No one of the three spoke as she seated herself on a bit of timber near them, and, folding her hands, waited with the immobility and the apparent impartiality of Fate itself. At last Mellony spoke, for of the three she was the most acutely sensitive to the situation, and the least capable of enduring it silently. "Which way did you come, ma?" she asked. "I come down Rosaly's Lane," Mrs.
Of course no harm had come to Mellony, but where was she? Unacknowledged, the shadow of Ira Baldwin fell across her wonder. Had Mellony cared so much for him that her disappointment had driven her to something wild and fatal? She did not ask the question, but her lips grew white and stiff at the faintest suggestion of it.
She had been mistaken in supposing that Mellony was asleep; the girl must have risen early and slipped out, for the room was empty, and Mrs. Pember paused, surprised that she had not heard her go. It must have been while she was getting kindling-wood in the yard that Mellony had left by the street door.
Mellony was later than usual, her mother did not hear her moving about, even; but she was unwilling to disturb her; she would wait a while longer before calling her. At last, however, the conviction of the immorality of late rising could no longer be ignored, and she turned the knob of Mellony's door and stepped into the room.
"You know you're my girl, Mellony," she answered gently. "You're all I've got." "Yes," the other answered indifferently, "that's all I am, Mellony Pember, Mrs. Pember's girl, just that." "Ain't that enough? Ain't that something to be, all I plan for and work for? Ain't that enough for a girl to be?"
Without speaking, Mellony and her mother entered the little house where they lived, and the young girl sank down in the stiff, high-backed rocker, with its thin calico-covered cushion tied with red braid, that stood by the window. Outside, the summer night buzzed and hummed, and breathed sweet odors. Mrs.
I can't be unhappy your way any longer. I'm sorry to go against you, mother; but it's my life, after all, not yours, MELLONY." As Mrs. Pember's hands fell to her side and the note slipped from her fingers, the daily tragedy of her married life seemed to pass before her eyes.
"Yes, I did. Leastways I didn't," he responded. "I come to tell you about about Mellony." "What about Mellony, Captain Phippeny?" she demanded, pale, but uncompromising. "What have you got to tell me about Mellony Pember?" she reiterated as he paused.
He spoke to the mother, but he looked, not without sympathy at the daughter. "Yes, I found 'em." "You reckoned on fetchin' only one of 'em home, I take it," said Captain Smart. "I ain't responsible but for one of 'em," replied Mrs. Pember with some grimness, but with her eyes averted from Mellony's crimsoning face. "Come, ma," said Mellony again, and they passed on.
Pember glanced at the clock. It was very early, but to go back to bed was hardly worth while. The sun was already beginning to glint through the fog. She dressed, and, passing softly the door of the room where Mellony slept, rather fitfully of late, began to make the fire. The morning broadened and blazed into the day, and the whole town was making ready for its breakfast.