In reality, Aunt Maria, now that George Ramsey had married, was thinking that Wollaston might be a good match for Maria, and she wished to prevent her marriage with Professor Lane should he return from Colorado cured. At last Maria felt that she was fairly obliged to go, and one Saturday afternoon she and Evelyn went to Westbridge for the purpose.
"I saw Miss Maria Stillman at the Ordination in Westbridge, Wednesday," said one to the other. This woman had a curiously cool, long-reaching breath when she spoke. Maria felt it like a fan on the back of her neck. The other woman, who was fat, responded with a wheezy voice.
No, I am not angry with you, only I do wish you wouldn't read such stuff. Put the paper away, and get a book instead." "I will if you want me to, sister," replied Evelyn. The Monday when the fall term of the academy at Westbridge opened was a very beautiful day. The air was as soft as summer, but with a strange, pungent quality which the summer had lacked.
Then the last trolley had gone, and he walked the rest of the way to Westbridge. The next morning, which was Sunday, Maria could not go to church. An utter weariness and lassitude, to which she was a stranger, was over her. Evelyn remained at home with her. Evelyn still had the idea firmly fixed in her mind that Maria was grieving over Professor Lane. It was also firmly fixed in Aunt Maria's mind.
He did not say so, but he made me know, and and oh, Maria, he is going away! He is not coming back to Westbridge at all. He is going to get another place!" "Nonsense!" "Yes, it is so. He said so.
Ida Slome is that kind." "I think she is selfish myself," said Maria, "but I don't believe she can leave Evelyn as long as that." "Wait and see," said Aunt Maria, in much the same tone that her brother had used towards his wife. Maria Stillman was right. Evelyn remained in Amity. She outgrew Maria's school, and attended the Normal School in Westbridge.
Mother doesn't like the boarding-house at Westbridge, and in fact our furniture is on the road and I have no place to store it, and I am afraid there are other parties who want to rent this house, that I shall lose it if I do not keep the appointment. But I have only a little way to go, and it will not keep me long. I can be back easily inside of half an hour.
"And that is the reason you were going away?" "Yes." "See here, Maria," said Wollaston, eagerly, "upon my honor I did not know myself until this very afternoon that you were one of the teachers in the Westbridge Academy. If I had known I would have refused the position, although my mother was very anxious for me to accept it.
"I don't think I realized much of anything except to get away," replied Maria. Wollaston took her hand again and held it firmly. "Now listen to me, Maria," he said. "On Monday I shall have to begin teaching in the Westbridge Academy. I don't see how I can do anything else. But now listen.
He spoke first to her, calling her by name, and bidding her good-morning, then to the other teachers. The others were either residents of Westbridge, or boarded there, and he had evidently been introduced to them before. Then he took his seat, and waited quietly for the pupils to become seated. It lacked only a few minutes of the time for opening the school.