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"OH, NOW YOU. HAVE DONE 1TI"
Synopsis. Major Amberson has made a fortune In 1873 when other people
were losing fortunes, and the magnificence of the Ambersqns began then.
Major Amberson laid out a 200-acre "development," with roads and statuary,
and in the center of a four-acre tract, on Amberson avenue, built for himself
the most magnificent mansion Midland City had ever seen. When the major's
daughter married young Wilbur Minafer the neighbors predicted that as Isabel
could never really love Wilbur all her love would be bestowed upon the
children. There is only one child, however, George Amberson Minafer, and
his upbringing and his youthful accomplishments as a mischief maker are
quite in keeping with the most pessimistic predictions. By the time George
goes away to college he does not attempt to conceal his belief that the
Ambersbns are about the most Important family in the world. At a ball
given "In his honor when he returns from college, George monopolizes Lucy
Morgan, a stranger and the prettiest girl present, and gets on famously with
her until he learns that a "queer looking duck" at whom he had been poking
much fun, is the young lady's father. He Is Eugene Morgan, a former resident
of Bigburg, and he Is returning to erect a factory and to build horseless
carriages of his own invention. Eugene had been an old admirer of Isabel
and they had been engaged when' Isabel threw him over because of a youthful
indiscretion and married Wilbur Minafer. George makes rapid progress in
his courtship of Lucy. A cotillion helps their acquaintance along famously.
Their, "friendship" continues during his absences at college. George and
Lucy become "almost engaged." There Is a family quarrel over a division
of property which reveals that both George's Aunt Fanny and George's mother
are more or less Interested in Eugene Morgan. George's father dies. George
is graduated. He and Lucy remain "almost engaged." George announces to her
hin intention to be a gentleman of leisure. Lucy disapproves and George
resents her father's Influence. The lovers "almost quarrel." George tries to
insult Morgan. The sight of Morgan with his mother makes him "see red."
what Aunt' Amelia said about people
talking. You denied it. And that
wasn't the only time; you'd attacked
me before then, because I intimated
that Morgan might be coming here too
often. You made me believe that
mother let him come entirely on your
account, and now you say "
that they thinJthey were right when
they said she vjs in in love with him
before before ty father died?"
She looked ahim gravely with. her
eyes now dry ljtween their reddened
lids. "Why G.e?rge," she said, gently,
A'don't you knovfethat's what they say?
You must knowr that everybody In
y -10- .
He went to his room, threw off his
c?at, waistcoat, collar and tie, letting
them lie where they chanced to fall,
and then, having violently enveloped
himself in a black velvet dressing
gown, continued this action by lying
down with a vehemence that brought
a wheeze of protest from his bed. His
repose was only a momentary sem
blance, however, for it lasted no long
er than the time it took him to groan
"Riffraff !" between his teeth. Then he
sat up, swung his feet to the floor, rose
and began to pace up and down the
large room. -
He had just been consciously rude
to his mother fof the first time in his
life; for, with all his riding down of
populace and riffraff, he had never be
fore been either deliberately or im
pulsively disregarded of her. But
now he had done a rough thing to her ;
and he did not repent; the rather he
was the more irritated with her. And
yhen he heard lier presently go by his
door with a light step, singing cheer
fully to herselfis she went to her
ri.-oni, he perceived that she had mis
taken his-intention altogether, or, in
deed, had failed to perceive that he
had any Intention at all.
There came a delicate, eager tap
ping at his door, not done with a
knuckle but with the tip of a finger
nail, which was instantly clarified to
George's mind's eye as plainly as if he
saw it : "the long and polished white
mooned pink shield on the end of his
Aunt Fanny's right forefinger. But
George was In no mood for human
communications, and even when things
went well he had little pleasure in
Fanny's society. Therefore it Is not
surprising that at the sound of her
tapping, instead of bidding her enter,
he immediately crossed -the room with
the intention of locking the door to
keep her out. ' ;
Fanny was too eager and, opening
the door before he reached it, came
quickly in, and closed it behind her.
