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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

The very things which drew her to Pitt


is a grand profession,' he went on; 'a grand profession, when used for its legitimate purposes! I want to have the command of it. If the study is sometimes dry, the practice is often, or it often may be, in the highest degree interesting.'

'Purposes! What purposes?' Mrs. Dallas pursued, fastening on that one word in Pitt's speech.

'Righting the wrong, mother, and lifting up the oppressed. A knowledge of law is necessary often for that; and the practice too.'

'Pitt,' said his mother, 'I don't understand you.'

Betty thought _she_ did, and she was glad that Mr. Dallas's entrance broke off the conversation. Then it was all gone over again, Mr. Strahan's illness, Pitt's ministrations, the will, the property, the house; concluding with the plan of removing thither. Betty, saying nothing herself, watched the other members of the party; the gleam in Mr. Dallas's money-loving eyes, the contained satisfaction of Mrs. Dallas's motherly pride, and the extremely different look on the younger man's face. With all the brightness and life of his talk to them, with all the interest and pleasure he showed in the things talked about, there was a quiet apartness on his brow and in his eyes, a lift above trifles, a sweetness and a gravity that certainly found their aliment neither in the sudden advent of a fortune nor in any of the accessories of money. Betty

saw and read, while the others were talking; and her outward calm and careless demeanour was no true indication of how she felt. The very things which drew her to Pitt, alas, made her feel set away at a distance from him. What had her restless soul in common with that happy repose that was about him? And yet, how restlessness is attracted by rest! Of all things it seemed to Betty one of the most delightful and desirable. Not to be fretted, not to be anxious; to be never 'out of sorts,' never, seemingly, discontented with anything or afraid of anything!--while these terms were the very reverse of all which must describe her and every one else whom she knew. Where did that high calm come from? No face that Betty had ever seen had that look upon it; except--

Oh, she wished she had never seen that other, or that she could forget it. Those two fitted together. 'But I should make him just as good a wife,' said Betty to herself; 'perhaps better. And _she_ does not care; and I do. Oh, what a fool I was ever to go into this thing!'



Arrangements were soon made. The landlady of the house was contented with a handsome bonus; baggage was sent off; a carriage was ordered, and the party set forth.

It was a very strange experience to Betty. If her position was felt to be a little awkward, at the same time it was most deliciously adventurous and novel. She sat demurely enough by Mrs. Dallas's side, eyeing the strange streets through which they passed, hearing every word that was spoken by anybody, and keeping the while herself an extremely smooth and careless exterior. She was full of interest for all she saw, and yet the girl saw it as in a dream, or only as a background upon which she saw Pitt. She saw him always, without often seeming to look at him. The content of Mr. and Mrs. Dallas was inexpressible.

'Where will you find anything like that, now?' said Mr. Dallas, as they were passing Hyde Park. 'Ah, Miss Betty, wait; you will never want to see Washington again. The Capitol? Pooh, pooh! it may do for a little beginning of a colony; but wait till you have seen a few things here. What will you show her first, Pitt?'

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