JULIA THE APOSTATE
By Josephine Daskam
Copyright, 1903, by Charles Scribner's Sons
"You don't think it's too young for me, girls?"
"Young for you--_par exemple!_ I should say not," her niece replied,
perking the quivering aigrette still more obliquely upon her aunt's
head. Carolyn used _par exemple_ as a good cook uses onion--a hint of it
in everything. There were those who said that she interpolated it in the
Litany; but Carolyn, who was born Caroline and a Baptist, was too much
impressed by the liturgy of what she called The Church to insert
"Now don't touch it, Aunt Julia, for it's deliciously chic, and if you
had your way you'd flatten
it down right straight in the middle--you
know you would."
Miss Trueman pursed her lips quizzically.
"I've always thought, Carrie--_lyn_," she added hastily, as her niece
scowled, "that they put things askew to make 'em different--for a
change, as you might say. Now, if they're _never_ in the middle, it's
about as tiresome, isn't it?"
Elise, whose napkin-ring bore malignantwitness
to her loving
Eliza Judd, laughed irrepressibly: she had more sense of humor than her
sister. It was she who, though she had assisted in polishing the old
utilized as a holder
for the tongs and
shovel, had refused to consider the yet older wash-boiler in the light
of a possible coal-scuttle, greatly to the relief
of her aunt, who
blushed persistently at any mention of the hearth.
She patted the older woman encouragingly.
"That's right, Aunt Ju-ju, argue it out!" she advised.
Miss Trueman winced. She had never accustomed herself to those senseless
monosyllables that parodied her name; nor could she understand the frame
of mind that found them preferable to the comfortable "Aunt Jule" of the
"Ju-ju!" Strips of unwholesome flesh-colored paste, sugar-sprinkled,
dear to her childish
heart but loathed by a maturer palate, rose to her
mind. There had been another haunting recollection: for months she
had been unable
it perfectly, though it had always brought a
thrill of disgust
with its vague appeal. One day she caught it and told
"It was that dreadful
creature Mr. Barnum exhibited," she declared,
"that we didn't allow the children to go to see--Jo-jo, the Dog-faced
Boy! You remember?"
Their cold horror, briefly
expressed, had shown her that she had
trespassed too far on their indulgence, and she spoke of it no more, but
the memory rankled.
"It's so strange you don't see how cunning
it is," Carolyn complained;
"everybody does it now. The whole Chatworth family have those names,
Aunt Ju, and it is the dearest thing to hear the old doctor call Captain
Arthur 'Ga-ga.' You know that dignified
sister with the lovely silvery
hair? Well, they all call her 'Looty.' And nobody thinks of Hunter
Chatworth's real name--he's always 'Toto.'"
"And he has three children!"
Miss Trueman sighed; the constitution
of the modern family amazed her
endlessly. Ga-ga, indeed!
"Do the children call him Toto, too?" she demanded, with an attempt at
sarcasm, a conversational form to which she was by nature a stranger.
"Oh, I don't know about that," Carolyn answered carelessly. "I suppose
not. Though plenty of children do, you know. Mrs. Ranger's little girl
always calls her mother Lou."
"Mrs. Ranger--you mean the woman that smokes?"
Miss Trueman's tone brought vividly
to the mind a person dangling from
disgusted finger-tips a mouse or beetle.
"For heaven's sake, Aunt Jule"--in moments of intense
to the old form--"don't speak of her as if she
smoked for a living!"
"I should rather not speak of her at all," said Miss Trueman severely.
They raised their eyebrows helplessly: Carolyn's irritation
unfeigned that she omitted a justly
For two years they had devoted
part of their busy hours
to modifying Aunt Julia's antique
prejudices, developing in her the
latent aesthetic sense that their Wednesday art class taught them
existed in every one, cajoling her into a tolerance of certain phases
of modern literature
by the Monday
Afternoon Club, and incidentally
utilizing her as a chaperon and
housekeeper in their modest
The first six months of her sojourn
had been almost entirely occupied
with accustoming herself to the absence
of an attic and a cellar; long
days of depression
they learned, finally, to trace to this incredible
source. Later she dealt with the problem of subsisting from eight till
one on two rolls and a cup of coffee; successfully, in the ultimate
issue, as surreptitious bits of fried ham and buckwheat
suspicious odors, winked at discreetly by her nieces, witnessed. It
would have been unkind, as Elise suggested, to criticise
performances at the ungodly hour of seven in the morning, when their own
correctly Continental repast, flanked by a chrysanthemum in a tall
vase, not only tallied so accurately
with their digestive
necessities, but appeared, moreover, with such gratifying regularity one
Both Carolyn and her sister had inherited from their mother, Miss
True-man's older sister, a real gift for teaching, and this, rather than
abilities in art and music, enabled them to impart
the elements of these necessary branches to the young
ladies of a fashionable
boarding-school just outside the city.
