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Dora deane

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Title:DoraDeane
Author:MaryJ.Holmes
PostingDate:January15,2013[EBook#6352]ReleaseDate:August,2004First
Posted:November29,2002
Language:English
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DORADEANE
OR
THEEASTINDIAUNCLE
BY
MRS.MARYJ.HOLMES


Authorof"TempestandSunshine,""MeadowBrook,""Homesteadonthe
Hillside,""TheEnglishOrphans,""MaggieMiller,"etc.


DORADEANE,
OR,
THEEASTINDIAUNCLE


CHAPTERI.
DORAANDHERMOTHER.

PoorlittleDoraDeane!Howutterlywretchedanddesolateshewas,asshe
crouchedbeforethescantyfire,andtriedtowarmthelittlebitofworn-out
flannel,withwhichtowraphermother'sfeet;andhowhardshetriedtoforce
backthetearswhichwouldburstforthafreshwhenevershelookeduponthat
pale,sickmother,andthoughthowsoonshewouldbegone!
Itwasasmall,low,scantilyfurnishedroom,highupinthethirdstoryofacrazy
oldbuilding,whichDoracalledherhome,anditsonesmallwindowlookedout
onnaughtsavetheroofsandspiresofthegreatcitywhosedull,monotonous
roarwasalmosttheonlysoundtowhichshehadeverlistened.Ofthecountry,
withitsbrightgreengrass,itssweetwildflowers,itsrunningbrooks,andits
shadytrees,sheknewbutlittle,foronlyoncehadshelookedonallthesethings,
andthenherheartwasverysad,forthebrightgreengrasswasbroken,andthe
sweetwildflowersweretrampleddown,thatagravemightbemadeinthedark,
moistearthforherfather,whohaddiedinearlymanhood,leavinghiswifeand
onlychildtobattlewiththeselfishworldasbesttheycould.Sincethattime,life
hadbeenlonganddrearytothepoorwidow,whosehourswerewell-nighended,
forereto-morrow'ssunwasrisen,shewouldhaveabetterhomethanthatdreary,
cheerlessroom,whileDora,attheearlyageoftwelve,wouldbeanorphan.
ItwasacoldDecembernight,thelastoneoftheyear,andthewintrywind,
whichswepthowlingpastthecurtainlesswindow,seemedtotakeasaddertone,
asifinpityforthelittlegirlwhokneltuponthehearthstone,andwiththedim
firelightflickeringoverhertear-stainedface,prayedthatshe,too,mightdie,and
notbeleftalone.
"Itwillbesolonely—socoldwithoutmymother!"shemurmured."Oh,letme
gowithher;Icannotlivealone."



