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wri ting the co ntents o f this b o ok I have
tried very sincerely to descr ibe correctly th e
life which I kn e w best and w h ich appealed
most strongly to my imagination The stories
have arisen on e afte r another i n my m i n d as
birds might arise from some u nseen n o ok in the
fields an d pass o ver a clo u dless sky I have
written them as they came as I might have
drawn p ict u res of the birds as they flew not a l
ways noticing whether each new c omer foll o wed
the co u rse which the others had taken i n their
Now however that the writing i s
flight
done and the stori es are brou ght t o gether I
perce i ve that some imp u lse of my mi n d has
directed them so that they have a sequ ence and
for m a ser i es They drif t i n o n e c u rrent
They are st udies o f people o f di fferent race s
who have been more or less s ubject to hard
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co nd itio ns as they have s u ccessiv ely o cc u pied
if they have n o t posses s ed that portion of N ew
E ngland wi th whic h I am most familiar I
have endeavored to depict the characters an d
feeling s of per s ons who str u ggle against odds
and reach whatever growth they attain thro u gh
diffic u lty
Hence I have called my book by
the name of that grass which gains no u rish
ment fro m the sands wherein o ther plants
p erish
I have told of evil and of pain b ut I have
deemed that I sho u ld be v ery u ntr u e if I did
not tell also o f gr ace and goodness and of the



bea u ty which rims all things with mys

tical h u es
I have tried to be both re alistic
and ideal beca u se I believe that the ideal is
the most real element in life
If I have had a m otive or a p u rpose beyond
those implied i n what I have already said it
has been that I might help ever s o slightly to
make th e fort u nate one s of this world know the
less happy ones well eno u gh to sympathize
with them
If therefore the qu estion sh all
arise i n the mi n d o f any reader whether by
i nd i vid u al e ff ort o r thro u gh chan ges i n the s o
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cia l

o rgan i zati o n the b u rdens that weigh u p o n
the to ile r s of o ur co u ntry m a y be l ightened I
shall rej oice an d be exceeding glad
Finally it is with tr u e earnestness that I
commend to wh o msoever I may the children of
my hea rt whose u ns ub stantial breath lies on
these p a ges as the races which they represent
— Yankee E nglish Irish and French — have
dwelt o n the dear soil of our b el o ve d Ne w
E ng la nd
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H ERE c omes Jeremiah R az ee I 11 j u st r u n
an ask him to take the yarn t o the village if

y o u ll get it ready Hester
S o saying Mrs B u rrill r u shed ou t bare
headed to the r o ad She stopped the farmer as
he came along in his market wagon and ex
plained to him that Mr B u rrill and all the men
were b u sy a nd if the yarn was not taken to the
weavers soon Patience and Wait wo uld h ave n o
dresses for winter A s sh e chatted on Hester
A rnold came o u t o f the ho u se bringing two
large b u ndles which she handed with an nu
graci o u s air to Mr R azee

I 11 leave em with Mowry said he

A n tell him said Mrs B u rrill to weave
one piece all bl u e an have the warp r ed an

the filli n bl u e in the other

I gu ess I ll remember replied Mr R azee
sto wing away the b u ndles and adding as he
leaned o ver the wagon seat with h is fa c e t u rned

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HES TER S

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from her
How do ye d o Heste r ? S ta yi n
wi th Mis B u rrill

Yes answered Hester shortly

Sh ubael s kinder poorly p u rs u e d the far
mer with apparent irrelevancy
It s d r e tful
o n c o n v e n i e n t hi s bein sick jest now ; b u t some
h ow Sh u bael never w a s han d y at ch oo s i n the

right time for doin anyth i ng
H ester fl ushed
a n gr ily ; the farmer smiled gr imly and went
on :
T ain t near s o bad as bavin J abez sick
wo u ld ha ben ; b u t then Jabez wo u ld n t h a

ben sick afore the fall work w a s done

Yo u and he are pretty smart
s aid M rs
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B ear o u r years p u tty well ? Yes I m
more of a hand at work now than S h ubael wh en
he 8 well for all he s twenty years yo u nger n
me I e xpe c it was the pe tti n mother gin
Sh u bael he bein her baby that kep hi m f ro m
to ug h e n in
A good se a s on i n to work an worry
don t h u rt no boy an often mak e s the man
Wal I g u ess I m u st be goin l


I sent word said Mrs B u r rill to Sh u
bael this m or n i n t o come here an make u s all
some shoes as soon as he co u ld Otis got in

the leather last week
Oh I g uess h e s well eno u gh t o do that

now said Mr R az ee tho u ghtf u lly
I 11 se e

that h e comes rou nd t o m o rro w
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T he

fa r mer gathered u p h i s reins n o dded
an d drove off Mr s B u rrill t u rned to Hester

Come in n o w she said
an we 11 go t o
work i n a i r n e s t t o make the hog pud d i n s s o
we can dip candles to morr o w an get thr o u gh
before Sat u rday s
Hester A rnold w a s the ta ilo ress from the vil
lage She w a s a straight tall dark handsome
woman of thirty fiv e J u st n ow an angry light
glittered in her eyes S he kne w what Farmer
Ra zee meant by saying that Sh ubae l had never
chosen the right time to d o anything She r e
membered very well th e day fifteen y ears b e
fore when Sh ubael had asked her to m arry
h i m an d s h e f u rio us from some q u arrel with
Jeremiah who al s o co u rted her had ref u sed the
m a n s h e had loved ever s i nce s h e had fo u ght
childish battles for him Sh u bael had no e n
e r gy and when Hester the o nly person except
his m o ther wh o h ad ever believed in him fell
away fr o m him angrily he was u tterly down c ast
and sank at once into the chara c ter he had ever
s ince maintained of harmless ne er d o well
Hester long h o pe d he wo u ld co me b ack t o her
b u t he never had the co u rage J abez never
married Jeremiah after Hester had refu se d
him straightway took a wife who toiled for h i m
several years a n d then died childless — a desert
l ife that l e ft n o t race 3 Sh u bael assisted i n th e
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HES TER S

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far m w ork and made shoes at odd ti mes He
als o s o laced his dreary days by writing dog
gere l verses which when wr itten he hid care
f ully from the scornf u l eyes of his brothers
When Mrs B u rrill and H ester A rnold re e n
te r e d the kitchen they fo u nd a brass kettle that
w o u ld hold half a dozen gallo ns swinging over
the fire It was nearly fu ll of milk and a tall
gau nt w o man stood b usily stirring it
She

looked u p and said
It s all ready for the
things to go in S e c h a bea u tif ul kettle ! I
never seed nothin s o l o vely I can t keep my
eyes off i t W a l things d o es go in a c u rio u s
c ontrary way i n this world If I had marri ed
the man 0 my ch ice I might ha had a brass
ke ttle ; b u t n ow I m nothin b u t poor forlorn
forsaken Mose Alm y s wife
n o th i n to coo k

an nothin to cook it in
With this dismal lam ent the woman who


had come in t o help t u rned back to her
stirring
I sh o u ld think t w as m o re n brass kettles
m i ght be got by marryin the man 0 yo u r

choice said Hester When s h e had said th i s
she fl u shed a little and went rapidly to work
bringi ng molasses chopped s u et raisins allspic e
and I ndian meal which were to be b o iled in
the milk
The chi l dren m u st go fo r o ak leaves s a i d
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M rs B u rrill as the aftern oo n w o re away ; an d
Hester l ooked o ut of the window and n o ticed
that a great many l eaves had fallen the night
b efore
R hode I sland farmers u sed v ery little white
flo u r at this time and the great loaves of brown
bread which they ate made of rye and Indi a n
meal were baked in a brick oven o n oa k leaves
The leaves were laid on a wooden shove ! the
do u gh was b u ilt u p on them and then the
shovel was p u shed into the oven and dexter
withdrawn
leaving
the
bread
on
the
o us l
y
leaves whi c h marked the bottom o f the l o aves
when baked


I 11 go with the children s aid Hester

A re yo u b e t u p ? asked Mrs B u rrill who
co u ld imagine n o other reas o n for wanting to
ta ke a walk in the cool a u t u mnal aftern o on

Hester said Yes and went out with the


little girls
Mose Alm y s wi fe p u t on her
faded h oo d and walked with them down the
road till they sto pped u nder a w ide spreading
oak tree Then she plo dded on h0 ping to get
home i n time to have her h usband s s u pper
ready when he sho u ld come in from the tin
shop where he ti nkered the w o rn o u t milk p a ils
o f the neighb o rhood
S he carried some milk
and eggs the payment o f her day s labor a n d
in wardly ex ul ted a t havin g s o methin g to co ok
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H este r a n d the ch i ldren had slend e r sti c ks
each sharpened at one end and having a c rotch
at th e other They t u rned o v er the fallen
leaves chose the largest and m o st pe rfect an d
stru ng them on their sticks When f u ll th e
sticks wo u ld be h u ng u p in the B u rrill garret
to be u sed as wanted till the a u t u mn came
again
Hester l oved the work for she and
S h u bael R a zee had i n their childh ood gath
ered leaves to gether and gloa ted over th e
bea uty of their treas u res
With a heart f u ll of memo ri e s she b u sied
herself and the children ran back and forth
sho u ting cheerf u lly when they heard the r u m
bling of a wago n and Hester looked u p and
sa
w Jeremiah R azee driving along the roa d
On the seat beside h i m sa t Sh u bae l To her
s u rprise Jere miah drew u p h is h o rse violently
at sight o f her and desc ended to the gro und
throwing the reins t o Sh u bael wh o too k them
witho u t lifting h i s eyes
A s J eremiah walked towa rds Hester she
sta rted away feeling defiant and al armed b u t

he st o pped her
Hester said he in a low

tone
y ou may te ll Mis B u rrill I took he r
yarn an gin her message al l straight We r e
o n ou r way n o w t o the v il lage
I want to git
my tir e reset an Sh ubael h a s broke hi s b est
awl an m ust git a n o ther e f he s goin to make

sh o es
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8

RES

D O WER.

m a s
r

last ? You kn o w as we l l as I do that I hain t
been sh i f l e s s nor behindhand in my aff airs an
yo u co u ld n t do better A n so the long an
short of it is will y ou marry me ? I hain t

nothin to s a y agin my wife
sh e was a good
woman an a good worker ; b u t yo u know that
I never see the w o man that I thou ght fit to ho ld

a candle to y ou
Hester wickedly let h i m g o o n with his dec
l a r a ti on till he bro u ght it to a f u ll stop him
sel f She had a fierce delight i n th e moment
Hi s agitati o n and the u nseemly manner of his
proposa l showed her that he fear e d to h a ve Sh u
bael go to Mrs B u rrill s while s h e was there
Perhaps they had had words ab o ut her ! Jere
m i a h s fear shot hope into Hester s heart
She spoke again in a lo u d clear tone : N o

Mr R azee ; y ou h a d my answer lon g ago
Jeremiah started t o wards her as if he wo uld
stop her scornfu l mo u th b ut she laughed bit
He grew very white a n d
te r ly in h i s face
stood still looking at her Sh u bael at this mo
m ent sprang from the wagon and walked ra p
idly to the woman and held out h i s hand

I m only a broken down man he choked


b u t will yo u have me ?
S he silently laid
her hand in his
The elder brother j u mped i nto his wagon
str u ck the h o rse heavy blows and drove away
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HES TER S

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the wagon rattled o ve r the bro w of the a d
j acent hill Hester and S h ubael t u rned to see the
two little girls staring wide ey ed frightened
and amazed


Never mind that old fellow said Hester

with a trembling la u gh
A nd let s pick u p
the oak leaves for P a tience an d Wait j u st as
we u sed to when we were no bigger n they

S h u bael
So these tw o were engaged to the astonish
ment of the co u ntry folk an d J e r e m i a h s wrath
waxed ever greater as the days went by The
B u rrill children repo rted all they had compre
hended of the strange scene they had witnessed
so that it came to be generally u n derstood that
Hester had ref u sed Jeremiah in the very p res
ence of his br o ther
Some j eering speeches
abo u t it were made t o the old farmer who
swore that he wo u ld yet take his revenge on the
woman These threats were reported by Mose
Al m y s wife b u t Hester o n ly lau ghed in down
right contempt —a lau gh of which in t u rn old
Razee was told and his e v il pas si o n blazed yet
higher
Five weeks after their e n gagement the lovers
were marri ed They hired a ho u se with Mose
A lmy and set u p their h u m ble home The
winter wore happily away T he l u ckless Moses
and the helpl e ss S h ub ae l t ook ki ndly t o each
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HE S TER S

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other H este r did he r o wn work and t rie d to
infu se s o me order into the proceedings of the
A lmy half of the ho u se She still took in s e w
ing b ut also laid u p stores of homely ho u sehold
wealth for herself — linen and braided mats
and yarn ready to be w o ven She w a s not a
demonstrative woman b u t the sh oemaker whom
she se rv ed in s u ch a wifely way was a living
poem to her His gentle manner his pa th e ti
cally feeble fancie s embodied for her all that
w a s be a u tif u l and lovable u nder heaven while
seemed to him wholly adorable i n her
sh e
stre n gth and potency
When spring came Hester wi thdrew he r
mo n ey from the village bank and gave it t o
Sh ubael bidding him b u y a lot o f land and
stra ightway begin to b u ild a ho u se He stared
blankly at her as sh e p u t th e savings of years
in to hi s hands She l a u gh ed hea rtily and said
That s the on e thing that kee ps me from bein
sorry I d id n t marry yo u when yo u asked me
first If I had I sho uld never have had any

thing to give y ou
A t this tender spee ch the Yankee shyness of
the h u sband melted and he kissed his wife
He had lo n g before spent his paternal inherit
ance and before his marri a ge had lived with
his bro thers a mere day laborer o n their land
N ow so me h o mesick i nstinct prompte d him and
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he bou ght o f the m a corner of the old farm o n
which to erect his h u mble d w elling It was a
very little ho u se b u t in the fall Hester and her
h u sb a nd moved into it with u nmixed p ri de and
satisfaction There they spent six contented
months and then the shoe maker fell ill It was
spring fever the wife said as sh e n u rsed him ;
b u t spri ng passed J u ne came and he gre w n o
better till at last a bit ter tr u th forced itself
i nto her co n scio u sness with that u nrelen tin g
persistency with whi c h b itter tr u th s will i n
tru de
When the J uly heat was fiercest S h u bael

sank rapid ly
I gu ess he said one day ga sp
in g in the hot air that b u rned his throat
I
gu ess heaven ll b e c oo l er than this ere world
and m ay be it ll s u it me better somehow
may be it w ill I was all u s a ro u nd peg in a
sq u are hole here H e ster except fo r yo u
and
a faint spirit u alized smile conveyed his ten


der gratit u de for the love that h a d s uited
his latter days so well In a moment he S poke
again while the dark handsome woman h u n g
over h i m with yearning eyes
I g u ess Hes

ter he said I sha n t find nothin in heaven
that I 1 1 like better n I v e liked y o u Jere
miah kep u s apart a l ong time I never te lle d
B u t I got tired o bein alone
y o u j u st h o w
I d get tire d o bein alone in heaven S o I

hope y ou won t keep me w a i tin lon g
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I d go wi th y o u if I cou ld she w h is
pered



Yes he said smiling feebly again
Yo u d
make it see m more home like a mong all the

angels an the jewels an the m u sic
When the cool of the evening came merci
f u lly d o wn H es ter s a t al o ne by her h usban d s
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J ab ez an d J eremiah had never spok en t o
H ester or Sh ubael after the marriage b ut the
brothers attende d the f u neral They waited i n
the yard till the minister was abo u t t o begin
when they came solem n ly in to the ho u se each
holding his hat with th e knotted fingers of his
large brown han d
They sa t down side by
side and crossed their l egs at the same instant
H ester w a s very near them and sh e felt a th rill
The m i n
o f rep u gnant pain shoot thro u gh her
i s ter opened the Bible and the two m e n settled
the hard line s o f their leathery faces into still
harder fix e d n e ss They d id n ot seem t o brea the
and their eyes stared steadily over S h ub a e l s
c ofi
i n as if it were not there
The widow s
heart swelled Co u ld she not be fr ee from the
ag o ny o f hatred even in this o n e ho u r of b e
r e a ve m e n t ?
The presence of J eremiah Ra zee
at that m o ment o u traged her It blighted her
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ESTER S D O WER

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nat u ral and wholesome g rief t u rning it into
u n seemly wrath and p ain He sto o d between
her and her d ead love she passionately tho u ght
as for many years he had stood between her
and her li ving lover She wanted to rise u p
and command him to go forth and leave to her
what was her own
The eyes of the assembled neighbors con
strained he r to b e still The N ew E ngland
sense of decency w a s strong within her S h e
was determ ined to make no s c ene by S h ub a e l s
body and s o was enabled to control e v ery nerve
and m u scle while the s e rvice proceeded
A t the grav e the bro thers were aga i n near
her Th u s far they had exchanged n o word
with her b u t when the interment was finishe d
each took her hand and then solemnly dropped
it Still she end u red in silence
The B u rrills to ok her back to her deserted
home and l eft Patience with her When night
fell Hester went into her room and sh u t the
door
S he loathed herself fo r havin g bee n
s o mo v ed by hatred when her so u l sh o u ld have
been filled with soft and sacred e m o tion S he
felt that she had been robbed of something
H er grief had been d e file d Tho ughts of Jere
m iah R az ee r u shed o v er her stamping o u t sweet
and tender memories li ke the feet of sw ine
tramplin g o n l o vely yo ung live things
She
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HESTER S

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hated he rse lf be c au se sh e co u ld n o t sto p th ink
in g o f him b u t more s h e h ated him for ca u s
i n g s u ch evi l pas sion to enter her heart at s u ch
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a

fim e

H e spo ilt Sh ub a e l s life an he spo ils my

sorrow sh e m u ttered and then s u d d e nly all
the stern com p os ure of her blood gave way
The dark ho u rs slowly passed b ut only God
— and i t may be S h ub a e l s ghost also — b e
held her i n the abandonment of her rage and
grief
She came o u t in the m orn ing v e ry q u iet b u t
w i th p al e fac e and h o ll o w eyes

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F o u r d ays after the f u neral J eremiah Razee
kn oc ked l o u dly at the widow s d oo r
Hester
o pened it herself an d t u rned her hard eyes o n
the farmer s fa ce
Why do y ou come now
asked sh e
The farmer sm il ed with slow malice and
shi f ted h is W eight from one foot to the other
as he stood o n the l ittle stone step which S h u
b ae l and H ester had laid in place t ogether

I come on b u siness said he at last

I hain t no b u siness with y o u
r etorted the w idow
m ean t o have l
No
said he inqu iringly
Wal I ve
b u siness wi th y ou Shall I step i n

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HESTER S D O WER

16

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Dazed and f u rio u s Hester c ried in a lo w
voice Yo u wretc h ! D o yo u mean to talk of
s u ch things and Sh ubael only fo u r days in his

grave ?
Then s h e t u rned away and sobbed as she had
never sobbed since her h u sband died
Wait till yo u r e axed ma am afore y ou

think a ma n wants to m arry yo u said Jere

m iah slo wly
What I mean is that Jabez
an me o wns two thirds of this ho u se an lot
n o w as S h ub a e l s heirs an yo u have the u se o f
o n e third fo r life
and that s all
Yo u can
stay here if yo u want to by payin rent for the
other two thirds We won t t u rn yo u o u t b u t
if y o u choose to go I ve g ot a tenant in my
eye an yo u 11 have yo u r share of the rent he
pays A s for the f u rnit u re yo u o w n half an
I ll sen d u p the o fii ce r this a r te r n oo n to make
an invento ry an divide it squ are I won t
walk in now as yo u d o n t seem hospita ble i n
yo u r fe e li n s b u t p r a ps y o u ll remember arter
I m gone how many times yo u v e th o u ght

yo u d g o t the best of me
When he had finished the farmer t u rned
away walked thro ug h the l ittle yard o u t int o
the road got into his wagon which waited
there and with a grim smile drove o n to the
village
W hen h e w a s ou t o f sight H ester went i nto
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HES TER S

D O WE B

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the ho u se an d tho ugh s h e kne w that her h u s
band had never made a will s earched in every
possible and impo s sible place where one might be
b id
A fter this fr u itle s s task was done s h e p u t
The
o n her bonnet a n d walked to the village
day was s u ltry the a ir w as hot b u t her heart
was hotter still
She stopped and told her
story to Mose Alm y s wife whom she asked t o
go back to the ho u se sh e had left lest the man
sho u ld c o me to m ake an inventory and find
i t u ngu arded Mr s A lmy f u ll of sympathy
w i llingly left her ho u se in frightful disorder
and her seven small children glorio u sly happy
in the dirt and departed for Hester s cottage
The widow went to Mr B u rgess the villag e
l awyer and related her grievance

Yo u can t help yo u rself said he
The

law is on their side
She twisted a fold o f her go wn in her han d


a moment
Will y ou come back with me
she said at last
an see tha t there ai n t n o
cheatin done this afte r noon
They fo u nd Mose A lm y s wife standing
in the d o oryard gestic u lating f u ri o u sly and
s c reaming at the top of her voice J eremiah
R azee and the offic er were confr o nting her dog
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Yo u sha n t come in here neither on ye
shrieke d Mrs A lmy
n o t till Hester gets
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HESTER S D O WER

18

here

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Yo u re nothin b u t a co u ple o f m ean
sn e a k i n thieves both on ye l
Jeremiah t u rned to Mr B u rgess as he e n
te r e d the yard with Hester ; b u t before he co u ld
speak she walked by them a ll fl un g open the
ho use door and called to them to come in She
followed them ro u nd a s they went from room
to room She O pened every chest and drawer
She verified every memorand u m that the office r
made and finally dismissed him with bitter po
li teness

He s only hired she said ; then t u rning to
Jeremiah with blazing eyes b u t between yo u

n me the acco u nt ain t settled yet


No
said the farmer
it ain t
John
Bates i s the man I spoke of to yo u this m or n in
He 8 co ncl uded
a s w a n ti n to hire the place
that two thirds of the ho u se will d o fo r him
His family ain t large an he 11 move in nex t
week an y o u kin live in the other pa rt witho u t
payin n o rent There s s i x roo ms i n the ho u se

Yo u kin have any two yo u like
M r A lmy gasped with amazement and Mr
B u rge s s said I think y ou r e rather stretc hing

yo u r a u thority

We 11 s e e an swered Jeremiah p u tting his
hands i n his pockets
You ain t the o n ly law
yer i n the cou nty Any way she owes me n
Jabez rent for every day s h e stays here n kee ps

the h ou se empty
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HESTER S

D O WE R

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Where is Jabez ? asked Mr B u rgess
Jeremia h looked a little embarrassed an d
Hester said q u ietly
I g u ess he was ashamed
to come It takes s u ch as hi m I and she pointe d
at Jeremiah who fell back slightly cowed
The widow has a right to stay for a time

wi tho u t paying rent said Mr B u rge s s
Jeremiah looked u p s u rprised and the la w
yer explained to him that he co u ld not carry
o u t his plans for s o me months yet Mrs A lmy
u ttered a cry o f tri u mph b u t Hester stood i n
u nmoved silen ce till the farmer somewhat dis
When he had gone
com fite d took his leave
Hester looke d at Mr B u rgess and asked simply
Will yo u tell me h o w it is
I want to u n der
stand all abo u t i t and how it c o mes that I don t

o w n the land I bo u ght nor the ho u se I b u ilt
The lawyer went over the legal details in a
painstaking manner and dwelt at length on the
on e mercy the la w granted her that s h e might
stay in the h o u se un q u e s ti o ned for some tim e
yet

B u t after that I o we him rent f or every

d ay ?
s h e asked
He assented and s h e said
Thank y o u That 1 1 do I u nders tand now
I ll pay y ou Mr B u rgess when I v e earned

some money


It is no matter he sa id
I wish I co u ld

d o m o re for y ou
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HESTER S

20

n o W EB

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Then he to o went away and Mr s A lmy
so u ght to console Hester o ffering to stay all
night and let her spo u se and offspring shift f o r
themselves as best they might
"
I d rather stay al one plea se was Hester s
reply ; and gently thanking her for all her ki n d
ne s s she le t the wom a n go In the same q u iet
way sh e met and di s missed Mr an d M r s B u r
rill wh en they c a me later o n an errand of sym
pathy When they too had gone s h e s a t down
a little while in the kitchen From that room
s h e went into the tiny sitting room and thence
to h e r o w n bedroom In each s h e s ta yed a few
m in u te s s itting q uite motionle s s and all the time
s h e seemed to s e e Sh u bael mov in g abo u t before
her as he h a d been wont to do A fter a time
she dragged o u t from her room an old chest that
h a d been her h u sband s She had diffic u lty in
getting it thro u gh th e doors and s he remem
bered how s h e and Sh u bael had t u gged at it to
gether to bri n g it in She pers evered and
p ul led it o ut of the ho u se throu gh the yard
and across the road Then s h e went back gath
ered together S h ub a e l s clothing a few books
some papers on which he had written h i s ill
spelt verses and a few pieces o f china This
inco n gr uo u s collecti on with some of her ow n
clothes she c arried and p u t in the chest She
sh u t d o wn the lid of the box and nailed it fast
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E ES TE R ’ S D O WE B

Next

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she rolled and corded the m ats and
d r agged them and some o f the lighter f u rnit u re
out
She took the tall clock to pieces and
caref ully conveyed that also across the ro a d
A fter this she stood still and sobbed once o r
twice It was nearly mor n ing n o w and Hes
ter s motions were a little h ur ried as s h e wen t
back into the ho u se and tied u p a b u ndle of
her lin en a n d blankets
She went into the
kitchen and lo oked ro und on the things which
were left

I g u ess she said alo u d resti ng her hands
I gu ess I ve left a ful l half i n
on he r hips

val u e here
Then she b ro u ght from the woo dshed a q u an
tity of small wood o f which she made two grea t
heaps o n e on the kitchen floor and the other
in the sitting room She emptied ro u nd the m
a barrel of corn cobs and strewed abo u t a q u an
tity of shavi n gs She next took a b u rni n g stick
from the firepl a ce where sh e had been caref u l
t o keep alive a fire carried it to the sitting room
d oor and fl u ng i t in upon the pile o f light wood
With another brand sh e deliberately lighted
the kindlings on the kitchen floor Then draw
i n g her skirts close aro u nd her she went out o f
the door and closed it behind her She cro s sed
the road and sat down on S h ub a e l s che s t A
re d glow shone thro u gh the kitchen wind ow
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HESTER S

22

D O W ER

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and a fainter light came from the othe r room
She stared steadily till all th e ho u se was lighted
It w a s many min u tes before a flame leaped from
the roof b u t till s h e saw it she did not t u rn her
eyes away
Then she c overed her face and
waited while the s un rose before her in the
eas t and sent his beams across the flames
Ten min u tes after s u nrise Jeremiah and Ja
bez R azee came r unning u p the road Hester
in her black dress sat q u ietly with her h ous e
hold goods aro u nd her
How d i d it ketch
s c reamed J eremiah
while still afar off
Hester was silent till the brothers were qu ite
near and then answered I s et it on fire Shall
w e settle u p acco u nts n ow Mr R azee


Yo u s e t it on fire ! he cried
B u t wh o
saved these things

I bro u ght o u t my half before I lighted it
said Hester
Jeremiah swore Jabez who was a ch u rch
m ember u ttered a more pio us ejac u lation

I w i ll settle with yo u ! said Jeremiah
shaking his fist in the woman s face She a n
s w e r e d with a disdainf u l look and the two men
s a t down s u llenly near He s ter and gazed at the
flames till in a few min u te s a troop of neigh
bo rs arrived on the scene ; Mose Alm y s wife i n
front and the B u rrills n o t far behind
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HES TE R S D O WER

24

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done an d sh e was allowed to serve ou t her
dreary sentence
J eremiah R azee th u s left to taste the sweets
fo u nd them less sweet than he
of vengeance
had anticipated His neighbors looked coldly
His u ns o cial heart co u ld have borne
o n him
that b ut there was on e thing that gr ew diffic u lt
for h i m to bear
Work a s hard as he co u ld
early and late b u sy his mind as he wo u ld cal
c ul a ti n g pr o fits he co uld not sh u t o u t from his
eyes the sight of H ester as he had last seen her
i n her wi d ow s dress a pri soner at the bar un
der conviction Her stern pallid face rose with
the dawn and looked at him and the s u n sink
in g while the old man still toiled on his farm
left behind a trail of accu sing light which
showed that changed co u ntenance to him Ho w
c hanged ! He remembered the dark eyed child
whose s u nny ways had charmed even his m o
r o se nat u re He drove back and forth over th e
co u ntry road s as b u siness called him here and
there and memories started u p at the top of
every hill in every valley u nder the shade o f
the old trees : memories of a hand s ome happy
gi rl who h ad walked in the s unshine ti ll he had
spoi l ed her life ; memories too of a timid
shrinking lad with beseeching eyes whose man
h o od had withered away u nder h is contempt
On c e the o ld farmer had occasi o n to g o t o the
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HESTER S D O WEB

25

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ci ty and was forc ed to pass the jai l H e sh u d
dered a s he h u rried by In that jail a dis
graced o u tcast l abored He s ter who m he had
known a s a little chi l d ; a c onvi c t now beca u se
she had resented the la w which gave to her e u
emy the fr u its of her life s toil and patience
Jeremiah dro ve hard all the way home The
next d a y he astonished Jabez by telling h i m
that he was going o ver the line to visit the
Massach u setts branch of the family
He went and in two weeks ret u rned to his
brother s still greater aston i shment w i th o n e o f
their seco n d co u sins as his wife She was a tall
b o ny hard feat u red woman of for ty who spoke
her mind freely on any point and having th u s
relieved it went her way u ntro u bled W he n
she heard He s ter s story which s h e had not
kn o wn till after she was married she to ld her
h u sband emphatically that he o u ght to be
ashamed o f himself and then never gave the
matter another se rio u s tho ught
J eremiah
however fo u nd that marriage had n o t driven
that hau nting face fro m his mind and he was
still conscio u s o f a force stirring within h i m
that made him less satisfied than o f yore i n co n
te m pla tin g his cattle and his cr 0ps
A fter a
time his wife gave birth to a child and died i n
the str uggle Jeremiah was smitte n with ter
r o r and g rief He had not a particle o f s enti
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m en t f o r his wi fe he ha d married h e r ho pi ng
t o distrac t his mind from tho ughts of H ester
b u t he felt as tho ugh her death were a j u dg
m ent u pon him
He went to the bed l o ok e d at his b aby a n d
then sat down and tw o tears squ eez ed their way
ou t o f h i s eyes
I never tho u ght Jeremiah d feel anyb ody s

death like he feels S a i r y s said Jabe z to Mose
A lmy Jabez was m u ch s u rprised b u t he was
more s u rpri s ed as the days pas s ed t o perceive
that the old man took to m u ttering to him s elf
as he walked feebly abo u t the ho u se and that
he did n ot ret u rn to h i s farm work He held
the baby fo r hou rs and Jabez looked on con
fou nded
Once the mystified brother heard
Jeremiah m u rm u r to the child
Ef yo u was a

little gi rl —
e f y o u d ben a girl now
J abez walked away and told Mr B u rrill who
chanced to be at the farm that Jeremiah w as

all breakin up
B u t as the months rolled away Jeremiah
grew stronger and crawled o u t to do a little of
h i s acc u stomed work His only real interest
however was in the baby E xcept that once
w hen he lamented that it w a s n ot a girl he
never seemed to s e e anyth in g that was n ot per
He cared for it himself
fe c t abo u t the ch il d
n egl ect ing any other l abo r for this o n e He

ca lle d i t always Baby
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HE STER S D O WER

27

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Why d o n t you gi n it a name ? as k ed
J abez

I a i n t got no name fo r it repl ie d J e re
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Wh e n the ti me o f her senten c e was ove r
H ester c ame from her prison M r and Mrs
B u rrill went for her on the day of her release
They reached the j ail
a n d bro u ght her h o me
early in the morning so a s to get her back b e
fore n oon They carried her garments in which
to array herself b u t were shocked to see how
stony and wh i te she looked in the black g own
they had brought A t her reque st they t o ok
her to Mo se Al m y s
M rs A lmy h u stled abo u t hosp itab l y la u g h
i ng and cry i ng by t u rns
She told all the
co u ntry gossip and pro u dly sh o wed her newest
baby



E llen she said
after Mose s sister that
died
j est two weeks y o u nger n J eremiah
Razee s b oy They do s a y H ester that the o l d
m an thinks a sight of that baby
Q u eer ain t
it ? Takes c are on him nights jest like an
ol d woman
It seems as e f h e w as comin to

h is n a te r a l fe e li n s at l ast

Comin o ut on em I sho u ld say
said
Hester with m or e weariness than vehemence
i n her t o nes
All his na te r al fe e lin s w as

h a te ful o n es
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HES TER S D O WER

28

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Towards n i gh t the widow wandered forth
restless ly S he h a d not taken a walk for two
years It was a u t u mn again fo u r years si n ce
sh e
and Sh u bael had gathered the red o a k
leaves with hands that clasped a mong their
sp o ils The glory that sh e sa w h u rt her The
land w as brimmi n g f ull o f s u nshi ne and its
beau ty m o cked her The garne r ed j oy of the
harvest basked on the hill slopes —what had
been the harvest of her life ? She had reaped
a c r0p sh e had n o t s o wn and th e hazy smile of
the In d ian s u mmer was not for her
On she went t ill s h e came to a past u re of
th e R azee farm c l o se beside the little in c los ure
where her home h a d been She lean e d against
the wall and with yearn i ng eyes l oo ked over
The blood ru shed to her heart and stoppe d its
beating She s a w a man r unning fro m an i n fu
r i a te d b ul l
She s a w other men rising u pon her
sight from all q u arters ru shing to the resc u e
She s a w the m an fall ; sh e s a w the animal reach
him she heard sharp reports The h ull rolled
over in wo u nded agony The p u rs u ers ca u ght
up the fallen man
They bo re him thro u gh
the field Hester c limbed the wall and foll ow
ing soon reached them
They halted at last
u nder an old apple tree close to th e wal l that
sepa rated the past u re from the lo t where the
ashes of her home still strewed the gro u nd
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HE S TEB ’ S D O W EB

She h ad no ti me to th i nk

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29

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S he

cl e arly

w as

till she fo u nd her s elf sitting u nder the app le
laden bo u ghs the s u nset light all abo u t her
and J eremiah R azee s head lyi n g i n her lap
They dared not move him f urther H e moaned
as he lay there H e w as fearfu lly mangled If
she stirred he groaned with pain The m e n
b o u nd his mangled limb s
The h o rror of it
a ll overcame Hester
She held herself very
still Some one went for a doctor There was
reason to fear some internal i nj u ry besides the
external wo u nds A sort o f animal sympathy
for pain swelled the hysterical passion in the
woman s heart
S he p u t o ut her hand an d
smoothed the old m an s pallid forehead A t
her to u ch he O pened his eyes and as he sa w
her a look of terror came into them as th o u gh
he had seen a ghost He tried to move

L ay still lay still s h e said ;
y ou mu s u t

stir We r e doin all we can for yo u

Is it really y ou ? he aske d i n a frightene d
W hisper



Ye s
she said
Don t l et n o th i n worrit

y o u ; jest keep q u iet
Be yo u
out

Oh yes


I m
glad he said wi th a l o ng sigh an d
c l osed h is e y e s S o metimes he wri thed with
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HE S TER‘S

30

1) 0

WER

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pain b u t the greater part o f the ti me he l ay
motionless almost as if he were asleep His
attendants w o rked over him trying to ascertai n
th e extent of his inj u ries and relieve the m
somewhat before the doctor c a me
A t last he looked u p again at He s ter s face
I t was fl u shed and her emotions gave it a softer
a spect than he had seen it wear for long years
He sp oke in a weak b u t determined voice evi
d e n tly meaning to have h i s say in defiance o f
pain an d ebbing strength b u t he pa u sed often
and sh u t back the groans with set lips

It ain t n o us e ; I m done for Hester
it s jest the same as it all u s was with m e I
ain t no hand to ax anybody s pardon b u t I
never s e e the woma n as I tho u ght fit to stan
b esi d e y ou When yo u was a little red cheeked
gal
c heeks like apples
an when y o u w a s
a w o man gr o wn an co u ld n t abide me jest the
same ; an I hated yo u be c a u se I liked yo u
I m pretty t o u gh I can
c ur us as it seems
stand a good deal B u t I g u ess it was w u s s for
It was thet what broke m e
m e nor yo u at last
down N othin b ut thet N o d on t stop me
I m m o st d o ne Hester there s that baby
S o mehow a bab y takes h old o n ye
o f mine
tight with his little fists
I d rather yo u d

b ring h i m u p n o r anyb od y else W ill ye ?

Ye s y e s I will sh e cr ied
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S A I N T O R SINN E R

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IT

w o rri e d Hannah Dean n o t to fin d her sis
ter at the d oor when the fa c to ry l et o u t on e
pleas ant J un e evening H etty and she worked
thro u gh the day in di fferent rooms b u t they a l
ways walked home together at night Hannah
was the m o re tro ubled beca u se for the past week
o r two Hetty had acted strangely A t home
sh e followed Hannah from room t o room and
wo u ld n o t be left alone A t the m i ll on the
c ontrary s h e avoided her sister and spent all
her spare time idling with Fr an k Cotter a
yo u ng machinist whom Hannah did not fancy
This evening when Hetty w a s missing Han
nah feared that she had gone somewhere with
Frank and to o k her homeward path thinking
in a tro ubled mood of the pretty wayward girl
and of their father s death which had occ u rred
tw o months b efore B u t Tom F u rn ess j oined
h e r and his cheeriness drove away her care
He pers u aded her to go rowing with h i m o n the

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ri ve r, after s u pper ; b u t the mother, Mrs Dean
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when sh e heard the plan objected stren u o u sly
becau se it was the prayer meeting night and
Hannah o u ght to go to ch u rch
Hannah s
pleading that sh e had been to prayer meetings
a l l her life and had never been i n a boat on the
r iver wo u ld have availed little had not To m
come to the resc u e an d persisted in tak in g her
while the wido w who had not seemed to notice
Hetty s absence marched s u llenly o ff to ch u rch
taking her third child Patty a weak minded
girl o f whom s h e was v ery fond Tom and
Hannah spent a happy h o u r rowing thro u gh
the twilight He coaxed her to sing an d all
the squ alid anxieties of her life seemed to drop
away into the deep sweet shadows that fell
over the water
A t last he drew his boat u p on the shore an d
they silently landed ; and tho u gh they knew it
not their enchanted drea m of yo u th and love
was over She never s ang again
They walked together down the river side
til l they reached the ch u rch There were lights
in the vestry and the meeting was st il l in s e s
sion

Let u s go in said Hannah ; and Tom con
sented
They separate d at the door and Tom sat
do w n among the men while she c rossed o v er t o
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the women s side o f the ho u se She looked
aro u nd for Hetty witho u t finding her b u t soon
disting u ished her mother at the end of one of
the seats A lamp h u ng s u spended from the
ceiling over the old woman s head and the yel
low flickering light fell f u ll on her hard old
face so dark and rigid intense and pinched
Her hands were gloveless and lay clasped right
u po n her knee Her eyes were closed and her
lips moved in response to the prayer o f D e ac on
D u dley a white haired ol d man who knel t near
her Patty s pretty imbe c ile fa c e was close to
her mother s sho u lder
When the meeting was done Tom met Han
nah a t the gate
Come with me I v e some

thing to tell yo u he s aid
What i s it ? s h e a sked i n vague alarm
Hetty had tro u ble with the overseer to day
and he s t u rned her out of the mill She 8
b een slack at her w o rk and I g u ess she 8 b ee n

away from it more than yo u k new

With Frank Cotter ?


I s u ppose s o

B u t where i s she n o w ?


A t S u e F lint s
A nnoyed at hearing this sin ce Frank C o tte r
boarded at Mrs Flint s Hannah went straight
there with T o m
S he kn ock ed at the kitc hen d oo r and wi th
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waiti ng for a respo nse opene d it a nd walked
in with neighborly freedom
Mrs F lint a raw boned we ar y l ooki n g
woman s a t on on e side of the stove a n d her
h u sband Jabez Flint s a t o n the other His
m o u th was drawn u p and open on o n e side
H is nose seemed to ha ve forgotten which way
it had originally meant to go an d at last in
sheer despair it had given u p trying to be a
n o se a nd had come to an end Hi s eyes stared
vacantly i n O pposite directions His forehead
slanted ba ck to the u nkempt hair which strag
gled forward to meet it i n a vain attempt to give
some harmony to the face He smoked a short
black pl p e and he did not move when T om and
Hannah entered Mrs Flint ho w ever ro s e
greeted them and p u shed forward chairs T o m
s a t down b ut Hannah o n ly steadied herself b
y


the back o f hers and asked I s Hetty here ?

