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Sheets, Geo M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. VI, No. 1 (October 1908)

Corbett, Elizabeth F.
A private performance,   pp. 15-20


Page 16


THE WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE
  "S~o you asked her to come and burden you for the rest of
your life?" he asked abruptly.
  "Oh, no! She's going in two or three months to live with her
husband's nephew down south. I wish I could send her off with
her mind freer. The poor old lady can't believe that an unmar-
ried woman can be happy, or that dramatic editorship is any
career for a female."
  As the cab drew up before an apartment house, she turned
to him warningly "Now, sir, remember that you have a reputa-
tion to uphold with the Dame."
  "I'll be the domestic virtues personified," he said laughing.
  She let him into her apartment with her latch-key, and led
the way to the living-room. It was a comfortable place, with
worn furniture, many books, several good landscapes and ma-
rines, and an open fire. Beside this was seated a refined, elderly
woman dressed in subdued mourning. Her somewhat expres-
sionless face lighted up when she saw them, and she came for-
ward almost eagerly.
  "He's awfully hungry, and we're going to have some coffee,"
the younger woman said.
  "The portable table is laid in the dining room, Caroline,"
replied the old lady, "but you ought not to drink coffee at this
time of night. You need some one to take care of you."
  "Some one, with authority. Yes, ma'am, she does," said
Taylor. "We have come to the conclusion," he went on
brazenly, "that she needs me to take care of her."
  "I suppose so," said Caroline from the dining-room, not ap-
preciating the significance of the remark.
  "Then you mean-Are you two young people going to be
married ?" Mrs. Randolph asked.
  Caroline appeared on the threshold, an indignant denial on
her lips. She took one look at the old lady's face, and she lied
splendidly.
  "Not for a long while yet," she said sweetly, "but some
day
we hope. to be." And while she smiled for Mrs. Randolph's
benefit, her eyes shot lightning at the mendacious Taylor.


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