the battle field of life

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. OUR NEW INMATE. Early next week Esmeralda Pleydell made her appearance. Uncle Amory sent her on to us, in a fly, from his house, with her solitary huge box. He paid the fare generously, and doubtless considered thenceforward that he had done his duty by her. Mother and Ellie were out walking when she arrived, and Francey was lying down, so I had to welcome her alone. I knew I ought to be kind and cordial, but somehow I felt frigid as ice. My first impression was of a slight-made girl, under medium height, with a great quantity of untidily-dressed and strongly-golden hair; a rough short jacket, and a black skirt hanging in awkward folds, which teased my rather artistic eyes. My cold manner acted upon her instantaneously. One glance ran me over from head to foot, and a limp hand-shake and chilly kiss passed between us. She just offered one cheek, and moved away almost before I could touch it. There was some difficulty about the box. Thecabman grumbled at having to lift it, and utterly refused to carry it upstairs. Indeed, I did not know where it could be put, even had he been willing. So it stood against the wall in our narrow passage, barely allowing space for one person to squeeze by. Esmeralda took the matter very coolly. I suppose she was well used to such things in her rough Canadian life, but it vexed me to see how little she seemed to consider the inconvenience to which she was putting us. " Would you like to come and warm yourself in the drawing-room ? " I asked, when the cabman was gone. " Thank you." And we walked in together and sat down on the sofa. Esmeralda pulled off her gloves, and bent forward, holding her chilled blue ringers to the blaze. I examined her face furtively, while she was taking an open unabashed survey of our poor litt...
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