Page:Authors daughter v1.djvu/39

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35
BUSH HOSPITALITY.

"But the good man will not take a penny from you for the bairn," said Mrs. Lindsay hastily. "We keep nae boarding-school; if we did, we would not need to send our ain sae far from us. We dinna wan to be paid for common Christian charity. Our bairns are no owre find to associate wi' the daughter of a gentleman that ye all thought fit to give instructions to your sons. If ye hae na the heart to offer a home to the orphan, please God she'll find one here, and we'll look for nae compensation at your hands."

Mr. Hammond was naturally a liberal and kind man, and he had never felt so small in his life as he did on this occasion. Mrs. Lindsay's warmth and indignation he felt to be well deserved, and he was surprised that it did not kindle some more generous feeling in he heart of his wife. He had never known Mrs. Hammond behave so very strangely. He knew her to be a woman tenacious of her position, prudent in money matters, and careful in engaging in anything involving expense or trouble, without well weighing beforehand whether she could carry it out properly; but her meanness, her coldness, her discourtesy to his poor orphan and to this worthy family were not characteristic of her. His own opinion of Amy Staunton was so favourable, he was so convinced that she would