List Of Contents | Contents of The Treasure, by Kathleen Norris
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thought of us! And I'll bring Owen home to dinner to-morrow. Is that
all right, Mother?" she asked, as her mother came back into the

"Owen? Certainly, dear; we're always glad to see him," Mrs.
Salisbury said, a shade too casually, in a tone well calculated
neither to alarm nor encourage, balanced to keep events
uninterruptedly in their natural course. But Alexandra was too deep
in thought to notice a tone.

"You'll see--this is something entirely new, and just what we need!"
she said gaily.


The constant visits of Owen Sargent, had he been but a few years
older, and had Sandy been a few years older, would have filled Mrs.
Salisbury's heart with a wild maternal hope. As it was, with Sandy
barely nineteen, and Owen not quite twenty-two, she felt more
tantalizing discomfort in their friendship than satisfaction. Owen
was a dear boy, queer, of course, but fine in every way, and Sandy
was quite the prettiest girl in River Falls; but it was far too soon
to begin to hope that they would do the entirely suitable and
acceptable thing of falling in love with each other. "That would be
quite too perfect!" thought Mrs. Salisbury, watching them together.

No; Owen was too rich to be overlooked by all sorts of other girls,
scrupulous and unscrupulous. Every time he went with his mother for
a week to Atlantic City or New York, Mrs. Salisbury writhed in
apprehension of the thousand lures that must be spread on all sides
about his lumbering feet. He was just the sweet, big, simple sort to
be trapped by some little empty-headed girl, some little marplot
clever enough to pretend an interest in the prison problem, or the
free-milk problem, or some other industrial problem in which Owen
had seen fit to interest himself. And her lovely, dignified Sandy,
reflected the mother, a match for him in every way, beautiful, good,
clever, just the woman to win him, by her own charm and the charms
of children and home, away from the somewhat unnatural interests
with which he had surrounded himself, must sit silent and watch him
throw himself away.

Sandy, of course, had never had any idea of Owen in this light, of
that her mother was quite sure. Sandy treated him as she did her own
brothers, frankly, despotically, delightfully. And perhaps it was
wiser, after all, not to give the child a hint, for it was evident
that the shy, gentle Owen was absolutely at home and happy in the
Salisbury home; nothing would be gained by making Sandy feel self-
conscious and responsible now.

Mrs. Salisbury really did not like Owen Sargent very well, although
his money made her honestly think she did. He had a wide, pleasant,
but homely face, and an aureole of upstanding yellow hair, and a
manner as unaffected as might have been expected from the child of
his plain old genial father, and his mother, the daughter of a
tanner. He lived alone, with his widowed mother, in a pleasant, old-
fashioned house, set in park-like grounds that were the pride of
River Falls. His mother often asked waitresses' unions and fresh-air
homes to make use of these grounds for picnics, but Mrs. Salisbury
knew that the house belonged to Owen, and she liked to dream of a
day when Sandy's babies should tumble on those smooth lawns, and
Sandy, erect and beautifully furred, should bring her own smart
little motor car through that tall iron gateway.

These dreams made her almost effusive in her manner to Owen, and
Owen, who was no fool, understood perfectly what she was thinking of
him; he understood his own energetic, busy mother; and he understood
Sandy's mother, too. He knew that his money made him well worth any
mother's attention.

But, like her mother, he believed Sandy too young to have taken any
cognizance of it. He thought the girl liked him as she liked anyone
else, for his own value, and he sometimes dreamed shyly of her
pleasure in suddenly realizing that Mrs. Owen Sargent would be a
rich woman, the mistress of a lovely home, the owner of beautiful

Both, however, were mistaken in Sandy. Her blue, blue eyes, so oddly
effective under the silky fall of her straight, mouse-colored hair,
were very keen. She knew exactly why her mother suggested that Owen
should bring her here or there in the car, "Daddy and the boys and I
will go in our old trap, just behind you!" She knew that Owen
thought that her quick hand over his, in a game of hearts, the
thoughtful stare of her demure eyes, across the dinner table, the
help she accepted so casually, climbing into his big car--were all
evidences that she was as unconscious of his presence as Stan was.
But in reality the future for herself of which Sandy confidently
dreamed was one in which, in all innocent complacency, she took her
place beside Owen as his wife. Clumsy, wild-haired, bashful he might
be at twenty-two, but the farsighted Sandy saw him ten years, twenty
years later, well groomed, assured of manner, devotedly happy in his
home life. She considered him entirely unable to take care of
himself, he needed a good wife. And a good, true, devoted wife Sandy
knew she would be, fulfilling to her utmost power all his lonely,
little-boy dreams of birthday parties and Christmas revels.

