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the novel Aikenside


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Title:Aikenside
Author:MaryJ.Holmes
ReleaseDate:November2004[EBook#6954][Yes,wearemorethanoneyear
aheadofschedule][ThisfilewasfirstpostedonFebruary16,2003]

Edition:10
Language:English
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***STARTOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKAIKENSIDE,BY


MARYJ.HOLMES***

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AIKENSIDE
MARYJ.HOLMES

Authorof“MaggieMiller,”“DoraDrane,”“EnglishOrphans,”“TheHomestead
ontheHillside,”“MeadowbrookFarm,”“LenaRivers,”“Rosamond,”“Cousin
Maude,”“TempestandSunshine,”“RectorofSt.Marks,”“Mildred,”“The
LeightonHomestead,”“MissMcDonald”

CHAPTERI.
THEEXAMININGCOMMITTEE.

ThegoodpeopleofDevonshirewererathergiventoquarreling—sometimes
abouttheminister’swife,meek,gentleMrs.Tiverton,whosemannerof
housekeeping,andstyleofdress,didnotexactlysuitthem;sometimesaboutthe
ministerhimself,good,patientMr.Tiverton,whovainlyimaginedthatifhe
preachedthreesermonsaweek,attendedtheWednesdayeveningprayermeeting,theThursdayeveningsewingsociety,officiatedateveryfuneral,visited
allthesick,andgavetoeverybeggarwhocalledathisdoor,besides
superintendingtheSundayschool,hewasearninghissalaryofsixhundredper
year.
Sometimes,andthatnotrarely,thequarrelcreptintothechoir,andthen,forone
wholeSunday,itwasallinvainthatMr.Tivertonreadthepsalmandhymn,
castingtroubledglancestowardthevacantseatsofhisrefractorysingers.There
wasnoonetorespond,unlessitweregoodoldMr.Hodges,whopitchedsohigh
thatfewcouldfollowhim;whileMrs.CaptainSimpson—whosedaughter,the
organist,hadbeensnubbedatthelastchoirmeetingbyMr.Hodges’daughter,
thealtosinger—rolleduphereyesathernextneighbor,orfannedherself


furiouslyintokenofherdisgust.
Latterly,however,therehadcomeupanewcauseofquarrel,beforewhichevery


othercausesankintoinsignificance.Now,thoughthevillageofDevonshire
couldboastbutonepublicschoolhouse,saidhousebeingdividedintotwo
departments,theupperandlowerdivisions,therewereinthetownseveral
districtschools;andforthelastfewyearsacommitteeofthreehadbeen
annuallyappointedtoexamineanddecideuponthemeritsofthevarious
candidatesforteaching,givingtoeach,ifthedecisionwerefavorable,alittle
slipofpapercertifyingtheirqualificationstoteachacommonschool.Strange
thatoversuchanofficesofierceafeudshouldhavearisen;butwhenMr.
Tiverton,SquireLambandLawyerWhittemore,inthefullconvictionthatthey
weredoingright,refusedacertificateofscholarshiptoLauraTisdale,nieceof
Mrs.JudgeTisdale,andawardedittoonewhoseearningsinafactoryhad
procuredforherathoroughEnglisheducation,thevillagers,touseavulgar
phrase,wereatoncesetbytheears,thearistocracyabusing,andthedemocracy
upholdingthedismayedtrio,who,asthebreezeblewharder,quietlyresigned
theiroffice,andDevonshirewaswithoutaschoolcommittee.
Inthisemergencysomethingmustbedone,and,asthetwobelligerentparties
couldonlyuniteonastranger,itseemedamatterofspecialprovidencethatonly
twomonthsbefore,youngDr.Holbrook,anativeofmodernAthens,hadrented
thepleasantlittleofficeonthevillagecommon,formerlyoccupiedbyoldDr.
Carey,nowlyinginthegraveyardbythesideofsomewhosedayshehad
prolonged,andotherswhosedayshehadsurelyshortened.Besidesbeing
handsome,andskillful,andquiteasfamiliarwiththepoorastherich,theyoung
doctorwasdescendedfromthearistocraticlineofBostonHolbrooks,facts
whichtendedtomakehimafavoritewithbothclasses;and,greatlytohis
surprise,hefoundhimselfunanimouslyelectedtotheresponsibleofficeofsole
InspectorofCommonSchoolsinDevonshire.Itwasinvainthathe
remonstrated,sayingheknewnothingwhateverofthequalificationsrequisite
forateacher;thathecouldnottalktogirls,youngonesespecially;thatheshould
makeamiserablefailure,andsoforth.Thepeoplewouldnotlisten.Somebody
mustexaminetheteachersandthatsomebodymightaswellbeDr.Holbrookas
anybody.
“Onlybestrictwith‘em,drawthereinstight,findouttoyoursatisfaction
whetheragalknowsherP’sandQ’sbeforeyougiveherastifficut.We’vehad
enoughofyourignoramuses,”saidColonelLewis,thedemocraticpotentateto
whomDr.Holbrookwasexpressinghisfearsthatheshouldnotgivesatisfaction.
Then,asabrightideasuggesteditselftotheoldgentleman,headded:“Itellyou
what,justcutoneortwoatfirst;that’llgiveyouanameforbeingparticular,


whichisjustthething.”
Accordingly,withnodefiniteideaastowhatwasexpectedofhim,exceptthat
hewastofindout“whetheragirlknewherP’sandQ’s,”andwasalsoto“cut
oneortwoofthefirstcandidates,”Dr.Holbrookacceptedtheoffice,andthen
awaitedrathernervouslyhisinitiation.Hewasnoteasyinthesocietyofladies,
unless,indeed,theladystoodinneedofhisprofessionalservices,whenhelost
sightofheratonce,andthoughtonlyofherdisease.Hispatientoncewell,
however,hebecamenervouslyshyandembarrassed,retreatingassoonas
possiblefromherpresencetothecovertofhisfriendlyoffice,where,withhis
bootsuponthetableandhisheadthrownbackinamostcomfortableposition,he
satoneAprilmorning,inhappyoblivionofthebevyofgirlswhomust,of
course,erelong-invadehissanctum.
“Somethingforyou,sir.Theladywillwaitforananswer,”saidhis“choreboy,”
passingtohismasteralittlethree-cornerednote,andnoddingtowardthestreet.
Followingthedirectionindicated,thedoctorsaw,drawnupnearhisdoor,an
old-fashionedone-horsewagon,suchasisstilloccasionallyseeninNew
England.Asquareboxed,darkgreenwagon,drawnbyasorrelhorse,sometimes
calledbythegenuineYankee“yellow,”anddrivenbyawhite-hairedman,
whosesilverylocks,fallingaroundhiswrinkledface,gavetohimapleasing,
patriarchalappearance,whichinterestedthedoctorfarmorethandidtheflutter
oftheblueribbonbesidehim,eventhoughthebonnetthatribbontiedshadedthe
faceofayounggirl.Thenotewasfromher,and,tearingitopen,thedoctorread,
intheprettiestofallpretty,girlishhandwriting:
“Dr.Holbrook.”
Hereitwasplainlyvisiblethata“D”hadbeenwrittenasifshewouldhavesaid
“Dear.”Then,evidentlychanginghermind,shehadwithherfingerblottedout
the“D,”andmadeitintoanoddlyshaped“S,”sothatitreadsimply:
“Dr.Holbrook—Sir:WillyoubeatleisuretoexaminemeonMondayafternoon,
atthreeo’clock?
“MADELINEA.CLYDE.
“P.S.—ForparticularreasonsIhopeyoucanattendtomeasearlyasMonday.
M.A.C.”


