"Yes, Cora, this is she," said Mrs. Conway, and she added with a certain hint of malice, "You ought to know each other--both so consecrated to doing whatever Anthony wants done. Miss Exeter, Miss Wellington."
Miss Wellington's emotions were clearly written on her face. She had been in love with Anthony ever since he succeeded.
This which sounds like a paradox was the simple truth. To her, success was not necessarily financial--though Wood's had had this agreeable aspect—but importance and preëminence were to her as essential elements in male attraction as feminine beauty is to most men. When she was eighteen and Anthony still in the School of Mines there had been sentimental scenes which had left her cold. She occasionally referred to them as "the time when you thought you wanted to marry me," and he did not contradict her. He had thought he did. He still admired her--she was elegant in appearance, beautifully dressed, competent in all the practical aspects of life. If she had married someone else he would have said to her, "Your marriage was a great blow to me, Cora. I had always fancied that some day you and I----" But he never would have said it until after she was safely married.
She had, however, no intention of marrying anyone else--for the simple reason that Anthony was by far the most attractive man of importance that she knew. Her feelings on discovering Pearl--the young person she had heard described as being of merely pleasing appearance--to be an exuberant beauty, and discovering her, moreover, staring sentimentally at Anthony's