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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

' said the elder Dallas contentedly


'Mother, when you get a community like that of a college town, you have something of a variety of material, don't you see? The people are all sorts. But the faculty are very well, and some of them capital fellows.'

'Have you gone into society much?'

'No, mother. Had something else to do.'

'Time enough for that,' said the elder Dallas contentedly. 'When a man has the money you'll have, my boy, he may pretty much command society.'

'Some sorts,' said Pitt.

'All sorts.'

'Must be a poor kind of society, I should say, that makes money the first thing.'

'It's the best sort you can get in this world,' said the elder man, chuckling. 'There's nothing but money that will buy bread and butter; and they all want bread and butter. You'll find they all want bread and butter, whatever else they want,--or have.'

'Of course they want it; but what has that to do with society?'

'You'll find out,' said the other, with an unctuous kind of complacency.

'But there's no society in this country,' said Mrs. Dallas. 'Now, Pitt, turn your chair round,--here's the supper,--if you want to sit by the fire, that is.'

The supper was a royal one, for Mrs. Dallas was a good housekeeper; and the tone of it was festive, for the spirits of them all were in a very gay and Christmas mood. So it was with a good deal of surprise as well as chagrin that Mrs. Dallas, after supper, saw her son handling his greatcoat in the hall.

'Pitt, you are not going out?'

'Yes, mother, for a little while.'

'Where can you be going?'

'I want to run over to Colonel Gainsborough's for a minute or two.'

'Colonel Gainsborough! You don't want to see him to-night?'

'Neither to-night nor any time--at least I can live without it; but there's somebody else there that would like to see me. I'll be back soon, mother.'

'But, Pitt, that is quite absurd! That child can wait till morning, surely; and I want you myself. I think I have a better claim.'

'You have had me a good while already, and shall have me again,' said Pitt, laughing. 'I am just going to steal a little bit of the evening, mother. Be generous!'

And he opened the hall door and was off, and the door closed behind him. Mrs. Dallas went back to the supper room with a very discomfited face.

'Hildebrand,' she said, in a tone that made her husband look up, 'there is no help for it! We shall have to send him to England.'


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