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Contrary mary

TheProjectGutenbergeBook,ContraryMary,byTempleBailey,Illustrated
byCharlesS.Corson
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Title:ContraryMary
Author:TempleBailey
ReleaseDate:March6,2006[eBook#17938]
Language:English
Charactersetencoding:ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CONTRARY
MARY***

E-textpreparedbyAlHaines

Sheflashedaquickglanceathim.
[Frontispiece:Sheflashedaquickglanceathim.]



CONTRARYMARY
BY


TEMPLEBAILEY

AUTHOROF
GLORYOFYOUTH

ILLUSTRATIONSBY
CHARLESS.CORSON

NEWYORK
GROSSET&DUNLAP
PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT
1914BY


THEPENNPUBLISHINGCOMPANY

Firstprinting,December,1914
Secondprinting,February,1915
Thirdprinting,March,1915
Fourthprinting,March,1915
Fifthprinting,April,1915
Sixthprinting,July,1915
Seventhprinting,November,1915
ContraryMary

ToMySister


Contents

CHAPTERI
InWhichSilkenLadiesAscendOneStairway,andaLonelyWayfarerAscends
AnotherandComesFacetoFacewithOldFriends.


CHAPTERII
In Which Rose-Leaves and Old Slippers Speed a Happy Pair; and in Which
SweetandTwentySpeaksaNewandModernLanguage,andGivesaReasonfor
RentingaGentleman'sLibrary.

CHAPTERIII
In Which a Lonely Wayfarer Becomes Monarch of All He Surveys; and in
WhichOneWhoMightHaveBeenPresentedastheHeroofthisTaleisForced,
ThroughNoFaultofHisOwn,toTakeHisChanceswiththeRest.

CHAPTERIV
InWhichaLittleBronzeBoyGrinsintheDark;andinWhichMaryForgetsthat
ThereisAnyOneElseintheHouse.

CHAPTERV


In Which Roger Remembers a Face and Delilah Remembers a Voice; and in
WhichaPoemandaPussyCatPlayanImportantPart.

CHAPTERVI
In Which Mary Brings Christmas to the Tower Rooms, and in Which Roger
DeclinesaPrivilegeforWhichPorterPleads.

CHAPTERVII
InWhichAuntFrancesSpeaksofMatrimonyasaFixedInstitutionandisMet
byFlamingArguments;andinWhichaStrangeVoiceSingsUpontheStairs.

CHAPTERVIII
In Which Little-Lovely Leila Sees a Picture in an Unexpected Place; and in
WhichPerfectFaithSpeaksTriumphantlyOvertheTelephone.

CHAPTERIX
In Which Roger Sallies Forth in the Service of a Damsel in Distress; and in
WhichHeMeetsDragonsAlongtheWay.

CHAPTERX
InWhichaScarletFlowerBloomsintheGarden;andinWhichaLightFlares
LaterintheTower.


CHAPTERXI
InWhichRogerWritesaLetter;andinWhichaRoseBloomsUponthePagesof
aBook.

CHAPTERXII
InWhichMaryandRogerHaveTheirHour;andinWhichaTea-DrinkingEnds
inWhatMightHaveBeenaTragedy.

CHAPTERXIII
InWhichtheWholeWorldisatSixesandSevens;andinWhichLifeisLooked
UponasaGreatAdventure.

CHAPTERXIV
In Which Mary Writes from the Tower Rooms; and in Which Roger Answers
fromAmongthePines.

CHAPTERXV
In Which Barry and Leila Go Over the Hills and Far Away; and in Which a
MarchMoonBecomesaHoneymoon.

CHAPTERXVI
In Which a Long Name is Bestowed Upon a Beautiful Baby; and in Which a


LetterinaLongEnvelopeBringsFreedomtoMary.

CHAPTERXVII
InWhichanArtistFindsWhatAllHisLifeHeHasBeenLookingFor;andin
WhichHeSpeaksofaLittleSaintinRed.

CHAPTERXVIII
InWhichMaryWritesoftheWorkadayWorld;andinWhichRogerWritesof
theDreamsofaBoy.

CHAPTERXIX
InWhichPorterPlantsanEvilSeedWhichGrowsandFlourishes,andinWhich
GhostsRiseandConfrontMary.

CHAPTERXX
InWhichMaryFacestheWinterofHerDiscontent;andinWhichDelilahSees
ThingsinaCrystalBall.

