When a Man Marries (Chapter 5, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 5

There is hardly any use trying to describe what followed. Anne Brown
began to cry, and talk about the children. (She went to Europe once and
stayed until they all got over the whooping cough.) And Dallas said he
had a pull, because his mill controlled I forget how many votes, and the
thing to do was to be quiet and comfortable and we would get out in
the morning. Max took it as a huge joke, and somebody found him at
the telephone, calling up his club. The Mercer girls were hysterically
giggling, and Aunt Selina sat on a stiff-backed chair and took aromatic
spirits of ammonia. As for Jim, he had collapsed on the lowest step of
the stairs, and sat there with his head in his hands. When he did look
up, he didn't dare to look at me.

The Harbison man was arguing with the impassive individual on the top
step outside, and I saw him get out his pocketbook and offer a crisp
bundle of bills. But the man from the board of health only smiled and
tacked at his offensive sign. After a while Mr. Harbison came in and
closed the door, and we stared at one another.

"I know what I'm going to do," I said, swallowing a lump in my throat.
"I'm going to get out through a basement window at the back. I'm going
home."

"Home!" Aunt Selina gasped, jumping up and almost dropping her ammonia
bottle. "My dear Bella! Home?"

Jimmy groaned at the foot of the stairs, but Anne Brown was getting over
her tears and now she turned on me in a temper.

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