Her look was that of a person who
had just seen something extraordinary
or heard thrilling news.
"Now, what o'n earth do you want?"
her chilling nephew demanded.
"George," she said hurriedly, "I saw
what you did when you couldn't speak
to them. I was sitting with Mrs. John-
son at her front window, across the
street, and I saw it all."
"Well, what of It?"
"You did right!" Fanny said with a
vehemence not the less spirited be
cause she suppressed her voice almost
to a whisper. "You did exactly
right! You're behaving splendidly
abdmt the whole thing, and I want to
tell you I know your father would
thank you if (he could see what you're
"My Lord r George broke out at her.
"You make me dizzy! For heaven's
pkke quit the mysterious detective
business at least do quit it around
me! Go and try it on somebody else,
li you like; but I don't want to hear
She began to tremble, regarding him
with a fixed gaze. "You don't care to
hear, then," she said huskily, "that I
approve of what you're doing?"
"Certainly not ! Since I haven't the
faintest idea what you think I'm 'do
ing, naturally I don't care whether
you approve of It or not. All I'd like,
if you please, Is to be alone. I'm not
giving a tea here, this afternoon, if
you'll permit me to mention it!"-
Fanny's gaze wavered ; she began
to blink ; then suddenly she sank into
a chair and wept silently, but with a
-"Oh, for the Lord's sake!" &e
moaned. "What In the world Is wrong
with you?" "
"You're always picking on me," she
quavered wretchedly, her voice Indis
tinct with the wetness that bubbled in
to it from her tears. "You do you
always pick on me! You've always
done it always ever since you were
a little boy! Whenever 'anything goes
wrong with you, you take It out on
me! You do! You always"
George flung to heaven a gesture of
; despair; it seemed to him the last
straw that Fanny should have chosen
thi8 particular time to come and iQt
much to see me as anything for a
while it looked like it. He did act va
good deal that way and if Wilbur
"You told me there wasn't any
"I didn't think there was much,
then," Fanny protested. "I didn't
know how much there was."
"People don't come and tell such
things to a person's family, you know.
You don't suppose anybody was going
to say to George Amberson that his
sister was getting herself talked about,
do you? Or that they were going to
say much to me?"
"You told me," said George, fiercely,
"that mother' never saw him "except
when she was. chaperoning you."
"They Weren't much alone together,
then," Fanny returned. "Hardly ever,
mine does seem too hard! I don't
think I can stand it ! Honestly, I don't
think I can ! I came In here just to
show you I sympathized with you
just to say something pleasant to you.
"I think he did," Fanny interrupted town thinks tti&'re going to be mar
desolately. "I think he did come as ried very soon.ii
, George uttengi an incoherent cry ;
and sections ?f him appeared to
writhe. He wffs upon the verge of
actual nausea, j
"You know $y Fanny cried, getting
up. 'Youdon'Mthink I'd have sooken
of It to you-jntless I was sure you
knew it?" Hr voice was wholly
genuine, as it lfid been throughout the
wretched interview. "Somebody must
have told you,?',!
"Who told yfi?" he said.
"What?" l ,
"Who told Aon there was talk?
Where is thisgtalk? Where does it
)rae from? jho does it?"
"Why, I supjjjbse pretty much every
body," she said "I know it must be
"Who said sg?"
George steZ close to her. "You
say people dOnr speak to a person of
gossip about ffhat person's family.
Well, ho did pu- hear it, then? How
did you get hoi of It? Answer me!"
"WlJy "Fafny hesitated.
"I hardly tlvtik it would be fair to
give names." 1
"Look here,( said George. "One of
your most inornate friends is that
even for Mrs. Johnson! What
you' doing, over there? ": ; '
'She told me to leave the honsp
George , said desperately. . "I . went
there because Aunt Fanny told me the
whole : town was taikins: about mv
motherland that man Morgan that
they say my mother is going to marry
him and that proves she was too fond
of. him before my father died she
said this Mrs. Johnson was one thnt
talked about ltr and I went to her to
ask who were the others."
