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The Black Cat

March, 1898

Across the Range.


I AM an American girl, married to an Englishman. He didn't marry me for money, because I hadn't a red cent; "and I didn't marry him for title, because he hasn't one and never will have. I never meant to marry a foreigner; my sister was an army woman, and I intended to follow the drum," too. Guard mount was delightful, "hops" still better, and being quarreled about, best of all.

But Lucian came, saw, and conquered. He didn't dance, he didn't flirt, he talked little and studied much. After six weeks of dancing, flirting, and love-making men, a gill welcomes something else as a change. When Lucian told me that he had been sent out by the Royal Society to do some important work for them, when he stayed at home and made calculations while everybody else was having a good time, I was fascinated.

He was the only man I ever saw who I thought was too good for me, and I was proud and happy when he asked me to be his wife. It disturbed me a little that he didn't seem to know how to make love, but after we were married and he took me to my new home, I found that he did!

Lucian's mother is dead, but he has five unmarried brothers, a darling old aunt, and the dearest father in the world; as the one girl in the family, I have been absolutely spoiled ever since I became a member of it. The girls at homo had pitied me because, as they said, American women have so much admiration, and then when they get to England have to bike back seats, and they assured me I would find a great difference. I did; in America I had a front scat, in England I have a throne.

We had been married over a year when Lucian came in one day and sat down on the arm of my chair—there is a point, my sister sits on the arm of her husband's chair.

"Nelly," he said, in his sweet, deep voice, "would you come and live with me on an island that is almost a desert?"

I screwed up my mouth and considered. I might have said that it would be bliss to live with him on an island that was altogether a desert, but only one member of the family says such things, and I prefer listening to speaking.

"That depends," I said slowly; "why should we desert dad, and aunty, and the boys, and be Robinson Crusoes? Is there any real reason for it?"


"All rig...

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