FEED ’EM AND WEEP

Great-Aunt Cornelia had never had a husband but, according to her recipe for living, there was but one way to hold a husband’s love. Fortunately for Doris, she found out in time that aunty’s philosophy of marriage was just a thought too sweeping.

RUTH HOLWAY August 1 1926

FEED ’EM AND WEEP

Great-Aunt Cornelia had never had a husband but, according to her recipe for living, there was but one way to hold a husband’s love. Fortunately for Doris, she found out in time that aunty’s philosophy of marriage was just a thought too sweeping.

RUTH HOLWAY August 1 1926

FEED ’EM AND WEEP

Great-Aunt Cornelia had never had a husband but, according to her recipe for living, there was but one way to hold a husband’s love. Fortunately for Doris, she found out in time that aunty’s philosophy of marriage was just a thought too sweeping.

RUTH HOLWAY

THE front door closed with a sharp, decisive click. The sound sent Doris scurrying from her gloomy contemplation of the sunny world outside the kitchen window, to a more active position at the white-topped table. She snatched up the bottle of cream, and emptied its contents into the patent cream-whipper then seized the handle and whirled it violently. The click of the door meant that Great-Aunt Cornelia had arrived on her self-appointed mission of giving Doris daily instruction in the gentle art of being a successful wife. Doris was ashamed of the inhospitable feeling that sank lumpishly into her already lead-like heart. Why if dear Great-Aunt Cornelia had not come to her rescue after the wedding trip, Doris would have romped through her wifely duties in a silly, care-free way, to the speedy ruination of her wedded bliss! Not that there was a vestige of wedded bliss concealed in any corner of the pretty bridal bungalow at the present moment, but certainly Great-Aunt Cornelia was not to blame.

Poor Doris had foolishly imagined that, after the ecstatic interlude of a perfect honeymoon, her married life would continue as a joyous sequel to the dizzy preamble of her short engagement. But she knew, now, that marriage was a profound problem—a problem to be tirelessly wrestled with, if one hoped to keep one’s chosen mate by one’s side. She knew, because every morning for the past three weeks, Great-Aunt Cornelia had told her so, until Doris’ jolly, fun-loving soul was all but drowned in this new, true vision of the treacherous matrimonial sea.

On this particular morning, the freshly launched marital bark seemed to be headed for the rocks, in spite of Great Aunt Cornelia’s help and advice. Doris was discouraged, disgusted, and querulous. Above the whir of the cream-whipper, she heard the sound of heavy, determined feet crossing the dining-room floor. There was a hearty “Good-morning, child!” from the doorway, and Great-Aunt Cornelia swept into the tiny kitchen. The majestic immensity of her maiden aunt always made Doris feel about as big and as competent as a pint of milk. She shovèd out the little blue-enameled kitchen chair with her foot, and twisted her lips into a welcoming smile, while her hands continued diligently at their task.

Great-Aunt Cornelia stopped by the stove to take an appreciative sniff of the savory O’Brien au gratin potato mixture that was sizzling in the frying pan. “Love, honor, and feed ’em!” she boomed out, and nodded her head with a satisfied air.

She took a swift survey of the spotless blue and white kitchen, then slowly, ponderously, she sank down upon the dainty, painted chair, while its spindle legs buckled and creaked in protest. She settled and spread herself until she was quite comfortable, then picked up the paper-cove r e d cook-book from the table, and began to fan her hot face vigorously. “FEED, honor, and love ’em!” she repeated this time placing the words in the order of their relative importance.

Doris lifted her flushed cheeks to the stray bit of breeze that stirred the frilly white curtains at the window, and bit her lip. “Yes, Aunt Cornelia,” she murmured dutifully but wearily.

She added the dissolved gelatine to the sweetened whipped cream, and poured the mixture into an amber glass bowl lined with lady-fingers. Then she gave vent to her real feelings, while she scraped off the cream that adhered to the sides of the whipper.

“I feel like an aviator that’s been soaring in the clouds, and suddenly taken a nose-dive onto a concrete barn!” she burst out. “After dancing through a gorgeous, frolfcky June honeymoon, it’s some bump to come down to cooking in a humdrum July kitchen.”

Great-Aunt Cornelia stopped fanning and flicked the leaves of the cook book. “Here’s an ice-box pudding on page 143 that you might try,” she said blandly.

“Oh, Aunt Cornelia,” wailed Doris, “I’m sick of the very thought of food! Fve fed Bob and fed him. But it’s my heart that’s hungry.” Her voice quivered and she went on passionately: “My feet crave the feel of waxed boards under them, and my soul is starving for the sound of a saxaphone sob! I don’t want to cook—I want to dance!”

