She gave no other sign of going, and it was her son who had to make the movement for her at last; she apparently did not know that it was her part to make it. She said that now the Kentons must come and return her call, and be real neighborly, just the same as if they were all at home together. When her son shook hands with every one she did so too, and she said to each, “Well, I wish you good-morning,” and let him push her before him, in high delight with the joke, out of the room.
When they were gone the Kentons sat silent, Ellen with a rapt smile on her thin, flushed face, till Lottie said, “You forgot to ask him if we might breathe, poppa,” and paced out of the room in stately scorn, followed by Boyne, who had apparently no words at the command of his dumb rage. Kenton wished to remain, and he looked at his wife for instruction. She frowned, and he took this for a sign that he had better go, and he went with a light sigh.
He did not know what else to do with himself, and he went down to the reading-room. He found Bittridge there, smoking a cigar, and the young man companionably offered to bestow one upon him; but the judge stiffly refused, saying he did not wish to smoke just then. He noted that Bittridge was still in his character of family favorite, and his hand trembled as he passed it over the smooth knob of his stick, while he sat waiting for the fellow to take himself away. But Bittridge had apparently no thought of going. He was looking at the amusements for the evening in a paper he had bought, and he wished to consult the judge as to which was the best theatre to go to that night; he said he wanted to take his mother. Kenton professed not to know much about the New York theatres, and then Bittridge guessed he must get the clerk to tell him. But still he did not part with the judge. He sat down beside him, and told him how glad he was to see his family looking so well, especially Miss Ellen; he could not remember ever seeing her so strong-looking. He said that girl had captured his mother, who was in love with pretty much the whole Kenton family, though.
“And by-the-way,” he added, “I want to thank you and Mrs. Kenton, judge, for the way you received my mother. You made her feel that she was among friends. She can’t talk about anything else, and I guess I sha’n’t have much trouble in making her stay in New York as long as you’re here. She was inclined to be homesick. The fact is, though I don’t care to have it talked about yet, and I wish you wouldn’t say anything to Dick about it when you write home, I think of settling in New York. I’ve been offered a show in the advertising department of one of the big dailies—I’m not at liberty to say which—and it’s a toss-up whether I stay here or go to Washington; I’ve got a chance there, too, but it’s on the staff of a new enterprise, and I’m not sure about it. I’ve brought my mother along to let her have a look at both places, though she doesn’t know