“You’re going to live with him, you’re going to stay in Walden to live?” she cried.
“That is my plan at present,” said Kate.
“Well, see that you stay there,” said Nancy Ellen. “You can’t bring that — that creature to my house, and if you’re going to be his wife, you needn’t come yourself. That’s all I’ve got to say to you, you shameless, crazy —”
“Nancy Ellen, you shall not!” cried Robert Gray, deftly slipping the lines from her fingers, and starting the horse full speed. Kate saw Nancy Ellen’s head fall forward, and her hands lifted to cover her face. She heard the deep, tearing sob that shook her, and then they were gone. She did not know what to do, so she stood still in the hot sunshine, trying to think; but her brain refused to act at her will. When the heat became oppressive, she turned back to the shade of a tree, sat down, and leaned against it. There she got two things clear after a time. She had married George Holt, there was nothing to do but make the best of it. But Nancy Ellen had said that if she lived with him she should not come to her home. Very well. She had to live with him, since she had consented to marry him, so she was cut off from Robert and Nancy Ellen. She was now a prodigal, indeed. And those things Nancy Ellen had said — she was wild with anger. She had been misinformed. Those things could not be true.
“Shouldn’t you be in here helping Aunt Ollie?” asked George’s voice from the front step where he seated himself with his pipe.
“Yes, in a minute,” said Kate, rising. “Did you see who came?”
“No. I was out doing the morning work. Who was it?” he asked.
“Nancy Ellen and Robert,” she answered.
He laughed hilariously: “Brought them in a hurry, didn’t we? Why didn’t they come in?”
“They came to tell me,” said Kate, slowly, “that if I had married you yesterday, as I did, that they felt so disgraced that I wasn’t to come to their home again.”
“‘Disgraced?’” he cried, his colour rising. “Well, what’s the matter with me?”
“Not the things they said, I fervently hope.”
“Well, they have some assurance to come out here and talk about me, and you’ve got as much to listen, and then come and tell me about it,” he cried.
“It was over in a minute,” said Kate. “I’d no idea what they were going to say. They said it, and went. Oh, I can’t spare Nancy Ellen, she’s all I had!”
Kate sank down on the step and covered her face. George took one long look at her, arose, and walked out of hearing. He went into the garden and watched from behind a honeysuckle bush until he saw her finally lift her head and wipe her eyes; then he sauntered back, and sat down on the step beside her.
“That’s right,” he said. “Cry it out, and get it over. It was pretty mean of them to come out here and insult you, and tell any lie they could think up, and then drive away and leave you; but don’t mind, they’ll soon get over it. Nobody ever keeps up a fuss over a wedding long.”