Yes ; she and S u e have j u st gone up stai rs

to bed
Hannah breathe d more freely to learn that
H etty had not gone o u t with Fran k Cotter

I sho u ld like to s ee Hetty she said
I ve

j u st heard abo u t her trou ble
Her tro uble eh ! exclaim e d M rs Flint,
sharply

Oh d i d n t she tell y ou ? S ome tro u ble

with the ove rsee r that w o rri ed her said Han
out

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annoyed to find th at s h e h a d reveal e d what
Hetty h a d kept secret

Like eno ugh s he told S u e said Mrs Fl int

b u t I did n t take n o notice when she come

in ; I was b u sy tendin to him indicating Ja
bez with her th u mb

Have yo u been sick to day ? asked T om
of the old man

Mrs Flint answered for her h u sband : A
d r e tful s pe l l ; he a i n t q u ite come o u t o f i t yet

I don t know sometimes what we shall do
N o m o re was said for a min u te and then
Hannah proposed g o ing u p for Hetty and Mrs
Flint consented Shortly afterwards the two
girls came down stairs together a n d Hannah
said q uietly
I v e coaxed Hetty to go home
with me and we 11 tell mother in the mor n ing
Hetty s afraid mother will be vexed b u t I

gu e s s not
This speech was m u ch braver than Hannah s
heart Tom looked at B e tty and Wa s startled
to see h o w white the pretty face was
They all walked home silently and Hannah
insisted that Tom sho u ld leave them at the gate

s ai d T o m
Yo u are n o t fair Hannah
Y o u are always sh u tting me out when yo u are
in tro uble N ever mind I 11 come i n some

day
He s u dden l y sto pped kissed her and
t u rned away
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37

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H etty began Hannah bend in g to he r sis

ter a face whose bl u sh the darkness hid n o w
tell me all abo u t it Was it abo u t

N o it was n t abo u t Frank broke i n Hetty

A nd yet i t was too I s u ppose A ny way I
was n t at my work reg ular and there was a

f u ss t o d a y and the b oss j u st t u rned me off
She stopped and even the night which c on
c e a le d Hannah s bl u sh co u ld not hide her loo k

o f terror
Oh I don t dare go in
Hetty Hetty my poor girl wh at h a ve y o u

d o ne ?

I have n t done anything
Then what are y ou afraid of ?
Oh I m afraid I m afraid
cl inging des
to
her
sister
e r a te l
p
y


C ome ro u nd the ho u se said Hannah and
we ll go up the back stairs and nobody nee d
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s e e us


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She 11 come u p i n the night ! c r ied Hetty
c atching her breath hysterically
“ Wh o ll c o me u p ? ” asked Hann ah
trem
b ling

Mother m o ther whispered Hetty ; she 11

p o i son me too
A nd then s u ddenly both girls sank u pon
the gro u nd and st a red at each o ther with
white faces N e ither m oved while Hetty i n
low wi l d whispers went on : The night that

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fath e r died I s a w her go to the cl oset an d get
a bottle o u t o f that little c u pboard she always
keeps locked and I saw her po u r something into
a c u p of tea and I did n t think anything Of
co u r s e I did n t B u t s h e come and woke h i m
up
I w a s j u st at the door where I was stand
in g still s o as not to wake him and s h e did n t
s e e me
S he gave him the tea and so mehow I
felt frightened then Yo u kn o w h o w he grew
worse that evening and the doctors d id n t
k n ow what was the matter Oh and after giv
i ng him the tea s h e went t o the windo w and
opened i t The stars w e re very bright and sh e
threw something o u t
I did n t se e what
B u t a wee k a g o I was ro u nd there and I fo u nd
the bottle and it had s o me white powder i n it
an d i t w a s marked A rsenic

Yo u d o n t k now i t was that sh e thre w out
N0 b u t I m pretty s u re an d I m afrai d of

her

S how me the bottle
Hetty rose slowly and H annah followe d stag
gering after her ro un d the h o u se
Hetty poked a bo u t in the grass where sh e
ha d dropped the b o ttle on the spot i n whi c h s h e
had fo u nd it
Hannah cro u ched against the
ho u se H er hand trailed in some high clov er
gro win g there and the dew on it felt l ike bl oo d


Ther e ! s a id H etty at last hol ding u p a
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u nable to share i n the pec u liar reli gi o u s fervo r
which s h e al ways m anifested he had so u ght
ref u ge in the aff ection of H annah and Hetty ;
Patty always seemed t o in spire h i m with r e
There was nothing n u
pug n an ce and awe
pleasant abo u t the girl
S h e wo u ld sit for
ho u rs c r oo ning songs in a low sweet voice a p
a r e n tl
seeing
and
heari
n g noth ing
B
u
t
sh e
p
y
did see and hear and wo u ld sometimes show
that s h e h a d been keenly observing everything
d u ri n g the whole time sh e h a d been q u iet ; an d
it was proba bly this od d mingling of imbecility
and shrewdness which prod uced i n he r father a
species o f nervou s terror
Mrs D ean on the contrary manifested for
Patty the only real tenderness sh e displayed in
her fam i ly F or her only wo u ld sh e relax the
stingy e conomy wi th which sh e presided ov er the
ho u sehold
Mr s Dean had fretted m u ch at fi rst o ver
the expenses whi c h her h u sband s illness i n
volved
H is health had been fai ling a long
time and for two years before his death he
had n o t worked at all H annah lying awake
all this dreadfu l night with the bottle labeled
A rsenic hidden away a mong her c lothe s r e
m embered h o w the fretfu lness had s ubsided as
the m o nths rolled on an d how a certain angry
bu t s i lent a c qu ies cence had marked her moth
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er s reception o f every fresh call fo r m ed icine o r
medical attendance
Hannah s tho ughts s uddenly reverted at this
moment to a time when sh e was a child A n
old m a n and his wife had lived some years i n
Mrs Dean s fam ily with the u nderstanding that
they were to be c a red for d u ring life a nd at
their death Mrs Dean wa s to receive the smal l
s u m o f money they wo u ld leave behind
Hannah remembered that once when the old
woman Bets ey Jor d an had shown with child
i s h glee some cloth which s h e ha d bo u ght for
a n e w cloak Mrs Dean had t u rned away
gr u mbling If y ou are n t more saving o f yo u r
money than that precio u s little will them get

that feeds yo u
It was j u st a week after this that in the early
morning Mr and Mrs J ordan were fo u nd both
dead i n their bed Hannah remembered her
father s bending over the sti ll old faces and
saying gently a n d sadly
They went together any way ; bu t i t s

s u dden and makes the home feel lonesome
The look on her mother s face as he spoke
c ame even n o w before Hannah s eyes and
s h e u nderstood i t at last
These people were
c o u sins of To m F ur n e ss s mother A nd Hannah
w o rking sl o w l y thro u gh this horrible m esh of
c irc u msta n ce c am e t o a new p oi nt t o b e c on

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S A IN T

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s id e r e d ,

a new agony to be borne T om F u r
ness
She cl u tched the bedclothes and set her
teeth T om F u rness ! She raised her s elf and
stared at Hetty whose hysterical sobbings had
long since s u bsided into sleep For o n e mo
m ent Hannah felt as if s h e co u ld kill the g i rl
for p u tting this fearf u l thing between Tom and
herself Only for a moment ; the next s h e
felt a horror o f herself which s e t her tho u ghts
strivi ng to find the path of her d u ty S ome
how at last thro ugh the black maze it came
'
clear to her that s h e was her mothe r s child
and m u st not breathe s u spic i on against her
Perhaps the s u spicion w as false b u t that possi
b ili ty only barred her the more from telling it
Patty
Tom and she m u st go apa rt forever
m us t never kno w Hetty s life m u st b e freed
from this dark shadow i n ato nement perhaps
fo r her o w n late anger wi th her
For the rest one d u ty lay c lear before Han


N ever to let it happen again
She
n ah :
s a id these words over and over as if they might
be a S pell against fate She wo u ld watch her
m other til l sh e die d s o that the horrible i m
p ulse of c rime the avarice which prompted the
imp ul se sho u ld never be free to work again
S he m u st ever keep in mind tha t h u man life
might depend o n her silent v ig ilance and that
the pri c e of her silen c e m ight b e b l ood A nd
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w ould she not als o be g u ilty of that blood ?
Tom m u st g o Into that valley o f the shadow
o f death which her life entered she co u ld drag
no lov er
I t rained S u nday morni n g Hannah did n ot
dress for ch u rch The other girls made ready
to go with their mother H etty looked pale
and frightened and avoided Hannah s eye
She too was meditating a desperat e resolve
Hannah sa t s ullen and still and made n o move
ment to a c company the little party Her mother
reb uked her sharply b n t she answered that
her head ached and they left h e r sitting in
the kitchen In a few min u tes Tom b u rst i n
at the door shaking the rain off his c o at and

tossing h is wet hat in befo re him
I watched

the folks g o in to meeting he said and saw
yo u were not there What s the matter ? Is
it Hetty
She stood silent and so obvio u sly a gitated
that he took both her han ds i n alarm “ N o
no
s h e cried
y o u m u st n t think any harm
o f Hetty
She s a good g i rl Indeed sh e is
Think what yo u lik e o f me
of
the rest of

us
S he trembled feeling h o w helpless s h e
w as sh u t in the ho u se alone with the man s h e
loved If they were only c ut
o ut some
where i n the pitiless storm and s h e cou ld r un
from him fo rever thro ugh the rain and wind
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and h i de herself i n the u ttermost parts o f the
earth ! B u t s h e co u ld not flee She m u st stand
still and drive him forth u nder the angry sky
Oh T o m Tom go ! For God s sake g o an d
don t ask me anything !

Hannah !
Yes y ou are angr y I knew you w ould be

angry b u t it i s all for yo u r o w n sake
G ood heavens What is all for my sake ?
That y ou m u st go T om dear Tom it is
forever Yo u m u st marry some on e else You
m u st never marry me Oh don t kill me by
staying here a n y longer !

Tell me he cried as she sank sobb i ng on
the floor before him what do y o u mean D o
y o u want me to leave y o u so yo u may marry
another man ?
Me marry another man
She sprang u p
as sh e spoke
Wh o dared say I wo u ld marry

another m a n ? No i t is yo u who m u st marry


Wait till I v e asked l eav e t o do so he
said s u llenly
I might take yo u at yo u r

word
She shivered bu t answered b ravely
God
gr ant yo u may Lo ok ! I will swear to yo u
never to marry anybody else i n the world

b u t I can t marry yo u
What s yo u r oath w o rth
Y ou r e b re ak

i ng yo u r promise to marry me
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Oh Tom Tom s h e moane d
c an t we
part i n peace ? I have loved y ou all my life
I cannot q u arrel wi th yo u b u t we m u st part
Speak k indly to me first Yo u ll have plenty
to think of and to be glad abo u t after y ou ve
left me b u t I 11 have nothing pleasant to hope
for or to remember
b u t j u st the tho u ght of
yo u Give me on e kind w ord to live on all my
life lo n g I m u st live Tom I ve something
t o d o S ometime dear if y o u and I live long
e n o u gh I ll tell yo u all abo u t i t I d o n t k n ow
when I may be free to speak I may die first
b u t if I li ve I 11 fin d yo u whereve r y o u are
and tell y o u I hope yo u ll ma rry T o m It
won t matter then when I tell my secret I ll
not come hankering for yo u r love You need
n o t fear that when yo u s i t by y ou r wife in
yo u r own ho u se I 11 o nly come to say why I
sent y o u ofi when we both we re yo u ng an d
yo u and y o u r w i fe wil l be glad a nd th a n k me

for it
He p u t his arm s arou n d her and said Tel l

me y o u r secret n o w
She started from him
N o ; if y ou came t o
me eve ry day i n the year I d never tell yo u

It is n t m y se c ret

W el l marry m e and I ll never a sk yo u

what it is
Oh T om s u ch a thing co u ld never be b e

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tween h u sb and and wife Kiss m e once Tom

God b less y o u G o now
It was he r hand that opene d the doo r He
staggere d out int o the rain
Th e day passed as S u nda ys u s u a lly did at
Mr s Dean s with d reary f o rmality In the
evening Han nah went t o ch u rch with the
others
When coming o u t she saw Hetty
stop and speak with Frank Cotter b u t it did
not tro u ble her It seemed as i f noth ing wo u ld
tro u ble her n o w
B u t it might h ave tro u bled her if she had
heard what Hetty said that night
Oh Frank
dear F rank i f y ou like me I sho u ld think
You don t want me to go o n
y ou d pity me
th i s way do y ou ? It d o n t make y ou happy
does it that I c an t eat nor I can t sleep ?
There s nob o dy b u t y ou as can help me
an if y ou w o n t what s g o in to be co me o f me ?
Oh why ai n t I g o t re al fr iends l ike o ther f o lks

has !
H ere sh e broke down sobbing and Frank
kissed her T ho u gh th i s co mfo rted her a good
deal sh e sti ll shivered as sh e cl ung t o hi m


Come al ong he sai d then
I was n t
Oh
th i n k in of gett i n marr i e d yet awh ile
L o rd no ! B u t I like you an I ai n t go in
back on y ou if y o u r e bavin a h ar d time of

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te r that fo ren o on and that they we r e already
m arried

It i s j u st as well answered Hannah q u iet
ly t u rning back to her work

Oh sobbed Patty
mother 1 8 taking on

dreadf u l D o c o me home
Hannah rapidly arra nged with the o verseer
and left the mill with her sister On the way
Patty told her all s h e knew abo u t the matter
Frank and Hetty were now at Mrs Flint s
They had c ome there an ho u r before and h ad
sent word to Mrs Dean that they had been to
the next to wn and had been married abo u t
nine o clock that m o rning
The gi rls fo u nd Mrs D ean seated in the
k itchen crying and as Patty went u p to her she
sobbed alo u d
Oh Patty I 11 have to go o u t
scr ubbing in my o ld age to get yo u a mo rsel

t o eat now Hetty h a s gone
A re y o u go in g over to see Hetty
H an
nah asked

No said Mrs Dean Ha n nah went up
stairs packed up some of Hetty s th i ngs and
bro ught th e b u n d le down The old woman too k
it from her da u ghter opened it and c urio u sly
examined its contents
Where 8 he r gold

beads ? demanded the m other

I think likely she wore them said Hannah
M rs Dean m u tte red between her teeth She
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t u rned over the things p i cked out s o m e sto c k
ings a n e w d ress two collars and some of the
better u n derclothi n g then rolling u p the poor
remains o f Hetty s slender wardrobe she said
Yo u may take them ere to her b u t sh e shan t
have these ; they cost too m u c

Oh mother said H annah her heart f u ll

of shame an d tro u ble
Hetty bo u ght them
with money sh e earne d herse lf A nd for her
to go a s a wi fe to Frank Cotter w i tho u t any

decent clothes ! It wo u ld di s grace u s all

She s disgraced u s already
said M rs

Dean with a low ch u ckle
Let Frank C ot
ter dre s s his own wife —I can t aff ord to I
d on t want to die in the poor ho u se It s likely
s h e 11 come to it yet
! Y o u m a y tell her s h e
need n t look to me to keep her out Patty

shall have the things
Hannah tied u p the pitif u l b u n dl e took i t
and went o u t into the yard
S he fe l t dizzy
and s a t down for a few min u tes on a st o ne
j u st inside the gate
Hearing q u ic k steps
sh e
raised her head and saw Patty c oming
with Hetty s dress and the other clothes A
happy smile lighted the imbecile gi rl s fa c e
a n d she sang softly as s h e came along


Mother s q u eer
said with a low
sh e
la u gh ; Hannah m u st n t mind Patty don t
want the things T ak e em to Hetty P oo r
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Hetty ! Take e m t o H etty she sai d aga in


as Hannah hesitated ; mother won t know
She lau ghed gleef ul ly
Hetty shall have
them all
Poor Hannah won t be sorry any

more
Poor Hannah indeed ! S he k new i t w o u ld
not do to take the things Mr s Dean wo u ld
be s u re to miss them and what if sh e were t o
be angry w i th Patty what if her a fl e c ti on for
her imbecile chil d sho u ld lessen
H annah picke d o u t o ne or two tri fling arti
cl es from th e b u ndle ass u red Patty that Hetty
w o u ld n o t want the o thers thanked her warm
ly and went rapidly away t o Mrs Flint s
She fo und Frank and Hetty sitting i n sol i
tary and rather u n comfortable state in Mr s
Flint s parlor He came t o meet her as she
entered the room Hetty h u n g bac k shame
fac ed

Do y ou th i nk this i s a b ad b u siness ? asked
Frank with a smile

I hope it is not
Hetty ran forward at this and ki sse d h e r
sister warmly m u rm u ring praises of Frank
Hannah gave her the b u ndle and to ld her
w hat Patty h a d done b u t softened the acc o u nt
mother s part in the transaction
o f their
Hetty listened sweetly and said she was glad
Patty w as to have the dress ; b u t s h e did not
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speak of her mother and soon brok e away and
ran u p stairs w i th he r c lo thes Hannah looked
at Fr ank

Yo u ll be kind to her and with hesita
tion yo u 11 go away from N ew Br i dge

Yes he an swered
we are going to O r
I shall look for work there
r i n s vi ll e to n i ght

where I h av e friends

That is best

Oh yes
said Frank speaking deliber
ately ; I m sorry for yo u and Patty b u t
H etty can t stand what s o me c o u ld She asked

me to take her away

A sked yo u
Oh s h e was right en ou gh I d gi ven her
reas o n to think I d m a rry her and when I d
go t her into a scrape abo u t her work I was
bo u nd to stand by her I like her b esides
She s a good girl an d I c o u ld n t leave her to

b e s c ared to death at h o me
Frank knew !
H annah s heart beat heavily as he co n ti n u ed :

I a lways liked yo u Hannah even th o u gh yo u
di d n t like me Hetty thinks y o u d better
marry soo n and take P atty and come and li v e

near us i n O r r i n s vi lle
His tone w as tr u ly
brotherly F or an in s tant a vi sion of heaven
danced befo re Hannah s eyes

N o she said in a moment
I m u st stay
I m u st se e to it all
watch things yo u know
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I ve br oken with T o m H e do es n t kn o w
He never shall know I don t b e liev e i t ever
happened b ut anyway I m u st s e e that i t never

happen s a gain I don t believe it

Hannah yo u r e the ri ght so r t o f woman
cried Frank b u t he felt s u re that Hannah di d
believe it
Mrs Flint and S u e and Hetty all came in
j u st then and Mrs Flint propo sed that sh e and
Hannah s ho u ld go and bring Patty there and
sho u ld if possible pers u ade Mrs Dean to come
N either Hetty nor Frank fel t any desire to have
Mrs Dean s blessing rest u pon their marriage
d a y and Hannah wo u ld gl a dly have kept the s e
last few moments free fr oni the shadow of her
m other s presence ; b u t they all felt th at it
wo u ld be u nwise to oppose her co ming
M rs Dean w as e a sily ind u ced to let Patty
go and the gi rl da rted gleefu lly off after her
b o nnet When s h e w as gone M r s Dean asked
w ith an apparent eff ort to be u n con cerne d a n d

neigh bo rly How is Mr Flint ?


D r e tful po orly answered the u nfort u nate
w ife and eager to pr o pitiate the widow s h e
spoke with less reserve than u s u al of her h u s
band s illness and told how he h a d two spe l ls
the last two days and how he had fallen in on e
o f them against the table which w a s set for din
ner and u pset it breaking the crockery and
spi lli ng sou p all o ver her new rag carpet
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wo ul d n t hav e a m an ro u n d d oi ng l ik e

that said Mrs Dean with a scowl
Why what wo u ld y ou do ?
Oh the re 8 ways I d stil l h i m d o wn

someh o w
Hannah g rew pale i n her c orner an d M rs
Flint opened her eyes i n wonder J u st then
Patty came in fl u shed and eager and Mrs
Flint w as recalled to her missio n and began t o
u rge Mr s Dean to go with them


N o I won t sai d sh e sh u tting her th i n
lips t ight There w as an omino u s gleam i n her
eyes a n d Patty cr i ed o ut Come away mother

w o n t care when we co me ba c k
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Tom

way l aid Hannah twice o n her way h o m e
fro m the m il l b u t she repelled his advan c es
Sometimes afterward she cau ght glimpses o f
him ab ou t the vill a ge A lways she wished he
w o u ld co m e and spe ak t o her A lways she
shi ver ed with fear lest he sho u l d c o me A fter
a few days however he left the vi llage H is
mother said he h ad gone to work in s o me town
in Connectic u t where a good place w a s o ffered
him an d as sh e said it she glance d reproach
f u lly at Hannah
The blo od settled heavily
aro u n d th e gi rl s h ear t b u t sh e mad e no sign
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and s p oke no w ord The dread she had felt
while her l o ver remained in the vi llage lest h e
sho u ld sometime pers u ade her to yield to his
entreaty grew into a remembered bliss when
the days and month s trailed by and she sick
ened at heart to kn ow that he wo u ld try no
mo re to pers u ade her He did n o t c ome back
to N ew B ridge and after a not ve ry long peri od
Hannah heard that he was marri e d She w as
left to co u nt the interminable days like sands
u pon the seashore The years passed till the
memory of her love ceased to tort u re her b u t
s h e grew very still at heart and felt as if s h e
m u st walk softly evermore becau se she tr o d
u pon a grave
Patty was her chief comfort She grew v ery
fond of her after Hetty went away She often
reflected with horr o r that it might be that s h e
had all this while wr o nged her mother with her
s u spicion Then s h e wo u ld try to draw nearer
to the wid o w s close locked hea rt and to atone
by some d u mb servi c e for the fea rf u l thing she
had tho u ght A rev u lsi o n of fee ling was s ure
to foll o w and sh e gre w more convinced year by
year that her m other was g u ilty Still noth
ing o c c urre d t o waken her dread that in some
new access o f temptation Mr s Dean might r e
peat the crime and a wea ring m o notony of pain
anxiety and fear th at w as n o t q u ite terr o r d o m
in a te d over Ha n nah s l ife
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an d b u rst o u t into the wild in coherent p rayer
in which her comrades ind ulged at these meet
ings b u t that j u st then s h e t u rned her head and
sa w her mother on her knees i n the vestry aisle
The old woman s eyes were closed her bonnet
fallen b a ck Her hands were clasped her lips
moved and her body swayed slightly to and fro


She s a Ch ristian tho ught Hannah , and
settled back in her seat
A ll the next d a y as Hannah walke d bac k
an
d forth between her looms the mac hine ry
gr u mbled a steady u ndertone t o her thou ghts
This daughter who believed her mother a m u r
d e r e ss had yet never attempted to decide
w hether the strange perversity and distortion
o f that mother s nat ure did or did n o t admit a
gen u ine element o f sincere religi ou s feeling
B u t if i t did what w a s religion and o f what
good was it
Hannah remembered her father wh o had

died in his sins a s M rs Dean had been
known pleasantly to describe her h u sband s con
dition of soul at the time of his death Mr
Dean had never been converted A death bed
Hi s
c o nversion might have saved his so u l
wi fe s deed had prevented that poss ibility
What remained t o him ? Was it his fa u lt that
time had not been gr anted him ?
Mr s Dean mi ght live to fee l a gen u i ne p en i
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ten c e Indeed it was n o t clear to Hannah s
m ind clo u ded as it was by a c r u de the o logy
that her m o ther wo u ld n o t be saved u nder any
circ u mstan c es sin ce she called on C hrist s great
name N or did this d au ghter wish to i magi ne
an eternal retrib u tion awaiting even her g ui lty
mother
When Hannah went home that night she
fo u nd Deacon D u dley sitting by the kitc hen
fire He sm i led at her i n a sickly way H er
mother s e t her thin old mo uth firmly for a m o
ment and then said Hannah I m marri ed to

Mr D udley
The girl stood still and stared

May be broke in the old man “ y ou d o n t
fancy the idea of a step father b u t I g u ess we 11
get on f u s t rate The old woman and me got
married to day It don t t a ke m u ch f uss to get
anybody married in this State and we di d n t
want no f u ss I v e been mighty lones o me since
my f u st wife died an Mary she s got her h u s
b and a n children to l ook arter tho u gh I don t
mean t o s a y nothin against Mary
She s a
go od woman b u t I v e always tho u ght a s ight
o f yo u r m a I do think Hannah s h e i s the
smarte s t woman i n N ew B ridge ; an s uc h a nice
place as she s got an a smart girl l ike y o u i n
the mill an Patty
B u t here some wiser
i nst i nct d awned u p on h i m ; he forb ore to state
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h o w much o f a disa d vantage he c o nsidered Patty
i n this matr i m o ni al arrangement and he con
tin u e d wi th a smile meant to express senti
ment
A n so yo u s e e thou gh M ary Pierce i s
a nice good woman an plenty will ing to have
her o ld father stay wi th her my fe e li n s seeme d

t o dr aw m e here
Y ou d better shet u p now abo u t you r feel

remarke d h i s bri de am i ably
in s
a n draw

a pai l of water f o r y ou r tea
The old man g o t u p h u rrie dly and ta kin g the
empty pail t o ttered out o f the k itchen


I th o u ght said the mother as it wo u ld
b e handy to have a man abou t th e ho use I

1
u
ess
he
1
rather
more
than
earn
his
board
g
Hannah did not answer b u t to ok off her bon
net and shawl and sat down by the table
In a m o ment Mr D u dley w a s heard c r ying
for help and Hannah went hastily o u t to the
well where sh e fo u nd the old man str u ggling
in vain with the b u cket It was evident that
Hannah
h e was to o feeble to draw the water
took h i s place and perf ormed the task while he
stood by simpering out apologies
A t s u pper Mr D u dley p u shed his plate o ver
to h i s wife and asked her to c u t u p the meat
Hannah glanced up at him a n d sa w that his
han d s were trembling violently
She lo o ked
o ver at h e r mo ther and perceived a heavy fr o wn
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o n th e old wo man s br o w as she com plie d wi th
her h u sband s requ est
Hannah h u rried off to the mi ll the next
morning S he carried her di nner an d di d n o t
ret urn til l n i ght S h e looke d haggard eno u gh
as s h e ca m e i nto the kitc hen where Dea co n
D u dley sa t smok ing a pipe
H er min d had b een b usy all day wi th har ass
ing tho u ghts She remembered that M r D u d
ley was rep uted t o o wn thr ee or fo u r h u n dred
dollars
She co uld n o t do u bt her mo ther s
motiv e in m arryi ng him S he had n o ti c e d the
e v ening before that he w a s far more feeb l e than
her mother co u ld have s u pposed He w o u ld
very likely soon bec o me a b u rde n t o his new
wife What w o uld happen then and wh a t
co u ld s h e Hannah do ? She was away fro m
home twelve ho u rs a day ; what things might
happen i n twelve ho u rs
The mill wheels
gro u n d o ut this q u esti o n i n her ears T h e l oom s
and all the fly ing ma c hinery scree c hed it at her
as they kept u p the ir diabolic dance before
her eyes O ught she to expose her mo ther
W as there really anything t o exp o se ?
She looked so sallow as she came int o the
ki tchen that Mr D u dley lifting hi s head and

removing his pip e said
Hannah why do n t
yo u take some of them l ittle white p o wders
the m ar s e ni c p o wders the other girls take to

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clear their skins o ut ? Yo u r e mighty dark

complected
H annah grew gh a stly white and went thro u gh
the room and up s tairs witho u t speaking
A t s u pper Mr D u dley shoved his plate over
to Hannah and asked her to c u t u p h i s meat
Mr s D u dley contracted her brows and after a
little while remarked to her spo u se that his a p
petite seemed goo d H e smiled as he answer ed
that he generally reli shed his food
Two weeks passed and o ne day Mrs D u dley
a n no u nced her intention of visiting relatives in
Troy a town some twenty mil es distant Mr
D u dley and Patty were to go with her Han
nah sh e said might while they were go n e take
her meals at Mr s Flint s Hannah was amazed
and tro u bled by this arrangement Her mother
had never made a visit before since s h e c o u ld
remember

I think I 11 go too said Hannah

N o yo u won t
replied Mrs D u dley
shortly
I can t have yo u foolin away all
yo u r time Me an the old man 11 g o an d
Patty becau se her board t o home wo u ld cost
s uth i n ; b u t yo u can
stay an arn y o u r ow n

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Hannah nevertheless resolved to go , and
made her preparations accordingly When the
mor ning o f the intended depart u re c ame Mr s
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D u dley dis c overed her d au ght er s pl ans an d
seemed so an gry that a grea t terror fell u pon
the u nhappy girl and s h e d ared n o t go lest
s h e sho u ld only precipitate s o me dreaded catas
tr 0ph e
Perhaps she feared that sh e sho uld
draw d o wn doom o n her o w n head A t any rate
co u rage failed and s h e watched the others de
part to ta ke the cars making no f u rther a t
tempt to acc o mpany them Mr D u dley t u rned
after he had entered the road an d l ooking back
to Hannah who stood leaning on the gate
smiled and called out pleasantl y that he wished
s h e were goi n g with them
Hannah went back i nt o the ho u se and p u t
She had come t o a stern deter
on her shawl
m i nation as those three fig ures had vanishe d
from her sight She wo u ld go i nstantly to Mrs
Pierce Mr D udley s married da ughter confide
to her the whole horrible story and p u t the
matter in her hands She c o u ld go after her
father if she wished and bring him home and
henceforth take c are o f him herself Perhaps
s h e co u l d reason
away Hannah s fears Per
haps she wo u ld tell her that it was all a del u
sion Of co u rse it m u s t be del u sion What
proof was it that Mr Dean had died of poison
that his dau ghters had foun d a bottle o f ar s enic
u nder his chamber wind o w B ottles were com
m o n and arseni c was u sed to kill rats
and
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it u sed also for the complexi o n
Did
Hannah knew o ne o r
n t Mr D u dley s a y so ?
two persons who took i t i n small d o ses a s a
stim u lant Mr D u dley had a stran gely white
complexion Hannah wondered if he u sed i t
If he died and people th o u ght it was poi s o n
that k illed him of co u rse it w a s beca u se he
took those powders Hannah w as s u re he did
Oh it had a ll been a del u sion a hideo u s dream
an d sh e had dreamed i t all her life N o once
s h e had not dreamed any s u ch thing : that was
when sh e ro wed on the river with Tom F ur
ness and sa n g t o him She had not seen To m
for seven years
He w a s m ar ried He had
forgotten her A nd b u t for this fo olish wicked
dream o f horro r sh e might have been his wife
all thi s time Her mothe r wo u l d n o t do s u ch
a thing Her mother was a good woman Her
mother belonged to the ch u rc h It was s h e
Hannah s self who was very h a d indeed t o have
tho u ght o f s u ch a thing S he w o u ld go and
tell Mrs Pierce and M r s Pierce wo u ld tell
her that i t c o u ld n o t be tr u e She was s o bad
sh e
m u st be a lost so u l She w as s u re sh e
wo u ld go to hell when she died She d o ubted
whether hell wo u ld be any worse than this
S he was n t certain b u t sh e was i n hell even
now She wo uld go to Mrs Pierce and find
o u t where she was B ut perhaps Mr s Pierce

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They wr o te to Mrs D u dley a n d she c ame
home with her h u sband an d Patty The old
man w as not well and Hannah c o u ld not be
moved ; s o Mrs D u dley s time was divided b e
tween the two ho u ses which were a q u arter o f
a mile apart She gr u mbled a good d ea l at
this b u t matters gre w n o better since the sec
o n d night after their ret u rn Mr
D udley b e
came very ill His wife then ceased her com
plaints She seemed very devoted t o him She
paid M r s Flint to take the whole c are of Han
nah that she might gi v e all her time and
strength to her h u sb an d He did not improve
however and when two days later Hannah
became consciou s S u e Flint told her that her
step father w a s dead To S u e s a s tonishment
Hannah gave a shrie k and went off again int o
deliri u m
Mr D u dley h a d lain in his gr ave perhaps
two weeks when stra n ge r u mors began to cir
c ulate throu gh the village Mrs Pierce had
somehow had s uS pi ci on s of fo u l play awakene d
in her mind
One day she called at Mrs Flint s Hannah
had crawled down into the kitchen that morn
i n g and s a t there silent and wretched
Mrs
Pierce as sh e came in eyed the girl sharply
and Hannah heart sick a nd feeling sorely
stricken before Deacon D u dley s dau ghter
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dropped her eyes to the floor and after a mo
ment s pa u se rose and walking sl o wly left the
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depart u re a relief and their talk so o n
t u rned on the recent death

W ill the old woman hav e his m o ney ?
I
asked the hostess

Not if I c a n help it answered Mrs Pierce
with a darkening brow ; I don t feel very well

sati s fied abo u t my father
Was n t she kind to him
Mrs Pierce was silent Mrs Flint c ontin u ed

She s a close fiste d woman I pres u me s h e
reckoned on his money when sh e married

him

Yes and when he died said Mr s Pierce
with startling emphasis
I lie awake nights

and thi n k how he died

Why b u t he w a s an old m a n ; i t s the

co u rse o f nat u r for the old to die
Some things are in the co u rse of nat u re

ret urned the visitor
He
a n d some are not
was always worse after he d taken medicine
She did n t want me there I co u ld s e e B u t
I s a w eno ugh to know that There was sedi

ment in his medicine I s a w it once
here

h
s e checked herself
I never felt my father

a b u rden He d better h a v e s ta y e d with me

Perhaps s u ggested Mrs Flint in vag u e

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th e doc to r
horror of what s h e knew not

did n t u nderstand the case

“ I
d o n t think he did answer e d Mr s
Pierce

She is n t o v er patient
went o n Mrs
Flint who shrank from perc eiving any hidden
with people
m eaning i n her vi s itor s remarks
who can t work their way She 8 always hint
ing abo u t m y h u sband s being s u ch a trial to
me ; and s o he i s b u t I s u ppose the Lord sent

him and I m u st make the best of him
Whereat by caref u l manip u lation Mrs Pierce
dr ew o u t fro m Mrs Flint the story of that
strange remark o f the widow Dean s abo u t

stilling him down
I ve often wondered what she meant I
s uppo s e she tho u ght opi u m o r la u dan u m migh t

be good for him added the m uch tried wi fe
Mr D u dley s dau ghter felt a c old chill ru n
thro u gh her bones
Meanwhile that other dau ghter the s us
e c te d widow s child
in
the
room
above
was
p
wearily packing her fe w things t o go back
to that home of horror an d of s i n She felt
by in stinct that Mrs Pierce s s u spicion was
aro u sed an d that the secret s i n wo u ld s u rely
be ferreted o ut She wa s conscio u s o f a d reary
willingness that it sho u ld be so She lef t the
Flints that day not weeping when sh e went
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67

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b u t wi th a tearless misery i n he r eyes w h i ch
they half u nder stood and which held S u e Flint
firmly to her defense i n the days that fol
l o wed
The vi llage was soon alive with r u mor Han
nah heard i t at last with set dogged face She
fo un d herself u nder a b an The mi ll gi rls fel l
back when s h e entered the factory door and
waited below while she climbed the winding
stairs alone i n the morn ing ; and they crowded
t o gether i n the entries at night and left her to
go down the dizzy flights a cc ompanied only by
her ow n whirl ing fancies
Wh ether Mrs D udley was herself aware o f
all that was being said n o mortal ever knew
S he kept with i n doors a n d went her a c c u s
to m e d ro u nds only avoi d ing Hannah a little
S u e F li nt th o u gh friendly to Hannah shared
th e u niversal s u sp i cion o f the wid o w an d now
told that on the night man y years befo re
w he n Hetty h a d taken ref u ge at their ho u se
after be ing t u rned out o f the mill the girl had
sobbed out in her di stress that sh e was afraid
to g o h o me lest her mother sho u ld p o i son her
Mr D u dley s body was taken from the grave
and examined A deadly dr u g was fou nd in
the stomach
The afternoon that this d i s
as anno u n c ed tw o poli c e o fficers came
c o ve r
w
y
from th e neigh borin g to wn and arrested the
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The tidings o f this event were borne to H an
nah i n the mill She drew her shawl over her
head and h u rried home where s h e fo u nd a
crowd of men women and children standing i n
the yard and in the road o u tside


Here comes Hannah ! cried a small boy
who was instantly silenced by some on e
A re they going to take Hannah to o
an
other boy asked as that u nhappy creatu re
reached the gate

Do y ou know said some on e else that
to morrow the y mean to take u p old Mr Dean s
b o dy and se e what he died of ?
Hannah t u rned and faced the crowd N o ne
who stood there ever forgot the dingy labor
m a rked fig u re the white s e t face gleaming o ut
from the folds o f the dark shawl still fle cke d
with cotton from the mill or the c old hard
v oice which spoke


I think s h e said
yo u d better dig u p
all the graves in N ew B ridge and s e e what

yo u r fathers died of
It was a l u ckless speech and it t u rned away
f rom Hannah what little sympathy had already
existed for her in the village A fter that peo
ple wondered whether she were not an a c com
l
i
ce
i
n
her
mother
s
crime
Poor
Hannah
had
p
in her half di strac ted brain o ften w o ndered the
s am e th ing
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A fter

69

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speak i ng to the cro w d Hannah walked
q u ickly into the ho u se and fo u nd her mother
perfectly composed b u t loweri ng and dark of
aspe c t
She was gathering together a fe w
things to take with her Patty lay sobb i ng on
the floo r A c onstable stood at each door
H annah assisted her mother and when all was
r eady o ff ered t o go w i th her Mrs D u dley r e
f u sed t o allow her
When the wido w appeared i n the yard a
neighbor Deacon B urrill stepped forward and


spoke to her
I m very sorry he said b u t
I g u ess it 11 all co me o ut right and we 11 be

glad t o see yo u back again

answered the w idow
Fo r forty years
I ve been a member of the ch u rch here and

I m as i nnocent as a babe u nborn
One half grown girl gave a hysteri c al s ob ;
o therwise all was entirely qu iet as M rs D u d
l ey walked thro u gh the c rowded yard Patty
had stayed i n the ho u se Hannah foll o wed her
mother s tottering steps t o the c o vered carriage
which waited i n the road
Dea c on B u rrill
he l ped the wid o w t o enter The co nstables got
i n after her
The carri age d r o v e away and the deacon
walked with Hannah bac k to the k itchen doo r
She wou ld not let h i m enter w i th her and when
s h e had g o ne i n herse l f he heard her look the
door behin d her
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The men and women looked angrily at h i m
as he came back among them and some of the
boys hissed That night a mob of lads h u ng
D eacon B u rrill in effigy before his o wn gate
The next day Mr Dean s body was d i si n
te r r e d and fearf u l things were said describing
what was fo u nd It was horrible to Hannah to
kn ow that c urio u s hands had torn open that
r
ave
and
rifled
it
o f its hideo u s se c ret
S
he
g
went at night to the grave yard and gro v eled
for ho u rs o v er the mo u nd which had been h as
tily piled again and smo o thed with her b ar e
han ds the carelessly heaped earth
The trial c ame at l a st Hannah and Patty
Hetty
s a t thro u gh it all by their mother s side
did not come into the c o u rt room Hannah
firmly forbade her and sh e w as only to o willing
to escape the p u blic i gnom i ny of bein g seen
there


Keep yo u r wife away said Hannah to
Frank Cotter
Keep away yo u rself Yo u
can do no good there People wo u ld only stare
at Hetty beca u se sh e has been talked abo u t i n
i t yo u kno w that sh e w as afraid o f her m o ther
when sh e married yo u A nd when s h e re ad in
the paper that mother was arrested s h e c ried

alo u d They v e fo u nd her out at last ! and
fainte d Th at s t old al l o ver N ew Bri dge Is

i t tru e ?
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abolished i n the S tate and M r s D u dley was
sentence d to imprison m ent for life
The e vidence had been only circ u mstanti a l
b u t very strong a g ai n st the widow The a t
tempt failed o n the part of the defense to prove
that Mr D u dley killed himse lf by an accidenta l
overdose of arsenic which it was asserted h e
took habit u ally as a stim u lant The habit w a s
n o t even concl u sively shown to have existed
H annah and Patty had both been p u t on the
stand as witnesses b u t fort unately for them
neither had seen or known p o sitively anything
abo u t the matter
Hannah ret u rned to her work i n the mill
Patty did m u ch of the ho u sework an d what
was beyond her limited powers Hannah per
formed a t n ight after her toil in the factory
was over V isitors had always been rare at thi s
hou se N ow no neighbor ever called S u e
Flint was still friendly when sh e happened to
meet Hannah b u t s h e never came to s e e the
sisters Hannah left off goi n g t o ch u rch and
this fact was u nfavora bly commented on Patty
ceased her crooni n g abo u t the ho u se and when
her work w as done wo u ld si t motionless u po n
the door sill throu gh the long s u mmer days
She always brightened when Hannah came
h o me b u t it w as with only a faint ill u m ination
of her d arkened spirit
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E very

mo nth the two sisters went t o the
s tate prison and s a w their m o ther They car
ried her food in s u ch q u antities that in all the
y e ars that sh e remained there s h e was very lit
tle dependent on the p ri son fare The warde n
allo wed the ol d woman s o me privileges on a c
cou nt o f her age S he was never obliged to
wear the priso n dress and her da u gh ters al ways
clothed her They even d i d her washing and

kept her s u pplied with white freshly done
up
caps A t the intercession of some pers o ns
o f i nfl u ence
wh o m Hannah intereste d in the
case Mrs D u dley was permitted t o have a r ock
ing chair i n her cell The girls wanted t o take
her a feather bed b u t this w a s considered too
great a l ux u ry and sh e w a s not allo w ed to have
it She never worked wi th the rest of the fe
m al e prisoners b u t was given yarn to knit in
h e r o wn cell into stock ings for the o ther co n
vi c ts One o f her j ailers said she showed her
passion fo r acqu isition by stealing and se c reting
She a l
i n her bed great b u nches of this yarn
ways mai ntained that sh e w a s innocent Some
times even n o w Hannah half b elieved that she
was so
The ch u rch at Ne w Bridge dro pped Mr s
D u dley s name from the roll o f i ts membership
The charge of her s o u l s salvation thenceforth
devo lved on the state pris o n chaplain and chan ce
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vi sito rs o r preachers a t the j ail B u t Hann a h
never delegated to a n y other individ u al the car e
of her mother s person The old w oman always
received her dau ghters when they visited her
with a certain d r y dignity s u c h as she seemed
to co nsider befitting her inj u red inno c ence She
might be i n a prison cell b u t sh e never fo r got
that s h e w as a persec u ted marty r and i n a
squ alid s o rt o f fashion she w as a state ly one
One evening in the September afte r Mrs
D u dley s trial Patty left the h o u se after s u ppe r
for a stroll across the meadows and down to the
river one of whose many c u rves brou ght it back
o f their ho u se Hannah s a t q u ite idle in the
fast falling twilight The kitchen d o or st ood
open befo re her The l o n g faint lig ht streamed
in an d fell abo u t her She wore her dark fac
to ry gown H er hair generally twisted tight
from her face was this night p u shed loosely
back Her hands lay clasped i n h e r lap No t
be au tif u l s h e looked yet s u rely n o t u n lov ely
for the stern mo u th was sof tened and the hard
eyes were almost dreamy
S u ddenly she became aware that th e r o om
was darkened and looki n g u p sh e s a w that a
man sto od i n the door way and sh u t out th e
light
A mo m e nt she stared bewildere d and the n
s h e saw that he held in his arms a little ch i ld
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SA INT

