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The Tables Turned; or, Nupkins Awakened. A Socialist Interlude By William Morris Characters: 30055

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02

"Mrs. Salisbury," said Justine, when her mistress came into the kitchen one December morning, "I've had a note from Mrs. Sargent-"

"From Mrs. Sargent?" Mrs. Salisbury repeated, astonished. And to herself she said: "She's trying to get Justine away from me!"

"She writes as Chairman of the Department of Civics of the Forum Club," pursued Justine, referring to the letter she held in her hand, "to ask me if I will address the club some Thursday on the subject of the College of Domestic Science. I know that you expect to give a card party some Thursday, and I thought I would make sure just which one you meant."

Mrs. Salisbury, taken entirely unaware, was actually speechless for a moment. The Forum was, of all her clubs, the one in which membership was most prized by the women of River Falls. It was not a large club, and she had longed for many years somehow to place her name among the eighty on its roll. The richest and most exclusive women of River Falls belonged to the Forum Club; its few rooms, situated in the business part of town, and handsomely but plainly furnished, were full of subtle reminders that here was no mere social center; here responsible members of the recently enfranchised sex met to discuss civic betterment, schools and municipal budgets, commercialized vice and child labor, library appropriations, liquor laws and sewer systems. Local politicians were beginning to respect the Forum, local newspapers reported its conventions, printed its communications.

Mrs. Salisbury was really a little bit out of place among the clever, serious young doctors, the architects, lawyers, philanthropists and writers who belonged to the club. But her membership therein was one of the things in which she felt an unalloyed satisfaction. If the discussions ever secretly bored or puzzled her, she was quite clever enough to conceal it. She sat, her handsome face, under its handsome hat, turned toward the speaker, her bright eyes immovable as she listened to reports and expositions. And, after the motion to adjourn had been duly made, she had her reward. Rich women, brilliant women, famous women chatted with her cordially as the Forum Club streamed downstairs. She was asked to luncheons, to teas; she was whirled home in the limousines of her fellow-members. No other one thing in her life seemed to Mrs. Salisbury as definite a social triumph as was her membership in the Forum.

Her election had come about simply enough, after years of secret longing to become a member. Sandy, who was about twelve at the time, during a call from Mrs. Sargent, had said innocently:

"Why haven't you ever joined the Forum, Mother?"

"Why, yes; why not?" Mrs. Sargent had added.

This gave Mrs. Salisbury an opportunity to say:

"Well, I have been a very busy woman, and couldn't have done so, with these three dear children to watch. But, as a matter of fact, Mrs. Sargent, I have never been asked. At least," she went on scrupulously, "I am almost sure I never have been!" The implication being that the Forum's card of invitation might have been overlooked for more important affairs.

"I'll send you another," the great lady had said at once. "You're just the sort we need," Mrs. Sargent had continued. "We've got enough widows and single women in now; what we want are the real mothers, who need shaking out of the groove!"

Mrs. Sargent happened to be President of the Club at that time, so Mrs. Salisbury had only to ignore graciously the rather offensive phrasing of the invitation, and to await the news of her election, which duly and promptly arrived.

And now Justine had been asked to speak at the Forum! It was the most distasteful bit of information that had come Mrs. Salisbury's way in a long, long time! She felt in her heart a stinging resentment against Mrs. Sargent, with her mad notions of equality, and against Justine, who was so complacently and contentedly accepting this monstrous state of affairs.

"That is very kind of Mrs. Sargent," said she, fighting for dignity; "she is very much interested in working girls and their problems, and I suppose she thinks this might be a good advertisement for the school, too." This idea had just come to Mrs. Salisbury, and she found it vaguely soothing. "But I don't like the idea," she ended firmly; "it-it seems very odd, very-very conspicuous. I should prefer you not to consider anything of the kind."

"I should prefer" was said in the tone that means "I command," yet Justine was not satisfied.

"Oh, but why?" she asked.

"If you force me to discuss it," said Mrs. Salisbury, in sudden anger, "because you are my maid! My gracious, YOU ARE MY MAID," she repeated, pent-up irritation finding an outlet at last. "There is such a relationship as mistress and maid, after all! While you are in my house you will do as I say. It is the mistress's place to give orders, not to take them, not to have to argue and defend herself-"

"Certainly, if it is a question about the work the maid is supposed to do," Justine defended herself, with more spirit than the other woman had seen her show before. "But what she does with her leisure-why it's just the same as what a clerk does with his leisure, nobody questions it, nobody-"

"I tell you that I will not stand here and argue with you," said Mrs. Salisbury, with more dignity in her tone than in her words. "I say that I don't care to have my maid exploited by a lot of fashionable women at a club, and that ends it! And I must add," she went on, "that I am extremely surprised that Mrs. Sargent should approach you in such a matter, without consulting me!"