She winked her eyes hard while she sprinkled the chopped cherries over the dessert.

“For mercy’s sake, child,” warned Great-Aunt Cornelia loudly, “If you must cry, cry into the O’Brien au gratin potatoes, not into the charlotte russe!”

“I’m not crying!” muttered Doris, in a strangled voice, but she dabbed at her eyes with the corner of her pink gingham apron, before she put the dessert safely away in the white-enameled refrigerator.

Then she planted herself squarely in front of GreatAunt Cornelia’s chair.

“Please listen,” she pleaded. “How would you feel if you had fried yourself to a crisp on a hot July morning to make your husband happy, and he went off to the office without kissing you good-bye?”

Great-Aunt Cornelia wrinkled her massive brow into neat accordian pleats that reached right up to the white line of her astonishing old-fashioned pompadour. “I should at once concern myself with the problem of wherein I had failed,” she said crisply. Then: “What did you give him for breakfast?” she demanded suspiciously.

“I gave him a perfectly gorgeous breakfast,” Doris defended herself with asperity, “strawberries and cream, cute sizzly brown sausages, pancakes with maple syrup, and coffee. And it was so hot frying the pancakes!”

Great-Aunt Cornelia uttered a meditative “H-m-m-m,” and was once more deep in the cook-book. “You ought to bake up a batch of these fruit cookies,” she said, “so Pob could have some with a glass of milk going to bed.” “Bob detests milk,” cried Doris, and went on in an exasperated tone: “Do stop reading that cook-book, Aunt Cornelia. It isn’t only that he didn’t kiss me good-bye this morning, but last night was even worse.”

She went over to the stove and stirred the diced potatoes with the cheese, pimento and onion mixture in the frying pan while she talked. “I had the fricasseed chicken with dumplings, and the plum pudding with brandy sauce, just as you told me. It was so hot I couldn’t even speak but I know Bob enjoyed his dinner. Afterwards, I shooed him out to the verandah, because you said I mustn’t let him help with the dishes, though we used to think it would be fun to do them together. Then I just did the silver and the glass and left the rest, because I had made up my mind to coax Bob to take to me the dance at the club to-night. Well I went out on the verandah, and there he was—sprawled out in the porch swing—snoring in the moonlight!”

Great-Aunt Cornelia took this devastating news much too calmly. “My dear child,” she said, “Bob is the type of man who is happy when he’s contented. It is only women who insist that happiness must be embroidered with thrills to make it real.”

“My hat!” thought Doris, “she talks like a book!” “The man was fed and he was comfortable. When a man marries, he unconsciously goes back to his infancy. Ever since babyhood, he has clung to the mental image of the young mother who fed him when he was hungry, and soothed him when he was troubled. After marriage,

the image materializes in the form of his wife.” Great Aunt Cornelia closed her lips firmly on the last word, and returned to her study of the cook-book.

“How perfectly dreadful!”* ¡cried Doris. “You talk as though Bob’s big, loving heart would just dry up and blow away!” She slipped the casserole of O’Brien au gratin potatoes in the oven, and shut the door with a bang.

Great-Aunt Cornelia looked up abstractedly. “Oh, no,” she said, reassuringly, “his heart is still there in a passive sense. Of course the way to his heart in the first place was through his stomach.”

“I can’t believe it!” Doris said, in a low, horrified tone, as she gazed wideeyed out the window. “I’ll never forget the night Bob asked me to marry him! Why his heart was thumping so loud I could hear it! Surely it was love, not what he had eaten. Say it was love, Aunt Cornelia!”

“I remember the night very well,” said Great-Aunt Cornelia, “I had just taught you to make that luscious chocolate cake with the marshmallow icing. Bob ate four huge pieces, before you two slipped out into the hammock and the moonlight!”

“Oh, Aunt Cornelia!” Doris moaned. “I can’t bear it!” She was cutting up cold chicken in neat little cubes. After a moment she went on more hopefully. “With the creamed chicken, and those fancy potatoes, I don’t think I’ll need to have soup—it’s so hot!”

