BLTC Press Titles

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The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

His family

by Ernest Poole


"Edith has been here, I suppose—"


"I'm so sorry I missed her. I tried to get home early, but it has been a busy night."

Her voice sounded tired, comfortably so, and she looked that way as she came in. Though only a little taller than Edith, she was of a sturdier build and more decided features. Her mouth was large with a humorous droop and her face rather broad with high cheekbones. As she put her soft black hair up over her high forehead, her father noticed her birthmark, a faint curving line of red running up from between her eyes. Imperceptible as a rule, it showed when she was tired. In the big school in the tenements where she had taught for many years, she gave herself hard without stint to her work, but she had such a good time through it all. She had a way, too, he reflected, of always putting things in their place. As now she came in and kissed him and sank back on his leather lounge with a tranquil breath of relief, she seemed to be dropping school out of her life.

Roger picked up his paper and continued his reading. Presently they would have a talk, but first he knew that she wanted to lie quite still for a little while. Vaguely he pictured her work that night, her class-room packed to bursting with small Jews and Italians, and Deborah at the blackboard with a long pointer in her hand. The fact that for the last two years she had been the principal of her school had made little impression upon him.

And meanwhile, as she lay back with eyes closed, her mind still taut from the evening called up no simple class-room but far different places—a mass meeting in Carnegie Hall where she had just been speaking, some schools which she had visited out in Indiana, a block of tenements far downtown and the private office of the mayor. For her school had long curious arms these days.

"Was Bruce here too this evening?" she asked her father presently. Roger finished what he was reading, then looked over to the lounge, which was in a shadowy corner.

"Yes, he came in late." And he went on to tell her of Bruce's "engineering." At once she was interested. Rising on one elbow she questioned him good-humoredly, for Deborah was fond of Bruce.

"Has he bought that automobile he wanted?"

"No," replied her father. "Edith said they couldn't afford it."

"Why not?"

"This time it's the dentist's bills. Young Betsy's teeth aren't straightened yet—and as soon as she's been beautified they're going to put the clamps on George."

"Poor Georgie," Deborah murmured. At the look of pain and disapproval on her father's heavy face, she smiled quietly to herself. George, who was Edith's oldest and the worry of her days, was Roger's favorite grandson. "Has he been bringing home any more sick dogs?"

"No, this time it was a rat—a white one," Roger answered. A glint of dry relish appeared in his eyes. "George brought it home the other night. He had on a pair of ragged old pants."

"What on earth—"

"He had traded his own breeches for the rat," said Roger placidly.

"No! Oh, father! Really!" And she sank back laughing on the lounge.

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