Bab: A Sub-Deb
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Part 5 out of 6
Let us, dear reader, pass with brevaty over the next few days. Even
to write them is a repugnent task, for having set my hand to the
Plow, I am not one to do things half way and then stop.
Every day the Stranger came and gave me to dollars and I took him
to the back road on our place and left him there. And every night,
although weary unto death with washing the car, carrying people,
changeing tires and picking nails out of the road which the hackman
put there to make trouble, I but pretended to slumber, and instead
sat up in the library and kept my terrable Vigil. For now I knew
that he had dishonest designs on the sacred interior of my home,
and was but biding his time.
The house having been closed for a long time, there were mice
everywhere, so that I sat on a table with my feet up.
I got so that I fell asleep almost anywhere but particularly at meals,
and mother called in a doctor. He said I needed exercise! Ye gods!
Now I think this: if I were going to rob a house, or comit any sort
of Crime, I should do it and get it over, and not hang around for
days making up my mind. Besides keeping every one tence with
anxiety. It is like diving off a diving board for the first time.
The longer you stand there, the more afraid you get, and the
farther (further?) it seems to the water.
At last, feeling I could stand no more, I said this to the Stranger
as he was paying me. He was so surprized that he dropped a quarter
in the road, and did not pick it up. I went back for it later but
some one else had found it.
"Oh!" he said. "And all this time I've been beleiving that
you--well, no matter. So you think it's a mistake to delay to long?"
"I think when one has somthing Right or Wrong to do, and that's for
your conscience to decide, it's easier to do it quickly."
"I see," he said, in a thoughtfull manner. "Well, perhaps you are
right. Although I'm afraid you've been getting one fifty cents you
"I have never hung around," I retorted. "And no Archibald is ever
"Archibald!" he said, getting very red. "Why, then you are----"
"It doesn't matter who I am," I said, and got into the car and went
away very fast, because I saw I had made a dreadfull Slip and
probably spoiled everything. It was not untill I was putting the
car up for the night that I saw I had gone off with his overcoat I
hung it on a nail and getting my revolver from under a board, I
went home, feeling that I had lost two hundred dollars, and all
because of Familey pride.
How true that "pride goeth before a fall"!
I have not yet explained about the revolver. I had bought it from
the gardner, having promised him ten dollars for it, although not
as yet paid for. And I had meant to learn to be an expert, so that
I could capture the Crimenal in question without assistance, thus
securing all the reward.
But owing to nervousness the first day I had, while practicing in
the chicken yard, hit the Gardner in the pocket and would have
injured him severely had he not had his garden scizzors in his pocket.
He was very angry, and said he had a bruize the exact shape of the
scizzors on him, so I had had to give him the ten plus five dollars
more, which was all I had and left me stranded.
I went to my domacile that evening in low spirits, which were not
improved by a conversation I had with Tom that night after the
Familey had gone out to a Club dance.
He said that he did not like women and girls who did things.
"I like femanine girls," he said. "A fellow wants to be the Oak and
feel the Vine clinging to him."
"I am afectionate," I said, "but not clinging. I cannot change my Nature."
"Just what do you mean by afectionate?" he asked, in a stern voice.
"Is it afectionate for you to sit over there and not even let me
hold your hand? If that's afection, give me somthing else."
Alas, it was but to true. When away from me I thought of him
tenderly, and of whether he was thinking of me. But when with me I
was diferent. I could not account for this, and it troubled me.
Because I felt this way. Romanse had come into my life, but suppose
I was incapable of loving, although loved?
Why should I wish to be embrased, but become cold and fridgid when
about to be?
"It's come to a Show-down, Bab," he said, ernestly. "Either you
love me or you don't. I'm darned if I know which."
"Alas, I do not know" I said in a low and pitious voice. I then
buried my face in my hands, and tried to decide. But when I looked
up he was gone, and only the sad breese wailed around me.
I had expected that the Theif would take my hint and act that
night, if not scared off by learning that I belonged to the object
of his nefarius designs. But he did not come, and I was wakened on
the library table at 8 A. M. by George coming in to open the windows.
I was by that time looking pale and thin, and my father said to me
that morning, ere departing for the office:
"Haven't anything you'd like to get off your chest, have you, Bab?"
I sighed deeply.
"Father," I said, "do you think me cold? Or lacking in afection?"
"Or one who does not know her own mind?"
"Well," he observed, "those who have a great deal of mind do not
always know it all. Just as you think you know it some new corner
comes up that you didn't suspect and upsets everything."
"Am I femanine?" I then demanded, in an anxious manner.
"Femanine! If you were any more so we couldn't bare it."
I then inquired if he prefered the clinging Vine or the independant
tipe, which follows its head and not its instincts. He said a man
liked to be engaged to a clinging Vine, but that after marriage a
Vine got to be a darned nusance and took everything while giving
nothing, being the sort to prefer chicken croquets to steak and so
on, and wearing a boudoir cap in bed in the mornings.
He then kissed me and said:
"Just a word of advise, Bab, from a parent who is, of course,
extremely old but has not forgoten his Youth entirely. Don't try to
make yourself over for each new Admirer who comes along. Be
yourself. If you want to do any making over, try it on the boys.
Most of them could stand it."
That morning, after changing another tire and breaking three finger
nails, I remembered the overcoat and, putting aside my scruples,
went through the pockets. Although containing no Burglar's tools,
I found a SKETCH OF THE LOWER FLOOR OF OUR HOUSE, WITH A CROSS
OUTSIDE ONE OF THE LIBRARY WINDOWS!
I was for a time greatly excited, but calmed myself, since there
was work to do. I felt that, as I was to capture him unaided, I
must make a Plan, which I did and which I shall tell of later on.
Alas, while thinking only of securing the Reward and of getting Sis
married, so that I would be able to be engaged and enjoy it without
worry as to Money, coming out and so on, my Ship of Love was in the
hands of the wicked, and about to be utterly destroyed, or almost,
the complete finish not coming untill later. But
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
This is the tradgic story. Tom had gone to the station, feeling
repentant probably, or perhaps wishing to drive the Arab, and
finding me not yet there, had conversed with the hackman. And that
person, for whom I have nothing but contempt and scorn, had
observed to him that every day I met a young gentleman at the
three-thirty train and took him for a ride!
Could Mendasity do more? Is it right that such a Creature, with his
pockets full of nails and scandle, should vote, while intellagent
women remain idle? I think not.
When, therefore, I waved my hand to my FIANCEE, thus showing a
forgiving disposition, I was met but with a cold bow. I was
heart-broken, but it is but to true that in our state of society
the female must not make advanses, but must remain still, although
suffering. I therfore sat still and stared hautily at the water cap
of my car, although seathing within, but without knowing the cause
of our rupture.
The Stranger came. I shrink in retrospect from calling him the
Theif, although correct in one sense. I saw Tom stareing at him
banefully, but I took no notice, merely getting out and kicking the
tires to see if air enough in them. I then got in and drove away.
The Stranger looked excited, and did not mention the weather as
customery. But at last he said:
"Somehow I gather, Little Sister, that you know a lot of things you
do not talk about."
"I do not care to be adressed as `Little Sister,'" I said in an icy
tone. "As for talking, I do not interfere with what is not my
"Good," he observed." And I take it that, when you find an overcoat
or any such garment, you do not exhibit it to the Familey, but put
it away in some secluded nook. Eh, what?"
"No one has seen it. It is in the Car now, under that rug."
He turned and looked at me intently.
"Do you know," he observed, "my admiration for you is posatively
"Then don't talk," I said, feeling still anguished by Tom's conduct and
not caring much just then about the reward or any such mundane matters.
"But I MUST talk," he replied. "I have a little plan, which I
darsay you have guest. As a matter of fact, I have reasons to think
it will fall in with--er--plans of your own."
Ye gods! Was I thus being asked to compound a felony? Or did he not
think I belonged to my own Familey, but to some other of the same
name, and was therfore not suspicous.
"Here's what I want," he went on in a smooth manner. "And there's
Twenty-five dollars in it for you. I want this little car
of yours tonight."
Here I almost ran into a cow, but was luckaly saved, as a Jersey
cow costs seventy-five dollars and even more, depending on how much
milk given daily. When back on the road again, having but bent a
mud guard against a fense, I was calmer.
"How do I know you will bring it back?" I asked, stareing at him fixedly.
"Oh, now see here," he said, straightening his necktie, "I may be
a Theif, but I am not that kind of a Theif. I play for big stakes
I then remembered that there was a large dinner that night and that
mother would have her jewelery out from the safe deposit, and
father's pearl studs et cetera. I turned pale, but he did not
notice it, being busy counting out Twenty-five dollars in small bills.
