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Woman's home companion
Vol. LXIV, No. 6 (1937)

[Continued articles and works],   pp. 130-131 PDF (1.6 MB)


Page 130

130
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[CONTINUED FROM PAGE 114]
a peculiarly dull shade of gray wool.
"Stop knitting!" Cam said in a sud-
den passion. " Listen to what I say. I
object to your interpreting my orders
-my requests concerning the children
in this-this high-handed way. You
have made everything as difficult as
possible for me since I came here and I
know you're quite sensible enough to
realize that this cannot go on. I've
spoken to Mr. Kilgarif . . . how I do
explain to this woman!" Cam thought
impatiently. "I've spoken to Mr.
Kilgarif," she repeated aloud, "and
he agrees with me that Mabel is quite
able to handle Taffy now, especially as
Jane starts to school in October. And
so I'm very sorry to tell you that after
the first of the month I want you to
make some other arrangement. It's
unfortunate that it didn't work better,
since the child is so devoted to you and
you're naturally fond of him. But
boys do outgrow nurses and I think
we'll all be happier when we've made
a-a different arrangement. Perhaps
I'm wrong in my ideas about the
children," Cam added gaining confi-
dence as she went along and speaking
with something like actual sweetness,
"but after all, I can only do my best.
And I'm afraid what we're doing for
Taffy isn't the best, isn't always
wise.
Toomey rose, stuffing her knitting
into a big chintz bag.
"You've never liked me, medem,"
she said in her heavy Teutonic tones,
meeting Cam's eye with her steady
gray eye. "And you've always been
jealous of the child. We'll not be
afraid of words; we've hated each
other from the first-I hated you from
the day he took me to the lake to meet
Taffy's stepmother. You'd a husband
then, you'd children of your own; it
wasn't enough for you. You'd no
sooner come here than you tried to
take the child away from me."
"You've been wonderfully de-
voted," Cam conceded coldly. "If
you need a letter from me-a letter
saying that with a very young child,
or a delicate child, you are completely
experienced and competent-"
"Was that all, medem?" Toomey
asked, cutting brusquely across her
words. Her eyes glittered: her breath
came quickly.
"That was all. I hope you'll make
whatever arrangements are convenient
to you about going. I know Mr. Kil-
garif and his mother will want you to
feel that in whatever you decide to do
they want to help you."
TOOMEY was gone. The room
rocked and shouted with words;
words that had at last been said! Cam
gasped, plunged into the business of
bills and checks, halted and heard the
uproar about her ears again. Oh, it was
over, she had said everything she had
ever meant to say and yet not too
much-not too much! Toomey was
fired. In a few days she and her trunk
would be gone-gone-gone, and how
sweet the house would be without her!
"Taffy darling," Cam could so
simply say then, "vill you have your
supper tonight with the girls on the
terrace outside the dining-room, and
serve the dessert like a real brother?"
Of course he'd fall into line, once
that malignant and possessive spirit
had been removed! And then what
happy days at Cherry Ridge, with
children splashing and chattering at
the pool and Cam's cleverness gradu-
ally drawing John into picnics and
holidays that included the boy and the
girls!
That night when he and she were
taking a turn about the garden in the
sweet early evening, she told John.
"Jack, I didn't have a chance to
talk to you about it before. But now
that she's gone off with Mitchell on
some mysterious errand and can't
possibly overhear, I'll tell you the
news. I've dismissed Toomey."
"Help!" he said with a laugh.
"You two been going for each other
again? How that old girl does get
your goat!"
"It isn't a question of getting my
goat," Cam assured him with dig-
nity; "it's a question of her usurping
authority in every possible way, boss-
ing not only the girls and Hing when
we're away, but Mabel too; decreeing
that the children shall do this and
shan't do that, but actually going
straight against my orders. You re-
member that I told you that I didn't
like this daily chop and daily ice cream
business-oh, weeks ago?     Well,
Toomey simply took the law into her
own hands, the ice cream is delivered
every day and charged to her."
SHE stopped, facing him, her
eyes glinting in moonlight.
"For heaven's sake!" John said in
proper amazement. " You cross little
adorable beauty!" he said, catching
her toward him for a kiss.
'No, but Jack," she persisted,
speaking with some little difficulty
against his lips, "don't you think
that's outrageous?"
"Oh, she's a crank all right," John
conceded good-humoredly, "but she'll
be all right in the morning, you'll see.
She has these blow-ups."
" But I don't want her to be all right
in the morning! I've told her to go,
and I expect her to go."
" Yes, but look here, Cam. That
means the devil of a time with Taffy.
He'll carry on like a troop of cavalry.
You'll be exhausted; Mabel has no
brains at all, and everything'll be a
mess. Then Mother'll come sailing
over and say that the child looks thin
and she thinks it was a dangerous
change, and then where'll you be?"
"Well, I'll expect all that," Cam
said courageously, although her heart
quailed within her at the prospect.
"I'll expect things to go badly," she
said. "I'll take that responsibility.
For a little while we will have a hard
time getting him reconciled. But he's
only a child, and a smart and affec-
tionate one. Within a few weeks we'll
have him tamed; school will do the
rest. She's a bad influence over him.
I know it. It's going to be heaven
to get her out once and for all!"
" Well, you settle it," he said good-
naturedly. But his tone did not sound
quite satisfied and Cam felt that she
had not made her case very strong
with him. " I was going to work to-
morrow morning," he said musingly.
"I think perhaps I'll go over and have
a talk with Mother about it. She'll be
all upset and I want to put your side
of it to her before Toomey gets started."
" But you aren't going to interrupt
your work for that!" Cam said, scan-
dalized.
"I've come to a good stopping
place," he offered.
[cONTINUED ON PAGE 131
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