Margaret closed her eyes for an instant as though to shut out some things she did not wish to see.

“How many children?” she repeated after a moment.

“Four: Zwingli, Naomi, Christian, and Daniel. Daniel, the baby, is my namesake of course. You see, Hiram had about decided I wasn’t going to marry and that having no children of my own, I’d do well by my namesake. But,” Daniel chuckled, “I fooled him, didn’t I?”

“Do you like his wife?”

“Oh, yes, he did very well, very well indeed. Lizzie’s worth thirty thousand dollars.”

He paused expectantly. Here was Margaret’s chance to speak up and tell him what she was worth.

“If she’s worth that much,” was Margaret’s comment, “she certainly ought to be all wool and a yard wide. But I asked whether you liked her.”

“Why, yes, she’s a good wife,” returned Daniel, disappointed, his tone dejected. Why couldn’t he make Margaret talk property? “Hiram married the richest woman in Millerstown. And she’s a very capable and economical woman, too. You’ll hear my brother preach to-morrow,” he added with pride, cheering up a bit. “He’s a fine preacher. So considered in Millerstown. If he had gone into the ministry younger, he’d have made his mark in his profession just as I have done in the law; but he was nearly thirty when he began to study. Yes,” said Daniel as the car drew up at their door, “you’ll hear a great sermon when you hear my brother  for leaving Millerstown, when Margaret was taken by her hostess to an upstairs’ bedroom to rearrange her hair before starting, that she and Hiram’s wife were given an opportunity for a word together. What, then, was her chagrin to have Lizzie at once take up her husband’s eulogistic harangue where he had left it off.

“Daniel and Jennie and Sadie always say their New Munich preacher seems so slow and uninteresting after they’ve heard Hiram. I guess you’ll think, too, next Sunday, their minister’s a poor preacher towards what Hiram is.”

“I don’t go to church every Sunday. To tell you the truth, Lizzie, I’m not awfully fond of sermons.”

“Oh, ain’t you? I do like a good sermon, the kind Hiram preaches.”

“You never get tired of them?”

“Not of Hiram’s,” said Lizzie, shocked.

“Of course not of Hiram’s,” Margaret hastily concurred.

“Does Danny insist you go along to the U. B. Church, or do you attend the Episcopal?”

“The Episcopalians are trying to gather me into their fold and Daniel seems to want me to go there.”

“It’s so much more tony than at the U. B. Church,” nodded Lizzie understandingly. “Yes, Danny often said already that if he hadn’t a brother that is a U. B. preacher, he’d join to the Episcopals. But it wouldn’t look nice for him to leave the U. B’s when Hiram’s minister of the U. B. Church, would it?”

“It wouldn’t look nice for him to leave it for the other reason you mentioned.”

“That the Episcopals are so tony that way? Well, but Danny thinks an awful lot of that—if a thing is tony or not. Don’t you, too? You look as if you did.”

“The word isn’t in my vocabulary, Lizzie. Let me have another look at the baby before I go, won’t you?”

“He looks like Hiram—ain’t?” said the mother fondly as they stood beside the crib in her bedroom and gazed down upon the sleeping infant. “I hope he gives as smart a man as what his father is.”

“But, Lizzie, don’t you think the room is too close for him?” Margaret gasped, loosening the fur at her throat in the stifling atmosphere of the chamber.

“Yes,” Lizzie whispered, “but Jennie and Sadie are so old-fashioned that way, they think it’s awful to have fresh air at a baby. When they go, I open up.”

“But,” asked Margaret, surprised, “why do you have to be ‘old-fashioned’ because they are?”