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which, for that river’s sake, the Westmore mills had been planted, lingered in the memory of pre-industrial Hanaford as the pleasantest suburb of the town. Here, beyond a region of orchards and farm-houses, several “leading citizens” had placed, above the river-bank, their prim wood-cut “residences,” with porticoes and terraced lawns; and from the chief of these, Hopewood, brought into the W cheap nike air max estmore family by the Miss Hope who had married an earlier Westmore, the grim mill-village had been carved. The pillared “residences” had, after this, inevitably fallen to base uses; but the old house at Hop cheap nike air max trainers ewood, in its wooded grounds, remained, neglected but intact, beyond the first bend of the river, deserted as a dwelling but “held” in anticipation of rising values, when the inevitable growth of Westmore should increase the demand for small building lots. Whenever Amherst’s eyes were refreshed by the hanging foliage above the roofs of Westmore, he longed to convert the abandoned country-seat into a park and playground for the mill-hands; but he knew that the com Air Max 1 pany counted on the gradual sale of Hopewood as a source of profit. No–the mill-town would not grow beautiful as it grew larger–rather, in obedience to the grim law of industrial prosperity, it would soon lose its one lingering grace and spread out in unmitigated ugliness, devouring green fields and shaded slopes like some insect-plague consuming the land. The co nike air max 95 nditions were familiar enough to Amherst; and their apparent inevitableness mocked the hopes he had based on Mrs. Westmore’s arrival.
“Where every sto nike air max sale ne is piled on another, through the whole stupid structure of selfishness and egotism, how can one be pulled out without making the whole thing topple? And whatever they’re blind to, they always see that,” he mused, reaching up for the strap of the car.
He walked a few yards beyond the manager’s house, and turned down a side street lined with scattered cottages. Approaching one of these by a gravelled path he pushed open the door, and entered a sitting-room where a green-shaded lamp shone pleasantly on bookshelves and a crowded writing-table.
A brisk little woman in black, laying down the evening paper as she rose, lifted her hands to his tall shoulders.
“Well, mother,” he sa nike air max 90 id, stooping to her kiss.
“You’re late, John,” she smiled back at him, not reproachfully, but with affection.
She was a wonderfully compact and active creature, with face so young and hair so white that she looked as unreal as a stage mother till a close view revealed the fine lines that experience had drawn about her mouth and eyes. The eyes themselves, nike air max 1 brightly black and glancing, had none of the veiled depths of her son’s gaze. Their look was outward, on a world which had dealt her hard blows and few favours, but in which her interest was still fresh, amused and unabated.
Amherst glanced at his watch. “Never mind–Duplain will be later still. I had to go into Hanaford, and he is replacing me at the office.”
“So much the better, dear: we can have a minute t Nike Air Max 1 o ourselves. Sit down and tell me what kept you.”
She picked up nike air max 90 sale her knitting as she spoke, having the kind of hands that find repose in ceaseless small activities. Her son could not remember a time when he had not seen those small hands in motion–shaping garments, darning rents, repairing furniture, exploring the inner economy of clocks. “I make a sort of rag-carpet of the odd minutes,” she had once explained to a friend who wondered at her turning to her needlework in the moment’s interval between other tasks.
Amherst threw himself wearily into a chair. “I was trying to find out something about Dillon’s case,” he said.
His mother turned a quick glance toward the door, rose to close it, and reseated herself.
“I managed to have a talk with his nurse when she went off duty this evening.”
“The nurse? I wonder you could get her to speak.”
“Luckily she’s not the regular incumbent, b ut a volunteer who happened to be here on a visit. As it was, I had some difficulty in making her talk–till I told her of Disbrow’s letter.”
Mrs. Amherst lifted her bright glance from the needles. “He’s very bad, then?”
“Hopelessly maimed!”
She shivered and cast down her eyes. “Do you suppose she really knows?”
“She struck me as quite competent to judge.”
“A volunteer, you say, here on a visit? What is her name?”
He raised his head with a vague look. “I never thought of asking her.”
Mrs. Amherst laughed. “How like you! Did she say with whom she was staying?”
“I think she said in Oak Street–but she didn’t mention any name.”
Mrs. Amherst wrinkled her brows thoughtfully. “I wonder if she’s not the thin dark girl I saw the other day with Mrs. Harry Dressel. Was she tall and rather handsome?”
“I don’t know,” murmured Amherst i nike air max ndifferently. As a rule he was humorously resigned to his mother’s habit of deserting the general for the particular, and following some irrelevant thread of association in utter disregard of the main issue. But to-night, preoccupied with his subject, and incapable of conceiving how anyone else could be unaffected by it, he resented her indifference as a sign of incurable frivolity.
“How she can live close to such suffering and forget it!” was his thought; then, with a movement of self-reproach, he remembered that the work flying through her fingers was to take shape as a garment for one of the infant Dillons. “She takes her pity out in action, like that quiet nurse, who was as cool as a drum-major till she took off her uniform–and then!” His face softened at the recollection of the girl’s outbreak. Much as he admired, in theory, the woman who kept a calm exterior in emergencies, he had all a man’s desire to know that the springs of feeling lay close to the unruffled surface.
Mrs. Amherst had risen and crossed over to his chair. S Cheap Nike Air Max 1 he leaned on it a moment, pushing the tossed brown hair from his forehead.
“John, have you considered what you mean to do next?”
He threw back his head to meet her gaze.
“About this Dillon case,” she continued. “How are all these investigations going to help you?”
Their eyes rested on each other for a moment; then he said coldly: “You are afraid I am going to lose my place.”
She flushed like nike air max classic a girl and murmured: “It’s not the kind of place I ever wanted to see you in!”
“I know it,” he returned in a gentler tone, clasping one of the hands on his chair-back. “I ought to have followed a profession, like my grandfather; but my father’s blood was too strong in me. I should never have been content as anything but a working-man.”
“How can you call your father a working-man? He had a genius for mechanics, and if he had lived he would have been as great in his way as any statesman or lawyer.”
Amherst smiled. “Greater, to my thinking; but he gave me his hard-working hands without the genius to create with them. I wish I had inherited more from him, or less; but I must make the best of what I am, rather than try to be somebody else.” He laid her hand caressingly against his cheek cheap nike air max . “It’s hard on you, mother–but you must bear with me.”
“I have never complained, John; but now you’ve chosen your work, it’s natural that I should want you to stick to it.”
He rose with an impatient gesture. “Never fear; I could easily get another job—-”
“What? If Truscomb black-listed you? Do you forget that Scotch overseer who was here when we came?”

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