ONE OF THE OLD GIRLS
And I'd reach up and pat his cheek and say, 'You need a shave, old man.'
"'I know it,' he'd say, rubbing his cheek up against mine.
"'Hurry up and wash, now. Supper'll be ready.'
"'Where are the kids?' he'd ask. 'The house is as quiet as the grave. Hurry up and get well, kid. It's darn lonesome without you at the table, and the children's manners are getting something awful, and I never can find my shirts. Lordy, I guess we won't celebrate when you get up! Can't you eat a little something nourishing for supper—beefsteak, or a good plate of soup, or something?'
"Men are like that, you know. So I'd say then: 'Run along, you old goose! You'll be suggesting sauerkraut and wieners next. Don't you let Millie have any marmalade to-night. She's got a spoiled stomach.'
"And then he'd pound off down the hall to wash up, and I'd shut my eyes, and smile to myself, and everything would be all right, because he was home."
There was a long silence. Effie's eyes were closed. But two great tears stole out from be-