Dr.Holbrookknewverylittleofgirls,buthethoughtthisnote,withitsP.S.,
decidedlygirlish.Stillhemadenocomment,eitherverbalormental,soflurried
washewithknowingthattheevilhesomuchdreadedhadcomeuponhimat
last.Haditbeenlefttohischoice,hewouldfarratherhaveextractedeveryone
ofthatmaiden’steeth,thantohavesethimselfupbeforeherlikesomehorrid
ogre,askingwhatsheknew.Butthechoicewasnothis,and,turningtotheboy,
hesaid,laconically,“Tellhertocome.”
Mostmenwouldhavesoughtforaglimpseofthefaceunderthebonnettied
withblue,butDr.Holbrookdidnotcareapicayunewhetheritwereuglyorfair,
thoughitdidstrikehimthatthevoicewassingularlysweet,which,aftertheboy
haddeliveredhismessage,saidtotheoldman,“Now,grandpa,we’llgohome.I
knowyoumustbetired.”
SlowlySorreltrotteddownthestreet,theblueribbonsflutteringinthewind,
whileonelittleunglovedhandwasseencarefullyadjustingabouttheoldman’s
shoulderstheancientcamletcloakwhichhaddonedutyformanyayear,and
wasneededonthischillAprilday.Thedoctorsawallthis,andtheimpression
leftuponhismindwas,thatCandidateNo.1wasprobablyanice-ishkindofa
girl,andverygoodtohergrandfather.Butwhatshouldheaskher,andhow
demeanhimselftowardher?Mondayafternoonwasfrightfullynear,hethought,
asthiswasonlySaturday;andthen,feelingthathemustbeready,hebroughtout
fromthetrunk,where,sincehisarrivalinDevonshire,theyhadbeanquietly
lying,booksenoughtohavefrightenedanolderpersonthanpoorlittleMadeline
Clyde,ridingslowlyhomewithgrandpa,andwishingsomuchthatshe’dhada
glimpseofDr.Holbrook,soastoknowwhathewaslike,andhopinghewould
giveherachancetorepeatsomeofthemanypagesofgeographyand“Parley’s
History,”whichsheknewbyheart.Howshewouldhavetrembledcouldshe
haveseentheformidablevolumesheapeduponhistableandwaitingforher.
TherewereFrenchandLatingrammars,“Hamilton’sMetaphysics,”“Olmstead’s
Philosophy,”“Day’sAlgebra,”“Butler’sAnalogy,”andmanyothers,intowhich
poorMadelinehadneversomuchaslooked.Arrangingtheminarow,andhalf
wishinghimselfbackagaintothedayswhenhehadstudiedthem,thedoctor
wentouttovisithispatients,ofwhichthereweresomanythatMadelineClyde
entirelyescapedhismind,nordidshetroublehimagainuntilthedreaded
Mondaycame,andthehandsofhiswatchpointedtotwo.
“Onehourmore,”hesaidtohimself,justastherollofwheelsandacloudof
dustannouncedtheapproachofsomething.


CoulditbeSorrelandthesquare-boxedwagon?Oh,no;fardifferentfrom
grandfatherClyde’sturnoutwasthestylishcarriageandthespiritedbays
dashingdownthestreet,thecoloreddriverreiningthemsuddenly,notbeforethe
officedoor,butjustinfrontofthewhitecottageinthesameyard,thehouse
whereDr.Holbrookboarded,andwhere,ifheevermarriedinDevonshire,he
wouldmostlikelybringhiswife.
“GuyRemington,theverychapofallotherswhomI’drathersee,and,asIlive,
there’sAgnes,withJessie.Whoknewshewasintheseparts?”wasthedoctor’s
mentalexclamation,as,runninghisfingersthroughhishairandmakingafeint
ofpullingupthecornersofhisratherlimpcollar,hehurriedouttothecarriage,
fromwhichadashinglookingladyofthirty,orthereabouts,wasalighting.
“Why,Agnes,Ibegyourpardon,Mrs.Remington,whendidyoucome?”he
asked,offeringhishandtothelady,who,coquettishlyshakingbackfromher
pretty,dollishfaceaprofusionoflightbrowncurls,gavehimthetipsofher
lavenderkids,whileshetoldhimshehadcometoAikensidetheSaturday
before;andhearing,fromGuythattheladywithwhomheboardedwasanold
friendofhers,shehaddrivenovertocall,andbroughtJessiewithher.“Here,
Jessie,speaktothedoctor.Hewaspoordearpapa’sfriend,”andaveryproper
sighescapedAgnesRemington’slipsasshepushedalittlecurly-hairedgirl
towardDr.Holbrook.
Theladyofthehousehadspiedthembythistime,andcamerunningdownthe
walktomeetherratherdistinguishedvisitor,wondering,itmaybe,towhatshe
wasindebtedforthiscallfromonewho,sincehermarriagewiththesupposed
wealthyDr.Remington,hadrathercutherformeracquaintances.Agneswas
delightedtoseeher,and,asGuydeclinedenteringthecottagejustthen,thetwo
friendsdisappearedwithinthedoor,whilethedoctorandGuyrepairedtothe
office,thelattersittingdownintheverychairintendedforMadelineClyde.This
remindedthedoctorofhisperplexity,andalsobroughtthecomfortingthought
thatGuy,whohadneverfailedhimyet,couldsurelyoffersomesuggestions.But
hewouldnotspeakofherjustnow;hehadothermatterstotalkabout,andso,
jamminghispenknifeintoapinetablecoveredwithsimilarjams,hesaid:
“Agnes,itseems,hascometoAikenside,notwithstandingshedeclaredshe
neverwould,whenshefoundthatthewholeoftheRemingtonproperty
belongedtoyourmother,andnotyourfather.”
“Oh,yes.ShegotoverherpiqueassoonasIsettledahandsomelittleincomeon


