A Poor Wise Man
"Why not?" she demanded. "And you could be the cashier, like the ones in
France, and sit behind a high desk and count money all day. I'd rather do that
than come out," she added.
"You are going to be a good girl, Lily, aren't you?"
"If that means letting grandfather use me for a doormat, I don't know."
"He's old, and I intend to be careful. But he doesn't own me, body and soul. And
it may be hard to make him understand that."
Many times in the next few months Mademoiselle was to remember that
conversation, and turn it aver in her shrewd, troubled mind. Was there anything
she could have done, outside of warning old Anthony himself? Suppose she had
gone to Mr. Howard Cardew?
"And how," said Mademoiselle, trying to smile, "do you propose to assert this
new independence of spirit?"
"I am going to see Aunt Elinor," observed Lily. "There, that's eleven buttons on,
and I feel I've earned my dinner. And I'm going to ask Willy Cameron to come
here to see me. To dinner. And as he is sure not to have any evening clothes, for
one night in their lives the Cardew men are going to dine in mufti. Which is
military, you dear old thing, for the everyday clothing that the plain people eat in,
without apparent suffering!"
Mademoiselle got up. She felt that Grace should be warned at once. And there
was a look in Lily's face when she mentioned this Cameron creature that made
"I thought he lived in the country."
"Then prepare yourself for a blow," said Lily Cardew, cheerfully. "He is here in
the city, earning twenty-five dollars a week in the Eagle Pharmacy, and serving
the plain people perfectly preposterous patent potions - which is his own
alliteration, and pretty good, I say."
Mademoiselle went out into the hall. Over the house, always silent, there had
come a death-like hush. In the lower hall the footman was hanging up his
master's hat and overcoat. Anthony Cardew had come home for dinner.