Lapas attēli

(In Two Acts)




RS. FARNSWORTH made a funny little sound in her throat, a sound peculiarly blended to express surprise and delight. It was neither a giggle nor an exclamation: Mrs. Farnsworth was not unduly emotional.

Mr. Farnsworth glanced across the morning paper interrogatively.

He had heard that funny little sound before.

"Well? Has Mrs. Lenox sent you that coveted receipt for orange marmalade, has grandfather Dennett turned up his toes-at last-and left you the 60 thousand he's been promising all these years?"

With another glance at the open letter beside her plate, Mrs. Farnsworth poureu her waiting spouse's coffee. "You know I don't like you to refer to grandfather Dennett that way, Rob., we all are aware that he's a tiresome old crank, but at the same time it's no way to speak of the aged," with a truly feminine right to contradict her own statements. "Besides, I'm too happy to scold, or even think about grandfather D. This, "waving the letter," contains glorious You remember Beatrix, my chum of chums at college? She's coming to make us a visit, she and her husband, professor Bromley, and Rob," running round the table to perch on his chair arm, "they'll be here tonight. Isn't that perfectly scrumptious?" Emphasizing the last word by a resounding kiss planted on the little "thin spot" on top Rob's dome of thought.


"U-m—yes, s'pose so, but aren't they giving us short notice?" With a mere man's deliberation concerning things in general and visitors in particular.

"Yes. But you see they are leaving unexpectedly themselves.

"Listen," referring to the letter. "Bea writes that her mother has been visiting them and when she returned East she took Baby back with her, insisting that he needed a change of air. He's teething, and the Professor"

"The Professor teething?"

"Why no, how stupid you are! Baby is teething and as he is much better they are coming on to take him back home, and will

make us a short visit upon arrival.

"Why, I haven't seen Bea, since we graduated from college, three years ago. I've never met her husband and" with another emphasis on top of Rob's head, "she's never seen mine. I'm just so happy to think you're going to meet."

"Whats' Professor Bromley's line?"

"Line? O you mean business. He's Psychological Instructor in the college town where they live."

"Psychology? That's fine. We'll have about as much in common as a fox terrier and a cat."

Mrs. Farnsworth's face clouded. "Rob., you can talk on any subject, and talk well."

Mr. Farnsworth smiled a doubtful acknowledgment of the compliment. "As civil engineering happens to be my business I can put a fair spiel on ditches, railroad beds or house lots to be. Base ball, politics, run a close second but when it comes to "isms," protoplasms, microbes or Nebular Hypotheses I'm down for the count.

"By the way," preparing for the worst, "What is Mrs. Bromly's special stunt?"

"O she's devoted to astronomy-really, at college she was a wonder-received Honorable Mention for astronomical research, and then she made a special study of hygiene you know, sterilized hat pins, vacuum cleansed dish cloths and-er, sleeping out doors."

Rob. groaned inwardly but preserved an outward calm.

Scarcely two years married, with as yet no cloud upon the matrimonial horizon, no sighs or groans of his should be instrumental in placing a damper, atmospheric or otherwise, upon his wife's happiness.

"And I've decided," continued Mrs. Farnsworth, "to have that small shelter tent we took camping last Fall, set up on the back lawn for Bea. to sleep in, and I musn't forget to order extra cereals and vegetables, for I remember now, that Bea. is a strict vegetarian." With this parting injunction to her memory, Mrs. Farnsworth accompanied her husband to the door.

As he hurried down the steps he called, "How long do you expect these high-browed guests to stay, Alice?"

"Until tomorrow. I told you," reproachfully, "they are coming East to bring Baby back, and will spend what extra time they have with Bea.'s mother, and please remember we shall have dinner promptly at 7." ACT II.

The train which bore Mr. Farnsworth homeward was exactly one half hour late. Things have not gone well at the office and the day had been insufferably hot.

His head ached, and he felt annoyed to have kept his wife's guests waiting dinner. Hurriedly skirting the back lawn, he entered the rear door, wishing to avoid contract with strangers until the traces of a hard day were removed.

He noted the shelter tent, placed at the right of the clothes reel. Noted, as he passed through the kitchen that Sarah, the 'household treasure' was preparing an ex tra-sized vegetable salad.

If the afore mentioned household treasure grinned, knowingly, Rob. was too absorbed in his own troubles to heed her facial expression.

Once in his room, he discarded a wilted collar and sank lively into a chair. Upon the bed reposed a "change" also his semiformal dinner raiment. To the coat collar was pinned a note which read: "Be sure and dress for dinner and for goodness sake don't talk politics or baseball with Professor Bromley, for I don't think he is interested in anything outside Psychology. I've looked up the p, s, y,'s in the encyclopedia and am quite sure I can keep up my end of the conversation: all you will have to do is CO say yes, or no, or I quite agree! I find Bea. changed, somehow, but I've looked up recent treatises on advanced Hygiene, also run through my old astronomy.

"P. S. Remember all you have to say is 'yes, no, or I quite agree.' I'll do the rest and for heaven's sake don't suggest cigars or bottled beer after dinner, unless you want the Professor to put us down as degenerate Heathens. Alice"

Perspiring but determined, Mr. Farnsworth descended upon his guests.

A tall-very tall-thin man rose to grasp his hosts' welcoming hand.

