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By Charles W. Chesnutt

Gents have been seated, one March morning in 189—, within the inner most place of work of French and corporate, restricted, on decrease Broadway. Mr. Kirby, the junior partner—a guy of thirty-five, with brown hair and mustache, clean-cut, good-looking gains, and an alert demeanour, was once smoking cigarettes nearly as quickly as he may perhaps roll them, and whilst observing the electrical clock upon the wall and getting up every now and then to stride restlessly backward and forward around the room.

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Graciella is especially offended, and all of us think ashamed adequate to sink into the floor. What might be the problem with Ben? He hasn’t been round in recent years, and he has quarrelled with Graciella. I by no means could have anticipated whatever like this from Ben. ” “It got here from his great-uncle Ralph,” acknowledged Mrs. Treadwell. “Ralph used to be very wild while he was once younger, yet settled down right into a very polished gentleman. I danced with him as soon as whilst he used to be under the influence of alcohol, and that i by no means knew it—it used to be my first ball, and that i used to be intoxicated myself, with pleasure. mom used to be scandalised, yet father laughed and acknowledged boys will be boys. yet terrible Ben hasn’t had his uncle’s percentages, and whereas he has regularly behaved good the following, he may well hardly ever be anticipated to hold his liquor like a gentleman of the old-fashioned. ” “My expensive ladies,” stated the colonel, “we have heard just one part of the tale. i assume there’s without doubt Ben was once intoxicated, yet we all know he isn’t a ingesting guy, and one drink—or even one drunk—doesn’t make a drunkard, nor one struggle a rowdy. Barclay Fetters and Tom McRae should not immaculate, and maybe Ben can exonerate himself. ” “I definitely wish so,” acknowledged omit Laura earnestly. “I am sorry for Ben, yet i couldn't allow a drunken rowdy to come back to the home, or permit my niece be obvious upon the road with him. ” “It may merely be fair,” stated the colonel, “to supply him an opportunity to give an explanation for, whilst he is available in back. I a bit like Ben. He has a few effective mechanical principles, and the making of a guy in him, until i'm fallacious. i've been hoping to discover a spot for him within the new cotton mill, whilst it truly is able to run. ” They have been nonetheless talking of Ben, while there has been an irresolute knock on the rear door of the parlour, within which they have been seated. “Miss Laura, O leave out Laura,” got here a muffled voice. “Kin I communicate to you a minute. It’s amazing pertickler, leave out Laura, fo’ God it truly is! ” “Laura,” acknowledged the colonel, “bring Catharine in. I observed that you just have been bothered as soon as earlier than if you happen to have been forced to refuse her whatever. Henceforth your burdens will probably be mine. are available in, Catharine,” he referred to as, “and let us know what’s the problem. What’s your difficulty? What’s all of it approximately? ” the lady, red-eyed from weeping, got here in, wringing her apron. “Miss Laura,” she sobbed, “an’ Colonel French, my husban’ Bud is finished long past and acquired inter mo’ difficulty. He’s run away f’m Mistah Fettuhs, w’at he wuz sol’ again to in de spring, an’ he’s performed be’n wonderful’ fifty dollahs mo’, an’ he’s gwine ter be sol’ again ter Mistah Fettuhs in de mawnin’, fer ter end out de ole wonderful and wo’k out de new one. I’s be’n ter see ’im in de gyard residence, an’ he say Mistah Haines, w’at use’ ter be de constable and is a gyard fer Mistah Fettuhs now, beat an’ ’bused him so he couldn’ stan’ it; an’ ’ceptin’ i'll pay all dem fines, he’ll be tuck again dere; an’he say ef dey evah beats him ag’in, dey’ll eithuh haf ter kill him, er he’ll kill a few er dem. An’ Bud is a rash guy, leave out Laura, an’ I’m feared dat he’ll do w’at he say, an’ ef dey kills him er he kills any er dem, it’ll be all de related ter me—I’ll by no means see ’m no mo’ in dis worl’.

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