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“It may be very fine,” remarked Salemina judicially, “though I cannot understand more than half of it.”
“That would also be true of Browning,” I replied. “Don’t you love to see great ideas loom through a mist of words?”
“The words are misty enough in this case,” she said, “and I do wish you would not tell the world that I paddle in the burn, or ‘twine my bree wi’ tasseled broom.’ I’m too old to be made ridiculous.”
“Nobody will believe it,” said Francesca appearing in the doorway. “They will know it is only Penelope’s havering,” and with this undeserved scoff, she took her mashie and went golfing; not on the links, on this occasion, but in our microscopic sitting-room. It is nike air max 90 twelve feet square, and holds a tiny piano, desk, centre-tab nike air max classic le, sofa, and chairs, but the spot between the fireplace and the table is Francesca’s favorite “putting green.” She wishes to become more deadly in the matter of approaches, and thinks her tee shots weak; so these two deficiencies she is trying to make good by home practice in inclement weather. She turns a tumbler on its side on the floor, and “puts” the ball into it, or at it, as the case may be, from the opposite side of the room. It is excellent discipline, a Air Max 1 nd as the tumblers are inexpensive the breakage really does not matter. Whenever Miss Grieve hears the shivering of glass, she murmurs, not without reason, “It is not for the knowing what they will be doing next.”
“Penelope, has it ever occurred to you that Elizabeth Ardmore is seriously interested i Cheap Nike Air Max 1 n Mr. Macdonald?”
Salemina propounded this question to me with the same innocence that a babe would display in placing a match beside a dynamite bomb.
Francesca naturally heard the remark,–although it was addressed to me,–pricked up her ears, and missed the tumbler by several feet.
It was a simple inquiry, but as I look back upon it from the safe ground of subsequent knowledge I perceive that it had a certain amount of influence upon Francesca’s history. The suggestion would have carried no weight with me for two reasons. In the first place, Salemina is far-sighted. If objec nike air max 95 ts are located at some distance from her, she sees them clearly; but if they are under her very nose she overlooks them altogether, unless they are sufficiently fragrant or audible to address other senses. This physical peculiarity she carries ove nike air max 90 sale r into her mental processes. Her impression of the Disruption movement, for example, would be lively and distinct, but her perception of a contemporary lovers’ quarrel (particularly if it were fought at her own apron-strings) would be singularly vague. If she suggested, therefore, that Elizabeth Ardmore was interested in Mr. Beresford, who is the rightful captive of my bow and spear, I should be perfectly calm.
My second reason for comfortable indifference is that, frequently in novels, and always in plays, the heroine is instigated to violent jealousy by insinuations of this sort, usually conveyed by the villain of the piece, male or female. I have seen this happen so often in th nike air max e modern drama that it has long since ceased to be convincing; but though Francesca has witnessed scores of plays and read hundreds of novels cheap nike air max , it did not apparently strike her as a theatrical or literary suggestion that Lady Ardmore’s daughter should be in love with Mr. Macdonald. The effect of the new point of view was most salutary, on the whole. She had come to think herself the only prominent figure in the Reverend Ronald’s landscape, and anything more impertinent than her tone with him (unless it is his with her) I certainly never heard. This criticism, however, relates only to their public performances, and I have long suspected that their private conversations are of a kindlier character. When it occurred to her that he might simply be sharpening his mental sword on her steel, but that his heart had at last wandered into a more genial climate than she had ever provided for it, she softened unconsciously; the Scotsman and the American receded into a tr uer perspective, and the man and the woman approached each other with cheap nike air max dangerous nearness.
“What shall we do if Francesca and Mr. Macdonald really fall in love with each other?” asked Salemina, when Francesca had gone into the hall to try long drives. (There is a good deal of excitement in this, as Miss Grieve has to cross the passage on her way from the kitchen to the china-closet, and thus often serves as a reluctant “hazard” or “bunker.”)
“Do you mean what should we have done? cheap nike air max trainers ” I queried.
“Nonsense, don’t be captious! It can’t be too late yet. They have known each other only a little over two months; when would you have had me interfere, pray?”
“It depends upon what you expect to accomplish. If you wish to stop the marriage, interfere in a fortnight or so; if you wish to prevent an engagement, speak–well, say to-morrow; if, however, you didn’t wish them to fall in love with each other, you should have kept one of them away from Lady Baird’s dinner.”
“I could have waited a trifle longer than that,” argued Salemina, “for you remember how badly they got on at first.”
“I remember you thought so,” I responded dryly; “but I believe Mr. Macdonald has been interested in Francesca from the outset, partly because her beauty and vivacity attracted him, partly because he could keep her in order only by nike air max 1 putting his whole mind upon her. On his side, he has succeeded in piquing her into thinking of him continually, though solely, as she fancies, for the purpose of crossing swords with him. If they ever drop their weapons for an instant, and allow the din of warfare to subside so that they can listen to their own heart-beats, they will discover that they love each other to distraction.”
“Ye ken mair than’s in the catecheesm,” remarked Salemina, yawning a little as she put away her darning-ball. “It is pathetic to see you waste your time painting mediocre pictures, when as a lecturer upon love you could instruct your thousands.”
“The thousands would never satisfy me,” I retorted, “so long as you remained uninstructed, for in your single person you would so swell the sum of human ignorance on that subject that my teaching wo Nike Air Max 1 uld be forever vain.”
“Very clever indeed! Well, what will Mr. Monroe say to me when I land in New York without his daughter, or with his son-in-law?”
“He has never denied Francesca anything in her life; why should he draw the line at a Scotsman? I am much more concerned about Mr. Macdonald’s congregation.”
“I am not anxious about that,” said Salemina loyally. “Francesca would be the life of an Inchcaldy parish.”
“I dare say,” I observed, “but she might be the death of the pastor.”
“I am ashamed of you, Penelope; or I should be if you meant what you say. She can make the people love her if she tries; when did she ever fail at that? But with Mr. Macdonald’s talent, to say nothing of his family connections, he is sure to get a church in Edinburgh in a few years, if he wishes. Undoubtedly, it would not be a great match in a nike air max sale money sense. I suppose he has a manse and three or four hundred pounds a year.”
“That sum would do nicely for cabs.”
“Penelope, you are flippant!” ③

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