"The relationship of mistress and maid," Justine said slowly, "is what has always made the trouble. Men have decided what they want done in their offices, and never have any trouble in finding boys to fill the vacancies. But women expect-"

"I really don't care to listen to any further theories from that extraordinary school," said Mrs. Salisbury decidedly. "I have told you what I expect you to do, and I know you are too sensible a girl to throw away a good position-"

"Mrs. Salisbury, if I intended to say anything in such a little talk that would reflect on this family, or even to mention it, it would be different, but, as it is-"

"I should hope you WOULDN'T mention this family!" Mrs. Salisbury said hotly. "But even without that-"

"It would be merely an outline of what the school is, and what it tries to do," Justine interposed. "Miss Holley, our founder and President, was most anxious to have us interest the general public in this way, if ever we got a chance."

"What Miss Holley-whoever she is-wanted, or wants, is nothing to me!" Mrs. Salisbury said magnificently. "You know what I feel about this matter, and I have nothing more to say."

She left the kitchen on the very end of the last word, and Justine, perforce not answering, hoped that the affair was concluded, once and for all.

"For Mrs. Sargent may think she can exasperate me by patronizing my maid," said Mrs. Salisbury guardedly, when telling her husband and daughter of the affair that evening, "but there is a limit to everything, and I have had about enough of this efficiency business!"

"I can only beg, Mother dear, that you won't have a row with Owen's dear little vacillating, weak-minded ma," said Sandy cheerfully.

"No; but, seriously, don't you both think it's outrageous?" Mrs. Salisbury asked, looking from one to the other.

"No-o; I see the girl's point," Kane Salisbury said thoughtfully. "What she does with her afternoons off is her own affair, after all; and you can't blame her, if a chance to step out of the groove comes along, for taking advantage of it. Strictly, you have no call to interfere."

"Legally, perhaps I haven't," his wife conceded calmly. "But, thank goodness, my home is not yet a court of law. Besides, Daddy, if one of the young men in the bank did something of which you disapproved, you would feel privileged to interfere."

"If he did something WRONG, Sally, not otherwise."

"And you would be perfectly satisfied to meet your janitor somewhere at dinner?"

"No; the janitor's colored, to begin with, and, more than that, he isn't the type one meets. But, if he qualified otherwise, I wouldn't mind meeting him just because he happened to be the janitor. Now, young Forrest turns up at the club for golf, and Sandy and I picked Fred Hall up the other day, coming back from the river." Kane Salisbury, leaning back in his chair, watched the rings of smoke that rose from his cigar. "It's a funny thing about you women," he said lazily. "You keep wondering why smart girls won't go into housework, and yet, if you get a girl who isn't a mere stupid machine, you resent every sign she gives of being an intelligent human being. No two of you keep house alike, and you jump on the girl the instant she hangs a dish towel up the way you don't. It's you women who make life so hard for each other. Now, if any decent man saw a young fellow at the bottom of the ladder, who was as good and clever and industrious as Justine is, he'd be glad to give him a hand up. But no; that means she's above her work, and has to be snubbed."

"Don't talk so cynically, Daddy dear," Mrs. Salisbury said, smiling over her fancy work, as one only half listening.

"I tell you, a change is coming in all these things, Sally," said the cynic, unruffled.

"You bet there is!" his daughter seconded him from the favorite low seat that permitted her to rest her mouse-colored head against his knee.

"Your mother's a conservative, Sandy," pursued the man of the house, encouraged, "but there's going to be some domestic revolutionizing in the next few years. It's hard enough to get a maid now; pretty soon it'll be impossible. Then you women will have to sit down and work the thing out, and ask yourselves why young American girls won't come into your homes, and eat the best food in the land, and get well paid for what they do. You'll have to reduce the work of an American home to a system, that's all, and what you want done that isn't provided for in that system you'll have to do yourselves. There's something in the way you treat a girl now, or in what you expect her to do, that's all wrong!"

