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Title:AModernChronicle,Complete
Author:WinstonChurchill(USAauthor,notSirWinstonChurchill)

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aheadofschedule][ThisfilewasfirstpostedonJune28,2002]
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***STARTOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKMODERN
CHRONICLE,ALL,BYCHURCHILL***

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AMODERNCHRONICLE
ByWinstonChurchill

CONTENTS
BOOKI.
Volume1.I.WHAT’SINHEREDITY?II.PERDITARECALLEDIII.
CONCERNINGPROVIDENCEIV.OFTEMPERAMENTV.INWHICH
PROVIDENCEBEEPSFAITHVI.HONORAHASAGLIMPSEOFTHE
WORLD
Volume2.VII.THEOLYMPIANORDERVIII.ACHAPTEROF
CONQUESTSIX.INWHICHTHEVICOMTECONTINUESHISSTUDIES
X.INWHICHHONORAWIDENSHERHORIZONXI.WHATMIGHT
HAVEBEENXII.WHICHCONTAINSASURPRISEFORMRS.HOLT

BOOKII
Volume3.I.SOLONGASYEBOTHSHALLLIVEII.“STAFFORDPARK”
III.THEGREATUNATTACHEDIV.THENEWDOCTRINEV.


QUICKSANDSVI.GADANDMENI
Volume4.VII.OFCERTAINDELICATEMATTERSVIII.OFMENTAL
PROCESSES-FEMININEANDINSOLUBLEIX.INTRODUCINGA
REVOLUTIONIZINGVEHICLEX.ONTHEARTOFLIONTAMINGXI.


CONTAININGSOMEREVELATIONS

BOOKIIIVolume5.I.ASCENDIII.THEPATHOFPHILANTHROPYIII.
VINELANDIV.THEVIKINGV.THESURVIVALOFTHEFITTEST
Volume6.VI.CLIO,ORTHALIA?VII“LIBERTY,ANDTHEPURSUITOF
HAPPINESS”VIII.INWHICHTHELAWBETRAYSAHEARTIX.WYLIE
STREETX.THEPRICEOFFREEDOM
Volume7.XI.INWHICHITISALLDONEOVERAGAINXII.THE
ENTRANCEINTOEDENXIII.OFTHEWORLDBEYONDTHEGATES.
XIV.CONTAININGPHILOSOPHYFROMMR.GRAINGERXV.THE
PILLARSOFSOCIETY
Volume8.XVI.INWHICHAMIRRORISHELDUPXVII.THERENEWAL
OFANANCIENTHOSPITALITYXVIII.INWHICHMR.ERWINSEES
PARIS

AMODERNCHRONICLE


CHAPTERI
WHAT’SINHEREDITY
HonoraLeffingwellistheoriginalnameofourheroine.Shewasborninthelast
quarteroftheNineteenthCentury,atNice,inFrance,andshespenttheearly
yearsofherlifeinSt.Louis,asomewhatconservativeoldcityonthebanksof
theMississippiRiver.HerfatherwasRandolphLeffingwell,andhediedinthe
earlyflowerofhismanhood,whilefillingwithagracethatmanyrememberthe
postofUnitedStatesConsulatNice.Asalinguisthewasaphenomenon,and
hisphotographinthetortoise-shellframeprovesindubitably,toanyone
acquaintedwiththefashionsof1870,thathewasamasterofthatsubtlestofall
arts,dress.Hehadgentlebloodinhisveins,whichcamefromVirginiathrough
Kentuckyinacoachandsix,andhewastheequalinappearanceandmannersof
anydukewholingeredbesideclassicseas.
Honorahasoftenpicturedtoherselfagayvillasethighabovethecurvingshore,
theamethystdepthsshadingintoemerald,lacedwithmilk-whitefoam,thevivid
coloursofthetown,thegaycostumes;theexcursions,thedinner-parties
presidedoverbytheimmaculateyoungconsulinthreelanguages,andtheguests
chosenfromthehautenoblesseofEurope.Suchwasthevisioninheryouthful
mind,addedtobydegreesasshegrewintoyoung-ladyhoodandsurreptitiously
becamefamiliarwiththewritingsofOuidaandtheDuchess,andotherliterature
ofaneducatingcosmopolitannature.
Honora’sbiographyshouldundoubtedlycontainasketchofMrs.Randolph
Leffingwell.Beautyanddashandaknowledgeofhowtoseatatable.seemto
havebeenthelady’schiefcharacteristics;theonlydaughterofacarefully
dressedandcarefully,preservedwidower,likewisealinguist,—whosesuperrefinedtastesandthelimitedstraitstowhichhe,theremainingscionofanold
Southernfamily,hadbeenreducedbyagentlemanlycontemptformoney,led
him‘tochooseParisratherthanNewYorkasaplaceofresidence.Oneofthe
occasionalandcarefullyplannedtripstotheRivieraprovedfataltothebeautiful
butrecklessMyrtleAllison.She,whomighthavechosencountsordukesfrom
theTagustotheDanube,orevencrossedtheChannel;tookthedashingbut
impecuniousAmericanconsul,withafaithinhisfuturethatwassublime.
Withoutgoingovertoocarefullytheupwardpathwhichledtothepostoftheir


