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A Poor Wise Man

It was four by his alarm clock when Edith knocked at his door. She was in a
wrapper flung over her nightgown, and with her hair flying loose she looked
childish and very small.
"I wish you would go to bed," she said, rather petulantly. "Are you sick, or
anything?"
"I was thinking, Edith. I'm sorry. I'll go at once. Why aren't you asleep?"
"I don't sleep much lately." Their voices were cautious. "I never go to sleep until
you're settled down, anyhow."
"Why not? Am I noisy?"
"It's not that."
She went away, a drooping, listless figure that climbed the stairs slowly and left
him in the doorway, puzzled and uncomfortable.
At six that morning Dan, tip-toeing downstairs to warm his left-over coffee and
get his own breakfast, heard a voice from Willy Cameron's room, and opened the
door. Willy Cameron was sitting up in bed with his eyes closed and his arms
extended, and was concluding a speech to a dream audience in deep and
oratorical tones.
"By God, it is time the plain people know their power."
Dan grinned, and, his ideas of humor being rather primitive, he edged his way
into the room and filled the orator's sponge with icy water from the pitcher.
"All right, old top," he said, "but it is also time the plain people got up."
Then he flung the sponge and departed with extreme expedition.
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