410 Loves of A. Fitz Clarence and Rosa Ethelton
"Alfred !......Good servant, but as uncertain as
Alonzo touched an electric bell button in the wall. He waited a moment, then touched it again; waited a few moments more, and said:
" Battery out of order, no doubt. But now that I have started, I will find out what time it is." He stepped to a speaking-tube in the wall, blew its whistle, and called, " Mother!" and repeated it. twice.
" Well, that's no use. Mother's battery is out of order, too. Can't raise anybody downstairs — that is plain."
He sat down at a rosewood desk, leaned his chin on the left-hand edge of it, and spoke, as if to the floor: "Aunt Susan!"
A low, pleasant voice answered, " Is that you, Alonzo?"
" Yes. I'm too lazy and comfortable to go downstairs; I am in extremity, and I can/t seem to scare up any help."
" Dear me, what is the matter?"
" Matter enough, I can tell you!"'
" Oh, don't keep me in suspense, dear! What is it?"
" I want to know what time it is."
" You abominable boy, what a turn you did give me ! Is that all?"
"All — on my honor. Calm yourself. Tell me the time, and receive my blessing."
" Just five minutes after nine. No charge—- keep your blessing."
" Thanks. It wouldn't have impoverished me, aunty, nor so enriched you that you could live without other means."
He got up, murmuring, " Just five minutes after nine," and faced his clock. 4tAh," said he, " you