"You have no friends there?"
"No," replied Alison; "I haven't a friend in Canada, except, perhaps, one who married a western wheat-grower two or three years ago, and I'm not sure that she would be pleased to see me. As it happens, my mother was once or twice, I am afraid, a little rude to her."
It was a rather inadequate description of the persecution of an inoffensive girl who had for a time been treated on a more or less friendly footing and made use of by a certain circle of suburban society interested in parochial philanthropy in which Mrs. Leigh had aspired to rule supreme. Florence Ashton had been tolerated, in spite of the fact that she earned her living, until an eloquent curate whose means were supposed to be ample happened to cast approving eyes on her, when pressure was judicially brought to bear. The girl had made a plucky fight, but the odds against her were overwhelmingly heavy, and the curate, it seemed, had not quite made up his mind. In any case, she was vanquished,
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