Jessie,and,infact,onhertoo,untilsheisfoolishenoughtomarryagain,whenit
willcease,ofcourse,asIdonotfeelitmydutytosupportanyman’swife,
unlessitbemyown,ormyfather’s,”wasGuyRemington’sreply;whereupon
thepenknifewentagainintothetable,andthistimewithsomuchforcethatthe
pointwasbrokenoff;butthedoctordidnotmindit,andwiththejaggedend
continuedtomakejaggedmarks,whilehecontinued:“She’llhardlymarry
again,thoughshemay.She’syoung—notovertwenty-six–
“Twenty-eight,ifthefamilyBibledoesnotlie;butshe’dneverforgivemeifshe
knewItoldyouthat.Soletitpassthatshe’stwenty-six.Shecertainlyisnot
morethanthreeyearsyoursenior,amerenothing,ifyouwishtomakeherMrs.
Holbrook;”andGuy’sdarkeyesscannedcuriouslythedoctor’sface,asif
seekingthereforthesecretofhisproudyoungstepmother’sanxietytovisitplain
Mrs.Connerthatafternoon.Butthedoctoronlylaughedmerrilyattheideaof
hisbeingfathertoGuy,hiscollegechumandlong-triedfriend.
AgnesRemington—reclininglanguidlyinMrs.Conner’seasy-chair,and
overwhelmingherformerfriendwithdescriptionsofthegaypartiesshehad
attendedinBoston,andthefinesightsshesawinEurope,whitherhergrayhairedhusbandhadtakenherforaweddingtour—wouldnothavefelt
particularlyflattered,couldshehaveseenthatsmile,orheardhoweasily,from
talkingofher,Dr.Holbrookturnedtoanothertheme,toMadelineClyde,
expectednowalmosteverymoment.TherewasamerrylaughonGuy’spart,as
helistenedtothedoctor’sstory,and,whenitwasfinished,hesaid:“Why,Isee
nothingsoverydistastefulinexaminingaprettygirl,andpuzzlingher,toseeher
blush.IhalfwishIwereinyourplace.Ishouldenjoythenoveltyofthething.”
“Oh,takeit,then;takemyplace,Guy,”thedoctorexclaimed,eagerly.“Shedoes
notknowmefromAdam.Herearebooks,allyouwillneed.Youwenttoa
districtschoolonceaweekwhenyouwerestayinginthecountry.Yousurely
havesomeidea,whileIhavenottheslightest.Willyou,Guy?”hepersisted
moreearnestly,asheheardwheelsinthestreet,andwassureoldSorrelhad
comeagain.
GuyRemingtonlikedanythingsavoringofafrolic,butinhismindtherewere
certainconscientiousscruplestouchingthejusticeofthething,andsoatfirsthe
demurred;whilethedoctorstillinsisted,untilatlasthelaughinglyconsentedto
commencetheexamination,providedthedoctorwouldsitby,andoccasionally
cometohisaid.


“Youmustwritethecertificate,ofcourse,”hesaid,“testifyingthatsheis
qualifiedtoteach.”
“Yes,certainly,Guy,ifsheis;butmaybeshewon’tbe,andmyordersare,tobe
strict—verystrict.”
“Howdidshelook?”Guyasked,andthedoctorreplied:“Sawnothingbuther
bonnet.Cameinaqueeroldgo-giggleofawagon,suchasyourcountryfarmers
drive.Guessshewon’tbelikelytostirupthebileofeitherofus,particularlyasI
ambulletproof,andyouhavebeenengagedforyears.Bytheway,whendoyou
crosstheseaagainforthefairLucy?Rumorsaysthissummer.”
“Rumoriswrong,asusual,then,”wasGuy’sreply,asoftlightstealingintohis
handsomeeyes.Then,afteramoment,headded:“MissAtherstone’shealthisfar
toodelicateforhertoincurtherisksofaclimatelikeours.Ifshewerewell
acclimated,Ishouldbeglad,foritisterriblylonelyupatAikenside.”
“Anddoyoureallythinkawifewouldmakeitpleasanter?”DrHolbrookasked,
thetoneofhisvoiceindicatingalittledoubtastoaman’sbeinghappierfor
havingahelpmatetosharehisjoysandsorrows.
ButnosuchdoubtsdweltinthemindofGuyRemington.Eminentlyfittedfor
domestichappiness,helookedforwardanxiouslytothetimewhensweetLucy
Atherstone,thefairEnglishgirltowhomhehadbecomeengagedwhen,four
yearsbefore,hevisitedEurope,shouldbestrongenoughtobeartransplantingto
Americansoil.Twicesincehisengagementhehadvisitedher,findingher
alwayslovely,gentle,andyielding.Tooyielding,itsometimesseemedtohim,
whileoccasionallythethoughthadflasheduponhimthatshedidnotpossessa
veryremarkabledepthofintellect.Buthesaidtohimself,hedidnotcare;he
hatedstrong-mindedwomen,andwouldfarratherhiswifeshouldbealittle
weakthanmasculine,likehisAuntMargaret,whosometimesworebloomers,
andadvocatedwomen’srights.Yes,hegreatlypreferredLucyAtherstone,asshe
was,toawifelikethestatelyMargaret,orlikeAgnes,hisprettystepmother,
whoonlythoughthowshecouldbestattractattention;andasithadnever
occurredtohimthattheremightbeahappymedium,thatawomanneednotbe
brainlesstobefeminineandgentle,hewassatisfiedwithhischoice,aswellhe
mightbe,forafairer,sweeterflowerneverbloomedthanLucyAtherstone,his
affiancedbride.GuylovedtothinkofLucy,andasthedoctor’sremarksbrought
hertohismind,hewentoffintoareverieconcerningher,becomingsolostin


thoughtthatuntilthedoctor’shandwaslaiduponhisshoulderbywayofrousing
him,hedidnotseethatwhathisfriendhaddesignatedasago-gigglewas
stoppinginfrontoftheoffice,andthatfromitayounggirlwasalighting.
Naturallyverypolitetofemales,Guy’sfirstimpulsewastogotoherassistance,
butshedidnotneedit,aswasprovenbythelightspringwithwhichshereached
theground.Thewhite-hairedmanwaswithheragain,butheevidentlydidnot
intendtostop,andacloseobservermighthavedetectedashadeofsadnessand
anxietyuponhisfaceasMadelinecalledcheerilyouttohim:“Good-by,
grandpa.Don’tfearforme;Ihopeyouhavegoodluck;”then,ashedroveaway,
sheranastepafterhimandsaid;“Don’tlooksosorry,forifMr.Remington
won’tletyouhavethemoney,there’smypony,Beauty.Iamwillingtogivehim
up.”
“Never,Maddy.It’sallthelittlefortin’you’vegot.I’lllettheoldplacegofirst;”
and,chirrupingtoSorrel,theoldmandroveon,whileMadelinewalked,witha
beatingheart,totheofficedoor,knockingtimidly.
Glancinginvoluntarilyateachother,theyoungmenexchangedmeaningsmiles,
whilethedoctorwhisperedsoftly:“Verdant—that’ssure.Wonderifshe’llknock
atachurch.”
AsGuysatnearestthedoor,itwashewhohelditajarwhileMadelinecamein,
hersoftbrowneyesglisteningwithsomethinglikeatear,andhercheeksburning
withexcitementasshetookthechairindicatedbyGuyRemington,who
unconsciouslyfoundhimselfmasterofceremonies.
PoorlittleMadeline!


CHAPTERII
MADELINECLYDE.

