Accustomed to John Reed's abuse, I never had an idea of replying to it;
my care was how to endure the blow which would certainly follow the
"What were you doing behind the curtain?" he asked.
"I was reading."
"Show the book."
I returned to the window and fetched it thence.
"You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mama says;
you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not
to live here with gentlemen's children like us, and eat the same meals we
do, and wear clothes at our mama's expense. Now, I'll teach you to
rummage my bookshelves: for they are mine; all the house belongs to me,
or will do in a few years. Go and stand by the door, out of the way of
the mirror and the windows."