The Virginian--A Horseman Of The Plainsr
Quality And Equality
To the circle at Bennington, a letter from Bear Creek was always a welcome summons to
gather and hear of doings very strange to Vermont. And when the tale of the changed
babies arrived duly by the post, it created a more than usual sensation, and was read to a
large number of pleased and scandalized neighbors. "I hate her to be where such things
can happen," said Mrs. Wood.
"I wish I could have been there," said her son-in-law, Andrew Bell.
"She does not mention who played the trick," said Mrs. Andrew Bell.
"We shouldn't be any wiser if she did," said Mrs. Wood.
"I'd like to meet the perpetrator," said Andrew.
"Oh, no!" said Mrs. Wood. "They're all horrible."
And she wrote at once, begging her daughter to take good care of herself, and to see as
much of Mrs. Balaam as possible. "And of any other ladies that are near you. For you
seem to me to be in a community of roughs. I wish you would give it all up. Did you
expect me to laugh about the babies?"
Mrs. Flynt, when this story was repeated to her (she had not been invited in to hear the
letter), remarked that she had always felt that Molly Wood must be a little vulgar, ever
since she began to go about giving music lessons like any ordinary German.
But Mrs. Wood was considerably relieved when the next letter arrived. It contained
nothing horrible about barbecues or babies. It mentioned the great beauty of the weather,
and how well and strong the fine air was making the writer feel. And it asked that books
might be sent, many books of all sorts, novels, poetry, all the good old books and any
good new ones that could be spared. Cheap editions, of course.
"Indeed she shall have them!" said Mrs. Wood. "How her mind must be starving in that
dreadful place!" The letter was not a long one, and, besides the books, spoke of little else
except the fine weather and the chances for outdoor exercise that this gave. "You have no
idea," it said, "how delightful it is to ride, especially on a spirited horse, which I can do
now quite well."
"How nice that is!" said Mrs. Wood, putting down the letter. "I hope the horse is not too
"Who does she go riding with?" asked Mrs. Bell.
"She doesn't say, Sarah. Why?"