Madgeherschoolmatescalledher,becausethenamesuitedher,theysaid;but
Maddytheycalledherathome,andtherewasaworldofunutterabletenderness
inthevoicesoftheoldcouple,hergrandparents,whentheysaidthatname,
whiletheirdimeyeslightedupwithprideandjoywhentheyresteduponthe
younggirlwhoansweredtothenameofMaddy.Theironlydaughter’sonly
child,shehadlivedwiththemsincehermother’sdeath,forherfatherwasasea
captain,whoneverreturnedfromhislastvoyagetoChina,madetwomonths
beforeshewasborn.VerylonelyanddesolatewouldthehomeofGrandfather
MarkhamhavebeenwithoutthepresenceofMadeline,butwithherthere,the
oldredfarmhouseseemedtotheagedcouplelikeaparadise.
Fortyyearstheyhadlivedthere,tillingtheratherbarrensoiloftherocky
homestead,and,savingthesadnightwhentheyheardthatRichardClydewas
lostatsea,andthefarsaddermorningwhentheirdaughterdied,bittersorrow
hadnotcometothem;and,trulythankfulfortheblessingssolongvouchsafed
them,theyhadretiredeachnightinpeacewithGodandman,andriseneach
morningtopray.Butachangewascomingoverthem.InanevilhourGrandpa
Markhamhadsignedanoteforaneighborandfriend,whofailedtopay,andso
itallfellonMr.Markham,who,tomeetthedemand,mortgagedhishomestead;
therecreantneighborstillinsistingthatlongbeforethemortgageshouldbedue,
hecertainlywouldbeablehimselftomeetit.This,however,hehadnotdone,
and,aftertwicebeggingoffaforeclosure,pooroldGrandfatherMarkhamfound
himselfatthemercyofagrasping,remorselessman,intowhosehandsthe
mortgagehadpassed.ItwasvaintohopethatSilasSlocumwouldwait.The
moneymusteitherbeforthcoming,ortheredfarmhousebesold,withitsfew
acresofland.Amonghisneighborstherewasnotonewhohadthemoneyto
spare,eveniftheyhadbeenwillingtodoso.Andsohemustlookamong
strangers.
“IfIcouldonlyhelp,”Madelinehadsaidoneeveningwhentheysattalkingover
theirtroubles;“butthere’snothingIcando,unlessIapplyforourschoolthis


summer.Mr.Greeniscommitteeman;helikesus,andIdon’tbelievebutwhat
he’llletmehaveit.Imeantogoandsee;”and,eretheoldpeoplehadrecovered
fromtheirastonishment,Madelinehadcaughtherbonnetandshawl,andwas
flyingdowntheroad.
Madelinewasafavoritewithall,especiallywithMr.Green,andastheschool
wouldbesmallthatsummer,theplanstruckhimfavorably.Herage,however,
wasanobjection,andhemusttaketimetoseewhatothersthoughtofachild
likeherbecomingaschoolmistress.Othersthoughtwellofit,andsobeforethe
closeofthenextdayitwasgenerallyknownthroughHonedale,asthesouthern
partofDevonshirewascalled,thatprettylittleMadgeClydehadbeenengaged
asteacher,shereceivingthreedollarsaweek,withtheunderstandingthatshe
mustboardherself.ItdidnottakeMadelinelongtocalculatethattwelvetimes
threewerethirty-six,morethanatenthofwhathergrandfathermustborrow.It
seemedlikealittlefortune,andblitheasasingingbirdsheflittedaboutthe
house,nowstoppingamomenttofondleherpetkitten,whileshewhisperedthe
goodnewsinitsveryappreciativeear,andthenstrokinghergrandfather’s
silveryhair,asshesaid:
“Youcantellthemthatyouaresureofpayingthirty-sixdollarsinthefall,andif
Idowell,maybethey’llhiremelonger.Imeantotrymyverybest.Iwonderif
everanybodybeforemetaughtaschoolwhentheywereonlyfourteenanda
half.DoIlookasyoungasthat?”andforaninstantthebright;childishface
scanneditselfeagerlyintheold-fashionedmirror,withthefigureofaneagleon
thetop.
Shedidlookveryyoung,andyettherewassomethingwomanly,too,inthe
expressionoftheface,somethingwhichsaidthatlife’srealitieswerealready
beginningtobeunderstoodbyher.
“IfmyhairwerenotshortIshoulddobetter.WhatapityIcutitthelasttime;it
wouldhavebeensolongandsplendidnow,”shecontinued,givingakindof
contemptuouspullatthethick,beautifulbrownhaironwhoseglossysurface
therewasincertainlightsareddishtinge,whichaddedtoitsbeauty.
“Nevermindthehair,Maddy,”theoldmansaid,gazingfondlyatherwithahalf
sighasherememberedanotherbrownhead,pillowednowbeneaththegraveyard
turf.“Maybeyouwon’tpassmuster,andthenthehairwillmakenodifference.
There’sanewcommitteeman,thatDr.Holbrook,fromBoston,andnewonesare


apttobemightystrict.”
InstantlyMaddy’sfaceflushedalloverwithnervousdread,asshethought:
“WhatifIshouldfail?”fancyingthattodosowouldbeaneternaldisgrace.But
sheshouldnot.Shewascalledbyeverybodytheverybestscholarinschool,the
onewhomtheteachersalwaysputforwardwhendesirousofshowingoff,the
onewhomMr.Tiverton,andSquireLamb,andLawyerWhittemorealways
noticedsomuch.Ofcoursesheshouldnotfail,thoughshediddreadDr.
Holbrook,wonderingmuchwhathewouldaskherfirst,andhopingitwouldbe
somethinginarithmetic,providedhedidnotstumbleupondecimals,whereshe
wasapttogetbewildered.Shehadnofearsofgrammar.Shecouldpickoutthe
mostobscuresentenceanddissectadoublerelativewithperfectease;then,asto
geography,shecouldrepeatwholepagesofthat,whileinthespelling-book,the
foundationofathorougheducation,asshehadbeentaught,shehadno
superiors,andbutaveryfewequals.Stillshewouldbeverygladwhenitwas
over,andsheappointedMonday,bothbecauseitwascloseathand,andbecause
thatwasthedayhergrandfatherhadsetinwhichtoridetoAikenside,inan
adjoiningtown,andaskitsyoungmasterfortheloanofthreehundreddollars.
HecouldhardlytellwhyhehadthoughtofapplyingtoGuyRemingtonforhelp,
unlessitwerethatheoncehadsavedthelifeofGuy’sfather,who,aslongashe
lived,hadevincedagreatregardforhisbenefactor,frequentlyassertingthathe
meanttodosomethingforhim.Butthesomethingwasneverdone,thefather
wasdead,andinhisstraittheoldmanturnedtotheson,whomheknewtobe
veryrich,andwhohehadbeentoldwasexceedinglygenerous.
“HowIwishIcouldgowithyouclearuptoAikenside!Theysayit’sso
beautiful,”Madelinehadsaid,asonSaturdayeveningtheysatdiscussingthe
expectedeventsofthefollowingMonday.“Mrs.Noah,thehousekeeper,had
SarahJonesthereonce,tosew,andshetoldmeallaboutit.Therearegraveled
walks,andnicegreenlawns,andbig,talltrees,andflowers—oh!somany!—
andmarblefountains,withgoldfishesinthebasin;andstatues,bigasfolks,all
overtheyard,withtwobrasslionsonthegateposts.Butthehouseisfinestofall.
There’sadrawing-roombiggerthanaballroom,withcarpetsthatletyourfeet
sinkinsofar;picturesandmirrorscleartothefloor—thinkofthat,grandpa!a
looking-glasssotallthatonecanseetheverybottomoftheirdressandknow
justhowithangs.Oh,IdosowishIcouldhaveapeepatit!Therearetwoin
oneroom,andthewindowsarelikedoors,withlacecurtains;butwhatis
queerestofall,thechairsandsofasarecoveredwithrealsilk,justlikethat


