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Drusilla with a Million

Chapter XVIII
At three o'clock on July 16th, there met in the Doane library Mr. Carrington, Mr.
Raydon--the multi-millionaire and great friend of Drusilla's--Mr. Thornton, Dr.
Eaton, and half a dozen of the residents of Brookvale.
"Gentlemen," Drusilla began when the men were seated, "I suppose you wonder
why you are all here. I'm goin' to tell you, because you are all my neighbors and I
have heard that you are worryin' about what I am goin' to do. We've all got a right
to expect happiness in Heaven, but I believe we git what we give, and I want to
give as much happiness here as I kin, so's I'll be sure to have somethin' to my
account on the other side. I been lookin' around fer two years, tryin' to find a way
to leave my million dollars so's to give as much happiness and joy to them that
hasn't their share, or so's to benefit the most people in the most lastin' way, and I
haven't found it yet. But I have found a way to invest my income, and a little of
the money that's come in through the good business head and investments of
Mr. Thornton.
"I've always loved babies, and I've always wanted to be a mother; but it didn't
seem to fit in with God's plans fer me. Perhaps He knowed that I'd have a chance
to mother a bigger family than I could raise myself, no matter how hard I tried,
and he sent me these babies. Now, these are my plans fer them. I ain't goin' to
start an orphan asylum, nor a house of refuge, nor no kind of a 'home.' I ain't
goin' to take more'n I kin git along comfortable with and make a real home fer,
not an institution. I'm goin' to educate 'em and make 'em men and women you'll
be proud of, but I ain't goin' to try to make ladies and gentlemen of 'em, whether
they're born fer that or not. If a boy has a head that'll make him an architect, then
we'll make him an architect, but if he was jest intended fer a good carpenter then
he'll be a good carpenter; and if a girl has it in her to be a school-teacher, she'll
have a chance at it--if not, she kin always make a good livin' as a dressmaker or
a milliner. They're goin' to be made into good middle-class men and women; and
when they git their education, I'll have 'em sent out into the world with a trained
brain but empty hands, and if they've got the right stuff in 'em, they will soon fill
their hands.
"I know there's been lots of objections to the mothers of some of my babies
comin' to the neighborhood; but the ones that's willin' to come are the ones who's
wantin' a chance to become self-supportin', self-respectin' women; and that's
what most women want--jest a chance. They'll be learnt a trade, somethin' that
they have leanin's to, and they'll go out in the world agin able to take care of
themselves, without help from no one.
"I got a lot of spare rooms in the house that's doin' no good to no one, and I'm
goin' to ask some mothers and their little ones to spend a few days with me in the
hot weather. I've been to see 'em, and I'll always know the ones I ask. They'll be
friends of mine, jest like you ask your friends to visit you fer a few days. It won't
be a mothers' home nor a summer home nor nothin' charitable. I'm jest goin' to
give a little sunlight to some of my friends in the hot tenements, whose sack of
happiness ain't been full to overflowin'.
 
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