country’srepresentativeatthecourtofSt.James,neitherhadtheslightestdoubt
thatRandolphLeffingwellwouldtreadit.
ItisneedlesstodwelluponthechagrinofHonora’smaternalgrandfather,
HowardAllisonEsquire,overthisturnofaffairs,thisunexpected
bouleversement,ashespokeofitinprivatetohisfriendsinhisParisianclub.
Formanyyearshehadwatchedthepersonalattractionsofhisdaughtergrow,
andabroughamandcertainotherdelightsnottobementionedhadgradually
become,inhismind,synonymouswitholdage.Thebroughamwouldhaveon
itspanelstheAllisoncrest,andhisdistinguished(andtitled)son-in-lawwould
dropinoccasionallyatthelittleapartmentontheBoulevardHaussmann.Alas,
forvisions,forlegitimatehopesshatteredforever!OnthedaythatRandolph
LeffingwellledMissAllisondowntheaisleoftheEnglishchurchthevisionof
thebroughamandtheotherdelightsfaded.HowardAllisonwentbacktohis
club.
Threeyearslater,whileonanexcursionwithSirNicholasBakerandamerry
partyontheItalianaide,thehorsesbehindwhichMr.andMrs.Leffingwellwere
drivingwiththeirhostranaway,andintheflightmanagedtoprecipitatethe
vehicle,andthemselves,downthesideofoneofthenumerousdeepvalleysof
thestreamsseekingtheMediterranean.Thus,byasingularcapriceofdestiny
Honorswasdeprivedofbothherparentsataperiodwhich—somechoseto
believe—wastheheightoftheircombinedglories.RandolphLeffingwelllived
longenoughtobetakenbacktoNice,andtoconsignhisinfantdaughterand
sundryotherunsolvedproblemstohisbrotherTom.
BrotherTom—orUncleTom,aswemustcallhimwithHonora—cheerfully
acceptedthecharge.Forhislegaciesinlifehadbeenchieflyblessingsin
disguise.HewaspayingtellerofthePrairieBank,andthethermometer
registeredsomethingabove90degFahrenheitontheJulymorningwhenhe
stoodbehindhiswicketreadingaletterfromHowardAllison,Esquire,relative
tohisniece.Mr.Leffingwellwasatthisperiodofhislifeforty-eight,butthe
habithehadacquiredofassumingresponsibilitiesandburdensseemedtohave
hadtheeffectofmakinghisageindefinite.Hewassixfeettall,broadshouldered,hismustacheandhairalreadyturning;hiseyebrowswereatrifle
bushy,andhiseyesremindedmenofoneeternalandhighlyprizedquality—
honesty.Theywerebluegrey.Ordinarilytheyshedalightwhichsentpeople
awayfromhiswindowthehappierwithoutknowingwhy;buttheyhadbeen
known,onrareoccasions,toflashondishonestyandfraudlikethelightningsof


theLord.Mr.Isham,thepresidentofthebank,coinedaphraseabouthim.He
saidthatThomasLeffingwellwasconstitutionallyhonest.
Althoughhehadnotrisenabovethepositionofpayingteller,Thomas
Leffingwellhadauniqueplaceinthecityofhisbirth;andtheesteeminwhich
hewasheldbycapitalistsandclerksprovesthatcharactercountsforsomething.
Onhisfather’sfailureanddeathhehadenteredthePrairieBank,ateighteen,
andneverleftit.Ifhehadownedit,hecouldnothavebeentreatedbythe
customerswithmorerespect.Thecity,saveforafewnotableexceptions,like
Mr.Isham,calledhimMr.Leffingwell,butbehindhisbackoftenspokeofhim
asTom.
Ontheparticularhotmorninginquestion,ashestoodinhisseersuckercoat
readingtheunquestionablypompousletterofMr.Allisonannouncingthathis
niecewasonthehighseas,hereturnedthegreetingsofhisfriendswithhisusual
kindnessandcheer.Inanadjoiningcompartmentalong-leggedboyoffourteen
wasbusilystampingletters.
“Peter,”saidMr.Leffingwell,“goaskMr.IshamifImayseehim.”
Itisadvisabletoremembertheboy’sname.ItwasPeterErwin,andhewasa
favouriteinthebank,wherehehadbeenintroducedbyMr.Leffingwellhimself.
Hewasanorphanandlivedwithhisgrandmother,animpoverishedoldlady
withgoodbloodinherveinswhoboardedinGraham’sRow,onOliveStreet.
Sufficeittoadd,atthistime,thatheworshippedMr.Leffingwell,andthathe
wasbackinatwinklingwiththeinformationthatMr.Ishamwasawaitinghim.
Thepresidentwasseatedathisdesk.Inspiteofthethermometerhegaveno
appearanceofdiscomfortinhisfrock-coat.Hehadscant,sandy-greywhiskers,a
tightlyclosedandsmooth-shavenupperlip,anosewith-adecidedridge,and
rathersmallbutpenetratingeyesinwhichthebluepigmenthadbeenused
sparingly.Hishabitualmodeofspeechwasbothbriefandsharp,butpeople
remarkedthathemodifieditalittleforTomLeffingwell.
“Comein,Tom,”hesaid.“Anythingthematter?”
“Mr.Isham,Iwantaweekoff,togotoNewYork.”
Therequest,fromTomLeffingwell,tookMr.Isham’sbreath.Oneofthebank
president’scharacteristicswasanextremeinterestintheprivateaffairsofthose


whocamewithinhiszoneofinfluenceandespeciallywhentheseaffairsevinced
anyirregularity.
“Randolphagain?”heaskedquickly.
Tomwalkedtothewindow,andstoodlookingoutintothestreet.Hisvoice
shookasheanswered:
“TendaysagoIlearnedthatmybrotherwasdead,Mr.Isham.”
Thepresidentglancedatthebroadbackofhisteller.Mr.Isham’svoicewasfirm,
hisfacecertainlybetrayednofeeling,butaflittinggleamofsatisfactionmight
havebeenseeninhiseye.
“Ofcourse,Tom,youmaygo,”heanswered.
ThuscametopassaneventinthelivesofUncleTomandAuntMary,that
journeytoNewYork(theirfirst)oftwonightsandtwodaystofetchHonora.We
neednotdwelluponallthatbefellthem.ThefirstviewoftheHudson,thefirst
whiffofthesaltaironthisunwontedholiday,thesightsofthiscrowdedcityof
wealth,—allweretemperedbythethoughtofthechildcomingintotheirlives.
Theywerestandingonthepierwhenthewindowswerecrimsonintheearly
light,andatnineo’clockonthatsummer’smorningtheAlbaniawasdocked,
andthepassengerscamecrowdingdownthegang-plank.Prosperoustourists,
mostofthem,withservantsandstewardscarryingbagsofEnglishdesignand
checkedsteamerrugs;andatlastaruddy-facedbonnewithstreamersanda
bundleofribbonsandlaces—Honora—Honora,agedeighteenmonths,gazingat
asubjugatedworld.
“Whatabeautifulchild!exclaimedawomanonthepier.”
Wasitinstinctorpremonitionthatledthemtoaccostthebonne?
“Oui,Leffingwell!”shecried,gazingattheminsomeperplexity.Threechildren
ofvarioussizesclungtoherskirts,andayoungernursecarriedagolden-haired
littlegirlofHonora’sage.Aladyandgentlemanfollowed.Theladywas
beginningtolookmatronly,andnosecondglancewasrequiredtoperceivethat
shewasapersonofopinionandcharacter.Mr.Holtwassmallerthanhiswife,
neatindressandunobtrusiveinappearance.IntherichMrs.Holt,thefriendof
theRandolphLeffingwells,AuntMarywaspreparedtofindamorevapidly


