THE five-twenty train pulling out of Furniture City had not put on full speed before Daisy opened her hand-bag and, taking out a letter and a small box (it was a candy-box, but it did not contain candy), read the letter again.

Of course, Daisy was a fool. For instance, do you remember that fellow (we both knew him) who pulled every dollar he had out of the bank, put a mortgage on his home, and borrowed all he could without security to margin a stock over which he had no vestige of control, knowing that if it went up he would win out, but if it went down he and his family and sundry friends would be in an exceedingly deep and dark hole? The stock went up, but if it hadnʼt—

Well, Daisyʼs venture was quite on a par with his. She risked all she had on a blind throw. But all Daisy had was herself.

She had been fairly well brought up. That is to say, she had breathed country air when a child, had gathered eggs and picked currants and chased home the cows and minded four successive babies, and learned something about love in the care of the second, who was always sickly and finally died, and been scolded daily for slackness and idleness, and reminded at least three times a week that she ought to be grateful to a kind uncle and aunt for giving her a home.

In spite of all these advantages, she suffered very little from homesickness when, at fifteen, she was permitted to go to the city, where, after three months’ servitude in the train of a five-year-old despot, she answered an advertisement for a chambermaid, and obtained within a few weeks much diversity of information regarding life.

Her “job” was in a small family hotel, where she occupied a cramped,

* This is the third in the series of short stories which are to appear weekly in both English and Esperanto in THE CAVALIER. The Esperanto version follows the English version.

This feature ls purely an experiment. THE CAVALIER is the first magazine to include in its Table of Contents a story written in the international language.

The January 18th issue contained ‟the Lure of the Lavender Treesˮ; the January 25th issue contained “The Fear of Life.ˮ Back numbers can be supplied by our Subscription Department at 10c a copy.—THE EDITOR.


inside room, rose at five-thirty, swept and dusted the parlors, sorted the linen, and while cleaning the hall outside her row of bedrooms, watched the occupants appear and make their way to the breakfast-room.

The men went forth each morning to some form of employment. Some of the women did the same. Their jobs, Daisy opined, were much superior to hers, calling for neat tailor-mades in winter, fresh linens and muslins in summer, carefully arranged hair and manicured hands at all seasons, but they also demanded a strict observance of morning hours and an expenditure of strength during the day, of which Daisy shrewdly noted the signs in lagging step and lifeless manner when night brought the workers back.

Yes, Daisy saw it all quite plainly. This was a world of jobs, but there was only one that appealed to her as being a “cinch,” a sure thing. That job was matrimony—matrimony as illustrated in a certain proportion of the women who lived at the hotel. For the most part the husbands of these women were “travelers”—men who “made” Grand Rapids once a week or a month.

As a rule, it did not seem to concern their wives greatly if they failed to make it at the regular interval. A few of the husbands were employed in the city, but housekeeping was too arduous or too expensive for the wives, who appeared to need all their time for their hair and all the money they could get for their clothes. Occasionally they constructed some of the clothes in their rooms. Daisy’s opinion was sometimes sought as to the relative becomingness of inverted plaits or a lat back; but that was the nearest those fortunate ladies ever approached to work.

Daisy was very young, and idleness always looks good to youth, especially to youth that has to work at something it dislikes. Three leisurely meals a day, a morning of playing “at dressmaking or embroidery, an afternoon of dressing and promenading, an evening of cards and gossip, pretty clothes, clean hands, elaborately done hair always. There was a job worth having! And the woman holding it was rarely so pretty as Daisy, who was very pretty indeed.

A year of sweeping, dusting, bed-making, and linen-sorting had passed when, in the room of one of these representatives of the idle rich, Daisy picked up a torn copy of a Detroit paper, and as she was about to put it in her rubbish basket, these words caught her eye:

A gentleman of good character and circumstances wishes to correspond with a young lady, blond, and not over twenty; object matrimony.

Daisy was naturally a silent person. The careless “joshing” of the male guests at the hotel rarely elicited more than an uncertain smile. The talk of her fellow workers did not interest her greatly. She know there were methods of living other than by honest work or honest marriage, but something in her revolted from discussion or consideration of those methods. Her definite information on the subject was slight.

