane--was at that moment bringing in the
cheeze.

"I am not going to interfere with your Allowence," she went on. "But I
recall very distinctly that during Leila's first year she came home with
three evening wraps and one nightgown, having to borrow from one of
her schoolmates, while that was being washed. I feel that you should at
least be warned."

How could I then state that instead of bying nightgowns, et cetera,
I had been sending violets? I could not. If Life to my Familey was a
matter of petticoats, and to me was a matter of fragrant flours, why
cause them to suffer by pointing out the diference?

I did not feel superior. Only diferent.

That evening, while mother and Leila were out at a Festivaty, I gave
father his neck-tie. He was overcome with joy and for a moment could not
speak. Then he said:

"Good gracious, Bab! What a--what a DIFERENT necktie."

I explained my reasons for buying it for him, and also Tom Gray's
objecting to it as to juvenile.

"Young impudense!" said father, refering to Tom. "I darsay I am quite an
old fellow to him. Tie it for me, Bab."

"Though old of body, you are young in mentalaty," I said. But he only
laughed, and then asked about the pin, which I wore over my heart.

"Where did you get that?" he asked in quite a feirce voice.

I told him, but not quite all. It was the first time I had concealed an
AMOUR from my parents, having indeed had but few, and I felt wicked
and clandestine. But, alas, it is the way of the heart to conceal its
deepest feelings, save for blushes, which are beyond bodily control.

My father, however, mearly sighed and observed:

"So it has come at last!"

"What has come at last?" I asked, but feeling that he meant Love. For
although forty-two and not what he once was, he still remembers his
Youth.

But he refused to anser, and inquired politely if I felt to much
grown-up, with the Allowence and so on, to be held on knees and
occasionaly tickeled, as in other days.

Which I did not.

That night I stood at the window of my Chamber and gazed with a heaving
heart at the Gray residense, which is next door. Often before I had
gazed at its walls, and considered them but brick and morter, and
needing paint. Now my emotions were diferent. I realized that a House is
but a shell, covering and protecting its precious contents from weather
and curious eyes, et cetera.

As I stood there, I percieved a light in an upper window, where
the nursery had once been in which Tom--in those days when a child,
Tommy--and I had played as children, he frequently pulling my hair and
never thinking of what was to be. As I gazed, I saw a figure come to the
window and gaze fixedly at me. IT WAS HE.

Hannah was in my room, making a list of six of everything which I
needed, so I dared not call out. But we exchanged gestures of afection
and trust across the void, and with a beating heart I retired to bed.

Before I slept, however, I put to myself this question, but found no
anser to it. How can it be that two people of Diferent Sexes can know
each other well, such as calling by first names and dancing together at
dancing school, and going to the same dentist, and so on, and have no
interest in each other except to have a partner at parties or make up a
set at tennis? And then nothing happens, but there is a diference, and
they are always hoping to meet on the street or elsewhere, and although
quareling sometimes when together, are not happy when apart! How strange
is Life!

Hannah staid in my room that evening, fussing about my not hanging up my
garments when undressing. As she has lived with us for a long time, and
used to take me for walks when Mademoiselle had the toothache, which was
often, because she hated to walk, she knows most of the Familey affairs,
and is sometimes a nusance.

So, while I said my prayers, she looked in my Check Book. I was furious,
and snached it from her, but she had allready seen to much.

"Humph!" she said. "Well, all I've got to say is this, Miss Bab. You'll
last just twenty days at the rate you are going, and will have to go
stark naked all year."

At this indelacate speach I ordered her out of the room, but she only
tucked the covers in and asked me if I had brushed my teeth.

"You know," she said, "that you'll be coming to me for money when you
run out, Miss Bab, as you've always done, and expecting me to patch and
mend and make over your old things, when I've got my hands full anyhow.
And you with a Fortune fritered away."

"I wish to think, Hannah," I said in a plaintive tone. "Please go away."

But she came and stood over me.

"Now you're going to be a good girl this Summer and not give any
trouble, aren't you?" she asked. "Because we're upset enough as it is,
and your poor mother most distracted, without you're cutting loose as
usual and driving everybody crazy."

I sat up in bed, forgetful that the window was now open for the night,
and that I was visable from the Gray's in my ROBE DE NUIT.

"Whose distracted about what?" I asked.

But Hannah would say no more, and left me a pray to doubt and fear.

Alas, Hannah was right. There was something wrong in the house. Coming
home as I had done, full of the joy of no rising bell or French grammar,
or meat pie on Mondays from Sunday's roast, I had noticed nothing.

I fear I am one who lives for the Day only, and as such I beleive that
when people smile they are happy, forgetfull that to often a smile
conceals an aching and tempestuous Void within.

Now I was to learn that the demon Strife had entered my domacile, there
to make his--or her--home. I do not agree with that poet, A. J. Ryan,
date forgoten, who observed:

     Better a day of strife
     Than a Century of sleep.

Although naturaly no one wishes to sleep for a Century, or even
approxamately.

There was Strife in the house. The first way I noticed it, aside from
Hannah's anonamous remark, was by observing that Leila was mopeing. She
acted very strangely, giving me a pair of pink hoze without more than a
hint on my part, and not sending me out of the room when Carter Brooks
came in to tea the next day.

I had staid at home, fearing that if I went out I should purchace some
CREPE DE CHENE combinations I had been craving in a window, and besides
thinking it possable that Tom would drop in to renew our relations of
yesterday, not remembering that there was a Ball Game.

Mother having gone out to the Country Club, I put my hair on top of my
head, thus looking as adult as possable. Taking a new detective story of
Jane's under my arm, I descended the staircase to the library.

Sis was there, curled up in a chair, knitting for the soldiers. Having
forgoten the Ball Game, as I have stated, I asked her, in case I had a
caller, to go away, which, considering she has the house to herself all
winter, I considered not to much.

"A caller!" she said. "Since when have you been allowed to have
callers?"

I looked at her steadily.

"I am young," I observed, "and still in the school room, Leila. I admit
it, so don't argue. But as I have not taken the veil, and as this is
not a Penitentary, I darsav I can see my friends now and anon, especialy
when they live next door."

"Oh!" she said. "It's the Gray infant, is it!"

This remark being purely spiteful, I ignored it and sat down to my book,
which concerned the stealing of some famous Emerelds, the heroine being
a girl detective who could shoot the cork out of a bottle at a great
distance, and whose name was Barbara!

It was for that reason Jane had loaned me the book.

I had reached the place where the Duchess wore the Emerelds to a ball,
above white satin and lillies, the girl detective being dressed as a man
and driving her there, because the Duchess had been warned and hautily
refused to wear the paste copies she had--when Sis said, peavishly:

"Why don't you knit or do somthing useful, Bab?"

I do not mind being picked on by my parents or teachers, knowing it is
for my own good. But I draw the line at Leila. So I replied:

"Knit! If that's the scarf you were on at Christmas, and it looks like
it, because there's the crooked place you wouldn't fix, let me tell you
that since then I have made three socks, heals and all, and they are
probably now on the feet of the Allies."

"Three!" she said. "Why THREE?"

"I had no more wool, and there are plenty of one-leged men anyhow."

I would fane have returned to my book, dreaming between lines, as it
were, of the Romanse which had come into my life the day before. It is,
I have learned, much more interesting to read a book when one has, or
is, experiencing the Tender Passion at the time. For during the love
seens one can then fancy that the impasioned speaches are being made to
oneself, by the object of one's afection. In short, one becomes, even if
but a time, the Heroine.

But I was to have no privacy.

"Bab," Sis said, in a more mild and fraternal tone, "I want you to do
somthing for me."

"Why don't you go and get it yourself?" I said. "Or ring for George?"

"I don't want you to get anything. I want you to go to father and mother
for somthing."

"I'd stand a fine chance to get it!" I said. "Unless it's Calomel or
advice."

Although not suspicous by nature, I now looked at her and saw why I had
recieved the pink hoze. It was not kindness. It was bribery!

"It's this," she explained. "The house we had last year at the seashore
is emty and we can have it. But mother won't go. She--well, she won't
go. They're going to open the country house and stay there."

A few days previously this would have been sad news for me, owing to not
being allowed to go to the Country Club except in the mornings, and no
chance to meet any new people, and no bathing save in the usual tub. But
now I thriled at the information, because the Grays have a place near
the Club also.

For a moment I closed my eyes and saw myself, all in white and decked
with flours, wandering through the meadows and on the links with a
certain Person whose name I need not write, having allready related my
feelings toward him.

I am older now by some weeks, older and sader and wiser. For Tradgedy
has crept into my life, so that somtimes I wonder if it is worth while
to live on and suffer, especialy without an Allowence, and being again
obliged to suplicate for the smallest things.

But I am being brave. And, as Carter Brooks wrote me in a recent letter,
acompanying a box of candy:

"After all, Bab, you did your durndest. And if they do not understand, I
do, and I'm proud of you. As for being `blited,' as per your note to me,
remember that I am, also. Why not be blited together?"

This latter, of course, is not serious, as he is eight years older than
I, and even fills in at middle-aged Dinners, being handsome and dressing
well, although poor.

Sis's remarks were interupted by the clamor of the door bell. I placed a
shaking hand over the Frat pin, beneath which my heart was beating only
for HIM. And waited.

What was my dispair to find it but Carter Brooks!

Now there had been a time when to have Carter Brooks sit beside me, as
now, and treat me as fully out in Society, would have thriled me to the
core. But that day had gone. I realized that he was not only to old,
but to flirtatous. He was one who would not look on a woman's Love as
precious, but as a plaything.

"Barbara," he said to me. "I do not beleive that Sister is glad to see
me."

"I don't have to look at you," Sis said, "I can knit."

"Tell me, Barbara," he said to me beseachingly, "am I as hard to look at
as all that?"

"I rather like looking at you," I rejoined with cander. "Across the
room."

He said we were not as agreable as we might be, so he picked up a
magazine and looked at the Automobile advertizments.

"I can't aford a car," he said. "Don't listen to me, either of you.
I'm only talking to myself. But I like to read the ads. Hello, here's a
snappy one for five hundred and fifty. Let me see. If I gave up a
couple of Clubs, and smokeing, and flours to DEBUTANTES--except Barbara,
because I intend to buy every pozy in town when she comes out--I
might----"

"Carter," I said, "will you let me see that ad?"

Now the reason I had asked for it was this: in the book the Girl
Detective had a small but powerful car, and she could do anything with
it, even going up the Court House steps once in it and interupting a
trial at the criticle moment.

But I did not, at that time, expect to more than wish for such a
vehical. How pleasant, my heart said, to have a car holding to, and
since there was to be no bathing, et cetera, and I was not allowed
a horse in the country, except my old pony and the basket faeton, to
ramble through the lanes with a choice Spirit, and talk about ourselves
mostly, with a sprinkling of other subjects!

Five hundred and fifty from nine hundred and forty-five leaves three
hundred and forty-five. But I need few garments at school, wearing
mostly unaforms of blue serge with one party frock for Friday nights and
receptions to Lecturers and Members of the Board. And besides, to own a
machine would mean less carfare and no shoes to speak of, because of not
walking.

Jane Raleigh came in about then and I took her upstairs and closed the
door.

"Jane," I said, "I want your advise. And be honest, because it's a
serious matter."

"If it's Tommy Gray," she said, in a contemptable manner, "don't."

How could I know, as revealed later, that Jane had gone on a Diet since
yesterday, owing to a certain remark, and had had nothing but an apple
all day? I could not. I therfore stared at her steadily and observed:

"I shall never ask for advise in matters of the Heart. There I draw the
line."

However, she had seen some caromels on my table, and suddenly burst into
emotion. I was worried, not knowing the trouble and fearing that Jane
was in love with Tom. It was a terrable thought, for which should I
do? Hold on to him and let her suffer, or remember our long years of
intimacy and give him up to her?

Should I or should I not remove his Frat pin?

However, I was not called upon to renunciate anything. In the midst of
my dispair Jane asked for a Sandwitch and thus releived my mind. I got
her some cake and a bottle of cream from the pantrey and she became more
normle. She swore she had never cared for Tom, he being not her style,
as she had never loved any one who had not black eyes.

"Nothing else matters, Bab," she said, holding out the Sandwitch in a
dramatic way. "I see but his eyes. If they are black, they go through me
like a knife."

"Blue eyes are true eyes," I observed.

"There is somthing feirce about black eyes," she said, finishing the
cream. "I feel this way. One cannot tell what black eyes are thinking.
They are a mystery, and as such they atract me. Almost all murderers
have black eyes."

"Jane!" I exclaimed.

"They mean passion," she muzed. "They are STRONG eyes. Did you ever see
a black-eyed man with glasses? Never. Bab, are you engaged to Tom?"

"Practicaly."

I saw that she wished details, but I am not that sort. I am not the kind
to repeat what has been said to me in the emotion of Love. I am one to
bury sentament deep in my heart, and have therfore the reputation of
being cold and indiferent. But better that than having the Male Sex
afraid to tell me how I effect them for fear of it being repeated to
other girls, as some do.

"Of course it cannot be soon, if at all," I said. "He has three more
years of College, and as you know, here they regard me as a child."

"You have your own income."

That reminded me of the reason for my having sought the privasy of my
Chamber. I said:

"Jane, I am thinking of buying an automobile. Not a Limousine, but
somthing styleish and fast. I must have Speed, if nothing else."

She stopped eating a caromel and gave me a stunned look.

"What for?"

"For emergencies."

"Then they disaprove of him?" she said, in a low, tence voice.

"They know but little, although what they suspect--Jane," I said, my
bitterness bursting out, "what am I now? Nothing. A prisoner, or the
equivalent of such, forbiden everything because I am to young! My Soul
hampered by being taken to the country where there is nothing to do,
given a pony cart, although but 20 months younger than Leila, and not
going to come out until she is married, or permanently engaged."

"It IS hard," said Jane. "Heart-breaking, Bab."

We sat, in deep and speachless gloom. At last Jane said:

"Has she anyone in sight?"

"How do I know? They keep me away at School all year. I am but a
stranger here, although I try hard to be otherwise."

"Because we might help along, if there is anyone. To get her married is
your only hope, Bab. They're afraid of you. That's all. You're the tipe
to atract Men, except your noze, and you could help that by pulling it.
My couzin did that, only she did it to much, and made it pointed."

I looked in my mirror and sighed. I have always desired an aristocratic
noze, but a noze cannot be altered like teeth, unless broken and then
generaly not improved.

"I have tried a shell hair pin at night, but it falls off when I go to
sleep," I said, in a despondant manner.

We sat for some time, eating caromels and thinking about Leila, because
there was nothing to do with my noze, but Leila was diferent.

"Although," Jane said, "you will never be able to live your own Life
until she is gone, Bab."

"There is Carter Brooks," I suggested. "But he is poor. And anyhow she
is not in Love with him."

"Leila is not one to care about Love," said Jane. "That makes it
eazier."

"But whom?" I said. "Whom, Jane?"

We thought and thought, but of course it was hard, for we knew none of
those who filled my sister's life, or sent her flours and so on.

At last I said:

"There must be a way, Jane. THERE MUST BE. And if not, I shall make one.
For I am desparate. The mere thought of going back to school, when I am
as old as at present and engaged also, is madening."

But Jane held out a warning hand.

"Go slow, dearie," she said, in a solemn tone. "Do nothing rash.
Remember this, that she is your sister, and should be hapily married if
at all. Also she needs one with a strong hand to control her. And such
are not easy to find. You must not ruin her Life."

Considering the fatal truth of that, is it any wonder that, on
contemplateing the events that folowed, I am ready to cry, with the
great poet Hood: 1835-1874: whose numerous works we studied during the
spring term:

     Alas, I have walked through life
     To heedless where I trod;
     Nay, helping to trampel my fellow worm,
     And fill the burial sod.



II


If I were to write down all the surging thoughts that filled my brain
this would have to be a Novel instead of a Short Story. And I am not one
who beleives in beginning the life of Letters with a long work. I think
one should start with breif Romanse. For is not Romanse itself but
breif, the thing of an hour, at least to the Other Sex?

Women and girls, having no interest outside their hearts, such as
baseball and hockey and earning saleries, are more likely to hug Romanse
to their breasts, until it is finaly drowned in their tears.

I pass over the next few days, therfore, mearly stating that my AFFAIRE
DE COUER went on rapidly, and that Leila was sulkey AND HAD NO MALE
VISITORS. On the day after the Ball Game Tom took me for a walk, and in
a corner of the park, he took my hand and held it for quite a while.
He said he had never been a hand-holder, but he guessed it was time to
begin. Also he remarked that my noze need not worry me, as it exactly
suited my face and nature.

"How does it suit my nature?" I asked.

"It's--well, it's cute."

"I do not care about being cute, Tom," I said ernestly. "It is a word I
despize."

"Cute means kissible, Bab!" he said, in an ardent manner.

"I don't beleive in kissing."

"Well," he observed, "there is kissing and kissing."

But a nurse with a baby in a perambulater came along just then and
nothing happened worth recording. As soon as she had passed, however,
I mentioned that kissing was all right if one was engaged, but not
otherwise. And he said:

"But we are, aren't we?"

Although understood before, it had now come in full force. I, who had
been but Barbara Archibald before, was now engaged. Could it be I who
heard my voice saying, in a low tone, the "yes" of Destiny? It was!

We then went to the corner drug-store and had some soda, although
forbiden by my Familey because of city water being used. How strange
to me to recall that I had once thought the Clerk nice-looking, and had
even purchaced things there, such as soap and chocolate, in order to
speak a few words to him!

I was engaged, dear Reader, but not yet kissed. Tom came into our
vestabule with me, and would doubtless have done so when no one was
passing, but that George opened the door suddenly.

However, what difference, when we had all the rest of our Lives to kiss
in? Or so I then considered.

Carter Brooks came to dinner that night because his people were out of
town, and I think he noticed that I looked mature and dignafied, for he
stared at me a lot. And father said:

"Bab, you're not eating. Is it possable that that boarding school hollow
of yours is filling up?"

One's Familey is apt to translate one's finest Emotions into terms of
food and drink. Yet could I say that it was my Heart and not my Stomache
that was full? I could not.

During dinner I looked at Leila and wondered how she could be married
off. For until so I would continue to be but a Child, and not allowed
to be engaged or anything. I thought if she would eat some starches
it would help, she being pretty but thin. I therfore urged her to eat
potatos and so on, because of evening dress and showing her coller
bones, but she was quite nasty.

"Eat your dinner," she said in an unfraternal maner, "and stop watching
me. They're MY bones."