"It isn't a question of too much work," Mrs. Salisbury said. "They are much better off when they're worked hard. And I notice that your bookkeepers are kept pretty busy, Kane," she added neatly.

"For an eight-hour day, Sally. But you expect a twelve or fourteen-hour day from your housemaid-"

"If I pay a maid thirty-seven and a half dollars a month," his wife averred, with precision, "I expect her to do something for that thirty-seven dollars and a half!"

"Well, but, Mother, she does!" Alexandra contributed eagerly. "In Justine's case she does an awful lot! She plans, and saves, and thinks about things. Sometimes she sits writing menus and crossing things out for an hour at a time."

"And then Justine's a pioneer; in a way she's an experiment," the man said. "Experiments are always expensive. That's why the club is interested, I suppose. But in a few years probably the woods will be full of graduate servants-everyone'll have one! They'll have their clubs and their plans together, and that will solve some of the social side of the old trouble. They-"

"Still, I notice that Mrs. Sargent herself doesn't employ graduate servants!" Mrs. Salisbury, who had been following a wandering line of thought, threw in darkly.

"Because they haven't any graduates for homes like hers, Mother," Alexandra supplied. "She keeps eight or nine housemaids. The college is only to supply the average home, don't you see? Where only one or two are kept-that's their idea."

"And do they suppose that the average American woman is willing to go right on paying thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents for a maid?" Mrs. Salisbury asked mildly.

"For five in family, Mother! Justine would only be thirty if three dear little strangers hadn't come to brighten your home," Sandy reminded her. "Besides," she went on, "Justine was telling me only a day or two ago of their latest scheme-they are arranging so that a girl can manage two houses in the same neighborhood. She gets breakfast for the Joneses, say; leaves at nine for market; orders for both families; goes to the Smiths and serves their hearty meal at noon; goes back to the Joneses at five, and serves dinner."

"And what does she get for all this?" Mrs. Salisbury asked in a skeptical tone.

"The Joneses pay her twenty-five, I believe, and the Smiths fifteen for two in each family."

"What's to prevent the two families having all meals together," Mrs. Salisbury asked, "instead of having to patch out with meals when they had no maid?"

"Well, I suppose they could. Then she'd get her original thirty, and five more for the two extra-you see, it comes out the same, thirty-five dollars a month. Perhaps families will pool their expenses that way some day. It would save buying, too, and table linen, and gas and fuel. And it would be fun! All at our house this month, and all at Aunt Mat's next month!"

"There's one serious objection to sharing a maid," Mrs. Salisbury presently submitted; "she would tell the other family all your private business."

"If they chose to pump her, she might," Alexandra said, with unintentional rebuke, and Mr. Salisbury added amusedly:

"No, no, no, Mother! That's an exploded theory. How much has Justine told you of her last place?"

"But that's no proof she WOULDN'T, Kane," Mrs. Salisbury ended the talk by rising from her chair, taking another nearer the reading lamp, and opening a new magazine. "Justine is a sensible girl," she added, after a moment. "I have always said that. When all the discussing and theorizing in the world is done, it comes down to this: a servant in my house shall do AS I SAY. I have told her that I dislike this ridiculous club idea, and I expect to hear no more of the matter!"

There came a day in December when Mrs. Salisbury came home from the Forum Club in mid-afternoon. Her face was a little pale as she entered the house, her lips tightly set. It was a Thursday afternoon, and Justine's kitchen was empty. Lettuce and peeled potatoes were growing crisp in yellow bowls of ice water, breaded cutlets were in the ice chest, a custard cooled in a north window.

Mrs. Salisbury walked rapidly through the lower rooms, came back to the library, and sat down at her desk. A fire was laid in the wide, comfortable fireplace, but she did not light it. She sat, hatted, veiled and gloved, staring fixedly ahead of her for some moments. Then she said aloud, in a firm but quiet voice: "Well, this positively ENDS it!"

A delicate film of dust obscured the shining surface of the writing table. Mrs. Salisbury's mouth curved into a cold smile when she saw it; and again she spoke aloud.

"Thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents, indeed!" she said. "Ha!"

Nearly two hours later Alexandra rushe

d in. Alexandra looked her prettiest; she was wearing new furs for the first time; her face was radiantly fresh, under the sweep of her velvet hat. She found her mother stretched comfortably on the library couch with a book. Mrs. Salisbury smiled, and there was a certain placid triumph in her smile.