"Dora,mydarling,"camefaintlyfromtherudecouch,andinaninstantthechild
wasathermother'sside.
Windingherarmsfondlyabouttheneckofherdaughter,andpushingthesoft
auburnhairfromoffherfair,openbrow,Mrs.Deanegazedlongandearnestly
uponherface.
"Yes,youarelikeme,"shesaidatlast,"andIamgladthatitisso,foritmaybe
Sarahwillloveyoubetterwhensheseesinyoualooklikeonewhooncecalled
hersister.Andshouldheeverreturn——"
Shepaused,whilehermindwentbacktotheyearslongago—totheoldyellow
farmhouseamongtheNewEnglandhills—tothegray-hairedman,whohad
adoptedherashisownwhenshewaswrittenfatherless—tothedark-eyedgirl,
sometimeskind,andsometimesoverbearing,whomshehadcalledhersister,
thoughtherewasnotieofbloodbetweenthem.Thenshethoughtofthered
housejustacrosstheway,andofthethreebrothers,Nathaniel,Richard,and
John.Verysoftlysherepeatedthenameofthelatter,seemingtoseehimagainas
hewasonthedaywhen,withthewreathofwhiteappleblossomsuponher
brow,shesatonthemossybankandlistenedtohislowspokenwordsoflove.
Againshewasoutinthepalestarlight,andheardtheautumnwindgomoaning
throughthelocusttreesasNathaniel,thestrange,eccentric,woman-hating
Nathaniel,butjustreturnedfromtheseas,toldherhowmadlyhehadlovedher,
andhowtheknowledgethatshebelongedtoanotherwoulddrivehimfromhis
fatherlandforever—thatintheburningclimeofIndiahewouldmakegoldhis
idol,forgetting,ifitwerepossible,themotherwhohadbornehim!Thenshe
recalledtheangryscornwithwhichheradoptedsisterhadreceivedthenewsof
herengagementwithJohn,andhowtheconvictionwasatlastforceduponher
thatSarahherselfhadlovedhiminsecret,andthatinafitofdesperationshehad
givenherhandtotheratherinefficientRichard,everaftertreatingherrivalwith
acoolreserve,whichnowcamebacktoherwithpainfuldistinctness.
"ButshewilllovemylittleDoraforJohn'ssake,ifnotformine,"shethought,at
last;andthen,asifshehadallthetimebeenspeakingtoherdaughter,she
continued,"Andyoumustbeverydutifultoyouraunt,andkindtoyourcousins,
fulfillingtheirslightestwishes."
Lookingupquickly,Doraasked,"HaveyouwrittentoAuntSarah?Doesshesay
Icancome?"


"Theletteriswritten,andMrs.GanniswillsenditassoonasIamdead,"
answeredMrs.Deane."Iamsureshewillgiveyouahome.Itoldhertherewas
noalternativebutthealmshouse;"then,afterapause,sheadded:"Iwroteto
youruncleNathanielsomemonthsago,whenIknewthatImustdie.Itistime
forhisreply,butIbadehimdirecttoSarah,asIdidnotthenthinktoseethe
wintersnow."
"Didyoutellhimofme?"eagerlyaskedDora,onwhomthenameofUncle
Nathaniel,or"UncleNat,"ashewasmorefamiliarlycalled,producedamore
pleasantimpressionthandidthatofherauntSarah.
"Yes",answeredthemother,"itwasofyouthatIwrote,commendingyoutohis
care,shouldhereturntoAmerica.Andifyouevermeethim,Dora,tellhimthat
onmydyingbedIthoughtofhimwithaffection—thatmymindwanderedback
totheyearsoflongago,whenIwasyoung,andaskhim,forthesakeofonehe
calledhisbrother,andforherwhogrievesthatevershecausedhimamoment's
pain,tocareforyou,theirorphanchild."
Thenfollowedmanywordsoflove,whichwereveryprecioustoDorainthe
wearyyearswhichfollowedthatsadnight;andthen,foratime,therewas
silenceinthatlittleroom,brokenonlybythesoundofthewailingtempest.The
oldyearwasgoingoutonthewingsofafearfulstorm,andasthedrivingsleet
beatagainstthecasement,whilethedriftingsnowfoundentrancethroughmore
thanonewidecreviceandfelluponherpillow,thedyingwomanmurmured,
"Lieupclosertome,Dora,Iamgrowingverycold."
Alas!'twasthechillofdeath;butDoradidnotknowit,andagainonthe
hearthstonebeforethefastdyingcoalssheknelt,tryingtowarmthebitof
flannel,onwhichherburningtearsfelllikerain,whenthroughtheemptywoodboxshesoughtinvainforchiporbarkwithwhichtoincreasethescantyfire.
"ButIwillnottellher,"shesoftlywhispered,whensatisfiedthathersearchwas
vain,andwrappingtheflannelaroundtheicyfeet,sheuntiedthelong-sleeved
apronwhichcoveredherownnakedarms,andlayingitoverhermother's
shoulders,tuckedinthethinbedclothes;andthen,herselfallshiveringand
benumbed,shesatdowntowaitandwatch,singingsoftlyafamiliarhymn,
whichhadsometimeslulledhermotherintoaquietsleep.
Atlast,asherlittleroundwhitearmsgrewpurplewiththecold,shemoved