"I have no intention of being criticle," I said. "And they are your
bones, although not a matter to brag about. But I was only thinking, if
you were fater and had a permanant wave put in your hair, because one of
the girls did and it hardly broke off at all."

She then got up and flung down her napkin.

"Mother!" she said. "Am I to stand this sort of thing indefinately?
Because if I am I shall go to France and scrub floors in a Hospitle."

Well, I reflected, that would be almost as good as having her get
married. Besides being a good chance to marry over there, the unaform
being becoming to most, especialy of Leila's tipe.

That night, in the drawing room, while Sis sulked and father was out and
mother was ofering the cook more money to go to the country, I said to
Carter Brooks:

"Why don't you stop hanging round, and make her marry you?"

"I'd like to know what's running about in that mad head of yours, Bab,"
he said. "Of course if you say so I'll try, but don't count to much on
it. I don't beleive she'll have me. But why this unseemly haste?"

So I told him, and he understood perfectly, although I did not say that
I had already plited my troth.

"Of course," he said. "If that fails there is another method of aranging
things, although you may not care to have the Funeral Baked Meats set
fourth to grace the Marriage Table. If she refuses me, we might become
engaged. You and I."

To proposals in one day. Ye gods!

I was obliged therfore to tell him I was already engaged, and he looked
very queer, especialy when I told him to whom it was.

"Pup!" he said, in a manner which I excused because of his natural
feelings at being preceded. "And of course this is the real thing?"

"I am not one to change easily, Carter" I said. "When I give I give
freely. A thing like this, with me, is to Eternaty, and even beyond."

He is usualy most polite, but he got up then and said:

"Well, I'm dammed."

He went away soon after, and left Sis and me to sit alone, not speaking,
because when she is angry she will not speak to me for days at a time.
But I found a Magazine picture of a Duchess in a nurse's dress and
wearing a fringe, which is English for bangs, and put it on her dressing
table.

I felt that this was subtile and would sink in.

The next day Jane came around early.

"There's a sail on down town, Bab," she said. "Don't you want to begin
laying away underclothes for your TROUSEAU? You can't begin to soon,
because it takes such a lot."

I have no wish to reflect on Jane in this story. She meant well. But she
knew I had decided to buy an automobile, saying nothing to the Familey
until to late, when I had learned to drive it and it could not be
returned. Also she knew my Income, which was not princly although
suficient.

But she urged me to take my Check Book and go to the sail.

Now, if I have a weakness, it is for fine under things, with ribbon of
a pale pink and everything maching. Although I spent but fifty-eight
dollars and sixty-five cents on the TROUSEAU that day, I felt uneasy,
especialy as, just afterwards, I saw in a window a costume for a woman
CHAUFFEUR, belted lether coat and leggings, skirt and lether cap.

I gave a check for it also, and on going home hid my Check Book, as
Hannah was always snooping around and watching how much I spent. But
luckaly we were packing for the country, and she did not find it.

During that evening I reflected about marrying Leila off, as the Familey
was having a dinner and I was sent a tray to my Chamber, consisting of
scrambeled eggs, baked potatos and junket, which considering that I was
engaged and even then colecting my TROUSEAU, was to juvenile for words.

I decided this: that Leila was my sister and therfore bound to me by
ties of Blood and Relationship. She must not be married to anyone,
therfore, whom she did not love or at least respect. I would not doom
her to be unhappy.

Now I have a qualaty which is well known at school, and frequently used
to obtain holadays and so on. It may be Magnatism, it may be Will. I
have a very strong Will, having as a child had a way of lying on the
floor and kicking my feet if thwarted. In school, by fixing my eyes
ridgidly on the teacher, I have been able to make her do as I wish, such
as not calling on me when unprepared, et cetera.

Full well I know the danger of such a Power, unless used for good.

I now made up my mind to use this Will, or Magnatism, on Leila, she
being unsuspicious at the time and thinking that the thought of Marriage
was her own, and no one else's.

Being still awake when the Familey came upstairs, I went into her room
and experamented while she was taking down her hair.

"Well?" she said at last. "You needn't stare like that. I can't do my
hair this way without a Swich."

"I was merely thinking," I said in a lofty tone.

"Then go and think in bed."

"Does it or does it not concern you as to what I was thinking?" I
demanded.

"It doesn't greatly concern me," she replied, wraping her hair around a
kid curler, "but I darsay I know what it was. It's written all over
you in letters a foot high. You'd like me to get married and out of the
way."

I was exultent yet terrafied at this result of my Experament. Already! I
said to my wildly beating heart. And if thus in five minutes what in the
entire summer?

On returning to my Chamber I spent a pleasant hour planing my
maid-of-honor gown, which I considered might be blue to mach my eyes,
with large pink hat and carrying pink flours.

The next morning father and I breakfasted alone, and I said to him:

"In case of festivaty in the Familey, such as a Wedding, is my Allowence
to cover clothes and so on for it?"

He put down his paper and searched me with a peircing glanse. Although
pleasant after ten A. M. he is not realy paternal in the early morning,
and when Mademoiselle was still with us was quite hateful to her at
times, asking her to be good enough not to jabber French at him untill
evening when he felt stronger.

"Whose Wedding?" he said.

"Well," I said. "You've got to Daughters and we might as well look
ahead."

"I intend to have to Daughters," he said, "for some time to come. And
while we're on the subject, Bab, I've got somthing to say to you. Don't
let that romantic head of yours get filled up with Sweethearts, because
you are still a little girl, with all your airs. If I find any boys
mooning around here, I'll--I'll shoot them."

Ye gods! How intracate my life was becoming! I engaged and my masculine
parent convercing in this homacidal manner! I withdrew to my room and
there, when Jane Raleigh came later, told her the terrable news.

"Only one thing is to be done, Jane," I said, my voice shaking. "Tom
must be warned."

"Call him up," said Jane, "and tell him to keep away."

But this I dare not do.

"Who knows, Jane," I observed, in a forlorn manner, "but that the
telephone is watched? They must suspect. But how? HOW?"

Jane was indeed a FIDUS A CHATES. She went out to the drug store and
telephoned to Tom, being careful not to mention my name, because of the
clerk at the soda fountain listening, saying merely to keep away from a
Certain Person for a time as it was dangerous. She then merely mentioned
the word "revolver" as meaning nothing to the clerk but a great deal to
Tom. She also aranged a meeting in the Park at 3 P. M. as being the
hour when father signed his mail before going to his Club to play bridge
untill dinner.

Our meeting was a sad one. How could it be otherwise, when to loving
Hearts are forbiden to beat as one, or even to meet? And when one or the
other is constantly saying:

"Turn your back. There is some one I know coming!"

Or:

"There's the Peters's nurse, and she's the worst talker you ever heard
of." And so on.

At one time Tom would have been allowed to take out their Roadster, but
unfortunately he had been forbiden to do so, owing to having upset it
while taking his Grandmother Gray for an airing, and was not to drive
again until she could walk without cruches.

"Won't your people let you take out a car?" he asked. "Every girl ought
to know how to drive, in case of war or the CHAUFFEUR leaving----"

"----or taking a Grandmother for an airing!" I said coldly. Because I
did not care to be criticized when engaged only a few hours.

However, after we had parted with mutual Protestations, I felt the
desire that every engaged person of the Femanine Sex always feels,
to apear perfect to the one she is engaged to. I therfore considered
whether to ask Smith to teach me to drive one of our cars or to purchace
one of my own, and be responsable to no one if muddy, or arrested for
speeding, or any other Vicissatude.

On the next day Jane and I looked at automobiles, starting with ones I
could not aford so as to clear the air, as Jane said. At last we found
one I could aford. Also its lining matched my costume, being tan. It was
but six hundred dollars, having been more but turned in by a lady after
three hundred miles because she was of the kind that never learns to
drive but loses its head during an emergency and forgets how to stop,
even though a Human Life be in its path.

The Salesman said that he could tell at a glanse that I was not that
sort, being calm in danger and not likly to chase a chicken into a fense
corner and murder it, as some do when excited.

Jane and I consulted, for buying a car is a serious matter and not to
be done lightly, especialy when one has not consulted one's Familey and
knows not where to keep the car when purchaced. It is not like a dog,
which I have once or twice kept in a clandestine manner in the Garage,
because of flees in the house.

"The trouble is," Jane said, "that if you don't take it some one will,
and you will have to get one that costs more."

True indeed, I reflected, with my Check Book in my hand.

Ah, would that some power had whispered in my ear "No. By purchacing
the above car you are endangering that which lies near to your Heart and
Mind. Be warned in time."

But no sign came. No warning hand was outstretched to put my Check Book
back in my pocket book. I wrote the Check and sealed my doom.

How weak is human nature! It is terrable to remember the rapture of that
moment, and compare it with my condition now, with no Allowence, with
my faith gone and my heart in fragments. And with, alas, another year of
school.

As we were going to the country in but a few days, I aranged to leave
my new Possesion, merely learning to drive it meanwhile, and having my
first lesson the next day.

"Dearest," Jane said as we left. "I am thriled to the depths. The way
you do things is wonderfull. You have no fear, none whatever. With
your father's Revenge hanging over you, and to secrets, you are calm.
Perfectly calm."

"I fear I am reckless, Jane," I said, wistfully. "I am not brave. I am
reckless, and also desparate."

"You poor darling!" she said, in a broken voice. "When I think of all
you are suffering, and then see your smile, my Heart aches for you."

We then went in and had some ice cream soda, which I paid for, Jane
having nothing but a dollar, which she needed for a manacure. I also
bought a key ring for Tom, feeling that he should have somthing of mine,
a token, in exchange for the Frat pin.

I shall pass over lightly the following week, during which the Familey
was packing for the country and all the servants were in a bad humer.
In the mornings I took lessons driving the car, which I called the Arab,
from the well-known song, which we have on the phonograph;

     From the Dessert I come to thee,
     On my Arab shod with fire.

The instructer had not heard the song, but he said it was a good name,
because very likly no one else would think of having it.

"It sounds like a love song," he observed.

"It is," I replied, and gave him a steady glanse. Because, if one realy
loves, it is silly to deny it.

"Long ways to a Dessert, isn't it?" he inquired.

"A Dessert may be a place, or it may be a thirsty and emty place in the
Soul," I replied. "In my case it is Soul, not terratory."

But I saw that he did not understand.

How few there are who realy understand! How many of us, as I, stand
thirsty in the market place, holding out a cup for a kind word or
for some one who sees below the surface, and recieve nothing but
indiference!

On Tuesday the Grays went to their country house, and Tom came over to
say good-bye. Jane had told him he could come, as the Familey would be
out.

The thought of the coming seperation, although but for four days, caused
me deep greif. Although engaged for only a short time, already I felt
how it feels to know that in the vicinaty is some one dearer than Life
itself. I felt I must speak to some one, so I observed to Hannah that I
was most unhappy, but not to ask me why. I was dressing at the time, and
she was hooking me up.

"Unhappy!" she said, "with a thousand dollars a year, and naturaly curly
hair! You ought to be ashamed, Miss Bab."

"What is money, or even hair?" I asked, "when one's Heart aches?"

"I guess it's your stomache and not your Heart," she said. "With all the
candy you eat. If you'd take a dose of magnezia to-night, Miss Bab, with
some orange juice to take the taste away, you'd feel better right off."

I fled from my chamber.

I have frequently wondered how it would feel to be going down a
staircase, dressed in one's best frock, low neck and no sleaves, to some
loved one lurking below, preferably in evening clothes, although not
necesarily so. To move statuesqly and yet tenderly, apearing indiferent
but inwardly seathing, while below pasionate eyes looked up as I floated
down.

However, Tom had not put on evening dress, his clothes being all packed.
He was taking one of father's cigars as I entered the library, and he
looked very tall and adolesent, although thin. He turned and seeing me,
observed:

"Great Scott, Bab! Why the raiment?"

"For you," I said in a low tone.

"Well, it makes a hit with me all right," he said.

And came toward me.

When Jane Raleigh was first kissed by a member of the Other Sex, while
in a hammick, she said she hated to be kissed until he did it, and then
she liked it. I at the time had considered Jane as flirtatous and as
probably not hating it at all. But now I knew she was right, for as I
saw Tom coming toward me after laying fatther's cigar on the piano, I
felt that I COULD NOT BEAR IT.

And this I must say, here and now. I do not like kissing. Even then,
in that first embrase of to, I was worried because I could smell the
varnish burning on the Piano. I therfore permited but one salute on the
cheek and no more before removing the cigar, which had burned a large
spot.

"Look here," he said, in a stern manner, "are we engaged or aren't we?
Because I'd like to know."

"If you are to demonstrative, no!" I replied, firmly.

"If you call that a kiss, I don't."

"It sounded like one," I said. "I suppose you know more than I do what
is a kiss and what is not. But I'll tell you this--there is no use
keeping our amatory affairs to ourselves and then kissing so the Butler
thinks the fire whistle is blowing."

We then sat down, and I gave him the key ring, which he said was a
dandy. I then told him about getting Sis married and out of the way. He
thought it was a good idea.

"You'll never have a chance as long as she's around," he observed,
smoking father's cigar at intervals. "They're afraid of you, and that's
flat. It's your Eyes. That's what got me, anyhow." He blue a smoke ring
and sat back with his legs crossed. "Funny, isn't it?" he said. "Here
we are, snug as weavils in a cotton thing-un-a-gig, and only a week ago
there was nothing between us but to brick walls. Hot in here, don't you
think?"

"Only a week!" I said. "Tom, I've somthing to tell you. That is the nice
part of being engaged--to tell things that one would otherwise bury in
one's own Bosom. I shall have no secrets from you from henceforward."

So I told him about the car and how we could drive together in it, and
no one would know it was mine, although I would tell the Familey later
on, when to late to return it. He said little, but looked at me and
kept on smoking, and was not as excited as I had expected, although
interested.

But in the midst of my Narative he rose quickly and observed:

"Bab, I'm poizoned!"

I then perceived that he was pale and hagard. I rose to my feet, and
thinking it might be the cigar, I asked him if he would care for a peice
of chocolate cake to take the taste away. But to my greif he refused
very snappishly and without a Farewell slamed out of the house, leaving
his hat and so forth in the hall.

A bitter night ensued. For I shall admit that terrable thoughts filled
my mind, although how perpetrated I knew not. Would those who loved me
stoop to such depths as to poizon my afianced? And if so, whom?

The very thought was sickning.

I told Jane the next morning, but she pretended to beleive that the
cigar had been to strong for him, and that I should remember that,
although very good-hearted, he was a mere child. But, if poizon, she
suggested Hannah.

That day, although unerved from anxiety, I took the Arab out alone,
having only Jane with me. Except that once I got into reverce instead
of low geer, and broke a lamp on a Gentleman behind, I had little or no
trouble, although having one or to narrow escapes owing to putting my
foot on the gas throttle instead of the brake.

It was when being backed off the pavment by to Policemen and a man from
a milk wagon, after one of the aforsaid mistakes, that I first saw he
who was to bring such wrechedness to me.

Jane had got out to see how much milk we had spilt--we had struck the
milk wagon--and I was getting out my check book, because the man was
very nasty and insisted on having my name, when I first saw him. He had
stopped and was looking at the gutter, which was full of milk. Then he
looked at me.

"How much damages does he want?" he said in a respectful tone.

"Twenty dollars," I replied, not considering it flirting to merely reply
in this manner.

The Stranger then walked over to the milkman and said:

"A very little spilt milk goes a long way. Five dollars is plenty for
that and you know it."

"How about me getting a stitch in my chin, and having to pay for that?"

I beleive I have not said that the milk man was cut in the chin by a
piece of a bottle.

"Ten, then," said my friend in need.

When it was all over, and I had given two dollars to the old woman who
had been in the milk wagon and was knocked out although only bruized, I
went on, thinking no more about the Stranger, and almost running into my
father, who did not see me.

That afternoon I realized that I must face the state of afairs, and I
added up the Checks I had made out. Ye gods! Of all my Money there now
remaind for the ensuing year but two hundred and twenty nine dollars and
forty five cents.

I now realized that I had been extravagant, having spent so much in six
days. Although I did not regard the Arab as such, because of saving
car fare and half soleing shoes. Nor the TROUSEAU, as one must have
clothing. But facial masage and manacures and candy et cetera I felt had
been wastefull.

At dinner that night mother said:

"Bab, you must get yourself some thin frocks. You have absolutely
nothing. And Hannah says you have bought nothing. After all a thousand
dollars is a thousand dollars. You can have what you ought to have.
Don't be to saving."

"I have not the interest in clothes I once had, mother" I replied. "If
Leila will give me her old things I will use them."

"Bab!" mother said, with a peircing glanse, "go upstairs and bring down
your Check Book."

I turned pale with fright, but father said:

"No, my dear. Suppose we let this thing work itself out. It is Barbara's
money, and she must learn."

That night, when I was in bed and trying to divide $229.45 by 12 months,
father came in and sat down on the bed.

"There doesn't happen to be anything you want to say to me, I suppose,
Bab?" he inquired in a gentle tone.

Although not a weeping person, shedding but few tears even when punished
in early years, his kind tone touched my Heart, and made me lachrymoze.
Such must always be the feelings of those who decieve.

But, although bent, I was not yet broken. I therfore wept on in silence
while father patted my back.

"Because," he said, "while I am willing to wait until you are ready,
when things begin to get to thick I want you to know that I'm around,
the same as usual."

He kissed the back of my neck, which was all that was visable, and went
to the door. From there he said, in a low tone:

"And by the way, Bab, I think, since you bought me the Tie, it would be
rather nice to get your mother somthing also. How about it? Violets, you
know, or--or somthing."

Ye gods! Violets at five dollars a hundred. But I agreed. I then sat up
in bed and said:

"Father, what would you say if you knew some one was decieving you?"

"Well," he said, "I am an old Bird and hard to decieve. A good many
people think they can do it, however, and now and then some one gets
away with it."

I felt softened and repentent. Had he but patted me once more, I would
have told all. But he was looking for a match for his cigar, and the
opportunaty passed.

"Well," he said, "close up that active brain of yours for the night,
Bab, and here are to `don'ts' to sleep on. Don't break your neck in--in
any way. You're a reckless young Lady. And don't elope with the first
moony young idiot who wants to hold your hand. There will quite likly be
others."

Others! How heartless! How cynical! Were even those I love best to
worldly to understand a monogamous Nature?

When he had gone out, I rose to hide my Check Book in the crown of an
old hat, away from Hannah. Then I went to the window and glansed out.
There was no moon, but the stars were there as usual, over the roof
of that emty domacile next door, whence all life had fled to the
neighborhood of the Country Club.