fashionablepersonage,andhadschooledherselfforthwith.
“YouareMrs.ThomasLeffingwell?”sheasked.“Well,Iamrelieved.”The
lady’seyes,travellingrapidlyoverAuntMary’ssoberbonnetandbroochand
gown,madeitappearthatthesefeaturesinHonora’sfutureguardiangaveher
thereliefinquestion.“Honora,thisisyouraunt.”
Honorasmiledfromamidstthelaces,andAuntMary,onlytooreadyto
capitulate,surrendered.Sheheldoutherarms.Tearswelledupinthe
Frenchwoman’seyesassheabandonedhercharge.
“Pauvremignonne!”shecried.
ButMrs.Holtrebukedthenursesharply,inFrench,—alanguagewithwhich
neitherAuntMarynorUncleTomwasfamiliar.Fortunately,perhaps.Mrs.
Holt’sremarkwastotheeffectthatHonorawasgoingtoasensiblehome.
“Hortenselovesherbetterthanmyownchildren,”saidthatlady.
HonoraseemedquitecontentinthearmsofAuntMary,whowasgazingso
earnestlyintothechild’sfacethatshedidnotatfirsthearMrs.Holt’sinvitation
totakebreakfastwiththemonMadisonAvenue,andthenshedeclinedpolitely.
Whilegrossingonthesteamer,Mrs.Holthaddecidedquiteclearlyinhermind
justwhatshewasgoingtosaytothechild’sfutureguardian,buttherewas
somethinginAuntMary’svoiceandmannerwhichmadetheseremarksseem
unnecessary—althoughMrs.Holtwassecretlydisappointednottodeliverthem.
“Itwasfortunatethatwehappenedto,beinNiceatthetime,”shesaidwiththe
evidentfeelingthatsomeexplanationwasdue.“IdidnotknowpoorMrs.
RandolphLeffingwellvery—veryintimately,orMr.Leffingwell.Itwassucha
sudden—suchaterribleaffair.ButMr.HoltandIwereonlytoogladtodowhat
wecould.”
“Wefeelverygratefultoyou,”saidAuntMary,quietly.
Mrs.Holtlookedatherwithastillmoredistinctapproval,beingtolerablysure
thatMrs.ThomasLeffingwellunderstood.Shehadclearedherskirtsofany
possibleimplicationofintimacywiththelateMrs.Randolph,anddonesowitha
mastertouch.


InthemeantimeHonorahadpassedtoUncleTom.Aftersecuringthelittletrunk,
andsettlingcertainmatterswithMr.Holt,theysaidgood-bytoherlatekind
protectors,andstartedofffortheneareststreet-cars,HonorapullingUncle
Tom’smustache.Morethanonepedestrianpausedtolookbackatthetallman
carryingthebeautifulchild,bedeckedlikeayoungprincess,andmorethanone
passengerinthestreetcarssmiledatthemboth.


CHAPTERII
PERDITARECALLED
SaintLouis,orthatpartofitwhichiscalledbydealersinrealestatethechoice
residencesection,grewwestward.AndUncleTommightbesaidtohavebeenin
thevanguardofthemovement.InthedaysbeforeHonorawasbornhehadbuilt
hislittlehouseonwhathadbeenafarmontheOliveStreetRoad,atthecrestof
thesecondridgefromtheriver.Upthisridge,withclankingtraces,toiledthe
horse-carsthatcarriedUncleTomdowntowntothebankandAuntMaryto
market.
Fleeingwestward,likewise,fromthesmoke,friendsofUncleTom’sandAunt
Mary’sgraduallysurroundedthem—building,asarule,thehighVictorian
mansionsinfavouratthatperiod,whichwereplacedinthecentreof
commodiousyards.ForthefriendsofUncleTomandAuntMarywereforthe
mostpartrich,andbelonged,asdidthey,totheolderfamiliesofthecity.Mr.
Dwyer’shouse,withitspicturegallery,wasacrossthestreet.
Inthemidstofsuchimposingcompanythelittledwellingwhichbecamethe
homeofourheroinesatwellbackinaplotthatmightalmostbecalledagarden.
Insummeritswhitewoodenfrontwasnearlyhiddenbythequiveringleavesof
twotallpeartrees.Ontheothersideofthebrickwalk,andneartheironfence,
wasanelmandaflowerbedthatwasUncleTom’sprideandtheadmirationof
theneighbourhood.Honorahasbuttoshuthereyestoseeitaflamewithtulipsat
Eastertide.TheeasternwallofthehousewasamassofVirginiacreeper,and
beneaththatanotherflowerbed,andstillanotherintheback-yardbehindthe
latticefencecoveredwithcucumbervine.Therewere,besides,twomaplesand
twoapricottrees,relicsofthefarm,andofblessedmemory.Suchapricots!
Visionsofhotsummereveningscomeback,withUncleTom,inhisseersucker
coat,withhisgreenwatering-pot,bendingoverthebeds,andAuntMaryseated
uprightinherchair,lookingupfromherknittingwithalovingeye.
Behindthelattice,onthesesummerevenings,standsthemilitantfigureofthat
oldretainer,Bridgetthecook,herstoutarmsakimbo,readytoengagein
vigorousbantershouldHonoradeigntoapproach.


