Page 19 - RoadIKnowWhite.mw5
P. 19


"That damned charm! " he muttered, shaking his head.

For Betty's outer person was just that. Charm—charm and gaiety. And a 

delightful wit, that was wit because of new angles of view, and of modes 

of expression so original and unexpected that the stiffest formalist must 

yield to it. I suppose it carried so far because it was in no way artificial, or 

considered, or thought over. It was Betty's normal language, the way she 

thought, and therefore the way she spoke. Like all wit of that kind, while 

unforgettable, it is equally unquotable. In report most of it becomes mere 

museum mountings without the breath of life. But no one was ever bored 

with Betty. Even though what she had to say might be dryly statistical, 

one found himself alert for what she would make of it. I lived with her 

thirty-five years, and—though there was plenty more—in all that time I 

was always relishingly entertained, and continually anticipating what 


However, it was not the outer expression but the inner person that made 

the charm memorable; made it stick, as it were. Apparently people never 

forgot Betty. She made an indelible impress. After her death I received 

several hundred letters—and I mean letters pages long, not mere "notes of 

condolence." An extraordinary number of them were from people who 

had met her just once and years before—from twelve to thirty-two years 

before—but who wrote as though

   17   18   19   20   21