She had come to realize that genuine offers of marriage, backed by a good home or an income sufficient to support a wife in the luxury of “boarding,” were not so numerous as the few novels she had read would lead you to expect if your looks were up to the required standard. Not one had yet come her way, and she was turned seventeen, had large, blue eyes, abundant brown hair that needed no crimping, and a complexion that looked even nicer before than after the application of the powder-rag she felt it her feminine duty to use.

Plainly, the trouble was lack of opportunity. She stood by the waste-basket debating, her duster in one hand, the paper in the other. Was this opportunity? She tore the adver-


tisement off and put it inside her. shirt-waist.

That was six weeks ago. Now she took the letter from her hand-bag, feeling, as she commenced its rereading, much like a would-be swimmer flung for the first time into the surf, and grasping at an exceedingly slim and slack line which, from the shore, had appeared taut and sturdy enough.


Iʼm going home from Chicago Friday night, and will meet you on the train at Jackson at 7.30. You will leave Grand Rapids at 5.20. I’ve made arrangements for you to stop the night with a lady friend of mine, and Saturday morning weʼll go over to Windsor and be married. They donʼt ask questions over there, and you look like eighteen in your photo. I guess Iʼd know you anyway, but we don’t want to make any mistakes, so Iʼm going to wear a big white daisy in my buttonhole, and you must wear a bunch of them on your dress, tied with this piece of yellow ribbon. Get a double seat and don’t let it go till you get to Jackson. Then you watch the door, and when I come in raise your hand. The machine will meet us at the depot and we’ll go right to my lady friend’s. She’s got a swell home. Now donʼt be scared. It’s all on the square. You won’t do no more work, but will live as a lady should while Iʼm away selling automobiles. It’s a great business. A fellow donʼt have much time for courting, but Iʼll be able to sell twice as many when I know—ˮ etc., etc., etc.

(It was signed)


Daisy, floundering in her strange sea, felt the line more and more flimsy as she read until she came to the signature. Then it seemed to tighten and afford some sense of security. “David.” She mentally pictured the man that name fitted. Fair, like her distant cousin, David Munroe, who, five years previously, a stalwart, honest-eyed stripling, had paid a visit at her uncleʼs farm; broad of shoulder, not very tall, square of jaw, and with a smile that made you know he would not lie. That was David—Munroe; but was that David Miller?

David Munroe worked somewhere in Detroit, a chauffeur in a private family. David Miller was a traveling salesman of automobiles, making fabulous commissions and having cars and chauffeurs at his beck. Probably David Munroe was married now; he was eighteen when she remembered him. David Miller was twenty-eight, he said, and had not married because he was waiting for the girl who should look just like the very unfaithful little portrait she had sent him. It represented her without a hat, with hair in last year's style, and with a simpering, photographic smile—a far cry from the scared expression now upon her pretty face.

Hastings. The train stopped and passengers crowded in. There was but one through car to Detroit, and it was small. People looked questioningly at the two seats Daisy had preempted, trying to give them an air of occupancy by the disposal of her bag and umbrella. Presently a man with two bulky grips stopped. Behind him a woman carried a sleeping child of two or three years old. The train quivered at the first tug of the engine.

“This seat taken?” the man asked hurriedly, and, without waiting reply: “You can lay her down here, Mrs. Sherman. I must be off.”

He was gone, and the woman had placed the child upon the unoccupied cushions and seated herself beside Daisy. One of the bags stood in the aisle; the other, together with Daisy’s, was crammed under their feet. Daisy, with sinking heart, saw every seat occupied. Her whole personal acquaintance with the man she was to marry next morning was to have been made during the two hours’ ride between Jackson and Detroit.

The child, lying with curious rigidness on the seat before her, opened dark eyes of remarkable beauty and looked into her troubled face. Then it made an odd sound, half moan, half patient sigh, and threw out a thin arm, resting a tiny, transparent hand on Daisy’s knee. The mother bent over it. Did the baby want a drink—a cracker—her doll? The baby, it ap-


peared, wanted none of these things. It was a strange baby. It lay as stiffly as if made of wood and looked at Daisy, who, in spite of her annoyance, was moved to ask:

“What is the matter with her?”

