“That was pretty tough for father,” said Richard. “I wouldn’t go into the house with him, because I knew he wanted to have it to himself; and then to think of that dirty hound skulking in! Well, perhaps it’s for the best. It will make it easier, for father to go and leave the place, and they’ve got to go. They’ve got to put the Atlantic Ocean between Ellen and that fellow.”
“It does seem as if something might be done,” his wife rebelled.
“They’ve done the best that could be done,” said Richard. “And if that skunk hasn’t got some sort of new hold upon father, I shall be satisfied. The worst of it is that it will be all over town in an hour that Bittridge has made up with us. I don’t blame father; he couldn’t help it; he never could be rude to anybody.”
“I think I’ll try if I can’t be rude to Mr. Bittridge, if he ever undertakes to show in my pretence that he has made it up with us,” said Mary.
Richard tenderly found out from his father’s shamefaced reluctance, later, that no great mischief had been done. But no precaution on his part availed to keep Bittridge from demonstrating the good feeling between himself and the Kentons when the judge started for New York the next afternoon. He was there waiting to see him off, and he all but took the adieus out of Richard’s hands. He got possession of the judge’s valise, and pressed past the porter into the sleeping-car with it, and remained lounging on the arm of the judge’s seat, making conversation with him and Richard till the train began to move. Then he ran outside, and waved his hand to the judge’s window in farewell, before all that leisure of Tuskingum which haunted the arrival and departure of the trains.
Mary Kenton was furious when her husband came home and reported the fact to her.
“How in the world did he find out when father was going?”
“He must have come to all the through trains since he say him yesterday. But I think even you would have been suited, Mary, if you had seen his failure to walk off from the depot arm-in-arm with me:
“I wouldn’t have been suited with anything short of your knocking, him down, Dick.”
“Oh, that wouldn’t have done,” said Richard. After a while he added, patiently, “Ellen is making a good deal of trouble for us.”
This was what Mary was thinking herself, and it was what she might have said, but since Dick had said it she was obliged to protest. “She isn’t to blame for it.”
“Oh, I know she isn’t to blame.”