‘I see what you are after; but you’ll not wheedle me. I am no cat’s-paw.’

‘But it must be done—it is quite a right thing and a necessary thing.’

‘How you encroach! Remember, I managed the matter of my own free will before.’

‘And you will again.’

‘I won’t. The business gave me far too much trouble. I like my ease.’

‘Mr. Moore wishes to see me, Martin, and I wish to see him.’

‘I dare say’—coolly.

‘It is too bad of your mother to exclude his friends.

‘Tell her so.’

‘His own relations.’

‘Come and blow her up.’

‘You know that would advance nothing. Well, I shall stick to my point. See him I will. If you won’t help me, I’ll manage without help.’

‘Do. There is nothing like self-reliance — self-dependence.’

‘I have no time to reason with you now; but I consider you provoking. Good-morning.’

Away she went, the umbrella shut, for she could not carry it against the wind.

‘She is not vapid; she is not shallow,’ said Martin. ‘I shall like to watch and mark how she will work her way without help. If the storm were not of snow, but of fire—such as came refreshingly down on the cities of the plain—she would go through it to procure five minutes’ speech of that Moore. Now, I consider I have had a pleasant morning. The disappointments got time on; the fears and fits of anger only made that short discourse pleasanter, when it came at last. She expected to coax me at once—she’ll not manage that in one effort: she shall come again, again, and yet again. It would please me to put her in a passion, to make her cry. I want to discover how far she will go—what she will do and dare—to get her will. It seems strange and new to find one human being thinking so much about another as she thinks about Moore. But it is time to go home—my appetite tells me the hour. Won’t I walk into that goose! And we’ll try whether Matthew or I shall get the largest cut of the apple-pie to-day.’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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