As her husband had to die, he passed away from this life at the most fitting moment. As Providence had blessed her with only one child, a daughter was surely the most fitting companion for a widowed mother. The house Mrs. Meadowsweet lived in fitted her requirements to perfection.
Motionless she sat, and her drab attire and faded sun-bonnet harmonized so well with the tones around it the gray of the stones, the lights of the river, the masses of the meadowsweet that while noting a broad and sparkling stickle winding away beneath her, the angler missed the girl herself.
"Catherine is overpowered," remarked the brother, with a smile at Miss Meadowsweet, but a certain expression about his mouth which Kate too well interpreted. "Catherine is overpowered. She and this little woman," taking Mabel's hand, "have had very few invitations lately. Never mind, Kate, I'll support you, and if we hurry home now, you can polish up your rusty tennis powers at Rosendale.
"It was a few days after her visit to the Meadowsweets that Mrs. Bertram had been taken ill. She soon became quite well again, and then rather astonished Catherine by telling her that she had herself seen Beatrice Meadowsweet; that she had found her daughter's judgment with regard to her to be apparently correct, and that, in consequence, she did not object to Beatrice visiting at the Manor.
How the missel thrushes sing in the woods, and the plaintive note of the curlew gives the last touch of mysterious tenderness to the scene. There is a moist, rich fragrance of meadowsweet and bog myrtle in the air; and how fresh and wild and verdant it is! * Jane Barlow.
Meadowsweet ate her green peas and tender, young chicken in great contentment. In the course of the afternoon Beatrice came downstairs again. She told her mother that her headache was quite gone, but the old lady was acute enough to observe a great change in the girl. She did not look ill, but the brightness had gone out of her face. "Is anything wrong, dearie?" she asked.
"My dear ward, you are a little off your head to-night. How could you possibly expect your guardian to be such a faithless old man." "Faithless? Mr. Ingram, have you quite forgotten my father?" "No, Beatrice, I remember him to-night." "Let his face rise before you. Picture his face his unworldly face." "I see it, Beatrice. Yes, Meadowsweet was not cankered by the sordid cares of life."
Miss Peters had sprung to her feet, seized the bell-rope before any one could hinder her, and sounded a vigorous peal. Then she rolled her eyes at Mrs. Butler and sat down. Mrs. Morris said that when Miss Peters rolled her eyes she invariably shivered. She shivered now in such a marked and open way that poor Mrs. Meadowsweet feared her friend had taken cold.
And then they drove silently out onto the sunny, flowery heath.... Wild pinks, bluebells, and ground-ivy wove themselves into a many-colored carpet, and the white meadowsweet lifted its waving blossoms, as if snow- flakes had been strewn on the flowers. The leaves of the weeping-willow rustled softly, and like a net of sparkling ribbons the little streams flowed along beneath their branches.
"Good sakes, ma'am, I'd leave her alone. She'll find out her worrits fast enough." "I don't agree with you, Jane. It seems to me as if the whole of a married woman's bliss consists in this be tidy in your dress, don't answer back, and give your husband a good dinner. That's what I did I repaired Meadowsweet, and I never riled him, and we hadn't a word, no, not a word."