TRANTO. Splendid! You're the most courageous creature I ever met.
HILDEGARDE. Possibly. But not courageous enough to offer to kiss mamma when I went to bed on the night that _that (indicating the article_) had appeared in print under my own name. You don't know mamma.
TRANTO. But dash it! You could eat your mother!
HILDEGARDE. Pardon me. The contrary is the fact. Mamma could eat me.
TRANTO. But you're the illustrious Sampson Straight. There's more intelligence in your little finger than there is in your mother's whole body. See how you write.
HILDEGARDE. Write! I only began to write as a relief from mamma. I escaped secretly into articles like escaping into an underground passage. But as for facing mamma in the open!... Even father scarcely ever does that; and when he does, we hold our breath, and the c