"Here you are, Mother!" Alexandra burst out joyously. "Mother, I've just had the most extraordinary experience of my life!" She sat down beside the couch, her eyes dancing, her cheeks two roses, and pushed back her furs, and flung her gloves aside. "My dear," said Alexandra, catching up the bunch of violets she held for an ecstatic sniff, and then dropping it in her lap again, "wait until I tell you-I'm engaged!"

"My darling girl-" Mrs. Salisbury said, rapturously, faintly.

"To Owen, of course," Alexandra rushed on radiantly. "But wait until I tell you! It's the most awful thing I ever did in my life, in a WAY," she interrupted herself to say more soberly. Her voice died away, and her eyes grew dreamy.

Mrs. Salisbury's heart, rising giddily to heaven on a swift rush of thanks, felt a cold check.

"How do you mean awful, dear?" she said apprehensively.

"Well, wait, and I'll tell you," Alexandra said, recalled and dimpling again. "I met Jim Vance and Owen this morning at about twelve, and Jim simply got red as a beet, and vanished-poor Jim!" The girl paid the tribute of a little sigh to the discarded suitor. "So then Owen asked me to lunch with him-right there in the Women's exchange, so it was quite comme il faut, Mother," she pursued, "and, my dear! he told me, as calmly as THAT!-that he might go to New York when Jim goes-Jim's going to visit a lot of Eastern relatives!-so that he, Owen I mean, could study some Eastern settlement houses and get some ideas-"

"I think the country is going mad on this subject of settlement houses, and reforms, and hygiene!" Mrs. Salisbury said, with some sharpness. "However, go on!"

"Well, Owen spoke to me a little about-about Jim's liking me, you know," Alexandra continued. "You know Owen can get awfully red and choky over a thing like that," she broke off to say animatedly. "But to-day he wasn't-he was just brotherly and sweet. And, Mother, he got so confidential, you know, that I simply PULLED my courage together, and I determined to talk honestly to him. I clasped my hands-I could see in one of the mirrors that I looked awfully nice, and that helped!-I clasped my hands, and I looked right into his eyes, and I said, quietly, you know, 'Owen,' I said 'I'm going to tell you the truth. You ask me why I don't care for Jim; this is the reason. I like you too much to care for any other man that way. I don't want you to say anything now, Owen,' I said, 'or to think I expect you to tell me that you have always cared for me. That'd be too FLAT. And I'm not going to say that I'll never care for anyone else, for I'm only twenty, and I don't know. But I couldn't see so much of you, Owen,' I said, 'and not care for you, and it seems as natural to tell you so as it would for me to tell another girl. You worry sometimes because you can't remember your father,' I said, 'and because your mother is so undemonstrative with you; but I want you to think, the next time you feel sort of out of it, that there is a woman who really and truly thinks that you are the best man in the world-'"

Mrs. Salisbury had risen to a sitting position; her eyes, fixed upon her daughter's face, were filled with utter horror.

"You are not serious, my child!" she gasped. "Alexandra, tell me that this is some monstrous joke-"

"Serious! I never was more serious in my life," the girl said stoutly. "I said just that. It was easy enough, after I once got started. And I thought to myself, even then, that if he didn't care he'd be decent enough to say so honestly-"

"But, my child-my CHILD!" the mother said, beside herself with outraged pride. "You cannot mean that you so far forgot a woman's natural delicacy-her natural shrinking-her dignity-Why, what must Owen think of you! Can't you SEE what a dreadful thing you've done, dear!" Her mind, working desperately for an escape from the unbearable situation, seized upon a possible explanation. "My darling," she said, "you must try at once to convince him that you were only joking-you can say half-laughingly-"

"But wait!" Alexandra interrupted, unruffled. "He put his hand over mine, and he turned as red as a beet-I wish you could have seen his face, Mother!-and he said-But," and the happy color flooded her face, "I honestly can't tell you what he said, Mother," Alexandra confessed. "Only it was DARLING, and he is honestly the best man I ever saw in my life!"

"But, dearest, dearest," her mother said, with desperate appeal. "Don't you see that you can't possibly allow things to remain this way? Your dignity, dear, the most precious thing a girl has, you've simply thrown it to the winds! Do you want Owen to remind you some day that YOU were the one to speak first?" Her voice sank distressfully, a shamed red burned in her cheeks. "Do you want Owen to be able to say that you cared, and admitted that you cared, before he did?"

