Page:O Henry Prize Stories of 1924.djvu/78

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mother’s due. She took it by the very simple method of giving us her love so abundantly.”

I have since known many famous women, good, bad, powerful, wise, or brilliant, but she remains the most remarkable personality I have ever encountered. I doubt if she had either education or imagination enough to enjoy a dime novel. I am not certain that she knew long division. But this I do know of her: she was incapable of envy, malice, or revenge. Her sublime faith in men was never diminished. I do not believe she was ever worried, even for a minute. The only unfulfilled wish I ever heard her express was for more babies. Such a person would quite naturally be able to perform miracles, and Maggie certainly performed one. She practised something akin to polyandry in a strictly orthodox, puritanical, farming community for more than a decade, named three illegitimate sons after their fathers, wrecked all three of the fathers, flourished as probably no green bay tree ever dreamed of flourishing, and finally in her mature years chased those who wanted to tell the truth about her to evasion, silence, or actual falsehood.