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peculiarly repugnant to him that Mattie should see him follow
“I guess I won’t come up yet awhile,” he said, turning as if to go
back to the kitchen.
Zeena stopped short and looked at him. “For the land’s sake-what
you going to do down here?” “I’ve got the mill accounts to go
over.” She continued to stare at him, the flame of the unshaded
lamp bringing out with microscopic cruelty the fretful lines of her
“At this time o’ night? You’ll ketch your death. The fire’s out long
ago.” Without answering he moved away toward the kitchen. As
he did so his glance crossed Mattie’s and he fancied that a fugitive
warning gleamed through her lashes. The next moment they sank
to her flushed cheeks and she began to mount the stairs ahead of
“That’s so. It is powerful cold down here,” Ethan assented; and
with lowered head he went up in his wife’s wake, and followed
her across the threshold of their room.