At length the subdued, scared-looking little lady and her bright-eyed silent daughter rose to take leave; Ruth started into the present, and stood up and curtseyed, and turned sick at heart with sudden recollection.
Miss Benson accompanied Mrs. Bradshaw to the door; and in the passage gave her a long explanation of Ruth's (fictitious) history. Mrs. Bradshaw looked so much interested and pleased, that Miss Benson enlarged a little more than was necessary, and rounded off her invention with one or two imaginary details, which, she was quite unconscious, were overheard by her brother through the half-open study door.
She was rather dismayed when he called her into his room after Mrs. Bradshaw's departure, and asked her what she had been saying about Ruth?
"Oh! I thought it was better to explain it thoroughly--I mean, to tell the story we wished to have believed once for all--you know we agreed about that, Thurstan?" deprecatingly.
"Yes; but I heard you saying you believed her husband had been a young surgeon, did I not?" dick sleeve
"Well, Thurstan, you know he must have been something; and young surgeons are so in the way of dying, it seemed very natural. Besides," said she with sudden boldness, "I do think I've a talent for fiction, it is so pleasant to invent, and make the incidents dovetail together; and after all, if we are to tell a lie, we may as well do it thoroughly, or else it's of no use. A bungling lie would be worse than useless. And, Thurstan--it may be very wrong--but I believe--I am afraid I enjoy not being fettered by truth. Don't look so grave. You know it is necessary, if ever it was, to tell falsehoods now; and don't be angry with me because I do it well." adem and eve com
He was shading his eyes with his hand, and did not speak for some time. At last he said--
"If it were not for the child, I would tell all; but the world is so cruel. You don't know how this apparent necessity for falsehood pains me, Faith, or you would not invent all these details, which are so many additional lies."