The silence was harshly broken by the bell at the cottage door. They both started.
Emily's heart beat fast. "Who can it be?" she said.
Mrs. Ellmother rose. "Shall I say you can't see anybody?" she asked, before leaving the room.
Emily heard the door opened--heard low voices in the passage. There was a momentary interval. Then, Mrs. Ellmother returned. She said nothing. Emily spoke to her.
"Have you said I can't see anybody?"
"Don't be hard on him, my dear. It's Mr. Alban Morris."
Mrs. Ellmother sat by the dying embers of the kitchen fire; thinking over the events of the day in perplexity and distress.
She had waited at the cottage door for a friendly word with Alban, after he had left Emily. The stern despair in his face warned her to let him go in silence. She had looked into the parlor next. Pale and cold, Emily lay on the sofa--sunk in helpless depression of body and mind. "Don't speak to me," she whispered; "I am quite worn out." It was but too plain that the view of Alban's conduct which she had already expressed, was the view to which she had adhered at the interview between them. They had parted in grief---perhaps in anger--perhaps forever. Mrs. Ellmother lifted Emily in compassionate silence, and carried her upstairs, and waited by her until she slept.