Other People's Business
He had been unfortunate from the start. Up in the garret, spicy with the fragrance of dried herbs and of camphor, were his letters, locked away in a small horse-hair trunk. Twice a year Persis opened the trunk to dust the letters, and sometimes she drew out the contents of a yellowing envelope and read a line here and there. These were the letters over which she had wept long, long before,--blurred in places by youth's hot tears, the letters she had carried on her heart. They were full of the excuses in which failure is invariably fertile, breathing from every page the fatal certainty that luck would soon turn.
The letters became infrequent after old Mr. Ware's "stroke." Persis understood. For them there could be no thought of marrying nor giving in marriage while the old man lay helpless. All that Justin could spare from his scant earnings, little enough, she knew, must be sent home. And meanwhile Joel having discovered in a three months'