A Chapter that you can Skip
This is a chapter that you can skip, if you want to. And really I should advise you to. Nothing of importance happened in the next eighteen years. Of course I am obliged to write a little something to fill in all that time, but you are not obliged to read it. That is where you have such an advantage. I think it is much better for a book to have some parts that can be skipped just as well as not, you get through it so much faster. I have often thought what a good thing it would be if somebody would write a book that we could skip the whole of. I think a good many people would like to have such a book as that. I know I should.
Then there is another reason why it will be well for you to skip a little about here. When you get farther on, if you happen to come to something that you don't understand, you can say: "Oh, this is probably all explained by something in that part that I skipped," and you can go right on. But if you had not skipped anything and then came to something that you did not understand, you would have to say: "There, now, I must have been reading carelessly and missed something," and you would have to go back and read the book all through again.
In these eighteen years Kathleen O'Brien and Terence Sullivan were growing up. I don't suppose there ever was another such child as Kathleen. And I should hope there never was another such child as Terence. Kathleen's grandmother had the most of the care of her, of course, but it was really no care at all. It would have been a pleasure for anybody to have the care of Kathleen. Even when she was a baby she was a perfect delight, and you know what babies are sometimes. At any rate, you would know, if you had known Terence. And when she got to be a few years older, say seven or eight—
Well, it is perfectly impossible for me to tell you how good and lovely Kathleen was. It is all very well to try to describe snow-capped mountains at sunrise, or a storm at sea, or moonlight at Niagara, or a prairie on fire, or anything of that sort, but nobody could tell you how good and lovely Kathleen was, so that you could understand it.