A Poor Wise Man HTML version
forced the issue and gained concessions, it was too late. The old grievances
remained in too many minds. To hate the Cardews bad become a habit. Their
past sins would damn them now. The strike was wrong, a wicked thing. It was
without reason and without aim. The men were knocking a hole in the boat that
floated them. But-
There was a tap at his door, and he called "Come in." From her babyhood Lily
had had her own peculiar method of signaling that she stood without, a delicate
rapid tattoo of finger nails on the panel. He watched smilingly for her entrance.
"Well!" she said. "Thank goodness you haven't started to dress. I tried to get here
earlier, but my hair wouldn't go up, I want to make a good impression to-night."
"Is there a dinner on? TI didn't know it."
"Not a dinner. A young man. I came to see what you are going to wear."
"Really! Well, I haven't a great variety. The ordinary dinner dress of a gentleman
doesn't lend itself to any extraordinary ornamentation. If you like, I'll pin on that
medal from the Iron and Steel - Who's coming, Lily?"
"Grayson says grandfather's dining out."
"I believe so."
"What a piece of luck! I mean - you know what he'd say if I asked him not to
dress for dinner."
"Am I to gather that you are asking me?"
"You wouldn't mind, would you? He hasn't any evening clothes."
"Look here, Lily," said her father, sitting upright. "Who is coming here to-night?
And why should he upset the habits of the entire family?"
"Willy Cameron. You know, father. And he has the queerest ideas about us.
Honestly. And I want him to like us, and it's such a good chance, with grandfather
He ignored that.
"How about our liking him?"
"Oh, you'll like him. Everybody does. You will try to make a good impression,
won't you, father?"