Once upon a Time there was a Work-Horse who used to lie awake Nights framing up Schemes to Corral more Collateral to leave to the Olive Branches.
They may have looked like Jimpson Weeds to the rest of the World but to Pa and Ma they were A-1 Olive Branches.
Pa was a self made Proposition–Sole-Leather, Hand-Stitched and Four- Ply, with Rivets around the Edge.
His Business Career had been one long Rassle with Adverse Circumstances. Nothing was ever handed to him on a Sheffield Tray with Parsley around it. The World owed him a Living, but in order to collect it he had to conduct his Arguments with a piece of Lead-Pipe.
He was out for the Kids, if you know what that means. He was collecting Hebrew Diplomas and he had a special Liking for the light-colored Variety with a large C in the Corner.
He was going to provide for his Family, regardless of what happened to other Families.
He had a little Office back of the Bank and made a Specialty of helping those overtaken by Trouble. Any one in Financial Straits who went into the Back Office to arrange for a Loan was expected to open Negotiations by removing the Right Eye and laying it on the Table.
Pa had Mormon Whiskers and a Mackerel Eye and wore a Shawl instead of an Overcoat and kept a little Bag of Peppermint Drops in his Tail- Pocket and walked Pussy-Foot and took more Stock in Isaiah than he did in the Sermon on the Mount.
The Above is merely a Rough Outline, but it will help you to understand why his Wife preceded him to the Other Shore.
She was a Good Woman who never formed the Matinee Habit and up to the Day of her Death she could put her Hand on her Heart and truly say she had not wasted any Money on Jewelry or Cut Flowers.
But she could have written a large Book on how it feels to get up in the Morning and stir a little Oatmeal.
Pa and Ma saved and skimped and held out and trimmed and maneuvered for Years.
They had been brought up in the School of Hard Knocks, but they wanted Bertrand and Isabel to go through Life on Ball Bearings.
Pa finally went to his Reward, according to the Local Paper, and then it came out that Bertrand and Isabel had $400,000 each, which was more than Pa had ever turned in to the Assessor.
These two Children had been sheltered from the Great World, although never stinted in the matter of Sassafras Tea or the Privilege of reading Books written by Josephus and others.
As soon as he came into his inheritance, Bertrand looked about in a startled Manner and then bought himself a Plush Hat and began to cultivate Pimples.
A few Days later he might have been seen riding in a Demonstrating Car with a Salesman who wore Goggles and who told him that all the Swell Guys were putting in Orders for the $6,200 Type with the jeweled Mud- Guards. And next Morning the Sexton observed that Father, by turning over in the Grave, had somewhat loosened the fresh Earth.
Bertrand had Modern Plumbing put into the Old House and built a Porte Cochere on the Side and moved a lot of Red Velvet Furniture into the Parlor. Some said that the Moaning Sound heard at Night was only the Wind in the Evergreens, but others allowed that it was the returned Spirit of the Loan Agent checking over the Expenses.
Isabel stopped wearing Things that scratched her and began ordering from a Catalogue, because the Local Dealers didn’t carry anything but Common Stuff. Also she began to Entertain, and the first time she served Hot-House Asparagus in January, the House rocked on its Foundations.
Bertrand soon knew the Difference between a Rickey and a Sour and was trying to pretend to let on to be fond of the Smoky Taste in that Imported Article which has done so much to mitigate the Horrors of Golf.