nearertothebedside,andwindingthemlovinglyaroundhermother'sneck,laid
herheaduponthepillowandfellasleep.Andtotheangels,whowerehovering
near,waitingtobeartheirsisterspirithome,therewasgivenchargeconcerning
thelittlegirl,sothatshedidnotfreeze,thoughshesattherethelivelongnight,
calmlysleepingthesweetsleepofchildhood,whilethemotherathersideslept
thelong,eternalsleepofdeath!
*****


CHAPTERII.
THEFIRSTANDLASTNEWYEAR'SCALL.

ItwasNewYear'smorning,andoverthegreatcitylaythedeep,untroddensnow,
sosoontobetrampleddownbythousandsofbusyfeet.Cheerfulfireswere
kindledinmanyaluxurioushomeoftherich,and"HappyNewYear"was
echoedfromliptolip,asifonthatdaytherewerenoachinghearts—nogarrets
wherethebitingcoldlookedinonpinchingpovertyandsufferingoldage—no
low,darkroomwhereDoraandherpale,deadmotherlay,whileoverthemthe
angelskepttheirtirelesswatchuntilhumanaidshouldcome.Butonetherewas
whodidnotforget—oneaboutwhosehousewasgatheredeveryelegancewhich
fashioncoulddictateormoneyprocure;andnow,asshesatatherbountifullyfurnishedbreakfasttablesippingherfragrantchocolate,shethoughtofthepoor
widow,Dora'smother,forwhomhercharityhadbeensolicitedthedaybefore,
byawomanwholivedinthesameblockofbuildingswithMrs.Deane.
"Brother,"shesaid,glancingtowardsayoungmanwho,beforetheglowing
grate,wasreadingthemorningpaper,"supposeyoumakeyourfirstcallwith
me?"
"Certainly,"heanswered;"anditwillprobablybeinsomedrearyatticordark,
dampbasement;butitiswell,Isuppose,tobegintheNewYearbyremembering
thepoor."
Halfanhourlater,andthecrazystairswhichledtothechamberofdeathwere
creakingtothetreadoftheladyandherbrother,thelatterofwhomknocked
loudlyforadmission.Receivingnoanswerfromwithin,theyatlastraisedthe
latchandentered.Thefirehadlongsincegoneout,andthenightwind,asit
poureddownthechimney,hadscatteredthecoldashesoverthehearthandout
uponthefloor.Pilesofsnowlayonthewindowsill,andatumblerinwhich
somewaterhadbeenleftstanding,wasbrokeninpieces.Allthistheyoungman