Amberson's jaw fell in dismay.
"Don't tell rne you did that!" he said,
in a low voice ; and then, seeing it was
true, "Oh, now you have done it!"
'I've done it?" George cried. "What
do you mean: I've done It? And what
have I done?"
Amberson had collapsed into an
easy chair beside his dressing table,
the white - evening tie he had been
about to put on danslinsr from his
n his room over his mistreatment of
"Ob, my Lord !" he whispered ; then.
with a great effort, addressed her in a
reasonable tone: "Look here, Aunt
Fanny; I don't see what you're making before Wilbur died. Everybody knew
an tnis fuss about. Of course I know tnai nea neen engaged to her
I've teased you sometimes, but" "What's that?" George cried.
"Teased' me?" she wailed. Everybody knows it. Don't you re
44 'Teased me ! Oh, it does seem too member your grandfather speaking of
hard sometimes this mean old life of at the Sunday dinner one night?'
"He didn't say they were engaged
"Well, they were! Everybody knows
It; and she broke it off on account of
that serenade when Eugene didn't
and you treat me as if I were-oh, no, kw what he was doing. He drank stance Hflg ever'mentioned this you are mistaken in saying she told
the dear old Major's, too. He's look
"Mrs. Johnson," George said, in a
strained loud voice which arrested her
attention immediately, so that she was
abruptly silenced, leaving her sur
prised mouth open. "Mrs. Johnson, I
have come to ask you a few questions
which I would like you to answer, if hand, which; had fallen limply on the
you please." , I arm of the chair. "By Jove!" he mut-
She became grave at once. , "Cer- tered. "That is too badl
taimy, Mr. Minafer. Anything I can " I George folded his arms bitterly,
lie interrupted sternly, yet his
voice shook in spite of its sternness.
"You were talking with my Aunt Fan
ny about my mother this afternoon."
At this Mrs. Johnson uttered an in
voluntary gasp, but she recovered
1 1 tmi va
neren. men rm sure our conver
sation was a very pleasant ono, if we
were - talking of your mother, be
Again he Interrupted. "My aunt
has told me what the conversation vir
tually was, and I don't mean to waste
any time, Mrs. Johnson.. You were
talking about a " George's shoulders
suddenly heaved uncontrollably; but
he went fiercely on : "You were discuss
ing a scandal that involved my moth
er s name."
"Isn't that the truth?"
"I don't feel called upon to answer.
Mr. Minafer." she said with visible
agitation. "I do not consider that yon
have any right '
"My aunt told me you repeated this
scandal to her."
"I don't think your aunt can have
said that," Mrs. Johnson returned
sharply. "I did not repeat a scandal
of any kind to-your aunt and I think
Will you kindly answer my question?
What have I done that wasn't honor-.
able and right? Do you think these
riffraff can I so about bandvinc mjr
mother's name "
"They can now," said Amberson. "I
don't know If they could before, but
they certainly can now!"
"What do you mean by that?"
His uncle sighed profoundly, picked
up his tie, and, preoccupied with de
spondency, twisted the strip of white
4awn till it became unwarable. Mean-
you wouldn't treat a servant the way
you treat me! You wouldn't treat any
body in the world like this except old
"Oh, my Lord!" George groaned.
Fanny spread out her small, soaked
handkerchief, and shook It in the ajr
to dry it a little, crying as damply and
as wretchedly during this operation as
before a sight which gave George a
curious shock to add to his other agi
tations, it seemed so strange.
"You're so proud," she quavered,
"and so hard! I tell you I didn't mean
to speak of It to you, and I never,
never in the world would have told
you about it, nor have made the faint
est reference to it, if I hadn't seen that
somebody else had told you, or you'd
found out for yourself some way.
In despair of her intelligence, and
In some doubt of his own, George
struck the palms' of his hands together.
"Somebody else had told me what?
I'd found what out for myself?"