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75

.

m o ment m ore an d she kn ew that Tom F u r
ness stood before her She did not m o ve o nly
sa t and gazed
The man s lips trembled and some strange
emot i on flickered o ver hi s face as he sa w this
silent woman wh o s a t in hi s Hannah s place
Then he slowly walked a c ross the r oo m an d
laid the sleeping child i n her lap She looked
at it an d she lo o ked at him w i ldly and then she
g athered the little o ne close to her heart
Tom leaned over her an d p u t his hand o n her
sh o u lder and felt her tremble u nder his t o u c h

Hannah he said at length I have gu ess ed
it a ll n o w and know why yo u sent me away ;
b u t yo u sho u ld have t o ld me and I wo u ld have
sto o d by y ou I was m a d and pro u d and in my
madness and pride I married — a woman wh o
drank herself to death My boy is a sickly li t
tle fe llo w and I v e br o ught h i m i n my arms
all the way to ask y ou to take h i m and take

care of him
A so u nd o f sobb ing filled the dreary o l d
kitchen A ll the sorrow and remorse and do u bt
and fear of seven years w a s to ld ; b u t after the
sto rm cam e q u iet an d the pr om ise of peac ef ul
days
N ew B ridge gossi p bu sied itsel f greatly o ver
the m arri age of T o m F u rness to Hannah Dean
People wondere d that he dared marry in to a
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SA INT

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family which had proved so fatal to h u sb ands
b u t of co u rse some fragments of the t r u e story
were br u ited abo u t and helped to resto re a
kindly feeling towards Hannah amo n g her neigh
bors
They s a w also h o w motherly sh e was
with Tom s child and h o w well cared for the
boy was and perceiv i ng these things Ne w
Bridge grew friendl y again and began to b e
lieve i n Hannah
She left the mill and entered u po n a q u iet
ho u sehold l ife She missed at first th e c ease
less whir o f the m achinery It was so still at
home sh e s aid she co u ld n ot think ; b u t she
so o n came to fee l this stillne ss broken only by
Patty s croon which so u nded ag a i n and by the
sweet la u gh o f Tom s child to be a blessed
thing
Tom and his wife were nat u rally very ordi
nary pe o ple and had they married i n their first
yo u th wo u ld u ndo u btedly have settled into a
m ost h u mdr u m life B u t they had both lived
thro u gh sa d and dark experiences which made
every commonplace incident and detail of their
married days an inexpressible relief and pleas
u re a n d th u s they had come t o kn o w the deeper
meaning of tr i fle s
He never shirked his part in her s a d ministry
t o her m other b u t s h e wo u ld never let him go
th he r and Patty to the prison
They c on
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tinned the i r v is i ts there b u t they always went
alone
N either Tom n o r Tom s boy wo uld
Hannah permit to be seen with them on these
occasions when all wh o s a w them wo u ld r e
member the i r disgrace
W inter and s u mmer wore away and st ill
Mrs D udley sat in her white walled cell the
etern al knittin g i n her hand the small bright
eyes ever fixed u pon the d o or ; ten years were
told and nev e r a c onfessi o n of gu i lt w as drawn
f rom her
There w as one lady who vi sited the pri son
who took a g reat interest in Mrs D u dley and
believed her to be innocent ; and feeling als o
that a priso n cel l was a dreary abode for a
woman nearly eighty y ears old s h e made many
e ff orts and at last obtained a pardon for her
Those persons wh o had testified against Mrs
D udley at the trial at first opposed her ret u rn
to N ew Bridge They said they feared her
revenge an d a ll the old s u spici on that had been
l ulled s o long woke again and people lo o ked
c oldly as ever o n T o m F u rness and his wife
It w as a bitter time for those two They sent
R obert away o n a visit that he at least might
b e shielded from all this evi l speaking

Oh To m
cried H annah once I ought
never t o ha ve m arri e d y o u to b r ing this on
y ou
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H e sm il ed sadly yet tenderly
It i s har d
Hannah b u t we 1! weather it an d if they get
the ol d woman pardoned we 11 take her and go
West where nobody will ever kn o w It 8
clear in my mind that it will do no harm for
her old as sh e is to come o u t o f j ail A nd
we 11 n ever think of the past We 11 think
instead that her m ind has been si c k all her
l ife and that s h o w s h e came to b e as sh e is
Indeed I don t think sh e w a s bo rn wi th a well

so u l
So Mrs D u dley in her trembling ol d age
came back to the home she h a d po ll u ted and
which grew sa d again when she ente red it
P atty shr ank a little from this dark helpless
woman She had entirely forgotten that
ol d
her mother had ever been there before having
n ow f o r several year s had no ideas connected
and
w ith her except the prison associations
s h e w as bewildered to see her in the ho u se
R obert stayed all this while at Frank and
Hetty Cotter s b u sy and happy among the ir
n u mero u s brood

If mother does n o t l iv e very long said
Hannah Ro bert shall never come home wh i le

she is here He shall never s e e her
It seemed at fi r st a s if the old wom a n w o u ld
die very soon b u t under the thou ghtf u l care
they g ave her s h e rallied a little and w as som e
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I never got religion sh e said
b u t it
seems to me a s if God sent me messages by
these pretty thing s out d oors telling me as He
had forgive me and te ll i ng m e too not to

worry s o m u ch
Mrs D u dley had been at home a fortnight
when a longing woke within her to go again to
the village ch u rch where sh e had once been a
constant attendant She was sh ocked beca us e
Tom and Hannah did n ot go t o ch u r ch an d
q u er u lo u sly reproved them


We will go w ith yo u answered Hannah
w ith a patient smile

If y ou went to ch u rch regu lar said M r s

D u dley
may be the Lord wo u ld give yo u
freedom from the b o ndage of s i n like as He 8

given it to me
A s she spoke Tom remembered th e s u per
s ti ti o us belief o f s o me religio u s fanatics
that
they were so i n timately associated by g race
w ith God s g race that they c o u ld do no wr ong
and he wondered whether Mrs D u dley were
not u n der the infl u ence of this idea Perhaps
s h e had believed that whatever annoyed her
annoyed God also a nd it was lawf u l for her to
p u t it away Was this the explanation of her
constant assertion of inn o cence
Tom w as too pro u d j u st then to borrow a
horse and car ri a ge o f any of the neighb o rs t o

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81

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carry to ch u r c h the feeble old c onvi c t S o
when S unday came he took a small wagon
which he had obtained somewhere set an arm
chair i n it and placed therein the old woman
Hannah and Patty walked along the sidewalk ;
Tom went between the shafts and dre w th e
wagon himself
Thro u gh the S u nday q u iet of the v illage
street they passed u nder the arching elms and
the straight fair maples and they pau sed at
len gth before the old white c h u rch Silently
T o m l fted M r s D u dley o u t and Hannah s u p
i
ported her up the steps Their faces were s e t
and pale b u t hers was fl u shed and it trembled
a little w i th the helpless q u iver o f old age
They led her in to the seat to which she had
formerly been acc u stomed and they s a t d o wn
by her
She stared abo u t her a moment then fixed
her eyes on the minister and the old pecu liar
S u nday look which Hannah had known fro m
childhood stole over her face
She rigidly maintained this appearance of
devotion t o the end o f the service G od only
knows what were the tho u ghts o f any one of
that strange family gro u p He knows also
whether the sort of pio us feel ing which Mrs
D u dley m anifested from her earliest to her
latest days was p u rely ass u med or whether it
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S INNER

.

aro se from s o me real germ of goo d i n her ill
born and s i n distorte d so u l
Thr o u gh the long morn i ng se rvi ce wi th the
sweet so u nds of nat u re stealing i n thro ugh the
open windows Mrs D u dley kept he r plac e
She sat among her life l o ng neighbors and they
gazed o n her fearf u lly The mark of C ai n w a s
b u t her c hildren faithft s ur
o n her brow
ro unded her and it may be God h ad n o t q uite
forsaken her
The next day o n e of the ch u rch membe rs
m e t T o m F urness and t o ld him with a not
u nnat u ral disg u st that great di ssatisfaction w a s
felt at Mrs D u dley s appearance in the ho u se
of God
It dist u rbed the c ongregati o n and i t
m u st not happen again
A savage light gleamed for an insta nt in
Tom s eyes then he spoke qu ietly : Very well,
I don t think m u ch o f yo u r religi o n b u t I
tho u ght the partic ular b o ast of yo u r ch u rch w as
that i t preached a gospel fit for sinners and

powerfu l to save them
S o the qu aint procession never reappeared i n
the streets of N ew B ridge an d the sinner came
no more to the ho u se of penitence and prayer
A little longer Mrs D u dley lingered on the
threshold o f the grave A few more s u nny days
a nd long still evenings remained for her ; for
Hannah and her h u sband yet a little more pa
ti e n ce and silent pain and then the end came
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SA IN T

0B

S INNER

.

N o confessi o n passe d Mrs D u dley s lips

S he
sank i n to a sort o f st u por and died q u ietly at
last They were a ll there : Frank and Hetty
Cotter Tom Hannah and Patty When the
wretched life was fairly gone Tom drew a long
free breath and lifted his head like a man who
throws down a great b u rden E a c h person save
Hannah whose head was bowed in her han ds
t u rned and looked strangely at the o thers
Death had s e t the livi n g free an d a great w on
der a great s o rr o w and a great ex u ltation were
all w ritten for a m oment in those blanched
faces N o on e spoke till Tom c ro ssed o ver and

la i d his han d on Hannah s sho u lder
Dear

said he
it is o ver now We wi l l send fo r
R obert and ta k e P atty an d m o ve s o m e where

far fr o m h ere
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L U K E G A RDI N E R S L O VE

E DEN

.

step father Johnny Ro nian d i d n o t
fav o r her keeping company with L u ke Gar
diner so he made u p a story o u t of a q u arrel
he had had with the yo ung man and on e morn
ing when she was on her way t o the mill he
t old her that yo u ng Gardiner said he wo u ld n t
have anything t o d o with her even if her family
asked him
Poor little E den believed the lie and w a s very
angry a nd v ery m u ch h u rt She was glad to be
released from her ta sk w hen something abo u t
the machinery needed repairing in the co u rse
o f the forenoon and to escape i n to a long gal
l ery formed by a bridge i n the air conne c ting
two of the mill b u ildings S he p u t her aching
head o u t o f a little windo w O u t d oo r s o u nds
m u sical and spring like cam e to her ears She
co uld see on the other side of the me rri ly fl ow
ing river the little ho u se where L u ke Gardiner
liv ed It had been his home when he w as a
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L UK E GA RD INE R S L O VE

85

.

child and he and s h e had played together r o u nd
the door step of u nhewn stone and had fished
and wade d i n the s hallow waters near by where
the pi c kerel weed grew L u ke had ki ssed her
when he and his m o ther had said good bye and
move d away from Blackbird Hollo w She r e
membered the ki ss now wit h a smile and a
pang D u ring L u ke s absence he had learned
to be a machini s t an d o n his ret u rn at the last
Christmas time he had established his mother
again in the old cottage h ome The intimacy
with E den had been renewed and had soon
taken u pon itself a character of fitful tender
ness m u ch interfered with by the step father s
viol ent Opposition and the girl s ow n light
headed tendency to flirt w ith other men
R onian had several reasons for disliki n g the
yo u ng m an chief among which was the fact
that althou gh E nglish by blood L uke who
was of A merican b irth consorted with the
A mericans It was soon after the Know N oth
i ng times and R onian hated the Yankees as
cordially as b e s u pposed they hated his race
Besides neither he nor the girl s m o ther wanted
her to marry any on e since if sh e did they
co u ld no longer c ontrol her wages
A s E den lingered at the windo w some o n e
came behind and lightly kissed her cheek The
o ffender an overseer named Joe Glan c y had
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L U K E GA R D INER S L O VE

86

.

some ado to appease her b u t he finally s uc
c e e d e d i n m a ki n g her la u gh

That s right he said then
A nd now
we r e friendly look here I s a w these t other
day an thinking how awf u l pretty y o u d loo k

in em I bo u ght em
He sh o wed her a pair of t i nsel ear ri n gs
am ong the first man u fact u red of the sort of j ew
destined
to
captivate
the
fancy
of
her
class
e lr
y

Oh h s h e sighed they r e j u st like Kate
M cC a n n a h s ! N 0 they r e prettier ! B u t I

c an t take em Thank yo u j u st the same

Think how b e com i n they d be he u rged

The boys w o u ld all be r un n i n after y ou

The boys r u n after me now she said
w ith a la u gh
You r e afraid o f what L u ke Gardiner d
3 along of him
h
sa
It
A
in
t
as
amed
o
u
y
y
This to u ched the sore spot i n her little heart

It ain t a long of him sh e cried
A n I 11

take em to prov e it Mr Glancy
There was a greedy gloat in his eyes as she
fastened on the ornaments tossed her he a d and
marched away witho u t another word
E den fo u nd her mother crying when she went
home that night They lived u ps tairs in what
was called the St o ne ho u se a b u ilding which
stood at o n e end of the bri d ge ac r o ss the river
Luke s c ottage w as o n the opp osite b ank
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L U K E G A R D INER S L O VE

88

.

b ub b l ing u ncanny lau gh as she t u rned to the
The soft western breeze blew
o p en wind o w
her short reddish hair over her fore head Sh e
to ok a small bl u e shawl from a ch a ir a nd with
a s w ift gliding step el u di n g her sister s gra sp
as E den came from the closet darted past the
others and fled from the ro o m

There groaned Mrs R onian she s go ne
an night comin on an oh there 8 plenty of
harm as ca n happen to a gi rl like her — a n
s h e d go any
sh e s that c razy after m oney

where w ith any on e as o ffered her ten cents
E den hastened after the child
Som e on e
told her Flit had crossed th e river and s h e
followed th ink ing that s h e s a w a sprite like
form pass L u ke s ho u se She went thither and
p u shed O pen the door
L u ke sitting within
started to see that fig u re s tandi n g on h i s thresh
o ld the s u nset color all abo u t i t
His mother
a small fin e faced old E nglishwoman looked
u p from the table on which s h e leaned her e l
b o ws
Why E den is it yo u
I m tru ly glad to

s e e yo u

Yo u r e kind to say that answered E den

with dr o oping eyes
A n h ow are y ou ?
Oh j u st coom for ta b l e n o w ; naethin g t o

g r oom b le at said Mr s Gardiner cheeril y
Y ou r he alth is better than it was
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L

GA RD INER S L O VE

UK E

89

.

A h that changes l ike al l else naeth i ng to

m
b
l
r
at
Coom
in
o
o
e
g
N
said E den still speaking rather softl y
I cannot sto p now I m lookin for Flit an

I s a w her here as I come over the bridge
I saw s um m un a s py i n in at the window a


said Mrs Gardiner b u t the
m om un t gone
face j u st vanishe d like the lady I seen i n my

dream l ast night
E den t u rned away and L u ke followed

I d liefer go al o ne she said

B u t I d liefer go with y o u
She was angry with him for what sh e tho ught
he had said abo u t her ; b u t s h e c o u ld n o t help
being glad to walk beside h i m S o they wen t
on
together thro u gh the deepening twiligh t
No w and then they tho u ght they s a w Flit glid
i ng ro u nd some corner o r darting into some
shadow They stopped at o ne or two ho u ses t o
i nqu ire
They glanced i nto the groc ery and
fearfu lly peered into r um sh O ps

L et s go to the ch u rch sa i d E den ; s h e s

s o religio u s she may be there
In Mr Comstock s sittin g r oom several per
s o ns sat ar o u nd a table which s u ppo rted two oi l
l amps A dru gget cru mb—
cloth of an u gly pat
tern co vered part o f the i n grai n carpet on the
floor A cu pb o ard of shelves sh u t into the wal l
by a glass doo r serve d as a b oo k c ase Here
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L U K E GA R D INER S L O VE

90

.

stood a l ong row of leather bo u nd vol u mes let

Piety Promoted
Beside them w a s
te r e d
the Book of Discipline o f the S ociety of Friends
On the shelf below m i ght be fo und Mrs Cha

pone s Letters indorsed on the fly leaf with
a re co mmendati o n in stilted phrases wri tten by
Mrs C omstock s father There were other old

books a n d two new ones
U ncle Tom s



Cabin and The Wide Wide World
There were n o pict u res on the b u ff walls of
this room b u t in the u nlighted p a rlors beyond
h ung an e ngraving of C or r e g gi o s Holy Night
and some portraits in oval gilt frames of Wm
Lloyd Garrison Wendell Phillips and Theo
dore Parker
Plenty of children inhabited this ho u se b u t
they were all in bed since s u nset according to
the family c u sto m at on c e healthf u l for the
yo u ngs ters and pleasant to th e eld ers

Mr Comsto c k w as reading the Lib e rator
He held the paper s o that his w ife co uld see
A Covenant with De ath
p lainly the words

A n A g reement
the rest was o ut of sight
Mrs Comstock was sewing She wore a gown
of
semi reli g io u s fashion which h a d been
stripped o f the sweet qu aintness of the Q u aker
style a n d had n ot gained a n y worldly grace
instead thereof She had a seri o u s face a nd a b
stracted eyes
N ear her sat Miss F i rth the
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L UKE

92

G A RD INER S LO VE

.

H e handed her a coin She sprang l ike a
panther to take it and cried
Please give me

another ! I want on e so bad
A t that moment the do o r bell rang cl early
and E den was s oon u s hered into the roo m
Is

my little sister here ? asked she
Flit spran g to her l a u ghed j oyfull y an d
g rasped her hand

S o me children explained E den told me

they th o u ght they se e her c ome i n here
Mrs Comstock took the sisters to the d oo r
where L u ke stood waiting and expressed a
k indly hope that Flit might not be p u nished
for her escapade She went b a ck with a

thou ghtf u l brow Miss Firth w as saying
I
s u ppose perfect liberty o f action is u nd o ubt
e dl
best
for
the
d
evelopment
o f children with
y

pec u liar idiosyncrasies
Mrs Comstock slowly folded u p her w o rk f o r
the night considering this proposition while
u ncle John s benignant fac e grew serio u s a s he
said that the i n trod u ction o f foreigners among
th e O peratives had q u ite changed th e con d i
tions of life in N ew E ngland and see m ed likely
to i n volve serio u s conseq u ences
Lu ke left the girls at their o u tside d oo r A s
they mo u nted the stairs they were terrified by
the noises that c ame from above b u t they went
o n and u p t o their mother s kitchen
Ro nian
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L UKE G A R DINER S L O VE

93

.

stood i n the middle o f the flo o r i n a d runken
f u ry H e seized Flit and str u ck her heavy
blo w s acc u sing her of having stolen money
from him She r u shed behind E den and that
attra c ted h i s attention to her H e r s u n bo nnet
had fallen ba ck and he s a w her ear rings H e
c a u ght hold o f them savagely
Where did yo u get the m ? he demanded
Yo u stol e the money yo u rself and bo ught
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9

The mother ru shed forward b u t he p u she d
the girl to wards the door wi th his hands an d
feet ra ging and swearing She st u mbled and
staggered a moment be fore him , then sprang
erect l ike a flame took Flit s hand and fled
wi th her down i nto the dark street
Mr s Ronian tried to follow b u t her h u sband


held her b ack
Go to bed he said ; let the
brats have a taste of the nigh t air t o coo l e m
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o ff


.

Hand in hand the sisters r an til l th e y n early
knocked against a girl who had j u st bo u nced
down an out d o or stair case l eading from the
second sto ry of o ne o f the factory te nement
ho u ses



H o llo
sai d this girl ro u ghly ;
what s
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p

u

0

Katy gasped E den an d then told the i r

sto r y Kate McC a n n a h l a ughed
Bah said
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L UKE

94

GA RD INER S LO VE

.

she let h i m alone He s f u ll o f ru m Com e

home with me
Glad of any shelter the o u tcasts cl i mbed the
stairs with the g i rl In the kitchen above
they fou nd Kate s sisters Ro sa and lame L u cy
and their father Kindly greetings were
changed and L u cy hobble d abo u t and got
every body tea in bowls and cracked c u ps
A fterwards the girls went up to the attic It
w a s a large u nfinished garret in the middle
o f which sto o d a low b edstead A c o u ple of
c alico qu ilts were thro wn in a heap i n on e
c orner of the room S o me d resses d angl ed fr om
n ails st u ck i n the rafters
A broken chair an d
two boxes co mpleted the f u rnishing of the room
Kate sa t down on the bed and kicked he r
heels together


Three in a bed is a tight fit sh e said

How abo u t five
I ll lie across the foot
Flit cu rled herself up among the q u ilts on

the floor
I m all right here s h e said “ y ou

o thers can take th e bed
She lay motionless while th e gi rls told thei r

beads
Say yo u r prayers Flit u rged E den


b u t the child did not move
By and by
sh e said and E den went sleepily t o her small
port i on of the u neven co u ch When a ll was
q u iet Flit stole to the wind ow The moo n w as
rising She drew from her breast a ro sary and

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L UKE

96

GA R DINER S LO VE

.

her from Gardiner s l ook and word The over
seer lightly linked h i s arm i n hers and r u shed
her u p the remaining steps wh i le the b a fli e d
yo u ng machinist t u rned down with a fa ce gro wn
grey and stern
So thing s gre w worse between these tw o
L uke and E den for when he went h o me that

night he heard more gossip
Flit w a s h a d
said his m other an E den had t ook e r part
an b oth h a d been t urned o u t o f doors in the
night A n R onian was goin to send an ofli ce r
after the g i rls that day b u t the rhe u matics
got i m an e was in bed a n the m o ther wo u ld
not stir to get the officer A n E den a d said

everywhere as sh e w o u ld n t go home
The e veni n g was clo u dy a n d darkness settled
arly o v er the village and over the swampy
shallows of the mill pond where the o pal colors
o f the s u nset were wont to lie reflected fo r long
ho u rs between lily pads and pi c kerel weed
Flit mean w hile made her escape from L u cy s
c areless g u ardianship and roamed at will ab o u t
the darkening streets She fo u nd L uke on the
bridge gloo m ily staring into the black slippery
flood She slid up to h i m and to u ched his arm
He t u rned saying bl u ntly f o r th e c h ild s n o ise
less ways m a de him nervo u s

What do yo u want now ?
She looke d her hands aro u nd h is arm an d

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L UKE G A RD INER S L O VE

97

.

looke d u p i n his fac e
Dear L uke s h e said
I lo v e yo u B u t 0 L u ke I wish yo u d give

me some m o ney

Why don t yo u go h ome ? asked he

He d beat me said she
Oh he d beat
me I don t think my mother wo u ld b u t he
wo u ld Next week E den says she 11 take m e
t o W oo ns ocket an I n her 11 l iv e there to

gether

That wo n t do m u ttered the yo u ng m an
He t o ok the child s hand
Come g o b ack


with m e an stay with E den to night
When they were near Mc C a n n a h s ho u se
Flit p u lled L u ke o ut of the ro a d



C o me with me s h e plead ed ; d o dear

L u ke
He went with her into the shadow of
a little bl uff behind the ho u se The pines o f
the original forest crowned the s u mmit and b e
low some la u rel b u shes shaded the spot where
the child pau sed


I want t o sa y my prayers here sh e said

they r e s o noisy in there
Kneeli ng s h e glanced u p to the clo u de d sky
It was s o dark he c o u l d not well s e e the little
pale face wi th the strange perfectly shaped
eyes ; bu t it seem e d to him he saw it as s h e
went on
A n do yo u kn o w what I will pray ? It 8
what I m w i sh i n all the time that I wa s in
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L UKE GA R D INER S L O VE

98

.

heaven L uke where I d never be sick any

more
When her prayers were done he led her to
th e ho u se ; then he went back and hid amon g
the la u rel b u shes He had seen a shadow cross
on e o f the u pper wind o ws and h ad re co gniz ed
G la n cy s fig u re
S ome time before th i s Ed en came b ack from
an errand
Where s Flit ? was her first q u estion

Gone to bed sai d L u cy who w as pla c idly
sewing and had not noticed the girl s absence
McC a n n a h tilted his c hair smoked h i s pipe and
O pened and sh u t his eyes at intervals
E den
tossed down her bonnet and t u rned ro u nd glow
ing t o meet Kate and R osa who came in with
Joe Glancy and they all r u shed wild ly into th e
other room Joe c au ght Kate aro u nd the waist
She p u shed him O E and he st u mbled and pre
tended to fall Two o ther girls b u rst in and
j oined in m aking a h ubb ub The old m an got u p
from his chair and walked in fro m the kitchen
If yo u break the lamp y ou shan t have

another ! he growled

A ll right said Joe ; I lo v e t o set in th e
dar
M c C a n n a h started to take away the lamp a t
on ce as an economical pre c a u tion ; b u t L u c y
laid a hand on h i s arm
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L UKE

1 00

G AR D INER S L O VE

.

Drink ! c ried Joe or we 11 thi n k yo u v e
gone over to the Yankee te m p r a n c e folks like

L u ke Gardiner
She seemed to hear the name as if it were
sho u ted across r u shing waters ; then she drained
the glass to ssed it to J oe and threw herself into
a chair and leaned back a moment while the
red blood rose again to her cheeks and a dizzy
smile came to her lips
L u ke waited o u tside till the ho u se d oo r
O pened and several fig u res r u shed do w n the
stairs
Kate and L u c y t ook E den between them and
walked her swiftly forward
L u ke followed
and perceived her condit ion U n u se d to liqu or
that on e glass h a d been s ufficient to u pset her ;
b u t Joe ha d f o rced her to dri n k another and
now she did n o t know where s h e went or what
she did or said Joe led the way and when
they c ame to the door o f a little grog sho p he
stopped and u rged them to come in Kate was
q u ite ready b u t L u cy h u ng back

You go h o me J o e s h e said
an sh e 11 be
all ri ght soon It ul d be a shame t o get he r in

there

Oh y ou he growled ; yo u talk
Then
he stooped a n d whisper ed i n her ear S he drew
he r b reath sh u dderi ngly twisted her finge rs a n d
sai d
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L UKE

G A RD INER S

L O VE

1 01

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right ; let 3 go in
J o e ca u ght hold of E den and p u lle d her for
ward ; b u t L u ke r u shed u pon him from behind
the girls kn o cked him down an d stood over h i m
li ke a ro ugh St George
L u cy gave a little cry the others s c reamed
then giggled S ome men came out of the sa
l oo n

For God s sake sai d Gardiner take that

gi rl home to her mother
For a moment no on e spoke ; then L u cy said
N o if sh e went home n o w they d beat her to
d eath ; b u t I pr o mise y o u L uke s h e shall stay

safe with me all night
Gl ancy w a s slowly reco v eri n g fr o m the s tu
r engendered by his fall and str u ggled u nde r
o
p
L uke s feet and fists The girls slipped away
T hen Gardiner defied the whole crowd of men
l et Joe g o and backed off till he had made s u re
that he wou ld not be p u rs u ed when he t u rned
and ran after E den and her co mpani o ns A t
the foot o f the stair case leading to the Mc C a n
nah tenement he too k L u cy by the sho ulders
and l o oked threatenin gly down thr o u gh the
darkness into her eyes


L uke said sh e
d on t b e t o o hard o n
E den D o n t fr et her and make her mad It s
c om fo r ti n that a g i rl needs s o metimes t o m ake

her go od

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L UKE G A R D INER S L O VE

1 02

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night lo n g Gardiner s a t on the steps
and g u arded the approach to the ro o ms abo ve
When the dawn reddened over the facto ry roofs
he rose and staggered to the river bank thre w
himself on the gro u nd and stared into the stream


“ If I
o
d
he said alo u d I d b e
w as G
as hamed to let a girl like tha t get — spo iled
If H e 8 a good God I sho u ld think He d do

s o mething I wo u ld if I w a s Him
He threw some pebbles i n the water Th ey
broke the shin i ng s u rface into glancing circli n g
ripples He seemed to s e e E den s face floati ng
dead on the swift c u rrent He raised h is eyes

t o the pallid heavens and said
If yo u won t

save her God I will
It sh o wed that E den w as somewhat d e m or a l
i z e d that s h e made no effort to r i se that morn
ing and go t o her work Ro sa and Kate M c
C a n n a h depa rted leavi n g her asleep and L u cy
locked Flit into the ki tchen while sh e went out
on
an errand
The chi ld not likin g to be
imprisoned dropped thro u gh the window on to
th e stair case and walked o ff with h e ad erect
Her mother s a w her pass the Stone h o use and
leaned out of the casement t o call

Flit Fli t come home ! We ve f o und the

m o ney an yer father won t beat you

Flit rais ed her long eye lashes
I 11 come

b y and by
I m goin to ch u rch n o w ; and
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L UKE

1 04

G A RD INER S

L O VE

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over her own bea u
ty She arran g ed her
d ress and ran down stairs singing at the t o p o f
her vo i ce :

ul te d

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Ne lly

la d y
L a s t n ig h t sh e d i e d
T oll toll th e b e ll for l ove ly Ne ll

My d a rk Vi rg i ni a b ri d e
wa s a

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A s she entered the ki tchen L u cy lo oked u p

from the stove to s a y F l it s got away again

Oh cr i ed E den I m afrai d R onian ill
get hold of her I m u st go after her Dear
h o w hot the s un is l
She went out and when sh e reached the
foot of the staircase L u ke Gardiner fl ung him
self d own from the pine c o vered b l ufl and sto od
before

I ve been w a i ti n for y ou he said
I got
C ome
off w o rk t o day o n p u rpose to see yo u

o ver by the tren c h an let me talk with you
She hesitated then said Well y o u g o first

I ll follow
A few min u tes later L u ke s a t waiting on a
big stone close to the water s edge Wide open
meadows stretched behind him and at a little
d istance some fine oaks shaded the r i v er in to
which the trench emptied The yo ung man s
temper was changed si n ce m orning He n o
longer felt defiant b u t prayerf u l — prayi n g G o d
to help h i m save the girl he loved
for he did
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L UKE

G A RD INER S L O VE

1 05

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l ove her still and when at last he s a w the lit
tle fig u re coming towards him thro u gh the
warm s u nlight the s a d p a le face looked s o
lovely to h i m that his heart yearned to meet
her

There s the same alder b u sh
he s a id
l ooking u p
that w a s here when we was little
children D o y o u mind h o w we had a play
that the fai ries dan c ed in its branches at night ?
A nd look at that bird s nest D o y ou want
it ?
He spoke softly as if no t ro uble weighed on
the mind of either
S o me ho rrible weight
seemed to r oll off E den s brain and she felt old
mem o ri es rise in her heart and rest o re there a
sense of childish innocence

N ot u nless i t 8 empty sh e said leaning
o ver the water to lo o k into the little swinging
cradle H e knelt beside her and rea c hed f o r
the nest and when he p u t it in her fingers he
looked straight i n her eyes S he sank on the
grass and for a m o ment nothing o u tside them
sel ves seemed nearer to them than the sk y
T hen he spoke
Can t I help y o u som e how ? Wh e n y ou
w a s a little girl a n fell d own I picked y o u u p
It h u rt me more n i t h u rt yo u I feel j u st the
same now Yo u r e in tro u ble
you r e i n
the way o f m o re tr oubl e Y ou m u st kn o w it
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L UKE G A R DINER S L O VE

1 06

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i s n t a good thing fo r y ou to be at Mc C a n n a h s

h o u se


Yes L uke I know she sai d s obb ing bu t
Ro nian drove u s o ut in the night an we h ad

an Kate was good to u s
to go somewheres


Ye s said he e agerly
b ut
s h e is kin d
c an t yo u go somewheres else n o w ? I don t
speak for myself d ear th o I love yo u s o m u ch
b u t I know abou t Joe Glancy and L u cy an
why he s s o thi ck with all them girls It ain t
a fit place f o r y ou S ay my mother will take
yo u to a c o usin of hers in Fall R iver y ou n

Flit if y ou c an t go h o me
She fl ung herself from h i m with a low c ry
and hid her face in the grass He leaned o v e r
her fallen head till she raised a t last her wet
eyes and whispered 0 L uke how g oo d yo u
are ! 0 L u ke i s that what goodness is like ?
I th o u ght everyb o dy was b ad an i t did n o t

m at ter m uc h ab o u t me
Will y o u go
he asked

I 11 d o anything y ou sa y she m u rm u red
a ll b r oken i n te ar s
Y ou will go t o my m o ther s
ask e d L u ke
trembling lest sh e were not pers u aded after all ;
and E den bowed the assent she co u ld not
speak rose h u rriedly sm oo thed he r disordered
dress and started t o war d the vi ll age She did
n o t want to reveal h e r em oti o n m ore f ully and

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L UKE

1 08

GA RDINER S L O VE

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v olved no danger Yet L u ke found himself
overcome by an u naccu stomed horror as he
groped thro u gh the deep blackness h i s eyes
wide open his arms stretched before him h is
fingers cl u tching at obj ects o n the stony bot
tom wit h frantic haste fee ling for little Fl i t s
body He rose with empty hands to the s ur
face A s he lifted his pale face above the c u r
rent he heard E den cry alo u d He swam to
wards the bridge and was drawn u p on to the
gro u n d F or a brief space of time he lay still
panting hard and then knitting h i s brows he
stood u p again knotted the ro pe abo u t him
walked back t o the place from which he had
before j u mped and went in again
When he next appeared above the slow
slippery c urrent he bro u ght the dead child with
him
R o u gh men took i t from him and laid it o n
the gro u nd E den cro u ched sobbin g beside it

Oh how pretty she is moaned s h e
Flit did indeed look very bea u tif u l and a b
s ol ute l
serene
i
n
her
pallid
stillness
y

U ncle J ohn came into the yard and his
lips trembled as he gazed in the qu iet little
face He p u t his hand on L u ke s sh o u lder
an d
his sweet old face worked as he s a i d

Thee is a good fellow
S omeb o dy br o u ght a sh u tter and L u ke s
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L UKE G A R D INER S L O VE

1 09

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mother threw a sheet o ver Flit when she w as
place d u pon the b o ards The crowd formed i t
self into an irreg ular procession
L u ke all
dripping wet walked beside Eden and u n c le
John followed the bearers A bird twittered
in an elm tree as they passed o u t of the fact o ry
yard
E veryb o dy halted u ncertain what to do
when they arrived before the S t o ne ho u se on
whose walls the noon day s un shone h ot and
bright A s they waited a w o man came wearily
along the road

It s the mother as has been lookin fo r

Flit said lame L u cy who had been drawn to
the factory yard by the news of the accident
and had ret u rned with the others a cross the
stream S h e ran forward and c aught Mrs Ro

n i a n s hands
s h e cried
be still be
O h Oh
still ! Oh do not take on b u t Flit is dead an

gone Indeed she s safe the poor child

What d o y o u mean ? shrieke d the wo man
She wrenched herself from the girl s grasp
threw u p her arms and w o u ld have fallen had
not L u ke c au ght h e r and from him E den r e
c e i ve d her m other s head on her knees
The afternoon wore away amid painf u l h us tle
and abo u t s unset E den who had been b u sy in
the ho u se all day stole down to the do o rway
an d stood there breathing the cool air an d
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L UKE GA RD INER S L O VE

110

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p u shi n g the t u mbling hair off he r fo rehead
L u cy came limping ro u nd the h o u se corner
with J oe Glancy When she s a w the m E den
took from her pocket the gi lt ear rings and
held them out to the man

Oh keep em growled he

W hat for ? she said wit h a wan smil e
To wear at Flit s f u neral ?

N onsense he began b u t L u c y i nterr u pted


A re n t y ou ashamed to bother h e r n o w ?
He took hold of the lame girl s arm so
r o u ghly that he almost shook her

Keep qu iet I tell yo u
E den p u shed the ornaments i nto his hand
He dropped them on the gro u nd and tro d on
them

You d better n ot thr o w me o ver said he

Gardiner 1 1 never marry yo u n ow
E den whirled abo u t and went int o the ho u se
H e t u rned t o L u cy angrily


Yo u ve cheated me he said ; y ou ve go t

L uke to make up with her
L u cy had in tr u th seen L uke early that
morning and had told him that E den w as i n
n o cent of any intention t o caro u se the previ o u s
night and had begged h i m to be ge n tle with
her She tr embled now and grew w hite

Yo u need n t t hink it 11 d o y ou any goo d

he gro wled l m sick to death of yo u
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L UKE

112

GA RDINER S

L O VE

.

sold some o f their f u rnit ure t o pay the u nder
taker and E den slept on the flo o r with her
little brother a n d sister She rose in the m orn
ing tired a s when sh e went to bed at night
L uke watched her from afar with a swelling
heart His mother co u ld hardly reconcile her
self to the idea that he wo u ld finally m arry her
b u t tried to make herself contented with the
thou ght of s u ch a f u t u re She however pr e
vailed u pon him to wait till it be c ame evi dent
that E den co uld keep to h e r good resol utions
The girl herself cherished no hope that he
wo u ld ever come to her as a lover b u t sh e
made a sort of religion out of the memory of
his great go odness to her i n th e ho u r of her
temptation a religi o n which strengthened her
daily as s h e avoided all her former comra des
in frivolity
Once s h e met L u cy on the street and said to
he r
D on t think hard of me for not c o min to
se e yo u n o more
and the la m e gi rl answered
Yo u d better not come to o u r h ou se b u t I

stand u p for y ou everywhere


Thank yo u
said the other
an I 11

stand by yo u if ever y ou want me
One S u nday eve n i n g in October E den knelt
by the little white cross that marked Flit s
grave When s h e raised her eye s Joe G lancy
st o od be side her He p u t his hand on her
sho u lder to hold her down
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L UKE

L et me go,

GA RD INER S L O VE

113

.

sh e

cried
When sh e divined rather than heard h is
a nswer sh e stru ggled away flying blindly
st u mbling among the graves He foll o wed her
qu ickly b u t when she neared the gate she s a w
L u ke Gardiner a nd ran to him calling his
name He took her panting in his arms The

overseer s lip cu rled
A h said he where s
the virt u e in r u nning from o n e man to a n
other ? L u ke spra n g a t him b u t E den held h i m
b ack and J o e walked away sneering again

Oh I won t interfere I give my notice
L uke l ed the trembling girl t o o ne of the lo w
graves and seated her there

I did follow yo u he said
I w a nte d to

a sk y ou to marry me
Oh I m not good e n oug

I think y ou are


I never did no very bad thing sh e s aid
b u t I w a s silly an I v e been talked ab o u t
Yo u can t feel the same as if I was real r e

s pe c te d by folks


What I feel is , said h e that y ou r e th e

nicest girl I know
Then sh e nestle d in his arms q u ite ov e r
c o me and m u rm u red
0 L u ke yo u do n t

kno w how hard I 11 try to be good

Well then I g u ess yo u 11 make ou t t o do
he said la ughing as he kissed her
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TH E

C H I L D O F TH E

S TA T E

.

