Part II
Chapter XVII
 

Betty herself was happy again. She hated the dark places of life, and got away from them and out into the sunshine as quickly as possible. Although she was too well disciplined to shirk her duty, she did it as quickly as possible and pushed it to the back of her mind. Jack and Harriet were married; that was the end of it for the present. Let life go on as before. She gave several hours of the day to her mother, the rest to the forest and the lake. When Senator North came up again, she was her old gay self, the more attractive perhaps for the faint impression which contact with deep seriousness is bound to leave. If Jack and Harriet had been safely out of the country, she would have felt like a Pagan, especially after the Tariff Bill passed and Senator North came up to stay.

"I shouldn't have a care in the world," she said to him one morning, "if I did not know, little as I will permit myself to think of it, that exposure may come any day. There is only a chance that somebody at St. Andrew will hear of the marriage and denounce her, but it might happen. If only they were in Europe! She told me the other night that she knows she can keep him there, her influence is so great. I hope that is true, but she cannot make him go till he has his own money to go with."

"What she means is that he won't leave her. He has her here now and is in no hurry to move. He should be able to rent his farm. It is a very good one." "He has rented it for a year--from September. He gets nothing till then. If pride were not a disease with him, he would let me advance the money, but he is not as sure as he might be of the man who has rented the farm and he will not take any risks, I am sorry for Harriet. She has the idea on her mind now that Molly will blurt it out, and she has the sort of mind that broods and exaggerates. I sincerely wish they had got off to Europe undiscovered and sent the news back by the pilot. I had to speak to Molly once or twice myself; I never knew her so garrulous about anything."

Senator North laughed. "You have a great deal of trouble with your parent," he said. "I fear you have not been firm enough with her in the past. Will you come into the next lake? I like the fish better there. You are not to worry about anything, my dear, while we have the Adirondacks to imagine ourselves happy in."

"Ar'n't you really happy?" she asked him quickly.

"Not wholly so," he replied. "But that is a question we are not to discuss."