"How people are talking about your
Except for the Incidental teariness
of her voice, her tone was casual, as
though she mentioned a subject pre
viously discussed and understood ;
for Fanny had no doubt that George
had only pretended to be mystified be
cause, in his pride, he would not in
words admit that he knew what he
"What did you say?" he asked In
credulously. "Of course I understood what you
were doing," Fanny went on, drying her
handkerchief again. "It puzzled other
people when you began to be rude to
Eugene, because they couldn't see how
you could treat him as you did when
you were so interested in Lucy. But
I remembered how you came to me,
that other time when there was so
much talk about Isabel; and I linew
you'd give , Lucy up In a minute, if it
came to a1 question of your mother's I
reputation, because you said then
that" . . 7
"Look here," George interrupted in
a shaking voice. "Look here, I'd
like He stopped, unable to go on,
his agitation was so great. His chest
heaved asfrom hard running,' and his
complexion, pallia at nrsc, nau ue
come mottled; fiery splotches appear
ing at his temples and cheeks. "What
do you mean by telling me telling me
there's talk about about " He
gulped, and began again: "What do
you mean by using such words as
reputation?' What do you mean,
speaking of a 'question of my my
Fanny looked up at him woefully
over the handkerchief which she now
applied to her reddened nose. "God
knows X am sorry for you, George "
she murmured. "I wanted to say so,
nut it's onlv oid Fanny, so whatever
she says even when it's sympathy
pick on her for it !" sne soDueu.
only poor old lonely Fanny!"
"You look here !" George said harsh
ly. "When I . spoke to my Uncle
George after that rotten thing I heard
Aunt Amelia say about my mother, he
said If there was any gossip it was
about you! He said people might be
laughing about the way you ran after
Morgan, but that was all." .
Fanny lifted ner nanus, ucuuicu
them and struck them upon her knees.
"Yes? it's always Fanny f'.she sobbed.
"Ridiculous old Fanny always, al
ways! ,J MA
You listen 1" George said. "After
ti tn Uncle George I saw you;
Affll vou said I had a mean little mind
for thinking there might be trutn m
when he was a young man, and she
wouldn't stand for it, but everybody
In this town knows that Isabel has
never really cared for any other man
in her life! Poor Wilbur! He was
the only soul alive that didn't know
.Nightmare had descended upon the
unfortunate George; he leaned back
against the footboard of his bed, gaz
ing wildly at his aunt. "I believe I'm
going crazy," he said. "You mean
when you told me there wasn't any
talk, you told me a falsehood?"
"No !" Fanny gasped.
"I tell you I didn't know how much
talk there was, and It wouldn't ijave
amounted to much If Wilbur had
lived." And. Fanny completed this
with a fatal admission: "I didn't want
you to interfere." . ,
George overlooked the admission;
his mind was not now occupied with
to you? You.siy everybody Is talkinj
Is she one?"
"Oh, she ma!? have intimated M
' "I'm asking you: Has she ever
spoken of it-tj you?"
"She's a ver kind, discreet woman,
George : but irhe may have intimat-
George hda sudden intuition, as I
there flickerento his mind the pic
ture of a strej?t-crossing and two ab
sorbed ladbsilmost run down by a.
fast horse. 'ou and she have been
talking about t today !" he cried. "You
you l did. We may have discussed
some matters that have been a topic
of comment about town -
"Yes!" George cried. "I think you
may have ! That's what I'm here
about, and what I intend to"
"Don't tell me what you intend,
please," Mrs. Johnson Interrupted
crisply. "And I should prefer that you
would not make your voice quite so
loud in this house, which I happen to
own. Your aunt may have told you
though I think it would have been very
unwise In her if she did, and not very
were talking bout it with her not two considerate of me she may have told
Lj you deny It?"
"Do you dy it?"
"No!" J ,
"All right,y -said George.