I am one to think quickly, but with precicion. So I said:
"You can't drive, can you?"
"I do drive, dear Little--I beg your pardon. And I think, with a
lesson now, I could get along. Now see here, Twenty-five dollars
while you are asleep and therfore not gilty if I take your car from
wherever you keep it. I'll leave it at the station and you'll find
it there in the morning."
Is it surprizing that I agreed and that I took the filthy lucre?
No. For I knew then that he would never get to the station, and the
reward of two hundred, plus the Twenty-five, was already mine mentaly.
He learned to drive the Arab in but a short time, and I took him to
the shed and showed him where I hid the key. He said he had never
heard before of a girl owning a Motor and her parents not knowing,
and while we were talking there Tom Gray went by in the station
hack and droped somthing in the road.
When I went out to look IT WAS THE KEY RING I HAD GIVEN HIM.
I knew then that all was over and that I was doomed to a single
life, growing more and more meloncholy until Death releived my
sufferings. For I am of a proud nature, to proud to go to him and
explain. If he was one to judge me by apearances I was through. But
I ached. Oh, how I ached!
The Theif did not go further that day, but returned to the station.
And I? I was not idle, beleive me. During the remainder of the day,
although a broken thing, I experamented to find exactly how much
gas it took to take the car from the station to our house. As I
could not go to the house I had to guess partly, but I have a good
mind for estimations, and I found that two quarts would do it.
So he could come to the house or nearby, but he could not get away
with his ill-gotten gains. I therfore returned to my home and ate
a nursery supper, and Hannah came in and said:
"I'm about out of my mind, Miss Bab. There's trouble coming to this
Familey, and it keeps on going to dinners and disregarding all hints."
"What sort of trouble?". I asked, in a flutering voice. For if she
knew and told I would not recieve the reward, or not solely.
"I think you know," she rejoined, in a suspicous tone." And that
you should assist in such a thing, Miss Bab, is a great Surprize to
me. I have considered you flitey, but nothing more."
She then slapped a cup custard down in front of me and went away,
leaving me very nervous. Did she know of the Theif, or was she
merely refering to the car, which she might have guest from grease
on my clothes, which would get there in spite of being carful,
especialy when changing a tire?
Well, I have now come to the horrable events of that night, at
writing which my pen almost refuses. To have dreamed and hoped for
a certain thing, and then by my own actions to frustrate it was to
be my fate.
"Oh God! that one might read the book of fate!" Shakspeare.
As I felt that, when everything was over, the people would come in
from the Club and the other country places to see the captured
Crimenal, I put on one of the frocks which mother had ordered and
charged to me on that Allowence which was by that time NON EST.
(Latin for dissapated. I use dissapated in the sense of spent, and
not debauchery.) By that time it was nine o'clock, and Tom had not
come, nor even telephoned. But I felt this way. If he was going to
be jealous it was better to know it now, rather than when to late
and perhaps a number of offspring.
I sat on the Terrace and waited, knowing full well that it was to
soon, but nervous anyhow. I had before that locked all the library
windows but the one with the X on the sketch, also putting a nail
at the top so he could not open them and escape. And I had the key
of the library door and my trusty weapon under a cushion,
loaded--the weapon, of course, not the key.
I then sat down to my lonely Vigil.
At eleven P. M. I saw a sureptitious Figure coming across the lawn,
and was for a moment alarmed, as he might be coming while the
Familey and the jewels, and so on, were still at the Club.
But it was only Carter Brooks, who said he had invited himself to
stay all night, and the Club was sickning, as all the old people were
playing cards and the young ones were paired and he was an odd man.
He then sat down on the cushion with the revolver under it, and said:
"Gee whiz! Am I on the Cat? Because if so it is dead. It moves not."
"It might be a Revolver," I said, in a calm voice. "There was one
lying around somwhere."
So he got up and observed: "I have conscientous scruples against
sitting on a poor, unprotected gun, Bab." He then picked it up and
it went off, but did no harm except to put a hole in his hat which
was on the floor.
"Now see here, Bab," he observed, looking angry, because it was a
new one--the hat. "I know you, and I strongly suspect you put that
Gun there. And no blue eyes and white frock will make me think
otherwise. And if so, why?"
"I am alone a good deal, Carter," I said, in a wistfull manner, "as
my natural protecters are usualy enjoying the flesh pots of Egypt.
So it is natural that I should wish to be at least fortified
HE THEN PUT THE REVOLVER IN HIS POCKET, and remarked that he was
all the protecter I needed, and that the flesh pots only seemed
desirable because I was not yet out. But that once out I would find
them full of indigestion, headaches, and heartburn.
"This being grown-up is a sort of Promised Land," he said, "and it
is always just over the edge of the World. You'll never be as nice
again, Bab, as you are just now. And because you are still a little
girl, although `plited,' I am going to kiss the tip of your ear,
which even the lady who ansers letters in the newspapers could not
object to, and send you up to bed."
So he bent over and kissed the tip of my ear, which I considered
not a sentamental spot and therfore not to be fussy about. And I
had to pretend to go up to my chamber.
I was in a state of great trepidation as I entered my Residense,
because how was I to capture my prey unless armed to the teeth?
Little did Carter Brooks think that he carried in his pocket, not
a Revolver or at least not merely, but my entire future.
However, I am not one to give up, and beyond a few tears of
weakness, I did not give way. In a half hour or so I heard Carter
Brooks asking George for a whisky and soda and a suit of father's
pajamas, and I knew that, ere long, he would be would be
In pleasing Dreams and slumbers light.
Would or would he not bolt his door? On this hung, in the Biblical
phraze, all the law and the profits.
He did not. Crouching in my Chamber I saw the light over his
transom become blackness, and soon after, on opening his door and
speaking his name softly, there was no response. I therfore went in
and took my Revolver from his bureau, but there was somthing wrong
with the spring and it went off. It broke nothing, and as for
Hannah saying it nearly killed her, this is not true. It went into
her mattress and wakened her, but nothing more.
Carter wakened up and yelled, but I went out into the hall and said:
"I have taken my Revolver, which belongs to me anyhow. And don't
dare to come out, because you are not dressed."
I then went into my chamber and closed the door firmly, because the
servants were coming down screaming and Hannah was yelling that she
was shot. I explained through the door that nothing was wrong, and
that I would give them a dollar each to go back to bed and not
alarm my dear parents. Which they promised.
It was then midnight, and soon after my Familey returned and went
to bed. I then went downstairs and put on a dark coat because of
not wishing to be seen, and a cap of father's, wishing to apear as
masculine as possable, and went outside, carrying my weapon, and
being careful not to shoot it, as the spring seemed very loose. I
felt lonely, but not terrafied, as I would have been had I not
known the Theif personaly and felt that he was not of a violent tipe.
It was a dark night, and I sat down on the verandah outside the
fatal window, which is a French one to the floor, and waited. But
suddenly my heart almost stopped. Some one was moving about INSIDE!
I had not thought of an acomplice, yet such there must be. For I
could hear, on the hill, the noise of my automobile, which is not
good on grades and has to climb in a low geer. How terrable, to, to
think of us as betrayed by one of our own MENAGE!
It was indeed a cricis.
However, by getting in through a pantrey window, which I had done
since a child for cake and so on, I entered the hall and was able,
without a sound, to close and lock the library door. In this way,
owing to nails in the windows, I thus had the Gilty Member of our
MENAGE so that only the one window remained, and I now returned to
the outside and covered it with a steady aim.
What was my horror to see a bag thrust out through this window and
set down by the unknown within!
Dear reader, have you ever stood by and seen a home you loved
looted, despoiled and deprived of even the egg spoons, silver
after-dinner coffee cups, jewels and toilet articals? If not, you
cannot comprehand my greif and stern resolve to recover them, at
I by now cared little for the Reward but everything for honor.
The second Theif was now aproaching. I sank behind a steamer chair
Need I say here that I meant to kill no one? Have I not, in every
page, shown that I am one for peace and have no desire for
bloodshed? I think I have. Yet, when the Theif apeared on the
verandah and turned a pocket flash on the leather bag, which I
percieved was one belonging to the Familey, I felt indeed like
shooting him, although not in a fatal spot.
He then entered the room and spoke in a low tone.
THE REWARD WAS MINE.
I but slipped to the window and closed it from the outside, at the
same time putting in a nail as mentioned before, so that it could
not be raised, and then, raising my revolver in the air, I fired
the remaining four bullets, forgeting the roof of the verandah
which now has four holes in it.
