"No one could have called Mr. Standen quick-witted, but the possession of three sisters had considerably sharpened his instinct of self-preservation." ~ Georgette Heyer, (1902-1974) a prolific historical fiction writer who specialized in the Regency era.
Three Sisters - 12 X 18" watercolour and micron pen on Canson XL watercolour paper.
Although we were only two girls and one boy in our household, the girls always stuck together no matter what the issue or problem might have been, and our unfortunate brother was caught in the middle, literally and figuratively.
Of course, much of the time, he was the author of his own demise...like the time he went into the freezer and ate the filling out of the butter tarts mom had made for Christmas. Or the time he nearly electrocuted himself, or set the house on fire. So even if he tried to pin the problem on us, we were quick to defend each other and place the blame right back where it belonged.
I can only imagine adding one more girl into the mix! It would certainly keep any boy on his toes if not teach him quick comebacks.
So when I read about Mr. Standen and his "sharpened instinct of self-preservation", I laughed at the memories the quotation conjured up for me of my childhood, with my brother always in some sort of trouble at home, and the girls watching as fate or sometimes mom, meted out the consequences.