received it, all she had to help her was the determination, daily more rigid, to make no appeal to the compassion of her father.
He suffered a week to elapse, and then one day, in the morning, at an hour at which she rarely saw him, he strolled into the back parlor. He had watched his time, and he found her alone. She was sitting with some work, and he came and stood in front of her. He was going out; he had on his hat, and was drawing on his gloves.
'It doesn't seem to me that you are treating me just now with all the consideration I deserve,' he said in a moment.
'I don't know what I have done,' Catherine answered, with her eyes on her work.
'You have apparently quite banished from your mind the request I made you at Liverpool before we sailed - the request that you would notify me in advance before leaving my house.'
'I have not left your house,' said Catherine' But you intend to leave it, and, by what you gave me to under - stand, your departure must be impending. In fact, though you are still here in body, you are already absent in spirit. Your mind has taken up its residence with your prospective husband, and you might quite as well be lodged under the conjugal roof for all the benefit we get from your society.'
'I will try and be more cheerful,' said Catherine.' You certainly ought to be cheerful; you ask a great deal if you are not. To the pleasure of marrying a charming young man you add that of having your own way; you strike me as a very lucky young lady!'
Catherine got up; she was suffocating. But she folded her work deliberately and correctly, bending her burning face upon it. Her father stood where he had planted himself; she hoped he would go, but he smoothed and buttoned his gloves, and then he rested his hands upon his hips.
'It would be a convenience to me to know when I may expect to have an empty house,' he went on.' When you go, your aunt marches.'
She looked at him at last, with a long silent gaze, which, in spite of her pride and her resolution, uttered part of the appeal she had tried not to make. Her father's cold gray eye sounded her own, and he insisted on his point.
'Is it to-morrow? Is it next week, or the week after?'
'I shall not go away!' said Catherine.
The Doctor raised his eyebrows.' Has he backed out?'
'I have broken off my engagement.'
'Broken it off?'
'I have asked him to leave New York, and he has gone away for a long time.'
The Doctor was both puzzled and disappointed, but he solved his perplexity by saying to himself that his daughter simply misrepresented - justifiably, if one would, but nevertheless, misrepresented - the facts; and he eased off his disappointment, which was that of a man losing a chance for a little triumph that he had rather counted on, by a few words that he uttered aloud.
'How does he take his dismissal?'
'I don't know!' said Catherine, less ingeniously than she had hitherto spoken.
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