The American Senator
II.6. The Beginning of Persecution
When Mary Masters got up on the morning after her arrival she knew that she would
have to endure much on that day. Everybody had smiled on her the preceding evening,
but the smiles were of a nature which declared themselves to be preparatory to some
coming event. The people around her were gracious on the presumption that she was
going to do as they wished, and would be quite prepared to withdraw their smiles should
she prove to be contumacious. Mary, as she crept down in the morning, understood all
this perfectly. She found her stepmother alone in the parlour and was at once attacked
with the all important question. "My dear, I hope you have made up your mind about Mr.
"There were to be two months, mamma."
"That's nonsense, Mary. Of course you must know what you mean to tell him." Mary
thought that she did know, but was not at the present moment disposed to make known
her knowledge and therefore remained silent. "You should remember how much this is to
your papa and me and should speak out at once. Of course you need not tell Mr.
Twentyman till the end of the time unless you like it"
"I thought I was to be left alone for two months."
"Mary, that is wicked. When your papa has so many things to think of and so much to
provide for, you should be more thoughtful of him. Of course he will want to be prepared
to give you what things will be necessary." Mrs. Masters had not as yet heard of Mr.
Morton's cheque, and perhaps would not hear of it till her husband's bank book fell into
her hands. The attorney had lately found it necessary to keep such matters to himself
when it was possible, as otherwise he was asked for explanations which it was not always
easy for him to give. "You know," continued Mrs. Masters, "how hard your father finds it
to get money as it is wanted."
"I don't want anything, mamma."
"You must want things if you are to be married in March or April."
"But I shan't be married in March or April. Oh, mamma, pray don't."
"In a week's time or so you must tell Larry. After all that has passed of course he won't
expect to have to wait long, and you can't ask him. Kate my dear,"--Kate had just entered
the room, "go into the office and tell your father to come into breakfast in five minutes.
You must know, Mary, and I insist on your telling me."
"When I said two months,--only it was he said two months--"