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to come in for something in a chest of drawers there. "Why don't
you open the door, A.? Who have you got there? Hasn't that fellow
gone?" A. was confused and told me to get under the bed, but I
refused, and she covered me up with the bed clothes as well as
she could and opened the door. She had hid my clothes, but missed
one of my shoes, and her mother saw it. "Oh, A.," was all she
said; "you've got that fellow in bed," and went out crying.
"Well, Fred" (my stage name), "you've got me into a nice row," A.
said. She gave me my breakfast in the morning and I walked out of
the front door without being molested. Another night I entered
her window by a ladder and stayed all night. In the middle of the
night E. came home drunk. She would not let him in and told him
she would have nothing more to do with him. He attempted to break
in the door, when A. called to me, and hearing a man in the room
he went away, saying, as he went downstairs: "Oh, A.! Oh, A.!"
as if he thought she would not have done such a thing. He never
molested us after that night.
I think it was my intention, at first, to break off with A.
gradually. I found, however, I could not keep away from her, and
it commenced to be evident to me that a bachelor's life in
lodgings again would be dreary and lonely. And all this time the
fear that I had offended God troubled me more than I have said,
and it occurred to me (there may have been a touch of sophistry
in this, or not) that if I were a true husband to her for the
future--stuck to her and worked for her for the rest of my
days--perhaps it would find favor in God's sight and be an
atonement for my sin. Had she been free I would have married her,
I believe. But she began to be harassed by her mother and
bothered about my incessantly coming there and staying all night.
It ended in my telling her I would be a husband to her, and she
came and lived with me at my lodgings. We had one room and our
meals cost us sixpence each. Cheap as it was, it was a struggle
for me to earn money at all. I remember feeling ill and anxious
once, and sustaining myself by the thought of my father wheeling
the heavy truck up the street when he married my mother. And I
decided to wheel my truck, too.
A. seemed happy and her love increased, if possible; at first,
though, she must have found me a trying lover, for I made her
kneel and pray with me two or three times a day, which she did
with such a queer expression of face. Sometimes her feelings got
the better of her, and she would say: "Oh, damn it, Fred, you are
always praying." And then I would be shocked and she would be
sorry.... Coitus was frequent; she commenced to like it now....
A. was not looking well one evening when she came in, and lay
down on the bed. Presently she commenced to make a strange noise,
and I saw her eyes were closed and her hands clenched. "Ah," said
the landlady, who came in to help me; "she has epileptic fits."
When her convulsions were over she looked blankly at us, knitting
her brows and evidently puzzling her poor brain to remember who
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