Can I go on? Have I the strength to finish? Can I tell how the
Theif cursed and tried to raise the window, and how every one came
downstairs in their night clothes and broke in the library door,
while carrying pokers, and knives, et cetera. And how, when they
had met with no violence but only sulkey silence, and turned on the
lights, there was Leila dressed ready to elope, and the Theif had
his arms around her, and she was weeping? Because he was poor,
although of good familey, and lived in another city, where he was
a broker, my familey had objected to him. Had I but been taken into
Leila's confidence, which he considered I had, or at least that I
understood, how I would have helped, instead of thwarting! If any parents
or older sisters read this, let them see how wrong it is to leave any
member of the familey in the dark, especialy in AFFAIRES DE COUER.
Having seen from the verandah window that I had comitted an enor,
and unable to bear any more, I crawled in the pantrey window again
and went up stairs to my Chamber. There I undressed and having hid
my weapon, pretended to be asleep.
Some time later I heard my father open the door and look in.
"Bab!" he said, in a stealthy tone.
I then pretended to wake up, and he came in and turned on a light.
"I suppose you've been asleep all night," he said, looking at me
with a searching glanse.
"Not lately," I said. "I--wasn't there a Noise or somthing?"
"There was," he said. "Quite a racket. You're a sound sleeper.
Well, turn over and settle down. I don't want my little girl to
lose her Beauty Sleep."
He then went over to the lamp and said:
"By the way, Bab, I don't mind you're sleeping in my golf cap, but
put it back in the morning because I hate to have to hunt my things
all over the place."
I had forgoten to take off his cap!
Ah, well, it was all over, although he said nothing more, and went
out. But the next morning, after a terrable night, when I realized
that Leila had been about to get married and I had ruined
everything, I found a note from him under my door.
DEAR BAB: After thinking things over, I think you and I would
better say nothing about last night's mystery. But suppose you
bring your car to meet me tonight at the station, and we will take
a ride, avoiding milk wagons if possible. You might bring your
check book, too, and the revolver, which we had better bury in some
P. S. I have mentioned to your mother that I am thinking of buying
you a small car. VERBUM SAP.
* * * *
The next day my mother took me calling, because if the Servants
were talking it was best to put up a bold front, and pretend that
nothing had happened except a Burglar alarm and no Burglar. We went
to Gray's and Tom's grandmother was there, WITHOUT HER CRUCHES.
During the evening I dressed in a pink frock, with roses, and
listened for a car, because I knew Tom was now allowed to drive
again. I felt very kind and forgiving, because father had said I
was to bring the car to our garage and he would buy gasoline and so
on, although paying no old bills, because I would have to work out
my own Salvation, but buying my revolver at what I paid for it.
But Tom did not come. This I could not beleive at first, because
such conduct is very young and imature, and to much like fighting
at dancing school because of not keeping step and so on.
At last, Dear Reader, I heard a machine coming, and I went to the
entrance to our drive, sliding in the shrubery to surprize him. I
did not tremble as previously, because I had learned that he was
but human, though I had once considered otherwise, but I was
willing to forget.
How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot!
The World forgeting, by the World forgot.
However, the car did not turn into our drive, but went on. And in
it were Tom, and that one who I had considered until that time my
best and most intimite friend, Jane Raleigh.
SANS fiancee, SANS friend, SANS reward and SANS Allowence, I turned
and went back to my father, who was on the verandah and was now,
with my mother and sister, all that I had left in the World.
And my father said: "Well, here I am, around as usual. Do you feel
to grown-up to sit on my knee?"
I did not.
APRIL 9TH. As I am leaving this School to-morrow for the Easter
Holadays, I revert to this Dairy, which has not been written in for
some months, owing to being a Senior now and carrying a heavy
My trunk has now gone, and I have but just returned from Chapel,
where Miss Everett made a Speach, as the Head has quinzy. She
raised a large Emblem that we have purchaced at fifty cents each,
and said in a thrilling voice that our beloved Country was now at
war, and expected each and all to do his duty.
"I shall not," she said, "point out to any the Fields of their
Usefulness. That they must determine for themselves. But I know
that the Girls of this school will do what they find to do, and
return to the school at the end of two weeks, school opening with
evening Chapel as usual and no tardiness permitted, better off for
the use they have made of this Precious Period."
We then sang the Star-Spangled Banner, all standing and facing the
piano, but watching to see if Fraulein sang, which she did. Because
there are those who consider that she is a German Spy.
I am now sitting in the Upper House, wondering what I can do. For
I am like this and always have been. I am an American through and
through, having been told that I look like a tipical American girl.
And I do not beleive in allowing Patriotism to be a matter of
words--words, emty words.
No. I am one who beleives in doing things, even though necesarily
small. What if I can be but one of the little drops of Water or
little grains of Sand? I am ready to rise like a lioness to my
country's call and would, if permitted and not considered imodest
by my Familey, put on the clothing of the Other Sex and go into the
What can I do?
It is strange to be going home in this manner, thinking of Duty and
not of boys and young men. Usualy when about to return to my
Familey I think of Clothes and AFFAIRS DE COUER, because at school
there is nothing much of either except on Friday evenings. But now
all is changed. All my friends of the Other Sex will have roused to
the defense of their Country, and will be away.
And I to must do my part, or bit, as the English say.
But what? Oh what?
APRIL 10TH. I am writing this in the Train, which accounts for poor
writing, etcetera. But I cannot wait for I now see a way to help my
The way I thought of it was this:
I had been sitting in deep thought, and although returning to my
Familey was feeling sad at the idea of my Country at war and I not
helping. Because what could I do, alone and unarmed? What was my
strength against that of the German Army? A trifle light as air!
It was at this point in my pain and feeling of being utterly
useless, that a young man in the next seat asked if he might close
the Window, owing to Soot and having no other coller with him. I assented.
How little did I realize that although resembling any other Male of
twenty years, he was realy Providence?
The way it happened was in this manner. Although not supposed to
talk on trains, owing to once getting the wrong suit-case,
etcetera, one cannot very well refuse to anser if one is merely
asked about a Window. And also I pride myself on knowing Human
Nature, being seldom decieved as to whether a gentleman or not. I
gave him a steady glance, and saw that he was one.
I then merely said to him that I hoped he intended to enlist,
because I felt that I could at least do this much for my Native Land.
"I have already done so," he said, and sat down beside me. He was
very interesting and I think will make a good soldier, although not
handsome. He said he had been to Plattsburg the summer before,
drilling, and had not been the same since, feeling now very ernest
and only smoking three times a day. And he was two inches smaller
in the waste and three inches more in chest. He then said:
"If some of you girls with nothing to do would only try it you
would have a new outlook on Life."
"Nothing to do!" I retorted, in an angry manner. "I am sick and
tired of the way my Sex is always reproached as having nothing to
do. If you consider French and music and Algebra and History and
English composition nothing, as well as keeping house and having
children and atending to social duties, I DO not."
"Sorry," he said, stiffly. "Of course I had no idea--do you mean
that you have a Familey of your own?"
"I was refering to my Sex in general," I replied, in a cold tone.
He then said that there were Camps for girls, like Plattsburg only
more Femanine, and that they were bully. (This was his word. I do
not use slang.)
"You see," he said, "they take a lot of over-indulged society girls
and make them over into real People."
Ye gods! Over-indulged!
"Why don't you go to one?" he then asked.
"Evadently," I said, "I am not a real Person."
"Well, I wouldn't go as far as that. But there isn't much left of
the way God made a girl, by the time she's been curled and dressed
and governessed for years, is there? They can't even walk, but they
talk about helping in the War. It makes me sick!"
I now saw that I had made a mistake, and began reading a Magazine,
so he went back to his seat and we were as strangers again. As I
was very angry I again opened my window, and he got a cinder in his
eye and had to have the Porter get it out.
He got out soon after, and he had the impertinance to stop beside
me and say:
"I hate to disapoint you, but I find I have a clean coller in my
bag after all." He then smiled at me, although I gave him no
encouragment whatever, and said: "You're sitting up much better,
you know. And if you would take off those heals I'll venture to say
you could WALK with any one."
I detested him with feirceness at that time. But since then I have
pondered over what he said. For it is my Nature to be fair and to
consider things from every angel. I therfore said this to myself.
"If members of the Male Sex can reduce their wastes and increase
their usefulness to their Native Land by camping, exercising and
drilling, why not get up a camp of my own, since I knew that I
would not be alowed to go away to train, owing to my Familey?"
I am always one to decide quickly. So I have now made a sketch of
a Unaform and written out the names of ten girls who will be home
when I am. I here write out the Purpose of our organisation:
To defend the Country and put ourselves into good Physical
Condition.--Memo: Look up "physical" as it looks odd, as if
MOTTO: To be voted on later.
DUES: Ten dollars each in advance to buy Tent, etcetera.