“Nonsense, child!” Great-Aunt Cornelia reproached her. “You mustn’t think of yourself. The man has to be nourished. Make cream-of-tomato—that’s simple enough. You should be thankful he comes home to eat Think of the homes where the wives eat husbandless luncheons day in, and day out, while, more than likely, the private secretaries enjoy a cozy chat over their meal.” IPIIIIIIIIIII

“I’d hate to think Bob would ever lunch with that skinny Miss Vivian of his,” Doris muttered. =

“Well, the magnet that draws a man home || to his wife is perfectly cooked food, and || plenty of it!” said Great-Aunt Cornelia, as she M rose voluminously. She replaced the cookj book on the table. “I’ve turned down the ¡¡ page to mark a dinner menu for you to try to g night,” she said. “And, for mercy’s sake, ¡¡ remember hot things hot and cold things cold.” ¡¡ Now don’t stop to come to the door—I’ll get M my hat and hurry along. I do hope I’ve been a | help to you!” g

She bore down upon Doris and placed a large ( kiss on her flushed cheek, then swept out of the ¡¡ room. Doris listened until she heard the click J of the front door closing. Great-Aunt Cornelia g was so assured—so self-sufficient! g

TAORIS splashed her face with water from g ^ the cold-water tap, then snatched a can g of tomatoes from the pantry shelf. She made g the soup mechanically; her mind was busy with g her disappointed thoughts. She remembered a g big chocolate bunny that Great-Aunt Cornelia g had given her one Easter Sunday years ago. g

Doris had been tragically disappointed when g she bit into it and found that the chocolate wasn’t solid, but only a shell. She wondered if married life was just a sugar-coated vacuum too—all hollow inside, instead of solid sweetness all the way through. Oh, well—-at least Bob and she had not really quarreled!

She set the table, and had everything ready when Bob arrived. The memory of that forgotten kiss seemed to stick in her throat, so she couldn’t very well call out a greeting. She didn’t bother to take off the gingham apron, but carried the soup into the dining-room. Bob puffed in with an absent-minded, “Hello, Sweetness,” his eyes focussed vaguely on the soup.

“My lord, it’s hot!” he said, with real feeling.

“If you mean the soup, you’re supposed to have hot things hot,” Doris said crossly, and slumped into her place at the table.

Bob’s spacious office with two electric fans, thought Doris, and her hot little kitchen with its speck of a window! Oh, well!

She carried out the soup plates, and brought in the creamed chicken and the potatoes. She couldn’t eat much herself because of the lump in her throat. Bob refused a second helping.

Bob made no reply, but hung his coat on the back of his chair and sat down. He ate his soup, then pulled out a handkerchief and mopped his face. “Devilish hot at the office to-day,” he offered, “even with two electric fans going. You’re lucky to be out here where there’s a real breeze.”

“Really, Doris, you’ve been tempting me to eat more than is good for me,” he explained. “Don’t you think you could manage to have things a little more simple? After that plum pudding last night, I felt so stuffy, I had to sleep it off—like a jag!”

Doris opened her mouth, and shut it again—like a fishThat he should blame her lovely pudding for his horrid snores! She was too disgusted to speak.

But her spirits rose a bit when she took the tempting dessert from the refrigerator. Bob would surely like her charlotte russe! She carried it in proudly, and placed it in front of him with a flourish. Bob stared at it.

“My lord, darling,” he groaned. “I can’t eat any more of this rich stuff! It looks scrumptious, but I’ve reached my limit!”

Doris was very tired and hot. “Well, I’ve reached my limit, too!” she flung at him. “Here I’ve been slaving in a hot old kitchen all morning—peeling and chopping, and cutting and stirring, and mixing and whipping, and baking and boiling and frying—•” she stopped for breath. “And am I appreciated?” she demanded fiercely. “No! I’m criticised and abused!”

“Now, Doris,” he soothed her, “it’s too hot, in July, for that kind of talk. Save it for some day when there’s snow on the ground. You are a wonderful little cook. All I ask is that you strike a note of simplicity—and use the soft pedal. I’ve put on ten pounds these last few weeks. Why, down at the office this morning, I laughed—”

“You laughed?” Doris broke in wildly. “I can’t believe it! Whatever did you laugh at?”

“Oh, Miss Vivian told me something amusing,” Bob explained carelessly.

“Say, if that long drink of bitters is funny,” cried Doris, “I’m a riot!”

Bob looked at her and frowned. “You used to be a riot,’ he said, thoughtfully; “but what I started to say was—I’m so fat that when I laughed, pop! went a button off my shirt.” Doris looked him coldly up and down. “I don’t see any gaps in your shirt!” she snapped crossly.

“I sewed it on again,” he informed her.

“Had your little work-basket all handy on your office desk, I suppose!” she retorted bitingly.