funny,goredgownofgrandma’supintheoakchest.Dearme!IwonderifI’ll
everliveinsuchaplaceasAikenside?”
“No,no,Maddy,no.BesatisfiedwiththelotwhereGodhasputyou,anddon’t
belongingaftersomethinghigher,OurFatherinheavenknowsjustwhatisbest
forus;asHedidn’tseefittoputyouupatAikenside,‘tain’tnowayslikely
you’lleverliveinthelikeofit.”
“NotunlessIshouldhappentomarryarichman.Poorgirlslikemehave
sometimesdonethat,haven’tthey?”wasMaddy’sdemurereply.
GrandpaMarkhamshookhishead.
“Theyhave,butit’smostlytheirruination;sodon’tbuildcastlesintheairabout
thisGuyRemington.”
“Me!Oh,grandpa,IneverdreamedofMr.Guy!”andMadelineblushedhalf
indignantly.“He’stoorich,tooaristocratic,thoughSarahsaidhedidn’tactone
bitproud,andwassopleasant,theservantsallworshiphim,andMrs.Noah
thinkshimgoodenoughfortheQueenofEngland.Ishallthinkso,too,ifhelets
youhavethemoney.HowIwishitwasMondaynight,sowecouldknowsure!”
“Perhapswebothshallbeterriblydisappointed,”suggestedgrandpa,butMaddy
wasmorehopeful.
She,atleast,wouldnotfail,whilewhatshehadheardofGuyRemington,the
heirofAikenside,madeherbelievethathewouldaccedeatoncetoher
grandpa’srequest.
Allthatnightshewasworkingtopaythedebt,givingthemoneyherselfintothe
handsofGuyRemington,whomshehadneverseen,butwhocameupinher
dreamsthetall,handsome-lookingmanshehadsooftenhearddescribedby
SarahJonesafterherreturnfromAikenside.Eventhenextday,when,byher
grandparent’sside,Maddykneltreverentlyinthesmall,time-wornchurchat
Honedale,herthoughts,itmustbeconfessed,werewanderingmoretothe
tomorrowandAikenside,thantothesacredwordsherlipswereuttering.She
knewitwaswrong,andwithanervousstartwouldtrytobringhermindback
fromdecimalfractionstowhattheministerwassaying;butMaddywasmortal,
andrightinthemidstoftheCollect,Aikensideanditsownerwouldrisebefore
her,togetherwiththewonderhowsheandhergrandfatherwouldfeeloneweek


fromthatSabbathday.Wouldthedesiredcertificatebehers?orwouldshebe
disgracedforeverandeverbyarejection?Wouldthemortgagebepaidandher
grandfatheratease,orwouldhisheartbebreakingwiththeknowinghemust
leavewhathadbeenhishomeforsomanyyears?Notthuswasitwiththeaged
disciplebesideher—thegoodoldman,whosewhitelockssweptthelarge
letteredbookoverwhichhiswrinkledfacewasbent,ashejoinedinthe
responses,orsaidtheprayerswhosewordshadoverhimsosoothingan
influence,carryinghisthoughtsupwardtothehousenotmadewithhands,which
hefeltassuredwouldonedaybehis.Onceortwice,itistrue,thoughtsoflosing
thedearoldredcottageflittedacrosshismindwithakeen,suddenpang,buthe
putitquicklyaside,rememberingatthesameinstanthowtheFatherheloved
doethallthingswelltosuchasareHischildren.GrandpaMarkhamwasoldin
theChristiancourse,whileMaddycouldhardlybesaidtohavecommencedas
yet,andsotoherthatAprilSundaywaslongandwearisome.Howshedidwish
shemightjustlookoverthegeography,bywayofrefreshinghermemory,orsee
exactlyhowtheruleforextractingthecuberootdidread,butMaddyforebore,
readingonlythePilgrim’sProgress,theBible,andthebookbroughtfromthe
Sundayschool.
Withtheearliestdawn,however,shewasup,andhergrandmotherheardher
repeatingtoherselfmuchofwhatshedreadedDr.Holbrookmightquestionher
upon.Evenwhenbendingoverthewashtub,fortherewerenoservantsatthered
cottage,abookwasarrangedbeforehersothatshecouldstudywithhereyes,
whilehersmall,fathandsanddimpledarmswerebusyinthesuds.Beforeten
o’clockeverythingwasdone,theclothes,whiteasthesnowdropsinthegarden
beds,wereswingingontheline,thekitchenfloorwasscrubbed,thewindows
washed,thebestroomswept,thevegetablescleanedfordinner,andthen
Maddy’sworkwasfinished.“Grandmacoulddoalltherest,”shesaid,and
Madelinewasfree“toputhereyesoutoverthembigbooksifsheliked.”
Swiftlyflewthehoursuntilitwastimetobegettingready,whenagaintheshort
hairwasdeplored,asbeforeherlooking-glassMadelinebrushedandarranged
hershining,beautifullocks.WouldDr.Holbrookthinkofherage?Supposehe
shouldaskit.Butno,hewouldn’t.IfMr.Greenthoughtheroldenough,surelyit
wasnotamatterwithwhichthedoctorneedtroublehimself;and,somewhatat
easeonthatpoint,Madelinedonnedherlongestfrock,and,standinginachair,
triedtodiscoverhowmuchofherpantaletswasvisible.
“IcouldseesplendidlyinMr.Remington’smirrors,”shesaidtoherself,witha


halfsighofregretthatherlothadnotbeencastinsomesuchplaceasAikenside,
insteadoftherebeneaththehillinthatweebitofacottage,whoserearslanted
backuntilitalmosttouchedtheground.“Afterall,IguessI’mhappierhere,”she
thought.“Everybodylikesme,whileifIwereMr.Guy’ssisterandlivedat
Aikenside,Imightbeproudandwicked,and—”
Shedidnotfinishthesentence,butsomehowthestoryofDivesandLazarus,
readbyhergrandfatherthatmorning,recurredtohermind,andfeelinghow
muchrathershewouldrestinAbraham’sbosomthansharethefateofhimwho
oncewasclothedinpurpleandfinelinenshepinnedonherlittleneatplaid
shawl,and,tyingtheblueribbonsofhercoarsestrawhat,glancedoncemoreat
theformidablecuberoot,andthenhurrieddowntowherehergrandfatherand
oldSorrelworewaitingforher.
“IshallbesohappywhenIcomeback,becauseitwillthenbeover,justlike
havingatoothout,youknow,”shesaidtohergrandmother,whobentdownfor
thegood-bykisswithoutwhichMaddyneverlefther.“Now,grandpa,driveon;I
wastobethereatthree,”andchirrupingherselftoSorrel,theimpatientMadge
wentridingfromthecottagedoor,chattingcheerilyuntilthevillageof
Devonshirewasreached;then,withafarewelltohergrandfather,whonever
dreamedthatthemanwhomhewasseekingwassonear,shetrippedupthe
flaggingwalk,and,aswehaveseen,soonstoodinthepresenceofnotonlyDr.
Holbrook,butalsoofGuyRemington.
Poor,poorlittleMadge!