CHAPTERXXI
InWhichaLittleLadyinBlackComestoWashingtontoWitnesstheSwearinginofaGentlemanandaScholar.


CHAPTERXXII
InWhichtheGardenBeginstoBloom;andinWhichRogerDreamt.

CHAPTERXXIII
In Which Little-Lovely Leila Looks Forward to the Month of May; and in
WhichBarryRidesIntoaTownWithNarrowStreets.

CHAPTERXXIV
InWhichRogerComesOnceMoretotheTowerRooms;andinWhichaDuelis
FoughtinModernFashion.

CHAPTERXXV
In Which Mary Bids Farewell to the Old Life, and in Which She Finds
HappinessontheHighSeas.

CHAPTERXXVI
In Which a Strange Craft Anchors in a Sea of Emerald Light; and in Which
Mocking-BirdsSingintheMoonlight.


Illustrations
Sheflashedaquickglanceathim......_Frontispiece_
"WhathaveIdone?"
"Youdon'tknowwhatyouaredoing."
"AgainIquestionyourright."


ContraryMary
CHAPTERI
In Which Silken Ladies Ascend One Stairway, and a Lonely Wayfarer Ascends
AnotherandComesFacetoFaceWithOldFriends.

Thebighouse,standingonahighhillwhichoverlookedthecity,showedin
the moonlight the grotesque outlines of a composite architecture. Originally it
had been a square substantial edifice of Colonial simplicity. A later and less
restrained taste had aimed at a castellated effect, and certain peaks and turrets
had been added. Three of these turrets were excrescences stuck on, evidently,
withanideaofadornment.Thefourthtower,however,roundedoutandenlarged
a room on the third floor. This room was one of a suite, and the rooms were
knownastheTowerRooms,andwereheldbythosewhohadoccupiedthemto
bethemostdesirableinthebarn-likebuilding.
To-night the house had taken on an unwonted aspect of festivity. Its
spaciousness was checkered by golden-lighted windows. Delivery wagons and
automobilescameandwent,somedischargingloadsofdeliciousnessattheback
door,othersdischargingloadsoflovelinessatthefront.
Followinginthewakeofoneofthefrontdoorloadsofflutteringfemininity
cameasomewhatsomberpedestrian.Hisstepslaggedalittle,sothatwhenthe
big door opened, he was still at the foot of the terrace which led up to it. He
waiteduntilthedoorwasshutbeforeheagainadvanced.Intheglimpsethathe
thus had of the interior, he was aware of a sort of pink effulgence, and in that
shining light, lapped by it, and borne up, as it were, by it toward the wide
stairway, he saw slender girls in faint-hued frocks—a shimmering celestial
company.
Ashereachedthetopoftheterracethedooragainflewopen,andhegavea
somewhathesitatingreasonforhisintrusion.


"IwastoldtoaskforMissBallard—MissMaryBallard."
It seemed that he was expected, and that the guardian of the doorway
understood the difference between his business and that of the celestial beings
whohadprecededhim.
Hewasshownintoasmallroomattheleftoftheentrance.Itwassomewhat
bare, with a few law books and a big old-fashioned desk. He judged that the
roommighthavebeenputtoofficeuses,butto-nightthedeskwasheapedwith
openboxes,andoddpiecesoffurniturewerecrowdedtogether,sothattherewas
leftonlyasmalloasisofclearedspace.Ontheonechairinthisoasis,thesomber
gentlemanseatedhimself.
Hehadafancy,ashesattherewaiting,thatneitherhenorthisroomwerein
accordwiththethingsthatweregoingoninthebighouse.Outsideoftheclosed
door the radiant guests were still ascending the stairway on shining wings of
light. He could hear the music of their laughter, and the deeper note of men's
voices,risingandgrowingfainterinasortoftranscendentharmony.
Whenthedoorwasfinallyopened,itwasdonequicklyandwasshutquickly,
andthegirlwhohadenteredlaughedbreathlesslyassheturnedtohim.
"Oh,youmustforgiveme—I'vekeptyouwaiting?"
If their meeting had been in Sherwood forest, he would have known her at
onceforagoodcomrade;ifhehadmetherintheGardenofBiaucaire,hewould
haveknownheratonceformorethanthat.But,beingneitheraheroofballad
norofoldromance,heknewonlythatherewasagirldifferentfromthesilken
ladieswhohadascendedthestairs.Herewasanairalmostoffrankboyishness,a
smile of pleasant friendliness, with just enough of flushing cheek to show
womanlinessandwarmblood.
Evenherdresswasdifferent.Itwassimplealmosttothepointofplainness.
Its charm lay in its glimmering glistening sheen, like the inside of a shell. Its
draperies werecaught uptoshow slender feetinlow-heeledslippers. Aquaint
capofsilvertissueheldcloselythewavesofthickfairhair.Hereyeswerelike
theseainastorm—deepgraywithaglintofgreen.
These things did not come to him at once. He was to observe them as she
madeherexplanation,andashefollowedhertotheTowerRooms.Butfirsthe