To do her justice, she really and deeply cared for him. Not with
passion, for of that as yet she knew nothing, but with a real and
absorbing affection. Sandy read "Love in a Valley" and the "Sonnets
from the Portuguese" in these days, and thought of Owen. Now and
then her well-disciplined little heart surprised her by an
unexpected flutter in his direction.

She duly brought him home with her to dinner on the evening after
her little talk with her parents. Owen was usually to be found
browsing about the region where Sandy played marches twice a week
for sewing classes in a neighborhood house. They often met, and
Sandy sometimes went to have tea with his mother, and sometimes, as
to-day, brought him home with her.

Owen had with him the letters, pamphlets and booklet issued by the
American School of Domestic Science, and after dinner, while the
Salisbury boys wrestled with their lessons, the three others and
Owen gathered about the drawing-room table, in the late daylight,
and thoroughly investigated the new institution and its claims.
Sandy wedged her slender little person in between the two men. Mrs.
Salisbury sat near by, reading what was handed to her. The older
woman's attitude was one of dispassionate unbelief; she smiled a
benign indulgence upon these newfangled ideas. But in her heart she
felt the stirring of feminine uneasiness and resentment. It was HER
sacred region, after all, into which these young people were probing
so light-heartedly. These were her secrets that they were
exploiting; her methods were to be disparaged, tossed aside.

The booklet, with its imposing A.S.D.S. set out fair and plain upon
a brown cover, was exhaustive. Its frontispiece was a portrait of
one Eliza Slocumb Holley, founder of the school, and on its back
cover it bore the vignetted photograph of a very pretty graduate, in
apron and cap, with her broom and feather duster. In between these
two pictures were pages and pages of information, dozens of
pictures. There were delightful long perspectives of model kitchens,
of vegetable gardens, orchards, and dairies. There were pictures of
girls making jam, and sterilizing bottles, and arranging trays for
the sick. There were girls amusing children and making beds. There
were glimpses of the model flats, built into the college buildings,
with gas stoves and dumb-waiters. And there were the usual pictures
of libraries, and playgrounds, and tennis courts.

"Such nice-looking girls!" said Sandy.

"Oh, Mother says that they are splendid girls," Owen said, bashfully
eager, "just the kind that go in for trained nursing, you know, or
stenography, or bookkeeping."

"They must be a solid comfort, those girls," said Mrs. Salisbury,
leaning over to read certain pages with the others. "'First year,'"
she read aloud. "'Care of kitchen, pantry, and utensils--fire-
making--disposal of refuse--table-setting--service--care of
furniture--cooking with gas--patent sweepers--sweeping--dusting--
care of silver--bread--vegetables--puddings--'"

"Help!" said Sandy. "It sounds like the essence of a thousand
Mondays! No one could possibly learn all that in one year."

"It's a long term, eleven months," her father said, deeply
interested. "That's not all of the first year, either. But it's all
practical enough."

"What do they do the last year, Mother?"

Mrs. Salisbury adjusted her glasses.

"'Third year,'" she read obligingly. "'All soups, sauces, salads,
ices and meats. Infant and invalid diet. Formal dinners, arranged by
season. Budgets. Arrangement of work for one maid. Arrangement of
work for two maids. Menus, with reference to expense, with reference
to nourishment, with reference to attractiveness. Chart of suitable
meals for children, from two years up. Table manners for children.
Classic stories for children at bedtime. Flowers, their significance
upon the table. Picnics--'"

"But, no; there's something beyond that," Owen said. Mrs. Salisbury
turned a page.

"'Fourth Year. Post-graduate, not obligatory,'" she read. "'Unusual
German, Italian, Russian and Spanish dishes. Translation of menus.
Management of laundries, hotels and institutions. Work of a chef.
Work of subordinate cooks. Ordinary poisons. Common dangers of
canning. Canning for the market. Professional candy-making--'"

"Can you beat it!" said Owen.

"It's extraordinary!" Mrs. Salisbury conceded. Her husband asked the
all-important question:

"What do you have to pay for one of these paragons?"

