xt79gh9b603v https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt79gh9b603v/data/mets.xml Martin, George Madden, 1866- 1914  books b92-223-31182574 English D. Appleton, : New York : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Selina  : her hopeful efforts and her livelier failures / by George Madden Martin ; illustrated by H.D. Williams. text Selina  : her hopeful efforts and her livelier failures / by George Madden Martin ; illustrated by H.D. Williams. 1914 2002 true xt79gh9b603v section xt79gh9b603v 















S E L I N A

 This page in the original text is blank.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 
























































               4Akd I 'i   HE"QT OCLAND WILLIAMS








" She'd heard I was fond of reading."
                                       [Page 20.]

 




3elinct
HIER HOPEFUL EFFOPJY/AJD
  HE LIVELIER "iIL UREs



         By
GEORGE I'IDDEAIIIJ
  Authorof EMAYLOU


      Illustrated by
      HD WILL-9. f5'



D-APPLETON AND COMPANY
NEW YORK - -  MCMXIV

 





























          COPYRIGHT. 1914. BY
     D. APPLETON AND COMPANY



























Printed in the United States of America

 







                           TO
                         E. A. M.
                   FLORENCE, ITALY


  You have long urged me to an attempted portrayal of the
American girl of the '8o's. I take it that you from your view-
point coming from long absence from your own country, look
upon her and her moment as in some sense significant.
  As I read this girl and the conditions surrounding her,
born late, Victorian, she came into being when those sincere
and fine tenets .upon which the Victorian era founded itself,
were become the letter of the original vital idea, and the mo-
ment itself sentimental, trite and prudish. Outcome and
victim of the inefficiencies of an hour so flabby and platitudi-
nous, this young girl of these Victorian '80's apparently not
only repudiated her condition made up of absurdities,
futilities and inadequacies, but in her maturity has lapsed
over into the post-Victorian era as pioneer, she and her com-
panions of that day, who blazed the way for the army of
women now following. Following where, you ask Ah, now,
that is another question, and one I am not at all qualified or
prepared to answer.
  In the fact that she did repudiate her day and her condi-
tion lies the significance which you see, as I take it.  That
I have read her at the moment of my depicting, piteous rather
than pertinent, helpless more than heroic, and groping
rather than grasping, I hope will not disappoint you. So she
appears to me; her gravest need, the lack of which renders her

 
piteous and helpless, being a sense of proportion; a lack
answerable to the false standards around her, or to her sex,
or both, who among her sex shall say
  And that this epic of her days is chronicle of but the small
and the petty happening, you will forgive, because this same
day made up of the small and seemingly petty, is one of the
things, she will tell you now, against which she revolted.
  Nor am I defending her, nor claiming that she needs
defense. As I see her and have tried to set her down, I offer
her to you.
                                              G. M. M.
August, 19I4.
     A nchorage, Kentucky.

 











         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                  PAGE
"She referred to the cook, faithful and efficient
   colored plodder"                               2
"Impeccable yard plots, whitened flaggings and
   steps"                                         6
"Each lady was sitting by her standing work-basket
   of cane"                                        l0
" 'His name was Aristides Welkin, and we called him
   Mr. Arry'"                                     21
"He held back the gate, too, for her to pass through"  30
"Mamma looked around      the castor and spoke
   briskly"                                       57
"Before the mirror, trying on the dress from Cousin
   Anna"      .                                   70
"Mr. Tuttle Jones . . . sat with her through a
   pianoforte number"                             78
"Selina hurried out and joined him".              84
"The two groups had . . . gone sauntering out the
   sycamore-bordered road"                        94
'Rooted out his umbrella and tucked Amanthus,
   pretty thing, onto his arm" ..                8

 

        LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                 PAGE
"A covered   wooden  bridge across the river
   . . .seemed older than anything else"  .  . 126
"Marcus was there when Selina arrived" .  .  . 137
"She went to her father"  .    .   .40
"Selina . . . sat down to write her note"  .  .I44
"She . . . stood looking at them grouped below" . I59
"Miss 'Hontas cartfe in . . and talked to her
   about many things"              .       .     i68
"Her veil trailed crookedly"         .     .     188
"Owner and driver of a hack . . . whereby he
   made a living, meeting trains"          .      92
"Endeavoring to fit a glass into his eye"  .  . 203
"Maud was going in for china painting"       . 220
"'Mr. Welling looked at me in that . . . quizzing
   way of his' "  .   .   .                .     223
"They found Mrs. Harrison . . . before the open
   fire"            .   .     .                . 230
''He . . . stumbled over a rug and slopped the
   cream      .   .       .            .   .   . 240
"He below, lifting his hat"    .   .   .   .   . 254
" 'You haven't spoken to Papa about it' "  .  . 258
"Selina. . . fell on her knees".   .   .   .   . 270
"They boarded the street car"                  . 282
"Flowers take patience and faith. and tendance and
   waiting"       .              .               305
"She watched the flying scene from the car window" 321

 

        LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                               PAG E
"Culpepper . . . leaned over the back of her chair
  and spoke softly to her"                    344
  More uplift, more culture is the cry of the mo-
  ment' "   .                                 362
"For a full minute he did not speak"           373
"And whistled real softly under Juliette's window"  382
"Everybody waved and Culpepper was left standing
   there".                                     408

 This page in the original text is blank.

 






                SELINA


              CHAPTER ONE

T  HERE must be something wrong, Lavinia,
      with our way of managing," said Auntie.
        "If you think you can do it better than I,
Ann Eliza-" came from Mamma, with dignity.
  Selina, scant seventeen in years and sweet and
loving and anxious, felt that she could not bear it.
To sit in consultation thus, with her mother and
her aunt because the family purse was at one of its
stages of being exhausted, was desperate business
enough, but to look from the face of her little mother
to the countenance of her auntie under these cir-
cumstances was anguish.  Negative character has
been turned to positive by less, inertia forced into
action, the defenceless made defender. And while
the endeavors, about to be related, of this young
person to add to the income of her family by her
own efforts, may call to mind one Baron Mun-
chausen lifting himself by his boot-straps, let it be
borne in mind that the boot-straps may be the in-
consequential thing, and that where the emphasis
is to be laid is upon the good faith put into the
lifting.
  "It seemed wise to reduce the grocry' bill as tar



I

 






































'bbe referrmd to the cook, faithful and efficient colored
                        plodder."

 
SELINJ



as we could," her mother was saying deprecatingly,
"but in doing so, I should have considered that I
was leaving myself nothing to pay Aunt Viney."
She referred to the cook, faithful and efficient col-
ored plodder.
  "Last month it was the iceman who was kept
waiting because we paid everything to the butcher,"
said Selina. "XVhy is it," a little desperately, "there's
never money enough to go around"
  Her mother disliked such a display of feeling.
"If you mean that in criticism of your father-"
she began.
  Auntie interrupted. "The WVistar men have sel-
dom been money-makers. My father in his time was
the exception.  I'm - sure Robert has tried."
  Selina feeling she could not bear what she saw
in these faces of her elders, looked about the room
where she was sitting with them. In her time, which
was twenty-five years ago, in an inland American
city in a semi-southern state, bedrooms were sit-
ting-rooms during the day.
  What she saw was a ponderously ornate bed-
stead, ponderous walnut wardrobe, washstand, bu-
reau, fading wall-paper of a pronounced pattern,
framed family photographs, and carpet resolutely
tacked the four ways of the floor. She did not know
the day would come when she would learn that this
room with its wool lambrequin above the open grate,
its wool table-cover, its wool footstools, was mid-
Victorian.  Still less did this loving and anxious



3

 