Alexandra, staring blankly at her mother, now burst into a gay laugh.

"Oh, Mother, aren't you DARLING-but you're so funny!" she said. "Don't you suppose I know Owen well enough to know whether he cares for me or not? He doesn't know it himself, that's the whole point, or rather he DIDN'T, for he does now! And he'll go on caring more and more every minute, you'll see! He might have been months finding it out, even if he didn't go off to New York with Jim, and marry some little designing dolly-mop of an actress, or some girl he met on the train. Owen's the sort of dear, big, old, blundering fellow that you have to PROTECT, Mother. And it came up so naturally-if you'd been there-"

"I thank Heaven I was not there!" Mrs. Salisbury said feelingly. "Came up naturally! Alexandra, what are you MADE of? Where are your natural feelings? Why, do you realize that your Grandmother Porter kept your grandfather waiting three months for an answer, even? She lived to be an old, old lady, and she used to say that a woman ought never let her husband know how much she cared for him, and Grandfather Porter RESPECTED and ADMIRED your grandmother until the day of her death!"

"A dear, cold-blooded old lady she must have been!" said Alexandra, unimpressed.

"On the contrary," Mrs. Salisbury said quickly. "She was a beautiful and dignified woman. And when your father first began to call upon me," she went on impressively, "and Mattie teased me about him, I was so furious-my feelings were so outraged!-that I went upstairs and cried a whole evening, and wouldn't see him for DAYS!"

"Well, dearest," Alexandra said cheerfully, "You may have been a perfect little lady, but it's painfully evident that I take after the other side of the house! As for Owen ever having the nerve to suggest that I gave him a pretty broad hint-" the girl's voice was carried away on a gale of cheerful laughter. "He'd get no dessert for weeks to come!" she threatened gaily. "You know I'm convinced, Mother," Sandy went on more seriously, "that this business of a man's doing all the asking is going out. When women have their own industrial freedom, and their own well-paid work, it'll be a great compliment to suggest to a man that one's willing to give everything up, and keep his house and raise his children for him. And if, for any reason, he SHOULDN'T care for that girl, she'll not be embarrassed-"

Mrs. Salisbury shut her eyes, her face and form rigid, one hand spasmodically clutching the couch.

"Alexandra, I BEG-" she said faintly, "I ENTREAT that you will not expect me to listen to such outrageous and indelicate and COARSE-yes, coarse!-theories! Think what you will, but don't ask your mother-"

"Now, listen, darling," Alexandra said soothingly, kneeling down and gathering her mother affectionately in her arms, "Owen did every bit of this except the very first second and, if you'll just FORGET IT, in a few months he'll be thinking he did it all! Wait until you see him; he's walking on air! He's dazed. My dear"-the strain of happy confidence was running smoothly again-"my dear, we lunched together, and then we went out in the car to Burning Woods, and sat there on the porch, and talked and TALKED. It was perfectly wonderful! Now, he's gone to tell his mother, but he's coming back to take us all to dinner. Is that all right? And, Mother, that reminds me, we are going to live in the new Settlement House, and have a girl like Justine!"

"WHAT!" Mrs. Salisbury said, smitten sick with disappointment.

"Or Justine herself, if you'll let us have her," Sandy went on. "You see, living in that big Sargent house-"

"Do you mean that Owen's mother doesn't want to give up that house?" Mrs. Salisbury asked coldly. "I thought it was Owen's?"

"It IS Owen's, Mother, but fancy living there!" Sandy said vivaciously. "Why, I'd have to keep seven or eight maids, and do nothing but manage them, and do just as everyone else does!"

"You'd be the richest young matron in town," her mother said bitterly.

"Oh, I know, Mother, but that seems sort of mean to the other girls! Anyway, we'd much rather live in the ducky little Settlement house, and entertain our friends at the Club, do you see? And Justine is to run a little cooking school, do you see? For everyone says that management of food and money is the most important thing to teach the poorer class. Won't that be great?"

"I personally can't agree with you," the mother said lifelessly. "Here I spend all my life since your babyhood trying to make friends for you among the nicest people, trying to establish our family upon an equal basis with much richer people, and you, instead of living as you should, with beautiful things about you, choose to go down to River Street, and drudge among the slums!"

