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A Young Lady of Property



Wilma, a lonely girl of fifteen, lives with her aunt. Her mother is dead, and her father, who is weak and not too reliable, goes out with a Mrs. Leighton, a woman of whom the town disapproves. In a wistful moment Wilma confesses to her best friend that what she really wants more than anything else is to live again with her father in the house her mother left her, and since she knows that will never happen, she would like to marry in a few years and live in her house with her husband and children. In the absence of a real family, the house has become everything to her—her whole identity based on this, her one possession, which makes her a young lady of property. Wilma’s gentle, happy realization that her real purpose in life is to remain here as a wife and mother in this house she loves is shattered by the news that her father is planning to marry Mrs. Leighton and to sell Wilma’s house. Not only is she losing her father, she is losing the one thing that represents a safe and happy future to her. She dashes out frantically, realizing the only person who can help her now is Mrs. Leighton. And to her great joy she discovers that Mrs. Leighton is a person of warmth and sympathy. She saves Wilma’s house for her and helps Wilma realize that her father, after all, has a right to marry again. And Wilma has her house safely again to fill with life so that she need never be lonely.

Character Breakdown

Wilma (F, 15)
Lester (Her father)
Aunt Gertrude (Her aunt)
Arabella (F, 15)
Mrs. Leighton
Miss Martha
Minna (F, African American)