Bob pushed back his chair, and folded his napkin. “Miss Vivian dug up a needle and thread from some corner,” he said, with what Doris thought was assumed indifference. He stood up and put on his coat as calmly as though they were a happily married couple.

Doris was furious. “Oh the efficient private secretary!” she jeered. “Accent on the private! The snake! I bet she sat on your knee, and sewed on your button!”

She had ruffled his calm at last.

“Now see here, Doris,” he retorted sharply, “you’re getting carried away. Miss Vivian is a nice girl. She’s a great help to me, and I won’t have her criticised.”

“ ‘Great Help!’ Ha! Don’t make me laugh!” said Doris scornfully. “Nothing to do all day but hand you your fountain pen—or a needle—”

“I’ll tell the pop-eyed world that’s nothing to what I have handed to me at home!” rumbled Bob, and strode out of the room.

Doris remained, sitting limply in her chair. If only Bob would come back and say he was sorry! But he called to her from the door:

“I’ll take my lunch down town after this. It makes you cross and tired when I come home.”

Doris sat very still. She shivered, in spite of the heat, as the front door banged. They had quarreled! And Bob wasn’t coming home to lunch any more. Great-Aunt Cornelia had told her what that meant. The efficient Miss Vivian would enjoy a cozy chat over her luncheon, and Doris would eat alone. It was all over! Doris stared at the calendar on the dining-room wall. Bob had hung it there. A calendar, he had told her, of gorgeous, happy days—enough to last into eternity. And now, after a short six weeks, they had torn off the last one! Even the blue-bird pattern on the dinner set, that Bob had chosen, stood for happiness. Doris dashed the tears from her eyes, and stumbled out of her chair. But at sight of the beautiful charlotte russe, untouched, her burdened heart rushed up into her throat, and choked her. She sat down hard and buried her head in her arms.

Then, realizing that tears would never wash the dishes, she stood up unsteadily, and carried the charlotte russe out to the refrigerator. She cleared the table and washed the blue-birds at the kitchen sink. “Love, honor, and feed ’em!’ ” she quoted bitterly, aloud; “why I pour my love in a frying-pan. and serve it to him on toast—and he complains that it gives him dreadful indigestion!’ ’ She put away the last dish on the neat pantry shelf, and hung up the blue and white dish-pan. Then she made a lonesome pilgrimage through all the little rooms. She gazed sadly at the calendar in the dining-room. In the living-room, she looked regretfully at the pair of silver loving cups on the mantel shelf—presented to the two best dancers on the floor. Bob and Doris had won them at the first club dance, after their engagement was announced. They had planned to dance through life to the tune of syncopated love songs—and yes, of course, here and there a lullaby! And now they could only stumble along to a dirge of dead hopes. Doris sighed forlornly. She went into the dear, sweet, rose-colored bedroom. Bob would want to move into the guest-room now, she thought miserably. “Oh, Aunt Cornelia!” she wailed aloud. “What made you so wise?”

She threw herself down recklessly on the top of the rose taffeta spread. Heaven knows she had never expected to cry on her beautiful bed-spread! Her tears would leave desolate spots on its rosiness, but that was nothing to the scars that marred her disappointed heart. Was Bob, she wondered, between sobs, suffering too? She would know when he came home, by the way he looked. She pictured his face —pale with pain and regret. He would search the rooms, and at last he would find her lying there on the rose-taffeta spread—dead! Or maybe only dying—he would call dozens of doctors—they would rush her to the hospital— it was so cool in her narrow hospital bed—

She woke up with a sense of impending calamity. The hands of the little ivory clock on the dressing table pointed to half-past five. She had slept all afternoon! And she hadn’t looked at the menu that Great-Aunt Cornelia had picked out for Bob’s evening meal!

She sat up and gazed ruefully at the wrinkled spread. For a second she felt panicky.

Then a daring thought flashed into her mind. Why not give up the struggle? She wouldn’t be a successful wife! How could Great-Aunt Cornelia expect her to cook dinner for a man who criticised, and scolded, and— yes—bullied her! Probably a refusal to cook her husband’s meals would be grounds for a divorce, but if this was married life, the sooner it was over, the better. Let Bob take Miss Private Secretary to lunch! Doris was through!

WITH her mind definitely set on mutiny, Doris became nervously excited. She jumped up, and smoothed the spread. Then she flew into the bathroom, and turned on the hot water in the bath. If this was to be the end, she might as well be clean, she thought. Each garment she took off, she shoved down the clothes chute, and chose from her chifforette drawer, the filmiest bits of her trousseau lingerie. The joy was gone from her life, but at least she would be dainty, she decided. When her bath was ready, she threw in handfuls of cologne bath salts, recklessly, before she slid into the tub. For even though all was over, she vowed she would be sweet.

