Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/264

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MY LIFE AND LOVES.

cognized her till she was within ten yards of me; but her glance pierced me. She bowed with a look that look us both in, I lifted my hat and we passed on.

"Who's that?" exclaimed Kate, "what a strange look she gave us!"

"She's the wife of a gambler," I replied as indifferently as I could, "he gives me work now and then" I went on, strangely forecasting the future. Kate looked at me probing, then: "I don't mind; but I’m glad she's quite old!"

"As old as both of us put together!" I added traitorously, and we went on.

These love-passages with Mrs. Mayhew and Kate, plus my lessons and my talks with Smith, fairly represent my life's happenings for this whole year from seventeen to eighteen, with this solitary qualification that my afternoons with Lorna became less and less agreeable to me. But now I must relate happenings that again affected my life.

I hadn't been four mouths with the Gregorys when Kate told me that my brother Willie had ceased to pay my board for more than a fortnight; she added sweetly:

"It doesn't matter, dear, but I thought you ought to know and I'd hate any one to hurt you, so I took it on myself to tell you". I kissed her, said it was sweet of her, and went to find Willie; he made excuses voluble but not convincing and ended up by giving me a cheque while begging me to tell Mrs. Gregory that he, too, would come and board with her.

The incident set me thinking. I made Kate promise to tell me if he ever failed again to pay what was due and I used the happening to excuse myself to Lorna. I went to see her and told her that I must think at once of earning my living. I had still some five hundred dollars left but I wanted to be before-