The Story Girl
How Betty Sherman Won A Husband
The rest of us did not share the Story Girl's enthusiasm regarding our call on Mr.
Campbell. We secretly dreaded it. If, as was said, he detested children, who knew what
sort of a reception we might meet?
Mr. Campbell was a rich, retired farmer, who took life easily. He had visited New York
and Boston, Toronto and Montreal; he had even been as far as the Pacific coast.
Therefore he was regarded in Carlisle as a much travelled man; and he was known to be
"well read" and intelligent. But it was also known that Mr. Campbell was not always in a
good humour. If he liked you there was nothing he would not do for you; if he disliked
you--well, you were not left in ignorance of it. In short, we had the impression that Mr.
Campbell resembled the famous little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead.
"When he was good, he was very, very good, and when he was bad he was horrid." What
if this were one of his horrid days?
"He can't DO anything to us, you know," said the Story Girl. "He may be rude, but that
won't hurt any one but himself."
"Hard words break no bones," observed Felicity philosophically.
"But they hurt your feelings. I am afraid of Mr. Campbell," said Cecily candidly.
"Perhaps we'd better give up and go home," suggested Dan.
"You can go home if you like," said the Story Girl scornfully. "But I am going to see Mr.
Campbell. I know I can manage him. But if I have to go alone, and he gives me anything,
I'll keep it all for my own collection, mind you."
That settled it. We were not going to let the Story Girl get ahead of us in the manner of
Mr. Campbell's housekeeper ushered us into his parlour and left us. Presently Mr.
Campbell himself was standing in the doorway, looking us over. We took heart of grace.
It seemed to be one of his good days, for there was a quizzical smile on his broad, clean-
shaven, strongly-featured face. Mr. Campbell was a tall man, with a massive head, well
thatched with thick, black hair, gray-streaked. He had big, black eyes, with many
wrinkles around them, and a thin, firm, long-lipped mouth. We thought him handsome,
for an old man.
His gaze wandered over us with uncomplimentary indifference until it fell on the Story
Girl, leaning back in an arm-chair. She looked like a slender red lily in the unstudied
grace of her attitude. A spark flashed into Mr. Campbell's black eyes.
"Is this a Sunday School deputation?" he inquired rather ironically.