As she splashed about, she thought bitterly of Bob— her Bob who used to be such a dear! She hoped he had suffered as she had, but perhaps he was too angry to suffer. Maybe by this time, he had worked himself into a regular rage. Then when he came home, and discoverered how she had failed him, anything could happen. He might be violent! She shivered apprehensively, and hopped out of the tub. She dried herself briskly with the very best, gorgeous embroidered bath-towel. There was no use being saving of things any longer.

She put on her silky lingerie, and gazed appreciatively at her reflection in the mirror. It was a pity Bob couldn’t see how pretty she was in orchid undies— but, of course, now, he would never know. She powdered her face very carefully, and chose the blue gown that Bob raved about on their honeymoon. Then she put on dabs of his favorite perfume. Because, as this was to be the end, she wanted him to have a haunting memory of her. And if it came to the worst, and he should be violent—well, her mangled body would be the more pathetic in its dainty wrappings.

There was the sound of footsteps at the outside door! Doris’ heart was beating a tattoo against her ribs as she walked into the living-room. There he was, the terrible man! She could see at once that he had not suffered. And he wasn’t angry! He was looking at her almost admiringly.

“Hello, Blue-Bird!” he called out affectionately—and, yes, cheerfully! He could be cheerful, after they had quarreled! Doris would not speak. She turned her cheek when he offered to kiss her lips.

“Well, thank the Lord, that day’s done!” he said. “And the ‘probs’ say cooler to-morrow. I feel better already!” He could talk of the weather, after he had broken her heart! She would show him that life wasn’t so easy as that. “Bob,” she said, coldly, “I didn’t cook any dinner for you—you will have to hunt something in the refrigerator!”

Now then—would he strike her? She stepped back, apprehensive of the gleam in his eye. But he pulled her to him with a rompish jerk.

“Good for you!” he shouted, and kissed her. “You can’t imagine how glad I am to see you minus the ever-present gingham apron! Come on, we’ll eat in the kitchen!”

Doris felt let down. She had screwed her courage to the sticking point, was even prepared for violence—and she found herself well kissed!

She followed Bob into the kitchen. How could he be so cheerful? Had he forgotten all the cruel words he had ground out at lunch time? He was opening the refrigerator door.

“Here’s food for the fagged fat man!” he cried, gleefully. “Lettuce and tomatoes, and French dressing—great!” He put them on the white-topped table. “And here’s your charlotte russe, Sweetness— you eat that like a good girl, and I’ll watch you.”

He didn’t seem to care how she felt, thought Doris. She got plates and silver and napkins from the pantry, and arranged them, ungraciously, on the table. They sat down, and Bob cut the bread. He seemed positively happy. It was all a puzzle to Doris.

“Bob,” she said suddenly. “How did you happen to ask me to marry you, that very particular minute you did?”

Bob’s eyes shone with dreamy remembrance, and Doris fancied she saw the chocolate cake mirrored in them. “You always were such a gay, amusin’ little thing,” he told her, “and that night, the moonbeams were dancing in your hair— and your eyes were dancing—and my heart was dancing—and, well, I just had to make sure of you, that’s all.”

Doris looked at him doubtfully. “Great-Aunt Cornelia said it was because of the chocolate cake I made for you,” she told him.

“What does Great-Aunt Cornelia know about love-sick swains?” he asked, and went on contentedly crunching lettuce.

Doris was still puzzled. She tried again. “Bob, I thought you’d be frightfully angry that I didn’t cook your dinner.”

“You ridiculous little blue thing,” he chided her; “do you think I only live to eat?”

“Well,” she faltered, “Aunt Cornelia said I must feed you and feed you—that the most important thing about husbands was to feed them!”

Bob put down his fork in disgust. “Say what’s the matter with the old girl?” he grumbled. “Why doesn’t she get a husband of her own to practise on?”

‘Bob!” snapped Doris, “you’re not a bit funny! How dare you talk so about my great-aunt? She knows more than you’ll ever know. She writes articles for the magazines.” *

“Yes!” he retorted hoarsely. “She writes ’em, but the magazines don’t publish ’em!” He stood up, and kicked back his chair. “Now I know what’s the matter with you,” he went on. “I know why your eyes don’t dance any moreor your feet either! And why you’ve been stuffing me with all this fancy, fattening food! It’s because that old girl has been standing over you, scaring you to death with her silly theories about married couples. I won’t have her interfering with my home life, and I’m going over to her house right now and tell her so!”

