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Baby Mine   By: (1882-1951)

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By Margaret Mayo

To my Helper and Husband


Even in college Alfred Hardy was a young man of fixed ideas and high ideals and proud of it.

His friend, Jimmy Jinks, had few ideas and no ideals, and was glad of it, and before half of their first college term had passed, Jimmy had ridded himself of all such worries as making up his own mind or directing his own morals. Alfred did all these things so much better, argued Jimmy, furthermore, Alfred LIKED to do them Jimmy owed it to his friend to give him that pleasure.

The fact that Jimmy was several years Alfred's senior and twice his size, in no way altered his opinion of Alfred's judgment, and through their entire college course they agreed as one man in all their discussions or rather in all Alfred's discussions.

But it was not until the close of their senior year that Alfred favoured Jimmy with his views on matrimony.

Sitting alone in a secluded corner of the campus waiting for Alfred to solve a problem in higher mathematics, Jimmy now recalled fragments of Alfred's last conversation.

"No twelve dollar shoes and forty dollar hats for MY wife," his young friend had raged and he condemned to Jimmy the wicked extravagance of his own younger sisters. "The woman who gets me must be a home maker. I'll take her to the theatre occasionally, and now and then we'll have a few friends in for the evening; but the fireside must be her magnet, and I'll be right by her side each night with my books and my day's worries. She shall be taken into my confidence completely; and I'll take good care to let her know, before I marry her, just what I expect in return."

"Alfred certainly has the right idea about marriage," mused Jimmy, as the toe of his boot shoved the gravel up and down the path. "There's just one impractical feature about it." He was conscious of a slight feeling of heresy when he admitted even ONE flaw in his friend's scheme of things. "Where is Alfred to find such a wife?"

Jimmy ran through the list of unattached girls to whom Alfred had thus far presented him. It was no doubt due to his lack of imagination, but try as he would, he could not see any one of these girls sitting by the fireside listening to Alfred's "worries" for four or five nights each week. He recalled all the married women whom he had been obliged, through no fault of his own, to observe.

True, all of them did not boast twelve dollar shoes or forty dollar hats for the very simple reason that the incomes or the tempers of their husbands did not permit of it. In any case, Jimmy did not remember having seen them spend many evenings by the fireside. Where then was Alfred to find the exceptional creature who was to help "systematise his life"? Jimmy was not above hoping that Alfred's search might be a long one. He was content for his friend to go jogging along by his side, theorising about marriage and taking no chances with facts. Having come to this conclusion, he began to feel uneasy at Alfred's non appearance. Alfred had promised to meet him on this spot at four thirty, and Alfred had decided ideas about punctuality. It was now five thirty. Ought Jimmy to look for him, or would he be wiser to remain comfortably seated and to try to digest another of his friend's theories?

While Jimmy was trying to decide this vexed question, his ear caught the sound of a girlish titter. Turning in embarrassment toward a secluded path just behind him, whom did he see coming toward him but Alfred, with what appeared to be a bunch of daffodils; but as Alfred drew nearer, Jimmy began to perceive at his elbow a large flower trimmed hat, and "horrors!" beneath it, with a great deal of filmy white and yellow floating from it, was a small pink and white face.

Barely had Jimmy reversed himself and rearranged his round, astonished features, when Alfred, beaming and buoyant, brought the bundle of fluff to a full stop before him... Continue reading book >>

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