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What Diantha Did
written by "Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935"
...the girls. I'll call for you at twelve—but I won't go in." Mr. and Mrs. Thaddler were there—but not happy. She was not, at least, and showed it; he was not until an idea struck him. He dodged softly out, and was soon flying off, at dangerous speed over the moon-white country roads. He found Ross, dressed and ready, sulking blackly on his shadowy porch. "Come and take a spin while you wait," said Mr. Thaddler. "Thanks, I have to go in town later." "I'll take you in town." "Thank you, but I have to take the horses in and bring out my mother and the girls." "I'll bring you all out in the car. Come on—it's a great night." So Ross rather reluctantly came. He sat back on the luxurious cushions, his arms folded sternly, his brows knit, and the stout gentleman at his side watched him shrewdly. "How does the ranch go?" he asked. "Very well, thank you, Mr. Thaddler." "Them Chinks pay up promptly?" "As prompt as the month comes round. Their rent is a very valuable part of the estate." "Yes," Mr. Thaddler pursued. "They have a good steady market for their stuff. And the chicken man, too. Do you know who buys 'em?" Ross did not. Did not greatly care, he intimated. "I should think you'd be interested—you ought to—it's Diantha Bell." Ross started, but said nothing. "You see, I've taken a great interest in her proposition ever since she sprung it on us," Mr. Thaddler confided. "She's got the goods all right. But there was plenty against her here—you know what women are! And I made up my mind the supplies should be good and steady, anyhow. She had no trouble with her grocery orders; that was easy. Meat I couldn't handle—except indirectly—a little pressure, maybe, here and there." And he chuckled softly. "But this ranch I bought on purpose." Ross turned as if he had been stung. "You!" he said. "Yes, me. Why not? It's a ...

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