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|Rudder Grange||Frank R. Stockton|
The New Rudder Grange
|Page 4 of 7||
I could give Euphemia no clue. I supposed there was some mistake, and that was all I could say, except that I was sleepy, and that we could find out all about it in the morning. But Euphemia could not dismiss the subject from her mind. She said no more,--but I could see--until I fell asleep--that she was thinking about it.
It must have been about the middle of the night, perhaps later, when I was suddenly awakened by Euphemia starting up in the bed, with the exclamation:
"I have it!"
"What?" I cried, sitting up in a great hurry. "What is it? What have you got? What's the matter?"
"I know it!" she said, "I know it. Our boarder is a GRANDFATHER! Little Adele is the grown-up daughter's child. He was quite particular to say that his wife married VERY young. Just to think of it! So short a time ago, he was living with us--a bachelor--and now, in four short months, he is a grandfather!"
Carefully propounded inquiries, in the morning, proved Euphemia's conclusions to be correct.
The next evening, when we were quietly sitting in our own room, Euphemia remarked that she did not wish to have anything to do with French flats.
"They seem to be very convenient," I said.
"Oh yes, convenient enough, but I don't like them. I would hate to live where everything let down like a table-lid, or else turned with a crank. And when I think of those fire-escapes, and the boarder's grandchild, it makes me feel very unpleasantly."
"But the grandchild don't follow as a matter of course," said I.
"No," she answered, "but I shall never like French flats."
And we discussed them no more.
For some weeks we examined into every style of economic and respectable housekeeping, and many methods of living in what Euphemia called "imitation comfort" were set aside as unworthy of consideration.
"My dear," said Euphemia, one evening, "what we really ought to do is to build. Then we would have exactly the house we want."
"Very true," I replied; "but to build a house, a man must have money."
"Oh no!" said she, "or at least not much. For one thing, you might join a building association. In some of those societies I know that you only have to pay a dollar a week."
"But do you suppose the association builds houses for all its members?" I asked.
"Of course I suppose so. Else why is it called a building association?"
I had read a good deal about these organizations, and I explained to Euphemia that a dollar a week was never received by any of them in payment for a new house.
"Then build yourself," she said; "I know how that can be done."
"Oh, it's easy enough," I remarked, "if you have the money."
"No, you needn't have any money," said Euphemia, rather hastily. "Just let me show you. Supposing, for instance, that you want to build a house worth--well, say twenty thousand dollars, in some pretty town near the city."
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