“Whisht,‘Noradarlint,it’sayoungladyyellbesoon,andthebeauxa-comin’
‘round!”shewouldcry,andthrowbackherheadandlaughuntilthetearswere
inhereyes.
Andtheprincess,aslimfigureinanimmaculatelinenfrockwithredribbons
whichAuntMaryhadcopiedfromLongstreth’sLondoncatalogue,wouldreply
withdignity:
“Bridget,IwishyouwouldtrytorememberthatmynameisHonora.”
AnotherspasmoflaughterfromBridget.
“Listentothatnow!”shewouldcrytoanotherancientretainer,MaryAnn,the
housemaid,whosekitchenchairwastiltedupagainstthesideofthewoodshed.
“It’llbeMissHonoranext,andGeorgeHanburyhereto-daywithhiseye
throughaknotholeinthefence,outofhisheadforasightofye.”
GeorgeHanburywasHonora’scousin,andshedidnotdeemhisadmirationa
subjectfitfordiscussionwithBridget.
“Sure,”declaredMaryAnn,“it’stheairofaprincessthechildhas.”
ThatsheshouldbethoughtaprincessdidnotappearatallremarkabletoHonora
attwelveyearsofage.Perditamayhavehadsuchdreams.Shehadbeenborn,
sheknew,insomewondrouslandbytheshoresofthesummerseas,notatall
likeSt.Louis,andfriendsandrelativeshadnothesitatedtoremarkinher
hearingthatsheresembled—herfather,—thathandsomefatherwhosurelymust
havebeenaprince,whosebeforementionedphotographinthetortoise-shell
framewasonthebureauinherlittleroom.SofarasRandolphLeffingwellwas
concerned,photographyhadnotbeeninventedfornothing.Otherrecordsofhim
remainedwhichHonorahadlikewiseseen:oneendofarose-coveredvilla—
whichHonorathoughtwasawingofhispalace;acoachandfourhewas
driving,andwhichhadchancedtobelongtoanEnglishman,althoughthe
photographgavenoevidenceofthisownership.NeitherAuntMarynorUncle
Tomhadeversought—forreasonsperhapsobvious—tocorrectthechild’s
impressionofanextraordinarypaternity.
AuntMarywasaPuritanofSouthernancestry,andherfatherhadbeena
Presbyterianminister,UncleTomwasamemberofthevestryofachurchstill
underPuritaninfluences.AsaconsequenceforHonora,therewereSunday


afternoons—periodswhentheimaginativefaculty,inwhichshewasbyno
meanslacking,wasgivenfullplay.ShewouldsitbythehourintheswingUncle
Tomhadhungforherunderthemaplenearthelattice,whilecastlesroseon
distantheightsagainstblueskies.Therewasherrealhome,inabalconied
chamberthatoverlookedmileuponmileofrustlingforestinthevalley;and
whenthewindblew,thesoundofitwaslikethesea.Honoradidnotremember
thesea,butitsmusicwasofteninherears.
Shewouldbearousedfromthesedreamsofgreatnessbytheappearanceofold
Catherine,hernurse,onthesideporch,remindingherthatitwastimetowash
forsupper.Noprincesscouldhavehadamorehumbletiring-womanthan
Catherine.
Honoracannotbeundulyblamed.Whenshereachedthe“littlehouseunderthe
hill”(asCatherinecalledthechamberbeneaththeeaves),shebeheldreflectedin
themirroranimagelikeatall,whiteflowerthatmightindeedhavebelongedtoa
princess.Herhair,thecolourofburntsienna,fellevenlytohershoulders;her
featureseventhenhadregularityandhauteur;herlegs,intheirblacksilk
stockings,werestraight;andthesimplewhitelawnfrockmadethebestofa
slenderfigure.ThosefrocksofHonora’swereacontinualsourceofwonderand
sometimesofenvy—toAuntMary’sfriends;whoreturnedfromtheseasidein
theautumn,afteraweekamongthefashionsinBostonorNewYork,tofind
Honorainthelatestmodels,andbetterdressedthantheirownchildren.Aunt
Marymadenosecretofthemethodsbywhichtheseseemingmiracleswere
performed,andshowedCousinEleanorHanburythefashionplatesinthe
Englishperiodicals.CousinEleanorsighed.
“Mary,youarewonderful,”shewouldsay.“Honora’sclothesarebetter-looking
thanthoseIbuyintheEast,atsuchfabulousprices,fromCavendish.”
Indeed,nowomanwaseverfartherremovedfrompersonalvanitythanAunt
Mary.ShelookedlikealittleQuakeress.Hersilveredhairwaspartedinthe
middleandhad,inspiteofpalpableeffortstowardstightnessandrepression,a
perceptiblerippleinit.Greywasheronlyconcessiontocolour,andhergowns
andbonnetswereofaprimnesswhichbelongedtothepast.Repression,or
perhapscompression,washernote,fortheenergyconfinedwithinherlittlebody
wasathingtohaveastoundedscientists:AndHonoragrewtowomanhoodand
reflectionbeforeshehad.guessedorconsideredthatherauntwaspossessedof
intenseemotionswhichhadnooutlet.Herfeatureswereregular,hershyeyehad


theclearnessofaforestpool.Shebelievedinpredestination,whichistosaythat
shewasafatalist;andwhileshesteadfastlycontinuedtoregardthisworldasa
placeofsorrowandtrials,sheconcernedherselfverylittleabouther
participationinafuturelife.OldDr.Ewing,therectorofSt.Anne’s,while
concedingthatnobetterormorecharitablewomanexisted,founditso
exceedinglydifficulttotalktoher,onthesubjectofreligionthathehadnever
trieditbutonce.
SuchwasAuntMary.Thetruestudentofhumannatureshouldnotfindit
surprisingthatshespoiledHonoraandstrove—atwhatsecretexpense,care,and
self-denialtoUncleTomandherself,nonewilleverknow—toadornthechild
thatshemightappearcreditablyamongcompanionswhoseparentsweremore
fortunateinthisworld’sgoods;thatshedeniedherselftoeducateHonoraas
theseotherchildrenwereeducated.Norisitastonishingthatsheshouldnothave
understoodthehighlycomplexorganismoftheyoungladywehavechosenfor
ourheroine,whowasshaken,attheageofthirteen,byunfulfilledlongings.
VeryearlyinlifeHonoralearnedtodreadthesummer,whenonebyonethe
familiesofherfriendsdeparteduntilthecityitselfseemedaremoteanddistant
placefromwhatithadbeeninthespringandwinter.Thegreathouseswere
closedandblinded,andintheeveningtheservantswhohadbeenleftbehind
chatteredonthefrontsteps.Honoracouldnotbearthesoundofthetrainsthat
driftedacrossthenight,andthesightofthetrunkspiledintheHanburys’hall,in
WaylandSquare,alwaysfilledherwithasickeninglonging.Wouldthedayever
comewhenshe,too,woulddepartforthebrightplacesoftheearth?Sometimes,
whenshelookedinthemirror,shewasfilledwithafiercebeliefinadestinyto
sitinthehighseats,toreceivehomageanddispensebounties,todiscoursewith
greatintellects,toknowLondonandParisandthemartsandcentresoftheworld
asherfatherhad.Toescape—onlytoescapefromtheprisonwallsofa
humdrumexistence,andtosoar!
Letus,ifwecan,reconstructanAugustdaywhenall(ornearlyall)ofHonora’s
smallfriendsweregoneeastwardtothemountainsortheseaside.In“thelittle
houseunderthehill,”thesurfaceofwhichwasahotslateroof,Honorawould
awakeaboutseveno’clocktofindoldCatherinebendingoverherinaduncolouredcalicodress,withthelightfiercelybeatingagainsttheclosedshutters
thatbraveditsounflinchinglythroughouttheday.
“Thebirdsarebeforeye,MissHonora,honey,andyourunclewaterin’hisroses


