whole it has been to my advantage

"Early in my career," he, however, resumed his monologue, "I took a stand for temperance. I'm a total abstainer, Miss Berkeley, and I have found that on the , for besides being more economical, it has seemed more consistent with my Christian professions. To be sure, when the liquor men of our precinct practically offered to send me to Congress if I would uphold their interests, I did regret that I had taken such a decided stand for temperance that I couldn't becomingly diverge from it.

Margaret had a momentary impulse to tear the ring from her finger and fling it in his face, and such impulses were so foreign to her gentle disposition that she marvelled at herself.

"I'm glad it's property, Daniel," she returned with a perfunctory facetiousness, "for if you don't use me well, I can sell out to Isaac or Israel and run off! Or, if business got dull with you, we could fall back on our diamond ring!"

"My business get dull!" he laughed. It was rather delightful to know she was marrying him with so little idea of his great possessions; another proof of the fascination he had always had for ladies, according to Jennie and Sadie.

"But—I don't understand. How do you happen to have acquaintances that are 'undesirable,' and in what sense undesirable—so much so as to make it awkward to have to return their calls?"

"Well, for instance, the clerks employed in my office. I think they may perhaps club together and give us a handsome wedding-present if we send them cards. And if they do, I suppose their wives will feel privileged to call."

"And their wives are 'undesirable?' Yes, I suppose I see what you mean. How awfully narrow our lives are, aren't they? I imagine it might be a very broadening and interesting experience to really make friends with other classes than our own. I've never had the shadow of a chance to."

"The work of a corporation lawyer," she asked Daniel, "is it anything more than a money-making job?"

"Anything more?" repeated Daniel, shocked at the suggestion that it could be anything more. "Isn't that enough?"

"Dear me, no! When two women spend their lives keeping a man fit for his work, they surely want to know that his work is worth such a price; that it is benefiting society."

"Well, of course, any money-making 'job,' as you call it (I would hardly call my legal work a 'job') must benefit society; if I make money, I not only can support a family but can give to public charities, and to the church."

"There's nothing in that, Daniel; I have studied enough social and political economy to know, as you, too, certainly must know, that society has outgrown the philanthropy and charity idea; has learned to hate philanthropy and charity; people are demanding the right to earn their own way and keep their self-respect."

"I'm afraid, Margaret," said Daniel gravely, "your irreligious uncle gave you some rather unladylike ideas. However," he smiled, "my Christian influence on you, as fond of me as you are, will soon make you forget his infidel teachings. For goodness' sake, dear, don't forget yourself and repeat such atheistic thoughts before my sisters or indeed to any one in New Munich. Our best society is very critical."

It flashed upon Margaret to wonder, with a sudden sense of despair, what her uncle would have said to her marrying Daniel Leitzel.

"If I don't do it quickly, I can't hold out!" she miserably thought.

But she realized that she confronted a worse fate in the alternative of remaining with Hattie.

"How old are your sisters?" she asked.

"They are both elderly women, though as vigorous as they ever were."

Margaret told herself that she would be so much kinder to them than Hattie had ever been to her. "They shall never feel unwelcome in my home," she resolved.