hadtosethimselfstraightwithher,sohesaid:"Iwassorrytointerruptyou.But
yousaid—seven?"
"Yes. It was the only time that the rooms could be seen. My sister and I
occupythem—andConstanceistobemarried—to-night."
This,then,wasthereasonfortheeffulgenceandthesilkenladies.Itwasthe
reason,too,forthelovelinessofherdress.
"I am going to take you this way." She preceded him through a narrow
passage to a flight of steps leading up into the darkness. "These stairs are not
oftenused,butweshallescapethecrowdsintheotherhall."
Her voice was lost as she made an abrupt turn, but, feeling his way, he
followedher.
Upandupuntiltheycametoathird-floorlanding,whereshestoppedhimto
say,"Imustbesurenooneishere.WillyouwaituntilIsee?"
Shecameback,presently,toannouncethatthecoastwasclear,andthusthey
enteredtheroomwhichhadbeenenlargedandroundedoutbythefourthtower.
Itwasabigroom,ceiledandfinishedindarkoak,Thefurniturewasroomy
and comfortable and of worn red leather. A strong square table held a copper
lampwithalowspreadingshade.Therewasafireplace,andonthemantelabove
itabustortwo.
ButitwasnotthesethingswhichatoncecaughttheattentionofRogerPoole.
Liningthewallswereoldbooksinstoutbinding,newbooksinclothandfine
leather—thepoets,thephilosophers,theseersofallages.Ashiseyessweptthe
shelves, he knew that here was the living, breathing collection of a true booklover—not a musty, fusty aggregation brought together through mere pride of
intellect.Theownerofthislibraryhadcountedtheheart-beatsoftheworld.
"Thisisthesitting-room,"hisguidewastellinghim,"andthebedroomand
bathopenoutfromit."Shehadopenedaconnectingdoor."Thisroomisawfully
tornup.ButwehavejustfinisheddressingConstance.Sheisdown-stairsnowin
the Sanctum. We'll pack her trunks to-morrow and send them, and then if you
shouldcaretotaketherooms,wecanputbackthebedroomfurniturethatfather


had.Heusedthissuite,andbroughthisbooksupaftermotherdied."
He halted on the threshold of that inner room. If the old house below had
seemed filled with rosy effulgence, this was the heart of the rose. Two small
white beds were side by side in an alcove. Their covers were of pink overlaid
with lace, and the chintz of the big couch and chairs reflected the same
enchanting hue. With all the color, however, there was the freshness of
simplicity.Twotallglasscandlesticksonthedressingtable,afewphotographs
insilverandivoryframes—theseweretheonlyornaments.
Yeteverywherewaslovelyconfusion—delicatethingswerethrownhalf-way
into open trunks, filmy fabrics floated from unexpected places, small slippers
were held by receptacles never designed for shoes, radiant hats bloomed in
boxes.
Onachairlayabridesmaid'sbunchofroses.ThisbunchMaryBallardpicked
up as she passed, and it was over the top of it that she asked, with some
diffidence,"Doyouthinkyou'dcaretotaketherooms?"
Didhe?DidthePerioutsidethegatesyearntoenter?Herewithinhisreach
wasthatfromwhichhehadbeencutoffforfiveyears.Fiveyearsinboardinghouses and cheap hotels, and now the chance to live again—as he had once
lived!
"I do want them—awfully—but the price named in your letter seems
ridiculouslysmall——"
"ButyouseeitisallIshallneed,"shewasasblissfullyunbusinesslikeashe.
"I want to add a certain amount to my income, so I ask you to pay that," she
smiled, and with increasing diffidence demanded, "Could you make up your
mind—now?ItisimportantthatIshouldknow—to-night."
Shesawthequestioninhiseyesandansweredit,"Yousee—myfamilyhave
no idea that I am doing this. If they knew, they wouldn't want me to rent the
rooms—butthehouseismine—-IshalldoasIplease."
Sheseemedtoflingitathim,defiantly.
"Andyouwantmetobeaccessorytoyour—crime."


