“Say, are you going to knock ’em all out?” asked Billie. “That’s right! Leave some for us,” begged Johnnie. “Wait until I have one more trial,” went on Bully, for you see he had two shots on account of being lucky with his first one and knocking some marbles from the ring. Then he went to look for his second-best shooter, for it had rolled away, but he couldn’t find it.
Your wife might call you her dear little husband, you know. 'I should like to catch her at it, growled the Captain, but he stopped scowling. 'It's a rich trade, he went on. 'For cloth ONCE dipped, second-best glass, and the rough images our young artists carve for practice, the barbarian King in Tessos lets us work the silver mines.
Not love, for that flies at the very sound of demand, and dies before nagging. But demand for the man himself, call upon his nobler qualities, and don't let him palm off on you his second-best. Many a man is loved and honored by his business associates whose wife and children never catch a glimpse of the finer side of him. Demand the exercise of these fine traits in the home.
"I'll have to roll out a few biscuits for their breakfast," she decided, "or else I'll run short of bread for dinner." Her two boarders, Lydia Orr and the minister, were sitting on the piazza, engaged in what appeared to be a most interesting conversation, when Mrs. Black unlatched the front gate and emerged upon the street, her second-best hat carefully disposed upon her water-waves.
It rather amused Angela to watch Theo Dene with Sonia Dobieski, and to see how delightful Falconer's sister was to both. But somehow she contrived that Miss Dene should not be of the motoring party for the Seventeen-Mile Drive. A young officer from the Presidio was produced, to compensate as far as could be for her frankly lamented "failure"; and Theo resigned herself to a second-best flirtation.
The "lady" comes off second-best; when she begins to stammer that she hoped the dead man hadn't suggested improper relations, the unhappy girl turns on her: "I dare say you were virtuous more or less, as far as your own body is concerned. Faugh! women like you make virtue seem odious." Mildred, indignant at such "low conversation," makes her escape, slightly elated at the romantic crisis.
And I've stuck my second-best hat in that broken pane of glass, and there's a chest of drawers to set against the door; so you'll be warm and free from intrusion. I wish you good night, sir." All that night I was troubled with strange dreams, peopled by phantoms from the neighboring churchyard; but a bona fide ghost I cannot say I saw.
You see, in real life, the second-best has such a disconcerting habit of coming along first. You know all the time that it is only the second-best, but you think to yourself, 'Suppose the first-best never comes along for me, and I have said No to this, then there'll be nothing but a third-best to fall back on. That's why so many women marry just not the right man."
In view of this, there is something wrong with Doctor Jordan's war-theory, which is to the effect that the best being sent out to war, only the second best, the men who are left, remain to breed a second-best race, and that, therefore, the human race deteriorates under war.
They were at the end of luncheon when Margaret came in, they were sipping fine wine from very thin glasses, they were all saying their second-best things, because each one was afraid that if he said his very best before dinner one of the others would steal it; and Mrs. Rushmore was in her element. Margaret came in with her hat on and sat down in her place, which was opposite Mrs. Rushmore.