SELINA



Selina know that these two dear ladies with whom
she sat, were mid-Victorian with their room, and
she of the next generation, a victim to their mild in-
efficiencies and their gentle sentimentalities. In look-
ing about the room, she as by instinct of the hunt-
ed, was seeking a clue to escape from her anguish
of spirit.
  "It isn't as though your father were not giving
me the same amount of money for the house as
usual," her mother was saying. Mrs. Wistar always
spoke a trifle precisely.  "It is more that having
dropped so behind with the bills, and knowing that
he is worried so to give me as much as he does, I
don't like to tell him so."
  "The worry'd be no more now than when he does
have to know," from Auntie.
  "I suppose not," allowed Mrs. Wistar dubiously.
  Selina sighed, and her gaze not finding the relief
it sought within the room, went to the window and
looked out between its discreet draperies. Thus far
indeed Selina had gazed on all of life through dis-
creet draperies. And if as she sat there in the cush-
ioned chair with her eyes so sweetly anxious, she was
incontinently young to look upon even for scant seven-
teen, in any real knowledge of life and of what life
had a right to demand from her, she was pitiably
younger. This story undertakes to be the tenderly
smiling narrative of Selina's inefficiencies, the epic
of her small aspirings and her, it is to be hoped,
engaging failures.
                         4

 
SELINX



   If she, untrained, unarmed and unaware, is typ-
ical in any sense of the thousands of American girls
of her period, shall it be assumed there are none
like her to-day, piously guarded and yet piteously
and absurdly unready for life's demands
  And if the conditions which surrounded her, and
the inefficiencies which marked her, were in any de-
gree usual in her day, may we not the better under-
stand her generation's dissatisfaction with these condi-
tions, as shown in those gropings toward something
illy defined no doubt but deeply desired, which now
appear to have been the first general expression of
woman's discontent in this country
  Selina's gaze had wandered to the window to
,find but doubtful comfort there. For in her mind's
eye she saw the relative position her squat, two-
storied brick house with its square of grass and its
iron fence set in stone coping, bore to the other
houses on the block in size, appearance and impor-
tance. There were some few smaller and shabbier.
She gave neighborly greeting to the dwellers within
these homes when she met them, but without any
knowledge as to why, and through no volition of her
own that she was aware of, her life did not touch
theirs.
  Of the other houses along the block, some were
three-storied, others two-storied but double in width,
the further characteristics of these eminently pros-
perous dwellings being impeccable yard plots, whit-
ened flaggings and steps, burnished doorsills, bur-



2



5

 








































" Impeccable yard plots, whitened flaggings and steps."

 
SELINS



nished doorbells, doorplates. The dwellers within
these altogether creditable establishments, Selina did
know; their lives and hers did touch; they too were
variations in a common inefficiency; they too were
products of the same conditions as herself. Aman-
thus in the one house, enchanting and engaging, or
so Selina saw her; Juliette in another, eager and
diminutive, cheeks carmine, fiery with the faith of
the ardent follower; Maud in a third, luscious, ca-
pable, inquiet, overflowing with protest, alert with
innovation; Adele in a fourth, stickler and debater,
full of a conscience for the pro and con: these four
were Selina's own, these and their households, the
friends, she would have told you, of her youth.
  She had gone through measles and through
mumps with them; through day school and dancing
school with them; through the baby age, the overly
conscientious age, the giggling age, the conscious age,
the arriving age, when at birthdays and school-clos-
ings, she, Selina, and Amanthus, and Maud, and
Juliette and Adele, exchanged clothbound and gilt-
topped volumes, "Lucille," "Aurora Leigh," Tenny-
son.
  But the gaze of Selina right now was out the
window of her mother's bedroom, and in her mind's
eye she was seeing, not these adored friends of her
youth, but the macadamized street she lived upon,
with its brick sidewalks and its occasional old syca-
more tree, and the homes of herself and these friends
along it. And her home was the squat and shabby

                        7

 