She gave him a startled glance. "Oh, do you look at it—that way? Please
don't.Notifyoulikethem."
Foramoment,only,hewavered.Therewassomethingdistinctlyunusualin
acquiringavineandfigtreeinthisfashion.Butthenheradvertisementhadbeen
unusual—itwasthatwhichhadattractedhim,andhadpiquedhisinterestsothat
hehadansweredit.
And the books! As he looked back into the big room, the rows of volumes
seemedtosmileathimwiththefacesofoldfriends.
Lonely, longing for a haven after the storms which had beaten him, what
bettercouldhefindthanthis?
AsforthefamilyofMaryBallard,whathadhetodowithit?Hisbusiness
waswithMary Ballard herself,withherfranklaughandher friendliness—and
herarmsfullofroses!
"IlikethemsomuchthatIshallconsidermyselfmostfortunatetogetthem."
"Oh, really?" She hesitated and held out her hand to him. "You don't know
howyouhavehelpedmeout—youdon'tknowhowyouhavehelpedme——"
Againshesawaquestioninhiseyes,butthistimeshedidnotanswerit.She
turned and went into the other room, drawing back the curtains of the deep
windowsoftheroundtower.
"Ihaven'tshownyouthebestofall,"shesaid.Beneaththemlaythelovely
city,starredwithitsgoldenlights.Fromeasttowesttheshadowydimnessofthe
Mall, beyond the shadows, a line of river, silver under the moonlight. A clock
towerortwoshowedyellowfaces;thegreatpublicbuildingswereclear-cutlike
cardboard.
Rogerdrewadeepbreath."Iftherewerenothingelse,"hesaid,"Ishouldtake
theroomsforthis."
Andnowfromthelowerhallcametheclamorofvoices.
"Mary!Mary!"


"Imustnotkeepyou,"hesaidatonce.
"Mary!"
Poisedforflight,sheasked,"Canyoufindyourwaydownalone?I'llgoby
thefrontstairsandheadthemoff."
"Mary——!"
With a last flashing glance she was gone, and as he groped his way down
throughthedarkness,itcametohimasanamazingrevelationthatshehadtaken
hiscomingasathingtobethankfulfor,andithadbeensomanyyearssincea
doorhadbeenflungwidetowelcomehim.

CHAPTERII
In Which Rose-Leaves and Old Slippers Speed a Happy Pair; and in Which
SweetandTwentySpeaksaNewandModernLanguage,andGivesaReasonfor
RentingaGentleman'sLibrary.

InspiteofthefactthatMaryBallardhadseemedtoRogerPoolelikeawhitewinged angel, she was not looked upon by the family as a beauty. It was
Constancewhowasthe"prettyone,"andtonightasshestoodinherbridalrobes,
gazingupathersisterwhowasdescendingthestairs,shewasmorethanpretty.
Her tender face was illumined by an inner radiance. She was two years older
than Mary, but more slender, and her coloring was more strongly emphasized.
Her eyes were blue and her hair was gold, as against the gray-green and dull
fairnessofMary'shair.Sheseemedsurrounded,too,byasortoffeminineaura,
sothatoneknewataglancethatherewasawomanwhowouldloveherhome,
herhusband,herchildren;whowouldleanuponmasculineprotection,andsuffer
frommasculineneglect.
Of Mary Ballard these things could not be said at once. In spite of her
simplicity and frankness, there was about her a baffling atmosphere. She was


