orning, and I begin to feel exhausted; I must have food and, thank Heaven, I want it. Thank you.
[To BLANCHE, _taking the cup from her._
MRS. HUNTER. I think it's awful, Ruth, and I feel I have a right to say it--I think you owed it to my feelings to have worn a long veil; people will think you didn't love your brother.
RUTH. [_Dryly._] Will they? Let them! You know as well as I do that George loathed the very idea of crępe and all display of mourning.
MRS. HUNTER. [_Feeling out of her element, changes the subject._] You stayed behind?
RUTH. Yes. I wanted to be the last there. [_Her voice chokes; she tries to control herself._] Ah! you see my nerves are all gone to pieces. I _won't_ cry any more!
MRS. HUNTER. I don't see how you could bear it--staying; but you never had any heart, Ruth.
RUTH. [_Mechanically, biting her lips hard to keep the tears back._] Haven't I?
MRS. HUNTER. My darling husband always felt that defect in you.
MRS. HUNTER. He resented your
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