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the mills to let the operatives tak nike free trainers uk e their pleasure as they saw fit, and the Eldorado and the Hanaford saloons throve on this policy. But Mrs. Westmore arrived full of festal projects. There was to be a giant Christmas tree for the mill-children, a supper on the same scale for the operatives, and a bout of skating and coasting at Hopewood for the older lads–the “band” and “bobbin” boys in whom Amherst had always felt a special interest. The Gaines ladies, resolved to show themselves at home in the latest philanthropic fashions, actively seconded Bessy’s endeavours, and for a week Westmore basked under a sudden heat-wave of beneficence.
The time had p assed when Amherst might have made light of such efforts. With Bessy Westmore smiling up, holly-laden, from the foot of the ladder on which she kept him perched, how could he question the efficacy of hanging the opening-room with Christmas wreaths, or the ultimate benefit of gorging the operatives with turkey and sheathing their offspring in red mittens? It was just like the end of a story-book with a pretty mor nike free run 2 review al, and Amherst was in the mood to be as much taken by the tinsel as the youngest mill-baby held up to gape at the tree.
At the New Year, when Mrs. Westmore left, the negotiations for the purchase of the Eldorado were well advanced, and it was understood that on their completion she was to return for the opening of the night-school and nursery. Suddenly, however, it became known that the proprietor of the road-house had decided not to sell. Amherst heard of the decision from Duplain, and at once foresaw the inevitable result–that Mrs. Westmore’s plan would be given up owing to the difficulty of finding another site. Mr. Gaines and Truscomb had both discountenanced the erection of a special building for what was, after all, only a tentative enterprise. Among the purchasable houses in Westmore no other was suited to the pu nike free run 2 rpose, and they had, therefore, a good excuse for advising Bessy to defer her experiment.
Almost at the same time, however, another piece of news changed the aspect of affairs. A scandalous occurrence at the Eldorado, witnesses to which were unexpectedly forthcoming, put it in Amherst’s power to threaten the landlord with exposure unless he should at once accept the company’s offer and withdraw from Westmore. Amherst had no long time to consider the best means of putting this threat into effect. He knew it was not only idle to appeal to Truscomb, but essential to keep the facts from him till the deed was done; yet how obtain the authority to act without him? The seemingly insuperable difficulties of the situation whetted Amherst’s craving for a struggle. He thought first of writing to Mrs. Westmore;, but now that the spel nike free l of her presence was withdrawn he felt how hard it would be to make her understand the need of prompt and secret action; and besides, was it likely that, at such short notice, she could command the needful funds? Prudence opposed the attempt, and on reflection he decided to appeal to Mr. Gaines, hoping that the flagrancy of the case would rouse the President from his usual attitude of indifference.
Mr. Gaines was roused to the extent of showing a profound resentment against the cause of his disturbance. He relieved his sense of responsibility by some didactic remarks on the vicious tendencies of the working-classes, and concluded with the reflection that the more you did for them the less thanks you got. But when Amherst showed an unwillingness to let the matter rest on this time-honoured aphorism, the President retrench nike free run ed himself behind ambiguities, suggestions that they should await Mrs. Westmore’s return, and general considerations of a pessimistic nature, tapering off into a gloomy view of the weather.
“By God, I’ll write to her!” Amherst exclaimed, as the Gaines portals closed on him; and all the way back to Westmore he was busy marshalling his arguments and entreaties.
He wrote the letter that night, but did not post it. Some unav nike free running shoes owed distrust of her restrained him–a distrust not of her heart but of her intelligence. He felt that the whole future of Westmore was at stake, and decided to await the development of the next twenty-four hours. The letter was still in his pocket when, after dinner, he was summoned to the office by Truscomb.
That evening, when he returned home, he entered the little sitting-room without speaking. His mo nike free run 3 ther sat there alone, in her usual place–how many nights he had seen the lamplight slant at that particular angle across her fresh cheek and the fine wrinkles nike free run plus about her eyes! He was going to add another wrinkle to the number now–soon they would creep down and encroach upon the smoothness of the cheek.
She looked up and saw that his glance was turned to the crowded bookshelves behind her.
“There must be nearly a thousand of them,” he said as their eyes met.
“Books? Yes–with your father’s. Why–were you thinking…?” She started up suddenly and crossed over to him.
“Too many for wanderers,” he continued, drawing her hands to his breast; then, as she clung to him, weeping and trembling a little: “It had to be, mother,” he said, kissing her penitently where the fine wrinkles died into the cheek.
Chapter 8
AMHERST’S dismis nike free review sal was not to take effect for a month; and in the interval he addressed himself steadily to his task.
He went through the routine of the work numbly; but his intercourse with the hands tugged at deep fibres of feelings. He had always shared, as far as his duties allowed, in the cares and interests of their few free hours: the hours when the automatic appendages of the giant machine became men and women again, with desires and passions of their own. Under A cheap nike free run 2 mherst’s influence the mixed elements of the mill-community had begun to crystallize into social groups: his books had served as an improvised lending-library, he had organized a club, a rudimentary orchestra, and various other means of binding together the better spirits of the community. With the older men, the attractions of the Eldorado, and kindred inducements, of nike free 3.0 review ten worked against him; but among the younger hands, and especially the boys, he had gained a personal ascendency that it was bitter to relinquish.
It was the severing of this tie that cost him most pain in the final days at Wes nike free 3.0 sale tmore; and after he had done what he could to console his mother, and to put himself in the way of getting work elsewhere, he tried to see what might be saved out of the ruins of the little polity he had built up. He hoped his influence might at least persist in the form of an awakened instinct of fellowship; and he gave every spare hour to strengthening the lin nike free 5.0 v4 ks he had tried to form. The boys, at any rate, would be honestly sorry to have him go: not, indeed, from the profounder reasons that affected him, but because he had not only stood persistently between the overseers and themselves, but had recognized their right to fun after work-hours as well as their right to protection while they worked.
In the glow of Mrs. Westmore’s Christmas visitation an athletic club had been formed, and leave obtained to use the Hopewood grounds for Saturday afternoon sports; and thither Amherst continued to conduct the boys after the mills closed at the week-end. His last Saturday had now come: a shining afternoon of late February, with a red sunset bending8

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