UNAFORM: Kakhi, with orange-colored necktie. In times of danger the
orange color to be changed to something which will not atract the
guns of the Enemy.
NAME: Girls' Aviation Corps. But to be known generally as the G. A.
C. as because of Spies and so on we must be as secret as possable.
I have done everything thus in advance, because we will have but a
short time, and besides I know that if everything is not settled
Jane will want to run things, and probably insist on a set of
By-Laws, etcetera, which will take to much time.
I have also decided to be Captain, as having organised the Camp and
having a right to be.
10 P. M. I am now in my familiar Chamber, and Hannah says they
intended to get new furnature but feel they should not, as War is
here and everything very expencive.
But I must not complain. It is war time.
I shall now record the events from 5 P. M. to the present.
Father met me at the station as usual, and asked me if I cared to
stop and buy some candy on the way home. Ye gods, was I in a mood
"I think not, father," I replied, in a dignafied way. "Our dear
Country is now at war, and it is no time for self-indulgence."
"Good for you!" he said. "Evadently that school of yours is worth
something after all. But we might have a bit of candy, anyhow,
don't you think? Because we want to keep our Industries going and
money in circulation."
I could not refuse under such circumstances, and purchaced five pounds.
Alas, war has already made changes in my Familey. George, the
butler, has felt the call of Duty and has enlisted, and we now have
a William who chips the best china, and looks like a German
although he says not, and willing to put out the Natioual Emblem
every morning from a window in father's dressing room. Which if he
is a Spy he would probably not do, or at least without being
I said nothing about the G. A. C. during dinner, as I was waiting
to see if father would give me ten dollars before I organized it.
But I am a person of strong feelings, and I was sad and depressed,
thinking of my dear Country at War and our beginning with soup and
going on through as though nothing was happening. I therfore
observed that I considered it unpatriotic, with the Enemy at our
gatez, to have Sauterne on the table and a Cocktail beforehand, as
well as expencive tobacco and so on, even although economising in
other ways, such as furnature.
"What's that?" my father said to me, in a sharp tone.
"Let her alone, father," Leila said. "She's just dramatising
herself as usual. We're probably in for a dose of Patriotism."
I would perhaps have made a sharp anser, but a street piano outside
began to play The Star-Spangled Banner. I then stood up, of course,
and mother said: "Sit down, for heaven's sake, Barbara."
"Not until our National Anthem is finished, mother," I said in a
tone of gentle reproof. "I may not vote or pay taxes, but this at
least I can do."
Well, father got up to, and drank his coffee standing. But he gave
William a dollar for the man outside, and said to tell him to keep
away at meal times as even patriotism requires nourishment.
After dinner in the drawing room, mother said that she was going to
let me give a Luncheon.
"There are about a dosen girls coming out when you do, Bab," she
said. "And you might as well begin to get acquainted. We can have
it at the Country Club, and have some boys, and tennis afterwards,
if the courts are ready."
"Mother!" I cried, stupafied. "How can you think of Social
pleasures when the enemy is at our gates?"
"Oh nonsense, Barbara," she replied in a cold tone. "We intend to
do our part, of course. But what has that to do with a small Luncheon?"
"I do not feel like festivaty," I said. "And I shall be very busy
this holaday, because although young there are some things I can do."
Now I have always loved my mother, although feeling sometimes that
she had forgoten about having been a girl herself once, and also
not being much given to Familey embrases because of her hair being
marceled and so on. I therfore felt that she would probably be
angry and send me to bed.
But she was not. She got up very sudenly and came around the table
while William was breaking a plate in the pantrey, and put her hand
on my shoulder.
"Dear little Bab!" she said. "You are right and I am wrong, and we
will just turn in and do what we can, all of us. We will give the
party money to the Red Cross."
I was greatly agatated, but managed to ask for the ten dollars for
my share of the Tent, etcetera, although not saying exactly what
for, and father passed it over to me. War certainly has changed my
Familey, for even Leila came over a few moments ago with a hat that
she had bought and did not like.
I must now stop and learn the Star-Spangled Banner by heart, having
never known but the first verse, and that not entirely.
LATER: How helpless I feel and how hopeless!
I was learning the second verse by singing it, when father came
over in his ROBE DE NUIT, although really pagamas, and said that he
enjoyed it very much, and of course I was right to learn it as
aforsaid. but that if the Familey did not sleep it could not be
very usefull to the Country the next day such as making shells and
APRIL 11TH: I have had my breakfast and called up Jane Raleigh. She
was greatly excited and said:
"I'm just crazy about it. What sort of a Unaform will we have?"
This is like Jane, who puts clothes before everything. But I told
her what I had in mind, and she said it sounded perfectly
"We each of us ought to learn some one thing," she said, "so we can
do it right. It's an age of Specialties. Suppose you take up
signaling, or sharp-shooting if you prefer it, and I can learn
wireless telegraphy. And maybe Betty will take the flying course,
because we ought to have an Aviator and she is afraid of nothing,
besides having an uncle who is thinking of buying an Aeroplane."
"What else would you sugest?" I said freezingly. Because to hear
her one would have considered the entire G. A. C. as her own idea.
"Well," she said, "I don't know, unless we have a Secret Service
and guard your father's mill. Because every one thinks he is going
to have trouble with Spies."
I made no reply to this, as William was dusting the Drawing Room,
but said, "Come over. We can discuss that privatly." I then rang off.
I am terrably worried, because my father is my best friend, having
always understood me. I cannot endure to think that he is in
danger. Alas, how true are the words of Dryden:
"War, he sung, is Toil and Trouble,
Honour but an empty Bubble."
NOON: Jane came over as soon as she had had her breakfast, and it
was a good thing I had everything written out, because she started
in right away to run things. She wanted a Constitution and By-Laws
as I had expected. But I was ready for her.
"We have a Constitution, Jane," I said, solemnly. "The Constitution
of the United States, and if it is good enough for a whole Country
I darsay it is good enough for us. As for By-laws, we can make them
as we need them, which is the way laws ought to be made anyhow."
We then made a list, Jane calling up as I got the numbers in the
telephone book. Everybody accepted, although Betty Anderson
objected to the orange tie because she has red hair, and one of the
Robinson twins could not get ten dollars because she was on
probation at School and her Familey very cold with her. But she had
loned a girl at school five dollars and was going to write for it
at once, and thought she could sell a last year's sweater for three
dollars to their laundress's daughter. We therfore admited her.
All is going well, unless our Parents refuse, which is not likely,
as we intend to purchace the Tent and Unaforms before consulting
them. It is the way of Parents not to care to see money wasted.
Our motto we have decided on. It is but three letters, W. I. H.,
and is a secret.
LATER: Sis has just informed me that Carter Brooks has not
enlisted, but is playing around as usual! I feel dreadfully, as he
is a friend of my Familey. Or rather WAS.
7 P. M.: The G. A. C. is a fact. It is also ready for duty. How
wonderful it is to feel that one is about to be of some use to
one's own, one's Native Land!
We held a meeting early this P. M. in our library, all doors being
closed and Sentries posted. I had made some fudge also, although
the cook, who is a new one, was not pleasant about the butter and
We had intended to read the Constitution of the U. S. out loud, but
as it is long we did not, but signed our names to it in my father's
copy of the American Common Wealth. We then went out and bought the
Tent and ten camp chairs, although not expecting to have much time
to sit down.
The G. A. C. was then ready for duty.
Before disbanding for the day I made a short speach in the shop,
which was almost emty. I said that it was our intention to show the
members of the Other Sex that we were ready to spring to the
Country's call, and also to assist in recruiting by visiting the
different Milatary Stations and there encouraging those who looked
faint-hearted and not willing to fight.
"Each day," I said, in conclusion, "one of us will be selected by
the Captain, myself, to visit these places and as soon as a man has
signed up, to pin a flower in his buttonhole. As we have but little
money, the tent having cost more than expected, we can use
carnations as not expencive."
The man who had sold us the tent thought this was a fine idea, and
said he thought he would enlist the next day, if we would be around.
We then went went to a book shop and bought the Plattsburg Manual, and
I read to the members of the Corps these rules, to be strictly observed:
1. Carry yourself at all times as though you were proud of
Yourself, your Unaform, and your Country.
2. Wear your hat so that the brim is parallel to the ground.
3. Have all buttons fastened.
4. Never have sleeves rolled up.
5. Never wear sleeve holders.
6. Never leave shirt or coat unbuttoned at the throat.
7. Have leggins and trousers properly laced. (Only leggins).
8. Keep shoes shined.
9. Always be clean shaved. (Unecessary).
10. Keep head up and shoulders square.
11. Camp life has a tendency to make one careless as to personal
cleanliness. Bear this in mind.