SELINa



one, her yard the untended one, and she, Selina Au-
boussier Wistar, the genteelly poor one of these
friends of her youth.
  Then her attention came back to matters within
the room.
  "I try to save Mr. Wistar everything of worry
I can," her mother was saying defensively. "I've
been setting a chair over that hole in the dining-
room hearth rug for months."
  "I'm never sure it isn't better to be frank," held
Auntie.
  Selina's concern returned to her own affairs. Se-
lina Auboussier Wistar I Why Auboussier Because
her father was Robert Auboussier Wistar. Why the
Auboussier in either case was to be dwelt upon so
insistingly and in full, was never very dazzlingly
clear, except that Mamma decreed it. The name
had brought her father nothing other in his day
than a silver mug, so far as Selina knew, and it
had not even brought her that. But it did roll off
the tongue as though it had claims. In the very
nicest sort of way perhaps this was the explanation.
  The affairs of her elders in the room again in-
truded.
  "I paid the bills for all those extras we had not
counted on when Selina graduated in June," Mamma
was saying, and defensively again, "and said nothing
about them. It seemed best at the time. And once
I got behind in this way on the other bills I haven't
seemed able to catch up."
                        8

 

SELINA



  "I needn't have had the carriage and the flowers
and the rest of it if I'd known," claimcd Selina pas-
sionately. "And I'm sure Auntie is right. Every.
body in a family ought to know everything."
  "I cannot allow such a tone from you, Selina,"1
returned her mother decidedly. "And of whom is
it you speak in this disparaging manner  Surely
not of your mother And I will not think you mean
your father"
  Her father Tradition, which meant Selina's own
little mother again, told how Mr. Robert Auboussier
Wistar at the beginning of things, which was before
Selina at all could remember, had made a bold dash
and start in life, proprietor of his own inherited iron
foundry. It lent solidity and importance to the past,
and support to the present. A structural iron rail-
road and foot-bridge across a turbulent creek at the
city's edge, marks the crest of this gentleman's in-
dustrial prosperity.  It is an ugly bridge where it
might have achieved beauty, Selina is forced to ad-
mit this now, but then when the family walks on
Sunday afternoons and on holidays led to it with
something of the spirit which carries the faithful to
Miecca, she obediently thrilled with pride as regu-
larly as her mother pointed out the structure to
her.
  The glittering career of Papa and the foundry had
been brief, and Selina had it from her mother and
her auntie that this is a sad world for the honorable
and trusting man in business.



9

 









































"Each lady was sitting by her standing work-basket of
                       cane.

 

S E L I N J



  Mr. Robert Wistar, dear and very real gentleman
as he was, and as his Selina saw and knew him, for
many years now had had a floor space in a building
in an off business street, and bought and sold ma-
chinery, new and old, on the varying and uncertain
basis of commission. But at home in the squat and
ugly brick house owned in part by him and in part
by Auntie, who was his older sister, his household of
womenkind upheld his prestige and dominance as
their male and their protector.
  His household of women! Selina's eyes went
from the little person of her mother, ardent striver
to keep up a fairly prosperous front, to the heavy
person of her auntie, darling soul, who did not seem
quite to grasp why a front must be kept up, but
assured that it must, submitted. Big, lovable, per-
sonable auntie, could the pity of it be that she was
always submitting Each lady was sitting by her
standing work-basket of cane, with work however
abandoned into her respective dear lap.
  Mamma, little person, meant by Heaven to be
pretty if she had not in the stead to be so perturbed,
just here seemed disposed and almost unreasonably,
to harbor feeling against Aunt Viney for wanting
what was coming to her. There had been similar
feeling on her part toward the iceman, and, preced-
ing him, toward the butcher.
  "If it were anybody but Viney herself, coming up-
stairs to me right in my own room and asking for
her money, I would feel I could not overlook it,"



I T

 

SELINX



she was saying. "She should have known that as
soon as it was convenient for her to have it, I would
give it to her."
  "It is the second time the collector of dues on
her funeral insurance has come around," reminded
Auntie, "and I dare say he made her feel she had
to ask for it."
  "There's more to it than her merely coming up-
stairs to me about it," said Mamma. "Two dollars
and a half to three dollars is all anyone thought of
paying a servant in my day." Her tone would im-
ply that her day and her authority were decades
past and other people in this matter of Aunt Viney,
altogether and unworthily responsible. "Four dol-
lars to a servant is out of all reason."
  And so indeed four dollars at that day and in
that place would have been but for the agreement
fixing the wages of this old person at this sum!
  Selina's cheeks flamed red. "Aunt Viney is get-
ting four dollars instead of three, Mamma," she
reminded her mother, "because you dismissed the
washwoman who was getting two dollars, and per-
suaded Aunt Viney to undertake it for the extra one."
Cooking, washing, ironing, dining-room, front door,
coal, kindling, fires and something of the rest of it,
were the part of Aunt VineyI
  Honesty drove Selina to defend her-tentatively
and timidly, since not for worlds in her day would
a daughter venture to hurt a parent's tender feel-
ings.  "Four dollars isn't so terribly much more



