Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 545
Concerned that Richard would take everything from his daughters, Mr. Chase had left all his money to Laura. If he had left any to Iris, Richard would have taken it. However, there was not much money remaining by the time of his death, and Laura was still a minor. Therefore, Laura was forced to live with Richard and Iris.
This plan did not suit Laura. On the day she was to arrive in Toronto, only her suitcases appeared via the train. Several days later, through a police investigation that Richard made sure was kept private, Laura was found working as a waitress at a beach resort. Richard brought her home and warned her that if she ever ran away again, he would put her into a school for “wayward girls.”
When they were alone, Iris asked Laura why she had run away. Laura told her sister it was because she could not live with Richard. She still blamed Richard for their father’s death. Laura insisted that both she and Iris should get out of Richard’s house before it was too late. This forced Iris to reflect on her life and what she had done in marrying Richard. When she thought about Richard and his sister Winifred, who ruled her life, Iris saw herself as a mouse creeping around silently so as not to call any attention to herself. She had agreed to marry Richard as a way to save the button factory and the members of her family. The plan had not been successful.
Laura did not fare well in Richard’s house. She was forced to attend a private school, which she did not enjoy. Iris noticed how skinny Laura was becoming and that Laura was constantly biting her fingernails. Richard had no empathy for Laura’s sensitive nature. He merely thought she was spoiled and needed discipline. Iris spent much of her energy trying to separate Richard and Laura so they would not get on one another’s nerves.
One day, Laura confessed to Iris that she had seen Alex Thomas while they were...
(The entire section contains 545 words.)
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