We then gave the Milatary Salute and disbanded, as it was time to
go home and dress for dinner.
On returning to my domacile I discovered that, although the sun had
set and the hour of twilight had arived, the Emblem of my Country
still floated in the breese. This made me very angry, and ringing
the door-bell I called William to the steps and pointing upward, I said:
"William, what does this mean?"
He pretended not to understand, although avoiding my eye.
"What does what mean, Miss Barbara?"
"The Emblem of my Country, and I trust of yours, for I understand
you are naturalized, although if not you'd better be, floating in
the breese AFTER SUNSET."
Did I or did I not see his face set into the lines of one who had
little or no respect for the Flag?
"I'll take it down when I get time, miss," he said, in a tone of
resignation. "But what with making the salid and laying the table
for dinner and mixing cocktails, and the cook so ugly that if I as
much as ask for the paprika she's likely to throw a stove lid, I
haven't much time for Flags."
I regarded him sternly.
"Beware, William," I said. "Remember that, although probably not a
Spy or at least not dangerous, as we in this country now have our
eyes open and will stand no nonsense, you must at all times show
proper respect to the National Emblem. Go upstairs and take it in."
"Very well, miss," he said. "But perhaps you will allow me to say
this, miss. There are to many houses in this country where the
Patriotic Feeling of the inhabatants are shown only by having a
paid employee hang out and take in what you call The Emblem."
He then turned and went in, leaving me in a stupafied state on the
But I am not one to be angry on hearing the truth, although
painfull. I therfore ran in after him and said:
"William, you are right and I am wrong. Go back to your Pantrey,
and leave the Flag to me. From now on it will be my duty."
I therfore went upstairs to my father's dressing room, where he was
shaveing for dinner, and opened the window. He was disagreable and
"Here, shut that! It's as cold as blue blazes."
I turned and looked at him in a severe manner.
"I am sorry, father," I said. "But as between you and my Country I
have no choice."
"What the dickens has the Country got to do with giving me
influensa?" he exclaimed, glaring at me. "Shut that window."
I folded my arms, but remained calm.
"Father," I said, in a low and gentle tone, "need I remind you that
it is at present almost seven P. M. and that the Stars and Stripes,
although supposed to be lowered at sunset, are still hanging out
"Oh, that's it, is it?" he said in a releived tone. "You're nothing
if you're not thorough, Bab! Well, as they have hung an hour and
fifteen minutes to long as it is, I guess the Country won't go to
the dogs if you shut that window until I get a shirt on. Go away
and send Williarm up in ten minutes."
"Father," I demanded, intencely, "do you consider yourself a Patriot?"
"Well," he said, "I'm not the shouting tipe, but I guess I'll be
around if I'm needed. Unless I die of the chill I'm getting just
now, owing to one shouting Patriot in the Familey."
"Is this your Country or William's?" I insisted, in an inflexable voice.
"Oh, come now," he said, "we can divide it, William and I. There's
enough for both. I'm not selfish."
It is always thus in my Familey. They joke about the most serious
things, and then get terrably serious about nothing at all, such as
overshoes on wet days, or not passing in French grammer, or having
a friend of the Other Sex, etcetera.
"There are to many houses in this country, father," I said, folding
my arms, "where the Patriotism of the Inhabatants is shown by
having a paid employee hang out and take in the Emblem between
Cocktails and salid, so to speak."
"Oh damm!" said my father, in a feirce voice. "Here, get away and
let me take it in. And as I'm in my undershirt I only hope the
neighbors aren't looking out."
He then sneazed twice and drew in the Emblem, while I stood at the
Salute. How far, how very far from the Plattsburg Manual, which
decrees that our flag be lowered to the inspiring music of the
Star-Spangled Banner, or to the bugel call, "To the Colors."
Such, indeed, is life.
LATER: Carter Brooks dropped in this evening. I was very cold to
him and said:
"Please pardon me if I do not talk much, as I am in low spirits."
"Low spirits on a holaday!" he exclaimed. "Well, we'll have to fix
that. How about a motor Picnic?"
It is always like that in our house. They regard a Party or a
Picnic as a cure for everything, even a heartache, or being worried
about Spies, etcetera.
"No, thank you," I said. "I am worried about those of my friends
who have enlisted." I then gave him a scornful glance and left the
room. He said "Bab!" in a strange voice and I heard him coming
after me. So I ran as fast as I could to my Chamber and locked the door.
IN CAMP GIRLS AVIATION CORPS, APRIL 12TH.
We are now in Camp, although not in Unaform, owing to the delivery
waggon not coming yet with our clothes. I am writing on a pad on my
knee, while my Orderley, Betty Anderson, holds the ink bottle.
What a morning we have had!
Would one not think that, in these terrable times, it would be a
simple matter to obtain a spot wherein to prepare for the defence
of the Country? Should not the Young be encouraged to spring to the
call, "To arms, to arms, ye braves!" instead of being reproved for
buying a Tent with no place as yet to put it, and the Adams's
governess being sent along with Elaine because we need a Chaperone?
Ye gods! A Chaperone to a Milatary Camp!
She is now sitting on one of the camp stools and embroidering a
centerpeice. She brought her own lunch and Elaine's, refusing to
allow her to eat the regular Milatary rations of bacon and boiled
potatoes, etcetera, and not ofering a thing to us, although having
brought chicken sandwitches, cake and fruit.
I shall now put down the events of the day, as although the Manual
says nothing of keeping a record, I am sure it is always done. Have
I not read, again and again, of the Captain's log, which is not
wood, as it sounds, but is a journal or Dairy?
This morning the man at the tent store called up and asked where to
send the tent. I then called a meeting in my Chamber, only to meet
with bitter disapointment, as one Parent after another had refused
to allow their grounds to be used. I felt sad--helpless, as our
house has no grounds, except for hanging out washing, etcetera.
I was very angry and tired to, having had to get up at sunrise to
put out the Emblem, and father having wakened and been very nasty.
So I got up and said:
"It is clear that our Families are Patriots in name only, and not
in deed. Since they have abandoned us, The G. A. C. must abandon
them and do as it thinks best. Between Familey and Country, I am
for the Country."
Here they all cheered, and Hannah came in and said mother had a
headache and to keep quiet.
I could but look around, with an eloquent gesture.
"You see, Members of the Corps," I said in a tence voice, "that
things at present are intollerable. We must strike out for
ourselves. Those who are willing please signafy by saying Aye."
They all said it and I then sugested that we take my car and as
many as possable of the officers and go out to find a suitable
spot. I then got my car and crowded into it the First and Second
Lieutenants, the Sergeant and the Quartermaster, which was Jane.
She had asked to be Veterinarian, being fond of dogs, but as we had
no animals, I had made her Quartermaster, giving her charge of the
Quarters, or Tent, etcetera. The others followed in the Adams's
limousine, taking also cooking utensils and food, although
Mademoiselle was very disagreeable about the frying pan and refused
to hold it.
We went first to the tent store. The man in the shop then
instructed me as to how to put up the Tent, and was very kind,
offering to send some one to do it. But I refused.
"One must learn to do things oneself if one is to be usefull," I
said. "It is our intention to call on no member of the Male Sex,
but to show that we can get along without them."
"Quite right," he said. "I'm sure you can get along without us,
miss, much better than we could get along without you."
Mademoiselle considered this a flirtatious speach and walked out of
the shop. But I consider that it was a General Remark and not
personal, and anyhow he was thirty at least, and had a married apearance.
As there was not room for the Tent and camp chairs in my car, the
delivery waggon followed us, making quite a procession.
We tried several farm houses, but one and all had no Patriotism
whatever and refused to let us use their terratory. It was
heartrending, for where we not there to help to protect that very
terratory from the enemy? But no, they cared not at all, and said
they did not want papers all over the place, and so on. One woman
observed that she did not object to us, but that we would probably
have a lot of boys hanging around and setting fire to things with
cigarettes, and anyhow if we were going to shoot it would keep the
hens from laying.
Ye gods! Is this our National Spirit?
I simply stood up in the car and said:
"Madame, we intend to have no Members of the Other Sex. And if you
put eggs above the Stars and Stripes you are nothing but a Traitor
and we will keep an eye on you."
We then went on, and at last found a place where no one was living,
and decided to claim it in the name of the government. We then put
up the tent, although not as tight as it should have been, owing to
the Adams's chauffeur not letting us have his wrench to drive the
pins in with, and were ready for the day's work.
We have now had luncheon and the Quartermaster, Jane, is burning
the papers and so on.
After I have finished this Log we will take up the signaling. We
have decided in this way: Lining up in a row, and counting one to
ten, and even numbers will study flag signals, and the odds will
take up telagraphy, which is very clearly shown in the Manual.
