Page:Haworth's.djvu/238

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212
"HAWORTH'S."

wondering and asking herself questions she could not ask him.

"If I gave it up or flagged," he told himself, "she would know without my saying a word."

There had grown in her a beauty of a dark, foreign type. The delicate olive of her skin and the dense blackness of her eyes and hair caused her to be considered a novelty worth commenting upon by the men of Broxton society, which was of a highly critical nature. She went out a great deal as the spring advanced and began to know the place and people better. She developed a pathetic eagerness to make friends and understand those around her. One day, she went alone to Broxton Chapel and after sitting through one of Mr. Hixon's most sulphurous sermons, came home in a brooding mood.

"Why did you go?" Murdoch was roused to ask.

"I thought," she answered, "it might make me better. I thought I would try."

Not long afterward, when he had gone out of the house and she was left sitting with Mrs. Murdoch, she suddenly looked up from the carpet on which her eyes had been fixed and asked her a question.

"Is it true that I am beginning to be very handsome?" she demanded.

"Yes," Mrs. Murdoch answered, "it is true."

A dark cloud settled upon her face and her eyes fell again.

"I heard some men in the street speak aloud to each other about it," she said. "Do they speak so of all women who are handsome?"

"I don't know," her companion replied, surveying her critically and with some anxiety.

"They used to speak so of—her," she said, slowly.