W EL C H w as s ix yea rs o ld and her
b rother T o mmy w a s eight at the time th e n
mother became a widow Mrs Welch worked
i n a cotton factory
She rose at half past five
in the morning lit a h a sty fire in the kitchen
made some te a which she drank and p u t some
bread and b u tter o n the table In co ld weather
s h e arran ged the fire so that it wo u ld keep as
lo n g as possible a n d left i n the kitchen a small
s u pply of f u el before h u rrying away to her
work
A n ho u r or two later Tommy wh o w as a
methodical little s o u l ro u ted his sister and him
self o ut of b e d when witho u t washing they
fell u po n the bread an d b utter and devo u red it
They then dressed themselves q u ite leis urely
although their toilet was a meagre o n e and i n
cl u ded ve r y little in the way of ablu tions Af
te r w a r d s Tommy took some mo r e bread and
b u tter and carried it into the mill t o h is m other
JO S IE

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THE CHILD

1 16

OF

S TA TE

THE

.

the material th u s procu red with gay hearts and
b u rsts of happy lau ghter D o ubtless if they
had not had the u s u al childish habit o f accept
ing all event s u nthinkingly they wo u ld have
been very s u re that it was the good G o d or may
be even the mother of God herself who made
men always spill f u el when loading and u nlo ad
ing coal cars
There were many kind people in the village
who welcomed the shivering little creat u res to
their own fir e sid e s in those families whose pros
permitted
that
the
mother
e r it
o r some elder
y
p
dau ghter sho u ld stay at home from the mill
A t night Mrs Welch came home gave the
children their s u pper swept c leaned washed
di shes and c lothes cooked far i nto the night
and then lay down for a few ho ur s of heavy
sleep
Tom m y and J o sie were as g ood ch il dren as
co u ld be expected u nder the circ umstances ; b u t
Josie had e v en then a restless and excitable
organization In a happier home her pec ul iari
t i es wo u ld perhaps have been caref ully st u died
and all this fine nervo u s force might have b een
trained and u tilized Bu t J o sie belonged to a
stratu m of society far belo w those in which ex
i s ts the pra c tice of s u ch st u dy and c o nsideration
She often ran away fro m home and sc h oo l and
g o t he rself into endless scrapes
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THE

C

HIL D

THE

OF

S TA TE

117

.

year o r m ore of th i s s o rt of li fe had passed
when Mrs Welch s u ddenly died
Her h us
b and s brother took the children Tommy pros
pere d i n his new home He was well gro w n
and stro ng and having nearly attained the age
at which the law wo u ld permit him to be p u t at
work in the mill his u n c le took him to the over
seer said he was old en o u gh and obtained em
ployment for him The child s wa ges were a
welcome addition to the family income ; indeed
a necessary addition i n view of the two extra
m o n th s that were n o w to be fed and the u ncle
considered the lie he had told to be dazzling i n
i ts whiteness
Jo sie meanwhile did not prosper in the keep
i ng o f her au nt She did n ot love to tend the
babies There were a pair of twins and tw o
other ro u nd red headed pale faced little ones
u nde r three y ears old who fell largely to poor
J os i e s care
She was n ot cross to them b u t
she did not enj oy the labors imposed o n her
She hated t o wash dishes with a hatred as
intense a s and perhaps not really more c u lpable
than that which is felt f o r this task by some
more fort u nate dau ghters of o ur co mmon race
She did not enjoy the restrictions s u ddenly
placed abo u t her They irked her greatly after
the free street life she had led while her mothe r
l ive d
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118

CHIL D

THE

OF THE S TA TE

.

Jo sie had the instin c ts that in higher ra nks of
society are called Bohemian and for which our
many sided civilization now b e gi ns t o fin d r e
In the lo wer strata
s pe c ta b le chance fo r action
o f this civilization however the press ure of cir
cum s ta n ce s is so great that it bears down h e a v
ily on all s u ch instincts and freq uently cr u shes
and distorts them till they become imp u lses to
wards crime and o u trage
The conscientio u s
stu dent o f the forces in nat u re and character
which shape or deform social life m u st often
halt between two opinions u ncertain whether
the sovereign remedy for many of the ills fro m
which h u manity s u ffers wo u ld be m o re libe rty
or more restraint
It is the old prob lem which besets also the
individ u al life A re obstacles set i n o u r way
to warn u s back from any special path or that
we may gr o w stro n ger by overcoming them a s
we go forwar d ? S ome there are who may de
ci de whether they will go back or go on M e n
a n d women who lab o r eleven ho u rs a day in the
stifli ng air of a great factory have limita tions t o
their freedom of w ill Those m e n m u st eat an d
sleep away m o st o f their leis u re ho urs Tho se
w o men m u st often toil on in the h o me after the
mill w o rk is done They cann o t spend ti me and
m o ney t o go o u t i n search of healthf u l recrea
ti o n The d e vil s urro u nds them wi th sens u al
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1 20

TE E

CHILD

0F TE E

STA TE

.

fro m thirty to fifty girls from se v en or eight
years o ld to twenty The girls were sent there
for all off enses short of flag r ant crime which
girls c an commit There was very little e fio r t
made at this time to classify or sepa ra te the older
and more depraved inmates from those childish
sinners who had drifted thither fro m sheer il l
l u ck rather than thro ugh any fa ult of their own
A t a la te r period it becam e the c u s to m i n that
Sta te to send to an i nstit u tion designed mo r e
espe cially for s u ch characters all girls over six
teen arrested fo r certain vices When Josie
Welch entered the Reform S chool s u ch off end
e rs if u nder twen ty were often con fined the r e
to spread the conta gion of their own po ll u ted
lives a mo n g the yo unger children Yet a mong
th ese little ones even were sometimes to be
fou nd stra nge an d abnormal tendencies to evil
developed generally by an u tterly u nca red for
childhoo d
Josie w as b u t an inn ocent excita ble restless
chil d with no moral training when she w as
dropped into this h o t b e d of vice What were
the mean s which the Sta te prov i ded to c u re
these so ul sick little children ? A n a cco unt of
the daily ro u tine of the schoo l will s u ffi ce to
tell the story o f seve ral years o f J os i e s life
The girls rose at five Their slee ping aeco m
m od a tion s were pretty good
sin c e neve r m o re
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THE

CHIL D

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THE

STA TE

1 21

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than tw o o c c u pied a room together and i n s o me
c ases separate apartments were provided N o th
in g ca n be s ai d i n praise of the arrangements
f o r bathing
A t half past five the girls went t o sch o ol
sleepy and h u ngry In the s u mmer it was not
so bad with the d awning light shining thro u gh
the eastern windows and w a ki n g the m u p ; b u t
in wi nter doors and windows were sh u t beca u se
the room was never very war m at that ho u r
the atmo s phere was both chilly a nd close and
the children were st u pid with sleepiness A t
seve n the girls went to breakfast A t eight
they began to work The older ones did the
h o u sewo rk One or two servants were employed
i n the immediate family of the s u perintendent
b u t all the rest of the work in tha t immense e s
ta b l i s h m e n t except of co u rse the act u al care
o f the part o f the ho u se whi c h was oc c u pied by
the boys was done by the girls The little
children and s u ch of the larger ones as were
not needed in the o ther h o u sehold depart m ents
sewed and knit
A ltho u g h families are nat u rally and often
rightly u nwilling to take i nto se rv i c e girls who
have spen t their m i nority in a R eform Scho ol
the state had these girls tau ght to do well noth
i n g b u t domestic labor the sewing and knit
tin g whi ch they learne d being too coarse to
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THE CHILD OF THE STA TE

1 22

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avail them afterwards in the e ff ort to s u ppo rt
themselves The boys in the R eform School
which we are de s cribing are tau ght a trade
The girls are only q u alified to do ho u sework ;
b u t at the expiration o f the i r terms it is d i fli
c ult for them to obtain places i n families and
they are generally s o dem o ralized that they
cannot safely be admitted to ho u seholds where
there are children
To ret u rn to the daily ro u tine The gi rls
had a short recess in the forenoon j u st long
en o u gh for them to move abo u t a little o r if
they wished t o r u n o ut oi d oo rs
A t noon
they had dinner and then began work again
which lasted till the s u pper ho u r at fo u r They
had nothing to eat afterwards A t five they
went into school again a n d remained there til l
seven ; and then they were sent to bed Th u s
all their schooling came between s u pper a n d
breakfast s o as not to interfere wi th the day s
work
Josie did not learn m u ch at school She
hated it and s h e hated the lo n g whitewashed
corridors and the little cooped up yard where
a ll the drying of clothes for the whole esta blish
ment was done s o that the girls co u ld seldo m
move freely abo u t in it
The bo y s had a large play gro u nd
Jo sie
cou ld s e e it thro u gh a knot h o le she disco vered
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THE CHILD OF THE STA TE

1 24

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eyes the su lky mo u th of the child of the State
Then with a little po u t of aversion an d fear
the golden haired on e t u rned away and a n
angry look came into J os i e s fac e
The mother bendin g over her darling c o axed
an d m u rm u red to her a mome n t till the little
on e t u rned back ran towar d s Josie a n d with a
sweet smile p u shed into her hand a tiny china
doll n e w that day and not yet dressed
Josie took it awk wardly b u t lo o ked her
wonder and del i ght till the matron who stoo d
the lady and the little
n ear bade her thank
girl ; at which Jo sie overcome with bashfu l
ness fled away to the sewing room tightly
clu tching her doll The matron wo u ld have
followed and f o rced her to ret u rn had not the
lady mother interpo s ed a smiling ple a for the
childish terror she well u nderstood Ne ve r th e
less Josie was held for se v era l days in high
disgrace a n d was freq u ently reminded of her

bad manners to that kind lady and sweet lit

tle girl
She was rather so rry when s h e r e
fl e cte d on her behavior b ut she consoled her
self by petting and playing with her doll and
teaching to it the polite methods of a c ti o n in
which s h e herself had failed
She was v ery m u ch afraid th at the doll
wo u ld take col d as it had n o cl othes and she
t o re off a strip from her only flannel petticoat
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THE CHILD

OF

THE S TA TE

1 25

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i n which to wrap it She w a s ve ry happy
when soon after this the day came for sorting
o v er the rags o f the ho u sehold
A ll the r a gs which acc u m u lated in the estab
li s h m e n t thro u gh the year were st u ff ed into
great bags kept in the attic These bags were
bro u ght down ann u ally into the room which
served as school and sewing room They were
emptied on the flo o r and the girls picked them
over and sorted o u t the woolen and cotton
pie c es The p oor creat u res enj o ye d this work
h ugely with the break i t made in the daily
ro u tine S mil es lit u p their heavy fac es and
a vi sitor on that day might have b een b eg u i led
i nto a belief that the inmates o f this R eform
S cho o l were tolerably happy
J os i e s vagabond inst i ncts revele d in this
c o mpanionship o f rags
She made precio u s
discoveries i n these m o tley heaps s u ch d i scov
eries as c an be made only by the eyes o f child
h o od
Here she fo u nd a b i t o f bright new calico
How it contrasted with her own dingy o ft
washed and faded gown ! What tales it seemed
to tell the chil d whispering o f possible l ux u ry
and o f new dresses
fore ver u nattainable by
her No w she c ame acro s s a tiny bit of red
silk and now a faded bl u e neckt i e was dis
c erned among the ro u gh d eb r i s of half a do zen
gray cl o th ja c kets s u c h as the boy s w o re
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THE CHILD OF THE STA TE

1 26

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J os i e s so u l b urned within her Her little
heart throbbed with longing She tho u ght o f
her g o w n le ss doll and sh e grew bold
S he
went u p to the matron in charge and asked
her if she might have some o f these little pieces
for herself Fort u nately the matron did not
know that the child had torn her petticoat and
was so to u ched by the seeming honesty of th is
petition that s h e gave permission b u t told the
little gi rl to bring for her inspe c tion all that she
wanted Poor Josie bro u ght so many that the
matron fearf u l of givi n g her too great happi
ness was forced to tell her to select s ix pie c es
and p u t the others in the common stock
S u ch a time as the little girl had to choose !
B u t at last she heaved a great sigh of mingled
satisfaction and regret that the pleasant b u t
p u zzling task of choice was over A s s h e did
s o she heard some on e speak to her an d look
in g u p sh e saw with affright the s u perintendent
o f the school standing by her
He w a s an i m
mense man with a n oily smile which played
over a cr u el mo u th J os i e s fears were as s u aged
a little when sh e perceived that the v o ice which
had addressed her came not from him b u t from
the lips of a lady by his side
a lady with a
tender face and sweet deep eyes
She bent over the startled child and a sked
her gently what sh e meant to do w ith tho se

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THE CHIL D OF THE S TA TE

1 28

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The eyes of the s u perintendent c o ntrac ted
savagely for an instant The n he said as
mildly as ever On the contrary m adam a
large prop orti o n of the boys who leave this
school g o to earning their livi n g honestly and

lead re spectable lives

A nd the girls ?
Oh the girls Well
the girls are a great
deal worse Women al w ays are worse than
men yo u know w hen they are bad There s
a pec u liar devil in women somehow beggi ng

you r pardon

Yo u mean that yo u do not reform the

gi rls said the lady c u rtly

N o there is no pos sibility of reforming
the girls I t is merely a ho u se of correction
for them and serves a very good p u rpose in
keeping them o u t of mischief for a fe w years

at le a st
A nd y ou o nly refo rm more

girls said Mrs Keyes with some in digna n t
pa s sion in her voice beca u se y o u don t u nder
take to c u re the b o ys of certain fau lts It is
no m atter when they go o ut into the world
w hether they h ave o r have not these vices
They are called reformed if they will work
That i s all N o there is another reaso n why
ou reform more boys
Yo u treat them better
y
with m o re respect and th u s y ou inc u lcate self
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CHILD OF

T HE

TH E

S TA TE

1 29

.

e spe c t in them Yo u teach them a u sefu l
trade Yo u give them a decen t yard to play
in Yo u give the m good se a ts at ch a pel B u t
what do yo u give to the girls to re f orm them
Vacant minds a dismal present and despair
for the f u t u re There s a pec u liar devil in
women is there ? Yo u remember what the
B ible says
Yo u may sweep that c hamber
empty of devils as many times as yo u please
and they will co me back if y o u p u t n othing
else in their place Take that child in there
who had the rags for her doll A nybody c an
s e e what a nervo u s
impressible restless crea
t u re she is If she is chained down t o this life
of hopeless
monotony wi tho u t change and
witho u t chance o f co u rse her feverish feelings

w ill find an o u tlet i n some wr o ng way
The s u perintendent s face had grown black
with anger as the lady went vehemently on un
heeding h i s wrath and he spoke qu ickly an d

irritably : They find it now She s on e of
the w o rst and most u nmanageable c hildren we

have in the school
I don t do ubt it What was she sent here

for ?

F o r r u nning away from home

Poor little thing !
Mr Brewster why
sho u ld n t yo u take these girl s o u t on e or two
at a time o nce in a while t o walk as a reward
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THE CHILD OF THE STA TE

1 30

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good b ehavi o r ? Yo u d see if they w oul d n t

try to ear n the privilege
Whether the s u perintendent s anger wo uld
at this j u nct u re have overc o me h i s poli teness
it is impossible to s a y for j u st then he w as
called 03 by on e of the ofli ce r s t o attend to s o me
new g u ests and Mrs Keyes me a nwhi l e havin g
finished her visit wen t her way sorro wf ully and
indignantly
W hen the s u perintendent h ad finished with
the later visitors he ret u rned to the sewing
room and o rdered Josie to p u t her cheri shed
rags am o ng the others The child in a f u rio u s
passion ref u sed to do so The matron i n ter
posed rather fearf u lly
Mr B rewster seized
what pieces he c o u ld disco ver on the str u ggling
girl s person threw them i nto the general heap
and then dragged J o sie away to one o f the dor
m i tor i e s where s h e was locked u p for the rest
o f the day
She had h o wever saved the bl u e
necktie and a co u ple of bits of calico ; and after
sh e had regained her f reedom s h e clothed her
doll with these
A few days later the torn state of her petti
coat was discovered and the missing fragment
o f flannel was traced to her doll s wardrobe
Josie managed to se c rete and save the doll in
the sto rm that followed b u t sh e herself s u ff ered
fresh disgrac e and p un ishment Her c h ar a c te r

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THE CHILD

1 32

OF

THE STA TE

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pastu res aff ord a scanty s u stenan c e to the few
cattle o r sheep that wander among their gray
stony hillocks and where h u ckleberry b u shes
grow in rampant prof usion There were o ld or
chards scattered abo u t where gnarled and aged
apple trees s pro u ted inn u merable new shoots
which no caref u l b a n d ever pr u ned away They
were dark twisted u n canny trees that i n the


S pri ng time of apple years b u rst forth into
strange bea u ty when rose tinted blo ss o ms cov
ered every living twig and branch and thre w
i nto dark shadow the dead massive l imbs that
c o iled abo u t among the flowers themselves un
garnished by green leaf pink b u d or f u ll whi te
blo o m
B u t it was n o t in the bea u ty of the spri ng
time that Josie came int o the co untry It w a s
i n the a ut u mn when golden r o d w av ed in every
n o ok and cranny of the stony fields and lined
the wild wandering roads with glory Far
aro u nd stretched bl u e hills drenched deep with
col or in the a u t u mnal haz e and the roads that
traversed the valley and clim bed the distant
slopes seemed to lead straight u p t o heaven
Josie w a s driven to the farm h o u se in the
market wagon in which Mr J a co bs had c ome to
the s chool for her A rrived at their destin a
tion s h e got out and mee kl y fo llowed her new
mas ter into the kitchen
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THE CHILD OF THE STA TE

1 33

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Mrs J acobs st o od by the stove frying do u gh
n u ts and j u st a s she t u rned ro u n d to look Josie
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over the d o or fro m the wood s hed beyond the
kitchen opened and a tall yo u n g fello w came
in His eyes fell on Jo s ie and sh e ret u rned
his glance boldly fo r a moment ; then her lids
drooped shyly and s h e stood s taring at the
floor while Mrs Jacobs the farmer and the
yo u ng man all br u tally inspe c ted her A las !
Josie had not been ed u cated in a s c h oo l o f r e
fin e m e n t and Charley Manton s r u de gaze
charmed while it abashed he r
What need to tell the story of the weeks that
followed ? Flossy Jacobs a colorless blonde
was i n love with Charley Manton and had fan
c i e d her passion ret u rned
as probably it was
till this girl fro m the R eform S chool crossed
their path
Charley was a min i ster s son an orphan n o w
working for his boa rd on Mr Ja c ob s farm
He was only eighteen b u t he had lived a lo n g
life already ; familiar with v i ce he still pa u sed
o n the thresh o ld o f crime
S o me s u dden fancy
perhaps for Flo ssy J a c ob s s bl u e eyes h a d
prompted him to spend these weeks of the har
vest season i n h o nest lab o r ; b u t h e had beg u n
to tire of it and he had w i ld v isions of an a d
vent urou s c areer in Cali for n ia or Mexico u pon
whic h he m ean t soo n t o enter H e w as c r u elly
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THE CHIL D OF THE STA TE

1 34

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sel fish b u t he possessed all the char m whi ch
some times belongs to strong heartless nat u res
I never saw Josie Welch b u t once and it w a s
abo u t thi s time She was hard ly fu ll gro w n
b u t s h e had a lithe gracef u l form masse s of
d ark waving hair g o od feat u res and comple x
ion cheek s and chin ro u nded and lips a litt l e
f u ll
O u t from this immatu re gi rlish face
l o oked the saddest sof test wildest dark eyes I
ever s a w They ha u nted me fo r years They
have followed m e ever since seeming to beseech
me to give lang u age t o their d u mbness and tell
t heir story
They seemed to u nderstand so lit
tle to want s o m u ch ; b u t when I came to know
the whole of J os i e s life they took u pon them
selves a new char a cter and to my imagination
there was something awfu l and acc u sing in their
remembered gaze I co uld not p u t the memory
o f them away from me and I learn ed at last
that they were n o t meant to be forgotten
Flos s y Jacobs hated Josie and in a few weeks
the u nfort unate girl w a s sent b a ck to the Re
form School The m orning the wretched o u t
cast was to go Flossy kept per sis tently by her
side to prevent the pos sibility o f any s e n ti m e n
tal leave taking with Charley Manto n
This
yo ung man ho w ever m arched boldly u p where
the two girls stood at last in the doorway wait
in g for the farmer t o come and u nhitc h the
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THE CHIL D OF THE S TA TE

1 36

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wrapped J osie u p half te n derly and helpe d he r
o stentatio u sly into the wagon when the farmer
came
It is perhaps u nnecessary to add that wh en
Mr Jacob s ret u rn ed that night from the city
h e informed Charley that his services were no
lon ger needed on the farm
Josie went back to be watched and su spected
a n d to hate the whitewashed w a lls a nd the long
corridors an d the m onotono u s daily ro u tine the
silent m eals the morning and the eve n i n g
schools the se n se of s ufioca ti on everywhere as
s h e had never hated them before
She was d esperate an d yet she was nearer
salvation than ever before i n her life Her love
p u rified her as love m u st p u rify She had not
been very bad hitherto b u t s h e had grown u p
amo n g girls many of whom were of bad lives
and v icio u s propen s ities She had liste n ed to
their talk sh e had laughed at their j okes and
had been contaminated by them
Now she
shrank from their coarsene ss
She h a d read
some p u re s tories o f love and marri age while at
Mr J a c ob s s A ll the passion and all the p u r
ity of which she had read now filled her heart
She formed to herself an ide a l that she wo u ld
gladly be like for Charl e y Manton s sake She
belie ve d he wo u ld marry her if he co u l d if sh e
were free to g o o u t to him in that wide b ea u ti
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THE CHI

OF THE

S TA TE

1 37

.

fu l worl d of which since her childho o d she had
had s u ch few glimpses She wo u ld have given
her life for him She wan ted at least to give
him a p u re heart He w a s a minister s s on sh e
kne w ; sh e had wild foolish notions that he b e
longed to some half princely race ; so hig h a bove
h e r alas seemed any respectability of blood
and breeding She felt that s h e m u st strain
every nerve to be worthy of him
It wo u ld perhaps have been a wiser e fior t o f
the conscience if she h a d tried to attain this
worthiness by a stric t compliance with the r u les
o f the instit u tion o f whic h s h e was a member
and by a faithf u l service therein B u t possibly
'
be c au se h e r m o ra l nat u re wa s weak it never o c
c u rred to Josie that the R eform School really
had any cl a im on her obedience or her loyal de
v oti on
Certainly sh e never yielded any which
s h e co u ld avoid
She simply detested it all
the ro utine the s u perintendent the teachers
the girls an d their coarseness
Many a night when things h a d g o ne more
wrong than u s u al thro u gh the day when her
u nsu bd u ed temper had shown i tself in s u lky
looks i n m u ttered words and i mpatient flashes
o f those dark eyes when the matrons had been
for J os i e worked
cross when the washing
now i n the la u ndry
had made her back ache
i ntolerably an d when marks had c ro wde d
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1 38

THE

CHIL D

THE

OF

S TA TE

.

against her record the u nhappy ch il d cri ed
away long hou rs before s h e slept sm o theri ng
her sobs in the bedclothes s o that her r o om
mate sho u ld never g u ess her tro uble
The chapel of the school w as a long pleasa nt
room with a low platform at on e end hav i ng a
desk on it The boys d u ring Services s a t in
settees on the fl o or facing this platform B e
hind them at the extreme end o f the hal l w a s
an elevated gallery sh u t off by a wooden fence
rising some three or fo u r feet Into this pen
the girls were marshaled on S u ndays The
boys came into the hall first from their part of
the ho u s e and took their seats on the floor
directly before the speaker A fter they were
seated the door from the other si d e o f the
ho u se which led into the gallery w a s ope ned
a nd the girls filed in They were forbidden to
look a t the boys as they entered When they
s a t down those i n the front rows co u ld see the
speaker over the fence if they took pains to
look b u t he co u ld s e e little of them except the
tops of their heads The speakers who came
there were sometimes min isters someti mes
gentlemen from the city who were interested
in the sch o ol or in the classes of j u venile off end
ers from whose ranks it w a s recr uited
They
generally addressed their remarks to the b oys
It w a s diffic u lt for them to re aliz e t h a t th o se
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1 40

CHIL D OF THE STA TE

THE

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other s presence may be a q u estion ; b u t cer
tain it is that i n the instit u tion described here
the only e fior t mad e w a s to keep the sexes
apart and no attempt whatever was p u t forth
to teach them h o w to behav e when they did
c o me i n contact
I t was o n e S u nday morn i n g that standing
s a w Charley Manton
to
si
n
g
osie
Welch
J
u
p
i n the chapel below her Hi s face was t u rned
fro m her of co u r s e She saw only the back
b u t sh e
o f his head and his broad sho u lders
knew h i m and felt a great dizzy throb She
grew fa i n t a n d white b u t happily there was no
o n e n e ar who cared eno u gh for her to notice
her agitation She watched him as a drowning
man might watch a nearing sail looked at him
as the rich m an in hell might have looked into
heaven when its gates O pened before him and
heaven safety h ope and happiness all grew pos
sible to her She sang n o more that day b u t
only looked E ven when they s a t down again
and she co u ld see him no more she kept her
eyes t u rned to w ards the part o f the hall where
h e sat
She fancied the face s h e had not seen
and dreamed a tho u s a nd dreams i n the short
half ho u r before the service was over A fter
wards she began to wonder h o w Charley Man
to n a minister s s on her imagin e d prin ce , c a me
to be i n the R eform S chool

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THE

CHILD

THE S TA TE

OF

1 41

.

The facts were very simple H e h ad come
to the city and made his living for some time
b y his wi ts till he w a s finally arrested for some
petty larceny The j u dge before whom he was
bro u ght remembered his father and sent h i m
to the R eform School altho u gh he w as older
than most boys are when first condemned there
The j udge h o ped thereby t o save h is old
friend s son from the disgrace o f impris o n ment
in j ail and perhaps to bre a k u p i n its begin
ning the career of crime on which the yo u th
seemed abo u t to enter
Charley do u btless remembered that Josie wa s
an inmate of this ho u se when he came there
b u t he m ade no effort to rene w his a cqu aint
ance with her
Jo s ie on her part h a d reco u rse to the knot
hole she had fo und when a child She spent
all the min u tes she co u ld snatch from the v i g i
lance of the teachers and the coarse O bservation
o f the girls starin g thro u gh that hole into the
boys yard hoping to see Charley pass Several
days elapsed before s h e saw h i m When she
did i t was at a most favora b le m o m ent He
was absol u tely alone on his side of the fence
and s h e on hers and he was pa ss ing very near
her She p u t her lips to the hole and s oftly


called
Charley !
H e heard her sent his
qu ick eyes r o vi ng r o u n d the yard and in an
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THE CHIL D OF THE S TA TE

1 42

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inst a nt spied the tiny O p ening He went u p
to it
Wh o are yo u ? he said

Oh don t yo u kn ow me ? I m J osi e
Well I don t see as I
Ye s I tho u ght so
c an shake hands with y ou or kiss yo u thr o u gh
this fence ; b u t never mind ; I m glad to hear
yo u if I can t see y o u I ve b ee n exp e cting

y o u to make s o me dem o nstration
J os i e trembled at the so u nd of h i s v o i c e
They whispered a m o ment m ore and m ad e
some arran gement for talk ing there oc c asion
all y and for slipping letters thro u gh when they
dared not speak to each other
Then each
tu rned back to the ho u se which of co u rse they
entered at different sides J osie went to h e r
work in the la u ndry as happy a girl as ever
lived
Tw o weeks after this the s u perintendent
passed Charley Man ton as at noon time he
stood slo u ching in the door of the workshop
Mr B rewster tho u gh a very large man had a
soft n oiseless step and for once Charley s vig i
lant senses were off the ir g u ard The yo ung
man held a bit of paper in his hand and w a s
reading it while a smile half pleased half sco rn
ful c u rved his handsome lips
The s upe r i n
te ndent stepped s u ddenly u p behin d him an d
snatched the paper from him
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THE

1 44

CHILD OF THE STA TE

.

D EE R C H A R L EY
I got the pictu re s safe
thank y o u dont come heer never enny m o re i
shall cry all nite if i dont get lette rs o r see yo u
thr u the hole b u t it i s n t s afe i know the s u per
i s l o oki n g out for u s I can feel myself get red
I dont care what he does
w henever i s e e him
to me if he find s o ut b u t he wo uld flog y o u
d r e d fully and i dont want to get y o u in enny
tr uble i l ov e yo u all the same deer Charley
J O SIE
s o no more at present fro m
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With this epistle i n his pocket the s u per
i n te n d e n t march ed directly to the la u ndry a n d
waited a few min u tes till the girls came i n wi th
the matron to begin their afte rnoo n work
J osie st a rt e d g u iltily when s h e saw Mr Brew
ster b u t proceeded q u ietly to the ironing table
where s h e took out o n e of his shirts and began
to press it He loitered abo u t the room a mo
ment s poke to on e o r two of the other girls
and exchanged a few words with the m a tron
and then said s u ddenly i n a lo u d clear voice

Josie W elch come here with me
She s e t d own her iro n threw o n e frigh tened
glance at the matron t u rned violently red
the n white as a corp s e placed one hand on the
ironing board steadied herself a second and
th e n followed h i m withou t a word
H e led her thro u gh on e or two entries to a
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CHILD OF THE S TA TE

TH E

1 45

.

large empty room sometimes u sed to store
wood Like the la u ndry they had j u st left it
w a s in the basement and it had whitewashed
walls and a stone fl o or W h en they had entered
the room he look e d both the doors leading from
it and then looked at the girl with cr u el stead
in e s s and said
I want y o u to give me the le t

ter y o u have had from Charley M anto n

I have n ot had any letter

Oh he sneered perhaps y ou don t know
who Charley Manton is

I knew somebody named that when I was

o u t on trial
You did n t k now he was in the schoo l ?

N o sir
Well he i s B irds of a feather flock t o
gether y ou kn o w A nd I want the letter he s

sent yo u

He h as n t sent me none

A nd y o u have n t seen h i m o r sp o ken t o
h i m since he 8 bee n here

No
A re yo u s u re
Before God I have n t ! cried Josie Her
face was dogged and hopeless b u t determined
The s u perintendent drew from u nder his coat
a rattan and str uck her three or fou r times
She winced horribly and grew whiter still with
pain and fea r b u t she did not c ry ou t Then
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10

THE CHIL D OF THE S TA T E

1 46

.

he cru nched his teeth and br o u ght his l ower
j aw forward while a m u rdero u s look ca m e into

his eyes and catching her hand he said
I
know yo u ve got a letter f rom Charley Man
ton I v e got yo u r letter to him in my po cket
If yo u don t give me the on e yo u have I ll get

a larger rattan and fl og yo u till y ou do
She p u t her hand in her bosom and drew o u t
a little package He seized it from her and
t u rned it over contempt u o u sly There were
three or fo u r little colored prints wrapped in a
a bit of white paper b u t no writing anywhere
I f J osie h a d any letters from Charley sh e had
hidden them
The s u perintendent tore th e
pict ures which were inno cent eno u gh into
pieces and s tufie d the bits i n to his po cket
J osie wo u ld gladly have m u rdered him that
moment and s he looked as if sh e wo u ld
Yo u need n t make a fool of yo u rself o ver

that fello w said he meeting her f urio u s dark
e y e s with his ow n
He d oes n t care any
thing abo u t yo u ; he tol d me s o He said if
he were out of this place he wo uld n t take

yo u to wipe his shoes



I don t believe answered the girl that

he said any s u ch thi n g
Mr Brewster s tared at her for a moment and
h e picked u p the rattan which had drop p ed on
the floor ; b u t then he gave a short la ugh and
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THE CHILD OF

1 48

TH E

STA TE

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d artin g

forward seized it from the flames put i t
back in the box and smoothed the earth aro u nd
its ro o ts her hands trembling with excitement
The m atron p u shed her aside to ok b ox an d
plant O pened the window and to ssed the m ou t
into the frosty air
Go to work J osie Welch
s h e said
J osie stood still on e second then panting and
str u ggling as with some u nseen evil spirit s h e
sobbed a n d s w ore and c u rsed Her breath came
hard she grew dark in the face and sprang at
the matron who darted aside and called out

S u sy J ones go fo r Mr B rewster
Then
Jo s ie b u rst into a peal of lau ghter more ho t ri
ble than her ravings ; and after the la u ghter
d ied away scream followed scream ; b u t s h e
made no f u rther attack on the wo man


S u sy cried the matron again as s h e saw
the other girls S u sy amo n g them standing mo
ti on le s s aro und
J os i e s ow n cries bro u ght the s u perintendent
there He came u p to her and attempted t o
take her arm She d a shed herself on h i m like
a wild cat He seized a b a si n that s to od near
a t u b of cold water an d filling it again and
again threw the chilly flood over her
She
broke loose from his gra s p He p u rs u ed an d
ca u ght her dragged her back to the t ub and
po u red the water over her while sh e gasped and
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THE

CHIL D OF THE STA TE

1 49

.

str u ggled Choked and breathless her sight
growing dim a horri b le agony in all her frame
s h e groped in blind f ury while the icy water
still dashed relentlessly o n her person u ntil s h e
ca ught hold of the basin a n d threw her whole
weight u pon it to drag it fro m her torm e ntor
He p u lled it back and hit her u nder the chin
with s u ch force that she nearly bit her tong u e
ofl
Her mo u th filled with blood which po u red
He s a w his a d va n
o ut and stained his hand s
t age over the dizzy half st u nned girl and fol
lowed i t u p Josie fell reeling to the floor He
said afterwards that she fell dow n herself
The frightened girls who witnessed the scene
alw a ys said he str u ck her again with the basin
and knocked her do w n
They took her to a cell and locked her up for
three days F or a week she co u ld not tal k b e
cau se of the blood which po u red into her mo u th
and she was able to eat only en o u gh to keep her
alive
One day before she was released two of the
matrons came in and told her to sit down for
they were going to c u t her hair off She lo oke d
imploringly at them and s a w that entreaty an d
protest w o u ld be alike vain She s ubmitted
and they sheared her bea u tif u l d ark hair short
and then made a cl u msy attempt to shingl e i t
N0 reas o n was assigned fo r this ac t b u t Josie
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THE CHIL D OF THE STA TE

1 50

.

s u pp osed i t was intended for p u nishment She
wept bitterly at first for the loss of her l o vely
hair b u t her shorn head so o n s u ggeste d to her
a daring idea
She went back to w o rk in the lau ndry and
bega n to secrete occasional arti c les of male cloth
ing She ripped open the mattress of her bed
a n d hid them i n that One day sh e was i n the
sew ing room when a q u antity of clothing was
bro u ght in to be mended When left alone with
it sh e sto le fro m the pile a pair of tro u sers S he
coveted a jacket b u t dared not take that al s o
lest the theft sho uld be discovered
It happened that s h e had then a r oom by
herself She rose at twelve o clock that night
dressed herself rapidly and stood i n the star
light at last in shirt and tro u sers looking li ke
a delicate pretty b oy She took the sheets
from her bed and tossed them thro u gh the tran
s om over the lo ck ed door of her chamber
She
st uff ed her shoes into her shirt climbed out her
self glided like a shadow past the doors o f the
other dormitories and reached the window at
the end o f the corridor S he p ushed u p the
sash and looked Out Fifteen feet below w as
the roof of the front porch
She looked down till she felt di zzy then took
the sheets tied them sec urely together fastened
one end to the blind and witho u t sto pp ing to
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THE CHILD OF

1 52

TH E

S TA TE

.

The gray chilly da w n was close at hand
w he n shivering and faint J osie c ro u ched by the
roadside i n the s ub u rbs o f a large m a n ufa ctur
i n g town in the neighborhood of the city s h e
A fter a night of terror and excite
h a d left
m ent the early morning O ften brings to j aded
nerves and brain a pec u liar sense of s u ffering
and disco u ragement Josie felt that the broad
e nin
g light w a s creeping on solely to discover
her to all the ho u nding police who wo uld be
s h e knew on her track that day ; s h e w a s bit
te r ly cold
and covering her f a ce with her
hands sh e crept yet closer to the fence and
sobbed and cried Her ho u r of heroism w a s
over and the ho u r of despair had stru ck J u st
then s h e heard a qu ick step so u nding near her
and starting up she sa w Charley Manton and
fl u ng herself t o ward him with a c ry o f u n u tter
able gladness
H u lloa
he exclaim ed
What 8 all
th i s

Oh Charley ! sobbing wildly and clinging
to h i m
Well this is a pretty piece of w o rk You ve
r u n away I s u ppose Pl u cky on my word and

He p u shed her O ff
y o u ve t u rned into a boy
half roughly s o he co u ld look at her
Well
yo u don t act m u ch like a boy Yo u need n t
flatter yo u rself Yo u d b etter g et i nto petti
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CHILD OF THE S TA TE

THE

1 53

A

.

c oats ag ain
Yo u r disg u ise is not a s u c cess

You po o r little foo l !
I want to go somewhere an d get work

where they can t find me sobbed sh e w i t h a
desperate e ff or t to assert a maidenly pride and
act as if she did n o t mean to throw herself wh o lly
Poor child where had she
o n his protection
l earned maidenliness among the b old yo ung
bo ys and girls at the R eform School !

How can yo u get w o rk till yo u ve got a
dress
It s no us e for y o u t o try to get a place
as a boy Yo u co u ld n t decei v e anybo dy twen

ty fo u r ho u rs


I 11 go to my u ncle she sai d

D o yo u kn o w where he is ? A n d do y ou
think yo u r a u nt will be glad t o see y ou back
again
Have they taken m uc h pains abou t yo u

these six years ?

I ve got a brother

Yes I know it He did w o rk her e H e
e nlisted in the na vy a month a go and his ship

has sa il ed


You kn o w that ? Then she crie d
u
o
y

know where my u n c le i s ?
Yo u r u ncle Jos i e i s dead You r a u nt h a s

marr ied again

Why did n t y o u tell m e this b efo re



h
he la u ghed
I w anted t o s e e wha t
O

ou
r
i
d
eas
o
f
a
c
tion
we
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THE CHIL D OF THE STA TE

1 54

.

Oh C harley what can I do
Why I g u e s s we ca n manage y ou C o me

wi th me I 11 ta ke care of yo u
"

She drew back a little and sai d, I do n t
wa nt to go with yo u u nless
Unless what

I ain t
Yo u kn ow what sh e stammered
a bad girl Yo u know I ain t Charley Yo u

wo u ld n t have li ked me if I h a d been
Well i s it going to make yo u a bad girl t o

g o with me
C o me don t be t oo stu ck up

I d rather get work

Try it and s e e if y ou c an Y o u r e a Re

f o rm Scho ol girl That s eno u gh against y o u
They won t a sk where I m fr om a t a fac
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A nd yo u u nderstand fa c to ry w ork ?

N 0 b ut I ca n learn

Do y ou mean to a sk for a girl s w ork o r a

boy s ?
J o sie w a s silent Why ha d she not b ro u ght
her dress with her from the R eform S c h ool ?
It might have saved her now


Y o u know went on Char ley
that i f
y o u r e found out y ou ll be taken back to the
school and y o u kn o w what 11 happen to y ou
then ; and y ou l l be fo und o u t as s u re as yo u

try f or work



Oh sai d J o si e sh u dde ri n g
th e supe ri n :

tendent h as u s e d me a wf ul
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THE CHILD OF THE STA TE

1 56

.

ri b le reality of what s h e s a w A s sh e l o oked
aro u nd sh e perceived at last among the
women a girl in whose face was something
strangely familiar Those d u sky eyes seemed
to start up from some clo u dy past and stare at
her thro ugh clearing mists Mrs Faber beck
o n e d to o n e o f the ofli ci a ls who ca me to her
d uring some p a u se in the ser vi ces


What i s that gi rl s name ? s h e asked
the dark on e who sits third on the second seat
from the front The o n e wi th a s carlet ribbo n

at h e r throat
Oh J osie B u rns sh e calls he rself I don t

s u ppose it is her real name

Do yo u know anything abo u t her ?

Not m u ch
S he grew u p i n the R eform
S cho ol at
she say s She 8 rather refined
and ge ntle in her ways except when s h e s
a ngr y
She has a qu ick temper and I g uess
sh e
s q u ite a desperate cha racter
She says
s h e has o ne or two children and sometimes sh e
says s h e 8 had t o live as s h e h as to s u ppo rt
them b u t I pres ume that s all lies You can t

t ell m u ch by what any of these women s a y
What will be com e of her c hildren if s h e

has any ?

It s rather s a d to think of b u t the gi r ls
will grow u p like her probably and the boys
will become thieves and tramps most likely

S uch women are the mothers of cri minals
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THE CHILD OF THE S TA TE

1 57

.

? ”

Is sh e here for long
Six m o n ths and s h e s been here three
It s q u ite a story She threw herself u nder
the railroad train as it wa s c oming o u t of the
station and was p u lled O E the track j u st in
time to save her and then as there did n t
seem t o be anything else to do with her sh e

was sent here
A nd where can her chil d ren be

I don t believe she h a s any ; b u t sh e says
sh e
had got them places and tho ught sh e d
take herself o u t of the way D o yo u kno w
her
S he reminds me of a li ttle girl I to ok once
from that R eform School b u t it s not the same

name
I dare sa y it i s she They change their
names a dozen times and s o metimes they really

get married besides
I sho u ld like to speak t o her after the s e r

vices are over


Oh certainly
A s the women were ab o u t to leave the
chapel Mrs Faber went u p to the on e who had
ro u sed her interest and said to her simply

A re n t yo u J osie Welch

Yes answered the girl and yo u are Mrs
Faber that I u sed to live with I had a very
good t i me at y o u r h o use and y o u were ve ry

kind to me

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THE CHIL D OF

1 58

THE

S TA TE

.

J os i e said Mrs Faber hal f cryi ng
“ I am so sorry to s e e yo u here
S u ch a n i ce

li ttle girl as yo u were
N o tears stood in J osi e s hope l ess eyes even
when s h e s a w the kindly dr ops in the other s
eyes


h
e
s
Thank yo u
said
It wo u ld have
been better for me if I c o u l d have stayed wi th

yo u always

I wish yo u had sobbed Mr s Faber Josie
smiled slowly it was s o many ages to o late for
s u ch a wish

Oh Josie ! cried Mrs Faber after a mo

ment more they tell me yo u threw y o u rself
u nder the train How co u ld yo u


I was dr u nk answered the girl in a hard
cold voice
and I tho u ght besides i f I died
that way may be Charley M a nto n w oul d he ar

o f it s o me day

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1 60

A STRA N G ER YE T A T HOME ”
.

