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A portion of the wood Beatrice left
2017/10/25 12:03

The garden afforded her endless delight and occupation: Durban was the fairy who procured the seeds, and who turned up the coarse, weedy ground for the planting of the same; Durban had dug the pond, and had conducted the water thereto through cunningly contrived pipes; and Durban had planned the paradise with her aid. The smooth lawn, the beds of brilliant blossoms, the pond with its magnificent water-lilies, the many winding paths, and the mossy nooks which afforded cool retreats on hot days, were all the work of herself and Durban. No millionaire could have created a more delightful spot than had these two by their indefatigable industry and eye for the picturesque.  to Nature, so that its uncultured look might enhance the civilised appearance of the blossoms; and the contrast was really charming. But that Jarvis Alpenny jealously kept the gates closed, The Camp would have become a show place, as everyone in the neighbourhood had heard of its rare floral beauties; and not a few young men had heard of another beauty still more rare and desirable.

"To think he'll be married to her already before we get a chance, once, to look her over and tell him if she'd suit him!" lamented Sadie who was five years younger than Jennie.

"Well," pronounced Jennie, setting her thin lips in a hard line, "she'll find out when she gets here that she ain't getting her fingers on our Danny's money! She'll get fooled if she's counting on that. She'll soon learn that she'll have to do with just what he likes to give her and no more! And of course Danny'll consult us as to just how much he ought to leave her handle. When she finds out," Jennie grimly prophesied, "that our Danny always does the way we advise him to and that she'll have to keep on the right side of us, I guess she won't like it very well!"

"We can only hope that she ain't such a bold, common thing that just took our Danny in, that way!" sighed Sadie.

"But why would he hurry it up so, like as if he was afraid we would mebby put a stop to it? She put him up to fixing it all tight before he could change his mind!" Jennie shrewdly surmised.

"It does look that way!" fretted Sadie.

Jennie, the elder sister, was tall, gaunt, and rawboned. Though approaching old age, her dominating spirit and grasping ambitions had preserved her vigour, physically and mentally. Her sharp face was deeply lined, but the keenness of her eyes was undimmed, her shoulders were erect, her hair was thick and black. The expression of her thin slit of a mouth was almost relentlessly hard.

Sadie, five years younger, had also a will of her own, but happily it had always operated on a line so entirely in harmony with that of her sister, that they had lived together all their lives without friction, the younger woman unconsciously dominated by the elder. Indeed, no one could abide under the same roof with Jennie Leitzel who ventured openly to differ with her. Fortunately, even Sadie's passion for dress did not clash with Jennie's miserliness, for Sadie, too, was miserly, and Jennie loved to see her younger sister arrayed gorgeously in cheap finery, her taste inclining to that of a girl of sixteen.