The little child who was so long prayed for, and who came at last in answer to James Ashurst's fervent prayers, had nothing during her childhood to distinguish her from ordinary children. It is scarcely worthy of record that her mother had a hundred anecdotes illustrative of her precocity, of her difference from other infants, of certain peculiarities never before noticed in a child of tender years. All mothers say these things whether they believe them or not, and Mrs. Ashurst, stretched on her sick-couch, did believe them, and found in watching what she believed to be the abnormal gambols of her child, a certain relief from the constant, dreary, wearing pain which sapped her strength, and rendered her life void and colourless and unsatisfactory. James Ashurst believed them fervently; even if they had required a greater amount of credulity than that which he was blessed with, he, knowing it gave the greatest pleasure to his wife, would have stuck to the text that Marian was a wonderful, "really, he might say, a very wonderful child." But he had never seen anything of childhood since his own, which he had forgotten, and the awakening of the commonest faculties in his daughter came upon him as extraordinary revelations of subtle character, which, when their possessor had arrived at years of maturity, would astonish the world. The Helmingham people did not subscribe to these opinions. Most of them had children of their own, who, they considered, were quite as eccentric, and odd, and peculiar as Marian Ashurst. "Not that I'm for 'lowin that to be pert and sassy one minute, and sittin' mumchance wi'out sa much as a word to throw at a dog the next, is quite manners," they would say among themselves; "but what's ye to expect? Poor Mrs. Ashurst layin' on the brode of her back, and little enough of that, poor thing, and that poor feckless creature, the schoolmaster, buzzed i' his 'ed wi' book larnin' and that! A pretty pair to bring up such a tyke as Miss Madge!"
CHAPTER XXII NEXT DAY
"They are not here. They have gone," said Trixie hopelessly.
Afterwards he could never very clearly recall what followed. He knew he was introduced to "Rafella" as she stood at the window, that she came in and apologised prettily for the mould that
Several times during my stay in London I observed, standing on a corner in one of the most crowded parts of the city, a young woman selling papers. There are a good many women, young and old, who sell papers in London, but any one could see at a glance that this girl was different. There was something in her voice and manner which impressed me, because it seemed to be at once timid, ingratiating, and a little insolent, if that is not too strong a word. This young woman was, as I soon learned, a Suffragette, and she was selling newspapers—"Votes for Women."
place; and each time in obedience to motives unintelligible to the people he lived among. Almost any man can take a stand on a principle his fellow-citizens are already occupying; but Hayley Delane held out for things his friends could not comprehend, and did it for reasons he could not explain. The central puzzle subsisted.
"Newspaper-writing--what do they call it?--journalism, at first; the profession in which you were doing so well when you came here. That, if I mistake not, will in due course lead to something else, about which we will talk at some future time."
Mrs. Van Tromp's countenance was a study during all this. She finally murmured faintly:
Instinctively Arthur looked up the table at Mr Kenyon.
aid. Lin-coln was wear-ing his best clothes at that time. They had been bought with the mon-ey his friend had loaned him. A new suit could not be his for a long time. And yet, e-ven though gone past, and at the risk of jeers from his com-rades, he went back, got off his horse, and pulled the pig out up-on firm land. To be sure there was mud on his clothes, but his heart was free from re-gret.
He reflected with grim pleasure that the Grand Panjandrum would soon be in the position of a Thrid whom everybody knew was mistaken. With the trading-post denied him and Jorgenson still visible, he'd be notoriously wrong. And he couldn't be, and still be Grand Panjandrum!
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