Join date: Jun 19, 2022


When the door had closed on her Charlotte remained standing. The hall to herself, she looked about it; then in a kind of bewilderment she walked down the step into the office and, sitting behind the desk, she put her forearms on it and patted the leather top gently with her fingers. He had admitted to her the theft of the five pounds; he had told her everything about himself; he had confessed his weaknesses, and boasted of his strength; yet he had kept the matter of his birth to himself as if it were a shameful secret. Why ? Why couldn t he have told her this? She felt a momentary hurt that he should have kept it from her. She had wondered at times at him calling his mother, Ruth. He had appeared very fond of the gentle-voiced, quiet little woman, even proud of her. And yet of the two women she was the lesser in all ways, body, brain, intelligence. She remembered that Rory had once referred to Lizzie as ignorant, and she had replied that she should imagine her ignorance was merely the lack of opportunity for her mind always seemed lively

It was strange, she thought in this moment, that he could never have realized that all the best in him stemmed from Lizzie—for now she could see he was a replica of her, in bulk, character, obstinacy, bumptiousness . . . loving. Her capacity for loving was even greater than his, for, having been rejected, she had gone on loving.

There came a knock on the door and when she said, Come in, it opened and Lizzie stood on the threshold.

I was wondering where you were, I couldn t see you. You mustn t sit by yourself there broodin , it ll do no good. Come on now out of this.

Like a child obeying a mother, Charlotte rose from the chair and went towards Lizzie. Then standing in front of her, she looked into her eyes and said quietly, I ve just learned that you re his mother. Oh, Lizzie. Lizzie.

Aye. Lizzie s head was drooping. I m his mother an he s always hated the fact, but nevertheless, it was something he could do nowt about. I am what I am, and he was all I had of me own flesh and blood an I clung to him; even when he threw me off I clung to him.

Oh, Lizzie, my dear. When she put her arms around Lizzie, Lizzie held her tightly against her breast, and neither of them was capable of further words, but they cried together.