“Oh, Phyllis, and what will Lovey do without you?” Roxanne begged, using the strongest thing she could have said to me when I thought of the little blind boy that wanted and needed me so badly.
“You will punish him and us for something we can’t help,” the Idol said to me with reproach in his eyes and voice that nearly killed me.
“You both have had your kind of pride about taking gifts from me ever since I have known you,” I answered, looking them full in the eyes, “and you have taught me what the word means. I could take things to eat and wear from you, but my kind of pride won’t let me take your friendship when you think my father has treated you like this. Good-by! I can’t stay any longer to be tortured.” And with that I turned and walked away from them both, forever, I am afraid.
It isn’t true, it can’t be! But if it is? One thing I have made up my mind to do: I am going to ask Father, if it is all true, to let me go away from Byrdsville. I can’t stay here; it will be too empty a life for me to watch them living with me out of it. I hope he will go and take Mother too. Judge Luttrell may prosecute him so he will have to.
Is this the end of the life that bloomed out in me like the apple blossoms do on the bare trees, only to be shattered? No! I hope I will bear fruit from having had so much happiness, like the apple-trees do from their blooms, and I’m going to try.
* * * * *
Just here I laid down Louise and went to see what I could see going on down at the cottage before dark. And there was old Uncle Pompey hanging over our garden wall smoking his pipe and just crying into his funny red bandanna handkerchief. Something tells me that he is going to miss me very much also. I am thankful for the love of this old negro, which I am sure is just the same quality as if he were white.
I think if I could just steal in for one minute and look at Lovelace Peyton’s little bandaged head it would make the pain in my heart easier for having to give him up, but even that I can’t do. I’ve found how strong pride is as well as bitter.
Of course, I know that there are many strange things in life that seem to contradict each other and themselves in a very puzzling manner, but my disgrace has turned out in a way that nobody could have made me believe, if they had told it to me in dictionary words of six syllables. I am being befriended and honored by the whole of Byrdsville, and I don’t know what to make of it. My mind refuses to explain it and my heart is just going on rejoicing over it, as I have not been able to think up any reason why it shouldn’t.