"Oh, come, Mother; River Street is the breeziest, prettiest part of town, with the river and those fields opposite. Wait until we clean it up, and get some gardens going-"

"As for Justine, I am DONE with her," continued the older woman dispassionately. "All this has rather put it out of my head, but I meant to tell you at once, she goes out of my house THIS WEEK! Against my express wish, she was the guest of the Forum Club to-day. 'Miss J. C. Harrison,' the program said, and I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Justine! She had on a black charmeuse gown, black velvet about her hair-and I was supposed to sit there and listen to my own maid! I slipped out; it was too much. To-morrow morning," Mrs. Salisbury ended dramatically, "I dismiss her!"

"Mother!" said Alexandra, aghast. "What reason will you give her?"

"I shall give her no reason," Mrs. Salisbury said sternly. "I am through with apologies to servants! To-morrow I shall apply at Crosby's for a good, old-fashioned maid, who doesn't have to have her daily bath, and doesn't expect to be entertained at my club!"

"But, listen, darling," Alexandra pleaded. "DON'T make a fuss now. Justine was my darling belle-mere's guest to-day, don't you see? It'll be so awkward, scrapping right in the face of Owen's news. Couldn't you sort of shelve the Justine question for a while?"

"Dearie, be advised," Mrs. Salisbury said, with solemn warning. "You DON'T want a girl like that, dear. You will be a SOMEBODY, Sandy. You can't do just what any other girl would do, as Owen Sargent's wife! Don't live with Mrs. Sargent if you don't want to, but take a pretty house, dear. Have two or three little maids, in nice caps and aprons. Why, Alice Snow, whose husband is merely an automobile salesman, has a LOVELY home! It's small, of course, but you could have your choice!"

"Well, nothing's settled!" Alexandra rose to go upstairs, gathered her furs about her. "Only promise me to let Justine's question stand," she begged.

"Well," Mrs. Salisbury consented unwillingly.

"Ah, there's Dad!" Alexandra cried suddenly, as the front door opened and shut. With a joyous rush, she flew to meet him, and Mrs. Salisbury could imagine, from the sounds she heard, exactly how Sandy and her great news and her furs and her father's kisses were all mixed up together. "What-what-what-why, what am I going to do for a girl?" "Oh, Dad, darling, say that you're glad!" "Luckiest fellow this side of the Rocky Mountains, and I'll tell him so!" "And you and Mother to dine with us every week, promise that, Dad!"

She heard them settle down on the lowest step, Sandy obviously in her father's lap; heard the steady murmur of confidence and advice.

"Wise girl, wise girl," she heard the man's voice say. "That keeps you in touch with life, Sandy; that's real. And then, if some day you have reasons for wanting a bigger house and a more quiet neighborhood-" Several frantic kisses interrupted the speaker here, but he presently went on: "Why, you can always move! Meantime, you and Owen are helping less fortunate people, you're building up a lot of wonderful associations-"

Well, it was all probably for the best; it would turn out quite satisfactorily for everyone, thought the mother, sitting in the darkening library, and staring rather drearily before her. Sandy would have children, and children must have big rooms and sunshine, if it can be managed possibly. The young Sargents would fall nicely into line, as householders, as parents, as hospitable members of society.

But it was all so different from her dreams, of a giddy, spoiled Sandy, the petted wife of an adoring rich man; a Sandy despotically and yet generously ruling servants, not consulting Justine as an equal, in a world of working women-

And she was not even to have the satisfaction of discharging Justine! The maid had her rights, her place in the scheme of things, her pride.

"I declare, times have changed!" Mrs. Salisbury said to herself involuntarily. She mused over the well-worn phrase; she had never used it herself before; its truth struck her forcibly for the first time.

"I remember my mother saying that," thought she, "and how old-fashioned and conventional we thought her! I remember she said it when Mat and I went to dances, after we were married; it seemed almost wrong to her! Dear me! And I remember Ma's horror when Mat went to a hospital for her first baby. 'If there is a thing that belongs at home,' Ma said, 'it does seem to me it's a baby!' And my asking people to dinner by telephone, and the Fosters having two bathrooms in their house-Ma thought that such a ridiculous affectation! But what WOULD she say now? For those things were only trifles, after all," Mrs. Salisbury sighed, in all honesty. "But NOW, why, the world is simply being turned upside down with these crazy new notions!" And again she paused, surprised to hear herself using another old, familiar phrase. "Ma used to say that very thing, too," said Mrs. Salisbury to herself. "Poor Ma!"


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