“Of one thing I am certain, you will never have anything to do with the woman who abused my friendship and took your father from me. I cannot carry my forgiveness far enough, even in the presence of death, to bid you go to him if she be still a part of his life.
“I can write no more, my darling.
I want you to know that you have
been the dearest child a mother could have, and that you have never
given me moment’s uneasiness in my life. God bless and keep you.
I did not weep when I had finished the letter. There was that in its closing words that dried my tears. I put the pages reverently in the envelope, laid it in the old box, closed and locked the lid, and replaced it in the trunk. For my mother’s bitter mention of the woman who had stolen my father from her had brought back the old, wild hatred I had felt for so many years.
“Whatever Robert Gordon can tell me of you, mother darling, I will gladly hear,” I whispered, as I locked her old trunk, “but I never want to hear him talk of the woman who so cruelly ruined your life.”
THE WORD OF JACK
“O, pray do not let me disturb you.”
Mother Graham drew back from the open door of the living room with a little affected start of surprise at seeing me sitting before the fire. Her words were courteous, but her manner brought the temperature of the room down perceptibly.
She had managed to keep out of my way in clever fashion since the scene of the day before, when she had attacked me concerning the interest taken in me by Robert Gordon.
“You are not disturbing me in the least,” I said, pleasantly, “I was simply watching the fire. Jim certainly has outdone himself in the matter of logs this time.”
“Yes, he has,” she admitted, grudgingly, as she came forward slowly and took the chair I proffered her. “I only hope he doesn’t set the house afire with such a blaze. I must tell Richard to speak to him about it.”
Always the pin prick, the absolute ignoring of me as the mistress of the house. I could not tell whether she had deliberately done it, or whether long usage to dominance in a household had made her speak as she did unconsciously.