thishalf-hour.”
UncleTomwasindeedanearlyriser.AsHonoradressed(Catherineassistingas
ataceremony),shecouldseehim,inhisseersuckercoat,bendingtenderlyover
hisbeds;helivedenvelopedinapeacewhichhassincestruckwonderto
Honora’ssoul.Shelingeredinherdressing,eveninthosedays,fallinginto
reveriesfromwhichCatherinegentlyanddeferentiallyarousedher;andUncle
TomwouldbecarvingthebeefsteakandAuntMarypouringthecoffeewhenshe
finallyarrivedinthediningroomtonibbleatoneofBridget’sunforgettablerolls
orhotbiscuits.UncleTomhadhisjoke,andatquarter-pasteightpreciselyhe
wouldkissAuntMaryandwalktothecornertowaitfortheamblinghorse-car
thatwastotakehimtothebank.SometimesHonorawenttothecornerwith
him,andhewavedhergood-byfromtheplatformashefeltinhispocketforthe
nickelthatwastopayhisfare.
WhenHonorareturned,AuntMaryhaddonnedherapron,andwasindustriously
aidingMaryAnntowashthedishesandmaintainthecustomaryhighpolishon
herhusband’sshareoftheLeffingwellsilverwhich,standingonthesidetable,
shothitherandthitherraysofgreenlightthatfilteredthroughtheshuttersinto
thedarkenedroom.ThechildpartookofAuntMary’sprideinthatsilver,made
foraKentuckygreat-grandfatherLeffingwellbyafamousPhiladelphia
silversmiththree-quartersofacenturybefore.Honorasighed.
“What’sthematter,Honora?”askedAuntMary,withoutpausinginhervigorous
rubbing.
“TheLeffingwellsusedtobegreatonceuponatime,didn’tthey,AuntMary?”
“YourUncleTom,”answeredAuntMary,quietly,“isthegreatestmanIknow,
child.”
“Andmyfathermusthavebeenagreatman,too,”criedHonora,“tohavebeena
consulanddrivecoaches.”
AuntMarywassilent.Shewasnotapersonwhospokeeasilyondifficult
subjects.
“Whydon’tyouevertalktomeaboutmyfather,AuntMary?UncleTomdoes.”
“Ididn’tknowyourfather,Honora.”


“Butyouhaveseenhim?”
“Yes,”saidAuntMary,dippingherclothintothewhiting;“Isawhimatmy
wedding.Buthewasvery,young.”
“Whatwashelike?”Honorademanded.“Hewasveryhandsome,wasn’the?”
‘Yes,child.”
“Andhehadambition,didn’the,AuntMary?”
AuntMarypaused.HereyesweretroubledasshelookedatHonora,whosehead
wasthrownback.
“Whatkindofambitiondoyoumean,Honora?”
“Oh,”criedHonora,“tobegreatandrichandpowerful,andtobesomebody.”
“Whohasbeenputtingsuchthingsinyourhead,mydear?”
“Noone,AuntMary.Only,ifIwereaman,Ishouldn’trestuntilIbecame
great.”
Alas,thatAuntMary,withallherwill,shouldhavesuchlimitedpowersof
expression!Sheresumedherscrubbingofthesilverbeforeshespoke.
“Todoone’sduty,toacceptcheerfullyandlikeaChristiantheresponsibilities
andburdensoflife,isthehighestformofgreatness,mychild.YourUncleTom
hashadmanythingstotroublehim;hehasalwaysworkedforothers,andnotfor
himself.Andheisrespectedandlovedbyallwhoknowhim.”
“Yes,Iknow,AuntMary.But—”
“Butwhat,Honora?”
“Thenwhyisn’therich,asmyfatherwas?”
“Yourfatherwasn’trich,mydear,”saidAuntMary,sadly.
“Why,AuntMary!”Honoraexclaimed,“helivedinabeautifulhouse,and
ownedhorses.Isn’tthatbeingrich?”


PoorAuntMary!
“Honora,”sheanswered,“therearesomethingsyouaretooyoungto
understand.Buttrytoremember,mydear,thathappinessdoesn’tconsistin
beingrich.”
“ButIhaveoftenheardyousaythatyouwishedyouwererich,AuntMary,and
hadnicethings,andapicturegallerylikeMr.Dwyer.”
“Ishouldliketohavebeautifulpictures,Honora.”
“Idon’tlikeMr.Dwyer,”declaredHonora,abruptly.
“Youmustn’tsaythat,Honora,”wasAuntMary’sreproof.“Mr.Dwyerisan
upright,public-spiritedman,andhethinksagreatdealofyourUncleTom.”
“Ican’thelpit,AuntMary,”saidHonora.“Ithinkheenjoysbeing—well,being
abletodothingsforamanlikeUncleTom.”
NeitherAuntMarynorHonoraguessedwhatasubtlecriticismthiswasofMr.
Dwyer.AuntMarywastroubledandpuzzled;andshebegantospeculate(notfor
thefirsttime)whytheLordhadgivenapersonwithsolittleimaginationachild
likeHonoratobringupinthestraightandnarrowpath.
“WhenIgoonSundayafternoonswithUncleTomtoseeMr.Dwyer’spictures,”
Honorapersisted,“Ialwaysfeelthatheissogladtohavewhatotherpeople
haven’torhewouldn’thaveanyonetoshowthemto.”
AuntMaryshookherhead.Onceshehadgivenherloyalfriendship,suchfaults
asthisbecameasnothing.
“Andwhen”saidHonora,“whenMrs.Dwyerhasdinner-partiesforcelebrated
peoplewhocomehere,whydoessheinviteyouintoseethetable?”
“Outofkindness,Honora.Mrs.DwyerknowsthatIenjoylookingatbeautiful
things.”
“Whydoesn’tsheinviteyoutothedinners?”askedHonora,hotly.“Ourfamily
isjustasgoodasMrs.Dwyer’s.”


