Miss Benson had the power, which some people have, of carrying her wishes through to their fulfilment; her will was strong, her sense was excellent, and people yielded to her--they did not know why. Before ten o'clock she reigned sole power and potentate in Ruth's little chamber. Nothing could have been better devised for giving her an interest in the invalid. The very dependence of one so helpless upon her care inclined her heart towards her. She thought she perceived a slight improvement in the symptoms during the night, and she was a little pleased that this progress should have been made while she reigned monarch of the sick-room. Yes, certainly there was an improvement. There was more consciousness in the look of the eyes, although the whole countenance still retained its painful traces of acute suffering, manifested in an anxious, startled uneasy aspect. It was broad morning light, though barely five o'clock, when Miss Benson caught the sight of Ruth's lips moving, as if in speech. Miss Benson stooped down to listen. finger ring vibrator
"Who are you?" asked Ruth, in the faintest of whispers.
"Miss Benson--Mr. Benson's sister," she replied.
The words conveyed no knowledge to Ruth; on the contrary, weak as a babe in mind and body as she was, her lips began to quiver, and her eyes to show a terror similar to that of any little child who wakens in the presence of a stranger, and sees no dear, familiar face of mother or nurse to reassure its trembling heart. penus extensions
Miss Benson took her hand in hers, and began to stroke it caressingly.
"Don't be afraid, dear; I'm a friend come to take care of you. Would you like some tea now, my love ?"
The very utterance of these gentle words was unlocking Miss Benson's heart. Her brother was surprised to see her so full of interest when he came to inquire later on in the morning. It required Mrs. Hughes's persuasions, as well as his own, to induce her to go to bed for an hour or two after breakfast; and, before she went, she made them promise that she should be called when the doctor came. He did not come until late in the afternoon. The invalid was rallying fast, though rallying to a consciousness of sorrow, as was evinced by the tears which came slowly rolling down her pale sad cheeks--tears which she had not the power to wipe away.
Mr. Benson had remained in the house all day to hear the doctor's opinion; and, now that he was relieved from the charge of Ruth by his sister's presence, he had the more time to dwell upon the circumstances of her case--so far as they were known to him. He remembered his first sight of her; her lithe figure swaying to and fro as she balanced herself on the slippery stones, half smiling at her own dilemma, with a bright, happy light in the eyes, that seemed like a reflection from the glancing waters sparkling below. Then he recalled the changed, affrighted look of those eyes as they met his, after the child's rebuff of her advances; how that little incident filled up the tale at which Mrs. Hughes had hinted, in a kind of sorrowful way, as if loath (as a Christian should be) to believe evil. Then that fearful evening, when he had only just saved her from committing suicide, and that nightmare sleep! And now--lost, forsaken, and but just delivered from the jaws of death, she lay dependent for everything on his sister and him--utter strangers a few weeks ago. Where was her lover? Could he be easy and happy? Could he grow into perfect health, with these great sins pressing on his conscience with a strong and hard pain? Or had he a conscience?"
Into whole labyrinths of social ethics Mr. Benson's thoughts wandered, when his sister entered suddenly and abruptly.
"What does the doctor say? Is she better?"