ALTHOUGH Mrs. Lutz deftly lifted the stove-lids and balanced them with her usual care on one corner of the kitchen range, she did not at once, as was her wont, bend to lift the scuttle of coal, but stood and stared at the bed of fire. Behind her the nickel-plated kerosene lamp, shaded so as to concentrate its full light, in a small circle on the red table-cover, left the greater part of the room in darkness, thus mercifully subduing to neutral shades the inharmonious color combinations scattered over the walls and furnishings of the kitchen.
Mrs. Lutz, a member of the Mennonite Church, in good standing, had long ago learned to suppress both in her dress and in her home that love of vivid color which is a Pennsylvania Dutch woman’s birthright; but she had never quite succeeded in having her kitchen ‘plain.’ Every hue and shade, tint and tone, namable could be found in the ugly wall-paper; the calendars tacked here and there, testifying to the poor taste of local merchants; the ‘tidies’ tied securely to the backs of rockers; the brightly painted flowerpots in the uncurtained window; and the scalloped-edged paper that trimmed the shelves in the old-fashioned corner cupboard. But the lamp was merciful and shadowed all of this; the red glow of the open stove alone caught here and there a vivid color on the wall and, striking upward, illuminated and made rosy the large countenance of Mrs. Lutz. It accentuated the puzzled frown that was so at variance with the calm resignation suggested by her dress, the plain dark gown and snowy white cap of the Mennonite faith. For a few minutes she stood thus, slightly irritated; then sighed resignedly.
‘Ach, vell, it takes all kinds of people for to make a vorld yet, and mebbe, Mary Lutz, you ain’t the dumbest person I know anyhow oncet.’
Freed of this, Mrs. Lutz shut out from the room the glowing light by covering the bed of fire with coals, noiselessly put the stove-lids in place, and turned to face the rear door as it opened to admit a young man. A fiftypound lard-can filled with water, which he carried with difficulty, he at once placed upon the stove and turned to face Mrs. Lutz with a smile on his pleasant boyish face; but he met no smile in return. With her hands on her ample hips Mrs. Lutz raised her protest with the threatening intonation of our fireside prophetesses.
‘Now, Art, mind vot I tell you. You vill catch colt.’
‘Oh, I don’t suppose so. I’ve taken a bath in winter all my life.’
‘Ach, no! Not sich vetter?’
‘Sure thing. Many a time.’
‘But ain’t you got sick already yet?’
‘No. Never. Bathing’s good for a fellow, you know.’
‘ I can’t see for vot you vant to vash every veek yet. Don’t vashin’ all over make you turribly itchy? It alvays does me.’
‘I’ve never noticed that it does.’
It was impossible not to smile broadly now, and before his good nature Mrs. Lutz relented. Moreover, Arthur Leigh was her boarder and the village schoolteacher, a combination no true Pennsylvania Dutch woman would ever be irreverent enough to oppose for any length of time, no matter how firmly convinced that he was in the wrong.
‘Vell, now, mebbe you’re right.’ She smiled approvingly across the stove at his sturdy figure. ‘ You don’t look as if anythin’ might be ailin’ you; but I vould n’t like to take a chancet the vay you do. Mebbe the good Lord’s only bein’ merciful to you in your dumbness.’
‘There are times when I sure hope He’ll be merciful to me for some reason or other.’
‘Yes, ain’t? I feel so too sometimes.’
Here Mrs. Lutz relaxed her two hundred pounds into the tidy-backed rocker and resumed her knitting, which Leigh’s announcement to bathe had interrupted a few minutes before. In spite of her apparent acquiescence, the old lady was not fully convinced of Leigh’s safety; but respect for her boarder’s ‘ booklearnin” made her cease her protestations against bathing. A fear that perhaps she had gone further than good manners allowed made her uneasy. From time to time she cast rapid glances over her silver-rimmed spectacles at Leigh, who had resumed his reading at the table. Her uneasiness growing greater, she finally attempted to make amends, in that caressing, kindly tone of voice so fundamentally characteristic of her kind that education and training never entirely eradicate it.
