The European day, Adelle learned, began about one o'clock with a variety of expeditions and errands, and frequently ended well after midnight at opera or play, or dancing party at the home of some American resident to whom Miss Comstock introduced her charges. This was during the season.
Adelle lay there this golden morning, one arm around the little figure of her dead child, staring at the pool outside which was dappled with sunshine, at the ghastly wreck of her great house not thinking, perhaps not even feeling acutely aware merely of living in a void, the shattered fragments of her old being all around her.
Whereat the class tittered and Adelle had a mild sensation of dislike for the irascible teacher, who reported in "teachers' meeting" that Adelle Clark was as nearly defective as a child of her years could be and be "all right," and that the grades ought not to permit such pupils to graduate into the high school.
"Do what I say!" Adelle ordered, almost angrily, irritated by the man's obstinacy. Then the mason rose, and with his trowel tapping the rock said slowly and emphatically, "I'm laying this wall and I don't take no orders from you!" Whereupon, after another shot from his hard blue eyes, he turned back to the wall. At first Adelle was speechless; then she asked in a less peremptory tone,
Ignoring the officious young lawyer, who was there and tried to shuffle the matter through, Judge Orcutt asked both Adelle and her aunt all sorts of questions that did not always seem to the point. He appeared to be curious about the family history. Mr. Bright fumed. However, it was all going well enough until Mrs.
The mason stimulated the mistress of Highcourt intellectually and spiritually, which would have made the good ladies at luncheon with her that day laugh or do worse. Adelle felt that he could help her to understand many things that she was beginning to think about, that were stirring in her dumb soul and troubling her.
The trust company might find some objections to undoing all the fine legal work that they had accomplished in the settlement of the estate. Adelle was received by the new president, that same Mr. Solomon Smith who had delivered the trust company's ultimatum to her after her marriage. Mr.
He looked rougher in conventional dress than in his workingman's clothes. At sight of Adelle standing in the doorway, the mason laid down his frying-pan and stopped whistling. Without greeting he hastily took up the only chair he had and placed it in the shade of the pepper tree in front of the shack. Adelle sat down with a wan little smile of thanks. "I'm glad you hadn't gone," she said.
These girls profited by Adelle's groom to dispense with the chaperonage of the old riding-master, and before long Adelle learned why this arrangement was made. In their long expeditions across country, with the discreet groom well in the rear, the girls put their heads together in the most intimate gossip, from which Adelle learned much that completed her knowledge of life.
His true performances the night of the fire had leaked out in a somewhat exaggerated form and even his pleasure-loving associates found him "too yellow." Oddly enough, Adelle, who had been thought generally "cold" and "stupid," "no addition to the colony," came in for a good deal of belated praise for her "strong character," and there was much sympathy expressed for her tragedy.