With a burst of tears, Adah listened to him, and then insisted upon going away, as she had done the previous night. She had no claim on him, and she could not be a burden.
“You, madam, think it best, I’m sure,” she said, appealing to Mrs. Worthington, whose heart yearned strangely toward the unprotected stranger, and who answered, promptly:
“I do not, I am willing you should remain until your friends are found.”
Adah offered no further remonstrance, but turning to Hugh, said, hesitatingly:
“I may hear from my advertisement. Do you take the Herald?”
“Yes, though I can’t say I think much of it,” Hugh replied, and Adah continued:
“Then if you ever find anything for me, you’ll tell me, and I can go away. I said, ‘Direct to Adah Hastings.’ Somebody will be sure to see it. Maybe George, and then he’ll know of Willie,” and the white face brightened with eager anticipation as Adah thought of George reading that advertisement, a part of which had lighted Dr. Richards’ cigar.
With a muttered invective against the “villain,” Hugh left the room to see that the carriage was ready, while his mother, following him into the hall, offered to go herself with Adah if he liked. Glad to be relieved, as he had business that afternoon in Versailles, and was anxious to set off as soon as possible, Hugh accepted at once, and half an hour later, the Spring Bank carriage drove slowly from the door, ’Lina calling after her mother to send Caesar back immediately.
’Lina’s purchase and Hugh’s
There were piles of handsome dress goods upon the counter at Harney’s that afternoon, and Harney was anxious to sell. It was not always that he favored a customer with his own personal services, and ’Lina felt proportionably flattered when he came forward and asked what he could show her. Of course, a dress for the party—he had sold at least a dozen that day, but fortunately he still had the most elegant pattern of all, and he knew it would exactly suit her complexion and style.
Deluded ’Lina! Richard Harney, the wealthy bachelor merchant, did not mean one word he said. He had tried to sell that dress a dozen times, and been as often refused, no one caring just then to pay fifty dollars for a dress which could only be worn on great occasions. But ’Lina was easily flattered, while the silk was beautiful. But ten dollars was all she had, and turning away from the tempting silk she answered faintly, that “it was superb, but she could not afford it, besides, she had not the money to-day.”
“Not the slightest consequence,” was Harney’s quick rejoinder. “Not the slightest consequence. Your brother’s credit is good—none better in the country, and I’m sure he’ll be proud to see you in it. I should, were I your brother.”
’Lina blushed, while the wish to possess the silk grew every moment stronger.