After that we will have exercises to make us strong and elastic,
and then target practise.
We have as yet no guns, but father has one he uses for duck
shooting in the fall, and Betty's uncle was in Africa last year and
has three, which she thinks she can secure without being noticed.
We have passed this Resolution: To have nothing to do with those of
the other Sex who are not prepared to do their Duty.
EVENING, APRIL 12TH. I returned to my domacile in time to take in
Old Glory, and also to dress for dinner, being muddy and needing a
bath, as we had tried bathing in the creek at the camp while
Mademoiselle was asleep in the tent, but found that there was an
oil well near and the water was full of oil, which stuck to us and
was very disagreeable to smell.
Carter Brooks came to dinner, and I played the National Anthem on
the phonograph as we went in to the Dining Room. Mother did not
like it, as the soup was getting cold, but we all stood until it
was finished. I then saluted, and we sat down.
Carter Brooks sat beside me, and he gave me a long and piercing glance.
"What's the matter with you, Bab?" he said. "You were rather rude
to me last night and now you've been looking through me and not at
me ever since I came, and I'll bet you're feverish."
"Not at all." I said, in a cold tone. "I may be excited, because of war
and my Country's Peril. But for goodness sake don't act like the Familey,
which always considers that I am sick when I am merely intence."
"Intence about what?" he asked.
But can one say when one's friends are a disapointment to one? No,
or at least not at the table.
The others were not listening, as father was fussing about my
waking him at daylight to put out the Emblem.
"Just slide your hand this way, under the table cloth," Carter
Brooks said in a low tone. "It may be only intencity, but it looks
most awfully like chicken pocks or somthing."
So I did, considering that it was only Politeness, and he took it
"Don't jerk! It is nice and warm and soft, but not feverish. What's
"It's a blister," I said. And as the others were now complaining
about the soup, I told him of the Corps, etcetera, thinking that
perhaps it would rouse him to some patriotic feelings. But no, it
"Now look here," he said, turning and frowning at me, "Aviation
Corps means flying. Just remember this,--if I hear of your trying
any of that nonsense I'll make it my business to see that you're
locked up, young lady."
"I shall do exactly as I like, Carter" I said in a, friggid manner.
"I shall fly if I so desire, and you have nothing to say about it."
However, seeing that he was going to tell my father, I added:
"We shall probably not fly, as we have no machine. There are
Cavalry Regiments that have no horses, aren't there? But we are but
at the beginning of our Milatary existence, and no one can tell
what the next day may bring forth."
"Not with you, anyhow," he said in an angry tone, and was very cold
to me the rest of the dinner hour.
They talked about the war, but what a disapointment was mine! I had
returned from my Institution of Learning full of ferver, and it was
a bitter moment when I heard my father observe that he felt he
could be of more use to his Native Land by making shells than by
marching and carrying a gun, as he had once had milk-leg and was
never the same since.
"Of course," said my father, "Bab thinks I am a slacker. But a
shell is more valuable against the Germans than a milk leg, anytime."
I at that moment looked up and saw William looking at my father in
a strange manner. To those who were not on the alert it might have
apeared that he was trying not to smile, my father having a way of
indulging in "quips and cranks and wanton wiles" at the table which
mother does not like, as our Butlers are apt to listen to him and
not fill the glasses and so on.
But if my Familey slept mentaly I did not. AT ONCE I suspected
William. Being still not out, and therfore not listened to with
much atention, I kept my piece and said nothing. And I saw this.
WILLIAM WAS NOT WHAT HE SEEMED.
As soon as dinner was over I went into my father's den, where he
brings home drawings and estamates, and taking his Leather Dispach
case, I locked it in my closet, tying the key around my neck with
a blue ribben. I then decended to the lower floor, and found Carter
Brooks in the hall.
"I want to talk to you," he said. "Have you young Turks--I mean
young Patriots any guns at this camp of yours?"
"But you expect to, of course?"
I looked at him in a steady manner.
"When you have put on the Unaform of your Country" I said, "or at least
of Plattsburg, I shall tell you my Milatary secrets, and not before."
"Plattsburg!" he exclaimed. "What do you know of Plattsburg?"
I then told him, and he listened, but in a very disagreeable way.
And at last he said:
"The plain truth, Bab, is that some good-looking chap has filled
you up with a lot of dope which is meant for men, not romantic
girls. I'll bet to cents that if a fellow with a broken noze or a
squint had told you, you'd have forgotten it the next minute."
I was exasparated. Because I am tired of being told that the
defence of our Dear Country is a masculine matter.
"Carter" I said, "I do not beleive in the double, standard, and
"The double standard," I said with dignaty. "It was all well and
good when war meant wearing a kitchin stove and wielding a lance.
It is no longer so. And I will show you."
I did not mean to be boastfull, such not being my nature. But I did
not feel that one who had not yet enlisted, remarking that there
was time enough when the Enemy came over, etcetera, had any right
to criticise me.
12 MIDNIGHT. How can I set down what I have discovered? And having
recorded it, how be sure that Hannah will not snoop around and find
this record, and so ruin everything?
It is midnight. Leila is still out, bent on frivolaty. The rest of
the Familey sleeps quietly, except father, who has taken cold and
is breathing through his mouth, and I sit here alone, with my secret.
William is a Spy. I have the proofs. How my hand trembles as I set
down the terrable words.
I discovered it thus.
Feeling somewhat emty at bed time and never sleeping well when
hollow inside, I went down to the pantrey at eleven P. M. to see if
any of the dinner puding had been left, although not hopeful, owing
to the servants mostly finishing the desert.
WILLIAM WAS IN THE PANTREY.
He was writing somthing, and he tried to hide it when I entered.
Being in my ROBE DE NUIT I closed the door and said through it:
"Please go away, William. Because I want to come in, unless all the
puding is gone."
I could hear him moving around, as though concealing somthing.
"There is no puding, miss," he said. "And no fruit except for
breakfast. Your mother is very particuler that no one take the
"William," I said sternly, "go out by the kitchen door. Because I
am hungry, and I am coming in for SOMTHING."
He was opening and closing the pantrey drawers, and although young,
and not a housekeeper, I knew that he was not looking in them for edables.
"If you'll go up to your room, Miss Bab," he said, "I'll mix you an
Eggnogg, without alkohol, of course, and bring it up. An Eggnogg is
a good thing to stay the stomache with at night. I frequently
resort to one myself."
I saw that he would not let me in, so I agreed to the Eggnogg, but
without nutmeg, and went away. My knees tremble to think that into
our peacefull home had come "Grim-vizaged War," but I felt keen and
capable of dealing with anything, even a Spy.
William brought up the Eggnogg, with a dash of sherry in it, and I
could hear him going up the stairs to his chamber. I drank the
Eggnogg, feeling that I would need all my strength for what was to
come, and then went down to the pantrey. It was in perfect order,
except that one of the tea towles had had a pen wiped on it.
I then went through the drawers one by one, although not hopeful,
because he probably had the incrimanating document in the heal of
his shoe, which Spies usually have made hollow for the purpose, or
sowed in the lining of his coat.
At least, so I feared. But it was not so. Under one of the best
table cloths I found it.
Yes. I FOUND IT.
I copy it here in my journal, although knowing nothing of what it
means. Is it a scheme to blow up my father's mill, where he is
making shells for the defence of his Native Land? I do not know.
With shaking hands I put it down as follows:
48 D. K.
48 D. F.
36 S. F.
34 F. F.
36 T. S.
36 S. S.
36 C. S.
24 I. H. K.
36 F. K.
But in one way its meaning is clear. Treachery is abroad and
Treason has but just stocked up the stairs to its Chamber.
APRIL 13TH. It is now noon and snowing, although supposed to be
spring. I am writing this Log in the tent, where we have built a
fire. Mademoiselle is sitting in the Adams's limousine, wrapped in
rugs. She is very sulky.
There are but nine of us, as I telephoned the Quartermaster early this
morning and summoned her to come over and discuss important business.
Her Unaform had come and so had mine. What a thrill I felt as she
entered Headquarters (my chamber) in kakhi and saluted. She was
about to sit down, but I reminded her that war knows no intimacies,
and that I was her Captain. She therfore stood, and I handed her
William's code. She read it and said:
"What is it?"
"That is what the G. A. C. is to find out," I said. "It is a cipher."
"It looks like it," said Jane in a flutering tone. "Oh, Bab, what
are we to do?"
I then explained how I had discovered it and so on.
"Our first duty," I went on, "is to watch William. He must be
followed and his every movement recorded. I need not tell you that
our mill is making shells, and that the fate of the Country may
hang on you today."
"On me?" said Jane, looking terrafied.
