In a mansion in the county, in the bedroom of Norman and his wife, Joan, they help each other to dress before breakfast; a ritual that they has done since the second day of their marriage.
"I believe him to be a scoundrel," Norman says. Their daughter, Jane, has confessed a love for man that she's known for two months.
"Jane believes him to be the love of her life," Joan says.
"There is something about him; I feel it," Norman says.
"You have not used your position to search into his past?" Joan asks.
Norman position is an attorney, and recently, administrator of his deceased father's landlord business in the county and city.
"No. I have not done that but it is a good idea," Norman says.
At the breakfast, the parents fill their plates from the cook's buffet then sit at the table with their daughters, Jane, Janis, Josie and Josephine, each already eats.
"Gregory has asked for an engagement," Jane says.
Taken-aback, parents and siblings stare at her.
"It is to soon; two months is to soon," Joan says.
"You mother and I courted for a year and three months before an engagement was announced," Noman says.
"I shall accept the engagement proposal," Jane says.
"Okay, but please consider us, your parents and do not marry until a year and three months from now," Norman says.
"If Gregory will agree then so will I," Jane says.
"No. This would be the only way that we will support your marriage," Norman says.
"Okay, we will wait," Jane says.
"Can we please finish our breakfast talking about me," Janis says.
The butler enters the room with the morning mail and newspaper.
Jane and Gregory trot their horses after a gallop across the meadow. They stop to dismount and sit on the grass with a view of the creek.
"My father wants us to have a long engagement," Jane says.
"Does he just want us to test our love for each other," Gregory says.
"It is something that he and my mother did before they married," Jane says.
"We are not them," Gregory says.
"I know but I can not dismiss their wishes since father promises not to support our marriage efforts," Jane says.
In a disappointed manner Gregory says, "I see."
"Is there something the matter?" Jane asks.
"I was thinking that to wait for us to be happy together in our nest," Gregory says.
"Our love together will make time fly until we will be surprised that it our wedding day," Jane says.
In the attorney's cigar and brandy club, Norman's invited guest, president of the state's assembly and close of the state governor, Donald to the club.
"What is on your mind?" Donald asks.
"Why I asked you to meet me here?" Norman asks.
"Yes, it usually at the businessmen's club," Donald says.
"Oh, yes, well, I wanted to know why a young gentleman with the resources of wealth wants to hurry and marry some young woman who is wealthy," Norman says.
"Come again?" Donald asks.
"My oldest met a gentleman and already after two months he wants to be engaged to her with an early wedding with no whispered reason just love of one another," Norman says.
"Well, is not love the reason for marriage, mine is," Donald says.
"Most marriages but not all, you see there is marriage for the common law rule that a husband has the power of attorney over his wife's wealth once the wedding is blessed," Norman says.
"Well, this is true," Donald says.
"But, it is common law, an adopted tradition and nothing more," Normal says.
After a thought, Donald says, "that is true."
"It should be overridden by written law," Norman says.
"Why should it be?" Donald asks.
"When my wife and I married, I wanted a son but after my fourth daughter, the attaining doctor took me aside and told me that I should forget wanting a son because another child birth would kill my wife even if the child lived," Norman says.
"That was a very private conversation to tell me," Donald says.
"Yes it was but from my housekeeper's gossip, I learnt that your daughter's doctor told her husband a similar doctor's diagnoses but your son-in-law ignored it and your daughter died during childbirth," Norman says.
It is a sad memory for Donald. "That was a sad day but my son-in-law was just as grief stricken so much so that I believe that your housekeeper gossip is a rumor," he says.
"There is the doctor sitting over there so let's ask him if it is a rumor or not," Norman says.
"Why yes, I did tell your son-in-law that diagnoses," Doctor says.
"But why didn't you inform me?" Donald asks.
"You're not the husband," Doctor says.
"If only I had known," Donald says.
"Where is your ex son-in-law now?" Norman asks.
"He is living well in another county; he has re-married and the children are in boarding schools," Donald says.
"With your daughter's wealth as his," Norman says.
Donald ponders then says, "yes."
"My wife had a cousin whose husband claimed her wealth under that common law as it turned out if she wanted to buy a spring bonnet, she had to obtain his permission to spend her money and that among other things that he had done with her wealth that did not include her took away her spirit to live so she died way before old age should have taken her," Norman says.
"Why this conversation," Donald asks.
It took only three months for the state law to be enacted to disband that certain common law and give a woman control of her wealth and health in marriage however unless it is stipulated otherwise in a family will.
During breakfast, the butler gives the mail to each addressee and the newspaper to Norman. Jane reads her mail then in tears leaves the room. Joan reads the letter. "it seems that Gregory has liquidated all his wealth and gone to that place to search for gold and when he becomes rich then he will send for her," Joan says.
"If they had married I believe that he would have left our daughter penniless somewhere out there," Norman says.
"Do you think so?" The sisters asks.
"I agree with you father," Joan says.
Jane returns to the table. "I believe that I will invest the wealth that grandfather left me in his will in the family business and I will invest my energy also," she says.
"You will be welcomed with fatherly love," Norman says.