The Romance of a Plain Man
"Grandmama lives up-town, and we are going as soon as the storm has blown over. There, be a good girl and let the little boy take your wet cap."
"I don't want him to take my cap. He is a common boy."
In spite of the fact that she seemed to me to be the most disagreeable little girl I had ever met, the word she had used was lodged unalterably in my memory. In that puzzled instant, I think, began my struggle to rise out of the class in which I belonged by birth; and I remember that I repeated the word "common" in a whisper to myself, while I resolved that I would learn its meaning in order that I might cease to be the unknown thing that it implied.
My mother, who had gone into the kitchen with the dripping cloak in her arms, returned a moment later with a cup of steaming coffee in one hand and a mug of hot milk in the other.
"It's a mercy if you haven't caught your death with an inner chill," she observed in a brisk, kindly tone. "'Twas the way old Mr. Cudlip, whos