She caughtat his arm as he turned
away. "Whk are you going to do,
George?" f '
4T11 not tag about It, now," he said,
heavily. "I f-iink you've done a good
deal for one Hay, Aunt Fanny 1"
you that we discussed some topic as I
have mentioned, and possibly that
would have been true. If I talked it
over with her, you may be sur I spoke
in the most charitable spirit, and
without sharing In other people's dis
position to put an evil interpretation
on what may be nothing more than
unfortunate appearances and " '
"My GodJ" said George. "I can't
stand this !"
"You have the option of dropping
And Fannft seeing the passion In subject " Mrs Johnson suggested
l' - I 11 A. 1,1 J m UliU OilU UUUCU & VA. V
the house." .
his face, begat to be alarmed. "George,
you know I'r sorry for you, whether
you care or fot," she whimpered. "I
never- In tr world would have
spoken of tt$f I hadn't thought you
knew all abot It. I wouldn't have"
But he had; pened the door with his
free hand. jNever mind 1" he said,
and she waspbliged to pass out Into
the hall, theojor closing quickly be
hind her. M , .
George tote off his dressing-gown
and put on a&ollar and tie, his fingers
shaking so yiat the tie was not his
usual success; then he picked up his
coat and waftcoat, and left the room
while still inrocess of donning them,
fastening th5 buttons as he ran down
the front stfirs to the door. It was
not until he Reached the middle. of the
street that tijj realized that he had tor
gotten his hut; and he paused for an
irresolute lament then he decided
that he neecfd.tlP hat for the sort ol
call he Intended to make, and went
forward hiriedly.- Mrs. Johnson
was at hornet the Irish girl who came
to the door Informed him, and he was
left to awaia the lady, in a room like
v . . an elegant yvell the Johnsons' "re-
"Do Sit Down the Hospitable Lady JJ
Mrs. JohnJn came in, breathing no-
analysis. "What do you mean," he
asked, "when you say that if father
had lived, the talk wouldn't have
amounted to anything?
ticeably; an& her .round head, smooth
ly but ecoifomlcally decorated with
the hair of lib honest woman, seemed
to he lingering far in the background
Things might have been they of the Alpirji bosom which took pre
cedence of tfep rest of her everywhere ;
but when se was all in the room, it
was to be sfn that her breathing was
the result ojfbospitable haste to greet
the visitor, ynnd her hand suggested
might have been different.".
i "You mean Morgan might have mar
: Fanny gulped. "No. Because I
don't know, that I'd have accepted
him." She had ceased to weep, and
now she sat up stiffly "I certainly
that she haofpaused for only the brief
est ablution George accepted this
didn't care enough about him to mar- cold, damp gimp mechanically,
ry him; I wouldn't have let myself "Mr. Amljrson I mean Mr. Mlna
care that much until he showed that fer!" she effclaimed. Tm really de
he wished to marry me. Tm not that lighted; I $iderstoo6 you asked for
sort of person!" The poor lady paid me. Mr. Johnson's out of. the pity,
iw- mrontfv nitonne uttio tihnt hnt CTharlieVi downtown and I'm look-
"What I mean is, If Wilbur hadn't died lng for hlngat any minute, now, and Major's without knocking. Amberson
people wouldn't have had it proved he'll. be so pleased that you was dressing. ;
before their very eyes that what "I didn't! want to see .Charlie." "Good gracious, Georgle 1 he ex
they'd been talking about, was true!" George sahft "I want ' claimed, "what's up?" - .
"Yon snv von K5iv thnt tPonle be- "Do sit i&wn." the hospitable Jady "I've Just come from Mrs., John
lieve " George t shuddered, then urged him.&eating herself upon the son's across the street," George pant
'Til -do that soon enough, but first
I mean to know "
"I am perfectly willing to tell you
anything you wish if you will remem
ber to ask It quietly. I'll also take
the liberty of reminding you that I
had a perfect right to discuss the sub
ject with your aunt. Other people "
"Other people !" the unhappy George
repeated viciously. "That's what I
want to- know about these other peo
ple! You say you know of other peo
ple who talk about this.' '
"I presume they do."