sawataglance,butwhenhiseyefelluponthebed,hestartedback,forthere
wasnomistakingtherigid,stonyexpressionoftheupturnedface,whichlay
theresowhiteandmotionless.
"Butthechild—thechild,"heexclaimed,advancingforward—"canshe,too,be
dead!"andhelaidhiswarmhandgentlyonDora'sbrow.
Thetoucharousedher,andstartingup,shelookedaroundforamoment
bewildered;butwhenatlastsheturnedtowardshermother,thedreadrealitywas
forceduponher,andinbittertonesshecried,"Mother'sdead,mother'sdead,and
Iamallalone!Oh!mother,mother,comebackagaintome!"
Theyoungman'sheartwastouched,andtakingthechild'slittleredhandsinhis,
herubbedthemgently,tryingtosoothehergrief;whilehissister,summoning
theinmatesfromtheadjoiningroom,gaveordersthatthebodyshouldreceive
thenecessaryattention;then,learningasmuchaswaspossibleofDora'shistory,
andassuringherthatsheshouldbeprovidedforuntilherauntcame,shewent
away,promisingtoreturnnextmorningandbepresentatthehumblefuneral.
Thatevening,asDorasatweepingbythecoffininwhichhermotherlay,a
beautifulyounggirl,witheyesofdeepestblue,andlocksofgoldenhair,smiled
ajoyouswelcometohimwhosefirstNewYear'scallhadbeeninthechamberof
death,andwhoselastwastoher,thepettedchildoffashion.
"Ihadalmostgivenyouup,andwasjustgoingtocry,"shesaid,layingherlittle
snowflakeofahandupontheonewhichthatmorninghadchafedthesmall,stiff
fingersofDoraDeane,andwhichnowtenderlypressedthoseofEllaGreyasthe
youngmananswered,"Ihavenotfeltlikegoingouttoday,formyfirstcall
saddenedme;"andthen,withhisarmaroundthefairyformofElla,hisaffianced
bride,hetoldherofthecold,drearyroom,ofthemothercolderstill,andofthe
noblelittlegirl,whohaddivestedherselfofherownclothing,thathermother
mightbewarm.
EllaGreyhadheardofsuchscenesbefore—hadcriedovertheminbooks;but
theideathatshecoulddoanythingtorelievethepoor,hadneverenteredher
mind.Itistrue,shehadoncegivenapartydresstoastarvingwoman,anda
poundofcandytoaraggedboywhohadaskedforaid,butherehercharity
ended;so,thoughsheseemedtolistenwithinteresttothesadstory,hermind
waswanderingelsewhere,andwhenhercompanionceased,shemerelysaid,


"Romantic,wasn'tit."
Therewasalookofdisappointmentontheyoungman'sface,whichwasquickly
observedbyElla,whoattributedittoitsrightsource,andhastenedtoask
numberlessquestionsaboutDora—"Howoldwasshe?Didhethinkherpretty,
andhadn'tshebettergotothefuneralthenextdayandbringherhomefora
waiting-maid?—shewantedonesadly,andfromthedescription,theorphangirl
wouldjustsuit."
"No,Ella,"answeredherlover;"thechildisgoingtoliveinthecountrywith
somerelatives,andwillbemuchbetteroffthere."
"Thecountry,"repeatedElla."IwouldratherfreezeinNewYorkthantolivein
thedismalcountry."
Againtheshadowcameoverthegentleman'sbrow,ashesaid,"Doyouindeed
objectsomuchtoahomeinthecountry?"
Ellaknewjustwhathewantedhertosay;sosheanswered,"Oh,no,Icanbe
happyanywherewithyou,butdopleaseletmespendjustonewinterinthecity
after—-"
Hereshepaused,whilethebrightblushesbrokeoverherchildishface.She
couldnotsay,eventohim,"afterwearemarried,"sohesaiditforher,drawing
herclosertohisside,andforgettingDoraDeane,ashepaintedthejoyousfuture
whenEllawouldbeallhisown.Eleveno'clocksoundedfrommorethanone
hightower,andateachstrokepoorDoraDeanemoanedinanguish,thinkingto
herself,"Lastnightatthistimeshewashere."Eleveno'clock,saidEllaGrey's
diamondsetwatch,andpushingbackherwavyhair,theyoungmankissedher
rosycheek,andbadeherafondgood-night.Ashereachedthedoor,shecalled
himback,whilesheaskedhimthenameofthelittlegirlwhohadsoexcitedhis
sympathy.
"Idonotknow,"heanswered."StrangethatIforgottoinquire.Butnomatter.
Weshallnevermeetagain;"andfeelingsurethatwhathesaidwastruehe
walkedaway.
*****


CHAPTERIII.
DORA'SRELATIVES.

