Nan and Di both put their arms around Faith and glared defiance at Mary. The latter suddenly crumpled up, sat down on a stump and began to cry.
“It ain’t that I don’t want to,” she wailed. “But if I keep in with Faith people’ll be saying I put her up to doing things. Some are saying it now, true’s you live. I can’t afford to have such things said of me, now that I’m in a respectable place and trying to be a lady. And I never went bare-legged in church in my toughest days. I’d never have thought of doing such a thing. But that hateful old Kitty Alec says Faith has never been the same girl since that time I stayed in the manse. She says Cornelia Elliott will live to rue the day she took me in. It hurts my feelings, I tell you. But it’s Mr. Meredith I’m really worried over.”