I think that now you should know this charming Gadsby family; so I will bring forth Lady Gadsby, about whom I told you at Gadsby’s inauguration as Mayor; a loyal church woman with a vocal ability for choir work; and, with good capability on piano or organ, no woman could “fill in” in so many ways; and no woman was so willing, and quick to do so. Gadsby had two sons; bright lads and popular with all. Julius was of a studious turn of mind, always poring through books of information; caring not what kind of information it was, so long as it was information, and not fiction. Gadsby had thought of his growing up as a school instructor, for no work is so worthy as imparting what you know to any who long to study. But William! Oh, hum!! Our Mayor and Lady Gadsby didn’t know just what to do with him; for all his thoughts clung around girls and fashions in clothing. Probably our High School didn’t contain a girl who didn’t think that, at no distant day, Bill Gadsby would turn, from a callow youth, into a “big catch” husband; for a Mayor’s son in so important a city as ours was a mark for any girl to shoot at. But Bill was not of a marrying disposition; loving girls just as girls, but holding out no hand to any in particular. Always in first class togs, without missing a solitary fad which a young man should adopt, Gadsby’s Bill was a lion, in his own right, with no girl in sight who had that tact through which a lasso could land around his manly throat. Gadsby had many a laugh, looking back at his own boyhood days, his various flirtations, and such wild, throbbing palpitations as a boy’s flirtations can instill; and looking back through just such ogling groups as now sought his offspring; until a girl, oh, so long ago, had put a stop to all such flirtations, and got that lasso on “with a strangling hold,” as Gadsby says; and it is still on, today! But this family was not all boys. Oh, my, no! Two girls also sat around that family board. First, following William, was Nancy, who, as Gadsby laughingly said, “didn’t know how to grow;” and now, in High School, was “about as big as a pint of milk;” and of such outstanding charm that Gadsby continually got solicitations to allow photographing for soft-drink and similar billboard displays.
“No, sir!! Not for any sort of pay!! In allowing public distribution of a girl’s photo you don’t know into what situations said photos will land. I find, daily, photographs of girls blowing about vacant lots, all soggy from rains; also in a ditch, with its customary filth; or stuck up on a brick wall or drawn onto an imaginary body showing a brand of tights or pajamas. No, sir!! Not for my girl!!”
Fourth in this popular family was Kathlyn, of what is known as a “classical mold;” with a brain which, at no distant day, will rank high in Biology and Microscopy; for Kathlyn was of that sort which finds fascination in studying out many whats and whys amongst that vast array of facts about our origin. This study, which too many young folks avoid as not having practical worth had a strong hold on Kathlyn, who could not sanction such frivolous occupations as cards, dancing, or plain school gossip. Not for an instant! Kathlyn thought that such folks had no thoughts for anything but transitory thrills. But in Biology!! Ah!! Why not study it, and find out how a tiny, microscopic drop of protoplasm, can, through unknown laws grow into living organisms, which can not only go on living, but can also bring forth offspring of its kind? And not only that. As said offspring must combat various kinds of surroundings and try various foods, why not watch odd variations occur, and follow along, until you find an animal, bird, plant or bug of such a total dissimilarity as to form practically, a class actually apart from its original form? Kathlyn did just that; and Gadsby was proud of it; and, I think, just a bit curious on his own part as to occasional illustrations in this studious young lady’s school books!
Now it is known by all such natural “faddists” that any such a study has points in common with a branch akin to it; and Kathlyn was not long in finding out that Biology, with its facts of animal origin, could apply to a practical control of bugs on farms. (This word, “bugs,” is hardly Biological; but as Kathlyn is in this story, with its strict orthographical taboo, “bugs” must unavoidably supplant .)
So, Mayor Gadsby sought Branton Hills’ Council’s approval for a goodly sum; not only for such control, but also for study as to how to plant, in ordinary soil, and not risk losing half a crop from worms, slugs and our awkwardly-brought-in “bugs.” This appropriation was a sort of prod, showing this Council that publicity of any first-class kind was good for a city; and was casting about for anything which would so act, until Gadsby’s son, Bill, (who, you know, thought of nothing but girls and “dolling up,”) found that Branton Hills had no distinction of its own in outfits for man or woman, so why not put up a goal of, say fifty dollars, for anybody who could think up any worthy “stunt” in clothing; which should go out as “Branton Hills’ This” or “Branton Hills’ That.” Possibly just a form of hat-brim, a cut of coat-front, or a sporting outfit. And our worthy Council did put up that goal, and many brought all sorts of plans to City Hall. And Bill won, by thinking up a girls’ (always girls, with Bill!) hiking outfit, consisting of a skirt with a rain-proof lining, which could, during a storm, form a rain-suit by putting it on, as Bill said, “by substituting outwards for inwards.” (This will hit Bill amusingly, as days go by!) Going with it was a shirt with a similar “turn-out” facility, and a hiking boot with high tops as guards against thorns and burs; but which, by undoing a clasp, would slip off; and, LO!! you had a low-cut Oxford for ordinary occasions! In about a month a big cotton mill had work going full blast on “Branton Hills’ Turn-it-out Sport and Hiking Outfit,” and a small boot-shop got out a pair of Bill’s “two-part boots,” though saying that it would “probably fall apart without warning!” But Kathlyn put on a pair and found it most satisfactory for a long, rough hill-climb, hunting for bird and animal forms for Biological study. This proof of Branton Hills’ goods was soon known in surrounding towns, and that critical boot-shop and big cotton mill had hard work to fill calls from Canada, Holland, Russia, Spain and Australia! And Bill was put upon Branton Hills’ Roll of Honor.