TheextentofAuntMary’sdistresswasnotapparent.
“Youaretalkingnonsense,mychild,”shesaid.“AllmyfriendsknowthatIam
notapersonwhocanentertaindistinguishedpeople,andthatIdonotgoout,
andthatIhaven’tthemoneytobuyeveningdresses.AndevenifIhad,”she
added,“Ihaven’taprettyneck,soit’sjustaswell.”
AphilosophydistinctlyAuntMary’s.
UncleTom,afterhehadlistenedwithoutcommentthateveningtoheraccountof
thisconversation,wasoftheopinionthattotakeHonoratotaskforherfancies
wouldbewasteofbreath;thattheywouldrightthemselvesasshegrewup.
“I’mafraidit’sinheritance,Tom,”saidAuntMary,atlast.“Andifso,itoughtto
becounteracted.We’veseenothersignsofit.YouknowHonorahaslittleorno
ideaofthevalueofmoney—orofitsownership.”
“Sheseeslittleenoughofit,”UncleTomremarkedwithasmile.
“Tom.”
“Well.”
“SometimesIthinkI’vedonewrongnottodresshermoresimply.I’mafraidit’s
giventhechildatastefor—forself-adornment.”
“Ioncehadafondbeliefthatallwomenpossessedsuchataste,”saidUncle
Tom,withaquizzicallookathisownexception.“Totellyouthetruth,Inever
classeditasafault.”
“ThenIdon’tseewhyyoumarriedme,”saidAuntMary—aperiodicalremark
ofhers.“But,Tom,Idowishhertoappearaswellastheotherchildren,and
(AuntMaryactuallyblushed)thechildhasgoodlooks.”
“Whydon’tyougoasfarasoldCatherine,andcallheraprincess?”heasked.
“Doyouwantmetoruinherutterly?”exclaimedAuntMary.
UncleTomputhishandsonhiswife’sshouldersandlookeddownintoherface,
andsmiledagain.Althoughsheheldherselfverystraight,thetopofherhead


wasverylittleabovethelevelofhischin.
“Itstrikesmethatyouareentitledtosomelittleindulgenceinlife,Mary,”he
said.
OneofthecuriouscontradictionsofAuntMary’scharacterwasaneverdying
interest,whichheldnotaintofenvy,inthedoingsofpeoplemorefortunatethan
herself.Inthelongsummerdays,afterhersilverwascleanedandher
housekeepingandmarketingfinished,shereadinthebook-clubperiodicalsof
royalmarriages,embassyballs,ofgreattownandcountryhousesandtheir
ownersathomeandabroad.Andsheknew,bymeansofacorrespondencewith
CousinEleanorHanburyandotherintimates,thekindofcottagesinwhichher
friendssojournedattheseashoreorinthemountains;howmanyroomstheyhad,
andhowmanyservants,andveryoftenwhotheservantswere;shewaslikewise
informedontheclimate,andtheeasewithwhichitwaspossibletoobtainfresh
vegetables.AndtoallofthisinformationUncleTomwouldlisten,smilingbut
genuinelyinterested,whilehecarvedatdinner.
Oneevening,whenUncleTomhadgonetoplaypiquetwithMr.Isham,whowas
ill,Honorafurthersurprisedherauntbyexclaiming:“Howcanyoutalkofthings
otherpeoplehaveandnotwantthem,AuntMary?”
“WhyshouldIdesirewhatIcannothave,mydear?Itakesuchpleasureoutof
myfriends’possessionsasIcan.”
“Butyouwanttogototheseashore,Iknowyoudo.I’veheardyousayso,”
Honoraprotested.
“IshouldliketoseetheopenoceanbeforeIdie,”admittedAuntMary,
unexpectedly.“IsawNewYorkharbouronce,whenwewenttomeetyou.AndI
knowhowthesaltwatersmells—whichisasmuch,perhaps,asIhavetheright
tohopefor.ButIhaveoftenthoughtitwouldbenicetositforawholesummer
bytheseaandlistentothewavesdashinguponthebeach,likethoseinthe
ChasepictureinMr.Dwyer’sgallery.”
AuntMarylittleguessedtheunspeakablerebellionarousedinHonorabythis
acknowledgmentofbeingfatallycircumscribed.Wouldn’tUncleTomeverbe
rich?
AuntMaryshookherhead—shesawnoprospectofit.


Butothermen,whowerenothalfsogoodasUncleTom,gotrich.
UncleTomwasnotthekindofmanwhocaredforriches.Hewascontenttodo
hisdutyinthatspherewhereGodhadplacedhim.
PoorAuntMary.Honoraneveraskedherunclesuchquestions:todosonever
occurredtoher.Atpeacewithallmen,hegaveofhisbesttochildren,and
Honoraremainedachild.Nexttohisflowers,walkingwasUncleTom’schief
recreation,andfromthetimeshecouldbeguidedbythehandshewentwith
him.Hisverypresencehadthegiftofdispellinglongings,evenintheyoung;the
giftofcompellingdelightinsimplethings.OfaSundayafternoon,iftheheat
werenottoogreat,hewouldtakeHonoratothewildparkthatstretches
westwardofthecity,andsomethingofthedepthandintensityofhispleasurein
thebirds,theforest,andthewildflowerswouldcommunicateitselftoher.She
learnedallunconsciously(bysuggestion,asitwere)totakedelightinthem;a
delightthatwastolastherlifetime,aneverfailingresourcetowhichshewasto
turnagainandagain.Inwinter,theywenttothebotanicalgardensortheZoo.
UncleTomhadapassionforanimals,andMr.Isham,whowasadirector,gave
himapassthroughthegates.Thekeepersknewhim,andspoketohimwith
kindlyrespect.Nay,itseemedtoHonorathattheveryanimalsknewhim,and
offeredthemselvesingratiatinglytobestrokedbyonewhomtheyrecognizedas
friend.Jadedhorsesinthestreetliftedtheirnoses;stray,homelesscatsrubbed
againsthislegs,andvagrantdogslookedupathimtrustfullywithwaggingtails.
Yethisgoodness,asEmersonwouldhavesaid,hadsomeedgetoit.Honorahad
seenthelightofangerinhisblueeye—adivineray.Oncehehadchastisedher
fortellingAuntMaryalie(shecouldnothaveliedtohim)andHonorahad
neverforgottenit.Theangerofsuchamanhadindeedsomeelementinitofthe
divine;terrible,notinvolume,butinrighteousintensity.Andwhenithadpassed
therewasnooccasionforfuturewarning.Thememoryofitlingered.