Therehundredmilestothewestward,andthestorm,which,onNewYear'seve,
sweptsofuriouslyoverallpartsoftheState,wasperceptibleonlyinthedull,
graycloudswhichobscuredthewintrysky,shuttingouttheglimmering
starlight,andapparentlymakingstillbrighterthemanycheerfullightswhich
shoneforthfromthehandsomedwellingsinthevillageofDunwood.Stillthe
nightwasintenselycold,and,asMrs.SarahDeane,inaccordancewithher
daughterEugenia'srequest,addedafreshbitofcoaltothealreadywell-filled
stove,shesighedinvoluntarily,wishingtheweatherwouldabate,forthewinter's
storeoffuelwasalreadyhalfgone,andthecontentsofherpursewerefartoo
scantytomeetthenecessityofherhousehold,andatthesametimeministerto
thewantsofherextravagantdaughters.
"ButIcaneconomizeinoneway,"shesaid,halfaloud,andcrossingtheroom
sheturneddowntheastrallampwhichwasburningbrightlyuponthetable.
"Don't,praymother,makeitdarkerthanadungeon!"petulantlyexclaimed
Eugenia,herselfturningbackthelamp."Idoliketohaveroomslightenoughto
seeone'sself;"andglancingcomplacentlyatthereflectionofherhandsome
face,inthemirroropposite,sheresumedherformerloungingattitudeuponthe
sofa.
Mrs.Deanesighedagain,butshehadlongsinceceasedtoopposetheimperious
Eugenia,whowastoallintentsandpurposesthemistressofthehouse,andwho
oftentimesledhermotherandweaker-mindedsisterintothecommissionofacts
fromwhichtheywouldotherwisehaveshrunk.Possessedofalargeshareof
romance,Eugeniahadgiventotheirplacethenameof"LocustGrove;"andas
Mrs.Deanemanagedtokeepupakindofoutsideshowbypractisingthemost
pinchingeconomyineverythingpertainingtotheactualcomfortofherfamily,


theywerelookeduponasbeingquitewealthyandaristocraticbythosewhosaw
nothingoftheirinnerlife—whoknewnothingofthemanyshiftsandturnsinthe
kitchentosavemoneyforthedecorationoftheparlors,orofthefrequent
meagermealseatenfromthepantryshelf,inordertomakeamendsforthe
numerousdinnerandeveningpartieswhichEugeniaandAliceinsistedupon
giving,andwhichtheirfrequentvisitstotheirfriendsrenderednecessary.
Extensiveservant-hirewasofcoursetooexpensive,and,asbothEugeniaand
Aliceaffectedtheutmostcontemptforanythinglikework,theirmothertoiledin
thekitchenfrommorninguntilnight,assistedonlybyayounggirl,whose
motherconstantlythreatenedtotakeheraway,unlessherwageswereincreased,
athingwhichseemedimpossible.
Itwasjustafterthiswoman'sweeklyvisit,andinthemidstofpreparationsfora
largedinnerparty,thatMrs.Deanereceivedhersister'sletter,towhichtherewas
addedapostscript,inastrangehandwriting,sayingshewasdead.Therewasa
moistureinMrs.Deane'seyesasshereadthetouchinglines;andleaningher
heatedforeheadagainstthecoolwindowpane,she,too,thoughtoftheyears
goneby—ofthegentlegirl,thecompanionofherchildhood,whohadnever
givenheranunkindword—ofhim—theonlymanshehadeverloved—andDora
wastheirchild—Fanny'schildandJohn's.
"Yes,"shesaid,halfaloud,"Iwillgiveherahome,"butanontherecame
stealingoverhertheoldbitternessoffeeling,whichshehadcherishedsinceshe
knewthatFannywaspreferredtoherself,andthentheevilofhernature
whispered,"No,Iwillnotreceivetheirchild.Wecanhardlymanagetolivenow,
anditisnotmydutytoincuranadditionalexpense.Doramuststaywheresheis,
andifIdonotanswertheletter,shewillnaturallysupposeIneverreceivedit."
Thusdecidingthematter,shecrushedtheletterintoherpocketandwentbackto
herwork;buttherewasanaddedweightuponherspirits,whilecontinually
ringinginherearswerethewords,"CareforJohn'schildandmine.""IfIcould
onlymakeherofanyusetome,"shesaidatlast,andthenashereyefellupon
Bridget,whosestaywithherwassouncertain,thedarkthoughtenteredher
mind,"WhycouldnotDorafillherplace?Itwouldbeagreatsaving,andof
coursethechildmustexpecttowork."
Still,reasonasshewould,Mrs.Deanecouldnotatoncebringherselftothe
pointofmakingamenialofonewhowaseverywayherequal;neithercouldshe
decidetopasstheletterbyunnoticed;soforthepresentshestrovetodismissthe


