In our last episode the mysterious narrator watched in horror as Simon Slade, owner of the Sickle and Sheaf, hurled a whiskey glass at drunken sot Joe Morgan, only to strike Joe's daughter, Little Mary. A doctor is tending the insensate child when suddenly:
A woman stood in the door, with a face in which maternal anxiety and terror blended fearfully. Her countenance was like ashes--her eyes straining wildly--her lips apart, while the panting breath almost hissed through them.Is it just me, or does ol' T.S. Arthur sound like he's sportin' a stiffy when he describes poor pulseless Mrs. Morgan?
"Joe! Joe! What is it? Where is Mary? Is she dead?" were her eager inquiries.
"No, Fanny," answered Joe Morgan, starting up from where he was actually kneeling by the side of the reviving little one, and then she lay white and pulseless in the arms of her husband. As the doctor applied restoratives, I had opportunity to note more particularly the appearance of Mrs. Morgan. Her person was very slender, and her face so attenuated that it might almost be called shadowy. Her hair, which was a rich chestnut brown, with a slight golden lustre, had fallen from her comb, and now lay all over her neck and bosom. . . . [A]bout her whole person was an air of neatness and taste. She could not now be called beautiful; yet in her marred features--marred by suffering and grief--were many lineaments of beauty; and much that told of a pure, true woman's heart. . .
(Credits: Coffin lady from iStock Photos; Martha Stewart mask from Forbes.com; T.S. Arthur from Lombard Antiquarian Maps and Prints.)
Other TNIABRs here and here.