Ester Ried eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 269 pages of information about Ester Ried.



“Oh,” said Sadie, with a merry toss of her brown curls, “don’t waste any more precious breath over me, I beg.  I’m an unfortunate case, not worth struggling for.  Just let me have a few hours of peace once more.  If you’ll promise not to say ‘meeting’ again to me, I’ll promise not to laugh at you once after this long drawn-out spasm of goodness has quieted, and you have each descended to your usual level once more.”

“Sadie,” said Ester, in a low, shocked tone, “do you think we are all hypocrites, and mean not a bit of this?”

“By no means, my dear sister of charity, at least not all of you.  I’m a firm believer in diseases of all sorts.  This is one of the violent kind of highly contagious diseases; they must run their course, you know.  I have not lived in the house with two learned physicians all this time without learning that fact, but I consider this very nearly at its height, and live in hourly expectation of the ‘turn.’  But, my dear, I don’t think you need worry about me in the least.  I don’t believe I’m a fit subject for such trouble.  You know I never took whooping-cough nor measles, though I have been exposed a great many times.”

To this Ester only replied by a low, tremulous, “Don’t, Sadie, please.”

Sadie turned a pair of mirthful eyes upon her for a moment, and noting with wonder the pale, anxious face and quivering lip of her sister, seemed suddenly sobered.

“Ester,” she said quietly, “I don’t think you are ‘playing good;’ I don’t positively.  I believe you are thoroughly in earnest, but I think you have been through some very severe scenes of late, sickness and watching, and death, and your nerves are completely unstrung.  I don’t wonder at your state of feeling, but you will get over it in a little while, and be yourself again.”

“Oh,” said Ester, tremulously, “I pray God I may never be myself again; not the old self that you mean.”

“You will,” Sadie answered, with roguish positiveness.  “Things will go cross-wise, the fire won’t burn, and the kettle won’t boil, and the milk-pitcher will tip over, and all sorts of mischievous things will go on happening after a little bit, just as usual, and you will feel like having a general smash up of every thing in spite of all these meetings.”

Ester sighed heavily.  The old difficulty again—­things would not be undone.  The weeds which she had been carelessly sowing during all these past years had taken deep root, and would not give place.  After a moment’s silence she spoke again.

“Sadie, answer me just one question.  What do you think of Dr. Douglass?”

Sadie’s face darkened ominously.  “Never mind what I think of him,” she answered in short, sharp tones, and abruptly left the room.

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Ester Ried from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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