"Thy own child?" said or rather signalled Miss Martha, forming the letters softly with her lips. Stephen had his own reasons for leaving her to ask this question in all ignorance.
"No, ma'am," said the show-woman. "Not much. Adopted."
"Does thee know her parents?" This was similarly signalled.
"No," said Madam Delia, rather coldly.
"Does thee suppose that they were--"
And here Miss Martha stopped, and the color came as suddenly and warmly to her cheeks as if Monsieur Comstock had offered to marry her, and to settle upon her the snakes as exclusive property. Madam Delia divined the question; she had so often found herself trying to guess the social position of Gerty's parents.
"I don't know as I know," said she, slowly, "whether you ought to know anythin' about it. But I'll tell you what I know. That child's folks," she added, mysteriously, "lived on Quality Hill."
"Lived where?" said Miss Martha, breathless.
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