12

 

                   SELINX

than a pittance, is it, Mamma For a week's work
That is," hastily and apologetically, "if one were the
receiver of it"
  Time was to be, and that time soon, when Selina
would know more about the place of four dollars in
the scale of recompense.
  Auntie at this point moved heavily and uneasily.
One always felt that nature meant Auntie for some-
thing more definite. Her ponderous energy was in-
exhaustible. To see her expend it on irrelevant and
inconsequential things, was to gather that after some
fashion of reasoning all her own, she drew comfort
from such activities even to convincing herself such
efforts were contributory to the general relief.
  "I'm sure I wish there were more brasses I could
do," sighed the precious and comely soul.
  And while Selina here felt again that anguish which
seemed more than she could bear, still she blessed
the brasses in question, fire-irons, coal-bucket, and
fender which adorned their parlor.
  And she blessed Cousin Anna Tomlinson who had
given the brasses to the Wistar household. Japanned
coal vases with panel decorations in subjects such as
cat-tails, and mantel tiles with swallow flights across
them had recently come in, and Cousin Anna was of
those who will have the latest or nothing. Selina
did not know what the energy of Auntie would do
on the occasions of these recurrent money crises,
if she could not put it into the polishing of the
brasses.



13

 


SE L I N X



  "I am sure I'm always wishing there were more
of them," she was reiterating now.
  And then it was that Selina drew breath, a long
and quivering breath. There had come to be but
one thing for her to do and she was about to give
it voice.
  Never before had she taken the initiative in her
life. The exact length for the lowering of her
dress skirt for graduation, the chosen fashion for
the tying of her white sash on that day, the manner
of the arranging of her hair, her flowers, her fan,
each detail was for these two dear but hitherto de-
creeing ladies to debate and decide upon.
  When their Selina went forth upon her little pleas-
ures and affairs, one saw her off from the front-door
step, the other waved a farewell from the window
above. When she returned one removed her hat
and passed a readjusting hand over her shining fair
hair, the other lifted and put away her cloak.
  The initiative was to be Selina's now.
  "I told you, Mamma and Auntie dear, of meeting
Mrs. William Williams down street yesterday
And of her stopping me"
  She had. She brought all incidents to her ab-
sences home, and the two relived them with her.
They saw Mrs. William Williams now in this re-
call, large, impressive, with her benevolently dealt-
around interests and inquiries, as from a being of
credentialed and superior parts to a world of lesser
creatures. Though why this arrogance was permit-



14

 

S E L I N ,



ted, the world of lesser beings could hardly say, but
since authority even when self-arrogated, and author-
ity's running mate, material prosperity, are ever
potent, the world of Mrs. Wistar and Auntie sub-
mitted. Mr. William Williams, a successful dealer
in leather and raw hides, had married Mrs. Will-
iams late in both their lives, and one William Will-
iams Jr. was the result.
  Selina was continuing. "And I told you how she
said she does not approve of the new methods called
kindergarten that are beginning to be used in the
schools, and wants William Williams Jr. taught
at home, and did I know of any young person among
my friends fitted to do it"
  "William Jr.'s head is too big," said Auntie, de-
cidedly, "it rolls around on his neck. I've noticed
him on the bench at Sunday-school."
  Selina passed over the interruption. "I told her
yesterday that I did not know of anyone. To-day
I do. I am going to offer to teach him myself!"
But her throat was dry, and her hands were cold as
she said it.
  Selina knew no women wage-earners except her
teachers at the public school, who stood apart unique
personalities in a world entered into and left be-
hind at intervals, and a scattering of women clerks
in the stores of her Southern city. Yes, on the con-
trary, she did know one, Miss Emma McRanney,
a regular attendant at the same church as the Wis-
tars, stolid, settled, and middle-aged, a setter of type
                        I5