But a strange thing caught my eye and transfixed it. There on the
street, looking up at our house, now in the first throes of sleep, was
the Stranger I had seen that afternoon when I had upset the milk wagon
against the Park fense.


III


I shall now remove the Familey to the country, which is easier on paper
than in the flesh, owing to having to take china, silver, bedding and
edables. Also porch furnature and so on.

Sis acted very queer while we were preparing. She sat in her room and
knited, and was not at home to Callers, although there were not many
owing to summer and every one away. When she would let me in, which
was not often, as she said I made her head ache, I tried to turn her
thoughts to marriage or to nursing at the War, which was for her own
good, since she is of the kind who would never be happy leading a simple
life, but should be married.

But alas for all my hopes. She said, on the day before we left, while
packing her jewel box:

"You might just as well give up trying to get rid of me, Barbara.
Because I do not intend to marry any one."

"Very well, Leila," I said, in a cold tone. "Of course it matters not to
me, because I can be kept in school untill I am thirty, and never come
out or have a good time, and no one will care. But when you are an old
woman and have not employed your natural function of having children to
suport you in Age, don't say I did not warn you."

"Oh, you'll come out all right," she said, in a brutal manner. "You'll
come out like a sky rocket. You'd be as impossable to supress as a
boil."

Carter Brooks came around that afternoon and we played marbels in the
drawing room with moth balls, as the rug was up. It was while sitting
on the floor eating some candy he had brought that I told him that there
was no use hanging around, as Leila was not going to marry. He took it
bravely, and said that he saw nothing to do but to wait for some of the
younger crowd to grow up, as the older ones had all refused him.

"By the way," he said. "I thought I saw you running a car the other
day. You were chasing a fox terier when I saw you, but I beleive the dog
escaped."

I looked at him and I saw that, although smiling, he was one who could
be trusted, even to the Grave.

"Carter," I said. "It was I, although when you saw me I know not, as
dogs are always getting in the way."

I then told him about the pony cart, and the Allowence, and saving car
fare. Also that I felt that I should have some pleasure, even if
SUB ROSA, as the expression is. But I told him also that I disliked
decieving my dear parents, who had raised me from infancy and through
meazles, whooping cough and shingles.

"Do you mean to say," he said in an astounded voice, "that you have
BOUGHT that car?"

"I have. And paid for it."

Being surprized he put a moth ball into his mouth, instead of a gum
drop.

"Well," he said, "you'll have to tell them. You can't hide it in a
closet, you know, or under the bed."

"And let them take it away? Never."

My tone was firm, and he saw that I meant it, especialy when I explained
that there would be nothing to do in the country, as mother and Sis
would play golf all day, and I was not allowed at the Club, and that the
Devil finds work for idle hands.

"But where in the name of good sense are you going to keep it?" he
inquired, in a wild tone.

"I have been thinking about that," I said. "I may have to buy a portible
Garage and have it set up somwhere."

"Look here," he said, "you give me a little time on this, will you? I'm
not naturaly a quick thinker, and somhow my brain won't take it all in
just yet. I suppose there's no use telling you not to worry, because you
are not the worrying kind."

How little he knew of me, after years of calls and conversation!

Just before he left he said: "Bab, just a word of advise for you. Pick
your Husband, when the time comes, with care. He ought to have the
solidaty of an elephant and the mental agilaty of a flee. But no
imagination, or he'll die a lunatic."

The next day he telephoned and said that he had found a place for the
car in the country, a shed on the Adams' place, which was emty, as the
Adams's were at Lakewood. So that was fixed.

Now my plan about the car was this: Not to go on indefanitely decieving
my parents, but to learn to drive the car as an expert. Then, when they
were about to say that I could not have one as I would kill myself in
the first few hours, to say:

"You wrong me. I have bought a car, and driven it for----days, and have
killed no one, or injured any one beyond bruizes and one stitch."

I would then disapear down the drive, returning shortly in the Arab,
which, having been used----days, could not be returned.

All would have gone as aranged had it not been for the fatal question of
Money.

Owing to having run over some broken milk bottles on the ocasion I have
spoken of, I was obliged to buy a new tire at thirty-five dollars.
I also had a bill of eleven dollars for gasoline, and a fine of ten
dollars for speeding, which I paid at once for fear of a Notice being
sent home.

This took fifty-six dollars more, and left me but $183.45 for the rest
of the year, $15.28 a month to dress on and pay all expences. To add
to my troubles mother suddenly became very fussy about my clothing
and insisted that I purchace a new suit, hat and so on, which cost one
hundred dollars and left me on the verge of penury.

Is it surprizing that, becoming desparate, I seized at any straw,
however intangable?

I paid a man five dollars to take the Arab to the country and put it in
the aforsaid shed, afterwards hiding the key under a stone outside. But,
although needing relaxation and pleasure during those sad days, I did
not at first take it out, as I felt that another tire would ruin me.

Besides, they had the Pony Cart brought every day, and I had to take
it out, pretending enjoyment I could not feel, since acustomed to forty
miles an hour and even more at times.

I at first invited Tom to drive with me in the Cart, thinking that
merely to be together would be pleasure enough. But at last I was
compeled to face the truth. Although protesting devotion until death,
Tom did not care for the Cart, considering it juvenile for a college
man, and also to small for his legs.

But at last he aranged a plan, which was to take the Cart as far as the
shed, leave it there, and take out the car. This we did frequently, and
I taught Tom how to drive it.

I am not one to cry over spilt milk. But I am one to confess when I have
made a mistake. I do not beleive in laying the blame on Providence when
it belongs to the Other Sex, either.

It was on going down to the shed one morning and finding a lamp gone and
another tire hanging in tatters that I learned the Truth. He who should
have guarded my interests with his very Life, including finances, had
been taking the Arab out in the evenings when I was confined to the
bosom of my Familey, and using up gasoline et cetera besides riding with
whom I knew not.

Eighty-three dollars and 45 cents less thirty-five dollars for a tire
and a bill for gasoline in the village of eight dollars left me, for
the balance of the year, but $40.45 or $3.37 a month! And still a lamp
missing.

It was terrable.

I sat on the running board and would have shed tears had I not been to
angry.

It was while sitting thus, and deciding to return the Frat pin as
costing to much in gasoline and patients, that I percieved Tom coming
down the road. His hand was tied up in a bandige, and his whole
apearance was of one who wishes to be forgiven.

Why, oh, why, must women of my Sex do all the forgiving?

He stood in the doorway so I could see the bandige and would be sorry
for him. But I apeared not to notice him.

"Well?" he said.

I was silent.

"Now look here," he went on, "I'm darned lucky to be here and not dead,
young lady. And if you are going to make a fuss, I'm going away and join
the Ambulance in France."

"They'd better not let you drive a car if they care anything about it,"
I said, coldly.

"That's it! Go to it! Give me the Devil, of course. Why should you care
that I have a broken arm, or almost?"

"Well," I said, in a cutting manner, "broken bones mend themselves and
do not have to be taken to a Garage, where they charge by the hour and
loaf most of the time. May I ask, if not to much trouble to inform me,
whom you took out in my car last night? Because I'd like to send her
your pin. I'd go on wearing it, but it's to expencive."

"Oh, very well," he said. He then brought out my key ring, although
unable to take the keys off because of having but one hand. "If you're
as touchy as all that, and don't care for the real story, I'm through.
That's all."

I then began to feel remorceful. I am of a forgiving Nature naturaly and
could not forget that but yesterday he had been tender and loving, and
had let me drive almost half the time. I therfore said:

"If you can explain I will listen. But be breif. I am in no mood for
words."

Well, the long and short of it was that I was wrong, and should not
have jumped to conclusions. Because the Gray's house had been robbed the
night before, taking all the silver and Mr. Gray's dress suit, as well
as shirts and so on, and as their CHAUFFEUR had taken one of the maids
out INCOGNITO and gone over a bank, returning at seven A. M. in a hired
hack, there was no way to follow the theif. So Tom had taken my car
and would have caught him, having found Mr. Gray's trowsers on a fense,
although torn, but that he ran into a tree because of going very fast
and skiding.

He would have gone through the wind-shield, but that it was down.

I was by that time mollafied and sorry I had been so angry, especialy as
Tom said:

"Father ofered a hundred dollars reward for his capture, and as you have
been adviseing me to save money, I went after the hundred."

At this thought, that my FIANCEE had endangered his hand and the rest of
his person in order to acquire money for our ultamate marriage, my anger
died.

I therfore submitted to an embrase, and washed the car, which was
covered with mud, as Tom had but one hand and that holding a cigarette.

Now and then, Dear Reader, when not to much worried with finances, I
look back and recall those halycon days when Love had its place in my
life, filling it to the exclusion of even suficient food, and rendering
me immune to the questions of my Familey, who wanted to know how I spent
my time.

Oh, magic eyes of afection, which see the beloved object as containing
all the virtues, including strong features and intellagence! Oh, dear
dead Dreams, when I saw myself going down the church isle in white satin
and Dutchess lace! O Tempora O Mores! Farewell.

What would have happened, I wonder, if father had not discharged Smith
that night for carrying passengers to the Club from the railway station
in our car, charging them fifty cents each and scraching the varnish
with golf clubs?

I know not.

But it gave me the idea that ultamately ruined my dearest hopes. This
was it. If Smith could get fifty cents each for carrying passengers,
why not I? I was unknown to most, having been expatriated at School for
several years. But also there were to stations, one which the summer
people used, and one which was used by the so-called locals.

I was desparate. Money I must have, whether honestly or not, for mother
had bought me some more things and sent me the bill.

"Because you will not do it yourself," she said. "And I cannot have it
said that we neglect you, Barbara."

The bill was ninety dollars! Ye gods, were they determined to ruin me?

With me to think is to act. I am always like that. I always, alas, feel
that the thing I have thought of is right, and there is no use arguing
about it. This is well known in my Institution of Learning, where I am
called impetuus and even rash.

That night, my Familey being sunk in sweet slumber and untroubled by
finances, I made a large card which said: "For Hire." I had at first
made it "For Higher," but saw that this was wrong and corected it.
Although a natural speller, the best of us make mistakes.

I did not, the next day, confide in my betrothed, knowing that he would
object to my earning Money in any way, unless perhaps in large amounts,
such as the stock market, or, as at present, in Literature. But being
one to do as I make up my mind to, I took the car to the station, and
in three hours made one dollar and a fifteen cent tip from the Gray's
butler, who did not know me as I wore large gogles.

I was now embarked on a Commercial Enterprize, and happier than for
days. Although having one or to narrow escapes, such as father getting
off the train at my station instead of the other, but luckily getting a
cinder in his eye and unable to see until I drove away quickly. And one
day Carter Brooks got off and found me changing a tire and very dusty
and worried, because a new tube cost five dollars and so far I had made
but six-fifteen.

I did not know he was there until he said:

"Step back and let me do that, Bab."

He was all dressed, but very firm. So I let him and he looked terrible
when finished.

"Now" he said at last, "jump in and take me somewhere near the Club. And
tell me how this happened."

"I am a bankrupt, Carter," I responded in a broken tone. "I have sold my
birthright for a mess of porridge."

"Good heavens!" he said. "You don't mean you've spent the whole
business?"

I then got my Check Book from the tool chest, and held it out to him.
Also the unpaid bills. I had but $40.45 in the Bank and owed $90.00 for
the things mother had bought.

"Everything has gone wrong," I admitted. "I love this car, but it is as
much expence as a large familey and does not get better with age, as
a familey does, which grows up and works or gets married. And Leila is
getting to be a Man-hater and acts very strange most of the time."

Here I almost wept, and probably would have, had he not said:

"Here! Stop that, Or I----" He stopped and then said: "How about the
engagement, Bab? Is it a failure to?"

"We are still plited," I said. "Of course we do not agree about some
things, but the time to fuss is now, I darsay, and not when to late,
with perhaps a large familey and unable to seperate."

"What sort of things?"

"Well," I said, "he thinks that he ought to play around with other girls
so no one will suspect, but he does not like it when I so much as sit in
a hammick with a member of the Other Sex."

"Bab," he said in an ernest tone, "that, in twenty words, is the whole
story of all the troubles between what you call the Sexes. The only
diference between Tommy Gray and me is that I would not want to play
around with any one else if--well, if engaged to anyone like you. And I
feel a lot like looking him up and giving him a good thrashing."

He paid me fifty cents and a quarter tip, and offered, although poor, to
lend me some Money. But I refused.

"I have made my bed," I said, "and I shall occupy it, Carter. I can have
no companion in misfortune."

It was that night that another house near the Club was robed, and
everything taken, including groceries and a case of champane. The Summer
People got together the next day at the Club and offered a reward of two
hundred dollars, and engaged a night watchman with a motor-cycle, which
I considered silly, as one could hear him coming when to miles off, and
any how he spent most of the time taking the maids for rides, and broke
an arm for one of them.

Jane spent the night with me, and being unable to sleep, owing to
dieting again and having an emty stomache, wakened me at 2 A. M. and we
went to the pantrey together. When going back upstairs with some cake
and canned pairs, we heard a door close below. We both shreiked, and the
Familey got up, but found no one except Leila, who could not sleep
and was out getting some air. They were very unpleasant, but as Jane
observed, families have little or no gratitude.

I come now to the Stranger again.

On the next afternoon, while engaged in a few words with the station
hackman, who said I was taking his trade although not needing the
Money--which was a thing he could not possably know--while he had a
familey and a horse to feed, I saw the Stranger of the milk wagon, et
cetera, emerge from the one-thirty five.

He then looked at a piece of MAUVE NOTE PAPER, and said:

"How much to take me up the Greenfield Road?"

"Where to?" I asked in a pre-emptory manner.

He then looked at a piece of MAUVE NOTE PAPER, and said:

"To a big pine tree at the foot of Oak Hill. Do you know the Place?"

Did I know the Place? Had I not, as a child, rolled and even turned
summersalts down that hill? Was it not on my very ancestrial acres? It
was, indeed.

Although suspicous at once, because of no address but a pine tree, I
said nothing, except merely:

"Fifty cents."

"Suppose we fix it like this," he suggested. "Fifty cents for the trip
and another fifty for going away at once and not hanging around, and
fifty more for forgetting me the moment you leave?"

I had until then worn my gogles, but removing them to wipe my face, he
stared, and then said:

"And another fifty for not running into anything, including milk
wagons."

I hesatated. To dollars was to dollars, but I have always been honest,
and above reproach. But what if he was the Theif, and now about to
survey my own Home with a view to entering it clandestinely? Was I one
to assist him under those circumstanses?

However, at that moment I remembered the Reward. With that amount I
could pay everything and start life over again, and even purchace a few
things I needed. For I was allready wearing my TROUSEAU, having been
unable to get any plain every-day garments, and thus frequently obliged
to change a tire in a CREPE DE CHINE petticoat, et cetera.

I yeilded to the temptation. How could I know that I was sewing my own
destruction?


IV


Let us, dear reader, pass with brevaty over the next few days. Even to
write them is a repugnent task, for having set my hand to the Plow, I am
not one to do things half way and then stop.

Every day the Stranger came and gave me to dollars and I took him to
the back road on our place and left him there. And every night, although
weary unto death with washing the car, carrying people, changeing tires
and picking nails out of the road which the hackman put there to make
trouble, I but pretended to slumber, and instead sat up in the library
and kept my terrable Vigil. For now I knew that he had dishonest designs
on the sacred interior of my home, and was but biding his time.

The house having been closed for a long time, there were mice
everywhere, so that I sat on a table with my feet up.

I got so that I fell asleep almost anywhere but particularly at meals,
and mother called in a doctor. He said I needed exercise! Ye gods!

Now I think this: if I were going to rob a house, or comit any sort
of Crime, I should do it and get it over, and not hang around for days
making up my mind. Besides keeping every one tence with anxiety. It is
like diving off a diving board for the first time. The longer you stand
there, the more afraid you get, and the farther (further?) it seems to
the water.

At last, feeling I could stand no more, I said this to the Stranger as
he was paying me. He was so surprized that he dropped a quarter in the
road, and did not pick it up. I went back for it later but some one else
had found it.

"Oh!" he said. "And all this time I've been beleiving that you--well, no
matter. So you think it's a mistake to delay to long?"

"I think when one has somthing Right or Wrong to do, and that's for your
conscience to decide, it's easier to do it quickly."

"I see," he said, in a thoughtfull manner. "Well, perhaps you are right.
Although I'm afraid you've been getting one fifty cents you didn't
earn."

"I have never hung around," I retorted. "And no Archibald is ever a
sneak."

"Archibald!" he said, getting very red. "Why, then you are----"

"It doesn't matter who I am," I said, and got into the car and went
away very fast, because I saw I had made a dreadfull Slip and probably
spoiled everything. It was not untill I was putting the car up for the
night that I saw I had gone off with his overcoat I hung it on a nail
and getting my revolver from under a board, I went home, feeling that I
had lost two hundred dollars, and all because of Familey pride.

How true that "pride goeth before a fall"!

I have not yet explained about the revolver. I had bought it from the
gardner, having promised him ten dollars for it, although not as yet
paid for. And I had meant to learn to be an expert, so that I could
capture the Crimenal in question without assistance, thus securing all
the reward.

But owing to nervousness the first day I had, while practicing in the
chicken yard, hit the Gardner in the pocket and would have injured him
severely had he not had his garden scizzors in his pocket.

He was very angry, and said he had a bruize the exact shape of the
scizzors on him, so I had had to give him the ten plus five dollars
more, which was all I had and left me stranded.

I went to my domacile that evening in low spirits, which were not
improved by a conversation I had with Tom that night after the Familey
had gone out to a Club dance.

He said that he did not like women and girls who did things.

"I like femanine girls," he said. "A fellow wants to be the Oak and feel
the Vine clinging to him."

"I am afectionate," I said, "but not clinging. I cannot change my
Nature."

"Just what do you mean by afectionate?" he asked, in a stern voice. "Is
it afectionate for you to sit over there and not even let me hold your
hand? If that's afection, give me somthing else."

Alas, it was but to true. When away from me I thought of him tenderly,
and of whether he was thinking of me. But when with me I was diferent. I
could not account for this, and it troubled me. Because I felt this way.
Romanse had come into my life, but suppose I was incapable of loving,
although loved?

Why should I wish to be embrased, but become cold and fridgid when about
to be?

"It's come to a Show-down, Bab," he said, ernestly. "Either you love me
or you don't. I'm darned if I know which."

"Alas, I do not know" I said in a low and pitious voice. I then buried
my face in my hands, and tried to decide. But when I looked up he was
gone, and only the sad breese wailed around me.