CHAPTERIII
CONCERNINGPROVIDENCE
WhatqualitywasitinHonorathatcompelledBridgettostopherironingon
Tuesdaysinordertomakehotwafflesforayoungwomanwhowaslateto
breakfast?Bridget,whowouldhavefilledthekitchenwithrighteouswrathif
AuntMaryhadtransgressedtherulesofthehouse,whichwerelikethelawsof
theMedesandPersians!AndinHonora’searlyyouthMaryAnn,thehousemaid,
spentmorethanonepainfuleveningwritinghomeforcockleshellsandother
articlestopropitiateourprincess,whorewardedherwithawinningsmileanda
kiss,whichinvariablymeltedthehonestgirlintotears.TheQueenofScots
neverhadamoredevotedchamberwomanthanoldCatherine,—whowould
havegonetothestakewithasmiletosaveherlittleladyasinglechildishill,and
whospenthersavings,untilseverelytakentotaskbyAuntMary,uponobjects
forwhichacasualwishhadbeenexpressed.Thesaintsthemselvesmustattimes
havebeenawearyfromhearingHonora’sname.
NottospeakofChristmas!Christmasinthelittlehousewasonewilddeliriumof
joy.Thenightbeforethefestivalwas,toalloutwardappearances,anordinary
evening,whenUncleTomsatbythefireinhisslippers,asusual,scoutingthe
ideathattherewouldbeanyChristmasatall.AuntMarysewed,andtalkedwith
maddeningcalmnessofthenewsoftheday;butforHonoratheairwascharged
withcomingeventsofthefirstmagnitude.Theveryfurnitureofthelittlesittingroomhadadifferentair,theroomitselfworeamysteriousaspect,andthe
cannel-coalfireseemedtogiveforthaspecialqualityofunearthlylight.
“Isto-morrowChristmas?”UncleTomwouldexclaim.Blessme!Honora,Iam
sogladyouremindedme.”
“Now,UncleTom,youknewitwasChristmasallthetime!”
“Kissyourunclegoodnight,Honora,andgorighttosleep,dear,”—fromAunt
Mary.
TheunconsciousironyinthatcommandofAuntMary’s!—togorighttosleep!
Manytimeswasaheadliftedfromasmallpillow,strainingafterthemeaningof


thesqueakynoisesthatcameupfrombelow!NotSantaClaus.Honora’sbelief
inhimhadmergedintoablindfaithinalargerandevenmorebenevolent,if
materialprovidence:thekindofprovidencewhichMr.Meredithdepicts,and
whichwastosaytoBeauchamp:“Here’syourmarquise;”aparticular
providencewhich,atthepropertime,gaveUncleTommoney,andcommanded,
withasmile,“BuythisforHonora—shewantsit.”All-sufficientreason!Soulsatisfyingphilosophy,towhichHonorawastoclingformanyyearsoflife.Itis
amazinghowmuchcanbewrungfromareluctantworldbythemerebeliefin
thiskindofprovidence.
Sleepcameatlast,inthedarkestofthehours.Andstillinthedarkhoursa
stirring,adelicioussensationprecedingreason,andtheconsciousnessofafigure
stealingabouttheroom.Honorasatupinbed,shiveringwithcoldanddelight.
“Isitawakeyeare,darlint,anditbutfouro’clockthemorn!”
“Whatareyoudoing,Cathy?”
“Musha,it’stoMassI’mgoing,toasktheMotherofGodtogiveyemanyhappy
Christmasesthelikeofthis,MissHonora.”AndCatherine’sarmswereabout
her.
“Oh,it’sChristmas,Cathy,isn’tit?HowcouldIhaveforgottenit!”
“Nowgotosleep,honey.Yourauntandunclewouldn’tlikeitatallatallifye
wastomakenoiseinthemiddleofthenight—andit’slittlebetteritis.”
Sleep!Adespisedwasteoftimeinchildhood.CatherinewenttoMass,andafter
aneternity,thegreyDecemberlightbegantosiftthroughtheshutters,and
humanendurancehadreacheditslimit.Honora,stillshivering,seizedafleecy
wrapper(thehandiworkofAuntMary)andcrept,adiminutiveghost,downthe
creakingstairwaytothesitting-room.Asitting-room.whichnowwasnota
sitting-room,butforto-dayaplaceofmagic.Asthoughbyaprearrangedsalute
ofthegods,—atHonora’sentrancethefireburstthroughthethickblanketoffine
coalwhichUncleTomhadlaidbeforegoingtobed,andwithalittlegaspofjoy
thatwasalmostpain,shepausedonthethreshold.Thatoneflash,likePizarro’s
firstsunriseoverPeru,gildedtheedgeofinfinitepossibilities.
Needlesstoenumeratethem.Thewholeworld,asweknow,wasinaconspiracy
tospoilHonora.TheDwyers,theCartwrights,theHaydens,theBrices,the


