“Better for the child to be out of it,” she said to herself, and that singular anger with Arthur for the sake of the boy, which was like anger with him for his own sake, came over her. She identified the two. She saw in Eddy the epitome of his father, the inheritor of his virtues and faults, and his retribution, his heir-at-large by the inscrutable and merciless law of heredity. “Yes, it is better for Eddy to be out of it,” she repeated to herself, with the same reasoning that she might have used had she been proposing to separate her brother’s better self from his worse. But she resolved more firmly that she would not go herself. She would urge the others’ going, but she would remain.
But in spite of Anna Carroll’s resolve, she went to Kentucky with the others in two weeks’ time. She had had quite a severe attack of illness after that night, and it had left her so weakened in body that she had not strength to stand against her brother’s urging. Then, too, Mrs. Carroll had displayed an unexpected reluctance to leave. She had evinced a totally new phase of her character, as people who are unconquerable children always will when least expected to do so. Instead of clinging to her husband and declaring that she could not leave, with an underlying submission at hand, she straightened herself and said positively that she would not go. She was quite pale, her sweet face looked as firm as her husband’s.
“I am not going to leave you, Arthur,” she said. “If your sister stays with you, your wife can. Your sister can go, and take Eddy, but your wife stays. I don’t care what happens. I don’t care if Marie and Martin do go. Marie is not cooking so well lately, anyway, and I never did like the way Martin went around corners. We can get new servants I shall like much better. I shall go into the City myself next week to the intelligence office. I am not afraid to go. I don’t like to cross Broadway, but I can take a cab from the station. I will sit there in a row all day with those other women, until I get a good maid, if it is necessary. I don’t care in the least if Marie and Martin do go. You can get another man who will turn the corners more carefully. And I don’t mind because somebody took that rug—somebody—who was not paid. I think it was a very rude thing to do. I think when you take things that way it is no better than burglary, but I should not make any fuss about it. Let the woman have the rug. Although it does seem as if anybody had the rug, it ought to be that man we bought it of in Hillfield. You know he did not seem to like it at all, because he was not paid for it. But maybe he did not come by it honestly himself. He was a singular-looking man—a Syrian or Armenian or a Turk, and one never knows about people like that. I don’t mind in the least; it is all right. And I don’t care about the teacups and things. One of the