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Yes–at least–but it couldn’t, of course, be the girl I knew—-”
“Miss Brent saw you the night you arrived, and thought she recognized you. She said you and she had been at some school or convent together.”
“The Sacred Heart? Then it _is_ Justine Brent! I heard they had lost their money–I haven’t seen her for years. But how strange that she should be a hospital nurse! And why is she at Hanaford, I wonder?”
“She was here only on a visit; she didn’t tell me where she lived. She said she heard that a surgical nurse was wanted at the hospital, and volunteered her services; I’m af nike air max 90 sale raid she got small thanks for them.”
“Do you really think they sent her away for talking to you? How do you suppose they found out?”
“I waited for her last night when she left the hospital, and I suppose Mrs. Ogan or one of the doct ors saw us. It was thoughtless of me,” Amherst exclaimed with compunction.
“I wish I had seen her–poor Justine! We were the greatest friends at the convent. She was the ringleader in all our mischief–I never saw any one so quick and clever. I suppose her fun is all gone now.”
For a moment Mrs. Westmore’s mind continued to linger among her memories; then she reverted to the question of the Dillons, and of what might best be done for them if Miss Brent’s fears should be realized.
As the carriage neared her door she turned to her companion with extended hand. “Thank you so much, Mr. Amherst. I a nike air max classic m glad you suggested that Mr. Truscomb should find some work for Dillon about the office. But I must talk to you about this again–can you come in this evening?”
Chapter 7
AMHERST could never afterward regain nike air max a detailed impression of the weeks that followed. They lived in his memory chiefly as exponents of the unforeseen, nothing he had looked for having come to pass in the way or at the time expected; while the whole movement of life was like the noon-day nike air max sale flow of a river, in which the separate ripples of brightness are all merged in one blinding glitter. His recurring conferences with Mrs. Westmore formed, as it were, the small surprising kernel of fact about which sensations gathered and grew with the swift ripening of a magician’s fruit. That she should remain on at Hanaford to look into the condition of the mills did cheap nike air max trainers not, in itself, seem surprising to Amherst; for his short phase of doubt had been succeeded by an abundant inflow of faith in her intenti air max 2013 ons. It satisfied his inner craving for harmony that her face and spirit should, after all, so corroborate and complete each other; that it needed no moral sophistry to adjust h nike air max 2012 er acts to her appearance, her words to the promise of her smile. But her immediate confidence in him, her resolve to support him in his avowed insubordination, to ignore, with the royal license of her sex, all that was irregular and inexpedient in asking his guidance while the whole official strength of the company darkened the background with a gathering storm of disapproval–this sense of being the glove flung by her hand in the face of convention, quickened astonishingly the flow of Amherst’s sensations. It was as though a mountain-climber, braced to the strain of a hard ascent, should suddenly see the way break into roses, and level itself in a path for his feet.
On his second visit he found the two ladies together, and Mrs. Ansell’s smile of approval seemed to cast a soc nike air max 1 ial sanction on the episode, to classify it as comfortably usual and unimportant. He could see that her friend’s manner put Bessy at ease, helping her to ask her own questions, and to reflect on his suggestions, with less bewilderment and more self-confidence. Mrs. Ansell had the faculty of restoring to her the belief in her reasoning powers that her father could dissolve in a monosyllable.
The talk, on this occasion, had turned mainly on the future of the Dillon family, on the best means of compensating for the accident, and, incidentally, on the care of the young children of the mill-colony. Though Amherst did not believe in the extremer forms of industrial paternalism, he was yet of opinion that, where married women were employed, the employer should care for their children. He had been gradually, and somewhat reluctantly, brought to this conviction by the many instances of unavoidable neglect and suffering among the children of the women-workers at Westmore; and Mrs. Westmore took up the scheme with all the ardour of her young motherliness, quivering at the thought of hungry nike air max 90 or ailing children while her Cicely, leaning a silken head against her, lifted puzzled eyes to her face.
On the larger problems of the case it was less easy to fix Bessy’s attention; but Amherst was far from being one of the extreme theorists who reject temporary remedies lest they defer the day of general renewal, and since he looked on every gain in the material condition of the mill-hands as a step in their moral growth, he was quite willing to hold back his fundamental plans while he discussed the establishment o cheap nike air max f a nursery, and of a night-school for the boys in the mills.
The third time he called, he found Mr. Langhope and Mr. Halford Gaines of the company. The President of the Westmore mills was a trim middle-sized man, whose high pink varnish of good living would have turned to purple could he have known Mr. Langhope’s opinion of his jewelled shirt-front and the padded shoulders of his evening-coat. Happily he had no inkling of these views, and was fortified in his command of the situation by an unimpaired confidence in his own appearance; while Mr. Langhope, discreetly withdrawn behind a veil of cigar-smoke, let his silence play like a fine criticism over the various phases of the discussion.
It was a surprise to Amherst to find himself in Mr. Gaines’s presence. The President, secluded in his high office, seldom visited the mills, and when there showed no consciousness of any presence lower than Truscomb’s; and Amherst’s first thought was that, in the manager’s enforced absence, he was to be called to account by the head of the firm nike air max 2013 . But he was affably welcomed by Mr. Gaines, who made it clear that his ostensible purpose in coming was to hear Amherst’s views as to the proposed night-schools and nursery. These were pointedly alluded to as Mrs. Westmore’s projects, and the young man was made to feel that he was merely called in as a temporary adviser in Truscomb’s absence. This was, in fact, the position Amherst preferred to take, and he scrup nike air max 95 ulously restricted himself to the answering of questions, letting Mrs. Westmore unfold his plans as though they had been her own. “It is much better,” he reflected, “that they should all think so, and she too, for Truscomb will be on his legs again in a day or two, and then my hours will be numbered.”
Meanwhile he was surprised to find Mr. Gaines oddly amenable to the proposed innovations, which he appeared to regard as new fashions in mill-management, to be adopted for the same cogent reasons as a new cut in coat-tails.
“Of course we want to be up-to-date–there’s no reason why the Westmore mills shouldn’t do as well by their people as any mills in the country,” he affirmed, in the tone of the entertainer accustomed to say: “I want the thing done handsomely.” But he seemed even less conscious than Mrs. Westmore that each p cheap nike air max articular wrong could be traced back to a radical vice in the system. He appeared to think that every murmur of assent to her proposals passed the sponge, once for all, over the difficulty propounded: as though a problem in algebra should be solved 8

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