 

SELINX



at the State Institute for the Blind.  Mamma and
Auntie made a point of going out their ways on
Sundays to stop her and shake hands with her
kindly.
  But she was the exception. In the world of Se-
lina, in the world of her mother and her aunt, in
that of the friends of her youth and their mothers
and sisters and aunts, the accolading stamp of posi-
tion, of gentility, of femininity, lay in the monetary
dependence of womankind on its men.
  Nor had life, as Selina came up through it, the
private school of her baby days, the public schooling
of later days, the friends of her youth, nor Mother,
nor Auntie, nor those gilt-topped volumes, nor dan-
cing school, nor Sunday-school, nor her tinkling mu-
sic lessons, nor traditions, nor precedent, nor stand-
ards, nor prides, nor preoccupations, nor day dreams,
prepared Selina for this step. And so her throat
was dry and her hands were cold as she forced her-
self to say it.
  "I am going to offer to teach him myself."
  And then it was that the unexpected happened.
The fight on the part of Mamma and Auntie had
been a long one and a gruelling one, as long almost
as Selina's life, and they by nature were clinging
creatures. With the very note of her young utter-
ance, as at the Gideon shout of the newer genera-
tion, their walls fell.
  This mother of Selina, behold, all at once a little,
tearful, dependent, child-like person. "Oh, Selina,
                       i6

 

SELINJ



daughter, do you think you could The terror of
having people come to the door with bills one can't
pay !"
  This handsome, solid, impressive auntie, a bewil-
dered, rudderless, drifting soul. "I might be able to
do little things at home to save you here, Selina.
There is the canary's cage. Let me take care of
that."
  Thus the walls fell about Selina and revealed to
her the inward weakness of that stronghold of dom-
inance and authority she, up to now, had deemed
well-nigh impregnable.
  One instinct with the two, however, held true to
its function.
  "We will not mention the matter to your father,
Selina," from her mother, "unless it seems best. He
very likely would worry."
  "Robert would worry," from Auntie, decidedly.
"It might seem as if it were in criticism of him if
we went to him about it beforehand."
  No protests! No objections I They were relieved I
They were willing! Selina stood up, her voice to
her ears coming from vast distances away.
  "Four dollars is certainly little more than a pit-
tance for Aunt Viney, I am sure you must see,
Mamma." There was pronouncement and final-
ity in the tone as if for the first time she sat in
judgment on her parent. "As I've made up my mind
to see Mrs. Williams, I'll put on my hat and go
now."



'7

 

SELINJ



  But it was all of an hour before she came from her
own room ready to go.
  "Has she been crying" Auntie asked Mrs. Wis-
tar anxiously, as Selina went downstairs. "I thought
her face showed traces."
  "Selina has not the control I would like to see
her have," said little Mrs. Wistar concisely.  "In
my day we were not encouraged to indulge ourselves
in tears."
  "In what then" from Auntie as with one sud-
denly disposed to be captious.
  "In self-repression and the meeting of our duties,"
said Mrs. Wistar. "Ann Eliza," severely, "some-
times I almost think you aid and abet Selina in her
expressions of discontent."
  Auntie looked non-committal.  "Do you, La-
vinia"

 









CHAPTER TWO



O    N Selina's return in the late afternoon, she
       came up to her mother's room, her step light
       and springy now, to tell the two about her
visit. She had made up her mind that if she had
to do this thing, she would do it with as good grace
as possible. They on the contrary had had time to
grasp the idea of Selina as a teacher in its several
significances.
  "Don't think I'd let you do a thing I did not
think was proper and right, Selina," her mother hur-
ried to say in greeting. "There's nothing deroga-
tory, I'm sure, in accepting remuneration. I made
a set of chemises for your Cousin Anna last year,
you remember, and was glad to have her pay
me."
  "Look at me," said Auntie, "and don't you make
chemises or anything else, unless it's an understood
thing that somebody is going to pay you."
  A wave of protective feeling rushed over Selina,
new to her but warming and whelming, and she had
forgiven them.
  "I think, Mamma, that Mrs. Williams meant me
when she spoke yesterday. She said she was glad
                       Is

