“It is just as well for her not to know what that boy has done,” he confided to Jess, as they continued on their way. “It wouldn’t do any good, and the less said about it the better.”
“And don’t let us say anything about what happened at the quarry, John. I feel certain now that Eben threw the stone which hit me.”
“There is no doubt about it,” was the emphatic reply. “I won’t say a word now, but that young rascal must be taught a lesson. He needs to be severely punished for what he has done.”
ON THE REBEL TRAIL
“A stick struck me, mother. But it’s nothing serious; merely a scratch.”
Such was John’s brief explanation as he entered the dining-room. Mrs. Hampton asked no questions, but seeing how pale Jess looked, she felt certain that something out of the ordinary had happened. It did not take her long to dress the wound, after which the young couple sat down to their supper.
“You will take Mrs. Grimsby home, will you not, John?” Mrs. Hampton asked.
“Certainly,” was the reply. “You don’t mind waiting a while, do you?” he asked, turning toward the visitor. “I have some chores to do, and then we will all go for a spin. You will come along too, mother, won’t you?”
“Not this evening, John. I have some work to do. You and Jess go.”
“I don’t want you to go to any trouble for me,” Mrs. Grimsby remarked. “But I feel that I must get on my way as soon as possible. Gabe may be home at any minute, and he will be very angry if I am not there when he comes.”
“Don’t you worry about Gabe,” John assured her. “I shall settle with him if he makes a fuss when I am there,”
“Oh, but he will wait until you get away, and then he’ll begin. He’s a terrible man when he’s angry, and he is angry most of the time when he’s home. Be careful about marrying, Miss,” and she turned to Jess. “If you make a mistake and get the wrong man, you might as well put an end to your life at once. It will be better than slow torture through the years. I don’t blame that poor girl who drowned herself rather than marry the man she didn’t love. You have heard about it, I suppose. And they haven’t found her body yet.”
Jess tried not to show any sign of agitation at these words, but her hands trembled slightly. John noted this, so, pushing back his chair, he rose from the table.
“You must not judge all men by your husband, Mrs. Grimsby. Gabe is in a class by himself, and I am sorry for you. Just make yourself as comfortable as you can here, and I shall hurry up with my work and get you home as soon as possible.”