Mr. Farnsworth noted with inward satisfaction that his guests' russet-hued locks were encircled by a 'thin spot' covering considerably more area than his own.

A short, fat, delightfully rosy cheeked lady pumped Rob's. arm in lazy acknowledgment of his greeting, murmuring that she was "too hungry to exert herself to be polite until after dinner."

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Again Rob. thought he heard his wife gasp, but his attention was diverted by Mrs. Bromley's request for a second helping— "rare, please, with plenty of gravy."

Professor Bromley ate sparingly. Rob. noted that his eyes turned continually towards the side board whereon rested sundry decanters and glasses.

Rob's subconscious being was wrestling with the question whether his wife had entirely mistaken the calibre of her guests, but like the staunch husband that he was he made no visible sign of doubt and awaited developments.

After Mrs. Bromley had disposed of her second helping, her hostess ventured the introduction of interesting topics.

"Bea." she began, "I've grown dreadfully rusty on astronomy, but I looked over my old text book today, and I read a comprehensive treatise on advance Hygiene, just to put a gloss on my ignorance.

"Doubtless you have kept in touch and can give me the benefits of your broadened knowledge. What is your idea concerning the sterlization of garbage barrels, and do tell me if Lunar observations are still progressive, or has astronomical research concentrated its efforts to Siderial conditions of the planet Mars?"

Mrs. Bromley passed her plate for a third helping.

"Really, Alice you can search me! Since Baby came I've left garbage barrels to the maid-or the Board of Health-and," smiling complacently, "the only astronomy I care to study now is the light that shines in Baby's eyes."

Silenced, but with undaunted courage, Mrs. Farnsworth turned an appealing glance towards her husband. Taking his cue he beamed on Mrs. Bromley and murmured, "yes-I mean no-I quite agree with you."

His wife flushed and would have given every cut glass article in sight could she have pressed Rob.'s foot under the table.

Turning to the silent Professor with suppressed determination, she begged him to advance some of his views on Psychology. Did he maintain that the hypnotic bore directly upon the temporary supremacy of mind over matter, or vice versa?"

Professor Bromley, whose eyes still sought the sideboard replied, "My dear lady the present-day thirst, the accentuated thirst for occult knowledge-and other things-is highly commendable. It will give me great pleasure to allay your thirst so far as lays in my power, but first I would ask your husband to kindly mix me a cocktail."

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the courts. Notwithstanding the world knows that it takes a heap of money to win a law suit, the bar association has the brazen nerve to laud the courts as the haven of the oppressed poor and the judges as the conservators of human rights and the champions of an enlightened public opinion.

It's the old game of bluff, but it will hardly work this time, the legal profession is under fire and the missiles hurled at it cannot be turned aside by the defense of the lawyers-wind and words.


This four-sided presidential election has them all guessing. Though Taft is not growing in popularity, he may win the seat through some fluke. Col. George Harvey, editor of Harper's Weekly, the North American Review and most polished of the reactionaries, has been doing some calculating. He takes a number of pages to prove that in the end the fight for the presidency may be between Candidate Wilson and Vice-President Sherman, with a possibility of Secretary of State Knox getting the plum. This involves throwing the election into Congress, and the Senate and the House being unable to agree. That contingency is not likely to arise, and the probabilities are that Editor Harvey developed his prophecy more for the purpose of getting some free advertising than anything else. Then he may have been actuated by a desire to convey a word of cheer to his masters in the camp of the plunderbund, for it would be like taking money from children for them to have such a corporation "trusty" as Sherman or Knox in the White House.

Speaking of Taft's chances, I am reminded that some stalwart republican editors have called on the president to make a fighting campaign. Taft, it is said, doesn't see it that way, and declines to go on the stump, as that would be undignified. That is a strange reason coming from one who when a candidate four years ago, was so lacking in manhood as to avow himself the standard-bearer of another man's policies, and one who indulged in the slang-whanging primary campaign of a few months ago. But the reason is not material; what is interesting is that those republican editors said if Taft did not enliven the campaign he would be beat.

Some people are amazed at the revelations of crookedness made in Penrose's attack on Roosevelt. I am not; I am sur

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It is impossible nowadays to pick up a trade magazine or an employers' paper without seeing an article or so-maybe a dozen-on efficiency. As a rule, these articles are devoted to the producing end of the business. The writers are busy showing how to get a little more work out of the producers or a little better quality for the same money as poorer quality. I have no quarrel with men being as capable as they can be. We cannot know too much about the business or trade through which we get our bread and butter. The more skilful we are the easier we get along, as individuals and organizations. But much that is spoken and written about efficiency is unsocial and absurd. Many of its advocates are labor-grinders, narrow, money-grabbing, selfish creatures who are unable to think socially, and who do not care or cannot see the effect of their schemes on the welfare of the human family.

It is not on that phase of the efficiency campaign that I want to write, however. I would like to rise and ask "Why is the producer always the subject of these investigations, suggestions, reforms and sometimes attacks?"

When the producers ask for more wages, they are told that distributing the goods is the great problem; or, if it happens to be contractors we are dealing with, the orthodox retort is that it costs like the very devil to get jobs. Getting a coutract and selling the finished goods are practically the same thing.

What it costs goes into the selling price. And if distribution is the great

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