It was a big house and a handsome one. It was one of the expressions of the man's success, and his pride was involved in it. He spent money on it lavishly, and, having completed it, went to live a desolate life among its grandeurs.
The inhabitants of the surrounding villages, which were simple and agricultural, regarded Broxton with frank distaste, and "Haworth's" with horror. Haworth's smoke polluted their atmosphere. Haworth's hands made weekly raids upon their towns and rendered themselves obnoxious in their streets. The owner of the Works, his mode of life, his defiance of opinion, and his coarse sins, were supposed to be tabooed subjects. The man was ignored, and left to his visitors from the larger towns, visitors who occasionally presented themselves to be entertained at his house in a fashion of his own, and who were a greater scandal than all the rest.
"They hate me," said Haworth to his visitor, as they sat down to dinner; "they hate me, the devil take 'em. I'm not moral enough for 'em not moral enough!" with a shout of laughter.
There was something unreal to his companion in the splendor with which the great fellow was surrounded. The table was covered with a kind of banquet; servants moved about noiselessly as he talked and laughed; the appointments of the room were rich and in good taste.
"Oh! it's none of my work," he said, seeing Murdoch glance about him. "I wasn't fool enough to try to do it myself. I gave it into the hands of them as knew how."He was loud-tongued and boastful ; but he showed good--