I Say No
Book V. The Cottage
Chapter 49. Emily Suffers
Mrs. Ellmother--left in charge of Emily's place of abode, and feeling sensible of
her lonely position from time to time--had just thought of trying the cheering
influence of a cup of tea, when she heard a cab draw up at the cottage gate. A
violent ring at the bell followed. She opened the door--and found Emily on the
steps. One look at that dear and familiar face was enough for the old servant.
"God help us," she cried, "what's wrong now?"
Without a word of reply, Emily led the way into the bedchamber which had been
the scene of Miss Letitia's death. Mrs. Ellmother hesitated on the threshold.
"Why do you bring me in here?" she asked.
"Why did you try to keep me out?" Emily answered.
"When did I try to keep you out, miss?"
"When I came home from school, to nurse my aunt. Ah, you remember now! Is it
true--I ask you here, where your old mistress died--is it true that my aunt
deceived me about my father's death? And that you knew it?"
There was dead silence. Mrs. Ellmother trembled horribly--her lips dropped
apart--her eyes wandered round the room with a stare of idiotic terror. "Is it her
ghost tells you that?" she whispered. "Where is her ghost? The room whirls
round and round, miss--and the air sings in my ears."
Emily sprang forward to support her. She staggered to a chair, and lifted her
great bony hands in wild entreaty. "Don't frighten me," she said. "Stand back."