,

when there s E merson
blessed man
a
layin o n that table in a fig g e r a ti ve sense jest

w a i ti n to let y o u get acq u a inted with h i m

B ut mother Pr udence faintly ans w ered
gazing deprecatingly at the vol u me indicated

I can t u nderstand E merson very well and
what I do u nderstand don t seem qu ite orth o

d ox to me
A nd what call have yo u to be o rth od ox ?
retorted Mrs Warner who be in g a sta u nch
U nitarian felt a ggrieved beca u se her h u sban d
had remained a Baptist d u ring all the years of
their married life and beca u se Pr u dence in
early girlhood had been baptized into he r
father s faith

It was all th at Lo renz o Ha y n e s s
th ought the indignant mother
foolin round

her with his sof t speeches
She was abo u t right Y o un g Haynes a big
eyed divinity st u dent had been the her o of
Pr u dence s on e love dream ; a dream that had
vanished m a ny years before Pr u e at thirty five
stood br u sh ing her soft hair in the virginal
solit u de of her pretty room
One of the pec u liarities o f Miss Warner s sit
ua ti on i n life wa s that the members o f her fam
ily did not really bear to her the relation they
n ominally did Mr Warner was not her father
b u t uncle and her u ncle only by marriage

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A STRA N G ER YE T AT HOME ”

1 61

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H is first wife had been the sister of Pru den c e s
mother and had taken the baby when that
mother died
She also soon followed the
world accu stomed pilgrimage and passed out o f
the sight of eager eyes
Then Mr Warner
married A rv illa G o u ld who h a d tenderly cared
fo r the adopted child
A ll her life Pr u e had
been well beloved b u t tamely except for the
brief period d u ring which her clerical lover had
been b o th tr u e and ardent On the whole Pr u e
had nearly s u cceeded i n teaching herself that
the moderate certainty of her home a Ee cti on s
was wo rth more than that flickering flame had
been and there was n o real tro u ble n o w in the
eyes that were reflected at her in the mirror
Her o w n father Stanton D u dley had marrie d
a second time been widowed and wedded again
and after this threefold experience had himse l f
died leaving a widow Pr u e s u nkn o wn step
m o ther
Somewhere amo n g these marita l
changes another d au ghter was born to him a
fair slight girl with c heeks that bore the fatal
N ew E ngland fl u sh When very yo u ng sh e
married a man somewhat older than herself
U nder his loving eyes her wild rose bloom grew
i nto a deeper hectic then faded and paled in
death Dari u s Kingman left the co u ntry imme
Once
d i a te ly and settled i n b u siness in China
in a wh ile he ac kn o wledged hi s conne c ti o n with
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1 62

A STR ANGER YE T A T

H UM

,

Pr u d enc e by sending her gifts whi c h she dis
played to her village friends with some pride


From my brother she wo u ld say gently
li n geri n g on the words

Oh he s only a half br o ther i n l aw at best !
cried M aggie S ta r d on on e s u ch O ccasion ;
and yet he s the only real relative yo u have in

the world

I m s u re bro ke in Mrs Warner sharply,

Pr u e s folks think j us t as m u ch of her a s any

body s else s folks do of them
Maggie was a yo u ng married woman str u g
gling for an assured position among the g ood
nat u red v illage aristocracy who were easily i n
d uce d t o open their doors part way for her
They critici s ed her a good deal b u t tolerated
and even rather liked her bo th women and men
feeling the charm of her u n u s u al bea u ty
On this afternoon of which we have spoke n
when Pr u dence had at last finished arraying
herself s h e went down stairs and met Mr
Warner b u stling into the sitting r o om
Where s mother ? asked he

There she comes u p the street answere d
J anet the pretty handmaid flinging open the
po rch door Pr u e stepped t o the threshold and
s a w her mother approaching
She w a s an e l
d e r ly woman tall and spare with thin high
feat u res which were shaded by a silk s un bo n
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1 64

A STR A N GER YE T A T HOME
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Ninety five to day
said her son in law

“ and she don t look a bit over eighty
“ Oh ” q u avered the old lady
b u t I don t
feel nigh s o spry as when I was on y ninety I

did n t think I d live to s e e thi s day

That s so said her dau ghter
Mother s
j ust been bent on d y i n all this spring Did n t
want me to make u p this dress for her for fear
B u t I was bo u nd she
s h e wo u ld n t wear it

sho u ld have it anyhow
“ It ll do bea u tif u l to be laid o u t in ” said
M a rm smoothing its shining folds
Dear
de a r me Ar vi lly what a time it is sen c e I was

to a f uneral !
The ladies drew out their fancy work Mag
gi e S ta r d sat down by the last gift Dari u s
Kingman had sent a lovely cabinet that Pru e
had transformed into a writing desk She was
not in the habit o f wr i ting m u ch b u t it had
pleased her fancy t o m ake the pretty c u rio u s
str u ct ure serve a s a sort of shrine fo r the u n us ed
literary implements belongi ng to the family “

This is very nice I m s u re said Maggie
passing her fingers over the inlaid s u rface
It
m u st be very convenient
I s u ppose Mr s
Warner y ou r e s u c h an intelle c t u al p e rs o n y ou

write and compose a great dea l

N ot I said the matron with a t o ss o f her

head
I thank the L o rd I can u se my m eas
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A S TRA N G ER YET A T HOME "

1 65

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u ri ng tape on m y self as tr u e as on anybody else
and I know too m u ch to waste my time a writ
i ng things I wo u ld n t take the min u tes to read

if somebody else had written them

How Maggie al w ays does r u b mother the
wro n g way
m u sed Pru e with a qu iet smile ;
an d then on some pretext she stepped to the
door and looked o u t across the road The level
s u nbeams shone into her eyes u nder the fl o w e r
laden b ou ghs of apple trees A tiny bird all
brown and yellow swayed on some frail s u pport
among the gras s es The grass itself shimmered
in the w a rm low light and pink apple b u ds
seemed to pale visibly i n to white blossoms their
bl u shes d ying as they gre w u sed to the kisses o f
the s un
How lovely it all was ! Pr u den ce t u rned her
eyes and s a w a man walking u p the ro a d b e
side the orchard wall She gave an amazed lit
tle cry started eagerly forward c hecked herself
stood a m o ment irresol u te then advanced slowly
to the gate and when the stranger came u p she
p u t o u t her hand and he took it b e fo re either
spoke

Yo u m u st be Pr uden c e , he s ai d a t last
Do yo u know me ?


Yes Dari u s
T hey went into the ho u se togeth e r

Go od land
c ried M rs Warn e r
Y ou
don t m ean it ! Dari u s Kin gm an as I live
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1 66

A STRAN GER YE T A T
,

"
M
HO E
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C o me here come here said Marm i n a
high tone
I m most bl i nd an I want to se e

if it 8 really him
E verybody talk ed and la ughe d and ex
claimed while Kingman stood lookin g do w n at
the aged woman — everybody b u t P r u e wh o
kept very silent watching D ar i u s with s h y glad
eyes
K i ngman spoke very deferentially to the ol d
l ady He might well have sm i led to s e e her
A ro u nd her withered throat s h e wo r e a bla ck
r ibbo n on her head a cap made of cheap bl a ck
and white laces mixed with lavender ribbon
and ro u nd her head w a s tied with lo n g ends a
bright green string which held on her spe cta
cles D own each of her temples were laid s i x
little locks o f gray hair shape d l i ke b u tto n
hooks
A fter Dari u s and Pru e be came i nti
mate she confide d to h i m the in formati on that
th o se gray locks were c u t more than twenty
years before f rom Marm s dead h u sband s b ro w
A fter the lapse of some time the widow had h ad
them made up int o their present o rnamental
shape and now wore them b ou nd on to her f o re
head u nder her cap
The h u sbands of Mr s Warn er s gu es ts ar
rived a few min u tes after Kingman and then
all the qu estions and welcomi n g u proar began
again t i ll e ve ryb od y le arne d th at on e o f the

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1 68

A S TRA N G ER YE T A T HOME "
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i ng her flower bed Dari u s came into the g arden
and strolled up to her She fl u shed slight l y
holdi n g o ut her s o iled hands wi th an apologeti c
ge s t u re o f exhibition

N ever mind s a id he
I s a w a p u mp i n
the field as I came throu gh I am s u re y ou

can find water eno u gh to make them clean

Oh yes sh e answered feeling a li ttle co n
f u sed
in the meado w That s where they

water the cows
He laughed threw himself on the grass a n d
stared u p at the apple blossoms
How u nl ik e China
he said at last

It m us t all seem strange t o yo u s h e
vent u red rather t i m i dly

Strange he echoed
yet so familiar It
i s coming back t o first principles with a ven
to
take
u
life
i
n
a
N
ew
E
ngland
vil
e
a
n ce
g
p
lage after going ro u nd the globe in se arch o f a

destiny
She did not half u nderstand him b u t sh e
smiled and he felt enco u raged to go on
I feel the spell o f old associations already
I am s u re I have made my c irc u it
I have
traveled far b u t all my paths le a d me back t o

the starting place
He pl u cked the bl ades of grass u nder h is i dle
fingers an d played with them for some mo
m ents then broke the silen ce s u ddenly
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A STR AN G ER YE T A T HOME "

1 69

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Pr u dence will y ou go with me to the
Q u aker meeting on S u nday ? — First day I

s u ppose I sho u ld s a y

She gla n ced u p s u rprised
Yes he con
tinned dreamily the old faith knocks within
my heart where it has al w ays lain hidden a n d

demand s to come o u t and r u le my life again
She was really a little frightened as well as
m u ch p u zzled at the t u rn Dari u s remarks had
taken ; b u t as s h e knelt there by her flowers
with raised face and perplexed eyes something
i n her sympathetic tho u gh u ncomprehending
womanhood stim u lated him to rev e a l his tho u ght
more fu lly to her



Do yo u not know he said
that I was
born and bred a Friend b u t was diso w ned whe n
I married yo u r sister ?

Oh yes sh e answered


I was in love he went on
and wh a t I
did I wou ld do a gai n u nder the same circ u m
stan ces ; b u t those can ne v er be A nd so it
has co me to pass that I feel the longing O f a
homesick child to b e once more re c eived into

membersh ip

Yo u do not look like a Q u aker said s h e


Perhaps not ; nor do I talk like on e he
added w ith a sm ile
Old fashioned Q u akers
never dis c u ss religio u s matters Maybe I shal l
feel no need o f S peech when I s i t a mong them

again
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1 70

A STR A N G ER YE T A T HOME
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It seems o d d m u rm u red the bewil d ere d
Pr u e

“ I s u ppo s e it does ” he ad mitted
B ut
tr u ly Pr u e yo u can never know how deep the
dye o f Q u akerism is to those whose so u ls are
steeped i n it as an hereditary religion It is
o nly a veneer of the world I wear u pon me
My ga rments are u n Q u akerish in c u t b u t my

th o u ghts are S haped after the old patte rn
“ A nd will
y ou wear a drab coat ?
He sprang t o his feet with a hea rty la u gh
“ I don t know whether the inward imp u lse

will extend s o f ar o u tward
He started t o wards the h o u se and sh e fol
lowed The path was more familiar to her
than to him and yet sh e felt a s if it was he
that was g u idi n g her u nder the cherry trees
and ap ple blossoms to the d oo r of her home
It chanced that two or three weeks elapse d
bef ore Pr u den c e w a s able to ac c ompan y her
brother i n law to the Q u aker meeting Mean
while Dari u s was very b u sy thinking and
do in g His b u siness arrangements proceed ed
rapidly towards completion He pl un ged head
l ong int o details of which some be wildered and
some s urprised him In his chara c ter practical
energy was u nited with dreamy spe c u lative
ness He possessed good abilities as a b u sines s
m an c o mbined with the mental fu rn ishing that

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1 72

A STRA N G ER YE T A T HOME ”
.

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It was a perfect J u ne morning o n which Da
ri u s drove with Pr u dence thro u gh the sleepy
heat to the O ld Q u aker meeting ho u se The
roads were li n ed with blackberry a nd barberry
b u she s Loc u s t trees grew on ei ther side by
the stone walls and were in f u ll bloom m a king
the air heavy with their sweetness Wild
grape v in es clasped trees st o nes and shr u bbery
in an abandoned embrace
Pr u dence sat erect by Kingman s S ide and
looked a b o u t her with an unwonted brightness
i n her eyes He drove on in d reamy silence
The lang u id air the wild fragrance stole into
his so u l exciting there a sort of sens u o u s fervor
When they reached their
o f religio u s emotion
de s tination he lif ted Pr u e out before the worn
O ld meeting ho u se and idly s n Ee r e d his eyes to
rest u pon her fig u re as s h e mo unted the step s
Her bonnet was simple and s h e was clad i n a
m u slin gown the prevailin g tint of which w a s
gray so that she did not l o ok u n fit to s i t among
Q u aker women He fastened his horse i n the
shed whose yawning alc o ves had sheltered the
teams of more than o n e sober generation of
meeting goer s and then made his way into the
little assembly The mem ories of his b oy
hood came over him as he took his seat apart
from Pr u e on the men s side of the ro o m
H e fixed his eyes o n the elders s itti n g on the
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A S TRA N G ER YE T A T HOME "

1 73

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fa cing seat s
Softly came the so u n d o f s um
mer noises thro ugh the window s The mo
ment s went by like solemn heart beats The
faces of the congregation were settled into stolid
c alm b u t Dari u s felt a s if he were waiting for
s o mething to happen A woman rose at l ast
and l a id her bonnet on the bench beside he r
She began to speak in a low voice which soo n
s o ared into the well known Q u aker chant Her
senten ces were disconnected u ngrammatical
d u ncertain of significan c e b u t Dari u s co u ld
an
not j u dge this u tterance as he wo u ld ha ve
j u dged it if delivered in an o ther tone and
place R eligio u s feeling and tr u th were linked
t o o closely with s u ch so u nds thr o u gh all the
experience o f early life
A small sharp feat u red man arose next
Plain as his face was it had a look o f tender
nes s an d his homely eyes were very earnest
His words utt ered simply a n d with b u t littl e
intonation were direct He spoke of God as

Men are S low he
if he we r e s u re of him
said
really to believe there is a G od i n this
world They believe i n many other po w ers
b u t not in his They a re slow t o think he is
working ri ght here Yet he made men so that
they need him Ma n is higher than all th e
other creat u res God has made b ut he needs
G od mo re than these lowe r o nes d o If we a re
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1 74

A STRA N G ER YE T A T HOM E ”
.

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not in u nity with God we cannot live right
l ives so it behooves u s all to wat c h caref u lly
what passes within u s to see that we be i n
u nity with him F or th u s m u ch he has left it
to u s to do that we sho u ld not be mere p u p
pets ; we m u st try to p u t o u rselves into com
m u nion with him if we want his help If there
be any who s a y they cannot s e e God or u nd e r
stand him amid the sore provings of trou ble
and sorro w and pain that are l aid u pon them
verily it is beca u se they have them selves
closed their eyes a n d da rkened their minds to

perc eive h i m n ot
Th u s spoke the old man with an accent of
every day in his vo ice and it see m ed to Dari u s
that this was what he had waited for
the
speech of a man who really believed in G od
Some days after this S u nday D ari u s walk
ing home in the late afternoon s a w Pru e com
in g out of on e of the factory t enements where
She
h e knew some co ns u mptive invalids lived
c arried a little covered basket on her arm an d
wore her gray m u slin

You have been to s e e poor A ndrew s he
said joi n ing her
He tells me y o u hav e been

there before

Oh yes

Yo u look like a si s ter o f chari ty

Do I
B u t I do n o t make a b us in e ss of

do i ng good
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1 76

A STR AN GER YET A T HOME "
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Maggie S ta r d met them th u s and glance d
c u rio u sly at their faces
“ A t her age ! ” tho ught the y o u ng married
beau ty
A few min u tes later sh e was S itting on M rs

U pon my word
C og g e sh a ll s portico saying
I do think the E nglish way is better Then a
girl i n Pr u dence s position wo u l d kno w at o nce
there co u ld be no love making between her and
her brother i n law and so w o u ld n t get her

mind set in that direction
Mrs Cogge shall looked blandly at her visitor

Oh indeed sh e s ai d
have yo u leanings
towards the E nglish C h u rch ? Well I always
did like the service very m u ch and I have read
a g o od deal abo u t the A nglican division from
R ome with great interest If yo u are thinking
ab o u t these things I sho u ld be delighted to lend
yo u several theological works which I possess
Mr C oggeshall al w ays la u gh s at what he calls
my pio u s library
I confess however I never
co u ld qu ite make u p my min d to t u rn Epis c o
palian It w a s the fa u lt of the E nglish pe ople
They a re respon sible themselves for my rem ain
ing o u tside their comm u nion I always dote d
on e verythi n g E ngli s h till the war came and
then they were so nasty as they s a y I ne v e r
co u ld abide them afterwards D o y ou remem

ber m u ch abo u t the war ?
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A STRA N GER YET A T HOME "

1 77

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Yes th ou gh I was q u ite yo ung then said
Maggie ; and bent on ret u rning to the charge
she added
I think it v ery o d d Mr Kingman
d i d not come back from China to go into the

army

Bro ught up a Q u aker my dear rejoine d
Mrs Coggeshall thoro u ghly aware o f Maggie s
p u rpo s e and eq u ally resolved to fr u strate it
Yo u know Q u akers d o n t fight ; and tho u gh
many of the yo u n g men i n the Society did g o
into the a rmy they were those who w ere i n the
v ery heat of the martial spirit O f the N orth a n d
c au ght the war fever withou t stopping to thin k
of the principles o f their religion B u t Dari u s
w a s way O E in China and only ech o es reached
his ear ; p o sitively only echoes o f the strife

It was n t exactly distance lending enchant
ment to the view b u t something ana logo u s to
it The excitement did not overcome the effect
He sympathized and all
o f a lifelong training
that b u t co u ld not take the bloody sword in
hand Oh I respect his devotion to principle
j u st as m u ch as I honor the co u rage of o u r s ol
diers ! I knew several of those Q u aker officers
from Philadelphia S plendid fellows ! Come
into the ho u se Maggie and let me S how y ou a
photograph of one of them S u ch a gentleman
and soldier as he w as ! A nd to th ink he is
dead ! Yet I ve g o t to that age that some

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12

1 78

A STRA N G ER YE T
,

HOME ”

AT

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times i t seems to me as if half the world were
dead a n d it w a s n t natural for me t o have any

friends alive
S o she talked the yo u ng woman s gossip
down b u t she u nderstood it very well and b e
gan herself to fear that Pr u e might be la yi n g u p
tr o uble for her poor little heart
Maggie meanwhile r u shed into the ga me
and often invited Dari u s to vi sit her She h ad
no S pecial desire to ass u me the mi le of mar
ried flirt Her ambition was to have a p op u lar
ho u se and to move abo u t in it with impartial
smiles Dari u s took Pr u den c e with him a few
times S he sa t i n the corner very compo s ed
and very q u iet He did not q u ite like the com
pany he met there and it relieved an oc c asional
feeling of annoyance for him t o see Pr u e on her
lo w seat by the window

A m I not glad that is over ! he said on e
night as they started for home
I wo u ld not
go there so m u ch if Mrs S ta r d did n t m an
age i t s o that I seem obliged to I don t think
it is consistent with my Q u aker prin ciples t o

frequ ent s u ch gay assemblies



I c an t q u ite make ou t said Pr u e how
m u ch in earnest yo u are abo u t yo u r Q u a ker

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I am very m u ch in earnest answered he
Do y ou not think a simple style o f li vin g on

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1 80

A STRA N GER YE T A T HOME
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I d on t kn o w what yo u mean said he
sto u tly

Oh b u t sh e does reto rted Maggi e look
ing prettier than ever for a u dacity was b e c om
i n g to her
Or is it only a case o f someb o dy
liking yo u best
Then s urely yo u might come
to my little parties Oh there s my good man !
T o m dear don t y o u see me ? Here I am
q u arreling with Mr Kingman Come over an d

walk home with me for tr uly he won t
That evening there was a temperance meet
ing in the village and all the aristocracy of the
place attended by way of setting a good exa m
ple to the lower classes Mrs Coggeshall look
ing across the aisle saw Pr u e s eyes resting for
an in stant on Dari u s

A h tho u ght the matron
Pro vidence e v
Pr u
i d e n tly intends this to be a case for me
dence has no fl e sh and blood mother and the
be s t make believe on e d on t thrill thro u gh every
nerve on behalf of a child as a real on e does
I hav e n t a n idea Mrs Warner sees a thing of
what 8 going on u n der her respectably Sp e cta
cled nose To be s u re Pr u e is O ld eno u gh to
take c are of herself ; only women u nless they
are married will be women t o the e n d o f the
chapter poor creat u res ! Gracio u s how time
goes ! It m u st be f ull fifte en years S ince Pr u e
followed th at Lorenzo somebody do w n to the

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A S TR AN G ER YE T A T HOME "

ri v e r

1 81

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She tho u ght S he was doi n g it t o pl ease
the Lord b u t I g u ess the Lord knew very well
it was done t o please Lorenz o A nd now S he s
o n the road to another tro u ble
That night Dari u s Kingman sat f o r an h ou r
alone on h i s boarding hou se piazza The moon
shone solemnly down o u t of a clear dark sky
There seemed to be no barrier between the
m an s so u l and heaven
only immeas u rable
d istance
A ll the passions of his li fe passed in
review before him like a great host marshaled
u n d er that awf u l s ky E vents were of little
moment to him c o mpared with emotions He
was convinced that it had not mattered m u ch
what S pecial c irc u mstance had fired the train of
feeling laid ready i n his heart or had t u rned
his tho u ghts along a pathway already open b e
fore him If it had not been on e incident it
wo uld have been another Only on e th ing i n
all his life appeared now to have been o f it s e lf
o f c ontrolling import
his early love and loss
A part from this single mon u mental experience
all his story was the story o f a man s long in g
after G od and all that longing had bro u ght
h i m back to the faith of his yo u th
A mid the
fl u ct u ations of modern th o u ght with its mate
r i a l i s ti c trend
this alon e oEe r e d a solid ass u r
an c e to his mind — the dear old Q u aker doc
trine that in the s o u l of eve ry man that co meth
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1 82

A S TR A N G ER YET A T HOME "
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int o the world is a light that lighteth all his
footsteps
A tho u sand lesser imp ulses also
drew him back to his old religion F or the sake
o f his love he had once defied the Q u aker disci
pline which forbade marriage with an o u tsider ;
b ut d i d he w i sh to do that again ? Pr u dence
sweet as she w a s to him aro u sed n o s u ch pas
He
s i on a te lo v e as had been g i ve n to her sister
knew very well that O ld c u stoms had s o far re
l a x e d a mong the Friends i n that section of the
co u ntry that he c o u ld be admitted to fellowship
with the m tho u gh it were known that he p u r
p o sed marrying one of the women o f the world
a week later He had no principle himself
against s u ch marriages a n d yet whether from
the e Ee c t o f early training or hereditary pr e j u
dice he shrank from entertaining at the same
time the proj ect of j oining the So c iety and of
m aking s u ch a marriage as the S ociety had de

li b e r a te l y condemned as disorderly
I t also to u ched what small sense o f h u m o r
this serio u s minded man possessed to find him
self in this religio u s cr i sis o f his life tempte d
to commit again the very oEe n s e which had
m ade him a religio u s o u tla w so ma n y years
before B u t when he had reached this sta ge
of his meditations he told himself that he w as
n o t at all tempted to marry Pru e W h y then
was he thinking ab ou t it ? Why did her fa c e
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1 84

A STRA N GER YE T A T HOME
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qu ality i nher whi c h defied his analysis ; s o he
went o n bravely to his resolve to shield her
fr o m gossip a n d visit her only when compelled
to do s o He rose at last to leave the silent
porch Pau sing at the ho u se d oor he looked
up at the moo n which now rode majestic in
the mid heavens B ack over his so u l came a
r elig i o u s feeling like the swelling of a great
tide


O G o d my God he m u rm u red
in all
this achin g gro an ing world in all this living
loving world there i s no room for an y passion

b u t the desire of thee !
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S o evening after evening passed and Dari u s
di d n ot come to Pru e s sitting room A t firs t
S he wondered O penly at his absence playf u lly
making little vexed speeches abo u t it to her
father a n d mother
Then s h e ceased to r e
fer to her brother i n law and drooped a little
and was rather silent b u t there was nob o dy to
notice that
One a fternoon she sa t at the window and s a w
Dari u s go by on the other side of the road with
M aggie S taff ord and her yo u n ger sister Tessy
a girl more golden haired
more bea u tif ully
b londe even than Maggi e Tessy was lau gh
i ng as they passed The la u gh so u nded like
the n o te of a bobol i nk Pr u e tho u ght ; and
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A STR A N G ER YE T A T HOME "

1 85

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think ing this she sa w Dari u s smile kindly in
answer H ow well S he knew that kind smile !
She rose at o n ce and went to her room She
saw herself in h er mirror as the door c l o sed
b ehind her and seated herself mechanically i n
a low chair H o w old and pale Sh e looked
Old ! sh e said to herself mockingly
I
feel as if I were dead
F or a f u ll half ho u r s h e s a t there scar c ely
m ov in g ; then s h e went calmly down the stair s
t o ok u p her sewing and listened witho u t u nder
standing while her mother read alo u d to her
something from Darwin
That s a me evening Dari u s stood once more
on Maggie s piazza while the m u sic of yo u ng
voices floated gayly thro ugh the open windows ;
and S he herself a white gracef u l fig u re came
to him laying a hand lightly on his arm

It is lovely to have yo u b ack said sh e
“ and I knew y o u wo u ld like Tessy ”

She is charming said the man
Bu I
t
a m n o t in my element among these bright y o u ng
gi rls I fancy I live d t oo l o ng in China to be
at home i n th i s sort of society I sp oke pigeon
E nglish too many ye a rs to find my to n g u e apt
at c o mpliments now
Y o u are very kind to
want to i ntrod u c e me to yo u r girl friends b u t
it i s too late for me t o mak e myse lf th eir com

rad e
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1 86

A S TRA N G ER YE T A T HOME "
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A fter

this he did manage very nearl y to se
ol u de himself ; and being m u ch occ u pied by his
b u sine s s d u ring the fal l months Pr u e w a s not
the only one o f his friends wh o miss ed the S ight
o f him
Of co u rse he was obliged to call o cc asion a lly
at Mr Warner s b u t it w a s at least three wee ks
after that e v e n i n g at M a ggie s when Pr u e met
him first
She came into the ho u se from a
botanizing walk carrying i n her h an d a spray of
early red leaves On her way home sh e had
been thi n king o f him She w a s always think
i ng of him at this time She never left the
ho u se witho u t the tho u ght that s h e might s e e
him She never c a me back w itho ut the hope
that he had entered her home in her absence
She never approached a wi n dow witho u t won
d ering if s h e might n ot catch a glimpse of h i m
thro u gh the revealing glass that seemed a:loop
hole i n her prison walls She n ever saw a fig
u re coming towards her from the distance with
It w a s not
o ut the prayer that it might be hi s
a sharp pain she felt b u t a d e athly s u spense of
the mind a slow creeping faintness of th e heart
like the on coming of disease or o f old age
In this mo od with his name trembling on her
u ncon scio u s lips she came into the room on that
September afternoon , and sa w h i m standing b e
side her gra n d mo ther
her grandmother o nly
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1 88

A S TR A N G ER YE T AT HOME
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felt a sort of nervo u s shock b u t he only bo we d
to u ched her fingers stooped again over Marm s
w ithered hand m u rm u red a few incoherent
words a n d left the ho u se
A few days later the grandmother died an d
D ari u s came agai n frequ ently to the Warners
He was ki n d and helpfu l b u t he kept out of
Pr u e s way and when the necessity for visiting
passed he came no more
The Warners d i d not p u t on mo u rning
It s

a sinf u l waste of ti m e an money said M r s
A rvilla
It makes the world dismaler than i t
need be an there s nothin Christian i n doin
that The sorrow that has to be coddled to
keep it alive had better die If anybody thinks
I ain t sorry my mother s dead let em come

an ask me ! That s all
So Pr u e still wore her soft grays and browns ;
b u t when she selected her modest winter ward
r obe that year she chose e v en pl a iner shapes
and d uller tints than ever before ; feeling not
only that th u s she did some slight honor to the
aged woman s memory b u t f u rther impelled
by a sense that i n this way it behooved o n e to
dress whose girlhood had passed She did not
want to be old b u t she had felt that s h e was
o ld
ever since the afternoon when sh e had
heard th a t clear la u gh of Tessy Martin s ri n g
o ut for girlish j oy at being in Dari u s Kin g
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A STR A N GER YE T A T HOME ”

1 89

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man s company A man s fate th o u ght Pru e
was d iEe r e n t from a wom an s He was her
own
se n ior by several years b u t he was not
ol d
in the sense that s h e was He was sti ll
a welcome associate for yo ung and bea u tif u l
maidens while sh e !
alas what hands ome
b oy o f eighteen wo u ld la u gh like th a t beca u se
Pr u dence Warner smiled on him She had not
only missed Dari u s Kingman s lo v e
a some
thi n g which she had never possessed
b u t sh e
had lost that which had o n ce been hers
all
the blessed opport u nity of yo u th She bade
herself accept her lot q u ietly n ot trick herself
ou t i n un b e fittin
i
clothes
b
be
will
ng
t
o
look
u
t
g
what she w a s
a middle aged S ingle woman
w h o had been pas s ed by
The first time she wore her new garments
to ch u rch M aggie came u p to her after th e
service la u ghing
Really Pr u dence y ou look
j u st like a Q u aker Have yo u ca u ght Dari us
K i ngman s craze
Pru e fl u shed and t u rned angrily away

Oh I did n t mean anything called o u t
Maggie b u t the other wo u ld not answer and
walked rapidly homeward
Pr u e w a s tempted after this to cro w n her
bonnet with gay flowers b u t she wo u ld not
S h o w Maggie that S he felt the stin g o f what
had been said
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1 90

A S TRAN GER YE T A T H OME "
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T o wards spring th e hands i n M r C ogges
hal l s mill str u ck
They paraded and held
meetings There was m u ch g a therin g o f peo
ple on the streets A ll sorts o f stories were
told abo u t everybody concerned in the b u siness
Mr Cogg eshall irritated by many false r e
ports sh u t himself in his ho u se in s u llen s i
l ence
Dep u tations o f spinners and weavers
besieged his door in va in He wo u ld s e e none
o f them
Mrs C oggeshall rattled on g oo d h u
m or e d ly abo u t th e whole a Ea i r and ra l lied her
h u sband u nceasingly at what S he termed the
c o nstantly increasing evidences of his pop u lar
i ty w ith the people he employed She treated
it all as a j oke b u t he took the str ike as a per
sonal oEe n s e
It w as a new experience to Kingman and
impressed him deeply He talked with people
holding all sorts of opinions a n d pe o ple who
were aff ected in many d i Ee r e n t ways by the
qu estions at iss u e By t u rns he grew i n d ig
nant in behalf of all parties S ometimes he was
heart sick and di s mayed by the diffic ulties in
thi s and many ki n dred s it u ations which he i n
v e s ti g a te d ; b u t whatever fin ancial theories he
adopted or rej ected more and more his s y m
a th i e s went o ut to tho s e men
women
and
p

childre n to w hom
labor tro u bles
meant
something worse than the pecu niary embarr ass
ment which threatened their employe rs
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1 92

A S TRAN GER YE T A T HOM E "
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Yes sai d s h e u nda u ntedly
awfu lly s o ;

that s on e thing I like abo u t h i m



I don t see spoke u p Mrs Warner
as
the thing yo u call so e rratic in Dari u s is any
thing b u t the N ew Testamen t fanatici s m p u t
in action ; an for my part I don t think it s
respectf u l to the Lord the way Mr Coggeshall
and Mr Warner are always talkin a s if the
A lmighty did n t know abo u t b u siness whe n

He settled his syste m o f morality

My dear my dear softly interpos e d Mr
Warner yo u be a woman and don t u n d er

stand b u sine s s
The Lord an me tog ether ! ejacu late d
M r s A rvilla
A t that moment came a low tap at the back
d oor and Pr u dence softly glided o ut o f the
room She soon came back and spok e with
some nervo u sness :
Father Dari u s wants to know if he may
borrow the horse and b u ggy to drive t o Lex
ville Hi s horse is lame He 8 got a s u dden
call to go and as he may be detained he s
asked me to go with him s o I can bri ng the

horse back

Oh to be s u re to be s u re b u stled Mr
Warner ri s ing
I 11 go and se e to the har
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N o , yo u need

n

t,

said

sh e

hastily


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I

A STRA N G ER YE T A T HOME "

1 93

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g u ess Dari u s u nderstands a horse as well as
h
o u do
t
times
he
Sit
e
s harnessed Spin !
y
still d o ! You know yo u ve g ot a lame back
and besides Mr Coggeshall wants to talk b u si

ne s s with yo u

That s so said the man u fact u rer as Pr u e
d espite herself t u rned an appealing look t o
him
Sit down Jaco b I g u ess Dari u s is

equ al to the occasion
B u t Mrs Coggeshall noticed Pr u e s excited
m anner and disapproved very m u ch of the pro
posed drive She wanted to go straight o ut t o
the b ar n and talk to Kingman again abo u t his
sister i n law s a Ee c ti on s She ached to tell M r s
Warner how st u pidly blind s h e was B u t a s
she co u ld do neither of these thing s s h e tried
to content herself by attacking Pr u dence s un
s u spicio u s mother on a point of theology
When Pr u e all bonneted and cloaked went
fo u nd Dari u s standing
o u t to the barn
sh e
beside the mare his face very white and his
lips compressed


I ll harness her sai d s h e
and I v e m ade

it all right in the ho u se

Poor little Pr u e said he
What a dip
lo m a te yo u m u st be and I sho u ld never have
s uspected it of y o u !
She p u t the mare in the traces backed the
b u ggy o ut o f the barn and helped Dari u s in

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1 94

A

O

YET A T H OME

S TR AN ER,

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He s ubmitted with a prote st b u t when both
were seated he gathered up the reins with h i s
left hand

Yo u d better let me drive said sh e

N ot till we h ave passed the ho u se he a n
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They leaned forwa rd and bowed as they wen t
by the sitting room windows and then Dari u s
la u ghed a little for Mrs Coggeshall darted at
him a wrathf u l look the p u rport o f which he
s u s pected
When they were on the road Pru e fi rmly
took possession of the reins saying N ow te ll

m e all abo u t it

I have told yo u all there i s
j u st a row
w ith Tom M u rphy and Peter M cNa m a r a as I
came across the fields looking for trailing ar
b u t u s It was nothing They w o u ld n t have
to u ched me b u t they were dr u nk and took it
into their m u ddled heads to class me among
their O ppressors There s no real ill bl ood
among the strikers They v e behaved ve r y

well I think he added with an attempt at a
smile considering they v e had to do w ithou t

the refining infl uences of higher ed u cation

Oh b u t are y o u h u rt very m u ch ?
N ot serio u sly ; only as I said my ar m
m u st be broken I think Peter d id it with
that big cl u b It did l ook s o big com in g down
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1 96

A

S

TR A N G ER YET A T HOME "
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they reached Le x v i l le The doctor r e
the m i n his office
H e knew Pru e
c e i ve d
slightly and held out to her a thin brown
hand working his feat u res while he made a
speech of formal welcome
She briefly ex
plained her presen ce and he c ried o ut de
w hen

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l i g h te d ly ,

A nd yo u want to make a c o nspirat o r of me
and let me secrete Kingman for twenty fo u r
ho urs till the a Ea i r h as blown over ! I see I
se e
He S hall stay here I l l keep him i n my
o wn ho u se and doctor him privately : I like
it ! It carries me back to my yo uth and r e
m inds me of the f u gitive slaves my father h i d

in h i s cellar
While he talked and ogled the doctor placed
h i s patient on the sofa and prepared to exam
ine his inj u ries Then said Pr udence who ha d
remained standing in the middle o f the floor

N ow I will leave yo u D ari u s
Kingman feebly smiled and held up to her
h i s left hand
A s she t oo k it sh e saw her S is
ter s wedding r ing on his finger


Yo u have been very good he sai d
S ome

day I 11 try to thank y ou
She made him no answer b u t bade the d oc
t o r good b y and left them together

She s a woman now said the s u rgeon a s
he threw a p u ckered glan c e after her Dari u s
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A STR AN GER YE T A T HOME ”

1 97

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raise d h i mself slightly stared at the docto r b u t
u ttered no word
The secret was kept till Mr Coggeshall was
too deeply pledged to concili ation to permit o f
his drawing back When the s tory did leak
o ut
it enhanced Ki n g m an s pop u larity very
considerably M u rphy disappeared from town
b u t McNa m a r a made a pilgrimage to L e xv i lle
proc u red an interview with D ari u s and b e
haved after s u ch a fashion o f sincere regret that
the wo u nded man became the yo ung fellow s
sta u nch friend
Kingman was however q u ite ill for several
days Dr Salisb u ry conseq uently formed a
habit of goin g t o Mr W arner s to report the
daily fl u ct u ations i n the condition o f his se

ue s te r e d her o
as
he
called
the
patient
q

He d be tol a b ly good looking said Mrs
Warner one day as she watched the physician

caref u lly tying his horse at the gate if he d
only let his fac e al o ne a n not try to keep his
feat u res promenadi ng ro u nd his c o u ntenance
He ain t s o v ery old neither They say his
h air t u rned white when his wife died
I don t

b elieve he s a day over fifty I say Pr u e

with a prolonged b u t feminine whis tle th a t s

why he s so fo n d of comin here


What 8 why ? asked Pr u e incoherently ;
b u t her m o ther o nly snorted forth a l au gh and
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1 98

A S TR A N G ER YET A T
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"
M
HO E
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retreated to the kitchen u nk i ndly le avin g Pru e
alone to receive the doctor Th e matron s a t
down by the s tove and tittered over the boil
i ng cabbage and corned beef

“ To think ” m u rm u red s h e
o f anyb ody s

w a n ti n o ur Pr u e !
Pr u dence met the doctor with flamin g cheeks
wh i ch made her almost handsome so that h i s
ardor was fired ; and althou gh he did not ao
tua lly make love to her someth i ng i n his man
ner lef t her co nvinced when he finally bowed
himself away that u nder all the play of his
hands and the twisting a n d screwing o f eyes
a nd mo u th lurked a definite intentio n towards
herself
When alone sh e lau ghed like her mother
and echoed her tho ught saying The idea o f
his wanting me ! Why it s te n years since
any on e wanted me H e s a nice man t oo
a nd the last o n e was s uch a fool !
B u t after sh e h a d stood still a min u te l au gh
ing in a helpless hysterical fashi on s h e s u d
d e n ly fled to her room as sh e had done the
aftern o on she had seen Dari u s walking with
M agg i e and Tessy This time sh e thre w her
self o n the floor and cried and cried
N evertheless the knowle d ge that she had o r
c o uld have a s u itor proved in many ways a
bal m t o Pru e s heart ; an d finally rising from
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200

A STR A N GER YE T A T HOME "
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B ut when he was alone he to ok fr o m his
drawer a little v elvet case and opening looked
in it long and wistf u lly His heart was fu ll of
very p u re emotion and yet it almost seemed to
him a s if he were withdrawi n g himself from
the sphere of some dear and holy infl uence He
had arrived at on e of those crises when the soul
is sim u ltaneo u sly possessed by feelings and i m
p u lses which tested by a ny temporal standard
are absol u tely i nconsistent the o n e with the
other A t s u ch times a man i s both constant
and inconstant desiring that from which he
shrinks He longs for one wo m an an d n otw i th
standing that l on gi n g he wo u ld i f he co u ld
fling his immortal being down before the mem
or
of
another
The
contradictory
p
a
ssions
y
which swayed Kingman mocked hi s reason with
their s u ggestion of the pitif u l f u tility of all
search into the mysteries of h u man existence
Yet even at that moment his spirit like that of
many men who have had experience kindred to
his indig n antly protested that it wo uld forever
interrogate the secrets o f its agitati o n and i ts
destiny

God forg i ve me he m u rm u red at last

and Mary forgive me too for I do not kno w
whether I am less or more worthy S ince I have

come to care f o r this other
With a sigh he close d the li ttle ca se a n d i t
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A STRAN GER YET A T HOME ”
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201

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seemed to h i m that he sh u t there in his y o u th
an d a life lon g q u estion
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The b u ds u p on the trees were swollen j u st
en o u gh to bl u r the o u tline of the branches
against the sky and the air felt war m to King
m an s cheek as he made his way to the side
door of Mr War ner s ho u se the first time he
went there after his accident The grass was
p u shing u p its elf like blades sheathed in
green and the voice s of children came calling
thro ugh the distance with a shrill sweetness
The w o rld looked happy and D ari us felt so as
Pr u dence came thro u gh the yard to meet him
with welco ming eyes She had been feedi n g
some pet pigeons and a dove was perched u pon
her sho u lder
a yo u ng bird p u re white and
exq u isitely slender It looked not l i ke a c rea
t u re b u t like the so u l of some being
Dari u s bent over the woman s hand and the
do v e took flight its wings w hirring close ab o ve
h i s head
When he rai s ed his eyes he s a w D r
S ali sb u ry standing in a familiar attit u de i n the
d oor w ay
It seemed to D ar i u s that a shadow
had fallen across the sky
They all went ro u nd to the fron t porch where
they seated themse l ves and chatted lightly
ab o u t the w o nderf u l warmth of the aftern oo n
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2 02

A STR AN G ER YE T A T HOME "
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Th e d octo r was fl u ent

Kingman grew s ilent
Pr u dence s a t q u ietly between the two m en


I m like Gertr u de She tho u ght : havin g

got on e sweetheart th e y s wa r m
B u t Sh e did not really think that Dari u s had
come a wooing She o nly felt very glad to s e e
him and very c ontent also that her womanly
attractions sho u ld be vindicated i n hi s presen c e
by the doctor s attentive manner
I want a glass of water ! cried Kin gman
at last springing t o his feet in helpless imp a
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Pr u dence rose
N
s a id he I am go ing

to the well

Yo u c an t draw the b u cket

I 11 help you said the doctor

I c an do it myself retorte d he They f ol
lowed him nevertheless and the doctor applied
himself t o the well rope while Dari u s stood by
f u ming Pr u e went into the ho u se for a glass
A s sh e c ame o ut again the white do v e flew
d o wn and hovered abo u t her The doctor w as
hauling u p the b u cket Dari u s went fo rward
and met Pr u e He looked her str aight i n the
eyes and said in a low tone

Choose between th at man and me
cried the doctor
W here s yo ur t u mbler
as he l anded the dri pping b u cket Pr u e filled
the glass an d h an ded it to Dari u s The d oc to r
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AND J O E

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I

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TH EO D O R A J U S TICE

sat wi th a wear il y com
for ta b le ai r before an open fire in the sitting
r o om of her friend Margaret Denton M D

The worst of it is I have lost m y ambi

tions said Theod o ra
I u sed to have s u ch

fine dreams
She la u ghed a little
I m eant
to do a f ew th i ngs for the am u sement of other
people and a great many for my own pleas u re
This mornin g I c ame across a plan I drew last
year f or a Gothic lib rary I also fo u nd a pro
g r amme I made at the same time for a se ries
and a
o f literary and m u sical entertainments
list of g u ests to be invited from N ew Yor k and
Boston With this paper was an o ther ; and
what d o y ou s u ppose that was ? A set of
colored designs I had d rawn for pre R aphaelite
costu mes wherewith to adorn m y ow n person
They were q u ite pretty too though y ou 11
find that har d t o be l i e ve ; b u t I d o n t ca re fo r
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A ND

J OE

205

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them n o w n or f o r the library nor the par

ties
The smile was dreary with which S he looked
u p for an answer b u t before her friend co u ld
speak there was a knock at the door and a se r
vant came in t o s a y An n R eilly w a s very

bad and wanted the doctor

Let me go w i th y ou said Theodo ra

Certainly answered Margaret
b u t i t is

not a pleasant sight yo u will se e
Miss J u sti c e was the da u ghter of the m an u
fact u rer wh o owned the larger portion o f the
factories an d ho u ses of the town b u t she knew
nothing abo u t the people whom s h e visite d w ith
Margaret that night It was the first time she
h a d ever been in any of their homes and all
the stirrings o f her conscience toward s them
had hitherto been q u ieted by a half formed
resol u tion that some time sh e wo u ld b u ild a
Gothi c library or fo u nd an art gallery for them
N ow with new vag u e tho u ghts she followed
Margaret who took the oc c asion to visit several
patients They toiled up dark n arrow stairs
They went down into basements They fo u nd
a dying girl s chamber lighted with taper s and
the garment i n which s h e was to be b u ried ly
i n
A nd then they
g be s ide her on the bed
werft int o a pleasant sitting room belonging to
a French Canadian family A c arpet w as on
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A ND

206

J OE

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the fl oo r a b right colored cl o th o ver th e tabl e ;
the chimney S helf w a s covered with gaudy toys
and ornaments Some fl ow e r pots were o n the
window sill and a melodeon sto od against the
wall Three or fo u r handsome girl s sa t in
painted wo oden chairs and tal ked eagerly w i th
the doctor
A fter le aving this p lace Miss J u stice and
her companion t u rned towards h ome b u t had
go n e on l y a few steps when they came u po n a
crowd of j eering boys s u rro u nding a lad wh o
sat forlorn and silent u pon the sidewalk A red
light from the window of a little o yster shop
streamed abo u t them all
He had an awf ul fit this
said on e
bo y

I say J oe did y o u have any dinner to

sho u ted another as he t u rned a so mer
d ay ?
sau lt that bro u ght him directly in the way o f
the tw o ladies as they approached the g r o u p
What is the m atter ?
asked The od o ra
sternly
A chor u s of voices answered H e 8 s ta r v in
he is !