Ishams,andIknownothowmanyothershadsenttheirtributes,andHonora’s
secondcousins,theHanburys,fromthefamilymansionbehindthestatelyelms
ofWaylandSquare—ofwhichsomethinganon.Aminiaturemahoganydesk,a
prayer-bookandhymnalwhichtheDwyershadbroughthomefromNewYork,
endlessvolumesofamoresecularand(toHonora)entrancingnature;roller
skates;skatesforrealice,whenitshouldapppearintheformofsleetonthe
sidewalks;asled;humblergiftsfromBridget,MaryAnn,andCatherine,anda
wonderfulcoat,withhattomatch,ofacertaindarkgreenvelvet.WhenAunt
Maryappeared,anhourorsolater,Honorawassurveyinghermagnificencein
theglass.
“Oh,AuntMary!”shecried,withherarmstightlylockedaroundheraunt’s
neck,“howlovely!DidyousendallthewaytoNewYorkforit?”
“No,Honora,”saidheraunt,“itdidn’tcomefromNewYork.”AuntMarydid
notexplainthatthiscoathadbeenheroneengrossingoccupationforsixweeks,
atsuchtimeswhenHonorawasoutortuckedawaysafelyinbed.
PerhapsHonora’sfacefellalittle.AuntMaryscanneditratheranxiously.
“Doesthatcauseyoutolikeitanyless,Honora?”sheasked.
“AuntMary!”exclaimedHonora,inatoneofreproval.Andaddedafteralittle,
“IsupposeMademoisellemadeit.”
“Doesitmakeanydifferencewhomadeit,Honora?”
“Oh,noindeed,AuntMary.MayIwearittoCousinEleanor’sto-day?”
“Igaveittoyoutowear,Honora.”
NotinHonora’smemorywasthereaChristmasbreakfastduringwhichPeter
Erwindidnotappear,bringinggifts.PeterErwin,ofwhomwecaughtaglimpse
doinganerrandforUncleTominthebank.Withthecomplacencyofthesun
Honorawaswonttoregardthismostconstantofhersatellites.Herawakening
powersofobservationhaddiscoveredhiminbondage,andinbondagehehad
beeneversince:fortheiracquaintancehadbegunonthefirstSundayafternoon
afterHonora’sarrivalinSt.Louisattheageofeighteenmonths.Itwillbe
rememberedthatHonorawaseventhenacoquette,andasshesatinhernew
baby-carriageunderthepeartree,flirtedoutrageouslywithPeter,whostoodon


onefootfromembarrassment.
“Why,Peter,”UncleTomhadsaidslyly,“whydon’tyoukissher?”
ThatkisshadbeenPeter’ssealofservice.Andhebecame,onSunday
afternoons,asortofunderstudyforCatherine.Hetookanamazingdelightin
wheelingHonoraupanddowntheyard,andupanddownthesidewalk.
BrunhildeorQueenElizabethneverwieldedapowermoreabsolute,norhadan
adorermoresatisfactory;andofallhisremarkabletalents,noneweremore
conspicuousthanhisabilitiestotellastoryandtochooseapresent.
Emancipatedfromtheperambulator,Honorawouldwatchforhimatthe
window,andtoddletothegatetomeethim,agentleman-in-waitingwhosezeal,
howeverarduous,neverflagged.
OnthisparticularChristmasmorning,whensheheardthegateslam,Honora
sprangupfromthetabletodonhergreenvelvetcoat.PoorPeter!Asthoughhis
subjugationcouldbemorecomplete!
It’sthepostman,”suggestedUncleTom,wickedly.
“It’sPeter!”criedHonora,triumphantly,fromthehallassheflunkopenthe
door,lettinginabreathofcoldChristmasairoutofthesunlight.
ItwasPeter,butaPeterwhohaschangedsomesinceperambulatordays,—just
asHonorahaschangedsome.APeterwho,insteadoffourteen,issixand
twenty;afull-fledgedlawyer,intheofficeofthatmostcelebratedofSt.Louis
practitioners,JudgeStephenBrice.ForthePeterErwinsofthisworldarequeer
creatures,andmoverapidlywithoutappearingtotheHonorastomoveatall.A
greatmanythingshavehappenedtoPetersincehehadbeenamessengerboyin
thebank.
Needlesstosay,UncleTomhadtakenaninterestinhim.And,accordingto
Peter,thisfactaccountedforallthegoodfortunewhichhadfollowed.Shortly
beforethenewscameofhisbrother’sdeath,UncleTomhaddiscoveredthatthe
boywhodidhiserrandssowillinglywasgoingtonightschool,andwasthe
grandsonofagentlemanwhohadfoughtwithcreditintheMexicanWar,and
diedinmisfortune:thegrandmotherwasPeter’sonlylivingrelative.Through
UncleTom,Mr.Ishambecameinterested,andJudgeBrice.Therewasacertain
scholarshipintheWashingtonUniversitywhichPeterobtained,andheworked
hiswaythroughthelawschoolafterwards.


Asimplestory,ofwhichmanyaduplicatecouldbefoundinthiscountryofours.
Inthecourseofthedozenyearsorsoofitsunravellingthegrandmotherhad
died,andPeterhadbecome,toallintentsandpurposes,amemberofUncle
Tom’sfamily.AplacewassetforhimatSundaydinner;and,ifhedidnot
appear,atSundaytea.Sometimesatboth.Andherehewas,asusual,on
Christmasmorning,hisarmssofullthathehadhadtopushopenthegatewith
hisfoot.
“Well,well,well,well!”hesaid,stoppingshortonthedoorstepandsurveying
ourvelvet-cladprincess,“I’vecometothewronghouse.”
Theprincessstuckherfingerintohercheek.
“Don’tbesilly,Peter!”shesaid;andMerryChristmas!”
“MerryChristmas!”hereplied,edgingsidewiseinatthedooranddepositinghis
parcelsonthemahoganyhorsehairsofa.Hechoseone,andseizedtheprincess—
velvetcoatandall!—inhisarmsandkissedher.Whenhereleasedher,there
remainedinherhandamorocco-bounddiary,markedwithhermonogram,and
destinedtocontainhighmatters.
“HowcouldyouknowwhatIwanted,Peter?”sheexclaimed,aftershehad
divesteditofthetissuepaper,holly,andredribboninwhichhehadsocarefully
wrappedit.Foritisaroyaltraittothankwiththesamegraciousnessandwarmth
thedonorsofthehumblestandthegreatestofferings.
Therewasapaper-knifeforUncleTom,andaworkbasketforAuntMary,anda
dressapieceforCatherine,Bridget,andMaryAnn,noneofwhomPeterever
forgot.Althoughthesmokewasevenatthatperiodbeginningtocreep
westward,thesunpouredthroughthelacecurtainsintothelittlediningroomand
dancedonthesilvercoffeepotasAuntMarypouredoutPeter’scup,andtheblue
chinabreakfastplateswerebluerthaneverbecauseitwasChristmas.The
humblestoffamiliararticlestookontheairofapresent.Andafterbreakfast,
whileAuntMaryoccupiedherselfwiththatimmemorialinstitution,—whichwas
tolurehitherwardssomanyprominentcitizensofSt.Louisduringtheday,—
eggnogg,Petersurveyedtheofferingswhichtransformedthesitting-room.The
tablehadbeenpushedbackagainstthebookcases,thechairsknewnottheir
time-honouredplaces,andwhitepaperandredribbonlitteredthefloor.Uncle
Tom,relegatedtoacorner,pretendedtoreadhisnewspaper,whileHonoraflitted


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