Drusilla with a Million
"John," Drusilla's hand carefully opened the door and Drusilla's head peered
warily into the opening, "Are you alone? Has he gone?" She looked around the
room. "Yes, he's gone. I'll come in." She closed the door behind her and came to
her favorite seat before the fire.
"John, I didn't adopt the Reverend Algernon Thompson, did I?"
"Why, no, Drusilla; I don't think you adopted him. Why?"
"Well," breathing a sigh of relief, "I'm glad to hear you say it. I didn't know but that
night when I was so relieved and so scared about puttin' him in jail, that I hadn't
said more'n I meant. I know I asked him to come and stop here whenever he
come to New York, but I didn't mean to live here. I don't see how his church gits
along without him so much."
"What's the matter with the Reverend Algernon, Drusilla? I like him. His
knowledge of chivalry is--"
"Yes, I know you two pore over them old books and study them tin men, and he
seems to be a great comfort to you. But he ain't no comfort to me, John. I guess
I'm gittin' old and finicky. I jest can't put my finger on the spot that riles me, but
that man riles me. He's always so good and so sort of angelic, and I don't like
people who are too good. A man without a few failin's is like underclothes without
trimmin', useful but uninterestin', and--and--then, John, he's one of them fussy
little men who's always puffin' around and never doin' nothin' worth while, just like
a little engine in a switchyard that snorts and puffs and makes a lot of noise
pullin' a dump-wagon. And--then, sometimes, I wonder about his religion, he's so
narrer, he's got lots of religion but not so much Christianity. He kind of thinks that
Heaven's goin' to be made up of him and a few Presbyterians, mainly from his
congregation. He kind of seems to think that Heaven's going to be a special
place for him where he'll strut around the only rooster and his flock'll foller after
singin' praises to him instead of to the Almighty."
"Why, Drusilla, I thought you said when he was so interested in those children of
his parish that he ought to be a very good man."
"So he ought to be a good man, and a man's legs ought to reach from his body to
the ground but sometimes he has one short leg that don't quite tech. Now the
Reverend wasn't interested so much in takin' care of them children as he was in
showin' how he could raise money. I remember when I was in the Ladies' Aid of
the Presbyterian Church and we made clothes for the heathen, we wasn't so
much interested in clothing the heathen as we was that we had a bigger box at
the end of the year than the Baptists had. Just as when some of these societies
git to raisin' money for the poor or for some new buildin' or something, and they
divide their 'raisers' up in bands, the people who ask you for subscriptions fergit
what it is for in their hurry to show that they raised more'n some other band."
"I'm afraid, Drusilla, that Mr. Thompson has got on to your nerves."
"I ain't got no nerves, John. I leave that for women with husbands to work 'em off
on. I don't know what it is with this preacher. He's a good man accordin' to his
lights, but he makes me fidgety a rumblin' away about his work and his creeds