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Apron-Strings   By: (1875-1951)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

APRON STRINGS

by

ELEANOR GATES

Author of The Poor Little Rich Girl, Etc.

A story for all mothers who have daughters and for all daughters who have mothers

New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers

Copyright, 1917, by Sully and Kleinteich All rights reserved

First edition, October, 1917 Second edition, October, 1917

DEAR ANN WILDE,

It seems to me that there are, broadly speaking, three kinds of mothers. First, there is the kind that does not plan for, or want, a child, but, having borne one, invariably takes the high air of martyrdom, feeling that she has rendered the supreme service, and that, henceforth, nothing is too good for her. Second, there is the mother who loves her own children devotedly, and has as many as her health and the family purse will permit, but who is fairly indifferent to other women's children. Last of all, there is the mother who loves anybody's children everybody's children. Where the first kind of mother finds "young ones" a bother, and the second revels in a contrast of her darlings with her neighbors' little people (to the disparagement of the latter), the third never fails to see a baby if there is a baby around, never fails to be touched by little woes or joys; belongs, perhaps, to a child study club, or helps to support a kindergarten, or gives as freely as possible to some orphanage. And often such a woman, finding herself childless, and stirred to her action by a voice that is Nature's, ordering her to fulfill her woman's destiny, makes choice from among those countless little ones who are unclaimed; and if she happens not to be married, nevertheless, like a mateless bird, she sets lovingly about the building of a home nest.

This last kind is the best of all mothers. Not only is the fruit of her body precious to her, but all child life is precious. She is the super mother: She is the woman with the universal mother heart.

You, the "Auntie Mother" to two lucky little girls, are of this type which I so honor. And that is why I dedicate to you this story with great affection, and with profound respect.

Your friend, ELEANOR GATES.

New York, 1917.

APRON STRINGS

CHAPTER I

"I tell you, there's something funny about it, Steve, having the wedding out on that scrap of lawn." It was the florist who was speaking. He was a little man, with a brown beard that lent him a professional air. He gave a jerk of the head toward the high bay window of the Rectory drawing room, set down his basket of smilax on the well cared for Brussels that, after a disappearing fashion, carpeted the drawing room floor, and proceeded to select and cut off the end of a cigar.

"Something wrong," assented Steve. He found and filled a pipe.

The other now dropped his voice to a whisper. "'Mrs. Milo,' I says to the old lady, 'give me the Church to decorate and I'll make it look like something.' 'My good man,' she come back, you know the way she talks 'the wedding will be in the Close.'"

"A stylish name for not much of anything," observed Steve. "The Close! Why not call it a yard and be done with it?"

"English," explained the florist. " Well, I pointed out that this room would be a good place for the ceremony. I could hang the wedding bell right in the bay window. But at that, click come the old lady's teeth together. 'The wedding will be in the Close,' she says again, and so I shut my mouth."

"Temper."

"Exactly. And why? What's the matter with the Church? and what's the matter with this room? that they have to go outdoors to marry up the poor youngsters. What's worse, that Close hasn't got the best reputation. For there stands that orphan basket, in plain sight "

"It's no place for a wedding!"

"Of course not! a yard where of a night poor things come sneaking in "

A door at the far end of the long room had opened softly... Continue reading book >>




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