Anna died a little after midnight, a quiet passing, so that only Sidney and

the two men knew when she went away. It was Harriet who collapsed. During

all that long evening she had sat looking back over years of small

unkindnesses. The thorn of Anna's inefficiency had always rankled in her

flesh. She had been hard, uncompromising, thwarted. And now it was

forever too late.

K. had watched Sidney carefully. Once he thought she was fainting, and

went to her. But she shook her head.

"I am all right. Do you think you could get them all out of the room and

let me have her alone for just a few minutes?"


He cleared the room, and took up his vigil outside the door. And, as he

stood there, he thought of what he had said to Sidney about the Street. It

was a world of its own. Here in this very house were death and separation;

Harriet's starved life; Christine and Palmer beginning a long and doubtful

future together; himself, a failure, and an impostor.

When he opened the door again, Sidney was standing by her mother's bed. He

went to her, and she turned and put her head against his shoulder like a

tired child.

"Take me away, K.," she said pitifully.

And, with his arm around her, he led her out of the room.

Outside of her small immediate circle Anna's death was hardly felt. The

little house went on much as before. Harriet carried back to her business

a heaviness of spirit that made it difficult to bear with the small

irritations of her day. Perhaps Anna's incapacity, which had always

annoyed her, had been physical. She must have had her trouble a longtime.

She remembered other women of the Street who had crept through inefficient

days, and had at last laid down their burdens and closed their mild eyes,

to the lasting astonishment of their families. What did they think about,

these women, as they pottered about? Did they resent the impatience that

met their lagging movements, the indifference that would not see how they

were failing? Hot tears fell on Harriet's fashion-book as it lay on her

knee. Not only for Anna--for Anna's prototypes everywhere.

On Sidney--and in less measure, of course, on K.--fell the real brunt of

the disaster. Sidney kept up well until after the funeral, but went down

the next day with a low fever.

"Overwork and grief," Dr. Ed said, and sternly forbade the hospital again

until Christmas. Morning and evening K. stopped at her door and inquired

for her, and morning and evening came Sidney's reply:-"Much better. I'll surely be up to-morrow!"

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