It was politely
regretted by their friends that they were unable
give themselves unreservedly to the exercise of their art without the
cramping necessity for teaching; but it is probable
that both the girls
estimated their not too extraordinary
talents very sensibly, though far
from displeased by a more flattering
Miss Trueman, who possessed the characteristic
veneration of the bred
and born New Englander for his native or imported school-ma'am, resented
persistently their somewhat patronizing attitude toward the profession
second only to the ministry
in her stanch respect. A little of the
of those childhood
days when "the teacher boarded with
them" clung with the ineradicable force of habit to her mind, and she
could not understand their restive attitude at "the fine positions as
teachers Hattie's girls have got."
"I'm sure you make more money than that Miss Seymour that gets her own
meals in her room--she said so herself."
"Oh, well, there are other things to be considered, Aunt Ju; and,
anyway, she's a real bohemian, Polly Seymour. There's a fascination
"There's no fascination
in being hungry that I can see, and she admitted
that, L--Elise," Miss Trueman insisted severely. "I don't understand how
she could have done it--I would have died first. And she seemed to think
it was a great joke to have her friends give her a dinner--I think it
"Why, Aunt Jule, how ridiculous! We were delighted
to do it--it was
perfectly dear of her to let us, too. And think of the people we met
there--Rawlins and Mr. Ware! You don't mind being poor if such men will
come just out of interest in you, I tell you. Do you remember, Elise,
how Mr. Rawlins called her 'little girl'? Mr. Ware lets her use his
she likes, too," Carolyn added respectfully.
"Oh, she's bound to arrive!" Elise agreed.
Aunt Ju-ju sniffed uncontrolledly.
"I should hope she'd arrive at the point where she could buy her own
dinners," she remarked. "To be beholden for your bread"...
Here were two points of view as little likely to coincide
parallel lines of science, and at some such stage as this the
discussions were wont to cease.
To-day the apartment
was swept and garnished for a social function
long planned by the nieces. Carnations leaned from tall glass vases,
intricate little cakes jostled carefully piled sandwiches, and a huge
brass samovar, borrowed for the occasion, gave dignity
to the small
parlor. Miss Trueman had learned
by now the unwritten law that prevented
the various objects in the once proudly
segregated "drawing-room set"
from association with each other, and made no attempt to correct their
intentional isolation. The samovar she refused utterly to meddle
assuring them that she would as soon think of running
As the guests began to arrive Miss Trueman found herself regarding
even more critically than usual; an argumentative spirit rose in her,
and her calm contradiction
of Mrs. Ranger, who discussed with great
subtlety the notable
advantages--even from the artistic
view--of the approaching spring when experienced
in the city, in
comparison with that be-rhymed season's vaunted country beauties,
startled more than one person.
"Just because they're more delicate, just because you must look harder
to discover them, just because you must get as much from a pot of
hyacinths on the Avenue as from a whole field of primroses in the
backwoods, you know," she concluded, and the little circle
and congratulated themselves on an unpublished paragraph.
"I don't agree with you, Mrs. Ranger," said Aunt Ju-ju flatly, to the
of her nieces and the tolerantamusement
assembly. "I guess you haven't lived in the country much, or you
wouldn't talk so. And primroses don't grow in fields here, anyway.
If you could see my hyacinths and crocuses in round beds at home, you
wouldn't mention those poor little stalks in the pots."
Mrs. Ranger laughed, and directed her searching, level glance at
the older woman, who combined in her comely, undisguised middle age
something at once more matronly and more childish
than the analytic
authoress could ever find in her own mirror.