like a still pool with the depths as yet unsounded, an uncharted sea—with its
mysteryofundiscoveredcountries.
The contrast between the sisters had never been more marked than when
Mary,leaningoverthestair-rail,answeredthebreathless,"Dearest,wherehave
youbeen?"withhercalm:
"There'splentyoftime,Constance."
AndConstance,soothedasalwaysbyhersister'stranquillity,repeatedMary's
wordsforthebenefitofaponderouslyanxiousPersonageinambersatin.
"There'splentyoftime,AuntFrances."
That Aunt Frances was a Personage was made apparent by certain exterior
evidences.Oneknewitbythesetofherfineshoulders,thecarriageofherhead,
bythediamond-studdedlorgnette,bythestringofpearlsaboutherneck,bythe
ospreyinherwhitehair,bythegoldenbucklesonhershoes.
"Itisfiveminutestoeight,"saidAuntFrances,"andGordoniswaitingdownstairswithhisbestman,thechorusisfreezingonthesideporch,andeverybody
hasarrived.Idon'tseewhyyouarewaiting——"
"Wearewaitingforittobeeighto'clock,AuntFrances,"saidMary."Atjust
eight, I start down in front of Constance, and if you don't hurry you and Aunt
Isabellewon'tbethereaheadofme."
The amber train slipped and glimmered down the polished steps, and the
goldenbucklesgleamedasMrs.Clendenning,pantingalittleandwithasenseof
outragethathernervousanxietyoftheprecedingmomenthadbeenfornaught,
madeherwaytothedrawing-room,wheretheguestswereassembled.
AuntIsabellefollowed,gentlysmiling.AuntIsabellewastoAuntFrancesas
moonlight unto sunlight. Aunt Frances was married, Aunt Isabelle was single;
AuntFrancesworeamber,AuntIsabellesilvergray;AuntFrancesheldupher
headlikeaqueen,AuntIsabelledroppedhersdeprecatingly;AuntFrances'quick
ears caught the whispers of admiration that followed her, Aunt Isabelle's ears
wereclosedforevertoallthemusicoftheuniverse.
Nosoonerhadthetwoauntstakentheirplacestotheleftofafloralbower


than there was heard without the chanted wedding chorus, from a side door
steppedtheclergymanandthebridegroomandhisbestman;thenfromthehall
came the little procession with Mary in the lead and Constance leaning on the
armofherbrotherBarry.
They were much alike, this brother and sister. More alike than Mary and
Constance.Barryhadthesamegoldinhishair,andblueinhiseyes,and,while
onedarednothintit,inthefaceofhisbroad-shoulderedstrength,therewasan
almost feminine charm in the grace of his manner and the languor of his
movements.
Therewerenobridesmaids,exceptMary,butfourprettygirlsheldthebroad
whiteribbonswhichmarkedanaisledownthelengthoftherooms.Thesegirls
worepinkwithclosecapsofoldlace.Onlyoneofthemhaddarkhair,anditwas
thedark-hairedone,who,standingverystillthroughouttheceremony,withthe
ribbon caught up to her in lustrous festoons, never took her eyes from Barry
Ballard'sface.
Andwhen,aftertheceremony,thebrideturnedtogreetherfriends,thedarkhairedgirlmovedforwardtowhereBarrystood,alittleapartfromthewedding
group.
"Doesn'titseemstrange?"shesaidtohimwithquick-drawnbreath.
Hesmileddownather."What?"
"Thatafewwordsshouldmakesuchadifference?"
"Yes.Aminuteagoshebelongedtous.Nowshe'sGordon's."
"Andhe'stakinghertoEngland?"
"Yes. But not for long. When he gets the branch office started over there,
they'llcomeback,andhe'lltakehisfather'splaceinthebusinesshere,andletthe
oldmanretire."
Shewasnotlistening."Barry,"sheinterrupted,"whatwillMarydo?Shecan't
liveherealone—andshe'llmissConstance."
"Oh, Aunt Frances has fixed that," easily; "she wants Mary to shut up the


houseandspendthewinterinNicewithherselfandGrace—it'sagreatchance
forMary."
"Butwhataboutyou,Barry?"
"Me?" He shrugged his shoulders and again smiled down at her. "I'll find
quarters somewhere, and when I get too lonesome, I'll come over and talk to
you,Leila."
The rich color flooded her cheeks. "Do come," she said, again with quickdrawn breath, then like a child who has secured its coveted sugar-plum, she
slipped through the crowd, and down into the dining-room, where she found
Marytakingalastsurvey.
"Hasn'tAuntFrancesdonethingsbeautifully?"Maryasked;"sheinsistedon
it,Leila.Wecouldneverhaveaffordedtheorchidsandtheroses;andtheicesare
charming—pinkheartswithcupidsshootingatthemwithsilverarrows——"
"Oh,Mary,"thedark-hairedgirllaidherflushedcheekagainstthearmofher
tallerfriend."Ithinkweddingsarewonderful."
Mary shook her head. "I don't," she said after a moment's silence. "I think
they'rehorrid.IlikeGordonRichardsonwellenough,exceptwhenIthinkthat
heisstealingConstance,andthenIhatehim."
Butthebride wascomingdown,withallthemurmuringvoicesbehindher,
andnowthesilkenladiesweredescendingthestairstothedining-room,which
took up the whole lower west wing of the house and opened out upon an oldfashionedgarden,whichto-night,underachillOctobermoon,showeditsrows
ofboxandofformalcedarslikesharpshadowsagainstthewhiteness.
Intothisgardencame,later,Mary.AndbehindherSusanJenks.
Susan Jenks was a little woman with gray hair and a coffee-colored skin.
Beingneitherblacknorwhite,shepartooksomewhatofthenatureofbothraces.
BackofherAfricangentlenesswasanalmostYankeeshrewdness,andthefirm
willwhichnowandthendegeneratedintoobstinacy.
"Thereain'tnoluckinaweddingwithoutrice,MissMary.Thesepaperroseleafthingsthatyou'vegotinthebagsaremightypretty,buthowareyougoing


