Marcia Schuyler (Chapter 3, page 5 of 7)

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Chapter 3

But Kate was fairly white with anger. Perhaps her own accusing conscience helped it on. Her voice was imperious and cold. She drew herself up haughtily and pointed toward the house.

"Marcia Schuyler," she said coldly, facing her sister, "go into the house and attend to your own affairs. You'll find that you'll get into serious trouble if you attempt to meddle with mine. You're nothing but a child yet and ought to be punished for your impudence. Go! I tell you!" she stamped her foot, "I will come in when I get ready."

Marcia went. Not proudly as she might have gone the moment before, but covered with confusion and shame, her head drooping like some crushed lily on a bleeding stalk. Through her soul rushed indignation, mighty and forceful; indignation and shame, for her sister, for David, for herself. She did not stop to analyze her various feelings, nor did she stop to speak further with those in the house. She fled to her own room, and burying her face in the pillow she wept until she fell asleep.

The moon-shadows grew longer about the arbored gateway where the two she had left stood talking in low tones, looking furtively now and then toward the house, and withdrawing into the covert of the bushes by the walk. But Kate dared not linger long. She could see her father's profile by the candle light in the dining room. She did not wish to receive further rebuke, and so in a very few minutes the two parted and Kate ran up the box-edged path, beginning to hum a sweet old love song in a gay light voice, as she tripped by the dining-room windows, and thus announced her arrival. She guessed that Marcia would have gone straight to her room and told nothing. Kate intended to be fully surprised. She paused in the hall to hang up the light shawl she had worn, calling good-night to her stepmother and saying she was very tired and was going straight to bed to be ready for to-morrow. Then she ran lightly across the hall to the stairs.

She knew they would call her back, and that they would all come into the hall with David to see the effect of his surprise upon her. She had planned to a nicety just which stair she could reach before they got there, and where she would pause and turn and poise, and what pose she would take with her round white arm stretched to the handrail, the sleeve turned carelessly back. She had ready her countenances, a sleepy indifference, then a pleased surprise, and a climax of delight. She carried it all out, this little bit of impromptu acting, as well as though she had rehearsed it for a month.

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