Prichard home as soon as possible; but wanted, all the same, to fulfil her promise of delivering Sister Nora's parcel with her own hands. She was glad to remain in the carriage, on hearing from Benjamin that both Granny Marrable and her daughter were on the spot; and would, said he, be out in a minute. "They'll curtsey," said Gwen. "Do, dear Mrs. Picture, keep awake one minute more.
"What on earth have you been doing, Gwen, to make you so late?" said the Countess. "We couldn't wait." "It doesn't matter," was her daughter's answer. "I can gobble to make up for lost time. Don't bring any arrears, Norbury. I can go on where they are. What's this grouse? Not if it's grousey, thank you!... Oh well perhaps I can endure it ... What have I been doing?
How many hours she had been there in the still coldness of an October's night no one could tell; but the doctor put down her death to grief and exposure. Gwen broke the tidings to Agatha with a sob in her voice. 'I loved those old women. They were the only friends I had here. The Rightful Heir
As Gwen uttered the deadly syllables, Uncle Mo turned away to the window, leaving some exclamation truncated. Aunt M'riar's voice became tremulous on the beginning of an unfinished sentence, and Dolly concealed a disposition to weep, because she was afraid of what Dave would say after. That young man remained stoical, but did not speak.
"All clear!" says the Earl. "And the door closed." "My sister has promised to ask the Countess and your daughter Lady Gwen, is it not?" "That is my daughter's name, Gwendolen. 'Has promised to ask them' ... what?" "To give me an opportunity before I go of thanking them both for all the great kindness they have shown me, and of apologizing for my wish to defer the interview."
What must it be to her, to see me what I am!" "I don't believe it is harder for her to think about than it is for you. She is feverish now, and that makes her wander. People are always worse in the morning. Dr. Nash says so. I thought yesterday she seemed so clear almost understood it all." Thus Gwen, not over-sure of her facts.
Gerty remained silent, and she continued: "I stayed on to see what would happen. They took their cue from Gwen Stepney and Lulu Melson I saw them watching to see what Gwen would do. Gerty, I must know just what is being said of me." "I tell you I don't listen " "One hears such things without listening." She rose and laid her resolute hands on Miss Farish's shoulders.
For a moment, as he faced Maitland, whom he instinctively felt to be a rival, he looked so dark and sinister that one could easily have believed him capable of almost any crime. Gwen was no less surprised than the rest of us at Maitland's interference, but she did not permit it to show in her voice as she said quietly: "Mr. Browne has consented to go for an officer."
'You might have taken me, said the child reproachfully. 'Yes, I ought to have done, oughtn't I? he said, as if regretful. Gwen still looked full at him. 'You are red, she said. He glanced quickly in the glass, and replied: 'That is the sun. Hasn't it been hot? 'Mm! It made my nose all peel. Vera said she would scrape me like a new potato. The child laughed and turned shyly away.
"His feathers were all the colors that folks wear on their hats, " She paused to note what impression she was making, and a doubting small boy, murmured; "Oo o o!" Gwen frowned, and commenced to read again. "The ostrich didn't look much like the big white owl in a cage near him, because the owl had bigger eyes." A few of the pupils giggled, and one in the front row muttered.