PublicBookshelf Book Club
Weekly tips on great novels to read.
Though Ida did not know it, it was meant to rouse Mrs. Heron's
suspicions; and it succeeded admirably. Her thin, narrow face would
flush angrily and she would look across at Isabel significantly, and
Isabel would snigger and toss her head, as if she quite understood.
Ida often went to here own room before Mr. Joseph returned at night,
but sometimes he came in before she had gone; and he made a practice of
sitting near her, even venturing on occasions to lean over the back of
her chair, his mother watching him out of the corners of her eyes, and
with her thin lips drawn down; and although Ida invariably got up and
went to another part of the room, her avoidance of Joseph did not lull
his mother's suspicions. Ida's contempt for the young man was too
profound to permit of such a sentiment as hatred--one can scarcely hate
that which one scorns--but whenever he came near her with his tobacco
and spirit-laden breath, she was conscious of an inward shudder which
closely resembled that with which she passed through the reptile house
at the Zoological Gardens.
Mr. Joseph, the house, the whole life, began to get on her nerves; and
in the solitude of her own room she spent many an anguished hour trying
to discover some way of escape. She read all the advertisements of
situations vacant in the newspaper; but all the employers seemed to
require technical knowledge and accomplishments which she did not
possess. She knew she could not teach even the youngest of children,
she was unacquainted with the mysterious science of short-hand, and had
never seen a typewriter. No one appeared to want a young lady who could
break horses, tend cattle, or run a farm; and this was the only kind of
work she could do.