Jess of the Rebel Trail eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 307 pages of information about Jess of the Rebel Trail.

“But I am not a young girl, remember, mother.  I am nearly twenty now, and should be able to think somewhat for myself.  Mrs. Merton’s views were mine even before I met her.  For several years I have been dissatisfied with a life that held out little or no promise of anything definite.  I want to make my own way in the world.”

“But you have not been trained for that, so what can you expect to do?”

“I know it only too well, mother,” was the bitter reply.  “You brought me up to shine in society and nothing else.  But I have youth on my side, with an abundance of health, and strength, so I am not afraid.”

“This is all nonsense, Jess.  You are talking like an irresponsible child.  You know not what it means to earn your own living.  And think what a disgrace it would be to have our only daughter working as a common girl.  Imagine Jess Randall as a clerk in a drygoods store or in an office.  The idea is preposterous!  You must give it up at once.”

“I can’t see anything disgraceful about it, mother.  I am sure it is far better to earn one’s own living than to be always depending upon others.  But I shall not disgrace you, so you need not worry about that.”

“What do you intend to do?”

“I have several things in view, and I know that daddy will provide me with money to carry them out.”

“He will do nothing of the sort.  His mind is as fully made up as mine that you are to marry Mr. Donaster.  Don’t you think that we are more capable of judging for your good than you?”

“I have very serious doubts about that.  I know you will consider me ungrateful for saying so, but you ask me, and so I am forced to tell the truth.”

“Well, I declare!” and Mrs. Randall looked her astonishment.  “What has come over you, Jess?  I never knew you to talk like this before.  You seem to have lost all confidence in your parents’ judgment.”

“Not all, mother.  But I know how you interfered with the boys’ welfare, and look how they have turned out.  There was a time when they wished to go to work and win their own way in the world.  But you would not let them, and spoiled their lives by giving them too much money to spend, and telling them that it was not dignified to work.  And look what they are now; helpless to do anything for themselves, and a burden to you.  Daddy agreed with everything you said, and see what has happened.  You made a sad mistake with them, and I am determined that it shall not be so with me.”

The girl was trembling violently as she finished, and she had risen to her feet.  The colour had fled from her face, and her hands were firmly clasped before her.  Her mother also rose, and confronted her daughter.

“You are a rebellious and an ungrateful girl,” she charged.  “To think of your saying such things after all we have done for you.  What do you mean?”

“Just what I have said, as you will find out.  It is about time for me to assert myself when you are determined to shackle me to a creature I detest.”

Project Gutenberg
Jess of the Rebel Trail from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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