Page:Triangles of life, and other stories.djvu/194
A ROMANCE OF THREE HUTS
Mrs. Foster got a suspicion. Then she watched, and next day, after breakfast, and when Mrs. Brent's little girl had gone to school, she dropped on her unexpectedly with a length of dress material. Mrs. Brent hastily threw a sheet of newspaper over half a loaf of bread, a saucer of dripping, and a cup of milkless, sugarless tea on the table; but she was too late. She was making moleskin trousers for the stores at that time. Mrs. Foster was a woman of hard, practical kindness, and little or no tact, and she offended Mrs. Brent at once.
"What do you mean," she demanded, "to come here and talk to me like that? What is it to you whether I had any breakfast or not? I don't know you! It's a new thing for a strange woman to come into a woman's house and insult her. Who are you, and what do you want?"
"I'm Mrs. Foster, and I was there when you were born, but you don't remember that. All I know is that you're starving yourself—you can't work on an empty stomach; no woman can. You'll break down. And there's your little girl——"
"She had an egg for her breakfast," broke in Mrs. Brent passionately. "There's the shell in the fireplace if you don't believe me. If you think I'm a pauper to be—to be—But why! To think of the brazen impudence of it!" she gasped. "Now you just get out of this house, whoever you are! There's the door!"
And so it was, but so there was Mrs. Foster, who had managed men in the D.T.'s and had nursed a mad