Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/180

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Mr. Scantlebray nodded his head, then went to the door and knocked with his fists against the wall. A servant maid appeared. "Send missus," said he, and returned to the parlor.

Again Judith entreated to be told if her brother were there with all the vehemence and fervor of her tattered heart.

Mr. Obadiah listened with stolid face and vacant eyes that turned from her to Mr. Menaida, and then back to her again. Presently an idea occurred to him and his face brightened. He went to a sideboard, opened a long drawer, brought out a large book, thrust it before Judith, and said, "Pictures." Then, as she took no notice of the book, he opened it.

"Oh, please sir," pleaded Judith, "I don't want that. I want to know about Jamie. I want to see him."

Then in at the door came a lady in black silk, with small curls about her brow. She was stout, but not florid.

"What!" said she, "my dear, are you the young lady whose brother is here? Don't you fret yourself. He is as comfortable as a chick in a feathered nest. Don't you worry your little self about him now. Now your good days have begun. He will not be a trouble and anxiety to you any more. He is well cared for. I dare be sworn he has given you many an hour of anxiety. Now, O be joyful! that is over, and you can dance and play with a light heart. I have lifted the load off you, I and Mr. Scantlebray. Here he will be very comfortable and perfectly happy. I spare no pains to make my pets snug, and Scantlebray is inexhaustible in his ability to amuse them. He has a way with these innocents that is quite marvellous. Wait a while—give him and me a trial, and see what the result is. You may believe me as one of long and tried experience. It never does for amateurs—for relations—to undertake these cases; they don't know when to be firm, or when to yield. We do—it is our profession. We have studied the half-witted."

"But my brother is not half-witted."

"So you say, and so it becomes you to say. Never admit that there is imbecility or insanity in the family. You are quite right, my dear; you look forward to be-