‘ Ach, now! Mebbe I ain’t been polite enough. I ain’t mannered, I know; but I don’t vant to hurt your feelin’s for nothin’ yet. Sometimes now I vish I ‘d ‘a’ let pop built a bathroom in the house oncet, but I vas n’t goin’ to let on I vas dirty, yust to be stylish, and have all the neighbors talkin’ about my bein’ tony yet. Pop vas for it, right or wrong; the Lutzes never vas no savers; but I put my foot down after I seen cousin Maria ‘s in Lancaster yet. Yust. one great big vite dish here — another great big vite dish there — vite dishes — all — every place. “Pop,” I said oncet, “I ain’t vashin’ in no vite dish and neither is my man. Dishes is for eatin’ off; not for vashin’ in.” Pop vas awful much upset at first; but he give in ven he knew my foot vas down oncet. Vell, I did n’t know then I’d be takin’ the teacher to board yet, and you’d be so much for vashin’. I don’t hold for this much vashin’ myself. Still now I vish we had a bathroom. It would be kinda nicet for you, ain’t?’
The rising inflection of the last word notified Leigh that it was again time for him to nod and smile, a reaction that scarcely disturbed his line of thought and one that was almost involuntary on hearing that caressing, questioning ‘ain’t.’ He had laid aside his book and sat regarding the garrulous old lady.
How unique she was! What a picture Rembrandt would have made of her! Her gray gown and white cap in the one spot of light, melting into the shadowed background, were a proper setting for her face with its low broad forehead and gray hair parted over it; her large cheeks, ruddy and wholesome as winter apples; her mouth, in spite of her sixty years, still straight and firm. Leigh’s eye followed the strong line of her lips and the stubborn curve of her chin; then he smiled, for here was the physical expression of that stubborn will which no one, saving himself, had successfully crossed during the six weeks he had been her boarder, and which was to his youthful masculinity an irritating challenge. He had succeeded in getting his bath; but her opposition had grown with every performance. Leigh had often tried to estimate just how many weeks it would take for her to subdue him to their bathless state unless he asserted himself firmly, once and for all. He felt sure that by the end of the school term she would have him as thoroughly under her power as she had her husband, a small apologetic ineffectual man whom Leigh had longed to aid on more than one occasion.
‘It is a bit unfortunate you don’t have a bath,’ Leigh admitted after a few moments of silence.
‘Me? A bath! Mebbe you think I ain’t clean? I’m yust as clean as you are. I vash oncet — twicet — or maybe three times a year. I ain’t dirty. I ain’t —’
‘I beg your pardon. You misunderstood me. I only meant to say that if you had a bathroom I should not need to occasion this trouble every Saturday night.’
‘Ach, the bother ain’t nothin’. I vas only tryin’ to keep you from hurtin’ yourself.’
After a slight pause she uttered the remark that Leigh had heard every Saturday night since his arrival.
‘ I vonder vot’s keepin’ pop so late at the store yet. I yust vonder vot he got for the eggs.’
The old lady rose and peered through the uncurtained window into the poorly lighted village street.
‘Ach, if Mrs. Hess ain’t settin’ at her vindow again, vatclun’ her neighbors, so she’ll have something to sehnoffle about in church to-morrow. She ain’t even smart enough to make the light out, so ve can’t see her.'
‘Oh, hang Mrs. Hess! I would n’t let her worry me the way she does you.’
‘Now, Art, you should n’t talk that there vay. It ain’t nicet, and it ain’t for your own good.’
Moving from the window to the stove, she tested with the tips of her fingers the temperature of the water heating with a low monotonous singing.
‘My! The water’s heatin’ nicet.’
Leigh awoke to realities. ‘Where’ll I get a tub, Mrs. Lutz?’
‘You stay settin’. I’ll get you one.’
‘No. I’ll get it.’
‘No, you von’t. I’ll have no man dopplin’ about in my cellar, gettin’ it all mixed up oncet.’ She settled the matter without delay by hurrying out of the room.
Scarcely had Mrs. Lutz left when the rear door opened quietly and a man slipped into the room, looking strangely small in his broad-brimmed hat. The man did not advance into the room, but, having closed the door behind him, stood hesitating, as if uncertain whether he intended to stay or not.
‘Vhere’s mom?’ he asked in a low worried tone.
‘She’s just now gone into the cellar to get me a tub. She’s been wondering about you and the price of eggs.’
As if encouraged by the friendliness of Leigh’s voice, Mr. Lutz came to the table, placed his basket upon it, and began to remove his thick woolen gloves, regarding Leigh questkmingly all the while. After a pause came a nervous confession.
