Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

V

  • A very ghastly time followed. Fortunately Dean was away, having gone to
  • Montreal on business. It was during his absence that the world was horrified
  • by the tragedy of the  _Flavian's_  fatal collision with an iceberg. The
  • headlines struck Emily in the face like a blow, Teddy was to have sailed on
  • the  _Flavian_ —Had he—had he? Who could tell her? Perhaps his mother—his
  • queer, solitary mother who hated her with a hatred that Emily always felt like
  • a tangible thing between them. Hitherto Emily would have shrunk unspeakably
  • from seeking Mrs. Kent. Now nothing mattered except finding out if Teddy were
  • on the  _Flavian._  She hurried to the Tansy Patch. Mrs Kent came to the
  • door—unaltered in all the years since Emily had first known her—frail,
  • furtive, with her bitter mouth and that disfiguring red scar across her
  • paleness. Her face changed as it always did when she saw Emily. Hostility and
  • fear contended in her dark, melancholy eyes.
  • "Did Teddy sail on the  _Flavian_?" demanded Emily without circumlocution.
  • Mrs. Kent smiled—an unfriendly little smile.
  • "Does it matter to you?" she said.
  • "Yes." Emily was very blunt. The "Murray" look was on her face—the look few
  • people could encounter undefeatedly. "If you know—tell me."
  • Mrs. Kent told her, unwillingly, hating her, shaking like a little dead leaf
  • quivering with a semblance of life in a cruel wind.
  • "He did not. I had a cable from him to-day. At the last moment he was
  • prevented from sailing."
  • "Thank you." Emily turned away, but not before Mrs. Kent had seen the joy and
  • triumph that had leaped into her shadowy eyes. She sprang forward and caught
  • Emily's arm.
  • "It is nothing to you," she cried wildly. "Nothing to you whether he is safe
  • or not. You are going to marry another man. How dare you come here—demanding
  • to know of my son—as if you had a right?"
  • Emily looked down at her pityingly, understandingly. This poor creature whose
  • jealousy, coiled in her soul like a snake, had made life a vale of torment for
  • her.
  • "No right perhaps—except the right of loving him," she said.
  • Mrs. Kent struck her hands together wildly.
  • "You—you dare to say that—you who are to marry another man?"
  • "I am not going to marry another man," Emily found herself saying. It was
  • quite true. For days she had not known what to do—now quite unmistakably she
  • knew what she must do. Dreadful as it would be, still something that must be
  • done. Everything was suddenly clear and bitter and inevitable before her.
  • "I cannot marry another man, Mrs. Kent, because I love Teddy. But he does not
  • love me. I know that quite well. So you need not hate me any longer."
  • She turned and went swiftly away from the Tansy Patch. Where was her pride,
  • she wondered the pride of "the proud Murrays"—that she could so calmly
  • acknowledge an unsought, unwanted love. But pride just then had no place in
  • her.