Mr. Jones was only too glad to obtain possession of so elegant a present at so cheap a rate. He even, as Mrs. Hughes had foretold, "paid money for it;" more than was required to defray the expenses of Ruth's accommodation, as most of the articles of food she had were paid for at the time by Mr. or Miss Benson, but they strictly forbade Mrs. Hughes to tell Ruth of this.
"Would you object to my buying you a black gown?" said Miss Benson to her, the day after the sale of the watch. She hesitated a little, and then went on--
"My brother and I think it would be better to call you--as if in fact you were--a widow. It will save much awkwardness, and it will spare your child much"----mortification, she was going to have added; but that word did not exactly do. But, at the mention of her child, Ruth started, and turned ruby-red; as she always did when allusion was made to it.