“So—you quite understand, my Porges?”
“Yes, yes—Oh I understand!”
“Where the little bridge spans the brook,—the trees are thicker, there.”
“Aye aye, Captain!”
“Then—fare thee well, Shipmate! Goodbye, my Porges,—and remember!”
So they clasped hands, very solemnly, Big Porges, and Small Porges, and turned each his appointed way, the one up, the other down, the lane. But lo! as they went Small Porges’ tears were banished quite; and Bellew strode upon his way, his head held high, his shoulders squared, like one in whom Hope has been newborn.
How Anthea gave her promise
“And so—he—has really gone!” Miss Priscilla sighed as she spoke, and looked up from her needle-work to watch Anthea who sat biting her pen, and frowning down at the blank sheet of paper before her. “And so, he is—really—gone?”
“Who—Mr. Bellew? Oh yes!”
“He went—very early!”
“And—without any breakfast!”
“That was—his own fault!” said Anthea.
“And without even—saying ’Good-bye’!”
“Perhaps he was in a hurry,” Anthea suggested.
“Oh dear me, no my dear! I don’t believe Mr. Bellew was ever in a hurry in all his life.”
“No,” said Anthea, giving her pen a vicious bite, “I don’t believe he ever was; he is always so—hatefully placid, and deliberate!” and here, she bit her pen again.
“Eh, my dear?” exclaimed Miss Priscilla, pausing with her needle in mid-air, “did you say—hatefully?”
“I—hate him, Aunt Priscilla!”
“That was why I—sent him away.”
“You—sent him away?”
“Oh Aunt Priscilla!—surely you never—believed in the—fortune? Surely you guessed it was—his money that paid back the mortgage,—didn’t you, Aunt,—didn’t you?”
“Well, my dear—. But then—he did it so very—tactfully, and—and—I had hoped, my dear that—”
“That I should—marry him, and settle the obligation that way, perhaps?”
“Well, yes my dear, I did hope so—”
“Oh!—I’m going to marry—”
“Then why did you send—”
“I’m going to marry Mr. Cassilis—whenever he pleases!”
“Anthea!” The word was a cry, and her needle-work slipped from Miss Priscilla’s nerveless fingers.
“He asked me to write and tell him if ever I changed my mind—”
“Oh—my dear! my dear!” cried Miss Priscilla reaching out imploring hands, “you never mean it,—you are all distraught to-day—tired, and worn out with worry, and loss of sleep,—wait!”
“Wait!” repeated Anthea bitterly, “for what?”
“To—marry—him! O Anthea! you never mean it? Think,—think what you are doing.”