His wife, busy administering to the wants of a fine little boy, could only say (without seeing the young girl's modest ways, and gentle, downcast countenance)--
"Well! I do think it's a shame such people should be allowed to come here. To think of such wickedness under the same roof! Do come away, my dear, and don't flatter her by such notice."
The husband returned to the breakfast-table; he smelt the broiled ham and eggs, and he heard his wife's commands. Whether smelling or hearing had most to do in causing his obedience, I cannot tell; perhaps you can.
"Now, Harry, go and see if nurse and baby are ready to go out with you. You must lose no time this beautiful morning."
Ruth found Mr. Bellingham was not yet come down; so she sallied out for an additional half-hour's ramble. Flitting about through the village, trying to catch all the beautiful sunny peeps at the scenery between the cold stone houses, which threw the radiant distance into aerial perspective far away, she passed by the little shop; and, just issuing from it, came the nurse and baby, and little boy. The baby sat in placid dignity in her nurse's arms, with a face of queenly calm. Her fresh, soft, peachy complexion was really tempting; and Ruth, who was always fond of children, went up to coo and to smile at the little thing, and after some "peep-boing," she was about to snatch a kiss, when Harry, whose face had been reddening ever since the play began, lifted up his sturdy little right arm and hit Ruth a great blow on the face.
"Oh, for shame, sir!" said the nurse, snatching back his hand; "how dare you do that to the lady who is so kind as to speak to Sissy!"
"She's not a lady!" said he indignantly. "She's a bad, naughty girl--mamma; said so, she did; and she shan't kiss our baby."
The nurse reddened in her turn. She knew what he must have heard; but it was awkward to bring it out, standing face to face with the elegant young lady.