And her eyes, that seemed to hold the sorrows of centuries in their liquid depths. What was the mystery of it all? And that insolent city chap! What a look he had given her. The memory of it made Dave’s hands come together as if he were strangling something. But it was all too deep for him. The lights glimmered in the rooms upstairs. His father walked to the outer gate to say good-night to Mr. Sanderson—and he tried to justify the feeling of hatred he felt toward Sanderson, but could not. The sound of a shutter being drawn in, caused him to look up. Anna, leaned out in the moonlight for a moment before drawing in the blind. Dave took off his hat—it was an unconscious act of reverence. The next moment, the grave, shy countryman had smiled at his sentimentality. The shutters closed and all was dark, but Dave continued to think and smoke far into the night.
The days slipped by in pleasant and even tenor. The summer burned itself out in a riot of glorious colors, the harvest was gathered in, and the ripe apples fell from the trees—and there was a wail of coming winter to the night wind. Anna Moore had made her place in the Bartlett family. The Squire could not imagine how he ever got along without her; she always thought of everyone’s comfort and remembered their little individual likes and dislikes, till the whole household grew to depend on her.
But she never spoke of herself nor referred to her family, friends or manner of living, before coming to the Bartlett farm.
When she had first come among them, her beauty had caused a little ripple of excitement among the neighbors; the young men, in particular, were all anxious to take her to husking bees and quilting parties, but she always had some excellent excuse for not going, and while her refusals were offered with the utmost kindness, there was a quiet dignity about the girl that made any attempt at rustic playfulness or familiarity impossible.
Sanderson came to the house from time to time, but Anna treated him precisely as she would have treated any other young man who came to the Squire’s. She was the family “help,” her duty stopped in announcing the guests—or sometimes, and then she felt that fate had been particularly cruel—in waiting on him at table.
Once or twice when Sanderson had found her alone, he had attempted to speak to her. But she silenced him with a look that seat him away cowering like a whipped cur. If he had any interest in any member of the Squire’s family, Anna did not notice it. He was an ugly scar on her memory, and when not actually in his presence she tried to forget that he lived.
KATE BREWSTER HOLDS SANDERSON’S ATTENTION.
“A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Incapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.”—Shakespeare.
It was perhaps owing to the fact that Anna strove hourly to eliminate the memory of Lennox Sanderson from her life, that she remained wholly unaware of that which every member of the Squire’s household was beginning to notice: namely, that Lennox Sanderson was becoming daily more attentive to Kate Brewster.