Ruth received the flower silently, but with a grave, modest motion of her head. They had gone, and she was once more alone. Presently her companions returned. clitoral massagers
"What was the matter with Miss Duncombe? Did she come here?" asked they.
"Only her lace dress was torn, and I mended it," answered Ruth quickly. cheap anal sex toys
"Did Mr. Bellingham come with her?--they say he's going to be married to her. Did he come, Ruth?" sex toy harness
"Yes," said Ruth, and relapsed into silence.
Mr. Bellingham danced on gaily and merrily through the night, and fitted with Miss Duncombe as he thought good. But he looked often to the side-door where the milliner's apprentices stood; and once he recognised the tall, slight figure, and the rich auburn hair of the girl in black; and then his eye sought for the camellia. It was there, snowy white in her bosom. And he danced on more gaily than ever.
The cold grey dawn was drearily lighting up the streets when Mrs. Mason and her company returned home. The lamps were extinguished, yet the shutters of the shops and dwelling-houses were not opened. All sounds had an echo unheard by day. One or two houseless beggars sat on doorsteps, and shivering, slept with heads bowed on their knees, or resting against the cold hard support afforded by the wall.
Ruth felt as if a dream had melted away, and she were once more in the actual world. How long it would be, even in the most favourable chance, before she should again enter the shire-hall, or hear a band of music, or even see again those bright, happy people--as much without any semblance of care or woe as if they belonged to another race of beings! Had they ever to deny themselves a wish, much less a want? Literally and figuratively their lives seemed to wander through flowery pleasure-paths. Here was cold, biting, mid-winter for her, and such as her--for those poor beggars almost a season of death; but to Miss Duncombe and her companions, a happy, merry time--when flowers still bloomed, and fires crackled, and comforts and luxuries were piled around them like fairy gifts. What did they know of the meaning of the word, so terrific to the poor? What was winter to them? But Ruth fancied that Mr. Bellingham looked as if he could understand the feelings of those removed from him by circumstance and station. He had drawn up the windows of his carriage, it is true, with a shudder.