Drusilla with a Million
John Brierly came.
He first wrote Drusilla a long letter and Drusilla answered it by telegraph--an
answer that brought a reminiscent smile to John Brierly's lips. It read:
"I can't talk by letter. Just come."
And John came.
He was met at the station by the young man from the lawyer's office who had
been to see him in Cliveden, and when he arrived at the house he found Drusilla
awaiting him. After the young man left, Drusilla said:
"John, come upstairs; I want to look at you, and I want to talk to you."
She took him up to the small library, which looked very cozy with its fire in the big
grate and the heavy English curtains drawn at the windows.
"Now set down there in that chair, John. It was made for a man--no woman could
ever get out of it without help once she got in--and tell me all about yourself,
John looked around the luxurious room in a hesitating manner.
"I hardly know what to say, Drusilla--I can't understand all this--I can't
"Never mind, John; it's all real. I know how you feel. I felt that way myself for the
first few weeks; but now I'm gettin' used to it."
"Is--is--this place yours, Drusilla?"
"Yes, it's mine. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, but now I just want to talk to you
and about you. You want to smoke, don't you? Light your pipe and be
comfortable. It'll make you think better."
"I do want to smoke."
He drew his pipe from some pocket and filled it from a worn tobacco pouch.
Drusilla watched him interestedly.
"Now I know what this room needed. It needs tobacco. It'll make the curtains
smell as if people lived here. You know the greatest trouble I find with this place,
John, is to have it feel human. Everything is so sort of--sort of--dead--with just me
a-creepin' round, and James and William tip-toein', and the hired girls never
speakin' except to say, 'No, ma'am' or 'Yes, ma'am.' Why, sometimes I'd like to
hear somebody drop somethin', or get mad, or stomp, or do somethin' as if they
was alive. Here, help me pull up the chair closer by the fire, where I can see you
without putting on my specs. There, that is comfortable. Now tell me all about
John looked into the fire dreamily.
"Drusilla, I am afraid I have been a failure. Your mother was right; I've been
always a dreamer and a failure."
Drusilla leaned toward him.
"Never you mind, John. So long as you haven't been a dreamer and a democrat,
I can stand it. I never could abide democrats. Why didn't you ever marry?"
John looked at her.