CHAPTERIII.
THEEXAMINATION.

ItwasGuywhoreceivedher,Guywhopointedtoachair,Guywhoseemed
perfectlyathome,and,naturallyenough,shetookhimforDr.Holbrook,
wonderingwhotheotherblack-hairedmancouldbe,andifhemeanttostayin
thereallthewhile.Itwouldbeverydreadfulifhedid,andinheragitationand
excitementthecuberootwasindangerofbeingaltogetherforgotten.Half
guessingthecauseofheruneasiness,andfeelingmoreaversethanevertotaking


partinthematter,thedoctor,afterahastysurveyofherperson,withdrewinto
thebackground,andsatwherehecouldnotbeseen.Thisbroughttheshortdress
intofullview,togetherwiththedaintylittlefoot,nervouslybeatingthefloor.
“She’sveryyoung,”hethought;“tooyoung,byfar,”andMaddy’schancesof
successwerebeginningtodeclineevenbeforeawordhadbeenspoken.
Howterriblystillitwasforthetime,duringwhichtelegraphiccommunications
weresilentlypassingbetweenGuyandthedoctor,thelattershakinghisdead
decidedly,whiletheformerinsistedthatheshoulddohisduty.Madelinecould
almosthearthebeatingsofherheart,andonlybycountingandrecountingthe
poplartreesgrowingacrossthestreetcouldshekeepbackthetears.Whatwas
hewaitingfor,shewondered,and,atlast,summoningallhercourage,shelifted
hergreatbrowneyestoGuy,andsaid,pleadingly:
“Wouldyoubesokind,sir,astobegin?”
“Yes,certainly,”andelectrifiedbythatyoung,birdlikevoice,thesweetestsave
onehehadeverheard,Guyknockeddownfromthepileofbookstheonlyoneat
allappropriatetotheoccasion,theothersbeingasfarbeyondwhatwastaughtin
thedistrictschoolsashisclassicaleducationwasbeyondMadeline’scommon
one.
Rememberingthattheteacherofwhomhehadoncebeenforaweekapupil,in
thetownofFramingham,hadcommencedoperationsbysharpeningalead
pencil,sohenowsharpenedasimilarone,determiningasfarashecouldto
followthatteacher’sexample.Maddycountedeveryfragmentasitfelluponthe
floor,wishingsomuchthathewouldcommence,andfancyingthatitwouldnot
behalfsobadtohavehimapproachherwithsomeoneofthoseterribledental
instrumentslyingbeforeher,asitwastositandwaitasshewaswaiting.Had
GuyRemingtonreflectedalittle,hewouldneverhaveconsentedtodothe
doctor’swork;but,unaccustomedtocountryusages,especiallythosepertaining
toschoolsandteachers,hedidnotconsiderthatitmatteredwhichexaminedthat
younggirl,himselforDr.Holbrook.Viewingitsomewhatinthelightofajoke,
heratherenjoyedit;andastheFraminghamteacherhadfirstaskedherpupils
theirnamesandages,sohe,whenthepencilwassharpenedsufficiently,startled
Madelinebyaskinghername.
“MadelineAmeliaClyde,”wasthemeekreply,whichGuyquicklyrecorded.


Now,GuyRemingtonintendednoirreverence;indeed,hecouldnottellwhathe
didintend,orwhatitwaswhichpromptedhisnextquery:
“Whogaveyouthisname?”
PerhapshefanciedhimselfaboyagainintheSundayschool,andstanding
beforetherailingofthealtar,where,withothersofhisage,hehadbeenasked
thequestionpropoundedtoMadelineClyde,whodidnothearthedoctor’s
smotheredlaughasheretreatedintotheadjoiningroom.
Inallherpreconceivedideasofthisexamination,shehadneverdreamedof
beingcatechised,andwithafeelingofterrorasshethoughtofthatlonganswer
tothequestion,“Whatisthydutytothyneighbor?”anddoubtedherabilityto
repeatit,shesaid:“Mysponsors,inbaptismgavemethefirstnameofMadeline
Amelia,sir,”adding,asshecaughtandmisconstruedthestrangegleaminthe
darkeyesbentuponher,“IamafraidIhaveforgottensomeofthecatechism;I
didnotknowitwasnecessaryinordertoteachschool.”
“Certainly,no;Idonotthinkitis.Ibegyourpardon,”wereGuyRemington’s
ejaculatoryreplies,asheglancedfromMadelinetotheopendoorofthe
adjoiningroom,wherewasvisibleaslate,onwhich,inhugeletters,theamused
doctorhadwritten“Blockhead.”
TherewassomethinginMadeline’squiet,womanly,earnestmannerwhich
commandedGuy’srespect,orhewouldhavegivenventtothelaughterwhich
waschokinghim,andthrownoffhisdisguise.Buthecouldnotbearnowto
undeceiveher,and,resolutelyturninghisbackuponthedoctor,hesatdownby
thatpileofbooksandcommencedtheexaminationinearnest,askingfirsther
age.
“Goingonfifteen,”soundedoldertoMadelinethan“Fourteenandahalf,”so
“Goingonfifteen”wasthereply,towhichGuyresponded:“Thatisveryyoung,
MissClyde.”
“Yes,butMr.Greendidnotmind.He’sthecommitteeman.Heknewhowyoung
Iwas,”Madelinesaid,eagerly,hergreatbrowneyesgrowinglargewiththelook
offearwhichcamesosuddenlyintothem.
Guynoticedtheeyesthen,andthoughtthemverybrightandhandsomefor
brown,butnotsobrightorhandsomeasacertainpairofsoftblueorbsheknew,


andfeelingathrillofsatisfactionthatsweetLucyAtherstonewasnotobligedto
sitthereinthatdoctor’sofficetobequestionedbyhimoranyotherman,he
said:“Ofcourse,ifyouremployersaresatisfieditisnothingtome,onlyIhad
associatedteachingwithwomenmucholderthanyourself.Whatislogic,Miss
Clyde?”
TheabruptnesswithwhichheputthequestionstartledMadelinetosucha
degreethatshecouldnotpositivelytellwhethershehadeverheardthatword
before,muchlesscouldsherecallitsmeaning,andsosheansweredfrankly,“I
don’tknow.”
Agirlwhodidnotknowwhatlogicwasdidnotknowmuch,inGuy’s
estimation,butitwouldnotdotostophere,andsoheaskedhernexthowmany
casestherewereinLatin!
Maddyfeltthehotbloodtinglingtoherveryfingertips,theexaminationhad
takenacoursesowidelydifferentfromherideasofwhatitwouldprobablybe.
ShehadneverlookedinsideaLatingrammar,andagainhertruthful“Idon’t
know,sir,”fellonGuy’sear,butthistimetherewasahalfdespairingtoneinthe
youngvoiceusuallysohopeful.
“Perhaps,then,youcanconjugatetheverbAmo,”Guysaid,hismanner
indicatingthedoubthewasbeginningtofeelastoherqualifications.
Maddyknewwellwhat“conjugate”meant,butthatverbAmo,whatcouldit
mean?andhadsheeverhearditbefore?Mr.Remingtonwaswaitingforher;she
mustsaysomething,andwithagaspshebegan:“Iamo,thouamoest,heamoes.
Plural:Weamo,yeoryouamo,theyamo.”
Guylookedatheraghastforasinglemoment,andthenacomicalsmilebrokeall
overhisface,tellingpoorMaddyplainerthanwordscouldhavedone,thatshe
hadmadeamostridiculousmistake.
“Oh,sir,”shecried,hereyeswearingthelookofthefrightenedhare,“itisnot
right.Idon’tknowwhatitmeans.Tellme,teachme.Whatisittoamo?”
Tomostmenitwouldnothaveseemedaverydisagreeabletask,teachingyoung
MadelineClyde“toamo,”asshetermedit,andsomesuchideaflittedacross
Guy’smind,ashethoughthowprettyandbrightwastheeagerfaceupturnedto
his,thepurewhiteforehead,suffusedwithafaintflush,thecheeksacrimson


