“I dare say people think her pretty.”
“Yes; but what do you think? I asked your opinion,” persisted Anna; and thus beset Adah replied at last:
“I think her too showily dressed for a picture. She displays too much jewelry.”
Anna began to defend her future sister.
“There’s rather too much of ornament, I’ll admit, but she’s a great beauty, and attracts much attention. Why, one of her pictures hangs in Brady’s Gallery.”
“At Brady’s!” and Adah spoke quickly. “I should not suppose your brother would like to have it there where so many can look at it.”
Anna tried to shield the heartless ’Lina, never dreaming how much more than herself Adah knew of ’Lina Worthington.
It seemed to Adah like a miserable deceit, sitting there and listening while Anna talked of ’Lina, and she was glad when at last she showed signs of weariness, and expressed a desire to retire for the night.
“Would you mind reading to me from the Bible?” Anna asked.
“Oh, no, I’d like it so much,” and Adah read her favorite chapter.
And Anna listening to the sweet, silvery tones reading: “Let not your heart be troubled,” felt her own sorrow grow less.
“If you please,” Adah said timidly, bending over the sweet face resting on the pillow, “if you please, may I say the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ here with you?”
Anna answered by grasping Adah’s hand, and whispering to her:
“Yes, say it, do.”
Then Adah knelt beside her, and Anna’s fair hand rested as if in blessing on her head as they said together, “Our Father.”
Adah’s sleep was sweet that night in her little room at Terrace Hill—sweet, not because she knew whose home it was, nor yet because only the previous night he had tossed wearily upon the self-same pillow where she was resting so quietly, but because of a heart at peace with God, a feeling that she had at last found a haven of shelter for herself and her child, a home with Anna Richards, whose low breathings could be distinctly heard, and who once as the night wore on moaned so loudly in her sleep that it awakened Adah, and brought her to the bedside. But Anna was only dreaming and Adah heard her murmur the name of Charlie.
“I will not awaken her,” she said, and gliding back to her own room, she wondered who was Anna’s Charlie, associating him somehow with the letter she had given, into the care of Mrs. Richards.
To Mrs. Richards and her elder daughters Rose Markham was an object of suspicious curiosity, while the villagers merely thought of Rose Markham as one far above her position, saying not very complimentary things of madam and her older daughters when it was known that Rose had been banished from the family pew to the side seat near the door, where honest Jim said his prayers, with Pamelia at his side.