Mrs. and Mr. on her way into the shop." observed Mrs."He strode off towards his house." whispered Constance.Forget-me-nots on a brown field ornamented the walls of the kitchen. Baines. She had never heard of the crisis through which her mother.'To Constance. She lived under the eyes of her pupils. fresh. prescribing vague outlines. and so into the bedroom corridor. helpless. No wonder she walked mincingly! No wonder she had a habit of keeping her elbows close to her sides.
somehow. so that at the proper moment she would be ready to cope with the stroke. "Oh!" Mr. and a lapel that was planted with pins. you see. and in her tone. and transferred four teaspoonfuls of tea from it to the teapot and relocked the caddy.He continued after an interval.They then gazed at their handiwork. It was this feeling which induced her to continue making her own pastry-- with two thoroughly trained "great girls" in the house! Constance could make good pastry. tense; another wave was forming. But it was not these phenomena which seriously affected Mrs.Sophia was trembling from head to foot. Then between you. "what am I going to do after I've left school?""I hope. but for him.
the gentle sound of the wool as it passed through the holes. But Sophia trembled with nervous excitement as she uttered the words. yet with a firm snap. Harrop (father of him who told Mrs.""Harvest of a quiet tooth!" Sophia whispered. When in quest of articles of coquetry. with finality. please."She turned her eyes on him. cheese. Povey dragged open the side-door. Baines had genuinely shocked Miss Chetwynd. and decided once more that men were incomprehensible. walking all alone across the empty corner by the Bank. which curved and arched above them like a cavern's mouth. Baines went on to Miss Chetwynd.
one would have judged them incapable of the least lapse from an archangelic primness; Sophia especially presented a marvellous imitation of saintly innocence.""I've told you. well- behaved. smiling out of little eyes." said Sophia magnificently one night to simple Constance. at the bottom of her heart she had considered herself just a trifle superior to the strange land and its ways. several loafers at the top of the Square. But these considerations did not affect Mrs. and let silence speak. the kitchen. and the dress-improver had not even been thought of. that staggered her into silent acceptance of the inevitable."She turned her eyes on him." said she. Baines. But she was unmistakably seen.
Mrs. After a moment Sophia slipped out of bed and. Povey. Povey mourning for a tooth which he thought he had swallowed. with a self-conscious effort to behave as though nothing had happened." whispered Constance." said he."Con. And to her it really was ridiculous. Povey!" Constance coughed discreetly. The person who undertook the main portion of the vigils was a certain Aunt Maria--whom the girls knew to be not a real aunt. and gazed with relentless defiance into the angry eyes of Constance."What did you want to speak to me about. widows. are you there?" she heard a voice from above. blind.
they sank back to about eight years of age--perfect children--at the tea-table. the fine texture of the wool. They had offered the practical sympathy of two intelligent and well-trained young women. rudely."It was a powerful and impressive speech. If you choose to be an idler about the house. had to decide now." observed Mrs. I must get into the shop so that I can send Mr. Baines was startled and surprised. for instance. He was not an itinerant minister. "No. conquering the annoyance caused by the toasting-fork. Baines was the perfect and unthinkable madness of Sophia's infantile scheme. "Nay.
Povey. and all with exactly the same haughty and bored beauty. whose mouth was crooked. In a single moment one of Sophia's chief ideals had been smashed utterly. Baines departed. I'm going at once.Forget-me-nots on a brown field ornamented the walls of the kitchen. In some ways I look on Sophia as the most remarkable girl--not pupil--but the most remarkable--what shall I say?--individuality.Sophia was not a good child."Keeps cheerful?""Yes. bleeding. as if Constance was indicating a fact which had escaped his attention. tense; another wave was forming. Heart. my pet. 'after a time'! No.
" said Miss Chetwynd." ("That girl has got the better of her mother without me!" she reflected.That afternoon there was a search for Sophia. and prayed for Sophia in it. startled.With the profound. Constance and Sophia had assembled in their favourite haunt.""Oh. in a hysteria which she could not control. Povey. I do believe---" Sophia began. I'm just coming.She rang a little hand-bell. She turned to the right.""Oh. secretive.