‘Art, I done somethin’ this evenin’ oncet, mebbe I’ll vish yet I d done somethin’ else first.’
Leigh looked up in surprise; he was not accustomed to being the confidant of his landlord.
‘ Mebbe you stopped by Vinklebach’s store to-day and seen those new smokepipes he has for sale?’
‘Veil, here’s one.’ Shamefacedly Mr. Lutz brought from his coat-pocket a new pipe and held it out for Leigh’s inspection.
‘ But I thought Mrs. Lutz docs n’t let you smoke!’ Leigh exclaimed.
‘Ye-e-s, I know; but I vas thinkin’ you vant to smoke, I vant to smoke. Ain’t that two against one? Ain’t this my house, and don’t you pay board?’
Mr. Lutz was becoming unusually emphatic; the sound of his own voice seemed to give him courage.
‘That’s all true; but do you suppose Mrs. Lutz will see things that way?’
‘Ven I thought of vot mom vill say, I almost oncet did n’t buy it,’ Lutz confessed.
‘I don’t see why you shouldn’t smoke if you want to. Great Scott! You ought to be old enough to be your own boss.’
‘Yes, and I am goin’ to be my own boss. I’m goin’ to have my own vay this time. It ain’t good for no vife to be alvays havin’ her own vay and bossin’ her man. It ain’t right.’
‘Vot’s that you say, Abe, about bossin’ a man?’ Mrs. Lutz demanded from the doorway where she stood, a large wooden tub gripped firmly against her bosom. At her appearance and threatening tones all courage departed from Mr. Lutz as completely as gas from a punctured toy-balloon.
‘Art and I vas yust talkin’,’ Lutz explained, and hurried at once behind the stove, where he removed his outer coat and hung it on the wall.
‘Yust talkin’! If that ain’t all some people seem good for! There’s your tub, Art.’
She placed it on the floor before the stove and then stood surveying it reflectively.
‘Ach, my! I never thought I’d be livin’ to see the day ven my vashtubs vould be bathtubs. I yust vonder how Mrs. Hess vould talk if she knew of your carryin’ on, Art.’
‘Great Scott! Mrs. Hess again! I believe you arc afraid of her. I’d see her further before I’d let her worry me the way she does you.’
‘Now, Art, you should n’t talk that there vay,’ Mrs. Lutz protested. ‘It ain’t nicet and it ain’t for your own good. It don’t do to let them get something to talk about you here, if you vant to stay at your school.’
‘ Yes, you have to be careful vot you say or the school board vill learn you oncet like it did Lem Hentzel, he vot taught before you,’ broke in Mr. Lutz, glad to keep the subject of conversation away from himself as long as possible. ‘Lem vas mighty tony and stuck up; he came from a mile below Lancaster, and vent one term to Millersville Normal, so he thought he vas smarter than ve, and vas alvays makin’ fun at us. The school board did n’t like his tony airs, but they could n’t get no hold on him till Sally Lane come home from Philadelphy with her hair short, ven Lem said right out he believed it did n’t make no difference to God if a voman’s hair vas long or short; so the school board told Lem they vas n’t goin’ to have a teacher vot denied the Scriptures like that, and Lem got his valkin’papers. But then I guess you can take care of yourself.’
‘No, it’s doin’ Art good. He alvays can’t stand the vay I take on about Mrs. Hess. He must learn how it pays to be careful yet. Pop, you mind Fanny Shenk — a little, sort of peaked girl that came down from Readin’ to teach one term? Everything vas goin’ nicet and ve all thought the teacher vas a good one until after she vent for supper one night at Dan Hostetter’s; he’s president of the school board and awful close. There she ate only the insides of the pie and not the crust, and Dan said any voman that’d vaste a piece of pie like that vas too sloppy to learn his children or any other children. So you see, Art, it ain’t yust anybody can teach at Maple Grove and you best be careful of sich a place ven you have it.’
At this point Mrs. Lutz became conscious of her husband, who had not yet removed his hat.
‘Pop, ain’t you learned any manners yet?’ she asked, as with a movement deft and quick she removed his hat and placed it on the table. ‘Vot did you get for the eggs?’ she demanded as she remembered the all-important Saturday evening occurrence.
Slowly and reluctantly, as if he felt the shadow of his doom upon him, Lutz drew his purse from his pocket, opened it, and began counting.
