+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error


WE may be certain that the band of
menials pronounced that Mrs. Leader was
in her "tantrums" all that day. When
the enemy had been routed she fell on the
unhappy Mr. Leader with infinite scorn,
vigour, and contempt, upbraiding him for
his poor, pitiful spirithis meanness
who would allow himself to be hectored
and bullied by a low schemer like that.
A pretty protector he was to her, who had
to do everything herself, and to save the
house from intruders like this! He had
not a spark of courage.

"What is to be the end of it all?" asked
the lady, furiously. "Are you going to
admit all the mob into your house, or must
I pay people to protect me, since my
husband will not?"

Mr. Leader received this attack
helplessly. Unhappily, his daughter was not
there to draw off the fire; so he behaved
rather pitifully, and, like many in his situation,
shifted the blame on to the absent.

"I really don't know how to treat these
people; it is most unwarrantable. I have
told him again and again. Bringing about
all this fuss and confusion. I can't help it,
you know, if a man has no decency or
gentlemanly feeling, and——"

Mrs. Leader was not inclined to press
her advantage further, and with a
contemptuous look turned away to superintend
the grand preparations for the
distinguished guests who were coming. She
first sought the woman whom of all people
in the world she hated.

"If you have any influence with Doctor
Findlater, "she said, coldly," I must request
you will exert it, to save us, and him, from
these disagreeable scenes. We have now
been obliged to give him fair warning that
if he persists in forcing himself upon us, we
shall be obliged to have recourse to some
severe measures to protect our house——"

Katey had not forgiven her insults.

"Why do you address this to me? What
can I do? He is the only doctor near us,
and if it be necessary——"

"Absurd! Cecil is quite well now. But
I have not come here to get into discussions
on these matters; I am mistress in
this house, as yet at least. And as you
have chosen to force yourself on us, you
shall submit to me, or, as I stand here, I
shall begin a course of training with you
this very day. You will do well to lay
aside these airs in good time, for I am
resolved to rule here, madam!"

"You may treat me as you please," said
Katey," and I shall do my best to try and
please you. Why should you feel this
animosity against me? If I have offended you,
I will ask your pardon."

"Oh, that is all childish sentiment. It
would be very convenient to you, no doubt,
to have everything going smoothly now,
after having done all this mischiefruined
the prospects of a great family, which you
were only fit to enter as a governess. Yes,
you know it! you are the daughter of a
mere country-town doctor, and with these
intrigues you have all entrapped our son
so don't think you shall carry it off so
lightly, or with such an air."

"I am Mr. Leader's son's wife, and it is
unworthy of you to address me in such a
style," said Katey, turning round and
quitting the room.

Mrs. Leader looked after her with a smile
of content. She laid out for herself a
pleasant prospect in perpetual encounters