chapter  XVIII
16 Pages

I PROMISE A SON

Several hours later he returned with his wife. The girl was dignified, well-bred, and extremely intelligent, and I wondered what evil fortune had persuaded her family to let her become the fifth wife to this militarist, a far from enviable rank in any household. Was it possible that the Colonel had claimed her as a prize of war in some foray of the past year? I was not likely ever to know her story, but even in that first interview I hoped compassionately that this child might be a son and raise her status in the household. That later on I should be wishing the same thing much more fervently for my own sake, I did not then realize. Examination showed her in excellent condition, and after careful instructions to which she listened most attentively, I told them to return in three weeks.