'Brilliantly, and we shall certainly be very comfortable. But it isn't of the mere material comfort I speak; it is of the moral comfort,' said Morris - 'of the intellectual satisfaction.'
'I have great moral comfort now,' Catherine declared, very simply.
'Of course you have. But with me it is different. I have staked my pride on proving to your father that he is wrong, and now that I am at the head of a flourishing business, I can deal with him as an equal. I have a capital plan - do let me go at him!'
He stood before her with his bright face, his jaunty air, his hands in his pockets; and she got up, with her eyes resting on his own.' Please don't, Morris; please don't,' she said; and there was a certain mild, sad firmness in her tone which he heard for the first time.' We must ask no favors of him - and we must ask nothing more. He won't relent, and nothing good will come of it. I know it now - I have a very good reason.'
' And pray what is your reason?'
She hesitated to bring it out, but at last it came.' He is not very fond of me.'
'Oh, bother!' cried Morris, angrily.
'I wouldn't say such a thing without being sure. I saw it, I felt it, in England, just before he came away. He talked to me one night - the last night - and then it came over me. You can tell when a person feels that way. I wouldn't accuse him if he hadn't made me c feel that way. I don't accuse him; I just tell you that that's how it is. He can't help it; we can't govern our affections. Do I govern mine? Mightn't he say that to me? It's because he is so fond of my mother, whom we lost so long ago. She was beautiful, and very, very brilliant; he is always thinking of her. I am not at all like her; Aunt Penniman has told me that. Of course it isn't my fault; but neither is it his fault. All I mean is, it's true; and it's a stronger reason for his never being reconciled than simply his dislike for you.'
'Simply?' , cried Morris, with a laugh.' I am much obliged for that.'
'I don't mind about his disliking you now; I mind everything less. I feel differently; I feel separated from my father.'
'Upon my word,' said Morris,' you are a queer family.'
' Don't say that - don't say anything unkind,' the girl entreated.' You must be very kind to me now, because, Morris, because' - and she hesitated a moment -' because I have done a great deal for you.'
'Oh, I know that, my dear.' She had spoken up to this moment without vehemence or out - ward sign of emotion, gently, reasoningly, only trying to explain. But her emotion had been ineffectually smothered, and it betrayed itself at last in the trembling of her voice.' It is a great thing to be separated like that from your father, when you have worshipped him before. It has made me very unhappy; or it would have made me so if I didn't love you. You can tell when a person speaks to you as if - as if-'
'As if what?' , As if they despised you!' said Catherine, passionately.' He spoke that way the night before we sailed. It wasn't much, but it was enough, and I thought of it on the voyage all the time. Then I made up my mind. I will never ask him for anything again, or expect anything from him. It would not be natural now. We must be very happy together, and we must not seem to depend upon his forgiveness. And, Morris, Morris, you must never despise me!'
This was an easy promise to make, and Morris made it with fine effect. But for the moment he undertook nothing more onerous.
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