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it over? No one could expect me to come here _now_–could they, Mr. Tredegar?” she exclaimed, transferring her appeal to the fourth member of the party.
Mr. Tredegar, the family lawyer, who had deemed it his duty to accompany the widow on her visit of inspection, was strolling up and down the room with short pompous steps, a cigar between his lips, and his arms behind him. He cocked his sparrow-like head, scanned the offending apartment, and terminated his survey by resting his eyes on Mrs. Westmore’s charming petulant face.
“It all depends,” he replied axiomatically, “how large an income you require.”
Mr. Tredegar uttered nike air max 1 grey this remark with the air of one who pronounces on an important point in law: his lightest observation seemed a decision handed down from the bench to which he had never ascended. He restored the cigar to his lips, and sought approval in Mrs. Ansell’s expressive eye.
“Ah, that’s it, Bessy. You’ve that to remember,” the older lady murmured, as if struck by the profundity of the remark.
Mrs. Westmore made an impatient gesture. “We’ve always had money enough–Dick was perfectly satisfied.” Her voice trembled a little on her husband’s name. “And you don’t know what the place is like by daylight–and the people who come to call!”
“Of course you needn’t see any one now, dear,” Mrs. Ansell reminded her, “except the Halford Gaineses.”
“I am sure they’re bad enough. Juliana Gaines will say: ‘My dear, is that the way widows’ veils a nike air max 1 red re worn in New York this autumn?’ and Halford will insist on our going to one of those awful family dinners, all Madeira and terrapin.”
“It’s too early for terrapin,” Mrs. Ansell smiled consolingly; but Bessy had reverted to her argument. “Besides, what difference would my coming here make? I shall never understand anything about business,” she declared.
Mr. Tredegar pondered, and once more removed his cigar. “The necessity has never arisen. But now that you find yourself in almost sole control of a large property—-”
Mr. Langhope laughed gently. “Apply yourself, Bessy. Bring your masterly intellect to bear on the industrial problem.”
Mrs. Ansell restored the innumerable implements to her writing-case, and laid her arm with a caressing gesture on Mrs. Westmore’s shoulder. “Don’t tease her. She’s tired, and she misses the baby.”
“I shall get a telegram tomorrow morning,” ex nike air max 1 leopard claimed the young mother, brightening.
“Of course you will. ‘Cicely has just eaten two boiled eggs and a bowl of porridge, and is bearing up wonderfully.'”
She drew Mrs. Westmore persuasively to her feet, but the widow refused to relinquish her hold on her grievance.
“You all think I’m extravagant and careless about money,” she broke out, addressing the room in general from the shelter of Mrs. Ansell’s embrace; “but I know one thing: If I had my way I should begin to economize by selling this horrible house, instead of leaving it shut up from one year’s end to another.”
Her father looked up: proposals of retrenchment always struck him as business-like when they did not affect his own expenditure. “What do you think of that, eh, Tredegar?”
The eminent lawyer drew in his thin lips. “From the point of view of policy, I think unfavourably of it,” he pronounced.
Bessy’s face clo nike air max 1 uded, and Mrs. Ansell argued gently: “Really, it’s too late to look so far into the future. Remember, my dear, that we are due at the mills tomorrow at ten.”
The reminder that she must rise early had the effect of hastening Mrs. Westmore’s withdrawal, and the two ladies, after an exchange of goodnights, left the men to their cigars.
Mr. Langhope was the first to speak.
“Bessy’s as hopelessly vague about business as I am, Tredegar. Why the deuce Westmore left her everything outright–but he was only a heedless boy himself.”
“Yes. The way he allowed things to go, it’s a wonder there was anything to leave. This Truscomb must be an able fellow.”
“Devoted to Dick’s interests, I’ve always understood.”
“He makes the mills pay well, at any rate, and that’s not so easy nowadays. But on general principles it’s as well he should see that we mean to Nike air max 1 look into everything thoroughly. Of course Halford Gaines will never be more than a good air max 1 figure-head, but Truscomb must be made to understand that Mrs. Westmore intends to interest herself personally in the business.”
“Oh, by all means–of course–” Mr. Langhope assented, his light smile stiffening into a yawn at the mere suggestion.
He rose with an effort, supporting himself on his stick. “I think I’ll turn in myself. There’s not a readable book in that God-forsaken library, and I believe M nike air max 1 ebay aria Ansell has gone off with my volume of Loti.”
* * * * *
The next morning, when Amherst presented himself at the Westmore door, he had decided to follow his chief’s instructions to the letter, and ask for Mr. Langhope only. The decision had cost him a struggle, for his heart was big with its purpose; but though he knew that he must soon place himself in open opposition to Truscomb, he recognized the prudence of deferring the declaration of war as long as possible.
On his round of the mills, that morning, he had paused in the room where Mrs. Dillon knelt beside her mop and pail, and had found her, to his surprise, comparativ nike air max 1 premium ely reassured and cheerful. Dr. Disbrow, she told him, had been in the previous evening, and had told her to take heart about Jim, and left her enough money to get along for a week–and a wonderful new cough-mixture that he’d put up for her special. Amherst found it difficult to listen calmly, with the nurse’s words still in his ears, and the sight before him of Mrs. Dillon’s lean shoulder-blades travelling pain nike air max 1 sale fully up and down with the sweep of the mop.
“I don’t suppose that cost Truscomb ten dollars,” he said to himself, as the lift lowered him to the factory door; but another voice argued that he had no right to accuse Disbrow of acting as his brother-in-law’s agent, when the gift to Mrs. Dillon might have been prompted by his own kindness of heart.
“And what prompted the lie about her husband? Well, perhaps he’s an incurable optimist,” he summed up, springing into the Hanaford car.
By the time he reached Mrs. Westmore’s door his wrath had subsided, and he felt that he had himself well in hand. He had taken unusual pains with his appearance that morning–or rather his mother, learning of the errand on which Truscomb had sent him, had laid out his carefully-brushed Sunday clothes, and adjusted his tie with skilful fingers. “Yo cheap nike air max 1 u’d really be handsome, Johnny, if you were only a little vainer,” she said, pushing him away to survey the result; and when he stared at her, repeating: “I never heard that vanity made a man better-looking,” she responded gaily: “Oh, up to a certain point, cheap air max 1 because it teaches him how to use what he’s got. So remember,” she charged him, as he smiled and took up his hat, “that you’re going to see a pretty young woman, and that you’re not a hundred years old yourself.”
“I’ll try to,” he answered, humouring her, “but as I’ve been forbidden to ask for her, I am afraid your efforts will be wasted.”
The servant to whom he gave his message showed him into the library, with a request that he should wait; and there, to his surprise, he found, not the white-moustached gentleman whom he had guessed the night before to be Mr. Langhope, but a young lady in deep black, who turned on hi cheap nike air max 1 m a look of not unfriendly enquiry.
It was not Bessy’s habit to anticipate the clock; but her distaste for her surroundings, and the impatience to have done with the tedious duties awaiting her, had sent her downstairs before the rest of the party. Her life had been so free from tiresome obligations that she had but a small stock of patience to meet them with; and already, after a night at Hanaford, she was pining nike air max 1 black to get back to the comforts of her own country-house, the soft rut of her daily habits, the funny chatter of her little girl, the long stride of her Irish hunter across the Hempstead plains–to everythin8

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