"On you. I have selected you for this first day. To-morrow it will
be another. I have not yet decided which. You must remain secreted
here, but watching. If he goes out, follow him."
I was again obliged to remind her of my rank and so on, as she sat
down and began to object at once.
"The Familey," I said, "will be out all day at First Aid classes.
You will be safe from discovery."
Here I am sorry to say Jane disapointed me, for she observed, bitterly:
"No luncheon, I suppose!"
"Not at all," I said. "It is a part of the Plattsburg idea that a
good soldier must have nourishment, as his strength is all he has,
the Officers providing the brains."
I then rang for Hannah, and ofered her to dollars to bring Jane a
tray at noon and to sneak it from the kitchin, not the pantrey.
"From the kitchin?" she said. "Miss Bab, it's as much as my life is
worth to go to the kitchin. The cook and that new Butler are
fighting something awfull."
Jane and I exchanged glances.
"Hannah," I said, in a low tone, "I can only say this. If you but
do your part you may avert a great calamaty."
"My God, Miss Bab!" she cried. "That cook's a German. I said so
from the beginning."
"Not the cook, Hannah."
We were all silent. It was a terrable moment. I shortly afterwards
left the house, leaving Jane to study flag signals, or wig-waging
as vulgarly called, and TO WATCH.
CAMP, 4 P. M. Father has just been here.
We were trying to load one of Betty's uncle's guns when my Orderley
reported a car coming at a furious gate. On going to the opening of
the tent I saw that it was our car with father and Jane inside.
They did not stop in the road, but turned and came into the field,
Father leaped out and exclaimed:
He then folded his arms and looked around.
"Upon my word, Bab!" he said. "You might at least take your Familey
into your confidence. If Jane had not happened to be at the house
I'd never have found you. But never mind about that now. Have you
or have you not seen my leather Dispach Case?"
Alas, my face betrayed me, being one that flushes easily and then
"I thought so," he said, in an angry voice. "Do you know that you
have kept a Board of Directors sitting for three hours, and
that--Bab, you are hopeless! Where is it?"
How great was my humiliation, although done with the Highest
Motives, to have my Corps standing around and listening. Also
watching while I drew out the rihben and the key.
"I hid it in my closet, father," I said.
"Great thunder!" he said. "And we have called in the Secret Service!"
He then turned on his heal and stocked away, only stopping to stare
at Mademoiselle in the car, and then driving as fast as possable
back to the mill.
As he had forgotten Jane, she was obliged to stay. It was by now
raining, and the Corps wanted to go home. But I made a speach, saying
that if we weakened now what would we do in times of Real Danger?
"What are a few drops of rain?" I inquired, "to the falling of
bullets and perhaps shells? We will now have the class in bandageing."
The Corps drew lots as to who would be bandaged, there being no
volunteers, as it was cold and necesary to remove Unaform etcetera.
Elaine got number seven. The others then practiced on her, having
a book to go by.
I here add to this log Jane's report on William. He had cleaned
silver until 1 P. M., when he had gone back to the kitchin and
moved off the soup kettle to boil some dish towles. The cook had
then set his dish towles out in the yard and upset the pan,
pretending that a dog had done so. Hannah had told Jane about it.
At 1:45 William had gone out, remarking that he was going to the
drug store to get some poizon for the cook. Jane had followed him
and HE HAD REALLY MAILED A LETTER.
APRIL 14TH. I have taken a heavy cold and am, alas, HORS DE COMBAT.
The Familey has issued orders that I am to stay in bed this A. M.
and if stopped sneazing by 2 P. M. am to be allowed up but not to
go to Camp.
Elaine is in bed to, and her mother called up and asked my Parents
if they would not send me back to school, as I had upset everything
and they could not even get Elaine to the Dentist's, as she kept
talking about teeth being unimportant when the safety of the Nation
was hanging in the Balence.
As I lie here and reflect, it seems to me that everywhere around me
I see nothing but Sloth and Indiference. One would beleive that
nothing worse could happen than a Cook giving notice. Will nothing
rouze us to our Peril? Are we to sit here, talking about housecleaning
and sowing women and how wide are skirts, when the minions of the German
Army may at any time turn us into slaves? Never!
LATER: Carter Brooks has sent me a book on First Aid. Ye gods, what
chance have I at a wounded Soldier when every person of the
Femanine Sex in this Country is learning First Aid, and even hoping
for small accidents so they can practice on them. No, there are
some who can use their hands (i. e. at bandageing and cutting small
boils, etcetera. Leila has just cut one for Henry, the chauffeur,
although not yellow on top and therfore not ready) and there are
others who do not care for Nursing, as they turn sick at the sight
of blood, and must therfore use their brains. I am of this class.
William brought up my tray this morning. I gave him a peircing
glance and said:
"Is the Emblem out?"
He avoided my eye.
"Not yet, miss," he said. "Your father left sharp orders as to
being disturbed before 8 A. M."
"As it is now 9:30," I observed coldly, "there has been time enough
lost. I am HORS DE COMBAT, or I would have atended to it long ago."
He had drawn a stand beside the bed, and I now sat up and looked at
my Tray. The orange was cut through the wrong way!
Had I needed proof, dear log or journal, I had it there. For any
BUTLER knows how to cut a breakfast orange.
"William," I said, as he was going out, "how long have you been a Butler?"
Perhaps this was a foolish remark as being calculated to put him on
his guard. But "out of the fullness of the Heart the Mouth
speaketh." It was said. I could not withdraw my words.
He turned suddenly and looked at me.
"Me, miss?" he said in a far to inocent tone. "Why, I don't know
exactly. " He then smiled and said: "There are some who think I am
not much of a Butler now."
"Just a word of advise, William," I said in a signifacant tone. "A
real Butler cuts an orange the other way. I am telling you, because
although having grape fruit mostly, some morning some one may order
an orange, and one should be very careful THESE DAYS."
Shall I ever forget his face as he went out? No, never. He knew
that I knew, and was one to stand no nonsense. But I had put him on
his guard. It was to be a battle of Intellagence, his brains
Although regretful at first of having warned him, I feel now that
it is as well. I am one who likes to fight in the open, not as a
serpent coiled in the grass and pretending, like the one in the
Bible, to be a friend.
3 P. M. No new developments. Although forbidden to go out nothing
was said about the roof. I have therfore been up on it exchanging
Signals with Lucy Gray next door by means of flags. As their roof
slants and it is still raining, she sliped once and slid to the
gutter. She then sat there and screamed like a silly, although they
got her back with a clothesline which the Policeman asked for.
But Mrs. Gray was very unpleasant from one of their windows and
said I was a Murderer at heart.
Has the Average Parent no soul?
NOON, APRIL 14 (In Camp).
This is a fine day, being warm and bright and all here but Elaine
and Mademoiselle--the latter not greatly missed, as although French
and an Ally she thinks we should be knitting etcetera, and ordered
the car to be driven away when ever we tried to load the gun.
A quorum being present, it was moved and seconded that we express
wherever possable our disaproval in war time of
3. Low-necked dresses
5. Fancy deserts
6. Golf and other sports--except when necesary for health.
We also pleged ourselves to try and make our Families rise early,
and to insist on Members of our Families hoisting and taking down
the Stars and Stripes, instead of having it done by those who may
not respect it, or only aparently so.
The class in Telegraphy reported that it could do little or
nothing, as it is easy to rap out a dot but not possable to rap a
dash. We therfore gave it up for The Study of the Rifle and Its Care.
Luncheon today: Canned salmon, canned beans and vanila wafers.
2 A. M., APRIL 15TH. I have seen a Spy at his nefarius work!
I am still trembling. At one moment I think that I must go again to
Father and demand consideration, as more mature than he seems to
think, and absolutely certain I was not walking in my sleep. But
the next moment I think not, but that if I can discover William's
plot myself, my Familey will no longer ignore me and talk about my
studying Vocal next winter instead of coming out.
To return to William, dear Log or journal. I had been asleep for
some time, but wakened up to find myself standing in the dining room
with a napkin in each hand. I was standing in the Flag Signal position
for A, which is the only one I remember as yet without the Manual.
I then knew that I had been walking in my sleep, having done so
several times at School, and before Examinations being usualy tied
by my Room-mate with a string from my ankle to the door knob, so as
in case of getting out of bed to wake up.
I was rather scared, as I do not like the dark, feeling when in it
that Something is behind me and about to cluch at me.
I therfore stood still and felt like screaming, when suddenly the
door of the Butler's pantrey squeaked. Could I then have shreiked
I would have, but I had no breath for the purpose.
