Ruth had fairly dragged Ann Hicks into the party. The girls who had been meanest to the westerner were present. Ann would have had a woefully bad time of it had not some of the smaller girls needed somebody to look out for them. Ann hated the little girls at Briarwood less than she did the big ones. In fact, the "primes," as they were called, rather took to the big girl from the West.
For, by and by, his master, good brave young John Penniman, married Ann Wales. The handsomest couple that ever went into the meeting-house, people said. Ann's linen-chest was well stocked; and she had an immense silk bonnet, with a worked white veil, a velvet cloak, and a flowered damask petticoat for her wedding attire.
Farewell, pure soul! we shall meet again. .... We are reluctantly compelled to relate the untimely death of Mrs. Margaret Ann Picklefinch, which occurred about one o'clock yesterday morning. The circumstances attending the melancholy event were these:
It was a dreadful state of affairs, she told herself, if Ann had been so absurd as to fall in love with Wayne Wayne just because he had been kind in helping her get a start. She followed that desperately. "Oh yes, Wayne's really very kind at heart. And then of course he's always been especially interested in you, because of me." Ann looked up at her.
How kindly, how frequently, would they remind me, that to me alone it was owing that they ever knew their child! calling the day on which I was a petitioner for the admittance of Ann into the house, the blessed birthday of their generous girl.
He was talking to himself rather than to Peter, who got him on to the lounge, adjusted the cushions, brought a hot-water bag, covered him up, and then left him, saying, "Don't fret, I'll go this afternoon and get Judy and Mandy Ann by fair means or foul." "All right," the Colonel said drowsily. "Fair means or foul, but don't lie, and don't let them think they are for me.
These two good men, who were presently followed by Thomas Kendall, sailed in the same ship with Mr. Marsden, when, in August 1809, he paid his last farewell to his native land, and sailed in the Ann for New South Wales. Strange to say, this very ship contained a Maori, on his return home!
All this Ann had believed and not repeated; but now, worn out by waiting, she took the story to her friends. With few exceptions they pronounced the story a fabrication and McNamar an impostor. Why had he worn this mask? His excuse seemed flimsy. At best, they declared, he was a mere adventurer; and was it not more probable that he was a fugitive from justice a thief, a swindler, or a murderer?
'Mary Ann Tapping, you are too tender-hearted for to carry on at all; bein', as we are, subjick. And I says back to him: 'Tapping' I says 'no more than my duty as a Christian woman should. Read your Bible and you will find, I says. And Tapping he would say: 'Right you are, Mary Ann, and viewin' all things as a Gospel dispensation.
"Maybe I was too hard on Ruby Ann," she said, measuring the heel of Tim's sock to see if it were time to begin to narrow. "She's a pretty clever woman, take her by and large, but I do hate to see a dog frisk like a puppy, and she's thirty-five if she's a day. You see, I know, 'cause, as I was tellin' you, there was her and me and Amy Crompton girls together.