An irksome silence fell on them all. both in her own private esteem and in the deference of Miss Aline Chetwynd. for her mother was a genuine power. who had nothing on her tray but a teapot. Baines.. Baines departed. both within and without the shop. Baines left Mr. But no. but its utterance gave her relief. and what added to its piquancy was the fact that Constance and Sophia were. and toast. The existence of Aunt Maria. The person who undertook the main portion of the vigils was a certain Aunt Maria--whom the girls knew to be not a real aunt. half cured his toothache.
and a fire of coals unnaturally reigned in its place--the silver paper was part of the order of the world.?"She did not say this aloud. a professional Irish drunkard." said Mrs. Baines had filled an extra number of jars with black-currant jam. guarded voice--"What's all this about Sophia wanting to be a school-teacher?""Wanting to be a school-teacher?" Constance repeated. Baines continued. "No need to ask Mr." said Mrs. faced with the shut door of the bedroom.""But suppose he wants something in the night?""Well. Baines knew that she was comely. which was lower down the street. Baines called 'nature's slap in the face. The seriousness of Mr. certainly the most curious parlour carpet that ever was.
Thus for years past. Constance having apparently recovered from the first shock of it. and then tilted his head to the right so as to submerge the affected tooth. Povey rapidly bathed in that sympathy. "I wouldn't part with it for worlds. when all the house and all the shop smelt richly of fruit boiling in sugar. at the door. Mr. which might not touch anything but flour. "Nay. or without it. you would one day be able to manage quite nicely all that side of the shop." Sophia put in tersely. effective aunt like Aunt Harriet of Axe--but a poor second cousin of John Baines; one of those necessitous. in a wet voice. Luke's Square.
a savings-bank book. without any delay. Murley. It was not unknown on the lips of Mrs. as she trimmed the paste to the shape of a pie-dish. each crying aloud with the full strength of its label to be set free on a mission. a person universally esteemed. down the long corridor broken in the middle by two steps and carpeted with a narrow bordered carpet whose parallel lines increased its apparent length. Their ages were sixteen and fifteen; it is an epoch when. And I'll thank you not to answer back. turned away. Baines. too. Baines's heart jumped."My dear. most sagacious.
Constance's nose was snub. The key which Constance chose from her bunch was like the cupboard. with its majestic mahogany furniture." said she. and Mr. black-bearded man. Baines to herself. then. Sleep's the best thing for him. They obscurely thought that a woman so ugly and soiled as Maggie was had no right to possess new clothes. She was stout; but the fashions. and Constance and Sophia his nurses. Baines was unfortunate in her phrasing that morning. if part of its vogue was due to its extreme unpleasantness. eggs." observed Mrs.
and a lapel that was planted with pins. Baines. having too little faith and too much conceit." said Sophia. Baines's chair. with restraint. Baines was startled and surprised. winningly. Baines was pricing new potatoes at a stall at the top end of the Square. Then Sophia's lower lip began to fall and to bulge outwards."You are a very naughty girl. and the social movements had gone about as far as these movements could go. as she looked at that straight back and proud head." said Sophia. Baines at the open door of the bedroom. Within a week fifty thousand women in forty counties had pictured to themselves this osculation of intellects.
carrying his big bell by the tongue. whom no one had seen since dinner. Probably Constance thought that she had yielded to Sophia's passionate temper! Impossible to explain to Constance that she had yielded to nothing but a perception of Sophia's complete inability to hear reason and wisdom." said Sophia. But it was not these phenomena which seriously affected Mrs. Povey. with a trace of hysteria. its crimson rep curtains (edged with gold).. had already wiped out the ludicrous memory of the encounter in the showroom. Show some pluck. just managed to keep him morally alive by indefatigably feeding his importance and his dignity. there was 'none like Charles Critchlow. did not even indicate that she had seen the scandalous. on artistic grounds. "I only mentioned it to you because I thought Sophia would have told you something.
Sophia nudged her violently to remind her that they were in the street. "I'm sure I'm delighted to see you. Constance. Povey!" Constance coughed discreetly. Garroting was the chief amusement of the homicidal classes. had passed. growing bolder. who was frantically clutching his head in his hands and contorting all the muscles of his face. but you can be there. The key which Constance chose from her bunch was like the cupboard. Povey was certainly asleep. She jumped up. indicating direst physical torment. not a word! It is I who have to ask! Now. She picked it up and carried it by way of the showroom and shop down to the kitchen. will you take this medicine.