I had expected that the Theif would take my hint and act that night, if
not scared off by learning that I belonged to the object of his nefarius
designs. But he did not come, and I was wakened on the library table at
8 A. M. by George coming in to open the windows.

I was by that time looking pale and thin, and my father said to me that
morning, ere departing for the office:

"Haven't anything you'd like to get off your chest, have you, Bab?"

I sighed deeply.

"Father," I said, "do you think me cold? Or lacking in afection?"

"Certainly not."

"Or one who does not know her own mind?"

"Well," he observed, "those who have a great deal of mind do not always
know it all. Just as you think you know it some new corner comes up that
you didn't suspect and upsets everything."

"Am I femanine?" I then demanded, in an anxious manner.

"Femanine! If you were any more so we couldn't bare it."

I then inquired if he prefered the clinging Vine or the independant
tipe, which follows its head and not its instincts. He said a man liked
to be engaged to a clinging Vine, but that after marriage a Vine got to
be a darned nusance and took everything while giving nothing, being
the sort to prefer chicken croquets to steak and so on, and wearing a
boudoir cap in bed in the mornings.

He then kissed me and said:

"Just a word of advise, Bab, from a parent who is, of course, extremely
old but has not forgoten his Youth entirely. Don't try to make yourself
over for each new Admirer who comes along. Be yourself. If you want to
do any making over, try it on the boys. Most of them could stand it."

That morning, after changing another tire and breaking three finger
nails, I remembered the overcoat and, putting aside my scruples, went
through the pockets. Although containing no Burglar's tools, I found a
SKETCH OF THE LOWER FLOOR OF OUR HOUSE, WITH A CROSS OUTSIDE ONE OF THE
LIBRARY WINDOWS!

I was for a time greatly excited, but calmed myself, since there was
work to do. I felt that, as I was to capture him unaided, I must make a
Plan, which I did and which I shall tell of later on.

Alas, while thinking only of securing the Reward and of getting Sis
married, so that I would be able to be engaged and enjoy it without
worry as to Money, coming out and so on, my Ship of Love was in the
hands of the wicked, and about to be utterly destroyed, or almost, the
complete finish not coming untill later. But

     'Tis better to have loved and lost
     Than never to have loved at all.

This is the tradgic story. Tom had gone to the station, feeling
repentant probably, or perhaps wishing to drive the Arab, and finding me
not yet there, had conversed with the hackman. And that person, for whom
I have nothing but contempt and scorn, had observed to him that every
day I met a young gentleman at the three-thirty train and took him for a
ride!

Could Mendasity do more? Is it right that such a Creature, with his
pockets full of nails and scandle, should vote, while intellagent women
remain idle? I think not.

When, therefore, I waved my hand to my FIANCEE, thus showing a forgiving
disposition, I was met but with a cold bow. I was heart-broken, but it
is but to true that in our state of society the female must not make
advanses, but must remain still, although suffering. I therfore sat
still and stared hautily at the water cap of my car, although seathing
within, but without knowing the cause of our rupture.

The Stranger came. I shrink in retrospect from calling him the Theif,
although correct in one sense. I saw Tom stareing at him banefully, but
I took no notice, merely getting out and kicking the tires to see if air
enough in them. I then got in and drove away.

The Stranger looked excited, and did not mention the weather as
customery. But at last he said:

"Somehow I gather, Little Sister, that you know a lot of things you do
not talk about."

"I do not care to be adressed as `Little Sister,'" I said in an icy
tone. "As for talking, I do not interfere with what is not my concern."

"Good," he observed. "And I take it that, when you find an overcoat or
any such garment, you do not exhibit it to the Familey, but put it away
in some secluded nook. Eh, what?"

"No one has seen it. It is in the Car now, under that rug."

He turned and looked at me intently.

"Do you know," he observed, "my admiration for you is posatively beyond
words!"

"Then don't talk," I said, feeling still anguished by Tom's conduct and
not caring much just then about the reward or any such mundane matters.

"But I MUST talk," he replied. "I have a little plan, which I darsay you
have guest. As a matter of fact, I have reasons to think it will fall in
with--er--plans of your own."

Ye gods! Was I thus being asked to compound a felony? Or did he not
think I belonged to my own Familey, but to some other of the same name,
and was therfore not suspicous.

"Here's what I want," he went on in a smooth manner. "And there's
Twenty-five dollars in it for you. I want this little car of yours
tonight."

Here I almost ran into a cow, but was luckaly saved, as a Jersey cow
costs seventy-five dollars and even more, depending on how much milk
given daily. When back on the road again, having but bent a mud guard
against a fense, I was calmer.

"How do I know you will bring it back?" I asked, stareing at him
fixedly.

"Oh, now see here," he said, straightening his necktie, "I may be a
Theif, but I am not that kind of a Theif. I play for big stakes or
nothing."

I then remembered that there was a large dinner that night and that
mother would have her jewelery out from the safe deposit, and father's
pearl studs et cetera. I turned pale, but he did not notice it, being
busy counting out Twenty-five dollars in small bills.

I am one to think quickly, but with precicion. So I said:

"You can't drive, can you?"

"I do drive, dear Little--I beg your pardon. And I think, with a lesson
now, I could get along. Now see here, Twenty-five dollars while you are
asleep and therfore not gilty if I take your car from wherever you
keep it. I'll leave it at the station and you'll find it there in the
morning."

Is it surprizing that I agreed and that I took the filthy lucre? No. For
I knew then that he would never get to the station, and the reward of
two hundred, plus the Twenty-five, was already mine mentaly.

He learned to drive the Arab in but a short time, and I took him to
the shed and showed him where I hid the key. He said he had never heard
before of a girl owning a Motor and her parents not knowing, and while
we were talking there Tom Gray went by in the station hack and droped
somthing in the road.

When I went out to look IT WAS THE KEY RING I HAD GIVEN HIM.

I knew then that all was over and that I was doomed to a single life,
growing more and more meloncholy until Death releived my sufferings. For
I am of a proud nature, to proud to go to him and explain. If he was one
to judge me by apearances I was through. But I ached. Oh, how I ached!

The Theif did not go further that day, but returned to the station. And
I? I was not idle, beleive me. During the remainder of the day, although
a broken thing, I experamented to find exactly how much gas it took to
take the car from the station to our house. As I could not go to the
house I had to guess partly, but I have a good mind for estimations, and
I found that two quarts would do it.

So he could come to the house or nearby, but he could not get away with
his ill-gotten gains. I therfore returned to my home and ate a nursery
supper, and Hannah came in and said:

"I'm about out of my mind, Miss Bab. There's trouble coming to this
Familey, and it keeps on going to dinners and disregarding all hints."

"What sort of trouble?". I asked, in a flutering voice. For if she knew
and told I would not recieve the reward, or not solely.

"I think you know," she rejoined, in a suspicous tone. "And that you
should assist in such a thing, Miss Bab, is a great Surprize to me. I
have considered you flitey, but nothing more."

She then slapped a cup custard down in front of me and went away,
leaving me very nervous. Did she know of the Theif, or was she merely
refering to the car, which she might have guest from grease on my
clothes, which would get there in spite of being carful, especialy when
changing a tire?

Well, I have now come to the horrable events of that night, at writing
which my pen almost refuses. To have dreamed and hoped for a certain
thing, and then by my own actions to frustrate it was to be my fate.

"Oh God! that one might read the book of fate!" Shakspeare.

As I felt that, when everything was over, the people would come in from
the Club and the other country places to see the captured Crimenal, I
put on one of the frocks which mother had ordered and charged to me on
that Allowence which was by that time NON EST. (Latin for dissapated. I
use dissapated in the sense of spent, and not debauchery.) By that time
it was nine o'clock, and Tom had not come, nor even telephoned. But I
felt this way. If he was going to be jealous it was better to know it
now, rather than when to late and perhaps a number of offspring.

I sat on the Terrace and waited, knowing full well that it was to soon,
but nervous anyhow. I had before that locked all the library windows but
the one with the X on the sketch, also putting a nail at the top so he
could not open them and escape. And I had the key of the library door
and my trusty weapon under a cushion, loaded--the weapon, of course, not
the key.

I then sat down to my lonely Vigil.

At eleven P. M. I saw a sureptitious Figure coming across the lawn, and
was for a moment alarmed, as he might be coming while the Familey and
the jewels, and so on, were still at the Club.

But it was only Carter Brooks, who said he had invited himself to stay
all night, and the Club was sickning, as all the old people were playing
cards and the young ones were paired and he was an odd man.

He then sat down on the cushion with the revolver under it, and said:

"Gee whiz! Am I on the Cat? Because if so it is dead. It moves not."

"It might be a Revolver," I said, in a calm voice. "There was one lying
around somwhere."

So he got up and observed: "I have conscientous scruples against sitting
on a poor, unprotected gun, Bab." He then picked it up and it went off,
but did no harm except to put a hole in his hat which was on the floor.

"Now see here, Bab," he observed, looking angry, because it was a new
one--the hat. "I know you, and I strongly suspect you put that Gun
there. And no blue eyes and white frock will make me think otherwise.
And if so, why?"

"I am alone a good deal, Carter," I said, in a wistfull manner, "as my
natural protecters are usualy enjoying the flesh pots of Egypt. So it is
natural that I should wish to be at least fortified against trouble."

HE THEN PUT THE REVOLVER IN HIS POCKET, and remarked that he was all
the protecter I needed, and that the flesh pots only seemed desirable
because I was not yet out. But that once out I would find them full of
indigestion, headaches, and heartburn.

"This being grown-up is a sort of Promised Land," he said, "and it is
always just over the edge of the World. You'll never be as nice again,
Bab, as you are just now. And because you are still a little girl,
although `plited,' I am going to kiss the tip of your ear, which even
the lady who ansers letters in the newspapers could not object to, and
send you up to bed."

So he bent over and kissed the tip of my ear, which I considered not
a sentamental spot and therfore not to be fussy about. And I had to
pretend to go up to my chamber.

I was in a state of great trepidation as I entered my Residense, because
how was I to capture my prey unless armed to the teeth? Little did
Carter Brooks think that he carried in his pocket, not a Revolver or at
least not merely, but my entire future.

However, I am not one to give up, and beyond a few tears of weakness,
I did not give way. In a half hour or so I heard Carter Brooks asking
George for a whisky and soda and a suit of father's pajamas, and I knew
that, ere long, he would be

     In pleasing Dreams and slumbers light.
     --Scott.

Would or would he not bolt his door? On this hung, in the Biblical
phraze, all the law and the profits.

He did not. Crouching in my Chamber I saw the light over his transom
become blackness, and soon after, on opening his door and speaking
his name softly, there was no response. I therfore went in and took my
Revolver from his bureau, but there was somthing wrong with the spring
and it went off. It broke nothing, and as for Hannah saying it nearly
killed her, this is not true. It went into her mattress and wakened her,
but nothing more.

Carter wakened up and yelled, but I went out into the hall and said:

"I have taken my Revolver, which belongs to me anyhow. And don't dare to
come out, because you are not dressed."

I then went into my chamber and closed the door firmly, because the
servants were coming down screaming and Hannah was yelling that she was
shot. I explained through the door that nothing was wrong, and that I
would give them a dollar each to go back to bed and not alarm my dear
parents. Which they promised.

It was then midnight, and soon after my Familey returned and went
to bed. I then went downstairs and put on a dark coat because of not
wishing to be seen, and a cap of father's, wishing to apear as masculine
as possable, and went outside, carrying my weapon, and being careful
not to shoot it, as the spring seemed very loose. I felt lonely, but not
terrafied, as I would have been had I not known the Theif personaly and
felt that he was not of a violent tipe.

It was a dark night, and I sat down on the verandah outside the fatal
window, which is a French one to the floor, and waited. But suddenly my
heart almost stopped. Some one was moving about INSIDE!

I had not thought of an acomplice, yet such there must be. For I could
hear, on the hill, the noise of my automobile, which is not good on
grades and has to climb in a low geer. How terrable, to, to think of us
as betrayed by one of our own MENAGE!

It was indeed a cricis.

However, by getting in through a pantrey window, which I had done since
a child for cake and so on, I entered the hall and was able, without a
sound, to close and lock the library door. In this way, owing to nails
in the windows, I thus had the Gilty Member of our MENAGE so that only
the one window remained, and I now returned to the outside and covered
it with a steady aim.

What was my horror to see a bag thrust out through this window and set
down by the unknown within!

Dear reader, have you ever stood by and seen a home you loved looted,
despoiled and deprived of even the egg spoons, silver after-dinner
coffee cups, jewels and toilet articals? If not, you cannot comprehand
my greif and stern resolve to recover them, at whatever cost.

I by now cared little for the Reward but everything for honor.

The second Theif was now aproaching. I sank behind a steamer chair and
waited.

Need I say here that I meant to kill no one? Have I not, in every page,
shown that I am one for peace and have no desire for bloodshed? I think
I have. Yet, when the Theif apeared on the verandah and turned a pocket
flash on the leather bag, which I percieved was one belonging to the
Familey, I felt indeed like shooting him, although not in a fatal spot.

He then entered the room and spoke in a low tone.

THE REWARD WAS MINE.

I but slipped to the window and closed it from the outside, at the same
time putting in a nail as mentioned before, so that it could not be
raised, and then, raising my revolver in the air, I fired the remaining
four bullets, forgeting the roof of the verandah which now has four
holes in it.

Can I go on? Have I the strength to finish? Can I tell how the Theif
cursed and tried to raise the window, and how every one came downstairs
in their night clothes and broke in the library door, while carrying
pokers, and knives, et cetera. And how, when they had met with no
violence but only sulkey silence, and turned on the lights, there was
Leila dressed ready to elope, and the Theif had his arms around her,
and she was weeping? Because he was poor, although of good familey, and
lived in another city, where he was a broker, my familey had objected to
him. Had I but been taken into Leila's confidence, which he considered I
had, or at least that I understood, how I would have helped, instead of
thwarting! If any parents or older sisters read this, let them see how
wrong it is to leave any member of the familey in the dark, especialy in
AFFAIRES DE COUER.

Having seen from the verandah window that I had comitted an enor, and
unable to bear any more, I crawled in the pantrey window again and went
up stairs to my Chamber. There I undressed and having hid my weapon,
pretended to be asleep.

Some time later I heard my father open the door and look in.

"Bab!" he said, in a stealthy tone.

I then pretended to wake up, and he came in and turned on a light.

"I suppose you've been asleep all night," he said, looking at me with a
searching glanse.

"Not lately," I said. "I--wasn't there a Noise or somthing?"

"There was," he said. "Quite a racket. You're a sound sleeper. Well,
turn over and settle down. I don't want my little girl to lose her
Beauty Sleep."

He then went over to the lamp and said:

"By the way, Bab, I don't mind you're sleeping in my golf cap, but put
it back in the morning because I hate to have to hunt my things all over
the place."

I had forgoten to take off his cap!

Ah, well, it was all over, although he said nothing more, and went out.
But the next morning, after a terrable night, when I realized that Leila
had been about to get married and I had ruined everything, I found a
note from him under my door.


DEAR BAB: After thinking things over, I think you and I would better say
nothing about last night's mystery. But suppose you bring your car to
meet me tonight at the station, and we will take a ride, avoiding
milk wagons if possible. You might bring your check book, too, and the
revolver, which we had better bury in some quiet spot. FATHER.


P. S. I have mentioned to your mother that I am thinking of buying you a
small car. VERBUM SAP.


* * * * *


The next day my mother took me calling, because if the Servants were
talking it was best to put up a bold front, and pretend that nothing had
happened except a Burglar alarm and no Burglar. We went to Gray's and
Tom's grandmother was there, WITHOUT HER CRUCHES.

During the evening I dressed in a pink frock, with roses, and listened
for a car, because I knew Tom was now allowed to drive again. I felt
very kind and forgiving, because father had said I was to bring the car
to our garage and he would buy gasoline and so on, although paying no
old bills, because I would have to work out my own Salvation, but buying
my revolver at what I paid for it.

But Tom did not come. This I could not beleive at first, because such
conduct is very young and imature, and to much like fighting at dancing
school because of not keeping step and so on.

At last, Dear Reader, I heard a machine coming, and I went to the
entrance to our drive, sliding in the shrubery to surprize him. I did
not tremble as previously, because I had learned that he was but human,
though I had once considered otherwise, but I was willing to forget.

     How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot!
     The World forgeting, by the World forgot.
     Pope.

However, the car did not turn into our drive, but went on. And in it
were Tom, and that one who I had considered until that time my best and
most intimite friend, Jane Raleigh.

SANS fiancee, SANS friend, SANS reward and SANS Allowence, I turned and
went back to my father, who was on the verandah and was now, with my
mother and sister, all that I had left in the World.

And my father said: "Well, here I am, around as usual. Do you feel to
grown-up to sit on my knee?"

I did not.



CHAPTER V

THE G.A.C.

APRIL 9TH. As I am leaving this School to-morrow for the Easter
Holadays, I revert to this Dairy, which has not been written in for some
months, owing to being a Senior now and carrying a heavy schedule.

My trunk has now gone, and I have but just returned from Chapel, where
Miss Everett made a Speach, as the Head has quinzy. She raised a
large Emblem that we have purchaced at fifty cents each, and said in a
thrilling voice that our beloved Country was now at war, and expected
each and all to do his duty.

"I shall not," she said, "point out to any the Fields of their
Usefulness. That they must determine for themselves. But I know that
the Girls of this school will do what they find to do, and return to the
school at the end of two weeks, school opening with evening Chapel as
usual and no tardiness permitted, better off for the use they have made
of this Precious Period."

We then sang the Star-Spangled Banner, all standing and facing the
piano, but watching to see if Fraulein sang, which she did. Because
there are those who consider that she is a German Spy.

I am now sitting in the Upper House, wondering what I can do. For I am
like this and always have been. I am an American through and through,
having been told that I look like a tipical American girl. And I do
not beleive in allowing Patriotism to be a matter of words--words, emty
words.

No. I am one who beleives in doing things, even though necesarily small.
What if I can be but one of the little drops of Water or little grains
of Sand? I am ready to rise like a lioness to my country's call and
would, if permitted and not considered imodest by my Familey, put on the
clothing of the Other Sex and go into the trenches.

What can I do?

It is strange to be going home in this manner, thinking of Duty and not
of boys and young men. Usualy when about to return to my Familey I think
of Clothes and AFFAIRS DE COUER, because at school there is nothing
much of either except on Friday evenings. But now all is changed. All
my friends of the Other Sex will have roused to the defense of their
Country, and will be away.

