The child nethereum address findow began to cry aloud.
"I'm learning all the time."xrp price dip"So am I--to appreciate you."
"Listen to the sound of the rain and the water as it runs into the milk-cooler. It's like low music, isn't it?"Poor Holcroft could make no better answer than a sneeze."Oh-h," she exclaimed, "you're catching cold? Come, you must go right upstairs. You can't stay here another minute. I'm nearly through.""I was never more contented in my life.""You've no right to worry me. What would I do if you got sick? Come, I'll stop work till you go."
"Well then, little boss, goodbye."With a half suppressed smile at his obedience Alida watched his reluctant departure. She kept on diligently at work, but one might have fancied that her thoughts rather than her exertions were flushing her cheeks.She bowed her head upon his shoulder in answer. Springing up, he clasped her close and kissed away her tears as he exclaimed, "No more business marriage for me, if you please. There never was a man so in love with his wife."
Suddenly she looked up and said fearfully, "James, he threatened you. He said you'd never be safe a moment as long as I stayed here."His answer was a peal of laughter. "I've done more than threaten him. I've whipped him within an inch of his life, and it was the thought of you that led me, in my rage, to spare his life. I'll tell you all--I'm going to tell you everything now. How much trouble I might have saved if I had told you my thoughts! What was there, Alida, in an old fellow like me that led you to care so?"Looking up shyly, she replied, "I think it was the MAN in you--and--then you stood up for me so.""Well, love is blind, I suppose, but it don't seem to me that mine is. There never was a man so taken in at his marriage. You were so different from what I expected that I began loving you before I knew it, but I thought you were good to me just as you were to Jane--from a sense of duty--and that you couldn't abide me personally. So I tried to keep out of your way. And, Alida, dear, I thought at first that I was taken by your good traits and your education and all that, but I found out at last that I had fallen in love with YOU. Now you know all. You feel better now, don't you?"
"Yes," she breathed softly."You've had enough to wear a saint out," he continued kindly. "Lie down on the lounge and I'll bring your supper to you."
"No, please! It will do me more good to go on and act as if nothing had happened.""Well, have your own way, little wife. You're boss now, sure enough."She drew him to the porch, and together they looked upon the June landscape which she had regarded with such despairing eyes an hour before."Happiness never kills, after all," she said.
"Shouldn't be alive if it did," he replied. "The birds seem to sing as if they knew."Jane emerged from the barn door with a basket of eggs, and Alida sped away to meet her. The first thing the child knew the arms of her mistress were about her neck and she was kissed again and again."What did you do that for?" she asked."You'll understand some day."
"Say," said Jane in an impulse of good will, "if you're only half married to Mr. Holcroft, I'd go the whole figure, 'fi's you. If you'd 'a' seen him a-thrashin' that scamp you'd know he's the man to take care of you.""Yes, Jane, I know. He'll take care of me always."
The next morning Holcroft and Alida drove to town and went to the church which she and her mother used to attend. After the service they followed the clergyman home, where Alida again told him her story, though not without much help from the farmer. After some kindly reproach that she had not brought her troubles to him at first, the minister performed a ceremony which found deep echoes in both their hearts.Time and right, sensible living soon remove prejudice from the hearts of the good and stop the mouths of the cynical and scandal-loving. Alida's influence, and the farmer's broadening and more unselfish views gradually bought him into a better understanding of his faith, and into a kinder sympathy and charity for his neighbors than he had ever known. His relations to the society of which he was a part became natural and friendly, and his house a pretty and a hospitable home. Even Mrs. Watterly eventually entered its portals. She and others were compelled to agree with Watterly that Alida was not of the "common sort," and that the happiest good fortune which could befall any man had come to Holcroft when he fell in love with his wife.
The End"Well, anyway, it's no business of ours.""It's very much my business. He was the man who drove me here. . . . I'll give you fifty pounds if you'll get me out before he comes back.""I shouldn't think it worth while. I should get sacked more likely than not. I've got a good job here.""Suppose I say eighty?""I can see it first?"
"I haven't got it here. If you come with me to Grosvenor Gardens I'll give it to you at once.""We couldn't get away without being seen. And after that, money wouldn't be much use to me."
"Isn't it worth trying?"The girl stared at her with expressionless eyes. It was impossible to tell what she thought. Irene controlled herself to silence till she should hear her reply. Till she had it, she felt it hard to guess what further argument would avail.
"You're sure they killed him?" the girl asked at last."He was alive when he drove me here."
"I daresay they did. They kill beautiful dogs. Mr. Snacklit likes doing that.""We're losing time, If we're going - - ""It's not that simple, Miss. There's Billson too - - WasBillson one of them two?"
"I don't know who Billson is.""Did one of them have red hair?"
"I didn't notice; but I don't think so.""I'd like to hear what he says."
The girl went to the door and gave a shrill whistle. A moment later a man came into the room, showing a close-cropped head of red hair and a sharp-nosed foxy face."Bill" the girl said, with a familiarity which was equally evident in his manner to her, "this lady says a taxi-driver's been killed in the yard, and they've just burnt his body. I've told her that, if they did, it was nothing to do with you."
The man did not appear to regard this statement as incredible, but, unless he were an exceptionally good actor, it was a surprising item of news."I hadn't heard tell of that," he said. "The master told me to stay by the stairs, and not let anyone go down unless he came along with them.""This young lady says she'll give me eighty pounds if I'll let her out."Or a hundred," Irene interrupted quickly, "if you're sharing between you."
The man looked at her sharply. "You'd like to get out," he asked, "to make trouble for us? That'll have to be what the master says.""There's plenty of trouble coming," Irene replied, "whether I get out or not. But I shouldn't make any for you. I might save your life."
"I'd like to know how you'd do that?""By saying that I saw the two men who'd got the taxidriver's body, and that neither of them had red hair."
"I don't know that anyone's been killed. It sounds just a tale to me.""Well; it isn't. You'll find somebody's going to get hanged. More than one, I expect. But I don't want anyone to get hanged for murdering me."