Miss Mink's Soldier and Other Stories

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Produced by Kentuckiana Digital Library, David Garcia, Josephine Paolucci, Joshua Hutchinson and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team. MISS MINK'S SOLDIER AND OTHER STORIES MISS MINK'S SOLDIER AND OTHER STORIES BY ALICE HEGAN RICE Author of "MRS. WIGGS OF THE CABBAGE PATCH," "MR. OPP," "CALVARY ALLEY," ETC. NEW YORK THE CENTURY CO. 1918 Copyright, 1905, 1906, 1910, 1918, by THE CENTURY CO. Copyright, 1914, by THE CROWELL PUBLISHING COMPANY Published, October, 1918 TO THE LADY OF THE DECORATION A MEMENTO OF MANY HAPPY DAYS SPENT TOGETHER "EAST OF SUEZ" CONTENTS MISS MINK'S SOLDIER A DARLING OF MISFORTUNE "POP" HOODOOED A MATTER OF FRIENDSHIP THE WILD OATS OF A SPINSTER CUPID GOES SLUMMING THE SOUL OF O SANA SAN MISS MINK'S SOLDIER Miss Mink sat in church with lips compressed and hands tightly clasped in her black alpaca lap, and stubbornly refused to comply with the request that was being made from the pulpit. She was a small desiccated person, with a sharp chin and a sharper nose, and narrow faded eyes that through the making of innumerable buttonholes had come to resemble them. For over forty years she had sat in that same pew facing that same minister, regarding him second only to his Maker, and striving in thought and deed to follow his precepts. But the time had come when Miss Mink's blind allegiance wavered. Ever since the establishment of the big Cantonment near the city, Dr. Morris, in order to encourage church attendance, had been insistent in his request that every member of his congregation should take a soldier home to Sunday dinner. Now it was no lack of patriotism that made Miss Mink refuse to do her part. Every ripple in the small flag that fluttered over her humble dwelling sent a corresponding ripple along her spinal column. When she essayed to sing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," in her high, quavering soprano, she invariably broke down from sheer excess of emotion. But the American army fighting for right and freedom in France, and the Army individually tracking mud into her spotless cottage, were two very different things. Miss Mink had always regarded a man in her house much as she regarded a gnat in her eye. There was but one course to pursue in either case--elimination! But her firm stand in the matter had not been maintained without much misgiving. Every Sunday when Dr. Morris made his earnest appeal, something within urged her to comply. She was like an automobile that gets cranked up and then refuses to go. Church-going instead of being her greatest joy came to be a nightmare. She no longer lingered in the vestibule, for those highly cherished exchanges of inoffensive gossip that constituted her social life. Nobody seemed to have time for her. Every one was busy with a soldier. Within the sanctuary it was no

Alice Caldwell Hegan Rice

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