“I am ill, Walter—take me home,” gasped Helen. “I am overcome by the heat and crowd.”
“We must wait a little, Helen. The throng is so great that we cannot move. Dry your face, and let me fan you. Every body is crying, I believe—don’t let that trouble you. See, Helle, even I have dropped a tear in memory of those stupendous sorrows,” said Walter Jerrold, half playfully, and half in earnest.
Then Helen leaned her face on her hands, while torrents of tears dripped over the diamonds and rubies that decked her fingers.
May was sitting in her neat little parlor, knitting and singing, when there came a curt, sharp rap on the door.
“Come in,” she said, looking up; and Mr. Fielding walked in, heated and flurried. “I am very glad to see you, sir. Give me your hat, and let me fetch you a drink of cool water.”
“No, ma’am; I am not in a sufficiently pleasant mood with you to accept your hospitalities. I came on legal business,” he said, pursing up his mouth, and looking around.
“I am sorry that you are offended with me, sir. What shall I do to obtain your forgiveness?” replied May, with a grave smile.
“Do? What shall you do?” he said, mimicking her. “Do as you always do, and that is just what suits you, ma’am.”
“No; I’ll do better. I will beg your pardon, and tell you that I am really sorry to have grieved so kind a friend. And begging pardons don’t suit me, Mr. Fielding, for you must know I am very proud.”
“No doubt of it. You look proud here—living like a Parisian grisette in a garret, and delving from morning until night for your daily bread,” he said, testily.
“Dear sir, I do not think I am like a grisette, and this is not a garret. Look around, and see if I am not very nice here. What can be purer and cleaner than this matting, which still smells of the sweet groves of Ceylon. See my chairs and sofa—did you ever see such incomparable chintz? the white ground covered with roses and blue-bells! Here are my books, there my flowers, and this—you know this, do you not?” said May, leading him up to her little oratory.