"I want to know how many other
people talk about it?"
"Dear, dear!" she protested "How
should I know that?"
"Haven't you heard anybody men
tion it?" I
"I presume so."
"Well, how many have you heard?"
Mrs. Johnson was becoming more
annoyed than apprehensive, and she
showed it. "Really, this isn't a court
room," she said. "And I'm not a de
fendant in a libel suit, either!" !
The unfortunate young man ! lost
what remained of his balance. "You
may be !" he cried. "I intend to know
just who's dared to say these things,
if I have to force my way into every
house in town, and I'm going to make
them take every word of it back! I
mean to know the name of every slan
derer that's spoken of this matter to
you and of every tattler you've passed
it on to yourself. I mean to know "
"YouH know something pretty
quick!" she said, rising with difficul
ty; and her voice was thick with the
sense of insult. "You'll know that
you're out In the street. Please to
leave my house!" -
George stiffened sharply. Then he
bowed, and strode out of the door.
Three minutes later, disheveled and
perspiring, but cold all over, he burst
into his Uncle George's room at the
"Gossip Is Never Fatal, Georgle, He
Said, "Until It Is Denied.
while, he tried to enlight en his nephew.
"Gossip is never fafal, Georgle," he
said, -"until it is de ed. Gossip goes
on about every hum;: being alive and
about all the dead that are alive
enough to be remen bered, and yet
almost never does . iny harm until
some defender make i a controversy."
"See here," Geora ? said, "I didn't
come to listen to any generalizing dose
of philosophy! I nsi you "
"You asked me wliat you've done,'
and I'm telling jou.'" Amberson gave
him a melancholy si die, continuing:
"Suffer me to do it !n my own way.
Fanny says there's teen talk about
your mother, and tit Mrs. Johnson
does some of it.- I don't know, because
naturally nobody wo j Id come to me
with such stuff or iwntion it before
me; but, It's presumrbly true I sup
pose It is. I've seen fanny with Mrs.
Johnson quite a lot ; and thai old
lady Is a notorious gossip, and that's,
why she ordered you out of her house
when you pinned her down that she'd .
been gossiping. I suppose It's true
that the Svhole town," a lot of others,
that is, do share in til gossip. In this
town, naturally, any hlng. about anjr "
Amberson has ahvaj s been a stone
drop'ped into the ce iter of a pondV
and a lie would sen-1 the ripples as
far as a truth would. You can be sure
that for many years I aere's been more
gossip In this place y bout the Amber
sons than about any other family. I "
dare say it isn't so imch so now as
it used to be, because the town got
too big long ago-, but it's the truth
that the more prominent you are the
more gossip there is about you, and
the more people woul like to pull you
down. Well, they caa do It as long
as you refuse to krow what gossip
there Is about you. But the minute '
you notice It It's got you I I'm not
speaking of certain kinds tit slander
that sometimes people have got to take
to the courts; I'm talking of the
wretched buzzing th.j Mrs. Johnsons
do the thing you sem to have such
a horror of people talking' the kind
of thing that has assailed your mother.
People who have repeated a slander
either get ashamed - or forget It, If
they're let alone. People will forget,
almost any slander except one that's
"Is that1 all rm George asked.
"I suppose so," his uncle murmured
"Well, then, may I ask what j ou'd
have done In my place?"
forced himself to continue, in a sick
voice: "They believe my, mother Is
Is in love with that man?"
"Of course!" t
"And because he comes' here and
"Do St .dov n.r
No, I th&k you. ,
"Surely (rou're not going to run
away agaln when you've Just come?
Do sit dovai, Mr. Minafer. I hope
they see her with hint driving and all J you're all $ell at your house and at
"You have your own tastes ! was
Amberson's comment. "But curious as
they are you ought to do something
better with your hair, and button
your waistcoat to the right buttons
"You're not wanted In
this house, Mr. Mirgan, now
or at any other tim."
(TO BE COXTIKIJSI,)