‘Ten dozen eggs at twenty-five cents a dozen is two dollars and fifty cents, and sixty-three off — ‘
‘ Pop, ain’t you right any more? Mrs. Hess got forty-five this morning yust.’
But Lutz persisted.
‘I can’t help for vot Mrs. Hess gets. Twenty-five cents is all I got for a dozen, and that’s two dollars and fifty cents, and I paid sixty-three cents for groceries, and there’s all I got left.’
Lutz placed the money on the table and turned to warm his hands above the stove, without looking at his wife, who eyed him carefully.
‘They said eggs were getting cheaper and I guess the price has come down a good deal to-day,’ Leigh asserted, trying to defend the little man and avert what he knew would come; but Mrs. Lutz did not turn to him; she still eyed closely her husband, who fidgeted about the stove.
‘I dare say he’s right,’ Leigh again interposed, rather to break the silence than to impress his landlady.
‘Right? There ain’t nothin’ right about it. That new storekeeper could cheat you out of your eyeteeth, Abe Lutz. I’m goin’ up to the store right avay oncet. I’ll see if they can cheat me. You ‘re a great man, you are, Abe Lutz!’
‘ It ain’t no use, mom.’ In his nervous eagerness Lutz advanced into the light. ‘Eggs are yust twenty-five cents a dozen. If you go up you ‘ll only make talk for the town. Eggs were cornin’ down fast to-day.’ But his apparent eagerness betrayed him.
‘Now, pop, you yust up and tell vot you are hidin’ from me. You spent something again unnecessary.’
‘No, I did n’t. Did I, Art?’
‘Now, Art, you’ve been helpin’ him in his dumbness again. My patience vill get all some day.’
Here at last was Leigh’s opportunity; now, perhaps, he might successfully defy his tyrannical landlady and win contentment for himself and freedom for Mr. Lutz. He rose to explain, forgetting that in explanation lies defeat.
‘You see how it is, Mrs. Lutz. Winkleback got in a lot of new pipes — ‘
‘A pipe! A smoke-pipe! Abe Lutz, did you go and buy a stinkin’ old smoke-pipe to lay around the house?’
‘But it won’t drop ashes about the house the way cigars do. It’ll —’
‘No, it von’t, for Abe Lutz ain’t smokin’ any pipe here. Pop, you go and take that pipe right avay back and get the money you gave avay so dumb. I vonder you ain’t ashamed of yourself, actin’ so childish.’
‘I ain’t takin’ no pipe back.’ From the stove, where he stood with his eyes fixed upon the floor, Mr. Lutz declared his ultimatum.
‘Vot!’ Mrs. Lutz had difficulty in believing her ears.
‘I ain’t takin’ no pipe back.’
‘Really, Mrs. Lutz,’ began Leigh ineffectually again, ‘the pipe is quite a bargain. It’s saving money to buy it.'
‘It’s savin’ more money to take it back. I think a vonderful lot of you, Art; but you can yust keep quiet now. Abe Lutz, let me see that smoke-pipe.’
For a moment only, her husband hesitated; her outstretched hand was too imperative to be longer ignored. Slowly he drew forth the pipe and held it up to view, but did not relinquish it.
‘ Shame yourself, Abe Lutz. Spendin’ money for somethin’ like that. A man like you, conwerted, and so fond of vordly wanities. Now right avay oncet you march back to the store and get your money.'
But Lutz stood transfixed.
‘Pop, vot’s ailin’ you? Don’t you hear me?’
‘Ain’t you takin’ the pipe back?’
‘Veil, I declare to goodness!’ For a moment only was the wind out of her sails; then she came back with renewed vigor. ‘This is your doin’, Art. You stiffed him up to this. He ain’t never been like this before. Pop, ain’t you got the sense you vas born mit? An old man like you to vant to smoke a pipe like that! Yust think how the people vill laugh behind your back. That smoke-pipe’s for city folks and not for an old man like you.’
For a long moment there was silence.
‘Veil, pop, ain’t you goin’ to take that pipe back?’
‘Giveit here, then; I’ll take it back.’
