she almost hated him for making so much trouble, for hurting
Stephen, for abasing her in her own eyes, and, above all, for
giving her rustic lover the chance of impersonating an injured
It did not simplify the situation to have Mite Shapley come in
during the evening and run upstairs, uninvited, to sit on the
toot of her bed and chatter.
Rose had closed her blinds and lay in the dark, pleading a
Mite was in high feather. She had met Claude Merrill going to
the station that afternoon. He was much too early for the train,
which the station agent reported to be behind time, so he had
asked her to take a drive. She didn't know how it happened, for
he looked at his watch every now and then; but, anyway, they got
to laughing and "carrying on," and when they came back to the
station the train had gone. Wasn't that the greatest joke of
the season? What did Rose suppose they did next?
Rose didn't know and didn't care; her head ached too badly.
Well, they had driven to Wareham, and Claude had hired a livery
team there, and had been taken into Portland with his trunk, and
she had brought Mrs. Brooks's horse back to Edgewood. Wasn't
that ridiculous? And hadn't she cut out Rose where she least
Rose was distinctly apathetic, and Mite Shapley departed after a
very brief call, leaving behind her an entirely new train of
If Claude Merrill were so love-blighted that he could only by the
greatest self-control keep from flinging himself into the river,
how could he conceal his sufferings so completely from Mite
Shapley,--little shallow-pated, scheming coquette?
"So that pretty Merrill feller has gone, has he, mother?"
inquired Old Kennebec that night, as he took off his wet shoes
and warmed his feet at the kitchen oven. "Well, it ain't a mite
too soon. I allers distrust that pink-an'-white, rosy-posy kind
of a man. One of the most turrible things that ever happened in
Gard'ner was brought about by jest sech a feller. Mothers hedn't
hardly ought to name their boy babies Claude without they
expect 'em to play the dickens with the girls. I don' know
nothin' 'bout the fust Claude, there ain't none of 'em in the
Bible, air they, but whoever he was, I bate ye he hed a deceivin'
tongue. If it hedn't be'n for me, that Claude in Gard'ner would
'a' run away with my brother's fust wife; an' I'll tell ye jest
how I contrived to put a spoke in his wheel."
But Mrs. Wiley, being already somewhat familiar with the
circumstances, had taken her candle and retired to her virtuous
ROSE SEES THE WORLD
Was this the world, after all? Rose asked herself; and, if so,
what was amiss with it, and where was the charm, the
bewilderment, the intoxication, the glamour!
She had been glad to come to Boston, for the last two weeks in
Edgewood had proved intolerable. She had always been a favoriteDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>