of him. He was a real force, a great man. So famous was
"Time you began, then. _I_ have--often. But it is no use arguing. You _must--_or you will get poor me finely scolded. Perhaps he was on his good behavior with you, being a stranger; but at home they expect to be obeyed. He will be sure to say it was my stupidity, and that _he_ would have made you directly."
"Do tell!" cried Rhoda, surprised into an idiom; "as if I'd have taken money from _him!"_
"Why, of course not; but between _us_ it is nothing at all. There:" and she put the money into Rhoda's hand, and then held both hand and money rather tightly imprisoned in her larger palm, and began to chatter, so as to leave the other no opening. "Oh, blessed darkness! how easy it makes things! does it not? I am glad there was no candle; we should have been fencing and blushing ever so long, and made such a fuss about nothing--and--"
This prattle was interrupted by Rhoda Gale putting her right wrist round Zoe's neck, and laying her forehead on her shoulder with a little sob. So then they both distilled the inevitable dew-drops.
But as Rhoda was not much given that way, she started up, and said, "Darkness? No; I must see the face that has come here to help me, and not humiliate me. That is the first use I'll make of the money. I am afraid you are rather plain, or you couldn't be so good as all this."
"No," said Zoe. "I'm not reckoned plain; only as black as a coal."
"All the more to my taste," said Rhoda, and flew out of the room, and nearly stumbled over a figure seated on a step of the staircase. "Who are you?" said she, sharply.
"And what are you doing there?"