"And, pray, what do you mean by that?"
"Why, Mr. Smith, I've known that man from the time he was trading jack-knives and marbles and selling paper boxes for five pins. I remember the whipping he got, too, for filching sugar and coffee and beans from the pantry and opening a grocery store in our barn. From that time to this, that boy has always been trading SOMETHING. He's been absolutely uninterested in anything else. I don't believe he's read a book or a magazine since his school days, unless it had something to do with business or groceries. He hasn't a sign of a fad—music, photography, collecting things—nothing. And he hates society. Jane has to fairly drag him out anywhere. Now, what I want to know is, what is the man going to do?"
"Oh, he'll find something," laughed Mr. Smith. "He's going to travel, first, anyhow."
Tips, opportunities to make money：paypal send money to friends"Yes, he's going to travel, first. And then—we'll see," smiled Miss
Maggie enigmatically, as Mr. Smith picked up his hammer again.
By the middle of July the Blaisdells were all gone from Hillerton and there remained only their letters for Miss Maggie—and for Mr. Smith. Miss Maggie was very generous with her letters. Perceiving Mr. Smith's genuine interest, she read him extracts from almost every one that came. And the letters were always interesting—and usually characteristic.
Benny wrote of swimming and tennis matches, and of "hikes" and the "bully eats." Hattie wrote of balls and gowns and the attention "dear Elizabeth" was receiving from some really very nice families who were said to be fabulously rich. Neither James nor Bessie wrote at all. Fred, too, remained unheard from.
Mellicent wrote frequently—gay, breezy letters full to the brim of the joy of living. She wrote of tennis, swimming, camp-fire stories, and mountain trails: they were like Benny's letters in petticoats, Miss Maggie said.
Long and frequent epistles came from Miss Flora. Miss Flora was having a beautiful time. Niagara was perfectly lovely—only what a terrible noise it made! She was glad she did not have to stay and hear it always. She liked New York, only that was noisy, too, though Mrs. Moore did not seem to mind it. Mrs. Moore liked Coney Island, too, but Miss Flora much preferred Grant's Tomb, she said. It was so much more quiet and ladylike. She thought some things at Coney Island were really not nice at all, and she was surprised that Mrs. Moore should enjoy them so much.
Between the lines it could be seen that in spite of all the good times, Miss Flora was becoming just the least bit homesick. She wrote Miss Maggie that it did seem queer to go everywhere, and not see a soul to bow to. It gave her such a lonesome feeling—such a lot of faces, and not one familiar one! She had tried to make the acquaintance of several people—real nice people; she knew they were by the way they looked. But they wouldn't say hardly anything to her, nor answer her questions; and they always got up and moved away very soon.
To be sure, there was one nice young man. He was lovely to them, Miss Flora said. He spoke to them first, too. It was when they were down to Coney Island. He helped them through the crowds, and told them about lots of nice things they didn't want to miss seeing. He walked with them, too, quite awhile, showing them the sights. He was very kind—he seemed so especially kind, after all those other cold-hearted people, who didn't care! That was the day she and Mrs. Moore both lost their pocketbooks, and had such an awful time getting back to New York. It was right after they had said good-bye to the nice young gentleman that they discovered that they had lost them. They were so sorry that they hadn't found it out before, Miss Flora said, for he would have helped them, she was sure. But though they looked everywhere for him, they could not find him at all, and they had to appeal to strangers, who took them right up to a policeman the first thing, which was very embarrassing, Miss Flora said. Why, she and Mrs. Moore felt as if they had been arrested, almost! Miss Maggie pursed her lips a little, when she read this letter to Mr. Smith, but she made no comment.
From Jane, also, came several letters, and from Frank Blaisdell one short scrawl.
Frank said he was having a bully time, but that he'd seen some of the most shiftless-looking grocery stores that he ever set eyes on. He asked if Maggie knew how trade was at his old store, and if Donovan was keeping it up to the mark. He said that Jane was well, only she was getting pretty tired because she WOULD try to see everything at once, for fear she'd lose something, and not get her money's worth, for all the world just as she used to eat things to save them.
Jane wrote that she was having a very nice time, of course,—she couldn't help it, with all those lovely things to see; but she said she never dreamed that just potatoes, meat, and vegetables could cost so much anywhere as they did in hotels, and as for the prices those dining-cars charged—it was robbery—sheer robbery! And why an able-bodied man should be given ten cents every time he handed you your own hat, she couldn't understand.