Tish, The Chronicle of Her Escapades and Excursions (Chapter 4, page 1 of 89)

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Chapter 4


It is easy enough, of course, to look back on our Canadian experience and see where we went wrong. What I particularly resent is the attitude of Charlie Sands.

I am writing this for his benefit. It seems to me that a clean statement of the case is due to Tish, and, in less degree, to Aggie and myself.

It goes back long before the mysterious cipher. Even the incident of our abducting the girl in the pink tam-o'-shanter was, after all, the inevitable result of the series of occurrences that preceded it.

It is my intention to give this series of occurrences in their proper order and without bias. Herbert Spencer says that every act of one's life is the unavoidable result of every act that has preceded it.

Naturally, therefore, I begin with the engagement by Tish of a girl as chauffeur; but even before that there were contributing causes. There was the faulty rearing of the McDonald youth, for instance, and Tish's æsthetic dancing. And afterward there was Aggie's hay fever, which made her sneeze and let go of a rope at a critical moment. Indeed, Aggie's hay fever may be said to be one of the fundamental causes, being the reason we went to Canada.

It was like this: Along in June of the year before last, Aggie suddenly announced that she was going to spend the summer in Canada.

"It's the best thing in the world for hay fever," she said, avoiding Tish's eye. "Mrs. Ostermaier says she never sneezed once last year. The Northern Lights fill the air with ozone, or something like that."

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