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The Heart's Kingdom
written by "King, W. B."
...ore the Phosphate Company gave him his managership. Nell and the babies are the nails driven in her heart every day and she loves them all passionately. She is only twenty-eight and life will be long for her. She needs help to live it. Whence will the help come? Nell married Mark when she was eighteen and has produced a result every year and a half since. She loves him mildly and he loves her after a fashion, but her endurance is wearing thin. His mother had seven children and he thinks that an ideal number, though she was one generation nearer the pioneer woman and also had a nurse[Pg 99] trained in slavery who was a wizard with children. Mark wants to have a lot of joy of life and so far he drags poor exhausted Nell with him. It is a question how long she can stand the social pace and the over-production. What is going to help her when she breaks down? How will she hold him faithful while she rears and trains all the kiddies? Where will she get spirit to love him and work out their salvation? Also Harriet is always there. Something will have to help Nell. What? Billy loves Nell and doesn't know it. He loved her before she was married. The children make him rage superficially and burn inwardly. He gambles and drinks, but is honest and adorable. What is going to make a real man of him? Jessie Litton's mother died in a private sanitarium for the mentally unbalanced and she knows all about it. She loves Hampton Dibrell and never looks in his direction or is a moment alone with him. He is in the unattached state of ease where any woman can get him if she cares to try, and Jessie has to keep her hands behind her. Letitia is serenely happy with not a dark corner[Pg 100] that I know of. She loves Cliff Gray and always will. Cliff is faithful and as good as gold, but he will hang around Jessie, who encourages him, because she is lonely and considers him safely tied up with Letitia. Mr. Cockrell is the best lawyer in town and Mrs. Cockre...

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