And I to must do my part, or bit, as the English say.

But what? Oh what?


APRIL 10TH. I am writing this in the Train, which accounts for poor
writing, etcetera. But I cannot wait for I now see a way to help my
Country.

The way I thought of it was this:

I had been sitting in deep thought, and although returning to my Familey
was feeling sad at the idea of my Country at war and I not helping.
Because what could I do, alone and unarmed? What was my strength against
that of the German Army? A trifle light as air!

It was at this point in my pain and feeling of being utterly useless,
that a young man in the next seat asked if he might close the Window,
owing to Soot and having no other coller with him. I assented.

How little did I realize that although resembling any other Male of
twenty years, he was realy Providence?

The way it happened was in this manner. Although not supposed to talk on
trains, owing to once getting the wrong suit-case, etcetera, one cannot
very well refuse to anser if one is merely asked about a Window. And
also I pride myself on knowing Human Nature, being seldom decieved as to
whether a gentleman or not. I gave him a steady glance, and saw that he
was one.

I then merely said to him that I hoped he intended to enlist, because I
felt that I could at least do this much for my Native Land.

"I have already done so," he said, and sat down beside me. He was very
interesting and I think will make a good soldier, although not handsome.
He said he had been to Plattsburg the summer before, drilling, and had
not been the same since, feeling now very ernest and only smoking three
times a day. And he was two inches smaller in the waste and three inches
more in chest. He then said:

"If some of you girls with nothing to do would only try it you would
have a new outlook on Life."

"Nothing to do!" I retorted, in an angry manner. "I am sick and tired
of the way my Sex is always reproached as having nothing to do. If
you consider French and music and Algebra and History and English
composition nothing, as well as keeping house and having children and
atending to social duties, I DO not."

"Sorry," he said, stiffly. "Of course I had no idea--do you mean that
you have a Familey of your own?"

"I was refering to my Sex in general," I replied, in a cold tone.

He then said that there were Camps for girls, like Plattsburg only more
Femanine, and that they were bully. (This was his word. I do not use
slang.)

"You see," he said, "they take a lot of over-indulged society girls and
make them over into real People."

Ye gods! Over-indulged!

"Why don't you go to one?" he then asked.

"Evadently," I said, "I am not a real Person."

"Well, I wouldn't go as far as that. But there isn't much left of the
way God made a girl, by the time she's been curled and dressed and
governessed for years, is there? They can't even walk, but they talk
about helping in the War. It makes me sick!"

I now saw that I had made a mistake, and began reading a Magazine, so
he went back to his seat and we were as strangers again. As I was very
angry I again opened my window, and he got a cinder in his eye and had
to have the Porter get it out.

He got out soon after, and he had the impertinance to stop beside me and
say:

"I hate to disapoint you, but I find I have a clean coller in my bag
after all." He then smiled at me, although I gave him no encouragment
whatever, and said: "You're sitting up much better, you know. And if you
would take off those heals I'll venture to say you could WALK with any
one."

I detested him with feirceness at that time. But since then I have
pondered over what he said. For it is my Nature to be fair and to
consider things from every angel. I therfore said this to myself.

"If members of the Male Sex can reduce their wastes and increase their
usefulness to their Native Land by camping, exercising and drilling, why
not get up a camp of my own, since I knew that I would not be alowed to
go away to train, owing to my Familey?"

I am always one to decide quickly. So I have now made a sketch of a
Unaform and written out the names of ten girls who will be home when I
am. I here write out the Purpose of our organisation:


To defend the Country and put ourselves into good Physical
Condition.--Memo: Look up "physical" as it looks odd, as if mispelled.

MOTTO: To be voted on later.

PASSWORD: Plattsburg.

DUES: Ten dollars each in advance to buy Tent, etcetera.

UNAFORM: Kakhi, with orange-colored necktie. In times of danger the
orange color to be changed to something which will not atract the guns
of the Enemy.

NAME: Girls' Aviation Corps. But to be known generally as the G. A. C.
as because of Spies and so on we must be as secret as possable.


I have done everything thus in advance, because we will have but a short
time, and besides I know that if everything is not settled Jane will
want to run things, and probably insist on a set of By-Laws, etcetera,
which will take to much time.

I have also decided to be Captain, as having organised the Camp and
having a right to be.


10 P. M. I am now in my familiar Chamber, and Hannah says they intended
to get new furnature but feel they should not, as War is here and
everything very expencive.

But I must not complain. It is war time.

I shall now record the events from 5 P. M. to the present.

Father met me at the station as usual, and asked me if I cared to stop
and buy some candy on the way home. Ye gods, was I in a mood for candy?

"I think not, father," I replied, in a dignafied way. "Our dear Country
is now at war, and it is no time for self-indulgence."

"Good for you!" he said. "Evadently that school of yours is worth
something after all. But we might have a bit of candy, anyhow, don't
you think? Because we want to keep our Industries going and money in
circulation."

I could not refuse under such circumstances, and purchaced five pounds.

Alas, war has already made changes in my Familey. George, the butler,
has felt the call of Duty and has enlisted, and we now have a William
who chips the best china, and looks like a German although he says not,
and willing to put out the Natioual Emblem every morning from a window
in father's dressing room. Which if he is a Spy he would probably not
do, or at least without being compeled to.

I said nothing about the G. A. C. during dinner, as I was waiting to see
if father would give me ten dollars before I organized it. But I am a
person of strong feelings, and I was sad and depressed, thinking of my
dear Country at War and our beginning with soup and going on through as
though nothing was happening. I therfore observed that I considered it
unpatriotic, with the Enemy at our gatez, to have Sauterne on the table
and a Cocktail beforehand, as well as expencive tobacco and so on, even
although economising in other ways, such as furnature.

"What's that?" my father said to me, in a sharp tone.

"Let her alone, father," Leila said. "She's just dramatising herself as
usual. We're probably in for a dose of Patriotism."

I would perhaps have made a sharp anser, but a street piano outside
began to play The Star-Spangled Banner. I then stood up, of course, and
mother said: "Sit down, for heaven's sake, Barbara."

"Not until our National Anthem is finished, mother," I said in a tone
of gentle reproof. "I may not vote or pay taxes, but this at least I can
do."

Well, father got up to, and drank his coffee standing. But he gave
William a dollar for the man outside, and said to tell him to keep away
at meal times as even patriotism requires nourishment.

After dinner in the drawing room, mother said that she was going to let
me give a Luncheon.

"There are about a dosen girls coming out when you do, Bab," she said.
"And you might as well begin to get acquainted. We can have it at the
Country Club, and have some boys, and tennis afterwards, if the courts
are ready."

"Mother!" I cried, stupafied. "How can you think of Social pleasures
when the enemy is at our gates?"

"Oh nonsense, Barbara," she replied in a cold tone. "We intend to do our
part, of course. But what has that to do with a small Luncheon?"

"I do not feel like festivaty," I said. "And I shall be very busy this
holaday, because although young there are some things I can do."

Now I have always loved my mother, although feeling sometimes that she
had forgoten about having been a girl herself once, and also not being
much given to Familey embrases because of her hair being marceled and so
on. I therfore felt that she would probably be angry and send me to bed.

But she was not. She got up very sudenly and came around the table while
William was breaking a plate in the pantrey, and put her hand on my
shoulder.

"Dear little Bab!" she said. "You are right and I am wrong, and we will
just turn in and do what we can, all of us. We will give the party money
to the Red Cross."

I was greatly agatated, but managed to ask for the ten dollars for my
share of the Tent, etcetera, although not saying exactly what for, and
father passed it over to me. War certainly has changed my Familey, for
even Leila came over a few moments ago with a hat that she had bought
and did not like.

I must now stop and learn the Star-Spangled Banner by heart, having
never known but the first verse, and that not entirely.


LATER: How helpless I feel and how hopeless!

I was learning the second verse by singing it, when father came over in
his ROBE DE NUIT, although really pagamas, and said that he enjoyed it
very much, and of course I was right to learn it as aforsaid, but that
if the Familey did not sleep it could not be very usefull to the Country
the next day such as making shells and other explosives.


APRIL 11TH: I have had my breakfast and called up Jane Raleigh. She was
greatly excited and said:

"I'm just crazy about it. What sort of a Unaform will we have?"

This is like Jane, who puts clothes before everything. But I told her
what I had in mind, and she said it sounded perfectly thrilling.

"We each of us ought to learn some one thing," she said, "so we can do
it right. It's an age of Specialties. Suppose you take up signaling, or
sharp-shooting if you prefer it, and I can learn wireless telegraphy.
And maybe Betty will take the flying course, because we ought to have
an Aviator and she is afraid of nothing, besides having an uncle who is
thinking of buying an Aeroplane."

"What else would you sugest?" I said freezingly. Because to hear her one
would have considered the entire G. A. C. as her own idea.

"Well," she said, "I don't know, unless we have a Secret Service and
guard your father's mill. Because every one thinks he is going to have
trouble with Spies."

I made no reply to this, as William was dusting the Drawing Room, but
said, "Come over. We can discuss that privatly." I then rang off.

I am terrably worried, because my father is my best friend, having
always understood me. I cannot endure to think that he is in danger.
Alas, how true are the words of Dryden:

     "War, he sung, is Toil and Trouble,
     Honour but an empty Bubble."

NOON: Jane came over as soon as she had had her breakfast, and it was
a good thing I had everything written out, because she started in right
away to run things. She wanted a Constitution and By-Laws as I had
expected. But I was ready for her.

"We have a Constitution, Jane," I said, solemnly. "The Constitution of
the United States, and if it is good enough for a whole Country I darsay
it is good enough for us. As for By-laws, we can make them as we need
them, which is the way laws ought to be made anyhow."

We then made a list, Jane calling up as I got the numbers in the
telephone book. Everybody accepted, although Betty Anderson objected to
the orange tie because she has red hair, and one of the Robinson twins
could not get ten dollars because she was on probation at School and
her Familey very cold with her. But she had loned a girl at school five
dollars and was going to write for it at once, and thought she could
sell a last year's sweater for three dollars to their laundress's
daughter. We therfore admited her.

All is going well, unless our Parents refuse, which is not likely, as we
intend to purchace the Tent and Unaforms before consulting them. It is
the way of Parents not to care to see money wasted.

Our motto we have decided on. It is but three letters, W. I. H., and is
a secret.


LATER: Sis has just informed me that Carter Brooks has not enlisted, but
is playing around as usual! I feel dreadfully, as he is a friend of my
Familey. Or rather WAS.


7 P. M.: The G. A. C. is a fact. It is also ready for duty. How
wonderful it is to feel that one is about to be of some use to one's
own, one's Native Land!

We held a meeting early this P. M. in our library, all doors being
closed and Sentries posted. I had made some fudge also, although the
cook, who is a new one, was not pleasant about the butter and so on.

We had intended to read the Constitution of the U. S. out loud, but as
it is long we did not, but signed our names to it in my father's copy of
the American Common Wealth. We then went out and bought the Tent and ten
camp chairs, although not expecting to have much time to sit down.

The G. A. C. was then ready for duty.

Before disbanding for the day I made a short speach in the shop, which
was almost emty. I said that it was our intention to show the members
of the Other Sex that we were ready to spring to the Country's call, and
also to assist in recruiting by visiting the different Milatary Stations
and there encouraging those who looked faint-hearted and not willing to
fight.

"Each day," I said, in conclusion, "one of us will be selected by the
Captain, myself, to visit these places and as soon as a man has signed
up, to pin a flower in his buttonhole. As we have but little money,
the tent having cost more than expected, we can use carnations as not
expencive."

The man who had sold us the tent thought this was a fine idea, and said
he thought he would enlist the next day, if we would be around.

We then went went to a book shop and bought the Plattsburg Manual, and I
read to the members of the Corps these rules, to be strictly observed:


1. Carry yourself at all times as though you were proud of Yourself,
your Unaform, and your Country.

2. Wear your hat so that the brim is parallel to the ground.

3. Have all buttons fastened.

4. Never have sleeves rolled up.

5. Never wear sleeve holders.

6. Never leave shirt or coat unbuttoned at the throat.

7. Have leggins and trousers properly laced. (Only leggins).

8. Keep shoes shined.

9. Always be clean shaved. (Unecessary).

10. Keep head up and shoulders square.

11. Camp life has a tendency to make one careless as to personal
cleanliness. Bear this in mind.


We then gave the Milatary Salute and disbanded, as it was time to go
home and dress for dinner.

On returning to my domacile I discovered that, although the sun had
set and the hour of twilight had arived, the Emblem of my Country
still floated in the breese. This made me very angry, and ringing the
door-bell I called William to the steps and pointing upward, I said:

"William, what does this mean?"

He pretended not to understand, although avoiding my eye.

"What does what mean, Miss Barbara?"

"The Emblem of my Country, and I trust of yours, for I understand you
are naturalized, although if not you'd better be, floating in the breese
AFTER SUNSET."

Did I or did I not see his face set into the lines of one who had little
or no respect for the Flag?

"I'll take it down when I get time, miss," he said, in a tone of
resignation. "But what with making the salid and laying the table for
dinner and mixing cocktails, and the cook so ugly that if I as much as
ask for the paprika she's likely to throw a stove lid, I haven't much
time for Flags."

I regarded him sternly.

"Beware, William," I said. "Remember that, although probably not a Spy
or at least not dangerous, as we in this country now have our eyes open
and will stand no nonsense, you must at all times show proper respect to
the National Emblem. Go upstairs and take it in."

"Very well, miss," he said. "But perhaps you will allow me to say this,
miss. There are to many houses in this country where the Patriotic
Feeling of the inhabatants are shown only by having a paid employee hang
out and take in what you call The Emblem."

He then turned and went in, leaving me in a stupafied state on the
door-step.

But I am not one to be angry on hearing the truth, although painfull. I
therfore ran in after him and said:

"William, you are right and I am wrong. Go back to your Pantrey, and
leave the Flag to me. From now on it will be my duty."

I therfore went upstairs to my father's dressing room, where he was
shaveing for dinner, and opened the window. He was disagreable and
observed:

"Here, shut that! It's as cold as blue blazes."

I turned and looked at him in a severe manner.

"I am sorry, father," I said. "But as between you and my Country I have
no choice."

"What the dickens has the Country got to do with giving me influensa?"
he exclaimed, glaring at me. "Shut that window."

I folded my arms, but remained calm.

"Father," I said, in a low and gentle tone, "need I remind you that
it is at present almost seven P. M. and that the Stars and Stripes,
although supposed to be lowered at sunset, are still hanging out this
window?"

"Oh, that's it, is it?" he said in a releived tone. "You're nothing if
you're not thorough, Bab! Well, as they have hung an hour and fifteen
minutes to long as it is, I guess the Country won't go to the dogs if
you shut that window until I get a shirt on. Go away and send Williarm
up in ten minutes."

"Father," I demanded, intencely, "do you consider yourself a Patriot?"

"Well," he said, "I'm not the shouting tipe, but I guess I'll be around
if I'm needed. Unless I die of the chill I'm getting just now, owing to
one shouting Patriot in the Familey."

"Is this your Country or William's?" I insisted, in an inflexable voice.

"Oh, come now," he said, "we can divide it, William and I. There's
enough for both. I'm not selfish."

It is always thus in my Familey. They joke about the most serious
things, and then get terrably serious about nothing at all, such as
overshoes on wet days, or not passing in French grammer, or having a
friend of the Other Sex, etcetera.

"There are to many houses in this country, father," I said, folding my
arms, "where the Patriotism of the Inhabatants is shown by having a paid
employee hang out and take in the Emblem between Cocktails and salid, so
to speak."

"Oh damm!" said my father, in a feirce voice. "Here, get away and let me
take it in. And as I'm in my undershirt I only hope the neighbors aren't
looking out."

He then sneazed twice and drew in the Emblem, while I stood at the
Salute. How far, how very far from the Plattsburg Manual, which decrees
that our flag be lowered to the inspiring music of the Star-Spangled
Banner, or to the bugel call, "To the Colors."

Such, indeed, is life.


LATER: Carter Brooks dropped in this evening. I was very cold to him and
said:

"Please pardon me if I do not talk much, as I am in low spirits."

"Low spirits on a holaday!" he exclaimed. "Well, we'll have to fix that.
How about a motor Picnic?"

It is always like that in our house. They regard a Party or a Picnic as
a cure for everything, even a heartache, or being worried about Spies,
etcetera.

"No, thank you," I said. "I am worried about those of my friends who
have enlisted." I then gave him a scornful glance and left the room. He
said "Bab!" in a strange voice and I heard him coming after me. So I ran
as fast as I could to my Chamber and locked the door.


IN CAMP GIRLS AVIATION CORPS, APRIL 12TH.

We are now in Camp, although not in Unaform, owing to the delivery
waggon not coming yet with our clothes. I am writing on a pad on my
knee, while my Orderley, Betty Anderson, holds the ink bottle.

What a morning we have had!

Would one not think that, in these terrable times, it would be a simple
matter to obtain a spot wherein to prepare for the defence of the
Country? Should not the Young be encouraged to spring to the call, "To
arms, to arms, ye braves!" instead of being reproved for buying a Tent
with no place as yet to put it, and the Adams's governess being sent
along with Elaine because we need a Chaperone?

Ye gods! A Chaperone to a Milatary Camp!

She is now sitting on one of the camp stools and embroidering a
centerpeice. She brought her own lunch and Elaine's, refusing to allow
her to eat the regular Milatary rations of bacon and boiled potatoes,
etcetera, and not ofering a thing to us, although having brought chicken
sandwitches, cake and fruit.

I shall now put down the events of the day, as although the Manual says
nothing of keeping a record, I am sure it is always done. Have I not
read, again and again, of the Captain's log, which is not wood, as it
sounds, but is a journal or Dairy?

This morning the man at the tent store called up and asked where to
send the tent. I then called a meeting in my Chamber, only to meet with
bitter disapointment, as one Parent after another had refused to allow
their grounds to be used. I felt sad--helpless, as our house has no
grounds, except for hanging out washing, etcetera.

I was very angry and tired to, having had to get up at sunrise to put
out the Emblem, and father having wakened and been very nasty. So I got
up and said:

"It is clear that our Families are Patriots in name only, and not in
deed. Since they have abandoned us, The G. A. C. must abandon them
and do as it thinks best. Between Familey and Country, I am for the
Country."

Here they all cheered, and Hannah came in and said mother had a headache
and to keep quiet.

I could but look around, with an eloquent gesture.

"You see, Members of the Corps," I said in a tence voice, "that things
at present are intollerable. We must strike out for ourselves. Those who
are willing please signafy by saying Aye."