Somebody came into the room and felt for the table, passing close
by me and stepping by accident on the table bell, which is under
the rug. It rang and scared me more than ever. We then both stood
still, and I hoped if he or it heard my Heart thump he or it would
think it was the hall clock.
After a time the footsteps moved on around the table and out into
the hall. I was still standing in position A, being as it were
However, seeing that it was something human and not otherwise, as
its shoes creaked, I now became angry at the thought that Treason
was under the roof of my home. I therfore followed the Traitor out
into the hall and looked in through the door at him. He had a flash
light, and was opening the drawers of my father's desk. It was William.
I then concealed myself behind my father's overcoat in the hack
hall, and considered what to do. Should I scream and be probably
killed, thus dying a noble Death? Or should I remain still? I
decided on the latter.
And now, dear Log or Journal, I must record what followed, which I
shall do as acurately as I can, in case of having later on to call
in the Secret Service and read this to them.
There is a safe built in my resadence under the stairs, in which
the silver service, plates, etcetera, are stored, as to big for the
Safe Deposit, besides being a nusance to send for every time there
is a dinner.
This safe only my father can unlock, or rather, this I fondly
believed until tonight. But how diferent are the facts! For William
walked to it, after listening at the foot of the stairs, and opened
it as if he had done so before quite often. He then took from it my
father's Dispach Case, locked the safe again, and went back through
the dining room.
It is a terrable thing to see a crime thus comitted and to know not
what to do. Had William repaired again to his chamber, or would he
return for the plates, etcetera?
At last I crept upstairs to my father's room, which was locked. I
could not waken him by gently taping, and I feared that if I made
a noise I would warn the lurking Criminal in his den. I therfore
went to my bathroom and filled my bath sponge with water, and threw
it threw the transom in the direction of my father's bed.
As it happened it struck on his face, and I heard him getting up
and talking dreadfully to himself. Also turning on the lights. I
put my mouth to the keyhole and said:
Had he but been quiet, all would have been well. But he opened the
door and began roaring at me in a loud tone, calling me an imp of
Mischeif and other things, and yelling for a towle.
I then went in and closed the door and said:
"That's right. Bellow and spoil it all."
"Spoil what?" he said, glareing at me. "There's nothing left to
spoil, is there? Look at that bed! Look at me!"
"Father," I said, "while you are raging about over such a thing as
a wet Sponge, which I was driven to in desparation, the house is or
rather has been robbed."
He then sat down on the bed and said:
"You are growing up, Bab, although it is early for the burglar
obsession. Go on, though. Who is robbing us and why? Because if he
finds any Money I'll divide with him."
Such a speach discouraged me, for I can bear anything except to be
laughed at. I therfore said:
"William has just taken your Dispach Case out of the safe. I saw him."
"William," I repeated in a tence voice.
He was then alarmed and put on his slippers and dressing gown.
"You stay here," he observed. "Personally I think you've had a bad
dream, because William can't possably know the combination of that
safe. It's as much as I can do to remember it myself."
"It's a Spy's business to know everything, father."
He gave me a peircing glance.
"He's a Spy, is he?" he then said. "Well, I might have known that
all this war preparation of yours would lead to Spies. It has
turned more substantile intellects than yours."
He then swiched on the hall lights from the top of the stairs and
desended. I could but wait at the top, fearing at each moment a shot
would ring out, as a Spy's business is such as not to stop at Murder.
My father unlocked the safe and looked in it. Then he closed it
again and disapeared into the back of the house. How agonising were
the moments that ensued! He did not return, and at last, feeling
that he had met a terrable Death, I went down.
I went through the fatal dining room to the pantrey and there found
him not only alive, but putting on a plate some cold roast beef and
"I thought we'd have a bite to eat," he said. "I need a little
nourishment before getting back into that puddle to sleep."
"Father!" I said. "How can you talk of food when knowing----"
"Get some salt and pepper," he said, "and see if there is any
mustard mixed. You've had a dream, Bab. That's all. The Case is in
the safe, and William is in his bed, and in about two minutes a
cold repast is going to be in me."
He is now asleep, and I am writing this at 2 A. M.
I, and I alone, know that there is a Criminal in this house,
serving our meals and quareling with the cook as if a regular
Butler, but really a Spy. And although I cry aloud in my anguish,
those who hear me but maintain that I am having a nightmare.
I am a Voice crying in the Wilderness.
APRIL 15TH: 9 A. M. William is going about as usual, but looks as
though he had not had enough sleep.
Father has told mother about last night, and I am not to have
coffee in the evenings. This is not surprizing, as they have always
considered me from a physical and not a mental standpoint.
My very Soul is in revolt.
6 P. M. This being Sunday, camp did not convene until 3 P. M. and
then but for a short time. We flag-signaled mostly and are now to
the letter E. Also got the gun loaded at last and fired it several
times, I giving the orders as in the book, page 262, in a loud voice:
(1) "Hold the rifle on the mark." (2) "Aim properly." (3) "Squeeze
the Triger properly." (4) "Call the shot."
We had but just started, and Mademoiselle had taken the car and
gone back to the Adams's residence to bring out Mr. Adams, as she
considers gun-shooting as dangerous, when a farmer with to dogs
came over a fense and objected, saying that it was Sunday and that
his cows were getting excited anyhow and would probahly not give
"These are War times," I said, in a dignafied manner. "And if you
are doing nothing for the country yourself you should at least
allow others to do so."
He was a not unreasonable tipe and this seemed to effect him. For
he sat down on one of our stools and said:
"Well, I don't know about that, miss. You see----"
"Captain," I put in. Because he might as well know that we meant
"Captain, of course!" he said. "You'll have to excuze me. This
thing of Women in War is new to me. But now don't you think that
you'll be doing the country a service not to interfere with the
food supply and so on?" He then looked at me and remarked: "If I
was you, miss or Captain, I would not come any to clost to my
place. My wife was pretty well bruized up that time you upset our
IT WAS INDEED HE! But he was not unpleasant about it, although
remarking that if he had a daughter and a machine, although he had
niether, and expected niether, the one would never be allowed to
have the other until carefully taught on an emty road.
He then said:
"You girls have been wig-wagging, I see."
"We are studying flag signals."
"Humph!" he observed. "I used to know something about that myself,
in the Spanish war. Now let's see what I remember. Watch this. And
somebody keep an eye on that hill and report if a blue calico dress
is charging from the enemies' Trenches."
It was very strange to see one who apeared to be but an ordinary
Farmer, Or Milkman, pick up our flags and wave them faster than we
could read them. It was indeed thrilling, although discouraging,
because if that was the regular rate of Speed we felt that we could
never acheive it. I remarked this, and he then said:
"Work hard at it, and I reckon I can slip over now and then and
give you a lesson. Any girl that can drive an automobile hell-bent"
(these are his words, not mine) "can do most anything she sets her
mind on. You leave that gun alone, and work at the signaling, and
I guess I can make out to come every afternoon. I start out about
2 A. M. and by noon I'm mostly back."
We all thanked him, and saluted as he left. He saluted to, and said:
"Name's Schmidt, but don't worry about that. Got some German blood
way back, but who hasn't?"
He then departed with his to dogs, and we held a meeting, and voted
to give up everything but signaling.
8 P. M. I am now at home. Dinner is over, being early on Sundays
because of Servants' days out and so on.
Leila had a Doctor to dinner. She met him at the Red Cross, and he
would, I think, be a good husband. He sat beside me, and I talked
mostly about her, as I wished him to know that, although having her
faults as all have, she would be a good wife.
"She can sow very well," I told him, "and she would probably like
to keep House, but of course has no chance here, as mother thinks
no one can manage but herself."
"Indeed!" he said, looking at me. "But of course she will probably
have a house of her own before long."
"Very likely," I said. "Although she has had a number of chances
and always refuses."
"Probably the right Person has not happened along;" he observed.
"Perhaps," I said, in a signifacant tone. "Or perhaps he does not
know he is the right Person."
William, of whom more anon, was passing the ice cream just then. I
refused it, saying:
"Not in war time."
"Barbara," mother said, stiffly. "Don't be a silly. Eat your desert."
As I do not like seens I then took a little, but no cake.
During dinner Leila made an observation which has somewhat changed
my opinion of Carter Brooks. She said his mother did not want him
to enlist which was why he had not. She has no other sons and
probably never will have, being a widow.
I have now come to William.
Lucy Gray had been on Secret Service that day, but did the
observing from the windows of their house, as my Familey was at
home and liable to poke into my room at any moment.
William had made it up with the cook, Lucy said, and had showed her
a game of Solitaire in the morning by the kitchin window. He had
then fallen asleep in the pantrey, the window being up. In the
afternoon, luncheon being over and the Familey out in the car for
a ride, he had gone out into the yard behind the house and
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