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to be filled, and human nature abhors a vacuum.”
Mr. Langhope shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t follow you. She adored her husband.”
His friend’s fine smile was like a magnifying glass silently applied to the gross stupidity of his remark. “Oh, I don’t say it was a great passion–but they got on perfectly,” he corrected himself.
“So perfectly that you must expect her to want a little storm and stress for a change. The mere fact that you and Mr. Tredegar objected to her seeing Mr. Amherst last night has roused the spirit of opposition in her. A year ago she hadn ralph lauren sale ‘t any spirit of opposition.”
“There was nothing for her to oppose–poor Dick made her life so preposterously easy.”
“My ingenuous friend! Do you still think that’s any reason? The fact is, Bessy wasn’t awake, she wasn’t even born, then…. She is now, and you know the infant’s first conscious joy is to smash things.”
“It will be rather an expensive joy if the mills are the first thing she smashes.”
“Oh I imagine the mills are pretty substantial. I should, I own,” Mrs. Ansell smiled, “not object to seeing her try her teeth on them.”
“Which, in terms of practical conduct, means—-?”
“That I advise you not to disapprove of her staying on, or of her investigating the young man’s charges. You must remember that another peculiarity of the infant mind is to tire soonest of the toy that no one tries to take away from it.”
“_Que diable!_ But suppose Truscomb turns rusty at this very unusual form of procedure? Perhaps you don’t quite know how completely he represents the prosperity of the mills.”
“All the more reason,” Mrs. Ansell pers moncler jackets isted, rising at the sound of Mr. Tredegar’s approach. “For don’t you perceive, my poor distracted friend, that if Truscomb turns rusty, as he undoubtedly will, the inevitable result will be his manager’s dismissal–and that thereafter there will presumably be peace in Warsaw?”
“Ah, you divinely wicked woman!” cried Mr. Langhope, snatching at an appreciative pressure of her hand as the lawyer reappeared in the do moncler sell orway.
Chapter 6
BEFORE daylight that same morning Amherst, dressing by the gas-flame above his cheap wash-stand, strove to bring some order into his angry thoughts. It humbled him to feel his purpose tossing rudderless on unruly waves of emotion, yet strive as he would he could not regain a hold on it. The events of the last twenty-four hours had been too rapid and unexpected for him to preserve his usual clear feeling of mastery; and he had, besides, to reckon with the first complete surprise of his senses. His way of life had excluded him from all contact with the subtler feminine influences, and the primitive side of the relation left his imagination untouched. He was therefore the more assailable by those refined forms of the ancient spell that lurk in delicacy of feeling interpreted by love moncler jacket sale liness of face. By his own moncler sale coats choice he had cut himself off from all possibility of such communion; had accepted complete abstinence for that part of his nature which might have offered a refuge from the stern prose of his daily task. But his personal indifference to his surroundings–deliberately encouraged as a defiance to the attractions of the life moncler sale for kids he had renounced–proved no defence against this appeal; rather, the meanness of his surroundings combined with his inherited refinement of taste to deepen the effect of Bessy’s charm.
As he reviewed the incidents of the past hours, a reaction of self-derision came to his aid. What was this exquisite opportunity from which he had cut himself off? What, to reduce the question to a personal issue, had Mrs. Westmore said or done that, on the part of a plain woman, would have quickened his pulses by the le ast fraction of a second? Why, it was only the old story of the length of Cleopatra’s nose! Because her eyes were a heavenly vehicle for sympathy, because her voice was pitched to thrill the tender moncler sale womens jackets chords, he had been deluded into thinking that she understood and responded to his appeal. And her own emotions had been wrought upon by means as cheap: it was only the obvious, theatrical side of the incident that had affected her. If Dillon’s wife had been old and ugly, would she have been clasped to her employer’s bosom? A more expert knowledge of the sex would have told Amherst that such ready sympathy is likely to be followed by as prompt a reaction of indifference. Luckily Mrs. Westmore’s course had served as a corrective for his lack of experience; she had eve cheap moncler sale n, as it appeared, been at some pains to hasten the process o moncler sale f disillusionment. This timely discipline left him blushing at his own insincerity; for he now saw that he had risked his future not because of his zeal for the welfare of the mill-hands, but because Mrs. Westmore’s look was like sunshine on his frozen senses, and because he was resolved, at any cost, to arrest her attention, to associate himself with her by the only means in his power.
Well, he deserved to fail with such an end in view; and the futility of his scheme was matched by the vanity of his purpose. In the cold light of disenchantment it seemed as though he had tried to build an impregnable fortress out of nursery blocks. How could he have foreseen anything but failure for so preposterous an attempt? His breach of discipline would of course be reported at once to Mr. Gaines and Truscomb; and the manager, already jealous of his assistant’s popularity with the hands, which was a tacit criticism of his own methods, would promptly seize the pretext to be rid of him. Amherst was aware that only his technical efficiency, and his knack of getting the maximum of work o moncler sale authentic ut of the operatives, had secured him from Truscomb’s animosity. From the outset there had been small sympathy between the two; but the scarcity of competent and hard-working assistants had made Truscomb endure him for what he was worth to the mills. Now, however, his own folly had put the match to the manager’s smouldering dislike, and he saw himself, in consequence, discharged and black-listed, and perhaps roaming for months in quest of a job. He knew the efficiency of that far-reaching system of defamation whereby the employers of labour pursue and punish the subordinate who incurs their displeasure. In the case of moncler men sale a mere operative this secret persecution often worked complete ruin; and even to a man of Amherst’s worth it opened the dispiriting prospect of a long struggle for rehabilitation.
Deep down, he suffered most at the thought that his blow for the operatives had failed; but on the surface it was the manner of his failure that exasperated him. For it seemed to prove him unfit for the very work to which he was drawn: that yearning to help the world forward that, in some Moncler Outlet natures, sets the measure to which the personal adventure must keep step. Amherst had hitherto felt himself secured by his insight and self-control from the emotional errors besetting the way of the enthusiast; and behold, he had stumbled into the first sentimental trap in his path, and tricked his eyes with a Christmas-chromo vision of lovely woman dispensing coals and blankets! Luckily, though such wounds to his self-confidence cut deep, he could apply to them the antiseptic of an unfailing humour; and before he had finished dressing, the picture of his wide schemes of social reform contracting to a blue-eyed philanthropy of cheques and groceries, had provoked a reaction of laughter. Perhaps the laughter came too soon, and rang too loud, to be true to the core; but at any rate it healed the edges of his hurt, and gave him a sound surface of composure.
But he could not laug moncler sale h away the thought of the trials to which his intemperance had probably exposed his mother; and when, at the breakfast-table, from which Duplain had already departed, she broke into praise of their visitor, it was like a burning irritant on his wound.
“What a face, John! Of course I don’t often see people of that kind now–” the words, falling from her too simply to be 8

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