Hazard of New Fortunes, a — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 489 pages of information about Hazard of New Fortunes, a Complete.

“I don’t see what good it would do.  They wouldn’t understand.  But if it would relieve you—­”

“I’ll wait till it isn’t a question of self-relief,” said the girl.  “Good-bye!”

She left them to long debate of the event.  At the end Mrs. March said, “She is a strange being; such a mixture of the society girl and the saint.”

Her husband answered:  “She’s the potentiality of several kinds of fanatic.  She’s very unhappy, and I don’t see how she’s to be happier about that poor fellow.  I shouldn’t be surprised if she did inspire him to attempt something of that kind.”

“Well, you got out of it very well, Basil.  I admired the way you managed.  I was afraid you’d say something awkward.”

“Oh, with a plain line of truth before me, as the only possible thing, I can get on pretty well.  When it comes to anything decorative, I’d rather leave it to you, Isabel.”

She seemed insensible of his jest.  “Of course, he was in love with her.  That was the light that came into his face when he was going to do what he thought she wanted him to do.”

“And she—­do you think that she was—­”

“What an idea!  It would have been perfectly grotesque!”

VIII.

Their affliction brought the Dryfooses into humaner relations with the Marches, who had hitherto regarded them as a necessary evil, as the odious means of their own prosperity.  Mrs. March found that the women of the family seemed glad of her coming, and in the sense of her usefulness to them all she began to feel a kindness even for Christine.  But she could not help seeing that between the girl and her father there was an unsettled account, somehow, and that it was Christine and not the old man who was holding out.  She thought that their sorrow had tended to refine the others.  Mela was much more subdued, and, except when she abandoned herself to a childish interest in her mourning, she did nothing to shock Mrs. March’s taste or to seem unworthy of her grief.  She was very good to her mother, whom the blow had left unchanged, and to her father, whom it had apparently fallen upon with crushing weight.  Once, after visiting their house, Mrs. March described to March a little scene between Dryfoos and Mela, when he came home from Wall Street, and the girl met him at the door with a kind of country simpleness, and took his hat and stick, and brought him into the room where Mrs. March sat, looking tired and broken.  She found this look of Dryfoos’s pathetic, and dwelt on the sort of stupefaction there was in it; he must have loved his son more than they ever realized.  “Yes,” said March, “I suspect he did.  He’s never been about the place since that day; he was always dropping in before, on his way up-town.  He seems to go down to Wall Street every day, just as before, but I suppose that’s mechanical; he wouldn’t know what else to do; I dare say it’s best for him.  The sanguine Fulkerson is getting a little anxious about the future of ‘Every Other Week.’  Now Conrad’s gone, he isn’t sure the old man will want to keep on with it, or whether he’ll have to look up another Angel.  He wants to get married, I imagine, and he can’t venture till this point is settled.”

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Hazard of New Fortunes, a — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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