“Oh, Bob!” gasped Doris, in horror, “you wouldn’t dare!”

“Wouldn’t I though?” he shot back at her. “Just you watch me!”

He stamped through the house, and grabbed his hat on the way out. Doris hurried after him, bare-headed, aghast at this sudden turn of events.

THEY found Great-Aunt Cornelia in her library. She was sitting in a large walnut chair behind an antique walnut table. On the table were heaps of manuscript paper, and a portable typewriter.

She greeted them with a hearty “Come right in, children!”

Doris stumbled into the room, trying, in an agony of apprehension, to think of something stupendous to say, on a subject so vital that Bob would be shocked into attention, and so forget his errand. But her mind was a blank, and when Bob tramped up to the table with a belligerent “Now see here, Aunt Cornelia!’ she just sank into a big armchair and closed her eyes.

But she opened them again at once, for Bob’s next words were drowned in a veritable explosion of sound from Great Aunt Cornelia.

“Bob!” she boomed, “why you’re fat! And you look irritable! You are certainly a big disappointment to me! Sit down until I figure this out!”

She wrinkled her forehead, and shuffled the papers on her desk. Bob sat down, hard, on the nearest chair. He looked at Doris, and tapped his brow significantly. Doris scowled and shook her head, but she was as perplexed as he was. Great-Aunt Cornelia raised her eyes and met Doris’ puzzled stare.

“I’m a little old-fashioned in my ways,” she said cheerfully, “but I never cling to old-fashioned ideas unless they fit.” She paused a moment; then went on to explain. “As a matter of fact, Doris, I’m writing a book! A sort of Guide for Young Wives, containing a complete classification of husbands. My idea is, that each individual wife will follow instructions in the chapter under the class heading which best fits her own husband. I wanted to get practical results by giving you the lessons first-hand. But it will still work out. It’s all quite clear. Bob doesn’t belong in the old-fashioned, ‘Love, honor and feed ’em class. He comes under class two: ‘Love, honor and keep ’em amused!’ ”

Doris and Bob exchanged bewildered glances, then turned to gaze dumbly at Great-Aunt Cornelia.

The sharp lines of Great-Aunt Cornelia’s large features seemed to soften. “I always thought,” she said with unaccustomed gentleness, “that when I had a husband of my own—but, of course, I never married—”

There was the faintest wistful break in Great-Aunt Cornelia’s voice, as she fumbled among her papers. Doris felt her heart swell with surprised sympathy. That any one so assured, so self-sufficient, as Great-Aunt Cornelia should ever be wistful! She flung a mutely imploring glance toward Bob, and he nodded reassuringly. He stood up and stepped toward the table.

“Why, it’s a corking idea,” he said generously. “You did have me out of my class, but I’m all for this keeping ’em amused business, under class two. Now if you could persuade Doris to take me out to the club to-night, and dance ten pounds off me—”

Doris jumped to her feet. Persuade her!

“Yes, child,” said Great-Aunt Cornelia, in her old hearty tone, “I think it is your duty to see that Bob gets his regular recreation.”

“Don’t worry Aunt C-Cornelia,” Doris stuttered in her excitement, “he’ll get it!”

She went over to Great-Aunt Cornelia and placed a warm little kiss on her cheek, and Bob followed suit. Dear Bob! As they opened the door, Great-Aunt Cornelia called out: “I do hope I’ve been a help to you!”

And they both answered in chorus, “Oh you have, Aunt Cornelia!”

Then they went out into the lovely summer night.

Doris lifted her eyes to the full moon sailing gloriously across the summer sky, and skipped joyously down the verandah steps. Then she sobered. “Poor Aunt Cornelia!” she sighed.

“Poor Old Girl!” Bob agreed sympathetically.

They bumped into each other on the narrow walk.

Bob snatched Doris’arm, and pulled her into a patch of cool, inviting shadow behind the clipped hedge—an old-fashioned hedge, so thick that not even a stray moonbeam could peep through. He hugged her tight. “To-morrow, Sweetness, you will amuse your husband by having lunch with him down town!”’ he told her, with his lips on the tip of her ear.

“Oh, Bob, you darling!” she whispered. “We will never quarrel again!” she added solemnly.

“Never again!” he promised. “Especially,” he teased her, “in July!”

Then he covered her pout with a real June honeymoon kiss.