“You are out of your senses or you wouldn’t speak in this way of Miss Garrison. She’s been a kind friend to you all summer; you’ve told me yourself self how she’s gone up to brush your hair and do little things for you that the nurse couldn’t do as well. You’ve grown morbid from being ill so long, but nothing was ever more infamous than your insinuations against Miss Garrison. She’s a noble girl and it’s not surprising that Aunt Sally should like her. Everybody likes her!”
Having delivered this blow he settled himself more firmly on his feet and glared.
“Everybody likes her!” she repeated, snatching away her hand. “I’d like to know how you come to know so much about her.”
“I know enough about her: I know all about her!”
“Then you know more than anybody else does. Nobody else seems to know anything about her!” she ended triumphantly.
“There you go again with insinuations! It’s ungenerous, it’s unlike you.”
“Morton Bassett,” she went on huskily, “if you took some interest in your own children it would be more to your credit. You blamed me for letting Marian go to the Willings’ and then telegraphed for her to come home. It’s a beautiful relationship you have established with your children! She hasn’t even answered your telegram. But I suppose if she had you’d have kept it from me. The newspapers talk about your secretive ways, but they don’t know you, Morton Bassett, as I do. I suppose you can’t imagine yourself entertaining Marian on the veranda or walking with her, talking and laughing, as I saw you with that girl.”
“Well, thank God there’s somebody I can talk and laugh with! I’m glad to be able to tell you that Marian will be home to-morrow. You may have the satisfaction of knowing that if you would let her go to the Willings’ with Allen Thatcher I can at least bring her back after you failed to do it.”
“So you did hear from her, did you! Of course you couldn’t have told me: I suppose you confide in Miss Garrison now,” she ended drearily.
His wife’s fatigue, betrayed in her tired voice, did not mitigate the stab with which he wished to punish her references to Sylvia. And he delivered it with careful calculation.
“You are quite right, Hallie. I did speak to Miss Garrison about Marian. Miss Garrison has gone to bring Marian home. That’s all; go to bed.”
A CHEERFUL BRINGER OF BAD TIDINGS
The announcement that Harwood was preparing to attack the reorganization of the White River Canneries corporation renewed the hopes of many victims of that experiment in high finance, and most of the claims reached Dan’s office that summer. The legal points involved were sufficiently difficult to evoke his best energies, and he dug diligently in the State Library preparing his case. He was enjoying the cool, calm heights