Eleanor H. Porter.

Mary Marie online

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that she never saw a man with such charm and magnetism, or one who
could so readily adapt himself to different persons and circumstances.
And she said she was very sure if Mary could only show a little more
interest in pictures (especially portraits), and learn to discuss
lights and shadows and perspectives, that nothing would be lost, and
that something might be gained; that there was nothing, anyway, like a
community of interest or of hobbies to bring two people together; and
that it was safer, to say the least, when it was the wife that shared
the community of interest than when it was some other woman, though,
of course, she knew as well as I knew that Jerry never would - She
didn't finish her sentence, and because she didn't finish it, it made
me think all the more. And I wondered if she left it unfinished - on
purpose.

Then, in a minute, she was talking again.

She was speaking of Eunice. She said once more that because of her,
she knew that she need never fear any serious trouble between Jerry
and me, for, after all, it's the child that always pays for the
mother's mistakes and short-sightedness, just as it is the soldier
that pays for his commanding officer's blunders. That's why she felt
that I had had to pay for her mistakes, and why she knew that I'd
never compel my little girl to pay for mine. She said that the mother
lives in the heart of the child long after the mother is gone, and
that was why the mother always had to be - so careful.

Then, before I knew it, she was talking briskly and brightly about
something entirely different; and two minutes later I found myself
alone outside of her room. And I hadn't told her.

But I wasn't even thinking of that. I was thinking of Eunice, and of
that round, childish scrawl of a diary upstairs in the attic trunk.
And I was picturing Eunice, in the years to come, writing _her_ diary;
and I thought, what if she should have to -

I went upstairs then and read that diary again. And all the while I
was reading I thought of Eunice. And when it was finished I knew that
I'd never tell Mother, that I'd never write to Jerry - not the letter
that I was going to write. I knew that -

* * * * *

They brought Jerry's letter to me at just that point. What a wonderful
letter that man can write - when he wants to!

He says he's lonesome and homesick, and that the house is like a tomb
without Eunice and me, and when _am_ I coming home?

* * * * *

I wrote him to-night that I was going - to-morrow.




THE END







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Online LibraryEleanor H. PorterMary Marie → online text (page 16 of 16)