hue,andthepalelipspartedslightlyasMaddyappealedtohimforthedefinition
of“amo.”
“ItisaLatinverb,andmeans‘tolove’”Guysaid,withanemphasisonthelast
word,whichwouldhavemadeMaddyblushhadshebeenlessanxiousand
frightened.
Thusfarshehadanswerednothingcorrectly,and,feelingpuzzledtoknowhow
toproceed,Guysteppedintotheadjoiningroomtoconsultwiththedoctor,but
hewasgone.SoreturningagaintoMadeline,Guyresumedtheexaminationby
askingherhow“minusintominuscouldproduceplus.”
AgainMaddywasatfault,andherlow-spoken“Idon’tknow”soundedlikea
wailofdespair.Didsheknowanything,Guywondered,andfeelingsome
curiositynowtoascertainthatfact,hepliedherwithquestionsphilosophical,
questionsalgebraical,andquestionsgeometrical,untilinanagonyofdistress
Maddyraisedherhandsdeprecatingly,asifshewouldwardoffanysimilar
questions,andsobbedout:
“Oh,sir,nomore.Itmakesmyheadsodizzy.Theydon’tteachthatincommon
schools.AskmesomethingIdoknow.”
SuddenlyitoccurredtoGuythathehadgoneentirelywrong,andmentally
cursinghimselffortheblockheadthedoctorhadcalledhim,heasked,kindly:
“Whatdotheyteach?Perhapsyoucanenlightenme?”
“Geography,arithmetic,grammar,history,andspelling-book,”Madelinereplied,
untyingandthrowingoffherbonnet,inthevainhopethatitmightbringreliefto
herpoor,giddyhead,whichthrobbedsofearfullythatallherideasseemedfor
thetimetohavelefther.
Thiswasanaturalconsequenceofthehighexcitementunderwhichshewas
laboring,andso,whenGuydidaskherconcerningthebooksdesignated,she
answeredbutlittlebetterthanbefore,andGuywaswonderingwhatheshoulddo
next,whenthedoctor’swelcomestepwasheard,andleavingMadelineagain,he
repairedtothenextroomtoreporthisillsuccess.
“Shedoesnotseemtoknowanything.Theveriestchildoughttodobetterthan
shehasdone.Why,shehasscarcelyansweredhalfadozenquestionscorrectly.”


ThiswaswhatpoorMaddyheard,thoughitwasspokeninalowwhisper;but
everywordwasdistinctlyunderstoodandburnedintoherheart’score,drying
hertearsandhardeningherintoablockofmarble.SheknewthatGuyhadnot
doneherjustice,andthishelpedtoincreasethetorporstealingoverher.Stillshe
didnotloseasyllableofwhatwassayinginthebackoffice,andherlipcurled
scornfullywhensheheardGuyremark:“Ipityher;sheissoyoung,and
evidentlytakesitsohard.Maybeshe’sasgoodastheyaverage.Supposewe
giveherthecertificate.”
ThenDr.Holbrookspoke,buttopoor,dazedMaddyhiswordswereallariddle.
Itwasnothingtohim—whowashethatheshouldbedictatingthus?There
seemedtobeadifferenceofopinionbetweentheyoungmen,Guyinsistingthat
outofpitysheshouldnotberejected;andthedoctordemurringontheground
thatheoughttobemorestrict.Asusual,Guyoverruled,andseatinghimselfat
thetable,thedoctorwasjustcommencing:“Iherebycertify—”whileGuywas
bendingoverhim,whenthelatterwasstartledbyahandlaidfirmlyonhisarm,
andturningquicklyheconfrontedMadelineClyde,who,withhershorthair
pushedfromherblue-veinedforehead,herfaceaspaleasashes,savewherea
roundspotofpurplishredburneduponhercheeks,andhereyesgleaminglike
coalsoffire,stoodbeforehim.
“Heneednotwritethat,”shesaid,huskily,pointingtothedoctor,“Itwouldbea
lie,andIcouldnottakeit.Youdonotthinkmequalified.Iheardyousayso.I
donotwanttobepitied.IdonotwantacertificatebecauseIamsoyoung,and
youthinkI’llfeelbadly.Idonotwant—”
Hervoicefailedher,herbosomheaved,andthechokingsobscamethickand
fast,butstillsheshednotear,andinherbright,dryeyestherewasalookwhich
madeboththoseyoungmenturnawayinvoluntarily.OnceGuytriedtoexcuse
herfailure,sayingshenodoubtwasfrightened.Shewouldprobablydobetter
again,andmightaswellacceptthecertificate,butMadelinestillsaidno,so
decidedlythatfurtherremonstrancewasuseless.Shewouldnottakewhatshe
hadnorightto,shesaid,butiftheypleasedshewouldwaitthereintheback
officeuntilhergrandfathercameback;itwouldnotbelong,andsheshouldnot
troublethem.
Guybroughthertheeasy-chairfromthefrontroomandplaceditforherbythe
window.Withafaintsmileshethankedhimandsaid:“Youareverykind,”but
thesmilehurtGuycruelly,itwassosad,sofullofunintentionalreproach,while


