and her character. Whatever wrong he might have inflicted on her was not of that nature. Of what nature could it be?
"I don't understand you," she said, after evidently trying hard, and trying in vain, to discover the meaning of the words I had last said to her.
"Never mind," I answered. "Let us go on with what we were talking about. Tell me how long you stayed with Mrs. Clements in London, and how you came here."
"How long?" she repeated. "I stayed with Mrs. Clements till we both came to this place, two days ago."
"You are living in the village, then?" I said. "It is strange I should not have heard of you, though you have only been here two days."
"No, no; not in the village. Three miles away at a farm. Do you know the farm? They call it Todd's Corner."
I remembered the place perfectly; we had often passed by it in our drives. It was one of the oldest farms in the neighbourhood, situated in a solitary, sheltered spot, inland at the junction of two hills.
"They are relations of Mrs. Clements at Todd's Corner," she went on, "and they had often asked her to go and see them. She said she would go, and take me with her, for the quiet and the fresh air. It was very kind, was it not? I would have gone anywhere to be quiet, and safe, and out of the way. But when I heard that Todd's Corner was near Limmeridge—oh! I was so happy I would have walked all the way barefoot to get there, and see the schools and the village and Limmeridge House again. They are very good people at Todd's Corner. I hope I shall stay there a long time. There is only one thing I don't like about them, and don't like about Mrs. Clements——"
"What is it?"
"They will tease me about dressing all in white—they say it looks so particular. How do they know? Mrs. Fairlie knew best. Mrs. Fairlie would never have made me wear this ugly blue cloak! Ah! she was fond of white in her lifetime; and here is white stone about her grave—and I am making it whiter for her sake. She often wore white herself, and she always dressed her little daughter in white. Is Miss Fairlie well and happy? Does she wear white now, as she used when she was a girl?"
Her voice sank when she put the questions about Miss Fairlie,; and she turned her head farther and farther away from me. I thought I detected, in the alteration of her manner, an uneasy consciousness of the risk she had run in