KATHLEEN TAKES RUTH TO TOWN.
When Kathleen ran upstairs her heart was bubbling over with the first real fierce anger she had almost ever felt in her life. She was a spirited, daring girl, but she also had a sweet temper. Now her anger was roused. Her heart beat fast; she clenched one of her hands.
“Oh, if I had Alice here, wouldn’t I give it to her?” she said to herself. “If I had that detestable Miss Ravenscroft here, wouldn’t I give her a piece of my mind? How dare she order me about? Am I not Kathleen O’Hara of Carrigrohane? Is not my father a sort of king in old Ireland? And what is she? I’ll prove to her that I defy her. I will go to see Aunt Katie O’Flynn; nothing shall keep me back.”
Carried away by the wild wave of passion which consumed her, Kathleen dressed hastily for her expedition. She was indifferent now as to what she wore. She put on the first head-dress which came to hand, buttoned a rough, shabby-looking jacket over her velvet dress, snatched up her purse which lay in a drawer, and without waiting for either gloves or necktie, ran downstairs and out of the house.
“I will go. I haven’t the slightest idea how I am to get there, but I will go to Aunt Katie O’Flynn. I shall be in the train and far enough away before they have discovered that I have gone,” was her thought.
From Mrs. Tennant’s house to the station was the best part of a mile, but Kathleen was fleet of foot and soon accomplished the distance. She was just arriving at the station when she saw Ruth Craven coming to meet her. Ruth had enjoyed her hour with Miss Renshaw, and was altogether in high spirits. Kathleen stopped for a minute.
“Oh, Ruth,” she said, “will you come to town with me? It would be so nice if you would. I am going to meet Aunt Katie O’Flynn. It would not be a bit wrong of you to come. Do come—do, Ruthie.”
“But I can’t in this dress,” said Ruth, who felt suddenly very much tempted.
“Of course you can. Why, Aunt Katie is such a darling she’ll take us out if we want things and buy them on the spot. And what does dress matter? We’ll be back in no time. What time does your grandmother expect you home?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I told granny I did not exactly know what time I should be back, but she certainly wouldn’t expect me to be out late.”
“Never mind; you are doing me a kindness. I must go to see Aunt Katie, and it isn’t convenient for the Tennants to go with me. If we go together it won’t be a bit remarkable. Do come, Ruthie. You hurt my feelings awfully this morning; you needn’t hurt them again.”
“Very well,” said Ruth. “I don’t know London at all, and I should like to go with you.”
The two girls now turned into the railway station. Kathleen gave a puzzled glance around her for a minute, then walked boldly up to a porter, asked him to direct her to the proper place to book for London. He showed her the right booking-office, and she secured two first-class single tickets for herself and Ruth. The girls were directed to the right platform, and in process of time found themselves in the train. It so happened that they had a compartment to themselves. Kathleen had now quite got over her burst of anger, and was in the highest spirits.