Shouts, hisses, execrations, yells! The prisoners were being brought forth, to be conveyed to Lynneborough. A whole posse of constables was necessary to protect them against the outbreak of the mob, which outbreak was not directed against Otway Bethel, but against Sir Francis Levison. Cowering like the guilty culprit that he was, shivered he, hiding his white face—wondering whether it would be a repetition of Justice Hare’s green pond, or tearing him asunder piecemeal—and cursing the earth because it did not open and let him in!
Miss Lucy was en penitence. She had been guilty of some childish fault that day at Aunt Cornelia’s, which, coming to the knowledge of Mrs. Carlyle, after their return home the young lady was ordered to the nursery for the rest of the day, and to be regaled upon bread and water.
Barbara was in her pleasant dressing-room. There was to be a dinner party at East Lynne that evening, and she had just finished dressing. Very lovely looked she in her dinner dress, with purple and scarlet flowers in her bosom. She glanced at her watch somewhat anxiously, for the gentlemen had not made their appearance. Half-past six! And they were to dine at seven.
Madame Vine tapped at the door. Her errand was to beg grace for Lucy. She had been promised half an hour in the drawing-room, when the ladies entered it from the dessert-table, and was now in agony of grief at the disappointment. Would Mrs. Carlyle pardon her, and allow her to be dressed?
“You are too lenient to the child, madame,” spoke Barbara. “I don’t think you ever would punish her at all. But when she commits faults, they must be corrected.”
“She is very sorry for her fault; she promises not to be rude again. She is crying as if she would cry her heart out.”
“Not for her ill-behavior, but because she’s afraid of missing the drawing-room to-night,” cried Barbara.
“Do, pray, restore her to favor,” pleaded madame.
“I shall see. Just look, Madame Vine! I broke this, a minute or two ago. Is it not a pity?”
Barbara held in her hand a beautiful toilette ornament, set in pure gold. One of the petals had come off.
Madame Vine examined it. “I have some cement upstairs that would join it,” she exclaimed. “I could do it in two minutes. I bought it in France.”
“Oh, I wish you would,” was Barbara’s delighted response. “Do bring it here and join it now. Shall I bribe you?” she added, laughing. “You make this all right, and then you shall bear back grace to Lucy—for I perceive that is what your heart is set upon.”
Madame Vine went, and returned with her cement. Barbara watched her, as she took the pieces in her hand, to see how the one must fit on to the other.
“This has been broken once, as Joyce tells me,” Barbara said. “But it must have been imperceptibly joined, for I have looked in vain for the damage. Mr. Carlyle bought it for his first wife, when they were in London, after their marriage. She broke it subsequently here, at East Lynne. You will never do it, Madame Vine, if your hand shakes like that. What is the matter?”