They all said it and I then sugested that we take my car and as many as
possable of the officers and go out to find a suitable spot. I then
got my car and crowded into it the First and Second Lieutenants, the
Sergeant and the Quartermaster, which was Jane. She had asked to be
Veterinarian, being fond of dogs, but as we had no animals, I had made
her Quartermaster, giving her charge of the Quarters, or Tent, etcetera.
The others followed in the Adams's limousine, taking also cooking
utensils and food, although Mademoiselle was very disagreeable about the
frying pan and refused to hold it.

We went first to the tent store. The man in the shop then instructed me
as to how to put up the Tent, and was very kind, offering to send some
one to do it. But I refused.

"One must learn to do things oneself if one is to be usefull," I said.
"It is our intention to call on no member of the Male Sex, but to show
that we can get along without them."

"Quite right," he said. "I'm sure you can get along without us, miss,
much better than we could get along without you."

Mademoiselle considered this a flirtatious speach and walked out of the
shop. But I consider that it was a General Remark and not personal, and
anyhow he was thirty at least, and had a married apearance.

As there was not room for the Tent and camp chairs in my car, the
delivery waggon followed us, making quite a procession.

We tried several farm houses, but one and all had no Patriotism whatever
and refused to let us use their terratory. It was heartrending, for
where we not there to help to protect that very terratory from the
enemy? But no, they cared not at all, and said they did not want papers
all over the place, and so on. One woman observed that she did not
object to us, but that we would probably have a lot of boys hanging
around and setting fire to things with cigarettes, and anyhow if we were
going to shoot it would keep the hens from laying.

Ye gods! Is this our National Spirit?

I simply stood up in the car and said:

"Madame, we intend to have no Members of the Other Sex. And if you put
eggs above the Stars and Stripes you are nothing but a Traitor and we
will keep an eye on you."

We then went on, and at last found a place where no one was living, and
decided to claim it in the name of the government. We then put up the
tent, although not as tight as it should have been, owing to the Adams's
chauffeur not letting us have his wrench to drive the pins in with, and
were ready for the day's work.

We have now had luncheon and the Quartermaster, Jane, is burning the
papers and so on.

After I have finished this Log we will take up the signaling. We have
decided in this way: Lining up in a row, and counting one to ten,
and even numbers will study flag signals, and the odds will take up
telagraphy, which is very clearly shown in the Manual.

After that we will have exercises to make us strong and elastic, and
then target practise.

We have as yet no guns, but father has one he uses for duck shooting in
the fall, and Betty's uncle was in Africa last year and has three, which
she thinks she can secure without being noticed. We have passed this
Resolution: To have nothing to do with those of the other Sex who are
not prepared to do their Duty.


EVENING, APRIL 12TH. I returned to my domacile in time to take in Old
Glory, and also to dress for dinner, being muddy and needing a bath,
as we had tried bathing in the creek at the camp while Mademoiselle was
asleep in the tent, but found that there was an oil well near and the
water was full of oil, which stuck to us and was very disagreeable to
smell.

Carter Brooks came to dinner, and I played the National Anthem on the
phonograph as we went in to the Dining Room. Mother did not like it,
as the soup was getting cold, but we all stood until it was finished. I
then saluted, and we sat down.

Carter Brooks sat beside me, and he gave me a long and piercing glance.

"What's the matter with you, Bab?" he said. "You were rather rude to
me last night and now you've been looking through me and not at me ever
since I came, and I'll bet you're feverish."

"Not at all." I said, in a cold tone. "I may be excited, because of
war and my Country's Peril. But for goodness sake don't act like
the Familey, which always considers that I am sick when I am merely
intence."

"Intence about what?" he asked.

But can one say when one's friends are a disapointment to one? No, or at
least not at the table.

The others were not listening, as father was fussing about my waking him
at daylight to put out the Emblem.

"Just slide your hand this way, under the table cloth," Carter Brooks
said in a low tone. "It may be only intencity, but it looks most awfully
like chicken pocks or somthing."

So I did, considering that it was only Politeness, and he took it and
said:

"Don't jerk! It is nice and warm and soft, but not feverish. What's that
lump?"

"It's a blister," I said. And as the others were now complaining about
the soup, I told him of the Corps, etcetera, thinking that perhaps it
would rouse him to some patriotic feelings. But no, it did not.

"Now look here," he said, turning and frowning at me, "Aviation Corps
means flying. Just remember this,--if I hear of your trying any of that
nonsense I'll make it my business to see that you're locked up, young
lady."

"I shall do exactly as I like, Carter" I said in a friggid manner. "I
shall fly if I so desire, and you have nothing to say about it."

However, seeing that he was going to tell my father, I added:

"We shall probably not fly, as we have no machine. There are Cavalry
Regiments that have no horses, aren't there? But we are but at the
beginning of our Milatary existence, and no one can tell what the next
day may bring forth."

"Not with you, anyhow," he said in an angry tone, and was very cold to
me the rest of the dinner hour.

They talked about the war, but what a disapointment was mine! I had
returned from my Institution of Learning full of ferver, and it was a
bitter moment when I heard my father observe that he felt he could be
of more use to his Native Land by making shells than by marching and
carrying a gun, as he had once had milk-leg and was never the same
since.

"Of course," said my father, "Bab thinks I am a slacker. But a shell is
more valuable against the Germans than a milk leg, anytime."

I at that moment looked up and saw William looking at my father in a
strange manner. To those who were not on the alert it might have apeared
that he was trying not to smile, my father having a way of indulging in
"quips and cranks and wanton wiles" at the table which mother does not
like, as our Butlers are apt to listen to him and not fill the glasses
and so on.

But if my Familey slept mentaly I did not. AT ONCE I suspected William.
Being still not out, and therfore not listened to with much atention, I
kept my piece and said nothing. And I saw this. WILLIAM WAS NOT WHAT HE
SEEMED.

As soon as dinner was over I went into my father's den, where he brings
home drawings and estamates, and taking his Leather Dispach case, I
locked it in my closet, tying the key around my neck with a blue ribben.
I then decended to the lower floor, and found Carter Brooks in the hall.

"I want to talk to you," he said. "Have you young Turks--I mean young
Patriots any guns at this camp of yours?"

"Not yet."

"But you expect to, of course?"

I looked at him in a steady manner.

"When you have put on the Unaform of your Country" I said, "or at least
of Plattsburg, I shall tell you my Milatary secrets, and not before."

"Plattsburg!" he exclaimed. "What do you know of Plattsburg?"

I then told him, and he listened, but in a very disagreeable way. And at
last he said:

"The plain truth, Bab, is that some good-looking chap has filled you up
with a lot of dope which is meant for men, not romantic girls. I'll bet
to cents that if a fellow with a broken noze or a squint had told you,
you'd have forgotten it the next minute."

I was exasparated. Because I am tired of being told that the defence of
our Dear Country is a masculine matter.

"Carter" I said, "I do not beleive in the double, standard, and never
did."

"The what?"

"The double standard," I said with dignaty. "It was all well and good
when war meant wearing a kitchin stove and wielding a lance. It is no
longer so. And I will show you."

I did not mean to be boastfull, such not being my nature. But I did not
feel that one who had not yet enlisted, remarking that there was time
enough when the Enemy came over, etcetera, had any right to criticise
me.


12 MIDNIGHT. How can I set down what I have discovered? And having
recorded it, how be sure that Hannah will not snoop around and find this
record, and so ruin everything?

It is midnight. Leila is still out, bent on frivolaty. The rest of
the Familey sleeps quietly, except father, who has taken cold and is
breathing through his mouth, and I sit here alone, with my secret.

William is a Spy. I have the proofs. How my hand trembles as I set down
the terrable words.

I discovered it thus.

Feeling somewhat emty at bed time and never sleeping well when hollow
inside, I went down to the pantrey at eleven P. M. to see if any of the
dinner puding had been left, although not hopeful, owing to the servants
mostly finishing the desert.

WILLIAM WAS IN THE PANTREY.

He was writing somthing, and he tried to hide it when I entered.

Being in my ROBE DE NUIT I closed the door and said through it:

"Please go away, William. Because I want to come in, unless all the
puding is gone."

I could hear him moving around, as though concealing somthing.

"There is no puding, miss," he said. "And no fruit except for breakfast.
Your mother is very particuler that no one take the breakfast fruit."

"William," I said sternly, "go out by the kitchen door. Because I am
hungry, and I am coming in for SOMTHING."

He was opening and closing the pantrey drawers, and although young, and
not a housekeeper, I knew that he was not looking in them for edables.

"If you'll go up to your room, Miss Bab," he said, "I'll mix you an
Eggnogg, without alkohol, of course, and bring it up. An Eggnogg is a
good thing to stay the stomache with at night. I frequently resort to
one myself."

I saw that he would not let me in, so I agreed to the Eggnogg, but
without nutmeg, and went away. My knees tremble to think that into our
peacefull home had come "Grim-vizaged War," but I felt keen and capable
of dealing with anything, even a Spy.

William brought up the Eggnogg, with a dash of sherry in it, and I
could hear him going up the stairs to his chamber. I drank the Eggnogg,
feeling that I would need all my strength for what was to come, and then
went down to the pantrey. It was in perfect order, except that one of
the tea towles had had a pen wiped on it.

I then went through the drawers one by one, although not hopeful,
because he probably had the incrimanating document in the heal of his
shoe, which Spies usually have made hollow for the purpose, or sowed in
the lining of his coat.

At least, so I feared. But it was not so. Under one of the best table
cloths I found it.

Yes. I FOUND IT.

I copy it here in my journal, although knowing nothing of what it means.
Is it a scheme to blow up my father's mill, where he is making shells
for the defence of his Native Land? I do not know. With shaking hands I
put it down as follows:

     48 D. K.
     48 D. F.
     36 S. F.
     34 F. F.
     36 T. S.
     36 S. S.
     36 C. S.
     24 I. H. K.
     36 F. K.

But in one way its meaning is clear. Treachery is abroad and Treason has
but just stocked up the stairs to its Chamber.


APRIL 13TH. It is now noon and snowing, although supposed to be
spring. I am writing this Log in the tent, where we have built a fire.
Mademoiselle is sitting in the Adams's limousine, wrapped in rugs. She
is very sulky.

There are but nine of us, as I telephoned the Quartermaster early this
morning and summoned her to come over and discuss important business.

Her Unaform had come and so had mine. What a thrill I felt as she
entered Headquarters (my chamber) in kakhi and saluted. She was about
to sit down, but I reminded her that war knows no intimacies, and that
I was her Captain. She therfore stood, and I handed her William's code.
She read it and said:

"What is it?"

"That is what the G. A. C. is to find out," I said. "It is a cipher."

"It looks like it," said Jane in a flutering tone. "Oh, Bab, what are we
to do?"

I then explained how I had discovered it and so on.

"Our first duty," I went on, "is to watch William. He must be followed
and his every movement recorded. I need not tell you that our mill is
making shells, and that the fate of the Country may hang on you today."

"On me?" said Jane, looking terrafied.

"On you. I have selected you for this first day. To-morrow it will be
another. I have not yet decided which. You must remain secreted here,
but watching. If he goes out, follow him."

I was again obliged to remind her of my rank and so on, as she sat down
and began to object at once.

"The Familey," I said, "will be out all day at First Aid classes. You
will be safe from discovery."

Here I am sorry to say Jane disapointed me, for she observed, bitterly:

"No luncheon, I suppose!"

"Not at all," I said. "It is a part of the Plattsburg idea that a
good soldier must have nourishment, as his strength is all he has, the
Officers providing the brains."

I then rang for Hannah, and ofered her to dollars to bring Jane a tray
at noon and to sneak it from the kitchin, not the pantrey.

"From the kitchin?" she said. "Miss Bab, it's as much as my life is
worth to go to the kitchin. The cook and that new Butler are fighting
something awfull."

Jane and I exchanged glances.

"Hannah," I said, in a low tone, "I can only say this. If you but do
your part you may avert a great calamaty."

"My God, Miss Bab!" she cried. "That cook's a German. I said so from the
beginning."

"Not the cook, Hannah."

We were all silent. It was a terrable moment. I shortly afterwards left
the house, leaving Jane to study flag signals, or wig-waging as vulgarly
called, and TO WATCH.


CAMP, 4 P. M. Father has just been here.

We were trying to load one of Betty's uncle's guns when my Orderley
reported a car coming at a furious gate. On going to the opening of the
tent I saw that it was our car with father and Jane inside. They did not
stop in the road, but turned and came into the field, bumping awfully.

Father leaped out and exclaimed:

"Well!"

He then folded his arms and looked around.

"Upon my word, Bab!" he said. "You might at least take your Familey into
your confidence. If Jane had not happened to be at the house I'd never
have found you. But never mind about that now. Have you or have you not
seen my leather Dispach Case?"

Alas, my face betrayed me, being one that flushes easily and then turns
pale.

"I thought so," he said, in an angry voice. "Do you know that you have
kept a Board of Directors sitting for three hours, and that--Bab, you
are hopeless! Where is it?"

How great was my humiliation, although done with the Highest Motives, to
have my Corps standing around and listening. Also watching while I drew
out the rihben and the key.

"I hid it in my closet, father," I said.

"Great thunder!" he said. "And we have called in the Secret Service!"

He then turned on his heal and stocked away, only stopping to stare at
Mademoiselle in the car, and then driving as fast as possable back to
the mill.

As he had forgotten Jane, she was obliged to stay. It was by now
raining, and the Corps wanted to go home. But I made a speach, saying
that if we weakened now what would we do in times of Real Danger?

"What are a few drops of rain?" I inquired, "to the falling of bullets
and perhaps shells? We will now have the class in bandageing."

The Corps drew lots as to who would be bandaged, there being no
volunteers, as it was cold and necesary to remove Unaform etcetera.
Elaine got number seven. The others then practiced on her, having a book
to go by.

I here add to this log Jane's report on William. He had cleaned silver
until 1 P. M., when he had gone back to the kitchin and moved off the
soup kettle to boil some dish towles. The cook had then set his dish
towles out in the yard and upset the pan, pretending that a dog had done
so. Hannah had told Jane about it.

At 1:45 William had gone out, remarking that he was going to the drug
store to get some poizon for the cook. Jane had followed him and HE HAD
REALLY MAILED A LETTER.


APRIL 14TH. I have taken a heavy cold and am, alas, HORS DE COMBAT. The
Familey has issued orders that I am to stay in bed this A. M. and if
stopped sneazing by 2 P. M. am to be allowed up but not to go to Camp.

Elaine is in bed to, and her mother called up and asked my Parents if
they would not send me back to school, as I had upset everything and
they could not even get Elaine to the Dentist's, as she kept talking
about teeth being unimportant when the safety of the Nation was hanging
in the Balence.

As I lie here and reflect, it seems to me that everywhere around me I
see nothing but Sloth and Indiference. One would beleive that nothing
worse could happen than a Cook giving notice. Will nothing rouze us to
our Peril? Are we to sit here, talking about housecleaning and sowing
women and how wide are skirts, when the minions of the German Army may
at any time turn us into slaves? Never!


LATER: Carter Brooks has sent me a book on First Aid. Ye gods, what
chance have I at a wounded Soldier when every person of the Femanine
Sex in this Country is learning First Aid, and even hoping for small
accidents so they can practice on them. No, there are some who can use
their hands (i. e. at bandageing and cutting small boils, etcetera.
Leila has just cut one for Henry, the chauffeur, although not yellow
on top and therfore not ready) and there are others who do not care for
Nursing, as they turn sick at the sight of blood, and must therfore use
their brains. I am of this class.

William brought up my tray this morning. I gave him a peircing glance
and said:

"Is the Emblem out?"

He avoided my eye.

"Not yet, miss," he said. "Your father left sharp orders as to being
disturbed before 8 A. M."

"As it is now 9:30," I observed coldly, "there has been time enough
lost. I am HORS DE COMBAT, or I would have atended to it long ago."

He had drawn a stand beside the bed, and I now sat up and looked at my
Tray. The orange was cut through the wrong way!

Had I needed proof, dear log or journal, I had it there. For any BUTLER
knows how to cut a breakfast orange.

"William," I said, as he was going out, "how long have you been a
Butler?"

Perhaps this was a foolish remark as being calculated to put him on his
guard. But "out of the fullness of the Heart the Mouth speaketh." It was
said. I could not withdraw my words.

He turned suddenly and looked at me.

"Me, miss?" he said in a far to inocent tone. "Why, I don't know
exactly." He then smiled and said: "There are some who think I am not
much of a Butler now."

"Just a word of advise, William," I said in a signifacant tone. "A real
Butler cuts an orange the other way. I am telling you, because although
having grape fruit mostly, some morning some one may order an orange,
and one should be very careful THESE DAYS."

Shall I ever forget his face as he went out? No, never. He knew that I
knew, and was one to stand no nonsense. But I had put him on his guard.
It was to be a battle of Intellagence, his brains against mine.

Although regretful at first of having warned him, I feel now that it
is as well. I am one who likes to fight in the open, not as a serpent
coiled in the grass and pretending, like the one in the Bible, to be a
friend.


3 P. M. No new developments. Although forbidden to go out nothing was
said about the roof. I have therfore been up on it exchanging Signals
with Lucy Gray next door by means of flags. As their roof slants and it
is still raining, she sliped once and slid to the gutter. She then
sat there and screamed like a silly, although they got her back with a
clothesline which the Policeman asked for.

But Mrs. Gray was very unpleasant from one of their windows and said I
was a Murderer at heart.

Has the Average Parent no soul?


NOON, APRIL 14 (In Camp).

This is a fine day, being warm and bright and all here but Elaine and
Mademoiselle--the latter not greatly missed, as although French and an
Ally she thinks we should be knitting etcetera, and ordered the car to
be driven away when ever we tried to load the gun.

A quorum being present, it was moved and seconded that we express
wherever possable our disaproval in war time of


1. Cigarettes

2. Drinking

3. Low-necked dresses

4. Parties

5. Fancy deserts

6. Golf and other sports--except when necesary for health.

7. Candy.


We also pleged ourselves to try and make our Families rise early, and to
insist on Members of our Families hoisting and taking down the Stars and
Stripes, instead of having it done by those who may not respect it, or
only aparently so.

Passed unanamously.

The class in Telegraphy reported that it could do little or nothing, as
it is easy to rap out a dot but not possable to rap a dash. We therfore
gave it up for The Study of the Rifle and Its Care.

Luncheon today: Canned salmon, canned beans and vanila wafers.


