When a Man Marries
We Make An Omelet
It was Betty Mercer who said she was hungry, and got us switched from the delicate
subject of which was the thief to the quite as pressing subject of which was to be cook.
Aunt Selina had slept quietly through the whole thing--we learned afterward that she
customarily slept on her left side, which was on her good ear. We gathered in the Dallas
Browns' room, and Jimmy proposed a plan.
"We can have anything sent in that we want," he suggested speciously, "and if Dal
doesn't make good with the city fathers, you girls can get some clothes anyhow. Then, we
can have dinner sent from one of the hotels."
"Why not all the meals?" Max suggested. "I hope you're not going to be small about
"It ought to be easy," Jim persisted, ignoring the remark, "for nine reasonably intelligent
people to boil eggs and make coffee, which is all we need for breakfast, with some fruit."
"Nine of us!" Dallas said wickedly, looking at Tom Harbison, who was out of earshot,
"Why nine of us? I thought Kit here, otherwise known as Bella, was going to show off
her housewifely skill."
It ended, however, with Mr. Harbison writing out a lot of slips, cook, scullery-maid,
chamber-maid, parlor-maid, furnace-man, and butler, and as that left two people over--we
didn't count Aunt Selina--he added another furnace-man and a trained nurse. Betty
Mercer drew the trained nurse slip, and, of course, she was delighted. It seems funny now
to look back and think what a dreadful time she really had, for Aunt Selina took the
grippe, you know, that very day.
It was fate that I should go back to that awful kitchen, for of course my slip said "cook."
Mr. Harbison was butler, and Max and Dal got the furnace, although neither of them had
ever been nearer to a bucket of coal than the coupons on mining stock. Anne got the
bedrooms, and Leila was parlor-maid. It was Jimmy who got the scullery work, but he
was quite crushed by this time, and did not protest at all.
Max was in a very bad temper; I suppose he had not had enough sleep--no one had. But
he came over while the lottery was going on and stood over me and demanded
unpleasantly, in a whisper, that I stop masquerading as another man's wife and generally
making a fool of myself--which is the way he put it. And I knew in my heart that he was
right, and I hated him for it.
"Why don't you go and tell him--them?" I asked nastily. No one was paying any attention
to us. "Tell them that, to be obliging, I have nearly drowned in a sea of lies; tell them that
I am not only not married, but that I never intend to marry; tell them that we are a lot of
idiots with nothing better to do than to trifle with strangers within our gates, people who
build--I mean, people that are worth two to our one! Run and tell them."
He looked at me for a minute, then he turned on his heel and left me. It looked as though
Max might be going to be difficult.