Sampson, before he shot back to town, asked him to provide a good reliable nurse. He sent a young woman of iron. She received Sampson's instructions, and assumed the command of the sick-room, and was jealous of Mrs. Dodd and Julia, looked on them as mere rival nurses, amateurs, who, if not snubbed, might ruin the professionals.
"From his manner I began to see that the man was likely to become an annoyance if he were not snubbed, but soon discovered that it was not so easily done. I thanked him coldly enough, and tried to dismiss him, but he insisted on walking with me. What could I do? He seemed determined to force his company upon me and I could not run away.
"A few more women, thank God!" remarked Ira. Eudora had just snubbed him, and he put a wealth of meaning into his look after the vanishing buckboard. The night was magnificent. From horizon to horizon the sky was sown with quivering points of light. Each straggling clump of sage-brush, rocky ledge, and bowlder borrowed a beauty not its own from the yellow radiance of the stars.
"William," I said, with dignity, "take the lady's mule." Miss Smawl gave me a stolid glance, then made directly for the camp-fire, where a kettle of game-broth simmered over the coals. The last I saw of her she was smelling of it, and I turned my back and advanced towards the second lady pilgrim, prepared to be civil until snubbed.
She, who had been Lady Macbeth, and received the Thane of Cawdor at her own gates; who had been Juliet, the heiress of all the Capulets; who had seen dukes and nobles snubbed unmercifully every night of her life by virtuous poverty, on the stage. Before the end of the first week Mollie had become the light of the house, perfectly indispensable to the happiness of its inmates.
I make it as difficult as possible, but can't stop him altogether." Fuller nodded. "I guess you used some tact, because he likes you and you'd certainly have had trouble if you'd snubbed him up too hard. Anyway, I'm glad to acknowledge that you have put me in your debt. You can see how I was fixed. Bethune's not the man to guide a headstrong lad, and Stuyvesant's his boss.
Who ever saw half a dozen of us hovering and watching and fussing round a masculine biped, thankful even to be snubbed rather than not noticed at all. Who ever saw us fetch and carry like so many retrievers, and "sit up," so to speak, for a withered rose-bud at the fag end of an over-blown bouquet.
I believe he thought that Providence had sent a wife of high rank to his very door to enable him partially to wipe out his reproach. She looked like a child when she came, but she shot up very suddenly into womanhood. If you ask me if she was unhappy, I declare I don't think so. She had never realized, I should think, what it was to be snubbed or found fault with in her life.
"I don't know Mr. Nash," said Biddy, guilty of a little dryness as well as of a little misrepresentation, and feeling rather snubbed. "Well, you needn't wish to." Biddy stood with her a moment longer, still looking at her and not knowing what to say next, but not finding her any less handsome because she had such odd manners.
He was modest almost to bashfulness; but as he never presumed, he was never snubbed; and now, on this summer afternoon, he had came upon a group of seven or eight of the most attractive girls of the neighborhood, accompanied by one or two strangers.