“She’s in a plaster cast. Been in it six months, and sheʼll have to wear it another year. Weʼve been stopping in Hastings, and now Iʼm taking her home.”

The little creature, its shadowlike hand still resting on Daisy’s knee, was dozing off, and the mother went on. The child had been misshapen from birth, but it was hoped by this treatment she might become normal. It was wonderful what she endured without murmuring. It was terrible at first, but now she just seemed to know she had to bear it. The motherʼs eyes suffused as she spoke of the baby’s pain and patience. The girl, preoccupied as she was, could not but feel some thrill of sympathy. She sat very still so as not to disturb the little hand.

But what was she to do when David F. Miller came? Must they just look at each other across the woman and the sick child? Daisy grew hot all over. What would he look like? He had sent her no photograph. The mental picture she had evoked was fading. Faces of many types kaleidoscoped before her. She would ask the woman to change places with her so she could sit next the aisle. But not yet; not till they were near Jackson.

Charlotte! Eaton Rapids!

“Jackson! Next stop Jackson!ˮ

The brakemanʼs singsong announcement sent fever and chill in quick succession through Daisy’s frame. The child stirred, half waked, strove to raise herself, was soothed back to uneasy slumber by the mother.

‟As long as she lies straight she’s not in pain, but when she gets moving around the cast hurts terribly. I hope she’1l sloop all the way to Detroit.”

Only half an hour now to Jackson. Her flowers! Where were they? Oh, here was the box!

“Candy?” said Daisy’s companion, smiling sadly. “Donʼt let the baby see you eating it. She mustn’t have any.ˮ

Daisy let the box lie unopened in her lap. How strange the woman would think it if she took the ribbon-tied blossoms from the box and pinned them on. She would wait until the train began to slow. The pin was ready in her belt.

“If it wasn’t for the young man who rooms at my house,” the woman was saying, “I don’t know how Iʼd ever got through the last year. He works at a place in Grosse Pointe; he’s a hauffeur, but he rooms at my place. He’ll do anything for the baby. When the cast was first put on and she cried most all the time, he walked the floor with her sometimes half the night. He gets his boss to let him take her out in the car when they’re not using it, and if things arenʼt just right in the house he never says a word. Why, when I sprained my wrist last winter David”—Daisy’s wandering attention came back with a jerk—“washed the dishes when he came in at night, and held the baby quiet while I unfastened her things with one hand. The girl that gets him will get a real man.”

“Jackson!ˮ cried the trainman again.

The engine was slowing.

‟Is his name David?” gasped Daisy, trembling in every limb and fumbling frantically with the string on the candy-box.

“Yes—David Munroe. Oh, the baby’s awake! She wants a drink. I’ll get her one while the train stops. She looks as if she’s taken a fancy to you. Will you mind her just a minute? Motherʼll get you some water, darling.”

The woman was gone down the swaying car just as Daisy took her bunch of marguerites from the box and attempted with shaking fingers to pin them on her dress. The pin slipped and fell upon the floor. She stooped for it, and as she bent the child raised its arms and clasped them about her


neck. The movement caused the flowers to follow the pin, and Daisy struggled to free herself.

“Oh, don’t, baby!” she cried impatiently, tears of nervousness and exasperation in her eyes, but the little creature clung to her.

The train jerked to a standstill. Daisy, leaning forward, her neck imprisoned by the clinging arms, her great picture-hat—for which she had expended almost her last dollar—askew over one side of her face, saw a woman enter at the door opposite, then two boys, then—a coat with a large marguerite in the lapel. Above it a face swam in a blur, which cleared as she strove to loosen the childʼs persistent fingers, her effort eliciting an agonized wail as the feeble body struggled against its unyielding encasement.

As the wearer of the flower approached, Daisy, her eyes in horrified fascination on his face, ceased to resist her little captor, crouching forward among the satchels and over the child, her only thought to conceal her identity.

David F. Miller, known to his intimate associates as “Flash Frederick,” came slowly up the car, touching the backs of the seats on either side and scanning the faces of the occupants.

Great prominent, dark eyes, bold and bloodshot; oily black hair, streaked with gray; a pock-marked skin and features stamped by drink; a mouth—Daisy shivered as might a deer suddenly confronted by the gleaming jaws of a tiger.