Starvi ng ! What do y o u m ean ? Wh o is
he
The boys g iggled and were silent a momen t,
till a red headed Irish u rchin said with a grin
Joe H u cklebe rry w e call him His mother s
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208

AN D J OE

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When did he t u rn y o u o u t

N ight fore last


A nd where have y o u slept ?
Got in ag in that night after they w as all
asleep an went u p i n the garret an
A nd last night

Got into the Company barn

What have yo u had to eat ?

N o thin m u ch
Where is yo u r mother ?

She lives with my brother i n law
Did she want y ou t u rned out ?
No She gin me some bread yester d ay an
this

Is s h e kind to y ou

Yes
I s yo u r S ister kind

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Ye s

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Then wh at is the m atter ?

D u n no
D o y o u work in the mill ?

I did
I worked u p to Slade s ; but
father come away from there an lef me
then I was t urned O E an I c ome down here
Oh yo u have a father ? Where i s he

now ?
He s at my brother i n


Did he want yo u sent o u t into th e str ee t ?

He said I might as well be
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AND

J OE

209

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W hy d o n t y ou try to get w o rk i n th e mil l

here

I d o n t think they d give me n o ne
Why not ?

I v e w o rk ed here afore
T he o dora sm i led at this ingen u o u s con fe s
si o n b u t said gently Come with me and I 11

s e e that
ou are taken care of to night
y
J oe rose and stood slo u ching at the lady s
S ide while sh e s a id t o the I rish u rchin
Will
y o u go and tell J oe s mother and his sister s
h u sband that I want them to come u p and s e e
m e this evening if possible ?

D u nno who yo u be said the b o y promptly
Theodora felt slightly ashamed to find her
self a stranger to these boys b u t was relieved
when two voices whispered lo u dly It s Miss

J u stice
an d the yo u ngster th u s informed
d arted O E on his errand

N ow J oe
said the lady
c o me w i th

me
T hey sta rt ed the lad slinking along b eside
h i s state ly companion while Margaret walked
tho u ghtf ully on e or two steps in advance The
crowd of boys stared giggled whooped f ol
l o wed and at last one v oice cried o ut

He he ! J oe s got a gal !

Why don t yo u give her y o u r arm , Jo e ?
sh o u te d an o ther

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14

A ND

21 0

J OE

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s bl ood was on fire b u t s h e ne v er
t u rned her head They were not many rods
fro m her home Did those few feet o f roadway
divide civilization fro m barbar ism
W a s it
God s fa u lt or was it partly hers tha t men and
manners changed th u s as o ne went
down
street from her dwelli n g


Keep cl o se t o me Joe she sa id b u t her
v oice shook with indignan t shame Margaret
waited for them to come u p with her The
boys still hooti n g and ch u ckli n g gra d u ally d i s
e r s e d and the trio went on u n m olested
p
The tw o w o men took J oe i n to the kitchen
and gave him s u pper When Theodora exam
i n e d her p r ote g é in the light her heart sa n k
He was abo u t fo u rteen years old slender and
l o osely made His ha n ds were long dirty and
rep u lsive He had reddish watery eyes and a
small pin c hed nose His mo u th h u ng open and
showed traces of tobacco j u ice abo u t it The
w hole face was p a le u nhealthy and idiotic

He looks like a parasite on h u manity
whispered The o dora to Margaret ; the crea

t u re of a horrible mockin g chance

God knows why he lives said Margare t
s i mply
Theodora answered smiling
E vidently

science has n t spoiled yo u r religion yet
In process of t i me J o e s br o ther i n law An
T heodo r a

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21 2

A ND J OE

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at all Then Joe s dangero u s when he 8 m a d
H e throwed a stone as big a s my two fists right
thro ugh the kitchen winder a n the n I told h i m
to cle ar o ut I t might ha killed the baby let

alone my bav i n to p ay f or the winder

He says yo u be a t him said Theodo ra
Well I ve tried to lick the badness out o f

f rankly admit ted the yo u ng man
Yo u
h im

c an out of some boys yo u know
F i nally yo ung Moore was in d u ced to promise
to take J oe i n for a few days till M i ss J u stice
co u ld m ak e some other provisio n for the un for
A s Moore went o ut o f the door
tun a te lad
She had been at a
J oe s mother a ppeared
n eighbor s and had only j u st received M i ss J us
t i ce s mess age She seemed to be a decent w o
man of Engl i sh origin thou gh sh e said she w a s
born and had li ved in C ana da and the States
all he r life Her first h u sband the f ather o f
A ndrew s wi f e was an Englishman ; J oe and
her three yo u nger boys were the children of her
second marri age with a French Canad i an No
her h u sband did n t work m u ch a n d he did
drink ; b u t he was always good nat u red and she
had n t no fault to find with him J oe w as the
tri a l of her life I f he h a d work he wo u ld n t
sti ck to it H e b othered the ne i ghbo rs and the
family were forced to mo v e fro m on e p lace to
anothe r cont in u ally
They had mo ve d f o u r
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AND J OE

21 3

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times i n a li ttle o v er two years T hey we r e at

Slade s th e firs t of the winter and had been
p retty comfortable there tho u gh i t was a hard
life fo r her making the little they co u ld e a rn
feed them all She co u ld n t ever so m u ch as
think of getting clothes fro m their wages The
three yo u nger children did n ot go to school b e
cau se they had no shoes ; and it w a s s u rprisi n g
to se e how m u ch they ate for all they stayed i n
the ho u se so m u ch
b u tter especi ally Nights
she h a d plenty to d o getti n g breakfa st ready
and dryi n g her h u sband s and J oe s shoes for
the next morning There was s o m u ch sno w
that winter it kept the i r shoes wet nearly all
the time
She h a d to wash an d dry their
clothes i n the n ight too A nd J oe was s u ch a
torment and he a cted ba d abo u t h i s work ; a nd
s o they packed up and sh e come down here ;
an d then his f a ther come too and le f t the boy
there hoping he wo u ld get took u p a n d p u t
somewhere She sho u ld n t like to complai n o f
him herself b u t if he h a d g ot i n to some tro u ble
a n d been p u t i nto the Reform School may be
i t wo u ld n t hav e been so b a d fo r h i m S he
had n t done nothing b u t cry the last th r ee days ;
b u t sh e co u ld n t blame A n drew f or not wa n ti n g
h i m ro u nd after he throwed th a t stone in the
w i ndow wh i ch came so near h i tting the b aby
M a rgaret and Theo d or a scarcely kne w
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21 4

AND J OE

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whethe r to blame or sympathize and both s u s
e cte d that her h u sb a nd s drinki n g had more to
p
do with the family destitu tion than the w i fe
wo uld adm i t They dismissed he r wi th some
presents o f food a nd let her take J oe w i th he r
poor J o e w h o st u mbled a li ttle going o ut in to
the darkness
Theodora came bac k fro m the door w i th a
p u zzled l oo k

she sa i d
H is family
J oe is the pr oblem
can t solve it C an I

Yo u c an try said M a rgaret
D e a r o ught
yo u n o t to know these people and seek to be

thei r f rie n d ?
Theodora thr ew o u t he r arms with a m o u rn
f u l gestu r e




A frien d she said
that is what th e y

Was I made for J oe ?
n eed ; b u t for m e
Marg a ret s p ulses be a t i n sympathy w i th th i s
r ebelli o u s o u tc r y of a disappoin te d hea rt b ut
her so u l saw farther than did Theodo ra s
dimmed eyes a n d she answered
Not more than J oe was m a de for yo u You
need some on e to work for I t may be G od

made h i m to keep y ou fr om ai m l es s i dleness
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21 6

AND J OE

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oncern he m u ttered
I meant fa ir eno u gh
as fair as I cou ld when I married her b u t I
did n t q u ite co u nt i n J oe ! She wo u ld n t do
nothin if I left her They r e too poor to go to
law I don t care a dime for ber — a nd yet
I d ki n der h ate to leav e her She s such a l i t

tle fool
A ndrew Moore w a s a n ative A m erican ci ti
zen h aving been born two weeks afte r his fathe r
and mother l an ded in this co u n try They
I rish Protesta n ts o f a low class A ndrew grew
u p in a ma n u fact u ri n g town a n d grad u ated
early from school i nto the mill In d u e time he
bec a me a m ul e s pi n n e r There were a bsol u tely
no refi n i n g i n fl u ences brou ght to bear upon his
yo u ng life
A merican rep ublic an is m h a s r e
li e ve d the ch i ld o f foreign parent a ge from the
somewhat d espotic discipli n e o f the O ld World
b u t it has n ot al w ays e v en in New England
prov ided m u ch to take i ts place
It is a notorio u s fact that the children o f I r i sh
p a rents are a t u rb u le n t dist urb i ng growth i n
th a t s o cial condition wh i ch we i n besotted co n
te n t m e n t persist in n a mi n g o u r civ i liz ation not
withst a ndi n g the fact th a t it i s v ery in a deq u ate
to prod u ce the best r es u lts in a ll i ts compo
ne n t p arts In m a n u fa ct u ri n g tow n s employers
m ight do mu ch to elev a te their work p eople
if they wo u ld acknowledge th a t a mor al t i e
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AND J OE

21 7

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e xi sts between the cl asses bo u nd by the b u s i
n ess rel a tion
M an u fa ctu rers a lso wo uld do
wisely to remember th a t semi b a rb a r i s m is v ery
d an gero u s when d o wered with the power and
freedom o f democracy I f the sense of d uty i s
not stro n g eno ugh to ind uce th e providi n g of
time a nd means for more ed u catio n o f o ur i g n o
r an t p eople i t may be well that d a nger stands
ready to be the s a feg u a rd o f the rep u blic i t
seems to threaten Fe a r m a y s u pplement the
t a rdy conscience o f the rich and ro u se the m to
the necessary action to sec ure the enlightenment
o f the poor
A ndre w spent the d a ys of his yo u th i n the
mill his eve n i n gs i n the street a n d i n saloo n s
his n i ghts in the fil thy a ir of crowded tene
me n ts while the S un d ays were p a ssed i n pl a y
i n g g a mes of base b a ll or a ttendi n g cock fig h ts
The Protestant ch u rches where he lived did n ot
gre a tly concern themselves abo u t the yo u n g
I rishman s spiritu al welfa re H e wo u ld h a ve
stood more ch a nce of receivin g some religio u s
trai n ing had he been a Catholic u nder the u n
sleepi n g watch of Rome
A ndrew h a d come to Ne w b r id g e a little more
th an a year before this Febr u ary eve n i n g J oe s
fa mily were then l ivi n g there J oe s h a lf s i s
ter poor little A nn ie toili n g d a y af ter d a y w ith
scarcely a s in gle girlish h O pe or pleas u re h a d
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21 8

AND

JOE

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al most i mmediately fallen in love with A nd rew
I t was a gen u i n e love tho u gh prob a bly a feeble
o n e as the pitif u l cre a t u re had h a rdly v itality
eno u gh for a stro n g emotion H e had been
am u sed w i th the trib u te o f silly aff ection l aid at
his feet and alth o ugh the girl was n eithe r
pretty nor winning he h a d been moved occa
s i on a l l
when
pass
i
ng
her
i
n
the
m
i
ll
entries
to
y
gi v e her a r u de kiss or a j ocu l a r cl u tch of the
arm J o e n oted these evide n ces o f in timacy
a nd told of them a s a joke A ndrew he a ring
of this t a le be a r in g fell u pon J oe i n the street
and beat him v iole n tly The m a tter came at
l a st to the ears of the French step father who
w a s ho n estly fond of A n n ie a n d who swore he


wo u ld h a ve no fooli n g ro u n d the girl
Se

be silly he s a id b u t s e no be bad He s a ll

m arry or he s a ll q u i t
There was a d a nce in one of the te n ements
the night after old H u ckleberry made this dec
la r a ti on
D an ces i n the ho u ses were forbid
de n b u t the
Comp an y s r u le w as often
e va ded The festivity began a t ten and lasted
till dawn I t wa s a ro u gh bacchan alian a ffair
and before mor n i n g A n n ie s step father ex
to r te d from A n drew who was then half dr u n k
a promise th a t he wo u ld marry Annie the n ext
d ay T he promise was f u lfilled tho u gh the
bri degroom was perfectly sober when the cere
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220

JO E

AND

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p ondered as he walked slowly down the st r eet
after his i n terv i ew with Miss J u st i ce
He
tho u ght also o f something else
something
which seemed to rise like a r e a l s u bs tance b e
fore h i s eyes till as he came i nto the light o f
a l a mp post th at g u a rded the brid ge o v er the
r i ver he scarcely started as he s a w his tho u ght
emb o d i ed before h i m He s to p ped sta ring at
a wom a n w h o sta red boldly b a ck a s soon as
She w a s y o u n g a nd h a ndsome
sh e s a w h i m
w i th c u rly reddish brown h a ir gra y eye s and
r osy gle a ms in her transp are n t ski n She held
i n her h an ds a milli n er s box Her dress w as
decen t tho ugh a little t a wdry A ndre w gr e w
white as he looked a t h e r
How come y ou here Nell ?

How come y ou here I s a y r etorted she

Well I w a s n t lookin f or y ou said the
man

Nor I f or yo u answered the wom an
I
was n t pini n g for a sigh t of y o u I can tell yo u

that when I come to Newbri d ge
I t w a s j u st a h a ppen then
as ked he a
little u neasily

s a id sh e
A n now look
J u st a h a ppe n
here ! yo u j u st let me a lone an I 11 let y ou
alo n e I m not pro u d e n o u gh of yo u to wan t

folks to know y ou r e my h u sband
An d rew started and looked into the d ark
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AND

JOE

221

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ess s u rr o u n ding the lighte d sp ot wh e r e they
stood as tho ugh h e wo uld search out some p os
sible listener
No for G od s s ake Nell do n t
tell l he cried in a low tone
s a id s h e
Why n ot ? I t 3 no s u ch
Eh
u ncommon thing for a dr u n ken br u te to be a t
h i s wi f e as I need be a shamed to tell o f it
The o n ly u ncommon thi n g i n o ur d o i n s a s
ne a r as I c a n make out w a s th a t I wo u ld n t
sta nd it, as most Irishwomen do I w a s reared

too m u ch like a Y an kee I g u ess
A s s h e spoke her fa ce and fig u re were de
fined i n stro n g light a n d sh a de w ith the d a rk
ri ve r a s a ba ckgro u n d A n dre w who h a d ne v er
l oved that p ale f a ced A n nie who w ai te d fo r
h i m with her child a f ew r o ds aw a y fe lt this
wom an s be a u ty pierce his he a rt like a k n ife

Yo u k n ow Nell he said
I did n t me a n
no h arm Yo u sho uld n t mind what a m a n
does when he s dr unk an don t know wh a t
he s


D ru n k or sober said Nell i t h u rts when
a man beats y o u I t h u rts deep e r than the

skin too

Yo u str u ck back
sai d A ndrew
or I

wo u ld n t hav e hit so hard I t madded me
I t m a dded m e
said sh e savagely
An
j u st yo u remember till y ou d i e A ndre w M oore
th a t I v e str uck y ou i n the face Now le me
go
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222

JOE

AND

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H e ca ug h t h e r a rm
Whe r e be y o u a—
go i n
Nell at this time 0 n ight


She l a u ghed at his s u spic i on
You fool

she s aid I m go i n up to Miss J u stice s to

take a bonnet to on e of her girls

I d on t believe y ou I t 8 too late

No it ain t s h e sai d s nappishly
She
only ordered it this evenin c a u se she s goin
early to morrow m or n i n to Blackstone to see

her mother who 8 sick
D id yo u ever s e e Miss J u stice ?


No ; wh a t of her 7
Nothing ; only I hate her Wher e d o y ou
l iv e ? he added after a min u te
O h do n t y o u wish yo u knew

Well I l l tell y ou where yo u work sai d

he
Yo u r e the new girl in Mis C arey s

shop
Who told y ou there was a new
there
A ndrew m a d e no a n swer for i t was A nnie
who h a d told him Nell w a ited a little while
and looked a t him kee n ly
Some girl likely Well
W h o told y ou

take care wh at yo u do

T a ke c a re y o u rself he s aid an gr i ly
If
ou d on t
beha
v
e
yo
u
rself
I
w
i
ll
take
yo
u
r
y

wages
This frightened Ne ll as she tho u ght she h ad

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224

AND

JOE

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y o u n ger ch i ldren A ll the wi ndows wer e fas
te n ed d o w n as H u ckleberry h a t e d a bre a th of
f resh a ir M u ch b a d odor w a s th u s kept i n
a n d m u ch was k e pt out for th e se rooms f a ced
a l an e which w a s u sed a s a b a ck yard fo r a r o w
a n d he avy an d v ile
o f ho u ses simil a r to this
w a s the air that c lu ng to the u ns avo ry g r o u nd
The tenants o f the ho u ses were c a reles s and
did not avoid practices which i ncre a sed the
filth of their s u rro u n dings The C omp any o f
which Mr J u stice w a s a chief member took
some p a ins to disinfe ct and cle a nse th e lane
b u t the pains were not s u fficient to e ffe ct the
p u rpose I gn or a nce wa s a t the root o f this as
o f most other evils : the p e ople were too i g n o
ra n t to be cle a n ; the owners were to a great
exte nt i gnorant of the u ncleanliness of the
people
A s Andrew entered the o u ts i de door which
O pened directly into the kitchen and looked

i nto the dismal interior he tho u ght What a
bright kitche n Nell kept l She is m y wife A
it 8 his d u ty to live with h is
m a n h a s a right

wife
The mother s a t with J oe cro uched on the
floor beside her The light o f the kerosene
l amp fell f ull on the boy s sleepy stu pi d fa ce
He shrank int o the sha d o w as A ndrew came i h
A nnie rose f rom another cor ner o f the r oom
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225

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lai d he r baby i n i ts cradle an d came fo r war d to
m eet her scowling h u sband saying

A ndrew I v e made gr i ddle c akes f or y ou
D on t yo u w a nt some
Yo u did n t eat m u ch

s u pper
His eyes softened as they fell o n the p u ny
creat u r e a n d he said gently
Yes I l l eat
em b u t yo u d better go to bed You r e n ot
stro n g eno ugh to set u p late a n go to work early
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P a le l i ttle A nnie smiled faintly u n d er the i n
fl ue n ce o f the ki n dly w e i n wh i ch he spoke
She had a forehe a d s o high and p eaked that it
was almost deformed Her skin was u nhealthy
b u t her fe a t u res were sm a ll an d wel l sh a ped
and he r smile was sweet patheti c and helpless
She did n ot know h o w pitif u l s h e looked not
h av i n g mi n d eno u gh to contrast herself with
other girls She was u sed to hardship to d ull
pain an d she seldom felt a n d never expresse d
vivi d emoti o n s She was ple a sed by A n d r ew s
kindness glad when he asked her h o w the baby
w a s b u t not v ery p leased o r v ery gla d He r
side ached a n d sh e h a d no fac u lty for a ple a s
u re that wo u ld o v ercome th e se n se o f th a t pai n
The r e was n o j oyo u s n ess i n th a t ho u sehold
where c are anxie ty a n d ig n or a nce d o m ina ted
e very mood A ndre w s he a rt c a pable of fie r ce r
p assions was he a vy i n this d ull atmos phe r e
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15

226

A ND J O E

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He ate the cakes that A nn i e s t ire d hands had
made for h i m and watched the girl f ur tiv ely as
she took up the baby and fed it f rom a bottle
He w a s thinking How shall I kee p Nell from
hearing abo u t her ?
Theodora ig n ora n t of the new factor which
Nell s appearance had bro u ght into what she

termed the J oe problem spent the ne x t day
look ing for a pl ace s u itable for the b oy She
told her fa ther a bo u t the p eople and he com
m e n te d a little sadly

I t is a fact my de a r that among fa ctory
operatives families seldom attai n to ass u red com
fort u nless they are exception a lly fortu n ate i n
m atters which they c a nnot themselves control
s u ch as birth death and health or u nless they
are so exceptio n ally gifted with pr u dence and
vi rt u e th a t they h ave a gen i u s f o r pov e rty The
or d i n ary m ill hand who marri es another ordi
n ary mill b a n d who has n u mero u s chil dren
with freq u ent doctor s bills to p ay
exc u se me
Ma r ga r e t l — and who often loses work from
cau se o r another st r u ggles against odds
on e
which are beyo n d the powers of common men
and women to o v ercome This family is prob
ably made of miserable s tufi morally b u t on e
s u ch membe r a s that boy wo uld prov e in most
O perati v e f am ili es the decis i ve o u nce to t urn the

scale of f ort u ne agai nst them
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228

AND

JO E

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B u t th ink responded he r f a ther ; the r e
seems to be n o oth e r w ay for nations to a d
va n ce K
Where i s G od then ? asked his d a u ghter

Perh aps M arg aret s qu iet voice s uggested

i t i s evol u tion and I a m n o t s u re b u t it wi ll
pro v e a s easy to find G od in evol u ti on a s i n C al
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v in i s m

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O u r nation said Mr J u stice “ i s b u ilt on
the I ndian s grav e ; and yet so far as we c a n
j u d ge we are a people notwiths tan di ng all o u r
crimes better worth h a vi n g in the world than
the Indi an if only on e of the two races can s ur
viv e


Yes s a id Margaret ; b u t we sho u ld hav e
been sti l l better worth hav ing i n the world i f
we had been noble eno u gh to live w i th the In

dian and civili ze instead of b u tchering h i m


I th ink we are the sav ages si ghed Theo
dora


Then r eplied her fa ther i f savages m u st
fight I don t kno w th a t it impugns G od s moral
i n tention th a t he allows the nobler people to
conqu er ; si n ce after a time ashamed of its ow n
barb a rity the v ictorio u s race m a y so far civ ilize
itself th a t i t can evol v e the v irt u e of co n sidera
tion for the weak to o fine a flowe r of c ivili za

t i on to be i ts first blossom

In other words added Marg a r et of the
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2 29

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two barbaria ns the white a nd the red vi ctory
is gr a nted to the white beca u se in spite o f his
crimes he i s likely to le a rn to c a re for the In
dia n sooner th a n the I ndian if v ictorio u s wo u ld

lear n to care for him



B u t the fa ctory u rged Theodora
We
m u st not c o mfortably f orget o ur o w n sins while

disc u ssi n g the n a tion s


I t is m u ch the same th ing s ai d Mr J us
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A ll moral q u estions are ow n co u s i ns oh
se rved Marg a ret


There m a y be better systems th a n o u rs

conti n u ed Mr J u stice
b u t no m an u fact u rer
yet d ares u se other methods We are afr a id to
risk the terrible stra in o f commercial crises with
a new policy
A nd we a re a m b i ti o us the
greed of s u ccess h a s se i zed o ur so u ls I t is n o t
merely wealth that we want ; we desire to be
greatly s u ccessf u l i n the p u rs u it we ha v e chosen
That pass i on i s the mora l bane of the b u siness

man
M a rga ret spoke slowly : D rink c a u ses most

of the pa u p er i s m o f the oper a tives



Yes a ssented Mr J u stice frankly ; b u t

i t is their pov erty th a t m a kes them dri n k
This wa s a new ide a to Theodora a n d pon
d ering on it she said no more
She wo n dered
also at her fathe r Had he been think ing all
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2 80

AND

J OE

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his li fe o f these problems which now vex ed her
o
u
ng
mind
f
or the first time ?
The
tr
u
th
w as
y
th a t Mr J u stice h a d a se n sitive rather than a
stro n g mora l n a t ure H e l a cked the believi n g
h e a rt ne cessary to comb a t evil pers iste n tly He
s a w obj ections to any proposed soci a l remedy
as pl ainly as b e perceived a rg u me n ts in fa vor
thereof Perhaps his mind h a d n o t the fi n er
qu ality which co u ld c o mpare acc u ra te ly a nd see
which side o f a q u estio n was the m ore d e s e r v
i n g when both sides merited great co n sider a
tion P ai ned a n d dishe a rte n ed by the misery
he enc o u ntered i n the wo rld a n d not s u re of a n y
c u re he had so u ght to save himself from s u ffer
i n g by avo i di n g direct co n t act with the tro u bles
H e prosec u ted his b u siness a nd
of the poor
e n de avored to co n vi n ce himse l f that a s he co u ld
n o t r elieve his O per a tives from a ll privation he
w a s not responsible for any of their misfort u nes
He so u ght to esca pe self condemnation by r e
fleetin g that it wo u ld n ot be well for an y people
to be wh olly relieved from misfortu ne or fro m
the d iref u l cons e q u ences of thei r o w n errors
He d id n ot allow himself s ufficiently to co n sider
the di ff ere n ce betwee n a co u rse of action te nd
in g to red u ce a class to depe n de n cy and on e
which sho u ld stim ul a te self help while gi vi n g
enco u ragement assistance a n d while r emo v ing
u nnecessary b u rdens Mr J u stice s ide als were
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2 32

AND

JO E

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B u t I can t let yo u alone sai d An dr ew ;


and I won t neither


S he looked a t him c u r i o u sly
I declare

said sh e
I believe y ou a re soft o n me sti ll
Thank y ou b u t I h ave n t no in cli nation that
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She went by him u p on th i s holding her
gr acefu l he a d very erect She felt pleased a n d
pro u d She had had adm i ration from m any
m e n b u t to hav e he r ow n h u sband v iole n tl y
i n love w i th her was a n experie n ce s o u nlike
wh a t seemed to befall most women th a t it
elated her gre atly and dimmed the memory o f
the d r u nken rage in which he h a d beate n her
two years before
That e ven ing A nn i e s a t p at i ently beside the
k i tchen fire rocki n g her baby in her l ap


I wonder why A ndre w don t come home
said Mr s H u ckleberry
J oe spoke up w i th h i s mo u th f u ll of baked
p otato :

The last I seen of him he w a s u p in the
woods gabbin with that new g al that wo rks in

Mi s C a rey s
A nn i e s a id not a wo rd and when A ndre w
finally came she only followed his mot i ons with
disqu ieted eyes She n ever once tho ught of
asking h i m anything abo u t the girl
The nex t fo renoon A ndrew went boldly to
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M rs

JO E

233

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Carey s stor e The m i str ess came for
war d to meet him Nell s a t i n the re a r of th e
r oom herself h alf h i dden by a c u rtai n b u t s h e
saw him v ery pl a inly A ll night his desire
to see her f a ce again had been greate r even
than his fear of the law which he h a d b r oken
Her im a ge had come betwee n hi m a n d A nni e
when he had tried to l ook at the mother of his
child J o e had ref u sed to go u p to h i s att i c to
sleep and then h a d h a d a fit i n the kitche n
waking everybody a t mid n ight The b a by had
cried a n d A n n ie h a d toiled over it for ho u rs
A ndrew had helped her a little b u t most o f
the time he had l a i n still wa t c hin g her listen
i ng to the screa m s o f the child to J oe s h i deo u s
to the ch a tter and cries of the other
n oises
children
thinking a ll the ti m e of Nell H e
p i tied A nnie still b u t he had beg u n to pity
h i msel f more ; and he had also beg u n to r e
m in d wh a t he called his co n sc i e n ce th a t it was
his d u ty at whatever cost to th i s sli m girl to
r et u rn to his first marriage v ows
A s A ndre w talked wit h Mrs Carey Nell

s a id to herself
That is my h u sband a nd
there he st a nds like a n y stranger l

Nell
In a mome n t Mrs Carey c alled out
bring me a ch air

Ther e s on e the re sai d Nell i n a r e l u ctan t
v o i ce
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234

AND

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I t s ri ckety

JO E

answered the sho p woman
I don t d a re tr u s t my weight to i t and I w ant

C ome yo u rsel f
to reach the u pper shelf
Nell ca me o ut fro m be hind the d a rk c u rt a i n
that sh u t o ff the b a ck part o f the shop She
stood still wai ting for her m i stress to pass out
from behin d th e co u n ter A light from abo v e
str u ck her au b u rn h ai r and t u rned some floa t
i ng c u rly ri n gs to gold When the older woman
h a d b u stled by her Nell c a me slowly d own the
store looki n g at the d a rk p a ssi ona te man b e
fore her as i f the space where he stood were
empty
She S pra n g on the totteri n g ch a ir
r e a ched u p lightly an d took from the sh e lf a
b ox
A n drew s se n ses were smitten with pain
as he marked her strong gra cef u l mot i ons She
stepped do w n p u t the b ox on the co u nter
opened i t and c a relessly displayed its conte n ts
He d ared not meet her eyes a n d bent h is
f ace do w nw a rd His head was h andsome and
Nell s u ddenly noticed th a t his sho u l d ers were
sh a pely A ccidenta lly his h a nd to u ched he r s
H e st arted violently She looked at him with
cool s u rprise an d their eyes met in on e l on g
gaze The n he t u rn ed his glance away again
I nsta ntly Nell s mood ch a nged The un co n
scio u s l oyalty o f he r n a t u re asserted i tsel f She
felt the bond so h ard to bre ak tho u gh i t i s not
al ways m a de of l ov e or e v en of pa ssi on wh i ch
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236

JO E

AND

.

I ll fi x h i m , m u ttered the l ad

.

Nell me a nwhile stood a lo n e i n the sho p fo r
Mrs C a rey h a d followed A ndrew o ut The
girl f elt very uncertain what to do She h a d
ne ver loved A n drew v ery m u ch even when
first m a rried to him b u t now her heart ye ar ned
tow ards h i m somewhat Stronger still w a s the
im p u lse o f loy alty Her n at u re w a s more tr u e
th a n sh e wanted it to be S he h a d w ayward
r ebellio u s desires and tried to follow them
b u t sh e co u ld not long d isreg a rd any oblig a
t i on She did n o t u n derst and the t urmoi l in
he r m ind She o n ly knew th a t A n dre w a s his
steps died away i n the d i stance seemed draw
in g her a fter him
J oe p u shed open the d oor and sh a mbled i n
H e stop p ed before Nell and stared coarsely at
her

Well sh e cr ied at last
wo u l d y ou know
m e again i n a crowd

Who be yo u ? s a id Jo e
Who be I
Who be y ou 9

I m J oe sai d he
I m A nn i e s brothe r
n
yo u d better look ou t wot y ou do or I ll
hav e y ou to o k up I d like to g i t him took

up
he added wi th a ch u ckle

Who 3 A nnie ? asked Nell
J oe grinned sarcastic a lly
A s e f y ou d id n t
know ! he sa i d disdain f ully
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JOE

AND

237

.

Well I don t know an I d on t car e ne i

ther s a id she t u rni n g from h i m


B u t Joe follo w ed her
D on t yo u know ?
he a sked earn estly


No I do n t


He st u died her face
Mebbe he sai d at
last he s pla y i n a game on y ou I I see n h i m
an yo u g abb i n together lots 0 ti m es Mebbe

he i s ! Will y ou help me pay h i m u p ?

Tell me what yo u me an res u med Nell in

a steady v oice
Who is A nnie ?


She s my sister
sai d the boy slowly


She s his wife

Whose wife ?

His n
A nd rew Moo r e s

Yo u lie I

No I don t said J oe ; b u t as he s p oke he
backed towa rds the door
S top
cried she
Before G od I did n t
J

k n ow nothi n of th i s
Her breast heaved and
the words came hard from her lips
Te ll me

where does this A nn ie li v e ?
B u t J oe was frightened o u t of his pl a n o f
making her his acc omplice i n some scheme o f
v engea n ce u pon A ndrew and he ans w ere d

p romptly I shan t tell ye
O h I won t h urt her I ll — b e a fri en d
to he r Has she been marr i e d long

None 0 yer b u s iness
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28 8

JO E

AND

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Do te ll m e
O h y es i t i s p anted Ne ll
A ndrew M oore has playe d me a wo rse tri ck a s

e v er he pl a yed her
She entreated sh e stormed b u t J oe fled b e
f or e her pass i o n a n d told her no more L e ft
alone she steadied he r he a d w i th he r hands an d
Th i s then w as the rea
s a t do w n o n the floor
son f or A n d rew s u rgent desire to kee p thei r

former relations priv ate
He has a wife he r e
an he wants to clear b ut
sh e sa i d to herself

with me n not let he r know Then she

he li kes me best !
a dded slowl y

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A nn i e came home from he r work ear l y that
noon She was i ll and told her mothe r that
she had fai nted in the mill
She sa t do wn
looking v ery white and took up her baby

I se en A ndrew into Mis Carey s ta lk i n
s a id J oe leer
w i th that gal a g in this
i ng up at her from his se a t on the floo r
Ef I
was big eno u gh I d lick him — p ay him for
some 0 the li ck i n s he s gin me She s a id she
di d n t know n othin a bo u t his bav i n a wife

here Took on like blazes a bo u t i t
The mother plied J oe with angry q u esti ons
b u t the boy rose and slo u ched out wi tho u t far
the r s p eech A nn i e s i mply sa i d after a long
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240

J OE

AND

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door J u st then he sa w into h i s own heart and
knew h o w cr u el an d selfish it was B u t i n a
fe w mi n u tes he lifte d his he a d squ ared h i s
sho u lders an d tried to sm i le saying to h i m
self
Now there s lots of fellers wo u ld n t think
nothin of le a vi n a girl like th a t I a in t h a lf
A n i f Nell n m e get on
s o b a d as them
pretty well I g u ess I can send A nn i e some
mo n ey before long a n m ay be I can come a n

s e e h e r o n ce i n a while
Tha t a fternoo n A nnie s a t alone i n the k itchen
Her mother h a d
w i th the b a by on her l a p
gone to do a neighbor s w a shi n g The girl felt
v ery ill a n d her he art w a s even heavier tha n
u s u al She sa n g softly to the baby an d the
song so u nded like a long low mo a n She heard
steps on the frozen gro u n d o u tside a nd looked
u
to
see
a
f
a
ce
a
t
the
window
I
t
v
anished
p
a nd an i n sta n t l a ter the door O pene d a woman
came i n with a firm step and walked across the
r oo m to A nnie
The girl recog ni zed her with a si n king h e ar t ;
it w a s sh e whom J oe h a d see n with A ndrew
S ile n tly the two looked a t e a ch other A fai n t
a n gry color rose i n A n nie s cheek b u t Nell s
f a ce did n o t change till she gl an ced down at the
b aby when her eyes gre w dark with a mean in g
A nnie co u ld nev er hav e fathomed
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JO E

AND

2 41

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i s my h u sband s ch i ld Ne ll tho ught


and i t is n ot mi n e
A lo ud s h e said
Th a t

i s y our b a by ?

Yes
said A nn i e ; stil l Nell stood and


looked at it
What do yo u want ? f altered
the mother fi n ally
Nell starte d a s from a dream and then

l a ughed slightly b u t u n q u ietly
I w a nted to


see it a n d yo u she s a i d
D on t yo u ne ve r
worry for fe a r 0 my d oi n yo u any harm I
never knew A ndrew w a s m arried
to yo u till
th a t boy
H u ckleberry Jo e they c a ll h i m
told m e so to d a y
Yo u s e e I u sed to kno w
A ndre w years ago when we was yo u n g
an
I
was silly That s all B u t I thou ght m a y
be folks might be tellin y o u stori es as wo u ld
tro u ble y o u D on t listen to nothi n of the sort
I m goin away to night I f A ndre w e v er treats
yo u h a d y ou send for me Mis C a rey 11 kno w

whe r e I a m
She s my co u sin G ood b y
A n n ie bewild ered stared at her visitor Nell
p a u sed and then said When I m clea n gone
A ndrew will never thi n k 0 me agai n I know
him S o th a t 1 1 be all right I d l i ke to take

the b aby a min u te
She stooped lifted the child in strong tender
arms carried it to the windo w g a zed wistfu lly
at its ti n y face to u ched he r l ip s lightly to the
p u ny cheek then b r o u ght i t back to the yo u ng
T hat

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16

242

AND

JOE

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mothe r sm i le d a r ar e sweet smi le a nd p asse d
o ut i nto the frosty air

O h moaned A nn i e , h ow pr ett y sh e i s l
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IV

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A nd rew M oor e l e ft the stati on whe r e he h ad
waited in v ain for Nell and took the p ath
thro u gh the woods to Mr s C a rey s ho u se The
s un w as sinking in the west a n d showed l ike a
red fire beh in d the pines A s he t u rned a c u rv e
in the p a th he s a w a woman w a lki n g i n the
rich light a little distance before him
He
ran till he reached her

Why did n t y ou come ? he cri e d

I had other b u s i ness I went to see yo u r

o ther wife

O h ! he gr oaned


Nell faced him defiantly
Yes she sai d
A n I told her as yo u a n I w as old acqu a in t
a uces an nothin more ; an now I tell yo u
that I m goi n aw a y from here
b u t n ot
w i th y ou S o m y a dvi ce to y o u is to make it

up w i th A n n ie a nd be good to her


A n nie is no w i fe o f mine he sai d d og

e
d
and y ou are I f y ou were a decent
g ly

wom an y ou d go w i th me


Ne l l s eyes bl a zed
sh e
J est stop that
s ai d
i n a trembl ing v o i ce
I won t b e in
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244

AND J O E

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hel l w i th them It s hell w i tho u t yo u A nd
I lo ve y o u Nell — oh my G od h ow I love
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ou

Make heav en out o f yo u r hell she s ai d


I m u st
He co uld n ot comprehend her b u t h i s arms
f ell to the grou nd H e no longer d a red to u ch
he r She stood free b u t n ow th at she w a s free
sh e felt u n a ble to leave him th u s

Why did yo u m arry her
sh e asked as he
c r o u ched a t her feet
F o r a moment there was no answer then h e

said I was m a d with yo u a n
he hesi
when ol d H u ckleberry te a sed
ta te d ag a i n
me to m arry her I pitied her I w a s s oft
he a rted I co u ld n t le av e a girl like othe r

f ellers do I t was all her fa u lt

Now said Nell y ou v e s ai d the meanest
th i ng a man can s a y an what a man always
does s a y when he s r u ined a girl J u st y o u
mi n d i f yo u tre a t her badly I 11 h av e y o u a r

r ested fo r biga my
Her indig n ation restored her strength a nd
she left him n ot once looki n g back to see h i m
l y ing there on the e arth
A nnie s h u sb an d went back to her that e v en
ing b u t he fo u n d n o p e a c e fo r his a larmed
so u l He r eflected that he was ent i rely i n
Nell s p owe r and that at any moment sho u ld
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JO E

AND

245

.

she b e se i ze d w i th r e v enge fu l i mp u lse sh e
co u ld ca u se his arrest H e k n ew th a t she h a d
left the v i llage on the eveni n g of that fa tef u l
d a y b u t he k n ew not wh i ther s h e h a d gone
S ometimes he th o u ght he wo u ld seek her o ut
and try once more to w i n her ; b u t he was
a fra i d to f ace a g a in those wr a thf ul acc u si n g
eyes His present li fe grew more i rksome to
h i m He ceased to feel an y t e nderness for
A n n i e an d the child irrit a ted him His co n
sc i ence was d rowned i n a flood o f fe a r a n d se l f
p ity A fter a day or tw o o f this sort o f tor
me n t he m a de u p his mind to le ave the pl a ce
and tramp his w a y to so m e dist ant p a r t o f
the co u ntry o u t of the re a c h o f Nell s p ossible
v e n ge an ce S o there c a me a night whe n A nn ie
w a ited i n v ain for the fa ther of her child The
next forenoo n the neighbors t old the y o u ng
mothe r that d u ring the eveni n g while she had
been watchi n g for him he was seen to leav e
the villa ge by the train
That af ternoon Theodora J u stice stood at
the doo r of the basement where J oe s family
lived She had fo u nd a far mer w h o for a con
s i deration which in he r new born zeal she i n
tended secretly to f urn i sh h a d promised to take
J oe a n d try to teach him fa rm work
Miss J u st i ce looked at the r ow of d a rk d a m p
tenements and her gray e y es gr ew thou ghtf u l
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246

AND

JOE

.