2 A. M., APRIL 15TH. I have seen a Spy at his nefarius work!

I am still trembling. At one moment I think that I must go again to
Father and demand consideration, as more mature than he seems to think,
and absolutely certain I was not walking in my sleep. But the next
moment I think not, but that if I can discover William's plot myself, my
Familey will no longer ignore me and talk about my studying Vocal next
winter instead of coming out.

To return to William, dear Log or journal. I had been asleep for some
time, but wakened up to find myself standing in the dining room with a
napkin in each hand. I was standing in the Flag Signal position for A,
which is the only one I remember as yet without the Manual.

I then knew that I had been walking in my sleep, having done so several
times at School, and before Examinations being usualy tied by my
Room-mate with a string from my ankle to the door knob, so as in case of
getting out of bed to wake up.

I was rather scared, as I do not like the dark, feeling when in it that
Something is behind me and about to cluch at me.

I therfore stood still and felt like screaming, when suddenly the door
of the Butler's pantrey squeaked. Could I then have shreiked I would
have, but I had no breath for the purpose.

Somebody came into the room and felt for the table, passing close by me
and stepping by accident on the table bell, which is under the rug. It
rang and scared me more than ever. We then both stood still, and I hoped
if he or it heard my Heart thump he or it would think it was the hall
clock.

After a time the footsteps moved on around the table and out into the
hall. I was still standing in position A, being as it were frosen thus.

However, seeing that it was something human and not otherwise, as its
shoes creaked, I now became angry at the thought that Treason was under
the roof of my home. I therfore followed the Traitor out into the hall
and looked in through the door at him. He had a flash light, and was
opening the drawers of my father's desk. It was William.

I then concealed myself behind my father's overcoat in the hack hall,
and considered what to do. Should I scream and be probably killed, thus
dying a noble Death? Or should I remain still? I decided on the latter.

And now, dear Log or Journal, I must record what followed, which I shall
do as acurately as I can, in case of having later on to call in the
Secret Service and read this to them.

There is a safe built in my resadence under the stairs, in which the
silver service, plates, etcetera, are stored, as to big for the Safe
Deposit, besides being a nusance to send for every time there is a
dinner.

This safe only my father can unlock, or rather, this I fondly believed
until tonight. But how diferent are the facts! For William walked to it,
after listening at the foot of the stairs, and opened it as if he had
done so before quite often. He then took from it my father's Dispach
Case, locked the safe again, and went back through the dining room.

It is a terrable thing to see a crime thus comitted and to know not what
to do. Had William repaired again to his chamber, or would he return for
the plates, etcetera?

At last I crept upstairs to my father's room, which was locked. I could
not waken him by gently taping, and I feared that if I made a noise
I would warn the lurking Criminal in his den. I therfore went to my
bathroom and filled my bath sponge with water, and threw it threw the
transom in the direction of my father's bed.

As it happened it struck on his face, and I heard him getting up and
talking dreadfully to himself. Also turning on the lights. I put my
mouth to the keyhole and said:

"Father!"

Had he but been quiet, all would have been well. But he opened the door
and began roaring at me in a loud tone, calling me an imp of Mischeif
and other things, and yelling for a towle.

I then went in and closed the door and said:

"That's right. Bellow and spoil it all."

"Spoil what?" he said, glareing at me. "There's nothing left to spoil,
is there? Look at that bed! Look at me!"

"Father," I said, "while you are raging about over such a thing as a wet
Sponge, which I was driven to in desparation, the house is or rather has
been robbed."

He then sat down on the bed and said:

"You are growing up, Bab, although it is early for the burglar
obsession. Go on, though. Who is robbing us and why? Because if he finds
any Money I'll divide with him."

Such a speach discouraged me, for I can bear anything except to be
laughed at. I therfore said:

"William has just taken your Dispach Case out of the safe. I saw him."

"William!"

"William," I repeated in a tence voice.

He was then alarmed and put on his slippers and dressing gown.

"You stay here," he observed. "Personally I think you've had a bad
dream, because William can't possably know the combination of that safe.
It's as much as I can do to remember it myself."

"It's a Spy's business to know everything, father."

He gave me a peircing glance.

"He's a Spy, is he?" he then said. "Well, I might have known that all
this war preparation of yours would lead to Spies. It has turned more
substantile intellects than yours."

He then swiched on the hall lights from the top of the stairs and
desended. I could but wait at the top, fearing at each moment a shot
would ring out, as a Spy's business is such as not to stop at Murder.

My father unlocked the safe and looked in it. Then he closed it again
and disapeared into the back of the house. How agonising were the
moments that ensued! He did not return, and at last, feeling that he had
met a terrable Death, I went down.

I went through the fatal dining room to the pantrey and there found
him not only alive, but putting on a plate some cold roast beef and two
apples.

"I thought we'd have a bite to eat," he said. "I need a little
nourishment before getting back into that puddle to sleep."

"Father!" I said. "How can you talk of food when knowing----"

"Get some salt and pepper," he said, "and see if there is any mustard
mixed. You've had a dream, Bab. That's all. The Case is in the safe, and
William is in his bed, and in about two minutes a cold repast is going
to be in me."

Ye gods!

He is now asleep, and I am writing this at 2 A. M.

I, and I alone, know that there is a Criminal in this house, serving our
meals and quareling with the cook as if a regular Butler, but really
a Spy. And although I cry aloud in my anguish, those who hear me but
maintain that I am having a nightmare.

I am a Voice crying in the Wilderness.


APRIL 15TH: 9 A. M. William is going about as usual, but looks as though
he had not had enough sleep.

Father has told mother about last night, and I am not to have coffee in
the evenings. This is not surprizing, as they have always considered me
from a physical and not a mental standpoint.

My very Soul is in revolt.


6 P. M. This being Sunday, camp did not convene until 3 P. M. and then
but for a short time. We flag-signaled mostly and are now to the letter
E. Also got the gun loaded at last and fired it several times, I giving
the orders as in the book, page 262, in a loud voice:

(1) "Hold the rifle on the mark." (2) "Aim properly." (3) "Squeeze the
Triger properly." (4) "Call the shot."

We had but just started, and Mademoiselle had taken the car and gone
back to the Adams's residence to bring out Mr. Adams, as she considers
gun-shooting as dangerous, when a farmer with to dogs came over a fense
and objected, saying that it was Sunday and that his cows were getting
excited anyhow and would probahly not give any milk.

"These are War times," I said, in a dignafied manner. "And if you are
doing nothing for the country yourself you should at least allow others
to do so."

He was a not unreasonable tipe and this seemed to effect him. For he sat
down on one of our stools and said:

"Well, I don't know about that, miss. You see----"

"Captain," I put in. Because he might as well know that we meant
business.

"Captain, of course!" he said. "You'll have to excuze me. This thing of
Women in War is new to me. But now don't you think that you'll be doing
the country a service not to interfere with the food supply and so on?"
He then looked at me and remarked: "If I was you, miss or Captain, I
would not come any to clost to my place. My wife was pretty well bruized
up that time you upset our milk waggon."

IT WAS INDEED HE! But he was not unpleasant about it, although remarking
that if he had a daughter and a machine, although he had niether, and
expected niether, the one would never be allowed to have the other until
carefully taught on an emty road.

He then said:

"You girls have been wig-wagging, I see."

"We are studying flag signals."

"Humph!" he observed. "I used to know something about that myself, in
the Spanish war. Now let's see what I remember. Watch this. And somebody
keep an eye on that hill and report if a blue calico dress is charging
from the enemies' Trenches."

It was very strange to see one who apeared to be but an ordinary Farmer,
Or Milkman, pick up our flags and wave them faster than we could read
them. It was indeed thrilling, although discouraging, because if that
was the regular rate of Speed we felt that we could never acheive it. I
remarked this, and he then said:

"Work hard at it, and I reckon I can slip over now and then and give you
a lesson. Any girl that can drive an automobile hell-bent" (these are
his words, not mine) "can do most anything she sets her mind on. You
leave that gun alone, and work at the signaling, and I guess I can make
out to come every afternoon. I start out about 2 A. M. and by noon I'm
mostly back."

We all thanked him, and saluted as he left. He saluted to, and said:

"Name's Schmidt, but don't worry about that. Got some German blood way
back, but who hasn't?"

He then departed with his to dogs, and we held a meeting, and voted to
give up everything but signaling.

Passed unanamously.


8 P. M. I am now at home. Dinner is over, being early on Sundays because
of Servants' days out and so on.

Leila had a Doctor to dinner. She met him at the Red Cross, and he
would, I think, be a good husband. He sat beside me, and I talked mostly
about her, as I wished him to know that, although having her faults as
all have, she would be a good wife.

"She can sow very well," I told him, "and she would probably like to
keep House, but of course has no chance here, as mother thinks no one
can manage but herself."

"Indeed!" he said, looking at me. "But of course she will probably have
a house of her own before long."

"Very likely," I said. "Although she has had a number of chances and
always refuses."

"Probably the right Person has not happened along;" he observed.

"Perhaps," I said, in a signifacant tone. "Or perhaps he does not know
he is the right Person."

William, of whom more anon, was passing the ice cream just then. I
refused it, saying:

"Not in war time."

"Barbara," mother said, stiffly. "Don't be a silly. Eat your desert."

As I do not like seens I then took a little, but no cake.

During dinner Leila made an observation which has somewhat changed my
opinion of Carter Brooks. She said his mother did not want him to enlist
which was why he had not. She has no other sons and probably never will
have, being a widow.

I have now come to William.

Lucy Gray had been on Secret Service that day, but did the observing
from the windows of their house, as my Familey was at home and liable to
poke into my room at any moment.

William had made it up with the cook, Lucy said, and had showed her
a game of Solitaire in the morning by the kitchin window. He had then
fallen asleep in the pantrey, the window being up. In the afternoon,
luncheon being over and the Familey out in the car for a ride, he had
gone out into the yard behind the house and pretended to look to see
if the crocuses were all gone. But soon he went into the Garage and was
there a half hour.

Now it is one of the rules of this Familey that no house servants go to
the Garage, owing to taking up the Chauffeur's time when he should be
oiling up, etcetera. Also owing to one Butler stealing the Chauffeur's
fur coat and never being seen again.

But alas, what am I to do? For although I reported this being in the
Garage to mother, she but said:

"Don't worry me about him, Bab. He is hopelessly inefficient. But there
are no Men Servants to be had and we'll have to get along."


1 A. M. I have been on watch all evening, but everything is quiet.

I must now go to bed, as the Manual says, page 166:

"Retire early and get a good night's rest."


APRIL 16TH. In camp. Luncheon of sardines, pickels, and eclairs as no
one likes to cook, owing to smoke in the eyes, etcetera.

Camp convened at 12 noon, as we spent the morning helping to get members
of the Other Sex to enlist. We pinned a pink Carnation on each Enlister,
and had to send for more several times. We had quite a Crowd there and
it was very polite except one, who said he would enlist twice for one
kiss. The Officer however took him by the ear and said the Army did not
wish such as he. He then through (threw?) him out.

This morning I warned the new Chauffeur, feeling that if he had by
chance any Milatary Secrets in the Garage he should know about William.

"William!" he said, looking up from where he was in the Repair Pit at
the time. "WILLIAM!"

"I am sorry, Henry," I said, in a quiet voice. "But I fear that William
is not what he apears to be."

"I think you must be mistaken, miss." He then hamered for some time.
When he was through he climbed out and said: "There's to much Spy talk
going on, to my thinking, miss. And anyhow, what would a Spy be after in
this house?"

"Well," I observed, in an indignant manner, for I am sensative and hate
to have my word doubted, "as my father is in a business which is now War
Secrets and nothing else, I can understand, if you can't."

He then turned on the engine and made a terrable noise, to see if
hitting on all cylinders. When he shut it off I told him about William
spending a half hour in the Garage the day before. Although calm before
he now became white with anger and said:

"Just let me catch him sneaking around here, and I'll--what's he after
me for anyhow? I haven't got any Milatary Secrets."

I then sugested that we work together, as I felt sure William was after
my father's blue prints and so on, which were in the Dispach Case in the
safe at night. He said he was not a Spy-catcher, but if I caught William
at any nonsense I might let him know, and if he put a padlock on the
outside of his door and mother saw it and raised a fuss, I could stand
up for him.

I agreed to do so.


10 P. M. Doctor Connor called this evening, to bring Sis a pattern for
a Surgicle Dressing. They spent to hours in the Library looking at it.
Mother is rather upset, as she thinks a Doctor makes a poor husband,
having to be out at night and never able to go to Dinners owing to baby
cases and so on.

She said this to father, but I heard her and observed:

"Mother, is a doctor then to have no Familey life, and only to bring
into the world other people's children?"

She would usualy have replied to me, but she merely sighed, as she is
not like herself, being worried about father.

She beleives that my Father's Life is in danger, as although usualy
making steel, which does not explode and is therfore a safe business, he
is now making shells, and every time it has thundered this week she has
ohserved:

"The mill!"

She refuses to be placated, although knowing that only those known to
the foremen can enter, as well as having a medal with a number on it,
and at night a Password which is new every night.

I know this, because we have this evening made up a list of Passwords
for the next week, using a magazine to get them out of, and taking
advertisements, such as Cocoa, Razers, Suspenders and so on. Not these
actualy but others like them.

We then learned them off by heart and burned the paper, as one cannot be
to carefull with a Spy in the house, even if not credited as such by my
Parents.

Have forgotten the Emblem. Must take it in.


APRIL 17TH. In camp.

Henry brought me out in the big car, as mine has a broken spring owing
to going across the field with it.

He says he has decided to help me, and that I need not watch the safe,
etcetera, at night. I therfore gave him a key to the side door, and now
feel much better. He also said not to have any of the Corps detailed to
watch William in the daytime, as he can do so, because the Familey is
now spending all day at the Red Cross.

He thinks the Password idea fine, as otherwise almost anybody could
steal a medal and get into the mill.

William seems to know that I know something, and this morning, while
opening the door for me, he said:

"I beg pardon, Miss Bab, but I see Henry is driving you today."

"It is not hard to see," I replied, in a hauty manner. It is not the
Butler's business who is driving me, and anyhow I had no intention of
any unecessary conversation with a Spy.

"Your own car being out of order, miss?"

"It is," I retorted. "As you will probably be going to the Garage,
although against orders, while Henry is out, you can see it yourself."

I then went out and sat in front in order to converce with Henry, as the
back is lonely. I looked up at the door and William was standing there,
with a very queer look on his face.


3 P. M. Mr. Schmidt is late and the Corps is practising, having now got
to K.

Luncheon was a great surprize, as at 12:45 a car apeared on the sky line
and was reported by our Sentry as aproaching rapidly.

When it came near it was seen to be driven by Carter Brooks, and to
contain several baskets, etcetera. He then dismounted and saluted and
said:

"The Commiseriat has sent me forward with the day's rations, sir."

"Very good," I returned, in an official manner. "Corps will line up and
count. Odd numbers to unpack and evens to set the table."

This of course was figurative, as we have no table, but eat upon the
ground.

He then carried over the baskets and a freezer of ice cream. He had
brought a fruit salid, cold chicken, potatoe Chips, cake and ice-cream.
It was a delightful Repast, and not soon to be forgotten by the Corps.

Mademoiselle got out of the Adams's car and came over, although she had
her own lunch as usual. She then had the Chauffeur carry over a seat
cushion, and to see her one would beleive she was always pleasant. I
have no use for those who are only pleasant in the presence of Food or
Strangers.

Carter Brooks sat beside me, and observed:

"You see, Bab, although a Slacker myself, I cannot bear that such brave
spirits as those of the Girls' Aviation Corps should go hungry."

I then gave him a talking-to, saying that he had been a great
disapointment, as I thought one should rise to the Country's Call and
not wait until actualy needed, even when an only son.

He made no defence, but said in a serious tone:

"You see, it's like this. I am not sure of myself, Bab. I don't want to
enlist because others of the Male Sex, as you would say, are enlisting
and I'm ashamed not to. And I don't want to enlist just to wear a
Unaform and get away from business. I don't take it as lightly as all
that."

"Have you no Patriotism?" I demanded. "Can you repeat unmoved the
celabrated lines:

     "Lives there a man with Soul so dead,
     He (or who) never to himself hath said:
     This is my own, my Native Land."

I then choked up, although being Captain I felt that tears were a
femanine weakness and a bad Example.

Mademoiselle had at that moment felt an ant somewhere and was not
looking. Therfore she did not perceive when he reached over and put his
hand on my foot, which happened to be nearest to him. He then pated my
foot, and said:

"What a nice kid you are!"

It is strange, now that he and the baskets, etcetera, have gone away,
that I continue to think about his pating my foot. Because I have
known him for years, and he is nothing to me but a good friend and not
sentamental in any way.

I feel this way. Suppose he enlists and goes away to die for his
Country, as a result of my Speach. Can I endure to think of it? No. I
did not feel this way about Tom Gray, who has gone to Florida to learn
to fly, although at one time thinking the Sun rose and set on him. It is
very queer.

The Sentry reports Mr. Schmidt and the dogs coming over the fense.


EVENING. Doctor Connor is here again. He is taking Sis to a meeting
where he is to make a Speach. I ofered to go along, but they did not
apear to hear me, and perhaps it is as well, for I must watch William,
as Henry is taking them in the car. I am therfore writing on the stairs,
as I can then hear him washing Silver in the pantrey.

Mother has been very sweet to me this evening. I cannot record how I
feel about the change. I used to feel that she loved me when she had
time to do so, but that she had not much time, being busy with Bridge,
Dinners, taking Leila out and Housekeeping, and so on. But now she has
more time. Tonight she said:

"Bab, suppose we have a little talk. I have been thinking all day what
I would do if you were a boy, and took it into that Patriotic head of
yours to enlist. I couldn't bear it, that's all."

I was moved to tears by this afection on the part of my dear Parent, but
I remembered being Captain of the Corps, and so did not weep. She then
said that she would buy us an Emblem for the Camp, and have a luncheon
packed each day. She also ofered me a wrist watch.

I cannot but think what changes War can make, bringing people together
because of worry and danger, and causing gifts, such as flags and
watches, and ofering to come out and see us in a day or so.

It is now 9 P. M. and the mention of the flag has reminded me that our
own Emblem still fluters beneath the Starry Sky.


LATER: William is now in the Garage. I am watching from the window of
the sowing room.

The terrable thought comes--has he a wireless concealed there, by which
he sends out clandestine messages, perhaps to Germany?

This I know. He cannot get into Henry's room, as the padlock is now on.


LATER: He has returned, foiled!


APRIL 18TH. Nothing new. Working hard at signaling. Mr. Schmidt says I
am doing well and if he was an Officer he would give me a job.


