“Snowdon,” suggested ’Lina. “That’s where Alice Johnson lives. I must tell you of her.”
“Alice Johnson,” Ellen repeated; “why, that’s the girl father says so much about. Of course I fell in the scale, for there was nothing like Alice, Alice—so beautiful, so religious.”
“Religious!” and ’Lina laughed scornfully. “Adah pretends to be religious, too, and so does Sam, while Alice will make three. Pleasant prospects ahead. I wonder if she’s the blue kind—thinks dancing wicked, and all that.”
Ellen could not tell. She thought it queer that Mrs. Johnson should send her to a stranger, as it were, when they would have been so glad to receive her. “Pa won’t like it a bit, and she’d be so much more comfortable with us,” and Ellen glanced contemptuously around at the neat but plainly-furnished room.
It was not the first time Ellen had offended by a similar remark, and ’Lina flared up at once. Mrs. Johnson knew her mother well, and knew to whom she was committing her daughter.
“Did she know Hugh, too?” hot-tempered Ellen asked, sneeringly, whereupon there ensued a contest of words touching Hugh, in which Rocket, the Ladies’ Fair, and divers other matters figured conspicuously, and when, ten minutes later, Ellen left the house, she carried with her the square-necked bertha, together with sundry other little articles of dress, which she had lent for patterns, and the two were, on the whole, as angry as a sandy-haired and black-eyed girl could be.
“What a stupid I was to say such hateful things of Hugh, when I really do like him,” was Ellen’s comment as she galloped away, while ’Lina muttered: “I stood up for Hugh once, anyhow. To think of her twitting me about our house, when everybody says the colonel is likely to fail any day,” and ’Lina ran off upstairs to indulge in a fit of crying over what she called Nell Tiffton’s meanness.
One week later and there came a letter from Alice herself, saying that at present she was stopping in Boston with her guardian, Mr. Liston, who had rented the cottage in Snowdon, but that she would meet Mrs. Worthington and daughter at Saratoga. Of course she did not now feel like mingling in gay society and should consequently go to the Columbian, where she could be comparatively quiet; but this need not in the least interfere with their arrangements, as the United States was very near, and they could see each other often.
The same day also brought a letter from Hugh, making many kind inquiries after them all, saying his business was turning out better than he expected, and inclosing forty dollars, fifteen of which, he said, was for Adah, and the rest for Ad, as a peace offering for the harsh things he had said to her. Forty dollars was just the price of a superb pearl bracelet in Lexington, and if Hugh had only sent it all to her instead of a part to Adah! The letter was torn in shreds, and ’Lina went to Lexington next day in quest of the bracelet, which was pronounced beautiful by the unsuspecting Adah, who never dreamed that her money had helped to pay for it. Truly ’Lina was heaping up against herself a dark catalogue of sin to be avenged some day, but the time was not yet.