There were but three young girls in the car. At the handsome Ann Arbor student near the door the man cast a searching look, but her unconsciousness of his existence was obvious. That the bepuffed and talkative miss across the aisle was in the guardianship of a male escort was equally evident. At the young woman, apparently soothing her screaming child, the man did not glance twice.

As he passed her indifferently, Daisy huddled closer over her charge, and presently, looking back under the brim of her overshadowing hat, saw the wearer of the marguerite returning once more upon his quest, followed by the mother of the baby bearing a dripping cup.

She managed to conceal her face entirely as he passed the second time, and the woman of whose companionship she had been so impatient now seemed a very fortress of defense between her and the promenading figure in the aisle.

“Iʼm afraid sheʼs mussed you all up,” apologized the mother. “Would you like to take the outside seat?ˮ

“Oh, no!” Daisy protested, and added: “Couldn’t I hold the little girl?ˮ

No disguise, she felt, could be better than the seeming ownership of the child.

As the train again puffed David F. Miller made another slow examination of the travelers in the Detroit car, and this time even Daisy’s feverishly assiduous occupation with her fretful burden did not save her from scrutiny that included a tinge of suspicion.

“The only looker in the car,ˮ David F. Miller said to himself disgustedly, “and she belongs to that howling brat!ˮ

In the smoking-car he took a photograph from his pocket and made mental comparisons. The face of the girl with the baby was the only one with a shadow of likeness, and it was manifestly not she.

“Stung!” thought David F. Miller, and sought comfort in tobacco. In the other car three-cornered negotiations were going forward. The crippled baby, with unmistakable sincerity, approved and claimed Daisy’s services. The mother asked her destination in the city. Daisy was seeking work; was accustomed to children, and liked them. Would she be willing for small pay but a good home to help care for the child and house?ˮ


Homeless, terrified, Daisy gladly, thankfully, would. References? David Munroe knew her people. Then she could come right home with the baby that night, for David had written that he would bring his employer’s car to the depot to meet the sick child.

As the passengers poured out upon the platform at Detroit a big, evil-looking man sauntered once more through the car from which Daisy and her companions had just alighted. With puzzled air he examined each deserted compartment.

As he passed two seats near the center of the car he saw among the dust and scraps upon the floor an empty candy-box, and, stooping, picked up a wilted bunch of marguerites tied with a yellow ribbon.

David F. Miller gave the little box a vicious kick and murmured earnestly:



SOURCE: Gale, Frances E. “Marguerites,” with “Lekantoj,” translated by D. O. S. Lowell, The Cavalier, vol. 25, no. 1, February 1, 1913, pp. 162-167, 167-171.

Note: Neither the original typography nor the original two-column formatting is preserved here.

This occasions the fourth appearance of an Esperanto translation in The Cavalier, and the third of a test series that generated five translations.  For links to all the English originals and Esperanto translations and more information, see:

The Cavalier: Covers & Contents

J. U. Giesy (John Ulrich, 1877-1948) & His Collaborators

In 2112” (1912) by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith

En 2112” (1912) by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith,
translated into Esperanto by Elmer E. Haynes, M.D.

In 2112,” by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith,
translated from Esperanto by Forrest J. Ackerman

Esperanto in The Scrap Book, April - June 1907
(with 2 articles by D. O. S. Lowell)

Farewell to Esperanto
by Bob Davis, the Editor
(The Cavalier, 15 Feb 1913)

Esperanto—A Closed Incident
by the Editor [Bob Davis],
with images of the entire letter column
“Heart to Heart Talks”

Esperanto in early science fiction to 1930 by Everet F. Bleiler

J. U. Giesy (John Ulrich, 1877-1948) & His Collaborators

Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide / Retgvidilo pri Esperanto & Interlingvistiko

Philosophical and Universal Languages, 1600-1800, and Related Themes: Selected Bibliography

Sciencfikcio & Utopia Literaturo en Esperanto / Science Fiction & Utopian Literature in Esperanto:
Gvidilo / A Guide

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress


J. U. Giesy @ Ĝirafo

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