APRIL 19TH. Nothing new. But Doctor Connor had told Leila that my father
looks sick or at least not well. When I went to him, being frightened,
as he is my only Male Parent and very dear to me, he only laughed and
said:

"Nonsense! We're rushed at the Mill, that's all. You see, Bab, War is
more than Unaforms and saluting. It is a nasty Business. And of course,
between your forgetting The Emblem until midnight, when I am in my
first sleep, and putting it out at Dawn, I am not getting all the rest I
really need."

He then took my hand and said:

"Bab, you haven't by any chance been in my Dispach Case for anything,
have you?"

"Why? Is something missing?" I said in I startled tone.

"No. But sometimes I think--however, never mind about that. I think I'll
take the Case upstairs and lock my door hereafter, and if the Emblem is
an hour or to late, we will have to stand for it. Eight o'clock is
early enough for any Flag, especialy if it has been out late the night
before."

"Father" I said, in a tence voice. "I have before this warned you, but
you would not listen, considering me imature and not knowing a Spy when
I see one."

I then told him what I knew about William, but he only said:

"Well, the only thing that matters is the Password, and that cannot be
stolen. As for William, I have had his record looked up by the Police,
and it is fine. Now go to bed, and send in the Spy. I want a Scotch and
Soda."


APRIL 20TH. Henry and I have searched the Garage, but there is no
Wireless, unless in a Chimney. Henry says this is often done, by Spies,
who raise a Mast out of the chimney by night.

To night I shall watch the Chimney, as there is an ark light near it, so
that it is as bright as Day.

The cook has given notice, as she and William cannot get along, and
as he can only make to salids and those not cared for by the other
servants.


APRIL 27TH. After eight days I am at last alowed this Log or Journal,
being supported with pillows while writing as Doctor Connor says it will
not hurt me.

He has just gone, and I am sure kissed Leila in the hall while Hannah
and the nurse were getting pen, ink, etcetera. Perhaps after all Romanse
has at last come to my beloved sister, who will now get married. If so,
I can come out in November, which is the best time, as December is busy
with Xmas and so on.

How shall I tell the tradgic story of that night? How can I put, by
means of a pen, my Experiences on paper? There are some things which may
not be written, but only felt, and that mostly afterwards, as during the
time one is to excited to feel.

On April 21st, Saturday, I had a bad cold and was not allowed to go to
camp. I therfore slept most of the day, being one to sleep easily in
daytime, except for Hannah coming in to feel if I was feverish.

My father did not come home to dinner, and later on telephoned that
he was not to be looked for until he arived, owing to somthing very
important at the Mill and a night shift going on for the first time.

We ate Dinner without him, and mother was very nervous and kept saying
that with foremen and so on she did not see why father should have to
kill himself.

Ye gods! Had we but realised the Signifacance of that remark! But we did
not, but went to living in a Fool's Paradice, and complaining because
William had put to much vinigar in the French Dressing.

William locked up the house and we retired to our Chambers. But as I had
slept most of the day I could not compose myself to Slumber, but sat up
in my robe de nuit and reflected about Carter Brooks, and that perhaps
it would be better for him not to enlist as there is plenty to be done
here at home, where one is safe from bullets, machine guns and so on.
Because, although not Sentamental about him or silly in any way, I felt
that he should not wish to go into danger if his mother objected. And
after all one must consider mothers and other Parents.

I put a dressing gown over my ROBE DE NUIT, and having then remembered
about the Wireless, I put out my light and sat in the window seat. But
there was no Mast to be seen, and nothing but the ark light swinging.

I then saw some one come in the drive and go back to the Garage, but
as Henry has a friend who has been out of work and sleeps with him,
although not told to the Familey, as probably objecting,--although why
I could not see, since he used half of Henry's bed and therfore cost
nothing--I considered that it was he.

It was not, however, as I shall now record in this Log or Journal.

I had perhaps gone to sleep in my place of watching, when I heard a
rapping at my Chamber door. "Only this and nothing more." Poe--The
Raven.

I at once opened the door, and it was the cook. She said that Henry had
returned from the mill with a pain in his ear, and had telephoned to
her by the house 'phone to bring over a hot water bottle, as father was
driving himself home when ready.

She then said that if I would go over with her to the Garage and drop
some laudinum into his ear, she being to nervous, and also taking my hot
water bottle, she would be grateful.

Although not fond of her, owing to her giving notice and also being very
fussy about cake taken from the pantrey, I am one to go always where
needed. I also felt that a member of the Corps should not shirk Duty,
even a Chauffeur's ear. I therfore got my hot water bottle and some
slippers, etcetera, and we went to the Garage.

I went up the stairs to Henry's room, but what was my surprize to find
him not there, but only his friend. I then said:

"Where is Henry?"

The cook was behind me, and she said:

"He is coming. He has to walk around because it aches so."

Then Henry's friend said, in a queer voice:

"Now, Miss Bab, there is nothing to be afraid of, unless you make a
noise. If you do there will be trouble and that at once. We three are
going to have a little talk."

Ye gods! I tremble even to remember his words, for he said:

"What we want is simple enough. We want tonight's Password at the Mill.
DON'T SCREAM."

I dropped the hot water bottle, because there is no use pretending one
is not scared at such a time. One is. But of course I would not tell
them the Password, and the cook said:

"Be careful, Miss Bab. We are not playing. We are in terrable ernest."

She did not sound like a cook at all, and she looked diferent, being
very white and with to red spots on her cheeks.

"So am I," I responded, although with shaking teeth. "And just wait
until the Police hear of this and see what happens. You will all be
arested. If I scream----"

"If you scream," said Henry's friend in an awful voice, "you will never
scream again."

There was now a loud report from below, which the neighbors afterwards
said they heard, but considered gas in a muffler, which happens often
and sounds like a shot. There was then a sort of low growl and somebody
fell with a thump. Then the cook said to Henry's friend:

"Jump out of the window. They've got him!"

But he did not jump, but listened, and we then heard Henry saying:

"Come down here, quick."

Henry's friend then went downstairs very rapidly, and I ran to the
window thinking to jump out. But it was closed and locked, and anyhow
the cook caught me and said, in a hissing manner:

"None of that, you little fool."

I had never been so spoken to, especially by a cook, and it made me very
angry. I then threw the bottle of laudinum at her, and broke a front
tooth, also cutting her lip, although I did not know this until later,
as I then fainted.

When I came to I was on the floor and William, whom I had considered a
Spy, was on the bed with his hands and feet tied. Henry was standing by
the door, with a revolver, and he said:

"I'm sorry, Miss Bab, because you are all right and have helped me a
lot, especially with that on the bed. If it hadn't been for you our
Goose would have been cooked."

He then picked me up and put me in a chair, and looked at his watch.

"Now," he said, "we'll have that Password, because time is going and
there are things to be done, quite a few of them."

I could see William then, and I saw his eyes were partly shut, and
that he had been shot, because of blood, etcetera. I was about to faint
again, as the sight of blood makes me sick at the stomache, but Henry
held a bottle of amonia under my nose and said in a brutal way:

"Here, none of that."

I then said that I would not tell the Password, although killed for it,
and he said if I kept up that attitude I would be, because they were
desperate and would stop at nothing.

"There is no use being stubborn," he said, "because we are going to get
that Password, and the right one to, because if the wrong one you, to,
will be finished off in short order."

As I was now desperate myself I decided to shriek, happen what may. But
I had merely opened my mouth to when he sprang at me and put his hand
over my mouth. He then said he would be obliged to gag me, and that when
I made up my mind to tell the Password, if I would nod my Head he would
then remove the gag. As I grew pale at these words he threw up a window,
because air prevents fainting.

He then tied a towel around my mouth and lips, putting part of it
between my teeth, and tied it in a hard knot behind. He also tied my
hands behind me, although I kicked as hard as possable, and can do so
very well, owing to skating and so on.

How awfull were my sensations as I thus sat facing Death, and
remembering that I had often been excused from Chapel when not necesary,
and had been confirmed while pretending to know the Creed while not
doing so. Also not always going to Sunday School as I should, and being
inclined to skip my Prayers when very tired.

We sat there for a long time, which seemed Eternities, Henry making
dreadful threats, and holding a revolver. But I would not tell the
Password, and at last he went out, locking the door behind him, to
consult with the other Spies.

I then heard a whisper, and saw that William was not dead. He said:

"Here, quick. I'll unloose your hands and you can drop out the window."

He did so, but just in time, as Henry returned, looking fierce and
saying that I had but fifteen minutes more. I was again in my chair, and
he did not percieve that my hands were now untied.

I must stop here, as my hands tremble to much to hold my trusty pen.


APRIL 28TH. Leila has just been in. She kissed me in a fraternal manner,
and I then saw that she wore an engagement ring. Well, such is Life.
We only get realy acquainted with our Families when they die, or get
married.

Doctor Connor came in a moment later and kissed me to, calling me his
brave little Sister.

How pleasant it is to lie thus, having wine jelatine and squab and so
on, and wearing a wrist watch with twenty-seven diamonds, and mother
using the vibrator on my back to make me sleepy, etcetera. Also, to know
that when one's father returns he will say:

"Well, how is the Patriot today?" and not smile while saying it.

I have recorded in this journal up to where I had got my hands loose,
and Henry was going to shoot me in fifteen minutes.

We have thus come to Mr. Schmidt.

Suddenly Henry swore in an angry manner. This was because my father had
brought the machine home and was but then coming along the drive. Had he
come alone it would have been the end of him and the Mill, for Henry and
his friend would have caught him, and my father is like me--he would die
before giving the Password and blowing up all the men and so on in the
Mill. But he brought the manager with him, as he lives out of town and
there is no train after midnight.

My father said:

"Henry!"

So Henry replied:

"Coming, sir" and went out, but again locked the door.

Before he went out he said:

"Now mind, any noise up here and we will finish you and your father
also. DON'T YOU OVERTURN A CHAIR BY MISTAKE, YOUNG LADY."

He then went down, and I could hear my dear Parent's voice which I felt
I would probably never hear again, discussing new tires and Henry's
earache, which was not a real one, as I now knew.

I looked at William, but he had his eyes shut and I saw he was now realy
unconscious. I then however heard a waggon in our alley, and I went to
the window. What was my joy to see that it was Mr. Schmidt's milk waggon
which had stopped under the ark light, with he himself on the seat. He
was getting some milk bottles out, and I suppose he heard the talking
in our Garage, for he stopped and then looked up. Then he dropped a milk
bottle, but he stood still and stared.

With what anguished eyes, dear Log or Journal, did I look down at him,
unable to speak or utter a sound. I then tried to untie the Towle but
could not, owing to feeling weak and sick and the knots being hard.

I at one moment thought of jumping out, but it was to far for our Garage
was once a Stable and is high. But I knew that if the Criminals who
surounded my Father and the manager heard such a sound, they would then
attack my Father and kill him.

I was but a moment thinking all this, as my mind is one to work fast
when in Danger. Mr. Schmidt was still staring, and the horse was moving
on to the next house, as Mr. Schmidt says it knows all his Customers and
could go out alone if necesary.

It was then that I remembered that, although I could not speak, I could
signal him, although having no flags. I therfore signaled, saying:

"Quiet. Spies. Bring police."

It was as well that he did not wait for the last to letters, as I could
not remember C, being excited and worried at the time. But I saw him
get into his waggon and drive away very fast, which no one in the Garage
noticed, as milk waggons were not objects of suspicion.

How strange it was to sit down again as if I had not moved, as per
orders, and hear my Father whistling as he went to the house. I began to
feel very sick at my Stomache, although glad he was safe, and wondered
what they would do without me. Because I had now seen that, although
insisting that I was still a child, I was as dear to them as Leila,
though in a different way.

I had not cried as yet, but at the thought of Henry's friend and the
others coming up to kill me before Mr. Schmidt could get help, I shed a
few tears.

They all came back as soon as my Father had slamed the house door, and
if they had been feirce before they were awfull then, the cook with a
handkerchief to her mouth, and Henry's friend getting out a watch and
giving me five minutes. He had counted three minutes and was holding
his Revolver to just behind my ear, when I heard the milk waggon coming
back, with the horse galloping.

It stopped in the alley, and the cook said, in a dreadfull voice:

"What's that?"

She dashed to the Window, and looked out, and then turned to the other
Spies and said:

"The Police!"

I do not know what happened next, as I fainted again, having been under
a strain for some time.

I must now stop, as mother has brought the Vibrater.


APRIL 29TH. All the people in my father's Mill have gone together and
brought me a riding horse. I have just been to the window of my Chamber
to look at it. I have always wanted a horse, but I cannot see that I
deserve this one, having but done what any member of the G. A. C. should
do.

As I now have a horse, perhaps the Corps should become Cavalry. Memo:
Take this up with Jane.


LATER: Carter Brooks has just gone, and I have a terrable headache owing
to weeping, which always makes my head ache.

He has gone to the War.

I cannot write more.


10 P. M. I can now think better, although still weeping at intervals.
I must write down all that has happened, as I do not feel like telling
Jane, or indeed anybody.

Always before I have had no Secrets from Jane, even in matters of the
Other Sex. But I feel very strange about this and like thinking about it
rather than putting it into speach.

Also I feel very kind toward everybody, and wish that I had been a
better girl in many ways. I have tried to be good, and have never smoked
cigarettes or been decietful except when forced to be by the Familey not
understanding. But I know I am far from being what Carter Brooks thinks
me to be.

I have called Hannah and given her my old watch, with money to for a new
chrystal. Also stood by at Salute while my father brought in the Emblem.
For William can no longer do it, as he was not really a Butler at all
but a Secret Service Inspector, and also being still in the Hospital,
although improving.

He had not told the Familey, as he was afraid they would not then treat
him as a real Butler. As for the code in the pantrey, it was really not
such, but the silver list, beginning with 48 D. K. or dinner knives,
etcetera. When taking my Father's Dispach Case from the safe, it was to
keep the real Spies from getting it. He did it every night, and took the
important papers out until morning, when he put them back.

To-night my father brought in the Emblem and folded it. He then said:

"Well, I admit that Fathers are not real Substatutes for young men in
Unaform, but in times of Grief they may be mighty handy to tie to." He
then put his arms around me and said: "You see, Bab, the real part of
War, for a woman--and you are that now, Bab, in spite of your years--the
real thing she has to do is not the fighting part, although you are
about as good a soldier as any I know. The thing she has to do is to
send some one she cares about, and then sit back and wait."

As he saw that I was agatated, he then kissed me and sugested that we
learn something more than the first verse of the National Hymn, as he
was tired of making his lips move and thus pretending to sing when not
actualy doing so.

I shall now record about Carter Brooks coming today. I was in a chair
with pilows and so on, when Leila came in and kissed me, and then said:

"Bab, are you able to see a caller?"

I said yes, if not the Police, as I had seen a great many and was tired
of telling about Henry and Henry's friend, etcetera.

"Not the Police," she said.

She then went out in the hall and said:

"Come up. It's all right."

I then saw a Soldier in the door, and could not beleive that it was
Carter Brooks, until he saluted and said:

"Captain, I have come to report. Owing to the end of the Easter Holadays
the Girls' Aviation Corps----"

I could no longer be silent. I cried:

"Oh, Carter!"

So he came into the room and turned round, saying:

"Some soldier, eh?"

Leila had gone out, and all at once I knew that my Patriotism was not
what I had thought it, for I could not bear to see him going to War,
especialy as his mother would be lonly without him.

Although I have never considered myself weak, I now felt that I was
going to cry. I therfore said in a low voice to give me a Handkercheif,
and he gave me one of his.

"Why, look here," he said, in an astounded manner, "you aren't crying
about ME, are you?"

I said from behind his Handkercheif that I was not, except being sorry
for his mother and also for him on account of Leila.

"Leila!" he said. "What about Leila?"

"She is lost to you forever," I replied in a choking tone. "She is
betrothed to another."

He became very angry at that, and observed:

"Look here, Bab. One minute I think you are the cleverest Girl in the
World, and the next--you little stuped, do you still insist on thinking
that I am in love with Leila?"

At that time I began to feel very queer, being week and at the same time
excited and getting red, the more so as he pulled the Handkercheif from
my eyes and commanded me: "Bab, look at me. Do I LOOK as though I care
for Leila?"

I, however, could not look at him just then. Because I felt that I could
not endure to see the Unaform.

"Don't you know why I hang around this House?" he said, in a very savige
manner. "Because if you don't everybody else does."

Dear Log or Journal, I could but think of one thing, which was that
I was not yet out, but still what is called a Sub-Deb, and so he was
probably only joking, or perhaps merely playing with me.

I said so, in a low tone, but he only gave a Groan and said:

"I know you are not out and all the rest of it. Don't I lie awake at
night knowing it? And that's the reason I----" Here he stopped and said:
"Damm it" in a feirce voice. "Very well," he went on. "I came to say
Good-bye, and to ask you if you will write to me now and then. Because
I'm going to War half because the Country needs me and the other half
because I'm not going to disapoint a certain young Person who has a way
of expecting people to be better than they are."

He then very suddenly stood up and said:

"I guess I'd better go. And don't you dare to cry, because if you do
there will be Trouble."

But I could not help it, as he was going to War for my Native Land, and
might never come back. I therfore asked for his Handkercheif again, but
he did not listen. He only said:

"You are crying, and I warned you."

He then stooped over and put his hand under my Chin and said:

"Good-bye, sweetheart."

AND KISSED ME.

He went out at once, slaming the door, and passed Leila in the lower
Hall without speaking to her.


APRIL 30TH. I now intend to close this Log or Journal, and write no
more in it. I am not going back to school, but am to get strong and well
again, and to help mother at the Red Cross. I wish to do this, as it
makes me feel usefull and keeps me from worrying.

After all, I could not realy care for any one who would not rise to the
Country's Call.


MAY 3RD. I have just had a letter from Carter. It is mostly about
blisters on his feet and so on, and is not exactly a love letter. But he
ends with this, which I shall quote, and so end this Dairy:


"After all, Bab, perhaps we all needed this. I know I did.

"I want to ask you something. Do you remember the time you wrote me that
you were BLITED and I sugested that we be blited together. How about
changing that a bit, and being PLITED. Because if I am not cheered
by something of the sort, my Patriotism is going to ooze out of the
blisters on my heels."


I have thought about this all day, and I have no right to ruin his
Career. I beleive that the Army should be encouraged as much as
possible. I have therefore sent him a small drawing, copied from the
Manual, like this:

{1" tall figure of a man holding semifore flags--his right arm is to the
right and his left arm is up}

Which means "Afirmative"





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