"Aha!" she cried, "then you are no friend of dear old Horace, after all,
Miss Trueman! He and I, you see--"
The relation of these two urbanites was revealed no further, for a
bustle in the little hall drew attention to a newcomer
only to the guests but evidently
to the hostesses, who rose, smiling
uncertainly, as a portly, broad-shouldered man with iron-gray hair made
his way through the group about the samovar.
"I'll have to introduce myself, I see," he began, not precisely
with what an exigent society calls ease of manner, but with a certain
practical self-possession quite as effective.
"I didn't expect the girls to remember me, but I thought perhaps you
Miss Trueman peered out from the shaded five-o'clock gloom so dear to
"I don't seem--it's not--why, Cousin Lorando Bean, it's not you?"
"That's it," he said heartily, "that's just exactly it. And he's mighty
glad to see some of his relations again, I can tell you. And these are
Carrie and Lizzie, I suppose. Well, well, fifteen years is a long time,
even to an old fellow like me, and you girls were just beginning
young ladies when I left Connecticut. How are you all?"
If this simple greeting came like a breath
of her native air to Miss
True-man, it cannot be said to have had a similar effect on her nieces.
Courtesy prevented a full expression of their feelings, but they
affected no undue delight at the presence of their new-found
relative--whom they had very sincerely
forgotten, along with many other
details of a somewhat inartistic youth--and turned to their other guests
with a frank relief
when they had established him, with a cup of tea, a
sandwich, and Aunt Julia, in the near-by
"A third or fourth cousin, I believe, who has lived a long time in the
West," they explained. The company, some of whom doubtless
third or fourth cousins from the West, nodded comprehensively, and the
Cousin Lorando Bean balanced his cup on his broad palm and gazed about
appreciatively at the casts and water-colors on the dull green walls.
"Very snug little quarters, these," he volunteered, "but, do you know,
Cousin Jule, I suppose it's all right for ladies, but I don't seem to
breathe extra well in these little rooms, somehow! I've been in two or
three of them like this, more or less, since I came to New York--people
I used to know that I've been hunting
up--and, by George, I began to
feel as if I was getting red in the face, if you see what I mean."
"Yes, indeed, Cousin Lorando, I do," returned Miss Trueman eagerly, "I
see exactly. And not having any cellar--you've no idea! Nor any
attic, either. And often and often we have the gas lighted all through
breakfast. Of course there are a great many conveniences," she added
loyally, "and there's no doubt it saves steps. But I almost think I'd
rather take 'em."
"What's become of the old place, Cousin Jule? I judge you've been out of
it some time?"
"Two years, Cousin Lorando. The girls had been boarding up to then, and
when Aunt Martha died they got up this plan for me to come down and live
with them, for they couldn't afford it quite, alone, and then I could
Aunt Julia delivered herself of this phrase
with a certain complacency.
Mr. Bean looked up sharply.
"That means that nobody gets a show to abduct 'em while you're around, I
take it?" he inquired.
"We-ell, not exactly," she demurred.
"But that's the idea? I thought so. Yes. How old is Lizzie now? Thirty?"
"Oh, no, Cousin Lorando; L---- Elise isn't twenty-nine yet. Carolyn is
"I don't seem to recall any one chaperoning you and Hattie when you were
thirty," he suggested thoughtfully.
She laughed involuntarily.
"Oh, Hattie was married, Cousin Lorando, and the children were ten years
old! And, anyway, it was different then."
"The girls were just as pretty, I guess," he insisted. "And there were
plenty of buggies, if anybody had designs."
There was a pause, and the buzz of voices from the other room rose
"They've neither of them got their mother's looks," he observed; and
then, with apparent
irrelevance: "When will they be considered safe to
go about alone?"
"I don't know exactly what you mean," she began a little coldly, but his
laugh reassured her.
"Oh, yes, you do," he contradicted, "and don't you be getting cross at
your Cousin Lorando Bean! You know I always loved to tease you; it made
your eyes snap--and it does now."
"How can you?" She looked reproachfully at him.
"And I tell you this, Cousin Jule: neither of those girls will ever get
up a color like that!"
She shook her head, but she was not displeased. He took out a fat
chocolate-colored cigar and fingered it wistfully.
"I suppose I mustn't smoke?" he queried.
Her quick answer surprised herself.
"I should hope you could, if that woman can!"
"That Mrs. Ranger, the one near the samovar--that big brass thing.
