it quite fair. I felt that she would have a just claim
"Any news from mamma?" asked Vizard, in his blunt way.
"No. My mother writes me that I must not expect her. She has to fight with a dishonest executor. Oh, money, money!"
At that moment Zoe entered the room, but Severne paced the landing. He did not care to face Miss Gale; and even in that short interval of time he had persuaded Zoe to protect her brother against this formidable young lady, and shorten the interview if she could.
So Zoe entered the room bristling with defense of her brother. At sight of her, Miss Gale rose, and her features literally shone with pleasure. This was rather disarming to one so amiable as Zoe, and she was surprised into smiling sweetly in return; but still her quick, defensive eye drank Miss Gale on the spot, and saw, with alarm, the improvement in her appearance. She was very healthy, as indeed she deserved to be; for she was singularly temperate, drank nothing but water and weak tea without sugar, and never eat nor drank except at honest meals. Her youth and pure constitution had shaken off all that pallor, and the pleasure of seeing Zoe lent her a lovely color. Zoe microscoped her in one moment: not one beautiful feature in her whole face; eyes full of intellect, but not in the least love-darting; nose, an aquiline steadily reversed; mouth, vastly expressive, but large; teeth, even and white, but ivory, not pearl; chin, ordinary; head symmetrical, and set on with grace. I may add, to complete the picture, that she had a way of turning this head, clean, swift, and birdlike, without turning her body. That familiar action of hers was fine--so full of fire and intelligence.
Zoe settled in one moment that she was downright plain, but might probably be that mysterious and incomprehensible and dangerous creature, "a gentleman's beauty," which, to women, means no beauty at all, but a witch-like creature, that goes and hits foul, and eclipses real beauty--dolls, to wit--by some mysterious magic.
"Pray sit down," said Zoe, formally. Rhoda sat down, and hesitated a moment. She felt a frost.
Vizard helped her, "Miss Gale has heard from her mother."
"Yes, Miss Vizard," said Rhoda, timidly; "and very bad news. She cannot come at present; and I am so distressed at what I have done in borrowing that money of you; and see, I have spent nearly three pounds of it in dress; but I have brought the rest back."