She advanced as if to take the pipe by force; but her husband dodged quickly and was behind the stove in a minute. Mrs. Lutz stared in dumb amazement. Could she believe her eyes? Had the walls of the house fallen or the Angel Gabriel sounded his horn just then, she could not have been taken more by surprise. She relapsed into the great rocker and stared at the unbelievable; but not for many seconds. Her German temper rose and her eyes began to snap. She opened her mouth to begin; and at that very moment came Leigh’s inspiration. With all the volume he could muster, he began singing, ‘If I had a scoldin’ wife, as sure as I was born.’ Whatever Mrs. Lutz had meant to say was lost in her amazement, which, great as it was, grew almost boundless when she saw her husband, his face alight with a triumphant grin, go to her corner-cupboard, remove therefrom two pie-tins, and accompany Leigh’s singing with his own cracked voice and the beat of the pietins. Amazement gave place to puzzled concern.
‘Vot are you two men tryin’ to do?’ she shouted at the top of her voice, but was unheeded, if not unheard.
But the old lady was by no means beaten yet. Either the sight of her pietins so roughly and carelessly handled, or the irritation engendered by her inability to make herself heard, roused her temper and caused her to forget and lay aside her usual ponderous dignity, to advance toward her two opposers with the intent of physical mastery. The men were small and far more agile than she; while they passed easily and quickly between the stove and the wall, the table and the rockers, she made her way with difficulty about the room and found the passage behind the kitchen range impossible. Yet her efforts were not without some results; the men by their exercise and vociferous singing were winded, so there came a lull which offered her opportunity for expression.
‘Land o’ Goshen! Ain’t you two men right any more? Vot you tryin’ to do?'
Whatever more she said was drowned in a burst, of song, if one could call it such. The cracked voice of the old man rose high in the old Brock Boer song. ‘A grum und a graut, das wage raut’ shrilled above the lower tones of Leigh’s ‘ I ‘d take her down to New Orleans and trade her off for corn.’ Then Leigh began an old nursery song, and ‘Uncle Rat has come to town’ vied with ‘Schmit, Schmit, Schmit; nem di Emily mit.’ Above the songs the tin pie-pans rattled away.
‘Abe Lutz, I can’t hear myself. Stop that dumbness,’ protested his spouse, as she made an unsuccessful effort to grasp the tail of his coat.
But the little man dived behind the kitchen range and struck up ‘Lieber Augustin.’ Again Mrs. Lutz dived; again her husband eluded. Finding herself near Leigh, she attempted to lay hold on him, but unsuccessfully. So energetic was she, however, in the next few seconds that the men retreated behind the stove, winded. There was a lull in the storm.
‘Art, hear me oncet. Don’t help pop in this dumbness. I ‘m sure he can’t be all right in his mind any more. ‘
There was sorrow and consternation in her face. Leigh almost yielded, yet glanced toward the window and tried to peer outside. Would his plan fail in spite of the neighbors? His glance toward the window made matters clear to the woman.
‘Ach, Gott in Himmel! The neighbors vill hear you oncet! Vot vill they say, pop? How vill they talk of you? Art, they ‘ll say you vas drunk, and you von’t have a school any more.’
The men began again with increased vigor and volume.
‘Land o’ Goshen! You vant the neighbors to hear you oncet?’
Then, as if determined to do all in her power to save their respectability, she hastened to the window to draw the shade.
‘ Lieber Himmel! Mrs. Hess vill hear you! ‘
She looked out of the window, and turned. Horror was written large on her countenance.
‘Stop! Stop! Mrs. Hess is cornin’ over already,’ she shrilled.
The two men exchanged triumphant glances and went boldly on.
‘ Ach, Gott! Keep your old pipe, Abe Lutz; only don’t make me be ashamed before my neighbors that I have sich a dumb man yet.’
Somehow the men heard this and stopped.
‘You von’t never say anythin’ about my havin’ that smoke-pipe?’
Before an answer could be given there was a rap on the outer door.
‘Put those pans avay, pop. Fix your coat and hair, Art,’ energetically whispered Mrs. Lutz.
For a moment Lutz threatened to begin his singing again.
‘No! No, pop! I ain’t never sayin’ anythin’ against your pipe again. I guess I have to let you be some kind of a fool or you ain’t satisfied.’
With a rapidity one would have thought almost impossible in so large a body, Mrs. Lutz replaced the pans in the cupboards, straightened both coats, put her husband’s hair in order, adjusted her own cap, and went to open the rear door. The two men exchanged a smile of triumph and sank into the nearest chairs. At the door Mrs. Lutz was greeting her neighbor, a tall, keeneyed, thin-lipped woman.