toknowthattheybringgoodluck?"
"AuntFrancesthoughttheywouldbecharmingandforeign,Susan,andthey
lookveryreal,floatingoffintheair.Youmuststandthereontheupperporch,
andgivethelittlebagstotheguests."
Susanascendedtheterracestepscomplainingly."Yougorightinoutofthe
night,MissMary,"shecalledback,"an'youwithnothin'onyourbareneck!"
Mary,turning,camefacetofacewithGordon'sbestman,PorterBigelow.
"Mary," he said, impetuously, "I've been looking for you everywhere. I
couldn'tkeepmyeyesoffyouduringtheservice—youwere—heavenly."
"I'm not a bit angelic, Porter," she told him, "and I'm simply freezing out
here.IhadtoshowSusanabouttheconfetti."
Hedrewherinandshutthedoor."Theysentmetohuntforyou,"hesaid.
"Constancewantsyou.She'sgoingup-stairstochange.ButIheardjustnowthat
you are going to Nice. Leila told me. Mary—you can't go—not so far away—
fromme."
Hishandwasonherarm.
Sheshookitoffwithalittlelaugh.
"Youhaven'tathingtodowithit,Porter.AndI'mnotgoing—toNice."
"ButLeilasaid——"
Her head went up. It was a characteristic gesture. "It doesn't make any
differencewhatanyonesays.I'mnotgoingtoNice."
Once more in the Tower Rooms, the two sisters were together for the last
time.Leilawassentdownonahastilycontrivederrand.AuntFrances,arriving,
wasurgedtogobackandlookaftertheguests.OnlyAuntIsabellewasallowed
toremain.Shecouldbeofuse,andthethingswhichweretobesaidshecould
nothear.
"Dearest," Constance's voice had a break in it, "dearest, I feel so selfish—


leavingyou——"
Mary was kneeling on the floor, unfastening hooks. "Don't worry, Con. I'll
getalong."
"Butyou'llhavetobear—things—allalone.Itisn'tasifanyoneknew,and
youcouldtalkitout."
"I'dratherdiethanspeakofit,"fiercely,"andIsha'n'twriteanythingtoyou
aboutit,forGordonwillreadyourletters."
"Oh,Mary,hewon't."
"Oh, yes, he will, and you'll want him to—you'll want to turn your heart
insideoutforhimtoread,tosaynothingofyourletters."
She stood up and put both of her hands on her sister's shoulders. "But you
mustn't tell him, Con. No matter how much you want to, it's my secret and
Barry's—promiseme,Con——"
"But,Mary,awifecan't."
"Yes,shecanhavesecretsfromherhusband.Andthisbelongstous,notto
him.You'vemarriedhim,Con,butwehaven't."
AuntIsabelle,gentleAuntIsabelle,shutofffromtheworldofsound,could
not hear Con's little cry of protest, but she looked up just in time to see the
shimmeringdressdroptothefloor,andtoseethebride,sheathedlikealilyin
whiteness,buryherheadonMary'sshoulder.
Aunt Isabelle stumbled forward. "My dear," she asked, in her thin troubled
voice,"whatmakesyoucry?"
"It's nothing, Aunt Isabelle." Mary's tone was not loud, but Aunt Isabelle
heardandnodded.
"She's dead tired, poor dear, and wrought up. I'll run and get the aromatic
spirits."
WithAuntIsabellaoutoftheway,Marysetherselftorepairthedamageshe