 

SE LI NA



to see I was sensible about it. Evidently there are
people thinking I ought to go to work. She did."
  This was not so rosy as Selina meant it to be for
the attentive two; she must do better.
  "I'm sure, too, Mamma, she meant to be compli-
mentary. She said a whole lot about my being a
booky girl, that she'd heard I was fond of reading,
and some more of that sort of thing. And about'
how she laid a great deal of stress herself on cul-
tivation, and how she wanted William Jr. to achieve
a taste that way, too. And she said that habits and
associations in the person of a teacher-I remember
her words-mean so much."
  "I hope she values 'em accordingly," said Auntie
indignantly. "I don't like any such tone from her to
you. She was a McIntosh, we mustn't forget that.
I never thought much of the stock."
  "I'm sure all that Selina has told us is most grat-
ifying," Mrs. Wistar hastened to claim. "It only
emphasizes the fact that teaching is a calling of ac-
complishments and refinements.  I remember the
teacher that I myself recall best." W\Vhen Mrs. WVis-
tar lost herself in reminiscence, she was more than
apt to lose her point also. "His name was Aris-
tides Welkin, and we called him Mr. Arry. He took
snuff and recited Dryden and Milton to the class in
parsing most beautifully. He was English and some-
times I think now, looking back upon it, drank. My
parents paid well for the privilege of having my
sister Juanita and myself under him.   It was a



20

 








































"His name was Aristides Welkin, and we called him
                   Mr. Arry."


       3

 

SELINA



school of selection and fashion, in the basement under
the First Church."
  Selina kept to her narrative. "She said that of
course I was a beginner. That she realized it would
hardly pay me to come way out to her house for
just William, and she thinks she can get three other
pupils in the neighborhood who will come into the
class. I'm to go on with him while she tries."
  "If you're valuable as all that sounds," insisted
Auntie, holding to her point tenaciously, "she cer-
tainly ought to pay you well."
  Selina paused to steady her voice. So far in her
world, and in the world of Mamma and Auntie,
money matters were mentioned only when they had
to be, and then with embarrassment and reluctance.
Hot to her finger-tips and wincing to the fiber, she
had had to discuss dollars and cents with Mrs.
Williams. Or rather, this lady with her air of large
condescension and kindly patronage had discussed
it for her. Since Mamma and Auntie had brought
her up to feel this shrinking from these things, how
could they be so eager now about this part of the
interview 
  "Mrs. Williams said she had inquired at the pri-
vate schools and the kindergartens, found the charge
for a pupil, and would of course fix the price at that."
The blood surged slowly over Selina's face.
  "Yes" from Mamma a little impatiently.
  Auntie however had noted the surging signals of
distress. "I said that boy William's head was too
                       22

 

SELINIX



large," she declared anticipatorily to anything of
any nature which might follow.
  Selina, who abhorred doing an uncouth thing,
gulped. It was the painful coincidence of the thing.
The identical sum fixed by Mrs. Williams and cus-
tom for training youth to a knowledge of the rudi-
ments, culture, good habits and worthy associations,
had been in the mouths of Mamma, Auntie and her-
self, all too recently. On hearing it from  Mrs.
Williams, Selina had winced, and now shrunk from
mentioning it herself until she had to.
  "I start in to-morrow. Mrs. Williams said why
procrastinate things. No, I won't take off my hat,
thank you, Auntie."
  She was winking fast, her eyes swimming behind
something-suspiciously like tears. She was swallow-
ing, too, at thought of her own especial little world,
her world including Amanthus and Maudie, Juliette
and Adele, and their prosperous and easy surround-
ings. And having reached this point, she sobbed.
For what would be the effec