Drusilla with a Million
Drusilla was called to the 'phone and a nervous, trembly-voiced Daphne spoke to
"May I come over, Miss Doane? I--I--want to get away from the house and talk to
some one--May I come over?"
Drusilla answered quickly: "Come right along, and come to spend the day. I got
to go to the home, and I'll take you with me."
Soon Daphne came up the driveway and stopped to look at two big baskets
being put into the motor car, and before she could ring the bell Drusilla dressed
for driving came to the door.
"Git right in, Daphne," Drusilla said, putting on her gloves. "Push that basket
more to the front--there, that's right. Have you got that bundle, Joseph? Don't
lose it out. Now go just as fast as you can, but don't git arrested." As she sat
down by the side of Daphne she added: "I'm always in mortal fear of being
arrested, 'cause I like to go fast. I don't care about the arrested part, but it'd git
my name in the papers again and then your father'd make me one of his 'severity'
visits, and I don't seem never to git used to them. When James tells me your
father is waitin' for me it makes me feel jest like I used to when I done somethin'
wrong and was called into the parlor, where I always got my scoldings, 'cause
mother knew the kitchen wouldn't awe me. But"--and she chuckled--"I'm gittin'
kind of used even to him, and I'm gittin' so independent there ain't no livin' with
me. I even show it the way I walk. When I was ordered around by everybody, I
used to sort of tiptoe around so's not to call attention to myself. Now I come down
so hard on my heels I have to wear rubber ones so's not to jar my spine. But"--
she looked keenly at the pale face beside her and the eyes that showed signs of
recent tears--"what's the matter, dear? Have you been cryin'?"
"Oh, I'm in such trouble, Miss Doane," Daphne said with a choke in her voice.
Drusilla patted her hand.
"It can't be great trouble, Daphne."
"Yes, it is, Miss Doane. No one has such trouble as I have, I'm sure."
"Hush, dear, hush! Wait a minute. Let me show you a letter I got last night from
Barbara, and then you'll know what real trouble means."
She drew from her bag a folded piece of paper and handed it to Daphne.
"Read that," she said; and Daphne read a badly spelled, badly written scrawl, in
the writing of an old woman unused to holding a pen:
I wish you'd come and see us. Mis Abbott has took poison that she got out of the
medcin closet, cause she's lost her money and can't pay her board no more and
she says she'd ruther die than be charity, cause she's always looked down on
charity, and bin so stuck up about her family. They got it out of her with a stumak
pump and she won't die this time but she says she'll do it again cause she can't
live and be charity. Won't you come and see her and perhaps you can do
something with her, we can't.