Liz--Elise didn't introduce her to you. They don't introduce people the
way they do at home, Cousin Lorando--I hope you didn't mind. They think
hastily [´heistili] ad.急速地；草率地 (初中英语单词)witness [´witnis] n.见证人 vt.目击 (初中英语单词)kettle [´ketl] n.水壶 (初中英语单词)relief [ri´li:f] n.救济；援救；减轻 (初中英语单词)childish [´tʃaildiʃ] a.孩子的；幼稚的 (初中英语单词)unable [ʌn´eibəl] a.不能的；无能为力的 (初中英语单词)disgust [dis´gʌst] n.厌恶 vt.令(人)作呕 (初中英语单词)dreadful [´dredful] a.可怕的；讨厌的 (初中英语单词)horror [´hɔrə] n.恐怖；战栗 (初中英语单词)briefly [´bri:fli] ad.简短地；简略地 (初中英语单词)cunning [´kʌniŋ] a.&n.狡猾(诡诈)的 (初中英语单词)constitution [,kɔnsti´tju:ʃən] n.宪法；体格；体质 (初中英语单词)wednesday [´wenzdi] n.星期三 (初中英语单词)literature [´litərətʃə] n.文学；文献；著作 (初中英语单词)seriously [´siəriəsli] ad.严肃；严重，重大 (初中英语单词)weekly [´wi:kli] a.&ad.每周一次(的) (初中英语单词)modest [´mɔdist] a.谦虚的；朴素的 (初中英语单词)absence [´æbsəns] n.不在，缺席；缺乏 (初中英语单词)cellar [´selə] n.地窑，地下室 (初中英语单词)depression [di´preʃən] n.沮丧，抑郁；萧条 (初中英语单词)moreover [mɔ:´rəuvə] ad.再者，此外，而且 (初中英语单词)probable [´prɔbəbəl] a.大概的n.很可能的事 (初中英语单词)extraordinary [ik´strɔ:dinəri] a.非常的；额外的 (初中英语单词)childhood [´tʃaildhud] n.幼年(时代)；早期 (初中英语单词)whenever [wen´evə] conj.&ad.无论何时 (初中英语单词)apartment [ə´pɑ:tmənt] n.一套房间 (初中英语单词)dignity [´digniti] n.尊严，尊贵；高官显贵 (初中英语单词)proudly [´praudli] ad.骄傲地；傲慢地 (初中英语单词)running [´rʌniŋ] a.奔跑的；流动的 (初中英语单词)delicate [´delikət] a.精美的；微妙的 (初中英语单词)circle [´sə:kəl] n.圆圈 v.环绕；盘旋 (初中英语单词)amazement [ə´meizmənt] n.惊愕；惊奇 (初中英语单词)amusement [ə´mju:zmənt] n.娱乐；文娱设施 (初中英语单词)evidently [´evidəntli] ad.明显地 (初中英语单词)beginning [bi´giniŋ] n.开始，开端；起源 (初中英语单词)breath [breθ] n.呼吸；气息 (初中英语单词)doubtless [´dautlis] ad.无疑地；大概，多半 (初中英语单词)function [´fʌŋkʃən] n.机能；职责 vi.活动 (初中英语单词)eagerly [´i:gəli] ad.渴望地，急切地 (初中英语单词)phrase [freiz] n.短语；词组；措词 (初中英语单词)apparent [ə´pærənt] a.显然的；表面上的 (初中英语单词)coldly [´kəuldli] ad.冷淡地 (初中英语单词)insert [in´sə:t, ´insə:t] vt.插入；夹入 n.插入物 (高中英语单词)loving [´lʌviŋ] a.爱的，有爱情的 (高中英语单词)subsequently [´sʌbsikwəntli] a.其次，接着 (高中英语单词)holder [´həuldə] n.所有物；土地；股份 (高中英语单词)recollection [,rekə´lekʃən] n.回忆；追想；记忆力 (高中英语单词)define [di´fain] vt.解释；说明；限定 (高中英语单词)perfectly [´pə:fiktli] ad.理想地；完美地 (高中英语单词)appeal [ə´pi:l] vi.&n.请求；呼吁；上诉 (高中英语单词)dignified [´dignifaid] a.尊贵的 (高中英语单词)carelessly [´kɛəlisli] ad.