Ragged Lady — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Ragged Lady — Volume 2.
lady in Florence against the superstitions of society; but though she would not now have done a skirt-dance before a shipful of people, she did not afflict herself about her past errors.  She put on the world, but she wore it simply and in most matters unconsciously.  Some things were imparted to her without her asking or wishing, and merely in virtue of her youth and impressionability.  She took them from her environment without knowing it, and in this way she was coming by an English manner and an English tone; she was only the less American for being rather English without trying, when other Americans tried so hard.  In the region of harsh nasals, Clementina had never spoken through her nose, and she was now as unaffected in these alien inflections as in the tender cooings which used to rouse the misgivings of her brother Jim.  When she was with English people she employed them involuntarily, and when she was with Americans she measurably lost them, so that after half an hour with Mr. Hinkle, she had scarcely a trace of them, and with Mrs. Lander she always spoke with her native accent.


One Sunday night, toward the end of Lent, Mrs. Lander had another of her attacks; she now began to call them so as if she had established an ownership in them.  It came on from her cumulative over-eating, again, but the doctor was not so smiling as he had been with regard to the first.  Clementina had got ready to drive out to Miss Milray’s for one of her Sunday teas, but she put off her things, and prepared to spend the night at Mrs. Lander’s bedside.  “Well, I should think you would want to,” said the sufferer.  “I’m goin’ to do everything for you, and you’d ought to be willing to give up one of youa junketin’s for me.  I’m sure I don’t know what you see in ’em, anyway.”

“Oh, I am willing, Mrs. Lander; I’m glad I hadn’t stahted before it began.”  Clementina busied herself with the pillows under Mrs. Lander’s dishevelled head, and the bedclothes disordered by her throes, while Mrs. Lander went on.

“I don’t see what’s the use of so much gaddin’, anyway.  I don’t see as anything comes of it, but just to get a passal of wo’thless fellas afta you that think you’a going to have money.  There’s such a thing as two sides to everything, and if the favas is goin’ to be all on one side I guess there’d betta be a clear undastandin’ about it.  I think I got a right to a little attention, as well as them that ha’n’t done anything; and if I’m goin’ to be left alone he’e to die among strangers every time one of my attacks comes on—­”

The doctor interposed, “I don’t think you’re going to have a very bad attack, this time, Mrs. Lander.”

“Oh, thank you, thank you, docta!  But you can undastand, can’t you, how I shall want to have somebody around that can undastand a little English?”

The doctor said, “Oh yes.  And Miss Claxon and I can understand a good deal, between us, and we’re going to stay, and see how a little morphine behaves with you.”

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Ragged Lady — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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