"It's all here," Mrs. Salisbury said. But she was distracted in her
search of a scale of prices by the headlines of the various pages.
"'Rules Governing Employers,'" she read, with amusement. "Isn't this
too absurd? 'Employers of graduates of the A.S.D.S. will kindly
respect the conditions upon which, and only upon which, contracts
are based.'" She glanced down the long list of items. "'A
comfortably furnished room,'" she read at random, "'weekly half
holiday-access to nearest public library or family library--
opportunity for hot bath at least twice weekly--two hours if
possible for church attendance on Sunday--annual two weeks' holiday,
or two holidays of one week each--full payment of salary in advance,
on the first day of every month'--what a preposterous idea!" Mrs.
Salisbury broke off to say. "How is one to know that she wouldn't
skip off on the second?"

"In that case the school supplies you with another maid for the
unfinished term," explained Sandy, from the booklet.

"Well--" the lady was still a little unsatisfied. "As if they didn't
have privileges enough now!" she said. "It's the same old story: we
are supposed to be pleasing them, not they us!"

"'In a family where no other maid is kept,'" read Alexandra, "'a
graduate will take entire charge of kitchen and dining room, go to
market if required, do ordinary family washing and ironing, will
clean bathroom daily, and will clean and sweep every other room in
the house, and the halls, once thoroughly every week. She will be on
hand to answer the door only one afternoon every week, besides

"What!" ejaculated Mrs. Salisbury.

"I should like to know who does it on other days!" Alexandra added

"Don't you think that's ridiculous, Kane?" his wife asked eagerly.

"We-el," the man of the house said temperately, "I don't know that I
do. You see, otherwise the girl has a string tied on her all the
time. People in our position, after all, needn't assume that we're
too good to open our own door--"

"That's exactly it, sir," Owen agreed eagerly; "Mother says that
that's one of the things that have upset the whole system for so
long! Just the convention that a lady can't open her own door--"

"But we haven't found the scale of wages yet--" Mrs. Salisbury
interrupted sweetly but firmly. Alexandra, however, resumed the
recital of the duties of one maid.

"'She will not be expected to assume the care of young children,'"
she read, "nor to sleep in the room with them. She will not be
expected to act as chaperone or escort at night. She--'"

"It DOESN'T say that, Sandy!"

"Oh, yes, it does! And, listen! 'NOTE. Employers are respectfully
requested to maintain as formal an attitude as possible toward the
maid. Any intimacy, or exchange of confidences, is especially to be
avoided'"--Alexandra broke off to laugh, and her mother laughed with
her, but indignantly.

"Insulting!" she said lightly. "Does anyone suppose for an instant
that this is a serious experiment?"

"Come, that doesn't sound very ridiculous to me," her husband said.
"Plenty of women do become confidential with their maids, don't

"Dear me, how much you do know about women!" Alexandra said, kissing
the top of her father's head. "Aren't you the bad old man!"

"No; but one might hope that an institution of this kind would put
the American servant in her place," Mrs. Salisbury said seriously,
"instead of flattering her and spoiling her beyond all reason. I
take my maid's receipt for salary in advance; I show her the
bathroom and the library--that's the idea, is it? Why, she might be
a boarder! Next, they'll be asking for a place at the table and an
hour's practice on the piano."

"Well, the original American servant, the 'neighbor's girl,' who
came in to help during the haying season, and to put up the
preserves, probably did have a place at the table," Mr. Salisbury
submitted mildly.

"Mother thinks that America never will have a real servant class,"
Owen added uncertainly; "that is, until domestic service is elevated
to the--the dignity of office work, don't you know? Until it
attracts the nicer class of women, don't you know? Mother says that
many a good man's fear of old age would be lightened, don't you
know?--if he felt that, in case he lost his job, or died, his
daughters could go into good homes, and grow up under the eye of
good women, don't you know?"

"Very nice, Owen, but not very practical!" Mrs. Salisbury said, with
her indulgent, motherly smile. "Oh, dear me, for the good old days
of black servants, and plenty of them!" she sighed. For though Mrs.
Salisbury had been born some years after the days of plenty known to
her mother on her grandfather's plantation, before the war, she was
accustomed to detailed recitals of its grandeurs.

"Here we are!" said Alexandra, finding a particular page that was
boldly headed "Terms."

"'For a cook and general worker, no other help,' she read, "'thirty
dollars per month--'"

"Not so dreadful," her father said, pleasantly surprised.

"But, listen, Dad! Thirty dollars for a family of two, and an
additional two dollars and a half monthly for each other member of
the family. That would make ours thirty-seven dollars and a half,
wouldn't it?" she computed swiftly.

"Awful! Impossible!" Mrs. Salisbury said instantly, almost in
relief. The discussion made her vaguely uneasy. What did these
casual amateurs know about the domestic problem, anyway? Kane, who

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