I was naturaly indignant at Sis's words, which were not filial, to my
mind, but I replied as sweetly as possable: "I shall not be in your way, Leila. I ask nothing but Food and Shelter,
and that perhaps not for long."
"Why? Do you intend to die?" she demanded.
"I intend to work," I said. "It's more interesting than dieing, and will
be a novelty in this House."
Father came in just then, and he said: "I'll not wait to dress, Clara. Hello, children. I'll just change my
coller while you ring for the Cocktails."
Mother got up and faced him with Magesty.
"We are not going to have, any" she said.
"Any what?" said father from the doorway.
"I have had some fruit juice prepared with a dash of bitters. It is
quite nice. And I'll ask you, James, not to explode before the servants.
I will explain later."
Father has a very nice disposition but I could see that mother's manner
got on his Nerves, as it got on mine. Anyhow there was a terific fuss,
with Sis playing the Piano so that the servants would not hear, and in
the end father had a Cocktail. Mother waited until he had had it, and
was quieter, and then she told him about me, and my having a Flask in
my Suitcase. Of course I could have explained, but if they persisted in
mis-understanding me, why not let them do so, and be miserable?
"It's a very strange thing, Bab," he said, looking at me, "that
everything in this House is quiet until you come home, and then we get
as lively as kittens in a frying pan. We'll have to marry you off pretty
soon, to save our piece of mind."
"James!" said my mother. "Remember last winter, please."
There was no Claret or anything with dinner, and father ordered mineral
water, and criticised the food, and fussed about Sis's dressmaker's
bill. And the second man gave notice immediately after we left the
dining room. When mother reported that, as we were having coffee in the
drawing room, father said: "Humph! Well, what can you expect? Those fellows have been getting the
best half of a bottle of Claret every night since they've been here, and
now it's cut off. Damed if I wouldn't like to leave myself."
From that time on I knew that I was watched. It made little or no
diference to me. I had my Work, and it filled my life. There were times
when my Soul was so filled with joy that I could hardly bare it. I had
one act done in two days. I wrote out the Love seens in full, because I
wanted to be sure of what they would say to each other. How I thrilled
as each marvelous burst of Fantacy flowed from my pen! But the dialogue
of less interesting parts I left for the actors to fill in themselves.
I consider this the best way, as it gives them a chance to be original,
and not to have to say the same thing over and over.