‘ Good evenin’, Mrs. Hess. I’m awful glad to see you. I vas yust sayin’ a vile back I visht you’d step over a minute or two oncet.’
‘Good evenin’, everybody.’ The quick eye of the visitor took in every detail of the room at one glance. ‘ I can’t stay long, Mrs. Lutz. I vas settin’ there to-night ven I yust remembered my coffee-grounds vas all, and John’s Mamie is cornin’ from church tomorrow. Could I lend a cupful from you, I vonder? It’s ‘most too late to go to the store and this vas so handy.’
‘Ach, yes. That vas right. I like to be neighborly ven I can.’ She went quickly to fulfill her neighbor’s request.
Mrs. Hess turned toward the men.
‘ Vas n’t you singin’ before I came in? I like to hear young people sing ‘ — this to Leigh. ‘Yust go on.’
‘Why —er —’
‘Ach, no. Art vas n’t singin’,’ Mrs. Lutz asserted from the cupboard where she was getting the coffee. ‘Pop vas yust showin’ how they used to sing and dance at barn-raisin’s ven he vas young. Art ain’t never heard nothin’ like it; he’s awful much interested in our vays.’
But the men did not quite escape.
‘Vy, Mr. Lutz! I’d ‘a’ thought so near the Sabbath you’d be thinkin’ pro founder thoughts then that. It ain’t good for one’s soul to be thinkin’ much of the vicket days of youth.’ Then, turning to Mrs. Lutz again, ‘You ain’t doin’ your vashin’ to-night yet, are you? Vot you got a vashtub up and heatin’ so much vater for?’
‘Ach, Art uses that.’ This quite casually from Mrs. Lutz.
‘Vot for? Vot do you vant mit so much vater?’
‘Oh, I use it for my ablutions, you know. I find the ablutionary arts much neglected in this community, and therefore it is essential that I, as a teacher, lay much stress upon all abluent practices,’ explained Leigh.
‘My! Ain’t it vonderful the new things they teach in school these days! I said more ‘n oncet, I can’t see vere the vorld’s cornin’ to.’ Mrs. Hess spoke with the wisdom of Solomon and a resignation equal to Job’s.
‘Yes, ain’t? I think Art’s vonderful smart to see so quick vot Maple Grove needs already,’ affirmed Mrs. Lutz as she handed the coffee to her neighbor.
‘Vell, I must go now.’
‘Ach, can’t you set a bit?’
‘No. I must go. I’ll see you oncet to-morrow in church, ain’t? My, Mr, Leigh, you look sort of vanned up.’
The attack was sudden and unexpected. Leigh was at a loss. Here was an opportunity to say many of the scathing things he had often declared he would say to this lady some day; but for some reason they remained unsaid. He was again rescued.
‘Ach, yes. I had Art helpin’ me lift the pots and pans in the cupboard this evenin’ when I changed the papers on the shelves. He’s a good hand at helpin’, bein’ so young, but the stoopin’ and pickin’ up is heatin’.’
‘Vot did you get for the eggs, Abe Lutz?’
‘Forty-five cents — yust vot you got,’ volunteered Mrs. Lutz before her husband could open his mouth.
‘Vell, I guess I must be goin’.'
When the door at last closed upon her there was ominous silence in the room until her footsteps died away upon the walk; but the air tingled with triumph. Safe at last, Mr. Lutz brought the front legs of his chair to the floor with a bang and exploded.
‘By crackee! That vas a good one, Art. Ab-ab-lotions ‘ll bother her for the next whole month. But bad as she is ve can’t say as how she ain’t some good. Can ve, Art?’
He gave his wife a sidelong glance as he reached for his pipe and drew it forth, to gloat over lovingly.
‘It’s about time you vent to bed, pop,’ was all his better half vouchsafed.
It was impossible, though, to retain this lofty attitude when the two men handled, stroked, and examined the pipe in the full glare of the lamp.
‘Ain’t you two men feelin’ smart now! Vell, I only hope that bein’ that kind of a fool vill keep you from other dumbness for a vile.’
Then Leigh attempted an apology and thanks which he thought were due his loyal champion.
‘Mrs. Lutz, I hope you won’t be angry. I—’
‘Ach, no. Vot’s the use. Ven a voman lives mit men she must expect to put up mit a lot.’
‘I just want to say it was great of you to help a fellow. The —’
‘It’s about time you vent to bed too, Art.’
And Leigh went.