Myrtle Hazard had been just ready to enter on a career of worldly vanity and ambition. It is hard to blame her, for we know how she came by the tendency. She had every quality, too, which fitted her to shine in the gay world; and the general law is, that those who have the power have the instinct to use it. We do not suppose that the bracelet on her arm was an amulet, but it was a symbol. It reminded her of her descent; it kept alive the desire to live over the joys and excitements of a bygone generation. If she had accepted Murray Bradshaw, she would have pledged herself to a worldly life. If she had refused him, it would perhaps have given her a taste of power that might have turned her into a coquette.
This new impression saved her for the time. She had come back to her nest in the village like a frightened bird; her heart was throbbing, her nerves were thrilling, her dreams were agitated; she wanted to be quiet, and could not listen to the flatteries or entreaties of her old lover.
It was a strong will and a subtle intellect that had arrayed their force and skill against the ill-defended citadel of Myrtle’s heart. Murray Bradshaw was perfectly determined, and not to be kept back by any trivial hindrances, such as her present unwillingness to accept him, or even her repugnance to him, if a freak of the moment had carried her so far. It was a settled thing: Myrtle Hazard must become Mrs. Bradshaw; and nobody could deny that, if he gave her his name, they had a chance, at least, for a brilliant future.
Mistress Kitty Fagan calls on master Byles Gridley.
“I ‘d like to go down to the store this mornin’, Miss Withers, plase. Sure I’ve niver a shoe to my fut, only jist these two that I’ve got on, an’ one other pair, and thim is so full of holes that whin I ‘m standin’ in ’em I’m outside of ’em intirely.”
“You can go, Kitty,” Miss Silence answered, funereally.
Thereupon Kitty Fagan proceeded to array herself in her most tidy apparel, including a pair of shoes not exactly answering to her description, and set out straight for the house of the Widow Hopkins. Arrived at that respectable mansion, she inquired for Mr. Gridley, and was informed that he was at home. Had a message for him,—could she see him in his study? She could if she would wait a little while. Mr. Gridley was busy just at this minute. Sit down, Kitty, and warm yourself at the cooking-stove.