S he ente red the dingy i ll o doro u s k i tc hen a n d
her heart felt heavy The women with i n were
slightly cl a d Her own garme n ts were w a rm
and rich Was s h e clothed from the r ents
paid for these wretched ro oms
She told her erra nd a nd receiv ed i n ret u rn
an acco u nt o f all the occ u rrences of the past
few d ays

A nn i e won t belie ve
said the mothe r

that th a t g i rl has gone O ff with A ndrew b ut

I know she h a s

Had yo u had tro u ble w i th yo ur h usban d
before
asked Miss J u st i ce

No miss we never h a d no tro u ble

He w a s a good h u sb a nd then ?
'

The mother m a de answer
O h he wan t

n on e o f the best n or no n e o f the worst
Miss J u stice co u ld not u nderstand why these
women showed s o l i ttle emot i on as t h ey talked
Their v oices were s im pl y
o f these thi n gs
dreary a nd hopeless tho u gh A nnie s eyes were
red from weeping

I 11 have to do something with my baby
said the deserted girl
I can t take c a re o f
i t an work i n the m ill ; an if I co u ld p u t i t
somewheres mothe r co u ld go out washi n a

good de a l



If Joe goes sai d the elder wom an
we
co uld get on p retty well if i t wan t f or the

baby
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248

JO E

AND

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s i de
sai d A nnie

I t s sta n di n s o m u ch does i t

D o y ou stand all the t i me yo u work ?

Yes
H av e y ou no t i me to s i t ?
Not m u ch a n we h a i u t no chairs a n the

o vers eer w o n t let u s s i t on the floor
Yo u co u ld sit down n o w and then if y o u
h a d chairs ?
Yes There u sed to be chairs b u t they is

all broke
Theodo r a drew a d eep breath She wa s s u re
th a t it w as o n ly thro ugh neglige n ce th a t n e w
ch a irs h a d n o t been provided b u t this c e r
t a i n ty while it held the fa ctory m a n agers p a r
ti a l ly exc u sed did n ot q u ite s o othe an a chi n g
feeling i n her heart since this y o u n g m o ther
whose rest w a s broke n all night m u st s u ff er a ll
d a y from s u ch oversight



Well tho u ght the l a dy
I do n t k n o w
b u t it i s worth while to l i ve j ust to remedy s u ch

n eglect
She left the girl so rr owf u lly a n d went
straight to Mrs C a rey to le a rn what s h e co u ld
a bo u t A n drew a nd Nell Mrs C a rey altho ugh
her co u sin had k n ow n nothi n g a bo u t Nell till
s h e came to the v i llage a fe w weeks previo u sly
She did n o t then even k n ow th a t the girl had
been married and noth i ng had ro u sed her s us
I have a pain in

my

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i
i
on ,
c
p

JO E

2 49

.

s ince Ne l l s m aiden n ame had also been
Moore A fter her fi na l i nterview w ith A n drew
the yo ung wife had c onfided her story to Mrs
Carey a n d charged her to w a tch what hap
p e n ed to A n nie b u t on no a c co u n t to reve a l
to a n y on e the fac t o f her o w n m a rri a ge
C on
seq u en tly when Miss J u stice q u esti oned the
m ill i ner all she received in reply was Mrs
C a rey s a ssertion th a t Nell was not with An
drew a n d that s h e did not k n ow where he was
Theodor a wa s n o t wholly i n cli n ed to believe
her st a teme n ts especi a lly a s the wo m a n ref used
to tell where Nell h a d go n e
S u ch cl u msy
m a n ce uvr e s a nd p a lp a ble mysteries wo u ld prob
a bly soon h ave res u lted o f themselves i n a
c omplete enlightenment of the whole a ff a ir had
n o t a higher power t a ke n the m a tter into its
o w n h an ds a n d a rr an ged a ll things according
to some deeper se n se o f fitness
Tha t v ery eveni ng Margaret came to Miss



J u stice
I have been
she s a id
to see
A n n ie Moore She is very ill a nd needs a co m

pete n t n u rse


Hi r e o n e and I will pay her s aid Theo
dora —w h o had no notio n o f sho w in g herself
u n re a dy to meet a ny clai m o f si mple charity
howe v er bewildered and halti n g she might be
i n regard to the var io u s soci a l the ories which
were d i mly re v eal in g themselves to he r mind
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AND

2 50

JOE

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of

s u ch a cl e ar
and ev i dent d u ty which s h e might perf orm
“ What is the m atter ? ” a sked Mr J u st i ce
looking up from the Trib une
Marg a ret briefly st a ted the case
I n he r


exh a u sted co n d ition said s h e
it is a serio u s
matte r S he h as worked when sh e sho u ld h ave
bee n in bed I do ubt if sh e liv es throu gh the

night
Theodora drew a long sobbi ng breath Mr
J u stice ordered o u t the co a chm an se n t for med
i c i n e s n u rse everythin g that co u ld be needed
and himsel f walked wi th M a rga ret a nd Theo
dor a do w n to the ho u se where the sick girl
lived He pau sed a t the door while the women
we n t in

These tenements are abominable
he
thought
I t s a doze n years since I h av e been
in this part of the v ill age and see n them The

odora shall have her w ay and sh u t them up
I n a mome n t his dau ghter came out to him
She p u t h e r h a nds o n his sho u lders and looked
i n his ha n dsome eyes so like her o wn

F a ther said she
I shall stay here to

night

V ery wel l he answered kissi n g her
Theodor a was usef u l th a t night for the n u rse
for whom they sent co u l d not come an d sh e
u nder Margaret s dir ect i ons wi th th e mother s
I ndee d i t w a s a r elie f to lea rn

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2 52

JOE

AND

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pon he r wh i ch h itherto she had not recog
Her heart beg a n to go out to them j u st
n iz e d
bec a u se many o f them were sick an d sorry a n d
She felt that it wo u ld n ot be h a rd
n ee d ed her
to labor for them beca u se she wo u ld love them
O nce when A n nie mo an ed Theodora bent o ve r
her with lips th a t trembled a little

Poor b aby m u rm u red the dy i ng g irl

D on t be tro u bled sai d Theodora
I wil l

s e e that i t i s well t a ken care of
They w aked A nn ie s little brothers who
came i n to the room h a lf a sleep a nd climbed on
the bed to kiss their sister They l aid her b a
by s sile n t m o u th to hers H u ckleberry wiped
his eyes with the b a ck of his hand and we n t fo r
the priest The room w a s h u shed The mother
knelt beside her d au ghter A woman ca me
from the u pper p a rt o f the ho u se and kneeling
wi th a c a n d le in her h a nd read p rayers in a
m u mbling voice A nnie stirred u neasily and

a ske d
Where 3 J oe ?
Theodora repe a ted the faint wh i sper a lo u d
and the boy st a rted from a light sl u mber and
came to the bed

G ood b y s a id A nnie
You never meant

no harm i n an ythi n g I know
J o e sl u n k b a ck and sobbed i n his corner o n
the floor A nnie never spoke a ga in Thro u gh
it a ll sh e had not mentioned A n drew ; b u t when

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JO E

AND

253

.

she lay dead i n the morn ing l i ght he r little
face scarce whiter tha n in life wa s still sad
Theodor a took the b aby home to keep u ntil
s h e co u ld fi n d a s u itable person to c a re f or it
I t was a p u n y creat u re and when M a rg aret
came to see it s h e said it was so fe e ble a n d h a d
been so dru gged by its ignorant gra ndmother
that she do u bted whether i t co u ld live Theo
d or a remembered then that the old wom a n h a d
t a ken the b aby into her o w n room a little while
before A nnie die d bec a u se o f i ts crying a n d
that after sh e brou ght it b a ck it had slept c on
o rse lest s h e
s ta n tl
F
u
ll
u
nnecessary
rem
o
f
y
by her i n a tte n tio n h a d been p a rtly to blame
Miss J u stice spe n t most of the d ay after her
The li ttle life
n ight w a tch tending the child
h owever flickered a nd went o u t and la te th a t
a f tern oo n the ti n y b ody was l a id beside the
mother s L ivin g s h e h a d not bee n a be a u tif u l
child b u t i n de a th s h e wa s l o vely a s a li ttle a n
gel carven i n m arble
white b u t bl ue v e i n ed
u nder the closed eyes
Theodor a placed the
f a ir head on A nnie s arm a n d a s sh e lo oked at
these two lyi n g pe a cef ully together her heart
swelled w i thin her a nd she t u rned a w a y q u ickly
to hide her te a rs
A s she left the ho u se a woma n stoppe d her

Yo u r e M iss J u sti ce ? a sked the strange r

Yes
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254

JOE

AND

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Well sa i d the other I m Ne ll M oo re

O h ! Where is A n dre w ?

I d u n n o s a id Nell
Yo u don t

No O h yo u need n t th ink he went off
with me No m a a m ! I m done w i th h i m
I married h i m fair e n oug

Married him
cr i ed Theodo ra

Yes said Nell
I t c a n t do her no h ar m
to tell now I mean t to see y ou an tell yo u
when I heard to d a y h o w kind yo u d been to
her fo r I wa n ted to show yo u I w a s a n honest
wom an fit to take care of a child So I bro u ght

an d Nell calmly prod u ced the
m y certificate
p roof of her marri age whic h Theodor a scan n ed


w i th astonished eyes
We q u arreled we n t
o n Nell
an sep a rated an he come here ; a n
he m ade belie v e marry th a t girl — b u t sh e
tho u ght it w a s all right ; an I did n t know
nothin abo u t her a n when I fo u n d o ut it
t ur ned m e ag a inst him more n a ll he d done to
m e ; a n I pitied her an I co u ld n t s e e as I
co u ld do a n ybody n o good excep t by cl e a r in
I ve been s ta yi n to B or
o ut a n s o I went
d e n to w n with Mis Carey s sister ; an I he a rd
h e h a d left her an that s h e w a s dead poor
thing an so I come right o v er this a fternoon

an tho u gh t I d speak to y o u a bo u t it

You and A ndrew did not go away together l
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256

AND

JO E

.

p oss ibl e f o r he r like him to begi n all o v e r


a g a in
I n a mom e nt more s h e s a id Well
I m sorry abo u t the baby I t was a blessi n g
for A n nie to die A s for me I v e got to make

the best I c a n of l i vi n g o n
She t u rned to go b u t Theodora to u ched her



Nell s aid s h e
come a n d see me some
times L et me be yo u r friend D on t go like

that I ve known tro u ble too
A t the s i mple wor ds Nell s eyes filled with
s u dden te a rs

Thank y o u sh e sai d
I 11 come to y ou

once in a while then G ood b y
Theodor a s a w th a t it wo u ld be no k i nd n ess
to detain her and stood still watching the lithe
h an dsome fig u re a s it moved a w ay till the
gatheri n g gloom o f the wi n te r even ing wr a pped
i t ro und and shro u ded it from v iew Then she
t u r n e d her steps homeward saying to th a t v ery
tired sel f o f hers She i s bey ond my hel p and

onl y J oe i s left to me
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BR I DG ET

S ST O R Y

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m i ss yo u s e e the tro uble is Ellen
gets a bit religio u s now a n the n a n spe n ds
more time pr a y i n tha n m a y be the Lord r e
q u ires of a woman a s a s a big fa mily to se e to
She s a nice om a n tho a n a s a good e a d to
e r steadier no r e r us b a n d s
E s stylish like
an e d be ple a sed i f sh e d go with fi n er sort 0
comp any n o r she do She j u st l a u ghs at i m

an s ays
O h b a h J oh n yo u ll never c a tch
me a r u n min after my betters The m as w a s
good e n o u gh for us when we was yoo n g i s good

eno u gh n o w we is old

s a ys she to be dressed i n
E d like me
sa ti n from Mo n day to Sat u rd a y let alone S u n
d a y ; a n o w wo u ld the w a shi n an the b a ki u
fare the n
I think m ysel Ellen had the rights o f it
She s j ust a common nice body a n wh a t o u ld
be the u se 0 e r tr i cki n e r sel o ut like a gr an
leddy ? I t s only people in th is co u ntry as try
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17

BR ID G E T S

258

S

T OR Y

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9

to m ake th e m s e l s look yoong an finer n o r
their conditio n I think it s r i d i c lous for ow ld
wome n to fi x th e m se l s o u t like yoo n g we n ches
I like to see the q u ality dress u p b u t it s not
a ll ays the g r a n e s t as go the g a y est I remem
ber i n En gl a nd the first time the Q u een coom
to C h a tsworth afte r s h e was m arried The
D uke a d an eye o n the Q u een when she w a s
yoon g an s h e coom there ; a n for five or s i x
weeks before all the gentry w a s gi vin the ow ld
women ro u nd a bo u t new petticoats a n n ew
shoes so 8 they sho u ld look nice for the Q u e e n
to s e e I a d a sister i n service at Chatsworth
a n so we we n t over there from where we lived
i n L an cashire I m I rish born y ou k n ow b u t
we d lived in La nca shire since I w u r a little
child a n folks s a y a s I spake n a y th e r like the
I rish nor the En glish I m j u st alf an alf a
kind o f a mixed c r e a tur at best I know the
La ncash ire di log b u t I do n t spake it of te n ;
m y f ather never liked to he a r it i n the o u se
for he w u r a n ed u c a ted ma n
Well we to ok a
S pri n g c a rt a n drove to C h a tsworth the n i ght
before the Q u ee n coom an we lodged i n a p u b
lic o u se the wh ole on u s i n one room all b u t
my fa ther a s a d a frie n d i n the tow n a n o w l d
m a n who took i m o m e to is o u se
The next d a y we we n t to the park an they
r an ged us along to see the sight w i th the

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BRID GE T S

260

S

TOR Y

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l i ke a m a n y o on g e r n or e i s an that I
thi n k e lps to m ake a little tro u ble between
em 0E an o n Then To m the eld e st b oy is
is father s i d ol ; b u t when the lad t o o k to b a d
ways d r i n k i n i d li n n i ghts an g ambli n Ellen
did not like it an f u ssed a b o u t it while the fa
ther a s o u ght to h a known better said
Whisht let the la d alon e
Yoo n g me n
m u st ave their fling I w a s j u st like i m at i s

age

The m ore shame to y o n
cried Ellen for
telli n on it a fore the childer a n s pa ki n light

n
m an
0 the l a ws of G o d
To m I
S o sh e t u r n e d to To m a n s a ys she
worked in the mill d a y times an I worked i n
the o u se nights whe n I w a s the m o ther o f seve n
sm all childer ; a n y o u a s a s nothi n b u t a m an s
p a rt to do i n this world ill never know o w a rd
a woman s lot c an be I never shirked my
work for I wa nted to give y o u s ch ool in an
ave y o u l ar n a good tr ade I kept y ou a t
sch o ol till yo u w a s f o u rteen whe n all yo u r
m a tes went i n the mill at twelve ye ar old a n
o on e r ; a n now yo u r e twe n ty
y
g
y o u ve l a rned
the m a chinist s tr a de yo u c an d o for y e r s e l a n
I won t p u t up with y o u r c o o m i n O m e l a te
nights m a kin a row bri n gi n drink a n d bad
company in the o u se an t a chin bad ways to
yo u r brothers an sisters I f yo u can not co o m
e

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ID E T S

BR

G

S

T OR r

26 1

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peaceable a n i n d u e seaso n yo u m u st go some

wheres else to board
She spoke u p pretty fierce b u t s h e a d n t
no more tho u ght the l a d o u ld go a wa y n or s h e
a d th a t the m a n i n the mo o n o u ld coom dow n
to liv e wid her
B u t the fa the r sal d a s if the
b oy went e d go too ; a n then she w u r mad
an s ays sh e
Ye d better be O E wi d ye J ohn Mc K i e r n a n
than stoppia a t o m e uph o w ld i n the boy i n
bad ways A man 0 y o u r a g e ! Ye d better

be on yo u r knees a sayin yo u r pra yers
Then the father a n so n marc hed O E oldi n
u p their eads like soldiers ; a n they both
stopped o ut late th a t night an c oo m o m e a
roari n an si n gin
J oh n M c K i e r n a n i s q u ite a
pote ; e m akes little rhymes a n p u ts the words
in the i r places so 8 the verses co om o u t right ;
a n when e coo m into the kitche n a r a c ke ti n
a n a knocki n over the ch a irs i n the d a rk e
w a s singin away verses a b ou t Ell e n ersel a s
She e are d i m b ut s h e spake
e d m a de u p
n ever a word only bolted e r be d room door fa st ;
wh i le 6 begi n s to si n g Whe n I was a Bachelor
an ow ld I rish song as I a ve e a red my fa ther
sing when I w a s a b i t o f a girl There s not
m a nny f olk as kno w i t n o w I c an s ay it in
I rish a n Engl i s h both
E sho u ted o ut i n the
d e ad 0 night the most a g ge r a va ti n of all the
ve r ses
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2 62

BR

I

f

ID GE T S

i d

th e m

anc e

f

He r

or tun e

It m a k e s m
Th e

s

h ir t I c

g o to
ne

Ti

I

ll

ve

m

r

An

we

en s

ar

ig h

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it

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i

orn n g ,

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om e ,

fa i l y

coo m s o n

b i di ty
r

n

ft

o

m e,

r

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m e b e d , i t s i n b a d or d e r ,

wif

Me

ca

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i n th e m

coo m

d us ke s

fin d m e

a n n ot

a

.

d e c e i ve d

l bor

y

do

as

pse y

e cry a n

W h e n I r i se

I
I

o

T OR Y

S

e

An m e

is

ca

bi n h e a r i n g

ba b y a l w y
a

,

s

That wa s n t a pl e a si n so n g for Ellen to ea r
an i t w u r n t tr u e n a y th e r ; fo r s h e s not a
mopsey b u t a clea n dece n t b ody a s keeps a
nice o u se a n does n t r u n ro u n d to the neigh
bors n o more n is reaso nable for a l iv e wom an
as does n t expect to w rap ersel u p in a sheet
an keep a s dist ant from folks as a ghost
When 0 a d finished the verses a n w a s j u st
b e g i n n in ag a in When I w as a Bachelor Mc
K iernan tries the bedroom door an fin ds i t
lo cked on i m
S o then e swe a rs an Ellen
sp akes for the first time an ca lls thro u gh the
keyhole
I v e got the ch ilder i n ere a n I v e spent
the night a pr a y i n for y ou You a n To m m a y
go up to the attic ; a n my co u nsel is f or yo u to
get on yer knees
Then the r e was mo r e r ow an at the l as t Mr

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264

BR

ID GE T S

S T OR Y

.

low air as looks like a da n del i on She d s e t
er
e a r t o n T o m M c K i e r n a n b u t e r f olks w as
a l w ays a gin i t They was pretty i gh toned
p eople The m othe r kep a store a n the fa
ther w as on the train They looked i gh for
Rosie an the mothe r watched e r like a cat
They was Protestants too an the d iEe r e n c e o f
rel i gion made tro u bles both sides Fo r m y p a rt
I think as we all worships the s a me G od
still I confess as wh a t he as ord ained he a s
ord a ined a n i t ll sta n fore v er ; an them as
does n t go to mass miss e s a blessi n g s u re as
they might av e for the mass is a h o ly thing a s
u ll do a n y body good a n n o t C atholics a lo n e
I m n ot go i n to s a y as i t s well for Protes
tants an C a th o lics to wed b u t I a l w a ys liked
Rosie an when I se e o w e r e a r t w a s set on
Tom I was s u ch a gre a t fo ol as I tho u ght the
religi o n o u l d not make s o m u ch a rm for sh e
w u r not o n e to a rg u e an I w i shed To m o u ld
beh a ve himsel an marry e r an be a good man
to e r for I d oes like to see yo u ng f olks ap py
B u t oh when T o m w a s o ut o is mother s
eye it seemed as if e wo u ld go to the devil
str aight for Mr Mc K i e r n a n co u ld no more m a n
age the l a d n or a three year old child co u ld fly
a s i x foot kite
The boy went from bad to
worse an Mr R oberts f orb a de i m the o u se e u
ti r e ly an Ros i e s eyes was redder n E llen s
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BR ID GE T S

S

T OR Y

26 5

.

I coome d by M r Roberts

n ight an I
seed Ros i e hang in over the g ate talkin with
Tom o utside There was a bright mo on a n I
seed the s a d look was go n e from e r bo n ny fa ce
wh i ch was all dimples a n smil e s B ut as I w a s
er
a st a r i ng a t
ou t coom Mr Roberts like a
t u rkey gobbler ru shin at a red ra g an d ragged
Rosie i n s w e a r i n as s h e sho u ld not go to shame
right o ut of e r fa ther s door Tom started a f
ter b u t Rosie cried o ut for i m to go aw ay ; an
Missi s Roberts a n a lot more wome n c oo m ou t
a talkin a n
an
they
got
the
g
i
rl
in
a
n
e lli n
y
sh u t the door a n left T om o u ts i de fig h ti n wi d
Rosie s brother
I coom a w a y the n for I spi e d the policeman
th a t s a sight a s
a co om i n u p the street ; a n
as a w on e r ful power to p u t a stop to an old
woma n s c u riosity
I went into Missis Rob e r ts s store the nex t
day a n Rosie was there wi th e r little sister i n
a b a by as is fretf u l an always wants
e r lap
Rosie looked
s u m m un to be settin u nder e r
v ery pale b u t e r mother she was sco w li u and
black i n the face The s u per of the S u nday
school was there a s a yin
Miss i s Roberts I m very sorry as Rosie

sho u ld h a se t gossip go i n a bo u t e r
Then Missis Roberts rose u p to e r feet an
fl u ng out e r and at the girl an says There

o ne

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BRID GE T S

2 66

S

T OR Y

.

Ros i e ! d o y e ear that ? Perhap s y ou ll m ind
what yo u r mother says afte r this an not wai t
till the stones in the streets i s a hollai n o ut m y

v ery words an e r y i n shame on ye

O h said the s u pe r tr y i n then to qu iet the
mother dow n I v e no manner 0 do ubt Rosie

l l be a good g i rl afte r th i s
E s p oke to the baby an e sa i d as e d like
to b u y some ta p e an so e got away ; b u t Rosie
sai d nev er a word to i m only grew wh i ter n
wh i ter an let e r ands f all down at e r s i de
so s the baby a d to old e r own little back u p
Wh i le the s u pe r w a s b uyin the tape I said
to Ros i e
A d yo u been walki n w i th T o m
last

n ight ?



Yes said she ;
we d walked from the

m
r
oce
r
s
I
only
t
i
m
by
chance
e
g



B u t yo u li ke i m sai d I a n e s a wild

l ad

We ne v e r a d n o love t alk said she ; an
then i n a min u te more she spake aga i n : I 11

n e v e r stay ere to be talked abo u t
T hen the mother coom back to u s an I went
o ut o the store
S ure eno ugh the g i rl r u nned awa y an then
there w a s more t alk than ever a bo u t e r
Ellen coo m out in the m i d dl e of the d ay to
te ll me tho u gh she w as doin a ble a ch an a d

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BRID GE T S

2 68

T OR Y

S

.

O h s ays I
yo u th in k yo u d nev e r a
d one e r arm ; b u t it s little l a ds kno w w h a t
they 11 coom to do as keeps bad company a n
takes no co u nsel b u t the i r o w n wild wishes
She r u nned to save e rsel
a wise little body !
G o after e r To m bring e r o m e to be yo u r
m other s da u ghter an m a ke up yo u r m i nd o n ce

for a ll to be a decent ste a d y man
I don t know wh a t got into me to speak them
words b u t when e e a red me first e gre w
w hite a n then e grew red

You r e a wise woman
said he an e
walked away a n the next d ay they te lle d me
e a d go n e f rom the town
The Rob e r ts e s soon eared f rom Ros i e o w
sh e a d got a good pl a ce with a rich fam i ly in
F all R i ver ; so they tho u ght it b e st to leave e r
there B u t where T o m w a s we did not know
Well Ellen took it ard an she seemed to
feel the father s bein away m ore now Tom was
cle a n gone an yet the man did not coom b a ck
She d stan at e r door at night a n str a i n e r
eyes lookin towards the mill where M c K i e r n a n
worked b u t s h e never s e e i m coo m i n towards
er
Eh b u t women i s q u eer c r e a tur s cr y i n
an s cold in an sputte r i n yet lov i n all the
while
She fell s i ck be i n so worried an on e night
I stay ed wi d e r
I was dozin in th e kitchen
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B ID E T S
R

G

S

T OR Y

26 9

.

when I eared a gr e a t cr a sh ; I r u nned i nto the
other room an there Ellen l a y on the floor wid
e r eyes w ide st a r i n open an
e r limbs stretched
o ut on the boards a n i n on e a nd s h e a d a lock
0
e r own air as s h e d p u lled o ut

o w lo n g
Oh
cried I
ave y ou been
there ?


Whisht wh i sht ! s a ys she
D o ye ear
the m usi c ?

M u sic ! says I
A re ye m a d ?



O h s a ys she i t s gra n m usi c ; a n d o
ye s e e the fine yoong l a dies as is m aki n i t ?
There they i s all sta n in ro u n d against the wa ll
L ook at em dressed in white an with bells o n

the i r fingers !
She w a s so wild I was sc a red an I h u more d
em
e r a h i t an s a id a s I e a red em an see d
an co axed e r the while b a ck to b e d
She l a id e r e a d down o n the pillow an



f etche d a gre at sigh
A h , says s h e
they
j u s t v a n i sh i n va n i sh in a n the m usi c s
re

a fa din a way
Then she wr u ng e r ands an fell a c r y i n
an I a d plenty 0 work th a t n i ght to d o c a r
B u t s h e m e n d e d f e a rfu l a t a fter
i n g for e r
an in a d a y or two she was qu ite well
Then she went to the priest an te lle d i m al l
o w Mr M c K i e r n a n a d been a g o od
e r tro u ble
usb a n d an v e ry agreeable to e r f o r twenty two

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2 70

BR

ID GE T S

s TOE r

.

year s an o w ard sh e tho u ght i t as e sho ul d
l eav e e r now ; an s h e to w ld i m all abo u t Tom
too
F a ther K ent treated e r v ery k i nd an
says e

I ca n n ot elp ye a bo u t T om
Yoon g men
will a ve their fli n g ; a n an y w a y e s beyo n d
m y re a ch Ye ca n do nou ght b u t pray for i m
as was a lw a ys a mother s work f rom the time
of the Blesse d V irg in
A s for yo u r usb a n d

I 11 s e e to i m
Elle n co o med o m e wid a lighte r e a r t an
wai ted wid e r little ones a rou nd e r for the
man as sh e oped soon to se e d arken e r door
F a ther K e n t we n t tw i ce to the mi ll to see Mr
Mc K i e r n a n a n the second time the m an got
mad a n sp ake u p sau cy an sa i d q u eer things
to the priest



I don t dou bt Fathe r Ken t s a ys e
as
yo u r e a s ch ol a r d an a gentlem an an I kn ows
o u r e a priest
e d d li n
b
u
t
y
o
u
need
n
t
be
m
y

w i th me
Then F a ther K e n t st amped is foot a n s a ys e
You v e e a red what I a d to s a y M c K i e r
n an G o ye o m e to yo u r wife a n d on t force

me to coom ag a i n abo u t this b u si n ess
A n that night Mr Mc K i e r n a n we n t om e
She w u r sta n in
Ell en te lle d me all abo u t it
at the table cutti n ou t a dress for a ne ighbor ;

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B ID E T S

2 72

R

rse l
e
y

G

S TO R Y

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talk ; an e shov eled i n i s meat an
said no more till s h e a sked i m t imid like
sho u ld sh e se n d i s di n ner to the mill
A re n t ye the ous e k e e pe r ? s ays e sh a rp


ag a in
Ye like to ear y e r s e l t a lk ; an 0E
e went to is work
T hat a fter n oon I w as goin by an Ellen
call e d me to coom in

I m u st go ome an feed my ca t said I

She sq u ealed
H o ot w i yer c at s ays she
I h u nted e r O E o m y chi c kens the other d a y
Coom in ; i t s s u mm a t better worth e a r i n n or

a c a t s m e a ow i n a s I ave to tell ye
So I st opped i n a n she made me l augh till
m y sides ached a m i m i ck i n all M r M c K i e r n a n s
gra n ways an so u r looks B u t sh e q u it e r
l anghin an cried a bit s ayi n


I m the wretchedest mother i n the town
says s h e ; an Fathe r K ent said e co ul d not

elp me abo u t Tom
S o w a n ti n to chee r e r I says

Mr Mc K i e r n a n only shows is good sense
i n coo m i n o m e Ellen There s not a woman

I knows as keeps a chee rf u ller ki tchen


I t o u ld n ot h a been cheerf u l long says

sh e
if e a d n ot coom fo r I m nea r out 0

money

Well e i s coom s ays I
A n n e w yo u
m u st keep i m
What did y ou send i m for i s
d inner
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S TO R Y

BR ID GE T S
'

27 3

.

Beefsteak says sh e ca tch i n u p little P e
ter a s a d been p u llin at e r k n ee a n s ucki n
at a l u mp 0 s u ga r


Th a t s right s ays I
Now yo u m u st ha

s u mm a t goo d fo r i s s u pper

Ye s s ays s h e
What do ye think on

Scollops s a ys I
9‘Wh a t s the m ?
s a ys s h e t akin old of P e
ter s an ds an swingin i m down to the floor
a n then bri n gi n i m u p ag a i n on e r knees an
e a la ug h i n till e a lmost ch o ked



I ll be bo u n d
A ki n d 0 fish s ays I
Mr M c K i e r n a n u ll like e m S e n d Ka tie down
to th e m arket for em They ll be a bo u t thirty

ce n ts the qu art
S o she s a id s h e w o u ld ; a n I seed s h e felt
q u ite appy s o I picked u p my sh a wl a n the
p a il of milk I was takin o m e an tr u d ged o n
to my cellar a n my c a t
The next d a y w a s S u nd ay a n a s I w a s o n
my way ome fro m ch ur ch when I got opposite
Mr Mc K i e r n a n s O u se Ellen as w a s sta n in in
the door n ot av in took O E e r bonnet c a lled
to me
J u st sto p to di nn e r Br idget ! s ays she


Na y na y s a ys I
A f amily likes to ave

i ts S u n d a y di n ner to th e ir s e l s
Her fa ce c lo u ded b u t Mr Mc K i e r n a n as wa s
says
s m oki n in the y a r d

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BR ID GE T S

27 4

s T OR Y

.

C oo m i n Bridget ; the r e s always a seat

for yo u at my t a ble
S O s e e i n i m s o cordi a l I went i n ; an Ellen
I tho u ght w a s gl a d not to be m u ch alo n e wid
I sat there till abo u t three when 6
im
m ar ches u p to i s wife a n spe aks very pleas ant
a n says J u st m a ke me a c u p 0 te a Elle n
a n up she j u mps w i th smiles all over e r fa ce to
do i t Then I tho u ght they was gett i n f riendly
an I coomed a way
B u t she bade me in the v ery next n i ght for
she s a id s h e a d to a sk i m for money an she
felt she d be h old e r to do it if I was by S O
Mo n d a y eveni n g I was there before d u s k e s
They was always a f a mily a s provided well the
w a y I like to s e e folks do
alf a b a rrel 0 flo u r
an a lf a keg o b u tter a n a whole h a m at a
time ; b u t while Mr Mc K i e r n a n was O E Ellen
h a d been p u t to it to keep thi n gs u p an a d r u n
low i n every way
A fter we a d a d a good s u pper she picked u p
J immy on e o the little boys ; an while Peter
h u n g on e r k n ees s h e poked e r fingers careless
li ke in to the oles i n J immy s shoes till e
sq u e a led o ut as sh e tickled i m a n says he

M a mmy I w a nt some new shoes



says I
let 8 see the shoes ye ve g ot
Eh
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on

Then the l ittle f ellow twisted r o u nd i n is
mother s lap an st u ck o ut is two feet to me

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B ID GE

27 6

R

T OR Y

T’ S S

.

The n as the man d i d not speak she began
a g a in a si n gin with a l i ttle tremble , an p attin
J i mmy s knee
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f

My

a ce

is m y

fo

r tun e


.

J i mmy my l a d what do y ou th ink 0 th a t

for a n O ld woma n like m e ? O nly my fa ce
Mr Mc K i e r n a n a d got on is coat by th i s
time a n s ays e i n a lofty w ay
G ive me yo u r fifty cents Ellen an I 11 gi ve

o
a
ten
doll
a
r
bill
u
f
r it
o
y
Ye may be s u re s h e was n t no gre a t t i me
m akin th a t ch an ge ; a n e went o u t o the
O u se an s h e cl a pped on e r bonnet an shawl
an st a rted 0E ersel for the sh o es
They coomed back together talki n an e a r
r yin p a rcels like a co u ple of yoong s w e e t e a r ts
an I j u st l a u ghed a t em A s we all stood
ro u nd with the childer an gi n on o ur leg s the
door b u rst O pe n a n in coom Tom a u Rosie


Hollo a ! cried T om ; an Ellen fetched a
screech a n r u shed at the lad as if she d smother
i m ; b u t Rosie stood ap a rt with a s h y look in
e r eyes a n a bl u sh on e r cheek till T o m left
is mother an took the girl s a nd an said l i ke
a m an

I went a fter e r an on e day as s h e was
washin d ishes I coom softly in to the kitchen
a n when she looked up she saw me an s h e
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B RID GE T S

S T OR Y

27 7

.

cried o u t a n let the c u p fall a s she was oldin
an it broke a n o ut coo m the miss u s to k n ow
what w a s the m a tter ; a n I te lle d e m both to
gether as I d made u p my mind to b e a ste a dy
fello w a n I d coom to m arry R o sie ; a n Rosie
s h e m a de belie v e as s h e did n t c a re abo u t me
till the m i ss u s la u ghe d an b ade e r spe a k the
tru th ; a n the n

No w To m yo u need n t s a y no more s a id
Ros i e ; an Mr Mc K i e r n a n m a rched u p to e r
an says very co u rteo u s like
I 11 m a ke ye k i ndly welcome to be my son s

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b u t she s th a t alre a dy ! cried Tom

We w a s m a rried a week ago
Everybody screamed b u t Ellen who j u st
throwed e r arms ro und the girl s neck a n
h u gged e r ard

Eh ,

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V A LEN TI N E S C H A NC E

.

d ay was so sof t and warm that Dr
J ohn V alentine fl ung himself on the gro u nd at
the e d ge of the po n d A lde r and oa k b u shes
shaded his head Swamp lan d s rose j u st abo v e
the s u rfa ce o f the water a n d with their wet
green n ess hid from h i s eyes the c u rrent of the
river w hose ge n tle ripples defined i ts co u rse
throu gh the smoothe r w aters V alentine s boa t
T HE M ay

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the shallows Behi n d him a stee p b a nk rose to
the level of the fields which sloped away to the
vill age The river changed its direction when
it left the pon d a n d c u t the v illa ge i n h a lves ;
then t u rned again and so u ght the so u thern tide
waters
V a lentine stared a moment at a rob i n which
stood with an erect head ne a r his feet a n d then
took o ut a block of p ape r and began to write
He w as a wealth y y o u th and neglecte d h i s
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VAL EN TINE S CHANCE

280

.

h i s growth in s u n ny a nd vigor o u s man
hood Here l a y the germ o f possibly m orbid
actio n or r u ino u s introvers i o n
The rob in sped aw a y and V a le n tine wrote on
thro u gh the M a y a fter n o on till steps so u n d ed
from the narrow p ath whi c h led a l on g the ba n k
half way up the slope and a girl s voice o d d
an d sweet broke upon the q u iet V a le n ti n e
perceived that s h e was speaki n g the C a n a
di an p ato is S u ddenly there w a s the n o ise o f
some on e s l ippi n g te a ring a t the b ushes a n d
then a m a n c a me cr a shi n g dow n and fell head
lo n g m u ttering a n o a th a t V a le n ti n e s feet
The girl gave a q u ick cry a n d darted a fter
him


s a id the d octor risi n g in
J a ck and J ill
amazeme n t
B u t the girl h a d n o t falle n a l
tho u gh sh e was already on her k n ees bes i d e the
V a lentine lifted the fellow up a n d s e t
m an
him against the b ank and looked a t h i m wi th
d i sg u sted interest

He dr u nk said the gir l in a m a tter of
fact tone
The man d i d not seem to be h u rt b u t very
m u ch d a zed

Wh a t y ou bri n g me to s u ch a place for

Rose B e a u va is ? h e asked st u pidly acc u sin g

her i n French
O f co u rse I fa ll

Well yo u s i t still now
she answe r ed
re
e
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VAL EN TINE

S

CHA NCE

2 81

.

calmly
D o n t yo u go home till night Then
no on e w i ll s e e how horrid y ou look Promise

me
H e t u rned h i s gre a t be a u tiful eyes o n her
The smile th a t crossed his lips tho u gh silly
with intoxic a tion still had something of the
fl a shi n g r a di an ce mingled wi th sweetness s o
ch a ra cteristic of the smiles of his r a ce

I d o n t k n ow h e s a id
She looked in the m a n s fa ce and r epl ied i n

an u n m oved to n e I k n ow
V ale n ti n e w a t ched her c u rio u sly She se e med
to be a bo u t fiftee n years old She wore a c oa rse
d a rk jersey a n d a sh o rt c a lico skirt
Her shoes
were ro u gh and tied with st r i n gs She p u t a
thin lo n g h an d on the C a n a di an s sho u lder
There were flecks O f c o tto n o n her j ersey an d
the fa ctory st a in was o n her fingers b u t there
w a s a pec u liar yo u thfu l gra ce i n her fig ure a nd
m oti o n s

Yo u will s tay she said a n d the C an adia n
nodded She stood u p then a nd for an i n st a nt
her eyes met V ale n tine s fra nkly To his s ur
p rise he felt a momenta ry awkwa rdness and
was overcome by a sense that he had been d e
tr ap i n this sce n e
C a n I do anything for y o u ?
he asked
has t i ly

She answered No i n Engli sh and to the
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VA LE NTINE S CHANCE

2 82

.

