Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
referring, perhaps, to my mother's mourning weeds, and her
'Yes,' said my mother, faintly.
'Miss Trotwood,' said the visitor. 'You have heard of her, I dare
My mother answered she had had that pleasure. And she had a
disagreeable consciousness of not appearing to imply that it had
been an overpowering pleasure.
'Now you see her,' said Miss Betsey. My mother bent her head, and
begged her to walk in.
They went into the parlour my mother had come from, the fire in the
best room on the other side of the passage not being lighted - not
having been lighted, indeed, since my father's funeral; and when
they were both seated, and Miss Betsey said nothing, my mother,
after vainly trying to restrain herself, began to cry.
'Oh tut, tut, tut!' said Miss Betsey, in a hurry. 'Don't do that!
My mother couldn't help it notwithstanding, so she cried until she
had had her cry out.
'Take off your cap, child,' said Miss Betsey, 'and let me see you.'
MY mother was too much afraid of her to refuse compliance with this
odd request, if she had any disposition to do so. Therefore she
did as she was told, and did it with such nervous hands that her
hair (which was luxuriant and beautiful) fell all about her face.
'Why, bless my heart!' exclaimed Miss Betsey. 'You are a very
My mother was, no doubt, unusually youthful in appearance even for
her years; she hung her head, as if it were her fault, poor thing,
and said, sobbing, that indeed she was afraid she was but a
childish widow, and would be but a childish mother if she lived.
In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss
Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking
at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the
skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on one knee, and her
feet upon the fender, frowning at the fire.