He did not sleep much on the night before the girl's arrival. He sat until late with the framed photograph of Barbara's mother on his knee, and tried to tell the dead and gone original that he had done his best for the girl so far, and if he had failed, it was because he knew nothing about raising girls and nature hadn't cut him out to be a father, anyhow.
"Georgino, did all my questions as to who it was really take you in?" she asked. "Just as if I hadn't known all along! Why, Miss Olga Bracely, of course!" Georgie's fallen face shewed her how completely she had spoiled his pleasure. "Who told you?" he asked. She rattled her tassels. "Little bird!" she said. "I must run away to my class, or they will scold me."
She hadn't guessed that the choice he was going to offer her would be between taking the little part he had given her and playing it for all it was worth, defiant of Rodney's feelings and of the scandal of the Lake Shore Drive and going back to her three-dollar room this afternoon, out of a job and without even a glimmering chance of finding another. "Take your time," he said.
He turned back to the controls to make an adjustment. It didn't make sense, Jason agreed completely. Why had he saved this oaf who meant nothing to him? It was not an easy question to answer, though it had seemed so right at the time. If only Meta hadn't said that they would take care of him; he knew they could and was tired of it.
'if you only knew what your sister has been to me! How much I owe to her and to you! It was kind of you to come to-night. I should have been so disappointed if you hadn't! Then she came closer to him, and said archly, almost in his ear, 'Have you forgiven me? 'Forgiven you? For what? 'For laying hands on Elvira, after all.
He asked me who I was, and I told him, mentioning that I was the governor's son. I thought that might help him to make up his mind, and it did. The governor is middling well known up in those parts, and the mention of his name was enough. The fellow climbed in beside me. We hadn't very far to go, as it turned out, and in the inside of twenty minutes I was driving up the avenue of a big house.
I sent out invitations for a party; I laid out to invite all my own dear ones, old and young, Elder Minkley and his wife, Arvilly, and how I did want to invite Ernest White and Waitstill Webb, but he wuz away on a long vacation, and Waitstill I hadn't hearn from for weeks, she wuz in the Philippines the last I hearn.
"But the idea's got to be got out of his head again!" said George vigorously more dictatorially and less persuasively than before. Marguerite offered no remark. "And after all," George continued, "he couldn't have been so desperately keen on your stepmother. When he married her your mother hadn't been dead so very long, had she?" "No.
But I'd have slid on down if I hadn't dropped into a camp of surveyors who were heading off into the mountains and had need of another man. Griffith, the engineer in charge, talked me into joining the party as axman. I took a fancy to him. He proved himself the first real friend I'd ever had or was to have till I met Jimmy Scarbridge."