You remembered her best as she hurried through the street in her tan mackintosh with its yellow velveteen collar turned high up, and one of those modest round hats to which she was addicted. For then you were aware only of the pale-gold hair fluffing round her school-mistress eye-glasses, her gentle air of respectability, and her undistinguished littleness.
She trusted in the village ideal of virginal vacuousness as the type of beauty which most captivated men, though every year she was more shrewdly doubtful of the divine superiority of these men. That a woman’s business in life was to remain respectable and to secure a man, and consequent security, was her unmeditated faith—till, in 1905, when Una was twenty-four years old, her father died.
Captain Golden left to wife and daughter a good name, a number of debts, and eleven hundred dollars in lodge insurance. The funeral was scarcely over before neighbors—the furniture man, the grocer, the polite old homeopathic doctor—began to come in with bland sympathy and large bills. When the debts were all cleared away the Goldens had only six hundred dollars and no income beyond the good name. All right-minded persons agree that a good name is precious beyond rubies, but Una would have preferred less honor and more rubies.