she hasn't left her room; crying her eyes out, because I won't consent to her marrying a penniless young officer! But I will not squander my money. I made it all myself, by my own industry, and I refuse to keep young fellows in idleness."
"I don't give you any trouble, father."
"You are the best, Maggie, but you encourage your sister Sally. I hear that you, too, were seen walking with young Meason."
"It is not true, I assure you, father. I met him as I was going to the post-office. I said, 'How do you do?' and I passed on."
"Where is Sally?"
"She went out a few minutes ago."
"Didn't she know the time? She ought to be dressing for dinner. Do you know where she's gone?"
"I think she went down the slonk."
His children had inherited his straight, sharp features and his small, black, vivid eyes. Their hair was of various hues of black. Maggie's was raven black and glossy; Sally's was coarse and of a hue like black-lead; Grace's was abundant and relieved with sooty shades; Willy's hair was
The author has a long introduction in which he says this is the worst book he ever wrote. I haven't read all his other books, so I can't judge whether he's right, but he ought to know. All I can say is that I didn't enjoy this one.
The story is a fairly disdainful look at a squabbling family of "Cits" — a money-grubbing father, three flirtatious daughters and a nebbishy son — plus a handsome fool, the nephew and heir to a peer, who was the son's schoolmate. Pretty much everybody in the novel is a fool, and none of them improve with time.