"I remember when we were reading here three years ago, we had a week of just such weather as this; but Howard and Johnson were capital whist-players, and Wilbraham not bad, so we got through the days famously. Can you play ecarte, Ruth, or picquet?"
"No, sir; I have sometimes played at beggar-my-neighbour," answered Ruth humbly, regretting her own deficiencies.
He murmured impatiently, and there was silence for another half-hour. Then he sprang up, and rang the bell violently. "Ask Mrs. Morgan for a pack of cards. Ruthie, I'll teach you ecarte," said he.
But Ruth was stupid, not so good as a dummy, he said; and it was no fun betting against himself. So the cards were flung across the table--on the floor--anywhere. Ruth picked them up. As she rose, she sighed a little with the depression of spirits consequent upon her own want of power to amuse and occupy him she loved.
"You're pale, love!" said he, half repenting of his anger at her blunders over the cards. "Go out before dinner; you know you don't mind this cursed weather; and see that you come home full of adventures to relate. Come, little blockhead! give me a kiss, and begone." ada and eve