When a Man Marries
He Does Not Deny It
Aunt Selina got up the next morning and Jim told her all the strange things that had been
happening. She fixed on Flannigan, of course, although she still suspected Betty of her
watch and other valuables. The incident of the comfort she called nervous indigestion and
She spent the entire day going through the storeroom and linen closets, and running her
fingers over things for dust. Whenever she found any she looked at me, drew a long
breath, and said, "Poor James!" It was maddening. And when she went through his
clothes and found some buttons off (Jim didn't keep a man, and Takahiro had stopped at
his boots) she looked at me quite awfully.
"His mother was a perfect housekeeper," she said. "James was brought up in clothes with
the buttons on, put on clean shelves."
"Didn't they put them on him?" I asked, almost hysterically. It had been a bad morning,
after a worse night. Every one had found fault with the breakfast, and they straggled
down one at a time until I was frantic. Then Flannigan had talked to me about the pearls,
and Mr. Harbison had said, "Good morning," very stiffly, and nearly rattled the inside of
the furnace out.
Early in the morning, too, I overheard a scrap of conversation between the policeman and
our gentleman adventurer from South America. Something had gone wrong with the
telephone and Mr. Harbison was fussing over it with a screw driver and a pair of scissors-
-all the tools he could find. Flannigan was lifting rugs to shake them on the roof--Bella's
"Wash the table linen!" he was grumbling. "I'll do what I can that's necessary. Grub has
to be cooked, and dishes has to be washed--I'll admit that. If you're particular, make up
your bed every day; I don't object. But don't tell me we have to use thirty-three table
napkins a day. What did folks do before napkins was invented? Tell me that!"--
"What's the answer?" Mr. Harbison inquired absently, evidently with the screw driver in
"Used their pocket handkerchiefs! And if the worst comes to the worst, Mr. Harbison,
these folks here can use their sleeves, for all I care--not that the women has any sleeves to
speak of. Wash clothes I will not."
"Well, don't worry Mrs. Wilson about it," the other voice said. Flannigan straightened
himself with a grunt.
"Mrs. Wilson!" he said. "A lot she would worry. She's been a disappointment to me, Mr.
Harbison, me thinking that now she'd come back to him, after leavin' him the way she
did, they'd be like two turtle doves. Lord! The cook next door--"
But what the cook had told about Bella and Jimmy was not divulged, for the Harbison
man caught him up with a jerk and sent Flannigan, grumbling, with his rugs to the roof.