n answer to one of mine, warning him, according to agreement, of my wishing to leave the town for a little change of air and scene.
The ruffianly side of him must have been uppermost, I suppose, when he got my letter, for he wrote back, refusing me in such abominably insolent language, that I lost all command over myself, and abused him, in my daughter's presence, as "a low impostor whom I could ruin for life if I chose to open my lips and let out his Secret." I said no more about him than that, being brought to my senses as soon as those words had escaped me by the sight of my daughter's face looking eagerly and curiously at mine. I instantly ordered her out of the room until I had composed myself again.
My sensations were not pleasant, I can tell you, when I came to reflect on my own folly. Anne had been more than usually crazy and queer that year, and when I thought of the chance there might be of her repeating my words in the town, and mentioning HIS name in connection with them, if inquisitive people got hold of her, I was finely terrified at the possible consequences. My worst fears for myself, my worst dread of what he might do, led me no farther than this. I was quite unprepared for what really did happen only the next day.
On that next day, without any warning to me to expect him, he came to the house.
His first words, and the tone in which he spoke them, surly as it was, showed me plainly enough that he had repented already of his insolent answer to my application, and that he had come in a mighty bad temper to try and set matters right again before it was too late. Seeing my daughter in the room with me (I had been afraid to let her out of my sight after what had happened the day before) he ordered her away. They neither of them liked each other, and he vented the ill-temper on HER which he was afraid to show to ME.
"Leave us," he said, looking at her over his shoulder. She looked back over HER shoulder and waited as if she didn't care to go. "Do you hear?" he roared out, "leave the room." "Speak to me civilly," says she, getting red in the face. "Turn the idiot out," says he, looking my way. She had always had crazy notions of her own about her dignity, and that word "idiot" upset her in a moment. Before I could interfere she stepped up to him in a fine passion. "Beg my pardon, directly," says she, "or I'll make it the worse for you. I'll let out your Secret. I can ruin you for life if I choose to open my lips." My own words!—repeated exactly from what I h