haddone."I'vemadeyoucryonyourweddingday,Con,andIwantedyoutobe
sohappy.Oh,tellGordon,ifyoumust.Butyou'llfindthathewon'tlookatitas
youandIhavelookedatit.Hewon'tmaketheexcuses."
"Oh, yes he will." Constance's happiness seemed to come back to her
suddenlyinafloodofassurance."He'sthebestmanintheworld,Mary,andso
kind.It'sbecauseyoudon'tknowhimthatyouthinkasyoudo."
Marycouldnotquenchthetrustintheblueeyes."Ofcoursehe'sgood,"she
said,"andyouaregoingtobethehappiestever,Constance."
ThenAuntIsabellecamebackandfoundthattheneedforthearomaticspirits
wasover,andtogetherthelovinghandshurriedConstanceintohergoingaway
gownofdullblueandsilver,withitssabletrimmedwrapandhat.
"Ifithadn'tbeenforAuntFrances,howcouldIhavefacedGordon'sfriends
inLondon?"saidConstance."AmIallrightnow,Mary?"
"Lovely,Con,dear."
But it was Aunt Isabelle's hushed voice which gave the appropriate phrase.
"Shelookslikeabluebird—forhappiness."
AtthefootofthestairwayGordonwaswaitingforhisbride—handsomeand
prosperous as a bridegroom should be, with a dark sleek head and eager eyes,
andbesidehimPorterBigelow,toppinghimbyahead,andaredheadatthat.
AsMaryfollowedConstance,Portertuckedherhandunderhisarm.

"Oh,Mary,Mary,quitecontrary,
Youreyestheyaresobright,
Thatthestarsgrowpale,astheytellthetale
Totheotherstarsatnight,"

he improvised under his breath. "Oh, Mary Ballard, do you know that I am
holding on to myself with all my might to keep from shouting to the crowd,
'Maryisn'tgoingaway.Maryisn'tgoingaway.'"
"Silly——"


"Yousaythat,butyoudon'tmeanit.Mary,youcan'tbehard-heartedonsuch
anightasthis.SaythatImaystayforfiveminutes—ten—aftertheothershave
gone——"
Theywereoutontheporchnow,andhehadfoldedaboutherthewrapwhich
shehadbroughtdownwithher."Ofcourseyoumaystay,"shesaid,"butmuch
goodmayitdoyou.AuntFrancesisstayingandGeneralDick—there'stobea
familyconclaveintheSanctum—butifyouwanttolistenyoumay."
And how the rose-leaves began to flutter! Susan Jenks had handed out the
bags,andsecretly,andwithmuchelationhadleanedovertherailasConstance
passed down the steps, and had emptied her own little offering of rice in the
middleofthebride'sbluehat!
It was Barry, aided and abetted by Leila, who brought out the old slippers.
There were Constance's dancing slippers, high-heeled and of delicate hues,
Mary's more individual low-heeled ones, Barry's outworn pumps, decorated
hurriedlybyLeilafortheoccasionwithlovers'knotsoftissuepaper.
Anditwasjustasthebridewaved"Good-bye"fromGordon'slimousinethat
anewslipperfollowedtheoldones,forLeila,carriedawaybytheexcitement,
andhavingatthemomentnoothermissileathand,reacheddown,andplucking
offoneofherownpinksandals,hurleditwithallhermightatthemovingcar.It
landedontop,andLeila,withagasp,realizedthatitwasgoneforever.
"Itservesyouright."Lookingup,shemetBarry'slaughingeyes.
Shesankdownonthestep."Andtheywereanewpair!"
"Luckythatit'syourbirthdaynextweek,"hesaid."Doyouwantpinkones?'"
"Barry!"
Her delight was overwhelming. "Heavens, child," he condoned her, "don't
lookasifIwerethegrandMogul.DoyouknowIsometimesthinkyouareeight
instead of eighteen? And now, if you'll take my arm, you can hippity-hop into
thehouse.AndIhopethatyou'llrememberthis,thatifIgiveyoupinkslippers
youarenottothrowthemaway."
InthehalltheymetLeila'sfather—GeneralWilfredDick.TheGeneralhad


