Mrs. Chump sighed heavily, crumpling the notes, that the crisp sweet sound might solace her for the hard condition.
“And don’t dream any more—not about money, I mean,” said Mr: Pole.
“Oh! if I dream like that I’ll be living double.” Mrs. Chump put her hand to the notes, and called him kind, and pitied him for being the loser. The sight of a fresh sum in her possession intoxicated her. It was but feebly that she regretted the loss to her Samuel Bolton Pole. “Your memory’s worth more than that!” she said as she filled her purse with the notes. “Anyhow, now I can treat somebody,” and she threw a wink of promise at Adela. Adela’s eyes took refuge with her papa, who leaned over to her, and said: “You won’t mind waiting till you see me again? She’s taken all I had.” Adela nodded blankly, and the next moment, with an angry glance toward Mrs. Chump, “Papa,” said she, “if you wish to see servants in the house on your return, you must yourself speak to them, and tell them that we, their master and mistresses, do not regard them as thieves.” Out of this there came a quarrel as furious as the ladies would permit it to be. For Mrs. Chump, though willing to condone the offence for the sum she had received, stuck infamy upon the whole list of them. “The Celtic nature,” murmured Cornelia. And the ladies maintained that their servants should be respected, at any cost. “You, ma’am,” said Arabella, with a clear look peculiar to her when vindictive—“you may have a stain on your character, and you are not ruined by it. But these poor creatures...”
“Ye dare to compar’ me—!”
“Contrast you, ma’am.”
“It’s just as imp’dent.”
“I say, our servants, ma’am...”
“Oh! to the deuce with your ‘ma’am;’ I hate the word. It’s like fittin’ a cap on me. Ye want to make one a turbaned dow’ger, ye malicious young woman!”
“Those are personages that are, I believe, accepted in society!”
So the contest raged, Mrs. Chump being run clean through the soul twenty times, without touching the consciousness of that sensitive essence. Mr. Pole appeared to take the part of his daughters, and by-and-by Mrs. Chump, having failed to arouse Mrs. Lupin’s involuntary laugh (which always consoled her in such cases), huffed out of the room. Then Mr. Pole, in an abruptly serious way, bashfully entreated the ladies to be civil to Martha, who had the best heart in the world. It sounded as if he were going to say more. After a pause, he added emphatically, “Do!” and went. He was many days absent: nor did he speak to Adela of the money she had asked for when he returned. Adela had not the courage to allude to it.