You stay he re
othe r conti n u ed i n French

Frank an d I 11 bring yo u some s u pper
The man w a s too drowsy to reply She r e
g a rded h i m w i th ser i o u s b u t undist u rbed g a ze
I t str u ck the doctor th a t dru nkenness might be
a fa mili a r factor in her life She t u rned away
at last and witho u t a n y parti ng sal u tation went
alo n g the river bank towa rds the vi ll age V al
e n ti n e spoke to the C a n a di an b u t receiving no
response picked up his writing materi a ls from
the dirt climbed the b a nk and crosse d some
fields to the ro a d and to a fa rm ho u se o n the
opposite side This fa rm h o u se stood a l i ttle
dis ta n ce from the vill age and the fa rm belong
i n g to it exte n ded on both sides of th e r o a d
forming a portion of the co u ntry di vidi n g the
B lackbird Hollo w v i ll a ge from the town a bove
i t V a len ti n e bo a rded at this ho u se I t was
not a good place for his p ract i ce b u t he was i n
diff erent to that h i s stay in the v ill age being
in the nat u re o f an experime n t pre p aratory
to h is serio u s settl ing down to p rofessional life
The e v e n ing contin u ed m il d a n d a little b e
fore s u n set V ale n tine seated himself i n a h a m
mock u n der a spreading apple tree whose b u ds
were beginning to show thems elv es p i n k i n the
b almy a ir
He was read ing M i ss Bur n e y s L etters by the
fading light when a little wagon came up the
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VAL ENTINE

2 84

CHA NCE

S

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I g u ess I ll get some do u ghn u ts for them

chi ldre n said s h e an d we n t into the ho u se
V alenti n e gl an ced a t Rose and decided th a t
She had very l u mi
s h e w a s n ot very pretty
n ous soft eyes b u t she w a s p ale E ve n the lips
lack e d color tho u gh they were be a u tifu lly c u t
an d her fe a t u res were a little thi n Her bl a ck
hair w a s braided an d scar c ely re ached her sho u l
de r s A perfectly straight b an g covered her
forehead She held a p a ck age i n on e h an d


I s that the s upper for th a t m a n ? asked
V alenti n e at l a st I t did n ot se e m n ecess ary
to u se an y ceremony with her She fl ushed
a nd dre w her fi n gers a cross her lips


Yes
D o yo u thi n k he has st a yed where yo u left
him

O h yes He be a fraid to go away

A fra id of what ?
She smiled a s if s h e d i d not mean to tell and
Valenti n e asked

Who is he ?

H e J oe s b r ud th e r

A nd who i s J oe ?
O h J oe
a m a chi n ist in the J e Er e y s mill
H e come first S o when the b r ud th e r come
wor k i n machine shop too e v r y b od y n ot k n o w
his n ame The boss e v r y b od y c all him J oe s

b r u d th e r
O nly we
we call him Fr a nk

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VAL ENTINE

CHAN CE

S

285

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Yo u

knew h i m befo re ?

Yes i n C ana d a A lwa ys
What a n od d sweet note was i n he r v o i ce !
A light came into her eyes

She is pretty after all thou ght the yo u ng
man a nd he s aid a lo ud “ He 8 a bad fellow

Not good company for yo u
She lau ghed an d t urn ed her body slightly
witho u t m ov i n g her feet Here the childre n
came r u shi n g b a ck with the go a t a nd empty
b u ckets c alli n g to her a s they p a ssed — d a rk
rosy creatu res whose v i vid colori n g m a de the
A merica n child toddli n g a fter them look i n sipid
Yo u g o home
she cried
I co m e by a n d

by
She t u r n ed b a ck to Va lenti n e an d sp oke


q u ietly : No J oe s b r ud th e r n ot bad fello w
I t w a s evide n tly a little d i fli cul t for h e r to fin d
a nd u tter the words she wanted Her pretty
l ips seemed to st u m b le o v e r the so u n ds
He
nev er got dr u nk before
Somethi n g tro u ble
him He feel bad H e n o work to d a y S o me
fellows get h i m O E
te ase him H e tell me
I m a ke him sta y i n the
It l u cky I fine him

woods H e do s o n o m ore I t be a ll right
A ga in th a t flashing sm i le s o bright s o u n i n
V a lentine d i d not feel ple ased A t
te l lig e n t
this moment little Bobby Petti n gell tired of
following the g o a t w a g on with i n e Ee ctua l feet
came u p the p ath cry ing Rose led h i m to the
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VA L EN TINE

28 6

CHAN CE

S

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kitche n door His mother met them and he
extended his ti n y arms far beyond h is sleeves
and t u rned up a tear st a i n ed face s a y i n g

Ple ase do s um fin to comfort me
Rose came slowly b a ck to the a pple t r ee

D o y ou work i n Mr Je Er e y s m ill ? as ked
V ale n ti n e

Yes

You were n ot at work to d a y
N 0 they fix the looms ; so I stay out t od ay

M onday I g o in

D o yo u like to work ?
I no mind i n wi n ter L ike to be in m i ll as
m u ch as anywhere then O nly getting u p i n
m orning
so cold and dark I think that
bad My fa d th e r hav e to come u p an wake
me
A nd in s u mmer ?


O h s h e cried with soft ene rgy I like to
be o ut doors i n s u mmer an f eel the air I g u ess

I l a zy Celia she went on s e s i t in the sit
ting room a n we have a n org a n a n s e play o n
it A n G eorgine s e w the clo thes when s e n ot
i n the mill an th e li ttl e girls sweep up a n mi n d
the b aby b u t I never sta y in the ho u se I sta nd
by the g a te an s e e the people an go i n the

woods an look at the sky
S he sm iled a s if she tho ught he rself bo th
wh i msical and am u sing
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VA LEN TINE S CHA NCE

2 88

.

B u t this time he answered dej ectedly it

wo u ld sh a me me to h i de i t
H e sighed the n

r ose like a m a n
I w a s a fe e l he m u ttered

I wi ll go tel l her I was a fool


I d on t dare not tell her he added in a
p u zzled tone
Celia is not like other girls I

co u ld n t lie to h e r


Well I think yo u d better tell her s ai d
his comp an io n
They we n t to the v illage together
The
Be a u v a is fa mily lived in a squ are old ho use
w ith a big e lm a n d two O ld pi n es st a ndi n g i n
the y a rd C eli a s a t al o n e o n the d o orstep She
wa s a br o w n h a ire d wom a n wi th soft gray eyes
a sq ua re ch i n a n d che e k an d a l a rge swee t
m o u th She had not s o m u ch bea u ty a s her
yo u n g lover h a d b u t s h e w a s p leasa nt to lo ok
u pon R ose stopped at the g a te Frank went
up to Celia

I h a ve been lonesome he faltered and then
told a ll his misery a n d his error Rose looked
over her sho u lder a t intervals to see h ow m a tters
progressed a n d when at la st Frank s a t down
by her sister s h e whirled a bo u t and ca me d e
m ur e ly t o w a rds them
C eli a s eyes were m oist
Fr an k s ch e eks were very r e d He s m i led li ke
a child a t Ro s e

I f e el good he s ai d
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VAL EN TINE

S

II

CHA NCE

28 9

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.

On

Memoria l D ay the F rench Canad ians o f
Bl a ckbird Hollo w held a pi cn ic in the pine
grove th a t skirted the so u ther n b an k o f the river
a n d exte n ded a lon g the side of the pon d C u ri
o s i ty led V alent in e to the sce n e
The am u se
me n ts were o f the ordi na ry ki n d There w a s a
pig to be given to the perso n who g u essed near
est to i ts exact weigh t Some boys were shoo t
i n g a t a target D a rk ski n n ed yo u n g fello ws
exch an ged l a u ghing imperti n e n ces wi th d a rk
eyed gi r ls Me n a n d wome n chatted C hildren
ra n a b ou t A crowd gathere d ro u nd a pl a tform
where there were m u sic and d anci n g Ev ery
body h a d a fore i g n c o lor a n d a ir O n ly the s ol
e m u pines and the brilli an t bl u e sky looked
A meri c a n
V ale n tine wandered a bo u t till he disco v ered
Rose Be a uv a is who stood a little apart from
th ose who were watchi n g the d an cers O ne o r
t w o boys went u p to her a nd he saw her shake
her head to them A fter some irresol u te mo
m e n t s he w alked a cross the little hollow shaded
by he m lo cks that divided him fro m her
Why do n t y o u d a n ce ? he a sked


I not k n ow h o w

Yo u co u ld le a r n

I not want to learn They say Come we

show yo u
I not want to be shown
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VAL ENTINE S CHA NCE

2 90

.

He looked at her c u r io u sly t i ll a l ow , cl ea r
v oi ce broke o n h i s ear
J ack !
H e t u r n ed to rece iv e M i ss J e Er e y s out
stretched hand She s m iled a t him from her
father s side ; a tall fair woman whos e blonde
h a ir grew low o n her forehead so th a t she co u ld
p u sh i t b a ck and sti ll have a soft fl uEy e Ee ct
V a lentine k n ew
o f gold u nder her broad h a t
her well U s u ally when they met they talked
abo u t m u sic for which each had a fancy that
e a ch s u pposed to be a p a ss i on Now she ex
cl a imed a t the bea u ty of the French C a nadi a ns
While s h e spoke Rose glided away


See th e s e two g i rls said Miss J e Er e y s
D on t they make yo u th i nk of pl u mp pi
geo n s
J oe s brother was ap p roach i ng w i th a girl
dressed in bl u e upon his arm Behind him came
a nother man with a f a ir girl in a gr a y gown
The men were n ot qu ite at their ease b u t the
women held their heads calmly erect Both
w e r e big h a ts a n d showy gilt bracelets and car
ri ed their gloved hands f olded i n front of the i r
r o u n d firm w ai sts

The blonde is the prettier s aid M iss J e f
freys
She looks like a v ery amiable heifer
B u t what a f ace the other h as ! S o ser i o u s and

fine
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VAL ENTINE

292

S

CHA NCE

.

D i rt i s pict u resqu e said his dau ghter
“ A st a le se n time n t ! ” r etorted her fa ther
We c a n t k e e p the tenements from bei n g inde
f
u
ll
They
t
a
ke
boarders
and
pretend
e e n tl
y
they r e a ll on e fa mily B u t they are q u ick an d
intellige n t a n d s ave money which they take
b a c k to C an a d a They don t come here to st a y
H a ve yo u ever noti ced h o w few old people there
are a m ong the m ? They le a ve them i n C an
a d a an d go b a ck to them Th a t Beau vais fa m
ily now — I u n derst an d they are going home

th i s s u m m er
Th a t eve n ing V ale n tine w a n d ered restlessly
to the po n d and rowed acr oss to the vill a ge
The sky where the s u nset flash li n ge red w a s
cle a rly refl e cted in the water H i s b oa t glided
bet w een two exp an ses O f col or No bei n g b u t
his ow n seemed to bre a the with co n sci o u s life
The birds whi c h so u ght their nests flew like a n
t o m a t a f r om shore to shore The yo u n g o aks
o n on e side the pi n es o n the other st o od like
cra y on sketches a ga inst the sky Nothin g w a s
r eal to him b u t his own existe n ce
H e l an ded an d m ad e his way thro u gh the
streets li n ed with f a c tory tenements
Here
w a s life eno ugh — la u ghter a nd speech w h i s
pers a nd cries ; b u t as he moved am ong it all
his o w n i n divid u a lity grew o n ly more a w f ully
disti n ct He co u ld not f u se his so u l wit h w h a t
he saw
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VAL EN TINE

S

CHA NCE

2 93

.

He came at l ast to the ho u se where B ea u v ais
l i ved The y a rd w a s filled with h a ppy lo u n
gers C eli a s a t on the d o orstep by her h u sb an d
Rose w a s i n her acc u stomed pla ce by the gate

G ood e ve n i n g he s a id ; b u t she o n ly smiled
a n d he p assed o n
Three eve n i n gs l a ter he rowed a g ai n to the
v ill age shore an d a s he appro a ched the l an d
s a w Rose s li ttle fig u re sitting o n a st o n e n e a r
the tree where he w a s wo n t to tie his b o a t
The s u n set light sho w ed the be a u tif u l c u rves of
He
h e r mo u th a nd th e soft gl o w i n her eyes
r ested o n his e a r s a m o ment H e w an ted to
m ake her come o u t o n the w a ter wi th h i m
He
vag u ely felt th a t if he co u ld r o w her aw a y fro m
th a t a cc u rsed tene m e n t li n ed sh o re o u t a mo n g
the gra sses that gre w i n the sh al lows of the
p o n d h e c ou ld the n an d there d is c o ver wh a t
ma n ner of girl G od h a d m a de her to be He
kne w he m u st n ot take her H e k n e w i t wo u ld
be somethi n g very like a s i n to a sk this C ana
di a n child to row with h i m She might go with
ru de a nd co m mon boys and her sweet i n no
ce n c e be u nbl a med b u t not with s u ch a s he
Whe n he got o u t o f the bo a t he d a llied a mo
ment s te e pi n g over her
Why did yo u n ot tell me th a t it w a s y o u r

s i ster whom J oe s brother w a s goi n g to marry ?
he dem a nded
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294

VAL

EN TINE S CHAN CE

.

S he r ai sed her gre a t eyes
You not know

that ? s h e asked a nd stood u p p u tting her
h an ds behind her Hers was the charm which
belongs to a ll girls of high o r low degree i n
whose person a lity plays a n el u sive element
Her man n er e v ermore s uggested that sh e might
be d iEe r e n t fr o m what s h e seemed ; perh a ps
s ubtler perh a ps simpler b u t with the O dds in
favo r of the more attractive hyp o thesis of mys
Withal her smile was child like q u ick to
te r y
come and v ery sweet and the man who saw i t
th a t night was yo ung

Why did y ou come here ? he asked at last
H e was always aski n g her qu estions

She hesitated then said
I l ike to see the

water

H e smiled
A nd did yo u th in k I might
r ow u p a n d bring yo u some candy ? Her e I
am a n d here is the ca n dy You d better give

some of it to the bride
They t u r n ed together towards the village

This is my w a y he sa id pointing to a path
leadi n g in a direction O pposite to he rs She
seemed to t ake this a s dismiss a l and ran a w a y
witho u t a partin g word He opened h is lips to
cal l her back b u t seei n g that he was v ery nea r
the r ear of a b i g tenement ho u se he c losed them
wi tho u t u tter ing a so u nd
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VAL ENTINE

2 96

CHA NCE

S

.

O ne morn i ng a week afte r h i s m a rr iage
F rank was ordered to go to o n e O f the u pper
r ooms i n the m i ll to d o some repairing O n
his w ay to th e sta irc ase he sa w that some c a sks
h a d j u st bee n pl a ced on th e baggage lift A
m a n had once been employed to r un this elev a
tor b u t a loose n ess of discipli n e co m bi n ed with
a n e Eo r t at eco n omy prev a iled in the m an a ge
m e nt a nd he h a d be e n a s sig n ed oth e r ta sks
which pre v ented his c o n st an t a tte nd an ce to his
first d uty A s a consequ ence a n ybody went
up or down who had frei g ht in ch arge

I 11 take that s tuE u p s a id Fr an k to the
yo u ng fellow who w a s pre pari n g to mo u nt


A ll right ret u rn ed the other and p a ssed
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A mome n t later there c a me some fri ghtfu l
creak in g so u nds the n a cr a sh an d the n a cry of
horr o r as every body i n the r o o m r u shed for
w a rd The lift h a d falle n and Frank s body
l a y i n the wreck
They dr a gged him out
My G od who w ill tell his wife ? groa n ed
the s uperi n te n d e nt Mr L u c a s as he be n t ove r
the yo u n g ma n s m an gled fig u re
No on e knew who did tell her She w a s in a
d i st an t b u ildi n g b u t someh o w s h e h e ard and
when Mr L u cas we n t f or her he met her r u n
ning bet w een the wh i zz in g machi nes
He
ca ught hold of he r
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VA LENTINE S CHA NCE

2 97

.

Be as qu i e t as yo u can he commanded


F ra nk i s livi n g still
She saw th e blo o d that w a s splashed over his
ha n ds and she threw them f r om her with a cry
a n d fled past him o ut in to the breathless s un
sh in e Bearers h a d carried the m a n home
F r an k w a s ly ing o n the bed V alentine and an
The rooms were
o lder s u rgeon were at work
f u ll of p a le m e n and s o bbing women Mr
Lu cas presently came i n a n d drew Cel i a al l
shiverin g an d shaken from the bedside

D o yo u u n derstand me
he sai d holding
her by the sho u l d ers She shook he r head
Rose stepped forwa rd
I ca n u nderstand I c a n tell he r what y o u

say Mr L u c a s


Then tell her s a id he
that she can help
Frank more than a n y on e if she wi ll be q u iet
She m u st n ot cry She m u st
B u t he r e M r
L u cas beg a n himsel f to cry a nd sto p ped
Rose
r epeated his words i n r apid French The m a n
h a d neve r seen s u ch a look a s that with wh i ch
Cel i a listened

I f s h e is e xci ted he choked o ut
F rank
w ill be excited He wi ll h a ve fe ver He will

die D o y ou make he r u n derstand ?
Rose transl a ted again
Celi a sh ud d e r e d
straightened hersel f and went back to F r ank s
si de
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VAL EN TINE

298

CHA NCE

S

.

She 11 do sai d Mr L u c a s an d walked
i nto the pa n try to wash h i s hands
Frank s sk u ll was broken a nd he had s u s
The mother brou ght old
ta i n e d other i n j u ries
sheets a n d Rose tore them in strips u n der
V alentine s d irect i on
The doctors worked
with grave faces Mr L u cas stood in the door
way and kept out the crowd w h o wo u ld hav e
pressed in
The physicians finished their l abo r and went
a way Mr L u cas to ok charge of all necessa ry
matte r s Bea u vai s and J oe a n d two other men
were detailed to a ct a s n u rses C e lia s a t a ll the
t i me by her h u sband Her hair was bo u nd i n
crim pi ng p ins a n d covered with mill d u st She
leaned forward a nd held F r ank s ha n ds He
moved more restlessly and moan ed more p ai n
f u lly i f she relaxed her grasp When she per
c e i ve d this there came i nto her face a d u mb
steadfa st patience A t n ight the family were
provided wi th bedrooms i n another part of the
ho u se b u t Rose stole back i n the darkness an d
cro u ched on the floor by her siste r She wa s
there a t midnight when Vale n tin e came in H e
did not speak to her b u t he c a rried aw a y a
v ivid remembrance of her wide childish pain ed
eyes
Celia was in the same place in the morn in g
when the doctors came again b u t she had

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300

VA LEN TINE S CHA NC E
'

.

th i nk she wo u ld c u rse u s I t was s u c h a h or r i

bly n eedless a c ci d ent
A nother time w h en M i ss J e Er e y s r ose to
l eave the h o u se w hich she v isited every few
ho u rs Celia f ollowed her dog like and d u mb
i nto the entry She p u t her h a nd into the l a dy s
a n d Miss J e Er e s
in a n a gony o f symp a thy
y
passed her arm aro u n d the girl s w a ist Then
Celi a dropped her brown he a d on the other s
sho u lder a nd cri ed Miss J e Er e y s h a ted her
self bec a u se sh e did feel a s if it were st r an ge
that s h e sho u ld be there holdi n g this C a n adian
wo rkwoman i n her a rms an d yet all the while
th a nked G od that s h e had been able to
sh e
make that silent hea rt t u rn to he rs But it was
only a moment before Celi a r a ised her head
like on e w h o d ar es not wholly y ield to an em o
tio n master ed a pi tif u l smile and went back to
Fra nk
The th i rd d a y bro ught a del us ive gleam O f
hope Whe n V ale n ti n e c a me i n the mor n i n g
C eli a s a t a t the bre akfast t able and sm i led with
q u i ck gratit u de Rose w a s e a tin g too The
yo u n g doctor we n t h u rri edly i nto the p atie n t s
r oom He did not like to see Rose p u tting a
pi e ce of pork into her m o u th with a big k n ife
C eli a f ollowed him and h u ng o v e r her h u s
band s poor d i sfigu red f a ce once S O han d some


He knows her He glad to see her sai d
Rose com i ng to the doorway
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'

N TINE S CHANCE

VAL E

301

.

V al ent ine glance d from the wi fe to the sis
ter A ll that there co u ld be of womanly te n
der n ess a n d girlish s oft n ess seemed expressed
i n their tw o faces Were t a ble m an ners more
i mporta nt th a n the best of h u m a n v irt u es ? He
went abo u t his b a nd a gi n g wi th a n i mpatient
gest u re
A t noo n Fran k s c o n di ti on was not s o good
and tow a rds night it gre w worse C e lia seemed
u nco n sci o u s of th e ch an ge

He w an ts me a ll the time s h e s a id q ui te
happily to her mother whe n V a le n ti n e w a s
there He h a d n o t the co u rage to u ndece i ve
her and after gi ving h i s direct i ons we n t o ut
w i th a n aching he a rt He fo u n d Rose sitti n g
o n the doorstep smil in g i n the le v e l s u nshine
He stopped
Yo u like bei ng o u t o f the m i ll don t y o u ?



Oh s h e s a i d if Fran k was not h u rt !
Somethi n g stirred within h i m like a ye a r nin g
pai n H e wa s u nder no del u sion as to the d a ily
habits a nd tho u ghts o f this gi r l He kne w the
narro w scope o f her ide a s
worse still he
knew the methods of her to i let ; an d y e t his
he a rt moved tow a rds her a s she s a t there wi th
her s a d sweet eyes It was a lovely J u n e d a y
and o n e i n which a you ng g i rl sho u ld delight


I am go ing to r o w home he s ai d and I
want to send a p ackage back fo r Frank Come

wi th me
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VAL EN TINE

302

SO

S

CHA NCE

.

V ale n ti n e s desire f u lfilled i tself an d at
last he h a d this girl of alien race a nd caste alo n e
w ith him glidi n g across the p o nd while cool
soft airs blew a bo u t She s a t in the stern her
h an d s lyi n g in her l a p She wore a pretty
gow n which Miss J e Er e y s h a d given her th a t
mor n in g I t w a s a simple a Ea i r that h a d b e
longed to a school girl S ister O f the l a dy s b u t
it wa s pi n k wi t h a whi te g ui m p e and it m ade
Rose lo ok as i f sh e were the s a me ki n d o f d a m
s e l that J a ck V a le n ti n e had been u se d
in c ol
lege d ays to r o w over still w a ters a n d between
gree n pa st u res Her h a ppy eyes sho ne d a rkly
Primitive i n stincts s u rged withi n him He was
sorry when they re a ched the la n ding —
place
th a t th i s d angero u s h a lf ho u r w a s over a n d yet
at the s ame insta nt felt th a nkfu l th a t he had
been preserved from making a fool of himsel f
A s they climbed the steep path u p the little
h illside he did not know whether to oEe r he r
assistance H e w a s not s u re S he wo u ld u n der
st and s u ch attentio n a n d wh ile b e do ubted she
r a n l i ghtly up a n d he had no choice b u t to fol
low i n awkward silence
When they re ached the ho u se V alentine
bro u ght from h i s o Ei ce a little box a n d ga ve it
to Rose with a mess age for C elia She was
g oi n g home by the ro a d and he stood u nder the
a pple tree and watched her walk do w n the p ath
and disap pear behind some syri n ga b u shes

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VA LENTINE S CHA NCE

304

.

When he went that even i ng to see Frank he
f o u nd the older s u rgeon i n the bedroom I t
w a s evident to everybody now that the poor
f ellow m u st d i e soo n A t mid night V a le n ti n e
w a s ag a i n at the ho u se
C eli a stood fa nni n g
h e r h u sba n d with o n e h an d a nd with the other
trying to soothe a n d control his restl e ss fi n gers
S he looked w a n and old G e o rgine w as h e lp
lessly crying regard ing Fran k from the foot O f
the bed Rose an d on e o f the little g irls k n e l t
on
the floor The m other s a t near a t a ble
w he r e a l a mp was b u r n i n g and re a d pr ayers
alo u d The n u rses p a ssed i n a nd out an d i n
the kitchen a n u mber o f people were g a thered
V a lenti n e took his pl a ce n e ar the doorw a y
an d after a while a d ark han d some wo m a n c a me
to his S ide She nodded towards Celia and let
a tear r u n dow n her cheek

A in t s e st r ong s a id sh e to sta nd there
I co u ld n t bear that if i t w a s
s o m an y ho u r s ?

my h u sb and
G eorgi n e c a me over to them and sobbed mis
using pro n o u n s a fter the m anner o f French C a
En glish
n a d ia n s lit tle le a r n ed in
S o will

die soo n S e wife will d i e too
A mist swam a cross V alentine s brain He
looked from Cel i a to Rose an d moved o v e r to
the O pen w indo w an d g azed o ut The sta rs
shone and i n the street some one w as p assi n g
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VA

L EN T NE S CHANCE
I

305

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w i th a l a nter n The words th a t the mother
w a s r eadin g m a de their way i nto h i s conscio u s
ness H e t ur n ed b a ck to the room an d s a t
down He w an ted to k n eel with those w h o
pr a yed The mystery o f death oppressed him
A t th a t m ome n t it d i d not seem like a sol u ti on
o f the mystery o f li fe
A t last th e mother s v oice ce a sed She closed
her book la id it on the table and crossed to
Celi a s side The bre a thin g O f the d y ing man
was au dible i n the h u sh Rose got up fro m her
knees a nd ca me near Vale n tin e He to u ched
the white sleev e of her pi n k g own
Yo u m u st m a ke Celi a go o u t of the room

This will kill her he whispered
The girl shook her head A ll the glitter was
gone fro m her eyes
No s e will stay My fa d th e r c a nnot make
her g o S e feel s o m u c
A s the dawn gle a med a bo v e the fa ctory r oofs
Celi a s u ddenly u ttered a low mo a n thre w up
he r h a n d s and fell back Her mother cau ght
her and with V a lenti ne s a id c a rri ed her into
the little chamber
When Celi a O p ened he r
eyes again Frank was dead
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VA LEN TINE S CHANCE

306

IV.

Valentine went o ut i nto the early morn i ng
He t u r n ed the corner of the ho u se to go behind
it thro ugh the grove a n d fo u nd Rose cro u ched
u n der the pines i n the yard She raised a white
fa ce to h i s His nerves qu i v ered He heard
his o w n v o i ce a s if it were another s l ow a n d
passion a te I n a moment more he fo u nd him
self h u rryi n g thro u gh the woods She remained
behind with her head dropped in her hands
He h a d kissed her o n the lips
H e did n ot tell himself afte rwards that a
bl a meless symp a thy h a d prompted that kiss
He de n o u nced himself r ather as that most un
worthy creat u re a man who makes lov e to a
girl he will not marry His self disg u st i n te n
s ifie d his p assion and he took this experience
seri o u sly bec a u se h i s moral nat ure mingled i n
i ts eleme n ts
O n the day of th e f uner al be f ore the fam ily
left the hou se Celi a sa t pat i ently on the bed
which h a d bee n moved b a ck into her little ch a m
She was shro u ded i n cra pe A roll of
her
cra pe
f u r n ished by Mr J e Er e y s
lay o n the
kitchen t able and O rselia the h a ndsome yo ung
wom a n who h a d stood in the doorway with Val
the night that Fr a nk died c u t long
e n ti n e
streamers and decorated the hats of the bear ers
C arriages wai te d o u tside
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308

VA L EN TINE S

CHA NCE

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Va l entine w a s a t the ch u rch M i ss Je Er e ys
w a s there also b u t he w o u ld not g o near her
an d took a seat o n the si d e a isle She glanced
a t him with co n tra cted bro w s while he looked
ste a d fa stly tow a rds th e a lta r
The service
proce e de d and occ a sion ally a s ob broke forth
among the congreg a t i on
A t l a st the priest
c a me d o wn the a isle stood a t the head o f the
coffin a nd sprinkle d the de a d man s face with
holy w a ter A b oy who w a s with the pri e st
a nd who sw u ng the censer h a d the fa ce o f a
yo u n g an gel gr a ve a nd sweet The r i te seemed
v ery solemn to V alenti ne To his imagi n ation
it symbolized the oneness of this life and that
beyond the grave I t asserted th a t the spirit
o f m a n is s u bj ect to the s a me conditions here
and here a fter V a lent in e reali zed then that his
o w n so u l was esse n ti a lly in eter n ity that h o u r
n o less than was the so u l th a t h a d fled from the
body in the coffi n A s the be a u tif u l boy waved
the ce n ser and the i n cense fain tly d a rkened the
air there w a s no lon ger a ny noise o f cry ing in
the ch u rch
Miss J e Er e y s p a ssed V alentine i n the porch

when the c eremonies were over
D id i t n ot
“ A re
make yo u feel a gr e a t deal
asked
sh e
yo u n o t com in g ?
B u t he stood still and let
her go on
He sa w Rose at last who fo r sOm e reason
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VA

L EN TINE S CHA NCE

309

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h a d not yet e n tered a c a rriage
He went ne a r
her a n d s h e looked a t him s tr an gely S he w a s
p aler th a n ever an d her long b l a ck go w n g a ve
her a wom an ly a i r an d a dd e d a m o o n lig h t e f
fe c tiv e n e s s to her sad n e ss and her be a u ty
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J u ne w a s still lovely in th e l a n d when Va l

e n ti n e
very early on e mor n i n g le an ed o ut o f
his w i ndow an d he a rd the lo w so u n d of a h u
m a n v oice j oi n i n g i n th a t m a ti n so n g with
which every bird O f e arth a n d a ir w a s str a in
i ng its throa t He we n t o u t of doors an d fol
lowed the v oice till he c a me to a li ttle c lu m p
o f shr u bbery not far fr o m the h o u se
There
he f o u nd Rose s i tt in g on the gra ss beh in d a t a ll
York rose b u sh She w a s S i n gi n g softly
he p ti te
T
i ll b i
and p u lli n g a fl o wer to pie ces She d i d n o t
move as he a ppro a ched

Yo u a re o ut e a rly he s ai d She threw on
the gro u n d the wh ite rose with whi c h sh e h a d

bee n playi n g
No t a f a ctory bell h a s r u n g


yet he persisted
D oes yo u r father w a ke

yo u at this h ou r ?

:
She stood u p the n a n d S poke
I c a nnot
sleep as I u sed F i rs t I w ake then I dream
I s e e Frank S o I come out of the ho u se to the

fiel d s
He l ooked at he r wi th a t r o u bled ga ze fr om
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VA LEN TINE S CHA NCE

31 0

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which s h e t u rned q u ickly He p u t h i s h a nd on
her sho u lder She covered her fa ce a nd trem
bled He remembered th a t he had kissed her
an d took a w a y his h a nd The fe a r shot thro ugh
his i n c onsiste n t s ou l th a t this girl might yet
prove a greater b u rde n to his c on science th a n
to his he a rt He stooped an d picked u p the
rose sh e had throw n a t his fee t ; the n t u r n ed to
the b u sh an d gathere d some spr ays heavily
l aden wi th wh i te blosso m s a n d pi n k tin ged
b u ds Wh e n he looked a g a in a t R ose S h e h a d
r a ised he r he a d a n d r eg arded him with wet
eyes

I go to the m ill n ow
she s aid a nd a t
th a t mome n t the fa ctory bells cl a shed through

the misty gold en air
I go to the mill s h e
repe a ted
They faced e ach other th ese two yo u n g crea
t u res w h o h a d n othi n g in common b u t their
yo u th and a strange i n ward ye ar n ing towa rd
each other
When the bells h a d ce a sed the noise th a t
seemed to emphasize the d i Ee r e n c e betwee n
them he p u t the ro ses in her hands a n d said

Ta ke them home G ive them to Celia
A n a n gry flash gleamed in her eyes He
f rowned back u n c onscio u sly I n a m o ment the
savage look di ed o u t o f her face He r h ands
l a den with the roses dro o ped w i th a pathetic
gest u re o f O bed i ence
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VA LEN TINE S CHA N CE

31 2

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embodied spir i t and ceased mental l y to pi c
t u re her e a rthly s u rro u n din gs She h a d gone
f rom the m to u nknown regions He did not
str u ggle a gainst this i dealizi n g process
He
fl a ttered himself th a t thro u gh i t his pass i on
wo uld fade into a te n der memory and wa s s ur
p rised to find fierce gusts of emotion occasi on
ally sweep over him He strove to bel i eve th a t
i t w a s best th at circu msta nce s h a d arbitra rily
closed the a Ea i r si n ce had it been left to him
f u rther to determine e v e n ts she m u st h av e bee n
the chief v ictim of a ny mistake he made I t
w a s perhaps a little significant however th a t he
t o ok p ai n s to a scertain the name o f the C a na
di a n tow n to which Beau vais h a d gone He
did n ot a ct on this inf orm ation when O btaine d
b u t threw u p his p ractice and went with friends
to the A diro n d a cks
O ne n ight i n early September at abo u t
ele v en o clock V alentine w a s drive n ra pidly
u p to the st a tion at Mo u nt a i n J u n c tio n
He
j u m p ed f rom the b u ckbo a rd lifted down his
p ortm a nte a u w atch e d the d r i ver t u rn h is
horses then went i n to the w a iti n g room a n d
fo u nd no one there b u t the red bearded night
age n t V ale n ti n e was on his w a y to meet Miss
J e Er e y s an d her fa ther and go w i th the m deep
i nto Maine He stepped up to make some i n
q ui r i e s of the age n t and was told that his tr ai n
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VA

L ENTINE S CHA NCE

31 3

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was an ho u r late He rece i ve d the i n fo r mation
w i th a whistle deposited his v alise o n a settee
and w a lk e d to the door o f the l a d i es waiti n g
r oom
A gi r l s a t n ear the fa rthest wi n d ow She
was dressed i n black a nd h e r hair was knotted
H e co u ld see the li n e
i n the b a ck of her n eck
o f her a v erted cheek a n d had a glimpse of her
e a r an d thr o at H is he a rt leaped

Wh a t a fool I am ! he m u ttered a nd a d
v a n c e d a step
S h e t urned at the so u n d and
he s a w th a t it w a s Rose Be a u va is who looked at
him her p a le cle a r fa ce her d a rk eyes gle a m
i n g as they h a d s o of te n gle a m ed u pon his fan cy
It seemed a n other midnigh t dream


Rose ! he s a id
She did not spe a k b u t kept her eyes fixed on
him till the slow te ars filled them

H e took her i n his a rms
What is it ? he
m u rm u red tryi n g to h o ld her b u t sh e slip p ed
f rom him an d s a t do w n and cried agai n

“ I
—s i lly she s a id at l ast struggling fo r
self co n trol and looking like Cel i a a s sh e str u g
gled

How came yo u here ? he dem a nded h an g
i ng ove r her achi n g to c a ress her
When she c ou ld S pe ak she told him She
had been v is i ti n g an a u nt i n the States h a d n o t
accom p an i ed her family to Canada was on her
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VAL EN TINE S CHA N CE

31 4

.

way alone to rej oin them The train i n which
s h e c a me arrived a t Mo u n ta in J u n ction at three
O clock in the previo u s a fter n o on
She got o ut
to ch a nge c a rs felt ill f a i n ted in the w a iting
room a nd lost her tra in There wo u ld not
come an other which sh e co u ld t ake till seven in
the mor n i n g She knew o f nothing to do b u t
stay there Some ro u gh me n fri ghte n ed her
in the e a rlier p a rt of the eve n i n g b u t the sta
tion master S poke to them N o w s h e h a d been
alo n e f or a n u mber o f ho u rs She spoke with
trem u l o u s l ittle g a sps



I s o l onesome s h e s a id
when yo u come

i n it startle me an d I cry
H e wo uld h a ve d r a w n her to him b u t s h e
crept b a ck i n to the corner of the se a t Then it
came over him with gre a t force th a t the m a n
He rose h a st
w h o will n ot love m ust respect
ily a n d we n t out on the pl atform The agent
followed an xio u s for co n vers a tion
A fte r a
while V al e nti n e lo oked ag ain i n to the ro om
R ose sa t q u ite still le an i n g forw a rd a little as
if liste n ing to somethi n g her ha n ds on e o f them
gloved l y i n g in her la p A sin gle swi ngin g
l a mp sh e d its yellow light on her The yo u n g
m a n stamped as he t u r n ed away and strode u p
an d down The agent wen t ba ck i n to h i s de n
a n d settl e d himself fo r a n a p
The in terminable m i n u tes trai led by till the
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VA LENTINE S CHA NCE

31 6

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She clenched her h ands harder than be fo re
and her color came and went He made her s i t
dow n

What are yo u go ing to do i n Canada ? he
asked

I go to my au nt in the con v ent she sa i d

I go to school there
He leaned forwa rd s u rprised
B u t yo u w ill
not be a n u n ? he protested

Not now not at first B u t after a while
why not ? My au nt s ay S he h a ppy I not like
thi n gs goi n g abo u t d anci n g O h no I want
to be happy I will try her way Why not
Why not indeed
V a lenti n e co u ld n ot s ay
A t last he u rged her to try to sleep With
gentle co u rtesy b e arran ged his ov ercoat a n d
She obeyed him w i th we a ry
m a de her a p illow
s ubmissiveness When sh e la id down her he a d
he bent ove r and smiled i n her tr u sti ng eyes
T hey drooped and cl osed u nder his
H e l e f t he r rejo i ced to s e e that the scrawny
c u stodian w a s again a sleep i n the other room
went out a nd paced b a ck a n d forth u nder the
S ometimes he ret u rned to the door to see
Sk y
i f Rose was safe b u t he d ared not go near her
P a in and passion filled his so u l A n u n 1 Th a t
ch i ld with those un fathomable eyes ! U p and
down up and down he walked When he had
let his trai n go on wi tho u t h i m h i s only con
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VA

L ENTINE S CHANCE

31 7

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sci ous i ntentio n h a d been to st a y near and g u a rd
her thro u gh the n ight b u t n ow all intention
w a s wh i rled aw a y i n the tro u ble o f his mi n d
A ll the eleme n ts of his life r u shed i n t u rmoil
ab o u t his im agi n a tion
He ached in every
p u lse and set his teeth wrestling like an ath
lete wi th himself
Someti m e s the agent wake d prompt to do
some d u ty Thrice a tr a in whizzed by Val
e n ti n e kept on his w a lk
He dared not stop
S ome horror seemed waiting to cl u tch him if he
s te
He remembered that in ol d times a
ppe d
o
u
n
g
m
a n kept vigil for a n ig h t before he r e
y
I t occ u rred to h i m as a sort
c e i ve d his sp u rs
o f mocking f a ntasy th a t this a u t u mn night w a s
h i s v igil
He st ared at the st a rs a n d c a lled
The ho u rs
o n G od for help i n his extremity
dra gged S low as tort u ri n g wheels might re v ol ve
How long s h e slept h o w pe a cef ully
The whole o f wisdom a n d v irt u e is seldo m
gai ned i n on e str u ggle however sore it be Pe r
haps it d i d not aug u r very ill for V alent i ne s
f u tu re i f o ut of this v ig i l he bro u ght onl y his
honor
In the early dawn Rose woke and s a t u p
co n fu sedly look in g abo u t her There w a s b u s
tle i n the station n ow and ma n y people we r e
mov i n g here and there She star ted gladly to
war ds Valenti ne when sh e saw h i m ente r the
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VA LEN TINE S CHA NCE

31 8
d oor

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He was very p ale b u t he sm i led at s i ght
o f her a nd led her o ut to get some b r eak f ast at
a v ery sc antily f u rnished booth in a nother r oom
Whe n a little later the tra i n whi ch sh e was
to take arrived he entered i t w i th her He
h a d not expl a i n ed his p u rpose to her nor had
he defi n ed it to himself H e ac ted almost with
o u t volition or co n sc i o u s intelligen ce like a pe r
A ll that he did
s on who h a d been dr u gged
seemed u n real to him yet undern eath the s tu
p or of his mind he m u st hav e had some idea o f
the end towards which all his act i ons tended
Certain it is that a fter he had c arried Rose to
her home he took her a way again witho u t the
del a y o f a si n gle ho u r more than was necessa ry
for the ceremonies that m ade her his wi fe This
desper a te deed a ccomplished the dreamy torpo r
rolled slowly from his brai n and he felt that
r eal life was closi n g in aro u nd him once more
He had bo rne the contact with the Be au vai s
fa mily a s best he might I t did not a Ee ct him
m u ch i n h i s pec u li a r mental co n dition
b ut
something in C eli a impressed him as i t had a l
ways impressed him i n a way th a t promised
possible s atisfa ction i n a n y rel a tion to her
sho u ld there e ver come some s i mple b u t v ital
need of help i n h i s l i fe and Ro se s O f h is own
f r iends he saw only h i s mother and s ister b e
fo r e sai l ing w i th h i s w i fe f or E u ro pe Every
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320

VA

L ENTINE S CHA NCE

.

then s u dd enly took h is hand O E he r sho u lde r
an d held i t in her o w n
She t u rned to the
other woman in her old calm fra nk way and
s a id taking great p ai ns to pro n o un ce c e r
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r e c tl

y,

H e i s v ery good to me We are h appy


O h G od keep yo u so ! c ri ed the mothe r
thr o u gh q u i ck tear s
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H oug lztorz, M gfl zn
'

'

a nd

Comp a ny

By J m Ph l
P
yl v i By H W y M cVe a gh
li
By H W H T e s cot
S uth C
C
By Al
d
ti ut
J h t
N w Yo k By Ell i H R b ts
M i s u i By L u i e C
h u e tt By B k A d a m s
M as
l um e 1 6m o
Ea ch
5

T e nn e s se e

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Po t a it 1 6m o
By C h l e s D ud l y W arne r

W a s h i n g to n I r v i ng
N oa h W e bs te r By

v ol

Pe r

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w i th

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H or a c e E S cud d e r

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H e nry

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L e tt e r s

of

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By F k B S born
By 0 B F th i g h m
l y
G
g R ifi
C p
By P f T R L o u s b ury
J F im
li
By T W H igg i
M g
t F ull
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By O l i ve W d ll H olm e s
R l p h W l d Em
A ll
P
By G g E W d b y
E dg
N th a i e l P k e W ll i
By H A B e rs
D T
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By J m R u ll L ow e ll
By J h B ig l w
a

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e or

N a th a n i e l H a w th or n e

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a

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e r son

ar

n

ro

an

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ro

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sso

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ss e

es

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o n
Wi ll i a m C ull e n Br y a t
e o
B a y a r d T a yl o r By J R G H as s a r d
Wi ll i a m G i l m or e S i m m s By G e o r g e W C a ble
B e nj a m i n F r an kl i n By Joh n Ba c h M c Mas te r
n

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