subject,whichwasnotbroachedtoherdaughtersuntiltheeveningonwhichwe
firstintroducedthemtoourreaders.Thentakingherseatbythebrightlyburning
lamp,shedrewtheletterfromherpocketandreaditaloud,whileAlice
drummedanoccasionalnoteuponthepianoandEugeniabeatatattoouponthe
carpetwithherdelicateFrenchslipper.
"Ofcourseshewon'tcome,"saidAlice,ashermotherfinishedreading."Itwas
preposterousinAuntFannytoproposesuchathing!"andsheglancedtowards
Eugeniaforapprobationofwhatshehadsaid.
Eugenia'squick,activemindhadalreadylookedatthesubjectinallitsbearings,
andinlikemannerwithhermothershesawhowDora'spresencetherewouldbe
abenefit;sotoAlice'sremarkshereplied:"Itwillsoundwellforustohavea
cousininthepoorhouse,won'tit?Formypart,Iproposethatshecomes,and
thenbemadetoearnherownliving.WecandismissBridget,whoisonlytwo
yearsolderthanDora,andweshallthusavoidquarrelingregularlywithher
vixenishmother,besidessavingadollareveryweek—"
"SomakeadrudgeofDora,"interruptedAlice."Betterleaveherinthe
poorhouseatonce."
"Nobodyintendstomakeadrudgeofher,"retortedEugenia."Motherworksin
thekitchen,andIwonderifitwillhurtDoratohelpher.Everygirloughtto
learntowork!"
"ExceptEugeniaDeane,"suggestedAlice,laughing,tothinkhowlittleher
sister'spractiseaccordedwithhertheory.
Atthispointintheconversation,Bridgetentered,bringingaletterwhichbore
theIndiapost-mark,togetherwiththeunmistakablehandwritingofNathaniel
Deane!
"AletterfromUncleNat,asIlive!"exclaimedEugenia."Whatisgoingto
happen?Hehasn'twrittenbeforeinyears.IdowishIknewwhenheexpectedto
quitthismundanesphere,andhowmuchofhismoneyheintendsleavingme!"
BythistimeMrs.Deanehadbrokentheseal,utteringanexclamationofsurprise
asacheckfor$500fellintoherlap.
"Fivehundreddollars!"screamedEugenia,catchingupthecheckandexamining


