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"But he isn't dead—that is, they aren't sure he's dead," amended Mr.

Smith hastily.

"But Flora thinks he is. She says he must be, or he would have appeared in time to save all that money. She's very much shocked, especially at Hattie, that there is so little respect being shown his memory. So she is all the more determined to do the best she can on her part."

"But she—she didn't know him, so she can't—er—really MOURN for him," stammered the man. There was a most curious helplessness on Mr. Smith's face.

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"No, she says she can't really mourn," smiled Miss Maggie again, "and that's what worries her the most of anything—because she CAN'T mourn, and when he's been so good to her—and he with neither wife nor chick nor child TO mourn for him, she says. But she's determined to go through the outward form of it, at least. So she's made herself some new black dresses, and she's bought a veil. She's taken Mr. Fulton's picture (she had one cut from a magazine, I believe), and has had it framed and, hung on her wall. On the mantel beneath it she keeps fresh flowers always. She says it's the nearest she can come to putting flowers on his grave, poor man!"

"Good Heavens!" breathed Mr. Smith, falling limply into a chair.

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"And she doesn't go anywhere, except to church, and for necessary errands."

"That explains why I haven't seen her. I had wondered where she was."

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"Yes. She's very conscientious. But she IS going later to Niagara. I've persuaded her to do that. She'll go with a party, of course,—one of those 'personally conducted' affairs, you know. Poor dear! she's so excited! All her life she's wanted to see Niagara. Now she's going, and she can hardly believe it's true. She wants a phonograph, too, but she's decided not to get that until after six months' mourning is up—it's too frivolous and jolly for a house of mourning."

"Oh, good Heavens!" breathed Mr. Smith again.

"It is funny, isn't it, that she takes it quite so seriously? Bessie suggested (I'm afraid Bessie was a little naughty!) that she get the phonograph, but not allow it to play anything but dirges and hymn tunes."

"But isn't the woman going to take ANY comfort with that money?" demanded Mr. Smith.

"Indeed, she is! She's taking comfort now. You have no idea, Mr. Smith, what it means to her, to feel that she need never want again, and that she can buy whatever she pleases, without thinking of the cost. That's why she's frightened—because she IS so happy. She thinks it can't be right to be so happy. It's too pleasant—to be right. When she isn't being frightened about that, she's being frightened for fear she'll lose it, and thus not have it any more. I don't think she quite realizes yet what a big sum of money it is, and that she'd have to lose a great deal before she lost it all."

"Oh, well, she'll get used to that, in time. They'll all get used to it—in time," declared Mr. Smith, his face clearing a little. "Then they'll begin to live sanely and sensibly, and spend the money as it should be spent. Of course, you couldn't expect them to know what to do, at the very first, with a sum like that dropped into their laps. What would you do yourself? Yes, what would you do?" repeated Mr. Smith, his face suddenly alert and interested again. "What would you do if you should fall heir to a hundred thousand dollars—to-morrow?"

"What would I do? What wouldn't I do?" laughed Miss Maggie. Then abruptly her face changed. Her eyes became luminous, unfathomable. "There is so much that a hundred thousand dollars could do—so much! Why, I would—" Her face changed again abruptly. She sniffed as at an odor from somewhere. Then lightly she sprang to her feet and crossed to the stove. "What would I do with a hundred thousand dollars?" she demanded, whisking open a damper in the pipe. "I'd buy a new base-burner that didn't leak gas! That's what I'd do with a hundred thousand dollars. Are you going to give it to me?"

"Eh? Ah-what?" Mr. Smith was visibly startled.