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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

Dallas stopped her embroidery and sighed


Mrs.

Dallas was working at some wool embroidery, and taking her stitches with a thoughtful brow; her husband in his easy-chair was carelessly turning over the pages of a newspaper. They were a contrast. She had a tall, commanding figure, a gracious but dignified manner, and a very handsome, stately face. There was nothing commanding, and nothing gracious, about Mr. Dallas. His figure was rather small, and his manner insignificant. He was not a handsome man, either, although he may be said to have but just missed it, for his features were certainly good; but he did miss it. Nobody spoke in praise of Mr. Dallas's appearance. Yet his face showed sense; his eyes were shrewd, if they were also cold; and the mouth was good; but the man's whole air was unsympathetic. It was courteous enough; and he was careful and particular in his dress. Indeed, Mr. Dallas was careful of all that belonged to him. He wore long English whiskers of sandy hair, the head crop being very thin and kept very close.

'Hildebrand,' said Mrs. Dallas when the sound of her son's footsteps had died away, 'when are you going to send Pitt to college?'

Mr. Dallas turned another page of his newspaper, and did not hurry his answer.

'Why?'

'And _where_ are you going to send him?'

'Really,' said Mr. Dallas, without ceasing his contemplation of the page before

him, 'I do not know. I have not considered the matter lately.'

'Do you remember he is eighteen?'

'I thought you were not ready to let him go yet?'

Mrs. Dallas stopped her embroidery and sighed.

'But he must go, husband.'

Mr. Dallas made no answer. He seemed not to find the question pressing. Mrs. Dallas sat looking at him now, neglecting her work.

'You have got to make up your mind to it, and so have I,' she went on presently. 'He is ready for college. All this pottering over the classics with Colonel Gainsborough doesn't amount to anything. It keeps him out of idleness,--if Pitt ever could be idle,--but he has got to go to college after all, sooner or later. He must go!' she repeated with another sigh.

'No special hurry, that I see.'

'What's gained by delay? He's eighteen. That's long enough for him to have lived in a place like this. If I had my way, Hildebrand, I should send him to England.'

'England!' Mr. Dallas put down his paper now and looked at his wife. What had got into her head?

'Oxford is better than the things they call colleges in this country.'

'Yes; but it is farther off.'

'That's not a bad thing, in some respects. Hildebrand, you don't want Pitt to be formed upon the model of things in this country. You would not have him get radical ideas, or Puritanical.'


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