itclosely,toseethattherewasnomistake."Theoldmiserhasreallyopenedhis
heart.Now,we'llhavesomegenuinesilverforksforourbestcompany,sowe
shan'tbeinconstantterrorlestsomeoneshoulddiscoverthattheyareonly
plated.I'llbuythatsetofpearlsatMercer's,too,and,Alice,youandIwillnave
somenewfurs.I'dgotoRochesterto-morrow,ifitwerenotSunday.Whatshall
wegetforyou,mother?Awebofcloth,oranounceofsewingsilk?"andthe
heartlessgirlturnedtowardshermother,whosefacewaswhiteasashes,asshe
saidfaintly:"Themoneyisnotours.ItisDora's—tobeusedforherbenefit."
"Notours!Whatdoyoumean!Itcan'tbetrue!"criedEugenia,snatchingthe
letter,andreadingthereinaconfirmationofhermother'swords.
Afteraslightapologyforhislongsilence,UndoNathadspokenofFanny's
letter,sayinghesupposedshemustbedeaderethis,andthatDorawasprobably
livingwithheraunt,asitwasquitenaturalsheshoulddo.Thenheexpressedhis
willingnesstodefrayalltheexpensewhichshemightbe,addingthatthoughhe
shouldneverseeher,ashewasresolvedtospendhisdaysinIndia,hestill
wishedtothinkofherasaneducatedandaccomplishedwoman.
"Accompanyingthisletter,"hewrote,"isacheckfor$500,tobeusedforDora's
benefit.NextyearIwillmakeanotherremittance,increasingtheallowanceas
shegrowsolder.IhavemoremoneythanIneed,andIknowofnooneonwhom
IwouldsoonerexpenditthanthechildofFannyMoore."
"Spitefuloldfool!"mutteredEugenia,"Icouldrelievehimofanysuperfluous
dimeshemaypossess."
ButevenEugenia,heartlessasshewas,felthumbledandsubduedforamoment,
asshereadthelatterpartofheruncle'sletter,fromwhichwegivethefollowing
extract:
"Iamthinking,to-day,ofthepast,Sarah,andIgrowaverychildagainasI
recallthedrearyyearswhichhavegoneovermyhead,sincelastItrodtheshores
ofmyfatherland.You,Sarah,knowmuchofmyhistory.YouknowthatIwas
awkward,eccentric,uncouth,andmanyyearsolderthanmyhandsomer,more
highlygiftedbrother;andyetwithallthisfearfuloddsagainstme,youknow
thatIventuredtolovethegentle,fair-hairedFanny,youradoptedsister.You
knowthis,Isay,butyoudonotknowhowmadly,howpassionatelysuchasIcan
love—didlove;norhowthememoryofFanny'sringinglaugh,andthethought


ofthesunnysmile,withwhichIknewshewouldwelcomemehomeagain,
cheeredmeonmyhomewardvoyage,wheninthelongnight-watchesIpaced
thevessel'sdeck,whilethestarslookedcoldlydownuponme,andtherewasno
soundtobreakthedeepstillness,savetheheavyswellofthesea.Atthevillage
innwhereIstoppedforamomenteregoingtomyfather'shouse,Ifirstheard
thatherhandwasplightedtoanother,andinmywildfrenzy,Isworethatmy
rival,whoeveritmightbe,shoulddie!
"Itwasmyyoungestbrother—he,who,onthesadnightwhenourmotherdied,
hadlaidhisbabyheaduponmybosom,andwepthimselftosleep—hewhose
infantstepsIhadguided,bearinghimofteninmyarms,lestheshould'dashhis
footagainstastone.'AndhislifeIhadsworntotake,forhadhenotcome
betweenmeandtheonlyobjectIhadeverloved?Therewasnoonestirring
aboutthehouse,foritwasnight,andthefamilyhadretired.Butthedoorwas
unfastened,andIknewthewayupstairs.Ifoundhim,asIhadexpected,inour
oldroom,andallalone;forRichardwasaway.Hadhebeenthere,itshould
makenodifference,Isaid,buthewasabsent,andJohnwascalmlysleepingwith
hisfaceupturnedtothesoftmoonlightwhichcameinthroughtheopenwindow.
Ihadnotseenhimfortwolongyears,andnowtherewasabouthimalookso
muchlikethatofmydeadmotherwhenshelayinhercoffinbed,thatthedemon
inmyheartwassoftened,andIseemedtohearherdyingwordsagain,'Ican
trustyou,Nathaniel;andtoyourprotection,astoasecondmother,Icommitmy
littleboy.'
"Thelittleboy,whosecurlsweregoldenthen,wasnowabrown-hairedman—
mybrother—thesonofmyangelmother,whosespirit,inthatdarkhourofmy
temptation,glidedintothesilentroom,andstoodbetweenmeandheryoungest
born,sothathewasnotharmed,andIwassavedfromthecurseofabrother's
blood.
"'Leadusnotintotemptation,'camebacktome,justasIhadsaiditkneelingat
mymother'sside;andcoveringmyfacewithmyhands,IthankedGod,whohad
keptmefromsogreatasin.Bendinglow,Iwhisperedinhisearhisname,andin
amomenthisarmswerearoundmyneck,whilehewelcomedmebacktothe
home,which,hesaid,wasnothomewithoutme.Andthen,whenthemoonhad
gonedown,andthestarsshonetoofaintlytorevealhisblushes,hetoldmethe
storyofhishappiness,towhichIlistened,whilethegreatdropsofsweatrolled
downmyfaceandmoistenedthepillowonwhichmyheadwasresting.


