privacy policy

privacy policy

"Er—ah—w-what? Y-yes, of course," stammered Mr. Smith, growing suddenly, for some unapparent reason, very much confused. "Yes—yes, I do." As Mr. Smith finished speaking, he threw an oddly nervous glance into Miss Maggie's face.

But Miss Maggie had turned back to Miss Flora.

"There, dear," she admonished her, "now, you do just as Mr. Smith says. Just hand over your letters to him for a while, and forget all about them. He'll tell you how he answers them, of course. But you won't have to worry about them any more. Besides they'll soon stop coming,—won't they, Mr. Smith?"

"I think they will. They'll dwindle to a few scattering ones, anyway,—after I've handled them for a while."

"Well, I should like that," sighed Miss Flora. "But—can't I give anything anywhere?" she besought plaintively.

"Of course you can!" cried Miss Maggie. "But I would investigate a little, first, dear. Wouldn't you, Mr. Smith? Don't you believe in investigation?"

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Once again, before he answered, Mr. Smith threw a swiftly questioning glance into Miss Maggie's face.

"Yes, oh, yes; I believe in—investigation," he said then. "And now, Miss Flora," he added briskly, as Miss Flora reached for her wraps, "with your kind permission I'll walk home with you and have a look at—my new job of secretarying."

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It was when his duties of secretaryship to Miss Flora had dwindled to almost infinitesimal proportions that Mr. Smith wished suddenly that he were serving Miss Maggie in that capacity, so concerned was he over a letter that had come to Miss Maggie in that morning's mail.

He himself had taken it from the letter-carrier's hand and had placed it on Miss Maggie's little desk. Casually, as he did so, he had noticed that it bore a name he recognized as that of a Boston law firm; but he had given it no further thought until later, when, as he sat at his work in the living-room, he had heard Miss Maggie give a low cry and had looked up to find her staring at the letter in her hand, her face going from red to white and back to red again.

"Why, Miss Maggie, what is it?" he cried, springing to his feet.

As she turned toward him he saw that her eyes were full of tears.

"Why, it—it's a letter telling me—-" She stopped abruptly, her eyes on his face.

"Yes, yes, tell me," he begged. "Why, you are—CRYING, dear!" Mr. Smith, plainly quite unaware of the caressing word he had used, came nearer, his face aglow with sympathy, his eyes very tender.

The red surged once more over Miss Maggie's face. She drew back a little, though manifestly with embarrassment, not displeasure.