Samuel Anderson made no reply. It would be of no use to reply. Shrews are tamed only by silence. Anderson had long since learned that the little shred of influence which remained to him in his own house would disappear whenever his teeth were no longer able to shut his tongue securely in. So now, when his wife poured out this hot lava of argumentum ad hominem, he closed the teeth down in a dead-lock way over the tongue, and compressed the lips tightly over the teeth, and shut his fingernails into his work-hardened palms. And then, distrusting all these precautions, fearing lest he should be unable to hold on to his temper even with this grip, the little man strode out of the house with his wife's shrill voice in his ears.
Mrs. Anderson had good reason to fear that her daughter was in love with a "Dutchman," as she phrased it in her contempt. The few Germans who had penetrated to the West at that time were looked upon with hardly more favor than the Californians feel for the almond-eyed Chinaman. They were foreigners, who would talk gibberish instead of the plain English which everybody could understand, and they were not yet civilized enough to like the yellow saleratus-biscuit and the "salt-rising" bread of which their neighbors were so fond. Reason enough to hate them!
Only half an hour before this outburst of Mrs. Anderson's, she had set a trap for her daughter Julia, and had fairly caught her.
"Jule! Jule! O Jul-y-e-ee!" she had called and Julia, who was down in the garden hoeing a bed in which she meant to plant some "Johnny-Jumpups," came quickly toward the house, though she know it would be of no use to come quickly. Let her come quickly, or let her come slowly, the rebuke was sure to greet her all the name.
"Why don't you come when you're called, I'd like to know! You're never in reach when you're wanted, and you're good for nothing when you are here!"