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a sacrifice that doesn't hurt. Next to wearing a uniform, I guess the proudest badge of honor any of us can have is going to be a shabby suit of clothes."

We sat there without saying anything more until the room fell into shadow and the street-lamp across the way was lighted. I was just going to suggest that we go out to dinner somewhere when the front door-bell rang sharply.

Thinking it might be a telegram, I went downstairs and opened the door. Outside stood a tall figure in khaki. Messenger-boys did not dress like that now-did they? Then I felt myself being hugged violently and heard Jack's voice shouting:

"Hello, dad! It's ripping to have you back again! How's mother? And isn't it great that the regiment sails week after next!"



Helen, Margery, and I had our breakfast next morning of coffee and rolls served in the sunny window of the sitting-room by Mrs. Gavin, our caretaker. During the preceding evening, while Jack had been Iwith us, we had thought of nothing but the hideous gap his pending departure for France would make in our family circle; but now that he had gone back to camp we had time to face the concrete problems the war had evolved for us.

It had been the first night we had spent in our own home for nearly a year, and this was the dawn of a new sort of existence. Heretofore we had taken no thought of the morrow or, for that matter, of to-day. When we opened the house in the autumn we simply telegraphed to a firm of professional house-cleaners to come with their vacuum tubes, their rotary sweepers, their acids and varnishes, and get the place readyusually at a cost of about three hundred dollars. Then we sent on ahead five or six servants, including the cook, to prepare the way, and arrived, in due course, in a perfectly ordered and well-running establishment.

When we returned from six weeks in Paris or London our motor met us at the dock, I found my dress clothes laid out in their customary place, and dinner was served by the butler and the second man just as if we had not been away at all. But now there was. to be no butler and no second man. Our resolution taken the afternoon before was to be put to the test. Would Helen be able to manage it? Or, if she could manage it, could she stand it? However, I saw no weakening in her face as I lit my cigarette and glanced at her across the table.

"You had better send for René," she said, smiling. "The sooner you tell him he must go the better. I'm going down-town to engage a cook."

In spite of Helen's cheerfulness I realized what giving up her motor would mean to her; how physically dependent upon it she had become. I hated the idea of my wife hanging on to a strap in the street-cars while the boors in the neighboring seats ignored her sex. Besides, how could Margery, with her many social engagements, possibly manage to get along without it? And if we lost the peerless René, could we ever find another treasure like him? No; I would find some other and less drastic economy!

"Helen," I said, "I've been thinking it over, and I feel that it would be bad business for us to give up René. We couldn't replace him. Probably we can cut down on something else that"

But Helen had risen to her feet with a gesture of finality.

"No, John," she interrupted; "that has been decided, once and for all. It's a matter of conscience. I shall not keep the car this winter."

"Anyhow," I urged feebly, “you might as well run it for a few days while you are getting settled-say, for a week. It seems foolish not to, you know, when it's standing right there round the corner in the garage. She shook her head.

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"I don't want to begin using the motor. I don't trust myself. If I once started I mightn't want to give it up. Let me have ten cents for the bus, please!" "You're a brave woman, Helen!" I answered. "Well, here's your dime!"

"You'll need a chore man, daddy," volunteered my daughter as my wife drew on her gloves. "The house is like an ice-chest."

"Didn't we have one-an Italian?" I inquired.

"Yes," answered Helen. "I think Mrs. Gavin can find him for you. If you can't get hold of him you might start a fire in the furnace yourself."

I said nothing. Why not? If Helen could go downtown in the bus, surely I ought to be able to start a fire! But my heart was filled with more than mere misgivings.

“Well, what is Margery going to do?" I inquired lightly. "What's her particular bit?”

"I think Margery had better go over the linen and china and see if there is any of it left," replied her mother. "After that she can collaborate with Mrs. Gavin in getting lunch."

I bade my wife farewell at the front door and, having turned Margery loose among the china, sought the whereabouts of our chore man. But Mrs. Gavin had not seen Angelo that morning and was ignorant of his place of abode.

We had occupied our house for nearly twenty years, but only once before did I recall having descended to the lower regions presided over by that being so singularly misnamed the useful man. At any rate, I had always looked upon him as anything but useful— a fiction, a frill, a foolish concession to the unwillingness of the modern domestic to do any real work.

"Now," said I to myself, with a growing sense of virtue, of mastery of my own soul, "we'll begin to go at things in the right way-thoroughly, from the ground up."

The cellar stairs were dark and I had to reascend to the kitchen to procure a candle.

"You'll spoil yer beautiful clothes," warned the solicitous Mrs. Gavin. "You'll get ashes all over yerself!"

"You don't know me!" I retorted. "It's no trick to make a fire! Why, when I was a boy I always—"

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