theeyessheliftedtohislookedsogrievedandwearythatheinsensibly
murmuredtohimself:“Poorchild!”ashelefther,andwiththedoctorrepairedto
thehouse,whereAgneswasimpatientlywaitingforthem.Poor,poorlittle
Madge!Letthosesmilewhomayatherdistress;itwasthefirstkeen
disappointmentshehadeverhad,anditcrushedherascompletelyasmanyan
olderpersonhasbeencrushedbyheaviercalamities.
“Disgracedforeverandever,”shekeptrepeatingtoherself,asshetriedtoshake
offthehorridnightmarestealingoverher.“HowcanIholdupmyheadagainat
homewherenobodywillunderstandjusthowitwas;nobodybutgrandpaand
grandma?Oh,grandpa,Ican’tearnthatthirty-sixdollarsnow.ImostwishIwas
dead,andIam—Iamdying.Somebody—come—quick!”
Therewasaheavyfall,andwhileinMrs.Conner’sparlorGuyRemingtonand
Dr.HolbrookwerechattinggaylywithAgnes,achildishfigurewaslyingupon
theofficefloor,white,stiff,andinsensible.
LittleJessieRemington,tiredofsittingstillandlisteningtowhathermamma
andMrs.Connerweresaying,hadstrayedoffintothegarden,andafterfilling
herchubbyhandswithdaffodilsandearlyviolets,wendedherwaytotheoffice,
thedoorofwhichwaspartiallyajar.Peeringcuriouslyin,shesawthecrumpled
bonnet,withitsribbonsofblue,and,attractedbythis,advancedintotheroom,
untilshecamewhereMadelinewaslying.Withafeelingthatsomethingwas
wrong,Jessiebentovertheprostrategirl,askingifshewereasleep,andlifting
nextthelong,fringedlashesdroopingonthecolorlesscheek.Thedull,dead
expressionoftheeyessentachillthroughJessie’sframe,andhurryingtothe
houseshecried:“Oh,BrotherGuy,somebody’sdeadintheoffice,andher
bonnetisalljammed!”
ScarcelywerethewordsutteredereGuyandthedoctorbothwerewith
Madeline,theformerholdinghertenderlyinhisarms,whilehesmoothedthe
shorthair,thinkingeventhenhowsoftandluxuriantitwas,andhowfairwasthe
facewhichnevermovedamusclebeneathhisscrutiny.Thedoctorwaswholly
self-possessed.Maddyhadnoterrorsforhimnow.Sheneededhisservices,and
herenderedthemwillingly,applyingrestorativeswhichsoonbroughtbacksigns
oflifeintherigidform.WithashiverandamoanMadelinewhispered:“Oh,
grandma,I’msotired,”andnestledclosertothebosomwhereshehadnever
dreamedoflying.


BythistimebothMrs.ConnerandAgneshadcomeout,askinginmuchsurprise
whothestrangercouldbe,andwhatwasthecauseofherillness.Asiftherehad
beenapreviousunderstandingbetweenthem,thedoctorandGuyweresilent
withregardtotherecentfarceenactedthere,simplysayingitwaspossibleshe
wasinthehabitoffainting;manypeoplewere.Verydaintily,Agnesheldupand
backtheskirtofherrichsilkasiffearfulthatitmightcomeincontactwith
Madeline’splaindelaine;then,asitwasnotveryinterestingforhertostandand
seethedoctor“makesomuchfussoverayounggirl,”asshementallyexpressed
it,shereturnedtothehouse,biddingJessiedothesame.ButJessierefused,
choosingtostaybyMadeline,whomtheyplaceduponthecomfortablelounge,
whichshepreferredtobeingtakentothehouse,asGuyproposed.
“I’mbetternow,muchbetter,”shesaid.“Leaveme,please.I’dratherbealone.”
Sotheylefther,allbutJessie,who,fascinatedbythesweetyoungface,climbed
upontheloungeand,layinghercurlyheadcaressinglyagainstMadeline’sarm,
saidtoher:“Poorgirl,you’resick,andIamsosorry.Whatmakesyousick?”
Therewasgenuinesympathyinthatlittlevoice,anditopenedthepent-upflood
beatingsofuriously,androusedMaddy’sheart.Withacryasofsuddenpainshe
claspedthechildinherarmsandweptoutawild,stormyfitofweepingwhich
didhersomuchgood.ForgettingthatJessiecouldnotunderstand,andfeelingit
arelieftotellhergrieftosomeone,shesaid,inreplytoJessie’softrepeated
inquiriesastowhatwasthematter:“Ididnotgetacertificate,andIwanteditso
much,forwearepoor,andourhouseismortgaged,andIwasgoingtohelp
grandpapayit.”
“It’sdreadfultobepoor!”sighedlittleJessie,asherwaxenfingersthreadedthe
soft,nut-brownhairrestinginherlap,whereMaddyhadlainherachinghead.
Maddydidnotknowwhothisbeautifulchildwas,buthersympathywasvery
sweet,andtheytalkedtogetheraschildrenwill,untilMrs.Agnes’voicewas
heardcallingtoherlittlegirlthatitwastimetogo.
“Iloveyou,Maddy,andImeantotellbrotheraboutit,”Jessiesaid,asshe
woundherarmsaroundMadeline’sneckandkissedheratparting.
ItneveroccurredtoMaddytoaskhername,sostupifiedshefelt,andwitha
responsivekissshesentheraway.Leaningherheaduponthetable,sheforgotall
butherownwretchedness,andsodidnotseethegayly-dressed,haughty-looking


ladywhosweptpastthedoor,accompaniedbyGuyandDr.Holbrook.Neither
didshehear,ornotice,ifshedid,thehumoftheirvoicesastheytalkedtogether
foramoment,AgnesaskingthedoctorveryprettilytocomeuptoAikenside
whileshewasthere,andbringhisladylove.EngagedyoungmenlikeGuywere
sostupid,shesaid,aswithamerrylaughshesprangintothecarriage;and,
bowinggracefullytothedoctor,wasdrivenrapidlytowardAikenside.
Ratherslowlythedoctorreturnedtotheoffice,andafterfidgetingforatime
amongthepowdersandphials,summonedcouragetoaskMadelinehowshefelt,
andifanyofthefaintingsymptomshadreturned.
“No,sir,”wasallthereplyshegavehim,neverliftingupherhead,oreven
thinkingwhichofthetwoyoungmenitwasspeakingtoher.
TherewasacalljustthenforDr.Holbrook,andleavinghisofficeinchargeof
Tom,hischoreboy,hewentaway,feelingslightlyuncomfortablewheneverhe
thoughtofthegirltowhomhefeltthatjusticehadnotbeendone.
“IhalfwishIhadexaminedhermyself,”hesaid.“Ofcourseshewasexcited,
andcouldnotanswer;beside,hangedifIdon’tbelieveitwasallhumbug
tormentingherwithGreekandLatin.Yes;I’llquestionherwhenIgetback,and
ifshe’llpossiblypass,giveherthecertificate.Poorchild;howwhiteshewas,
andwhataqueerlooktherewasinthosegreateyes,whenshesaid:‘Ishallnot
takeit.’”
NeverinhislifebeforehadDr.Holbrookbeenasmuchinterestedinanyfemale
whowasnotsickashewasinMadeline,anddeterminingtomakehiscallon
Mrs.Briggsasbriefaspossible,healightedathergate,andknockedimpatiently
atherdoor.Hefoundherprettysick,whilebothherchildrenneededa
prescription,andsolongatimewashedetainedthathisheartmisgavehimon
hishomewardroute,lestMaddyshouldbegone,andwithherthechanceto
remedythewronghemighthavedoneher.
Maddywasgone,andthewheelrutsofthesquare-boxedwagonwerefresh
beforethedoorwhenhecameback.GrandpaMarkhamhadreturned,and
Madeline,whorecognizedoldSorrel’sstep,hadgatheredhershawlaroundher
andgonesadlyouttomeethim.Onelookatherfacewassufficient.
“Youfailed,Maddy?”theoldmansaid,fixingaboutherfeetthewarmbuffalo
robe,forthenightwindwasblowingcool.


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