e custom,” the puzzled devotees 鏉窞娲楁荡涓績鎺ㄨ崘 solved that amazing hour), Mrs. Johnson did not appear, the village was forced to admit that something must be wrong.
Moreover, against its will the behaviour of young Mr. Johnson was gravely alarming Friendship.[Pg 138] Mr. Johnson was in real estate and insurance in the city, and this did not impress 鏉窞妗戞嬁姘寸（浼氭墍鍏ㄥ the village as a serious business. “Because, what does he sell!” as Abigail Arnold said. “We know he don’t own property. He rents the very house they live in. A doctor’s a doctor an’ he gives pills, an’ a store’s a store with the kind o’ thing you need. But it don’t 鏉窞妗戞嬁鎸夋懇
缁忓巻 seem like that man could make a real good livin’ for her, dealin’ vague in nothin’ that way.” His income, it was felt, was problematical, and the village had settled it that what the Oliver Wheeler Johnsons’ had was chiefly wedding presents “an’ high-falutin’ tastes.” But, in 鏉窞瀹跺涵寮忓吇鐢?the face of the evidence, every afternoon at three o’clock the young husband ordered a pha?ton from Jimmy Sturgis and came home from the city to take his wife to drive. Between shutters the village saw that little Mrs. Johnson’s face did look betrayingly pale, and the blue ostrich plume lay motionless 鏉窞spa浼戦棽鎸夋懇浼氭墍 on her bright hair.
“I guess Mis’ Johnson’s real run down,” her acquaintances said to one another uneasily. Still we did not go to see her. The weeks went by until, one morning, Calliope met the little new Friendship doctor on the street
and asked him about his 鏉窞瓒虫荡鎸夋懇涓婇棬鏈嶅姟 patient.
“I up an’ ask’ him flat out,” Calliope confessed afterward; “not that I really cared to be told, but I hated to know I was heathenish. You don’t like the feelin’. To know they ain’t heathens is all[Pg 139] that keeps some folks from bein’ ’em. Well, so I ask’ him. ‘Doctor Heron,’ s’I, ‘is that Mis’ Johnson real sick, or is she just sickish?’ He looks at me an’鈥?Looks pretty sick, don’t she?’ s’e. ‘Well,’ s’I, ‘I’ve seen folks look real rich that wa’n’t it by right-down pocketbook evidence.’ ‘Been to see her?’ s’e. ‘No,’ s’I, short. ‘Might drop in,’ s’e, an’ 鏉窞娲楁荡鐢ㄥ搧 walks off, lookin’ cordial. That little Doctor Heron is that close-mouthed I declare if I don’t respect him same as the minister an’ the pipe-organ an’ the skippin’ hills.”
So, as midsummer passed and found the little woman still ailing, I obeyed an idle impulse and went 鏉窞姘寸（鍏ㄥ one evening to see her. I recall that as soon as I had crossed her threshold the old influence came upon me, and I was minded to run from the place in sheer distaste of the overemphasis and the lifted, pointed chin and the fluttering importances of her presence. I was ashamed enough that this should be so, but so it was; and I held my ground to await her coming to the room only by a measure of will.
I sat with Mrs. Johnson for an hour that evening. And it would seem that, as is the habit of many, having taken my own way I was straightway possessed to draw others 鏉窞妗戞嬁瓒虫荡 after me. There are those who behave similarly and who set cunningly to work to gain their own ends, as, for example, I did.[Pg 140] For one night soon I devised a little feast, which I have always held to be a good doorway to any enterprise,