married, in late bachelorhood, a young wife. Leila was like her mother in her
darksparklingbeautyanddemuresweetness.Butsheshowedattimesthespirit
of her father—the spirit which had carried the General gallantly through the
CivilWar,andhadledhimafterthewartomakeasuccessofthepracticeoflaw.
HehadbeenforyearstheintimatefriendandadviseroftheBallards,anditwas
atMary'srequestthathewastostaytoshareinthecomingconclave.
HetoldLeilathis."You'llhavetowait,too,"hesaid."Andnow,whyareyou
hoppingononefootinthatabsurdfashion?"
"Dad,dear,Ilostmyshoe——"
"Herverybestpinkone,"Barryexplained;"shethrewitafterthebride,and
nowI'vegottogiveheranotherpairforherbirthday."
TheGeneral'soldeyesbrightenedashesurveyedtheyoungpair.Thiswasas
itshouldbe,thesonofhisoldfriendandthedaughterofhisheart.
He tried to look stern, however. "Haven't I always kept you supplied with
pink shoes and blue shoes and all the colors of the rainbow shoes!" he
demanded."AndwhyshouldyoutaxBarry?"
"But,Dad,hewantsto."ShelookedeagerlyatBarryforconfirmation."He
wantstogivethemtome—formybirthday——"
"Of course I do," said Barry, lightly. "If I didn't give her slippers, I should
havetogivehersomethingelse—andfarbeitfrommetoknowwhat—little—
lovely—Leila—wants——"
Andtothetuneofhischant,theyhippity-hoppedtogetherupthestairsina
huntforsomestrayshoethatshouldfitlittle-lovely-Leila'sfoot!
Alittlelater,thesilkenladieshavingdescendedthestairwayforthelasttime,
AuntFrancestookherambersatinstatelinesstotheSanctum.
Behind her, a silver shadow, came Aunt Isabelle, and bringing up the rear,
GeneralDick,andthefouryoungpeople;Leilainapairofmismatedslippers,
hippity-hopping behind with Barry, and Porter assuring Mary that he knew he
"hadn't any business to butt in to a family party," but that he was coming
anyhow.


TheSanctumwasthefrontroomonthesecondfloor.IthadbeentheLittle
Mother's room in the days when she was still with them, and now it had been
turnedintoaretreatwheretheyoungpeopledriftedwhentheywantedquiet,or
where they met for consultation and advice. Except that the walnut bed and
bureauhadbeentakenoutnothinghadbeenchanged,andtheirmother'sbooks
were still in the low bookcases; religious books, many of them, reflecting the
gentlefaithoftheowner.Onmantelandtableandwallswerephotographsofher
childreninlongclothesandshort,andthenoncemoreinlongones;therewas
Barry in wide collars and knickerbockers, and Constance and Mary in ermine
capsandcapes;therewasBarryagaininthemilitaryuniformofhispreparatory
school;Constanceinhergraduationfrock,andMarywithherhairupforthefirst
time.Therewasapictureoftheirfatheronporcelaininabluevelvetcase,and
anotherpictureofhimabovethemantelinanovalframe,withoneoftheLittle
Mother's,alsoinanovalframe,toflankit.InthefairnessoftheLittleMother
onetracedthefairnessofBarryandConstance.Butthefairnessandfeaturesof
thefatherwereMary's.
Maryhadneverlookedmorelikeherfatherthannowwhen,sittingunderhis
picture,shestatedhercase.Whatshehadtosayshesaidsimply.Butwhenshe
hadfinishedtherewasthesilenceofastonishment.
Inaday,almostinanhour,littleMaryhadgrownup!WithConstanceasthe
nominal head of the household, none of them had realized that it was Mary's
mindwhichhadworkedouttheproblemsofmakingendsmeet,andthatitwas
Mary'sstrengthandindustrywhichhadsupplementedSusan'swaningeffortsin
thecareofthebighouse.
"I want to keep the house," Mary repeated. "I had to talk it over to-night,
AuntFrances,becauseyougobacktoNewYorkinthemorning,andIcouldn't
speakofitbeforeto-nightbecauseIwasafraidthatsomehintofmyplanwould
gettoConstanceandshewouldbetroubled.She'lllearnitlater,butIdidn'twant
hertohaveitonhermindnow.Iwanttostayhere.I'vealwayslivedhere,andso
hasBarry—andwhileIappreciateyourplansformetogotoNice,Idon'tthink
itwouldbefairorrightformetoleaveBarry."
Barry,alittleembarrassedtobebroughtintoit,said,"Oh,youneedn'tmind
aboutme——"
"ButIdomind."Maryhadrisenandwasspeakingearnestly."Iamsureyou


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