A BIT OF EARTH 145
When she went out and closed the door, Mary-could only stand waiting, a plain little thing, twisting her thin hands together. She could see that the man in the chair was not so much a hunchback as a man with high, rather crooked shoulders, and he had black hair streaked with white. He turned his head over his high shoulders and spoke to her.
" Come here! " he said.
Mary went to him.
He was not ugly. His face would have been handsome if it had not been so miserable. He looked as if the sight of her worried and fretted him and as if he did not know what in the world to do with her.
" Are you well? " he asked.
" Yes," answered Mary.
" Do they take good care of you? "
He rubbed his forehead fretfully as he looked her over.
" You are very thin," he said.
" I am getting fatter," Mary answered in what she knew was her stiffest way.
What an unhappy face he had! His black eyes seemed as if they scarcely saw her, as if they were seeing something else, and he could hardly keep his thoughts upon her.