He could see that her mind was not clear. The perplexity was strong in her good-natured face. So he waited.
"But, say, Mart," after a long pause, "how did it end? Did that young man who spoke so highfalutin' get her?"
And, after he had explained the end, which he thought he had made artistically obvious, she would say:-
"That's what I wanted to know. Why didn't you write that way in the story?"
One thing he learned, after he had read her a number of stories, namely, that she liked happy endings.
"That story was perfectly grand," she announced, straightening up from the wash-tub with a tired sigh and wiping the sweat from her forehead with a red, steamy hand; "but it makes me sad. I want to cry. There is too many sad things in the world anyway. It makes me happy to think about happy things. Now if he'd married her, and - You don't mind, Mart?" she queried apprehensively. "I just happen to feel that way, because I'm tired, I guess. But the story was grand just the same, perfectly grand. Where are you goin' to sell it?"
"That's a horse of another color," he laughed.
"But if you DID sell it, what do you think you'd get for it?"
"Oh, a hundred dollars. That would be the least, the way prices go."
"My! I do hope you'll sell it!"
"Easy money, eh?" Then he added proudly: "I wrote it in two days. That's fifty dollars a day."
He longed to read his stories to Ruth, but did not dare. He would wait till some were published, he decided, then she would understand what he had been working for. In the meantime he toiled on. Never had the spirit of adventure lured him more strongly than on this amazing exploration of the realm of mind.