‘Oh! now you think so—’ Anne began, but here she stopped short, checked by her dread of interfering between sisters; she could not bear to add to Elizabeth’s bitter feelings of self-reproach, and she could not say that her conduct on the preceding evening had been by any means what it ought to have been, that she had treated Helen kindly, or that Helen had not suffered much from her want of consideration for her. She only kissed her cousin, and wished her good night very affectionately, and nothing more was said that evening.
But Anne’s silence was often very expressive to those who could understand it, and of these Elizabeth was one.
The toilette of Katherine and Helen passed in a very different manner that evening; Katherine did nothing but giggle and chatter incessantly, about the game they had been playing at, in order to prevent Helen from saying anything about the result of their excursion the evening before, and to keep herself from thinking of the cowardly part she had been acting all day. Helen only wished to be left in peace, to think over her share in all these transactions, and to consider how she might become a tolerably useful member of society for the future; and on her making no reply to one of Katherine’s speeches, the latter suddenly became silent, and she was left to her own reflections.
Elizabeth was always fully employed on a Sunday, and on that which followed the Consecration she had perhaps more on her hands even than usual, so that she had little opportunity for speaking, or even for thinking, of her troubles.
Mr. Woodbourne was going to assist Mr. Somerville in the services at St. Austin’s, leaving Mr. Walker to do the duty at St. Mary’s, as the old church was now to be always called.
Mr. Somerville had asked Mrs. Woodbourne to bring all her party to luncheon at his house, and had added a special invitation to the children to be present at the opening of the new Sunday-school, which was to take place between the services. It was however necessary that someone should stay and superintend what the young people called, rather contemptuously, ‘the old school;’ and this Elizabeth undertook, saying that she did not like to lose one Sunday’s teaching of her own class. Anne was about to offer to remain with her and assist her, but on Helen’s making the same proposal, she thought it better to give the sisters an opportunity of being alone together,