Ladew?" "Yes. I wouldn't ask except for that." "Very well," he consented, with averted eyes. "I'll go." Her face was radiant with the smile she gave him. "It will make me very happy," she said. He bent his head and fumbled over some papers he had taken from his pocket. "Will you listen to these memoranda? We have a great deal to go over before eight o'clock."
He let the minister help Ariel out, going quickly forward himself with Buckalew; and then after the little while that the restoration of dust to dust mercifully needs he returned to the carriage only to get his hat. Ariel and Ladew and the Squire were already seated and waiting. "Aren't you going to ride home with us?" she asked, surprised. "No," he explained, not looking at her.
"Ariel!" he gasped, helplessly. "Have you forgotten?" He gathered himself together with all his will. "I want to prove to you," he said, resolutely, "that the dear kindness of you isn't thrown away on me; I want you to know what I began to say: that it's all right with me; and I think Ladew " He stopped again. "Ah! I've seen how much he cares for you " "Have you?"
Buckalew, too we were hemmed in together when Mr. Ladew found us and, oh, Joe, when that cowardly rush started toward you, those three I've heard wonderful things in Paris and Naples, cabmen quarrelling and disappointed beggars but never anything like them to-day " "You mean they were profane?" "Oh, magnificently and with such inventiveness! All three begged my pardon afterwards.
I was so horribly afraid and the crowd between us if we could have got near you but we couldn't we " She faltered, and pressed her hand close upon her eyes. "We?" asked Joe, slowly. "You mean you and Mr. Ladew?" "Yes, he was there; but I mean" her voice ran into a little laugh with a beatific quaver in it "I mean Colonel Flitcroft and Mr. Bradbury and Mr.
Ariel's escort was increased to four that day: Mr. Ladew sat beside her, and there were times when Joe kept his mind entirely to the work in hand only by an effort, but he always succeeded. The sight of the pale and worshipping face of Happy Fear from the corner of his eye was enough to insure that.
He managed to laugh, though with some ruefulness, and continued stammeringly: "I want to tell you how much I like him how much I admire him " "Admire whom?" she asked, a little coldly, for she knew. "Mr. Ladew." "So do I," she answered, looking straight ahead. "That is one reason why I wanted you to come with me to-day." "It isn't only that.
I didn't grant it I blessed them!" "Did they beg Mr. Ladew's pardon?" "Ah, Joe!" she reproached him. "He isn't a prig. And he's had to fight some things that you of all men ought to understand. He's only been here a few months, but he told me that Judge Pike has been against him from the start. It seems that Mr. Ladew is too liberal in his views.
She did not meet his glance, but, turning instead to Ladew, the clergyman, began, with a barely perceptible blush, to talk of something he had said in a sermon two weeks ago. The two fell into a thoughtful and amiable discussion, during which there stole into Joe's heart a strange and unreasonable pain.
The young minister had lived in Canaan only a few months, and Joe had never seen him until that morning; but he liked the short, honest talk he had made; liked his cadenceless voice and keen, dark face; and, recalling what he had heard Martin Pike vociferating in his brougham one Sunday, perceived that Ladew was the fellow who had "got to go" because his sermons did not please the Judge.