粗心地；疏忽地 (高中英语单词)intense [in´tens] a.强烈的；紧张的 (高中英语单词)learned [´lə:nid] a.有学问的，博学的 (高中英语单词)successfully [sək´sesfəli] ad.成功地 (高中英语单词)criticise [´kritisaiz] v.批评；批判；评论 (高中英语单词)continental [,kɔnti´nentl] a.大陆的，大陆性的 (高中英语单词)fashionable [´fæʃənəbəl] a.流行的，时髦的 (高中英语单词)politely [pə´laitli] ad.温和地；文雅地 (高中英语单词)flattering [´flætəriŋ] a.谄媚的；奉承的 (高中英语单词)characteristic [,kæriktə´ristik] a.特有的 n.特性 (高中英语单词)ministry [´ministri] n.政府各部；内阁 (高中英语单词)severely [si´viəli] ad.剧烈地；严格地 (高中英语单词)coincide [,kəuin´said] vi.一致；重合 (高中英语单词)meddle [´medl] vi.干涉(预)；乱弄 (高中英语单词)regarding [ri´gɑ:diŋ] prep.关于 (高中英语单词)notable [´nəutəbəl] a.显著的 n.名人 (高中英语单词)artistic [ɑ:´tistik] a.艺术的；有美感的 (高中英语单词)newcomer [´nju:,kʌmə] n.新来的人；移民 (高中英语单词)heartily [´hɑ:tili] ad.衷心地；亲切地 (高中英语单词)sincerely [sin´siəli] ad.真诚地；诚恳地 (高中英语单词)near-by [´niə-bai] a.附近的 ad.在附近 (高中英语单词)smoothly [´smu:ðli] ad.光滑地；顺利地 (高中英语单词)baptist [´bæptist] n.浸礼教徒 (英语四级单词)flatten [´flætn] v.把…弄平；击倒 (英语四级单词)tiresome [´taiəsəm] a.令人厌倦的；讨厌的 (英语四级单词)indulgence [in´dʌldʒəns] n.沉迷；宽容；恩惠 (英语四级单词)unconsciously [ʌn´kɔʃəsli] ad.无意识地；不觉察地 (英语四级单词)justly [´dʒʌstli] ad.公正地，正当地 (英语四级单词)devoted [di´vəutid] a.献身…的，忠实的 (英语四级单词)antique [æn´ti:k] a.古代的 n.古物(董) (英语四级单词)incidentally [,insi´dentəli] ad.顺便一提；偶然地 (英语四级单词)sojourn [´sɔdʒə:n] vi.&n.旅居；逗留 (英语四级单词)unkind [,ʌn´kaind] a.不客气的；不和善的 (英语四级单词)accurately [´ækjuritli] ad.准确地；精密地 (英语四级单词)respective [ri´spektiv] a.各自的，各个的 (英语四级单词)englander [´iŋgləndə] n.英格兰人；英国人 (英语四级单词)grandeur [´grændʒə] n.伟大；富丽；壮观 (英语四级单词)fascination [,fæsi´neiʃən] n.魅力；强烈爱好 (英语四级单词)delighted [di´laitid] a.高兴的；喜欢的 (英语四级单词)contradiction [,kɔntrə´dikʃən] n.矛盾；反驳；抵触 (英语四级单词)experienced [ik´spiəriənst] a.有经验的；熟练的 (英语四级单词)comely [´kʌmli] a.秀丽的；文雅的 (英语四级单词)malignant [mə´lignənt] a.恶意的；有害的 (英语六级单词)vividly [´vividli] ad.活泼地；生动地 (英语六级单词)helplessly [´helplisli] ad.无能为力地 (英语六级单词)irritation [,iri´teiʃən] n.(被)激怒；疼痛处 (英语六级单词)appreciable [ə´pri:ʃəbəl] a.看得出的 (英语六级单词)buckwheat [´bʌkwi:t] n.荞麦(粉) (英语六级单词)repast [ri´pɑ:st] n.餐 vi.就餐，设宴 (英语六级单词)digestive [di´dʒestiv] a.消化的，易消化的 (英语六级单词)isolation [,aisə´leiʃən] n.隔离，孤立 (英语六级单词)flatly [´flætli] ad.平淡地；断然地 (英语六级单词)tolerant [´tɔlərənt] a.宽容的，宽大的 (英语六级单词)hunting [´hʌntiŋ] n.打猎 (英语六级单词)