In the afternoon it was necessary for Mrs Mason to go a few miles into the country. She left injunctions, and orders, and directions, and prohibitions without end; but at last she was gone, and, in the relief of her absence, Ruth laid her arms on the table, and, burying her head, began to cry aloud, with weak, unchecked sobs.
"Don't cry, Miss Hilton,"--"Ruthie, never mind the old dragon,"--"How will you bear on for five years, if you don't spirit yourself up not to care a straw for what she says?"--were some of the modes of comfort and sympathy administered by the young workwomen.
Jenny, with a wiser insight into the grievance and its remedy, said--
"Suppose Ruth goes. out instead of you, Fanny Barton, to do the errands. The fresh air will do her good; and you know you dislike the cold east winds, while Ruth says she enjoys frost and snow, and all kinds of shivery weather."