1922: A Girl’s Will Force

From a 1922 issue of The American Magazine:

A Girl’s Will Force

Years ago in the South I met Sue. She was twelve, and loved books with all the strength of her young heart. Her father railed against her studious habits.

“You’re spoilin’ the girl,” he would say to his wife. “The younger ‘uns take to workin’ about the house, an’ she—”

But always his wife replied: “Sue’s different from us, Dan. God’s making her what we might have been.”

Thus for twelve years Sue lived in a world apart with her books.

Then, one afternoon Sue returned from school to find her mother dead.

After the funeral her father said:.

“You’ve got to quit them books now. I can’t afford hired help. You must take charge o’ the young ‘uns and the home.”

That night Sue made a plan: On school days she rose early, prepared the breakfast, got the children ready for school, dressed the four-year-old and the baby, and left them in the charge of a kind-hearted neighbor. In the afternoons she cooked the dinner, planned the meals for the next day, etc. On Saturdays she did the heavier work.

Three months later Sue handed her father a report card with its usual excellent marks.

He stared at it blankly.

“You mean you’ve been doin’ the housework an’ carryin’ on with them books, too?”

Sue nodded.

“Is that what books teach you?”

“Yes. They’re full of such things — men and women who die rather than give up.”

There was moisture in her father’s eyes and a husky note in his voice.

“I’m right proud of you. my girl. Maybe I can help you a bit about the house.” And he did.

— E.C.

Original page image (composite):


Next to last post of 2012. Nice way to end the year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books: General

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s