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echanical performance of his duties. He had just brought himself to this leaden state of acquiescence when one of the clerks in the outer office thrust his head in to say: “A lady asking for you–” and looking up, Amherst beheld Bessy Westmore.
She came in alone, with an air of high self-possession in marked contrast to her timidity and indecision of the previous day. Amherst thought she looked taller, more majestic; so readily may the upward slant of a soft chin, the firmer line of yielding brows, add a cubit to the outward woman. Her aspect was so commanding that he fancied she had come to express her disapproval of his conduct, to rebuke him for lack of respect to Mr. Tredegar; but a m moncler sale oment later moncler jacket sale it became clear, even to his inexperienced perceptions, that it was not to himself that her challenge was directed.
She advanced toward the seat he had moved forward, but in her absorption forgot to seat herself, and stood with her clasped hands resting on the back of the chair.
“I have come back to talk to you,” she began, in her sweet voice with its occasional quick lift of appeal. “I knew that, in Mr. Truscomb’s absence, it would be hard for you to leave the mills, and there are one or moncler men sale two things I want you to explain before I go away–some of the things, for instance, that you spoke to Mr. Tredegar about last night.”
Amherst’s feeling of constraint returned. “I’m afraid I expressed myself badly; I may have annoyed him–” he began.
She smiled this away, as though irrelevant to the main issue. “Perhaps you don’t quite understand each other–but I am sure moncler sale for kids you can make it clear to me.” She sank into the chair, resting one arm on the edge of the desk behind which he had resumed his place. “That is the reason why I came alone,” she continued. “I never can understand when a lot of people are trying to tell me a thing all at once. And I don’t suppose I care as much as a man would–a lawyer especially–about the forms that ought to be observed. All I want is to find out what is wrong and how to remedy it.”
Her blue eyes met Amherst’s in a look that flowed like warmth about his heart. How should he have doubted that her feelings were as exquisite as her means of exp Moncler Outlet ressing them? The iron bands of distrust were loosened from his spirit, and he blushed for his cheap scepticism of the morning. In a woman so evidently nurtured in dependence, whose views had been formed, and her actions directed, by the most conventional influence moncler jackets s, the mere fact of coming alone to Westmore, in open defiance of her advisers, bespoke a persistence of purpose that put his doubts to shame.
“It will make a great difference to the people here if you interest yourself in them,” he rejoined. “I tried to explain to Mr. Tredegar that I had no wish to criticise the business management of the mills–even if there had been any excuse for my doing so–but that I was sure the condition of the operatives could be very much improved, without permanent harm to the business, by any one who felt a personal sympathy for them; and in the end I believe such sympathy produces better work, and so benefits the employer materially.”
She listened with her gentle look of trust, as though committing to him, with the good faith of a child, her ignorance, her credulity, her little rudimentary convictions and her little tentative aspirations, r moncler sale elying on him not to abuse or misdirect them in cheap moncler sale the boundless supremacy of his masculine understanding.
“That is just what I want you to explain to me,” she said. “But first I should like to know more about the poor man who was hurt. I meant to see his wife yesterday, but Mr. Gaines told me she would be at work till six, and it would have been difficult to go after that. I _did_ go to the hospital; but the man was sleeping–is Dillon his name?–and the matron told us he was much better. Dr. Disbrow came in the evening and said the same thing–told us it was all a false report about his having been so badly hurt, and t hat Mr. Truscomb was very much annoyed when he heard of your having said, before the operatives, that Dillon would lose his arm.”
Amherst smiled. “Ah–Mr. Truscomb heard that? Well, he’s right to be annoyed: I ought not to have said it when I did. But unfortunately I am not the only one to be punished. The operative who tied on the black cloth was dismissed this morning.”
Mrs. Westmore flamed up. “Dismissed for t ralph lauren sale hat? Oh, how unjust–how cruel!”
moncler sell “You must look at both sides of the case,” said Amherst, finding it much easier to remain temperate in the glow he had kindled than if he had had to force his own heat into frozen veins. “Of course any act of insubordination must be reprimanded–but I think a reprimand would have been enough.”
It gave him an undeniable throb of pleasure to find that she was not to be checked by such ar moncler sale womens jackets guments. “But he shall be put back–I won’t have any one discharged for such a reason! You must find him for me at once–you must tell him—-”
Once more Amherst gently restrained her. “If you’ll forgive my saying so, I think it is better to let him go, and take his chance of getting work elsewhere. If he were taken back he might be made to suffer. As things are organized here, the hands are very much at the m moncler sale authentic ercy of the overseers, and the overseer in that room would be likely to make it uncomfortable for a hand who had so openly defied him.”
With a heavy sigh she bent her puzzled brows on him. “How complicated it is! I wonder if I shall ever understand it all. _You_ don’t think Dillon’s accident was his own fault, then?”
“Certainly not; there are too many cards in that room. I pointed out the fact to Mr. Truscomb when the new machines were set up three years ago. An operative may be ever so expert with his fingers, and yet not learn to measure his ordinary movements quite as accurately as if he were an automaton; and that is what a man must do to be safe in the carding-room.”
She sighed again. “The more you tell me, the more difficult it all seems. Why is the carding-room so over-crowded?”
“To make it pay better,” Amherst retu moncler sale coats rned bluntly; and the colour flushed her sensitive skin.
He thought she was about to punish him for his plain-speaking; but she went on 8

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