"Butwhylingeroverthosedaysofanguish,whichmademeanoldmanbefore
mytime?IknewIcouldnotstandbyandseeherweddedtoanother—neither
couldIlookuponheraftershewasanother'swife;so,onenight,whenthe
autumndayswerecome,Iaskedhertogowithmeoutbeneaththelocusttrees,
whichskirtedmyfather'syard.ItwasthereIhadseenherforthefirsttime,and
itwasthereIwouldtakemyfinalleave.OftheparticularsofthatinterviewI
rememberbutlittle,forIwasterriblyexcited.Wenevermetagain,forerethe
morrow'sdaylightdawned,Ihadleftmyhomeforever—"
ThenfollowedafewmorewordsconcerningDora,witharequestthatshe
shouldwritetohim,ashewouldthusbeabletojudgesomethingofher
character;andtheretheletterended.
Foratimetherewassilence,whichwasbrokenatlastbyEugenia,whoseactive
mindhadalreadycometoadecision.Dorawouldlivewiththem,ofcourse—it
wasbestthatsheshould,andtherewasnolongerneedfordismissingBridget.
Thefivehundreddollarsobviatedthatnecessity,anditwastheirs,too—theirsby
thewayofremunerationforgivingDoraahome—theirstospendasthey
pleased.Andshestillintendedtohavethefurs,thepearls,andthesilverforks,
justthesameasthoughthemoneyhadbeenaspecialgifttoher!
"SupposeUncleNatshouldhappentocomehome,andDorashouldtellhim?"
suggestedAlice,whodidnotsoreadilyfallinwithhersister'sviews.
"He'llneverdothatintheworld,"returnedEugenia."Andevenifheshould,
Dorawillhavenothingtotell,forsheisnotsupposedtoknowofthemoney.If
wefeed,clothe,andeducateher,itisallwearerequiredtodo."
"Butwouldthatbeexactlyjust?"faintlyinterposedMrs.Deane,whose
perceptionsofrightandwrongwerenotquitesobluntedasthoseofher
daughter,who,inanswertoherquestion,proceededtoadvancemanygood
reasonswhyDora,foratimeatleast,shouldbekeptinignoranceofthefactthat
herunclesupportedher,andnotheraunt.
"Wecanmanageherbetterifshethinkssheisdependentuponus.Andthen,as
shegrowsolder,shewillnotbecontinuallyaskingwhathasbecomeofthe
money,which,asIunderstandthematter,isreallyours,andnothers."
Still,Mrs.Deanewasnotquiteconvinced,butsheknewhowuselessitwouldbe
toarguethepoint;soshesaidnothing,excepttoaskhowDorawastogetthere,


asshecouldnotcomealone.
"Ihaveit,"answeredEugenia."IhavelongwishedtospendafewdaysinNew
York,butthatbaneofmylife,poverty,hasalwaysprevented.Now,however,as
oldUncleNathaskindlyfurnisheduswiththemeans,IproposethatAliceandI
startdayafterto-morrow,andreturnonSaturday.Thatwillgiveusampletime
toseethelionsandgetthecityfashions."
"Itwillcostagreatdealforyonbothtostayatthoselargehotels,"saidMrs.
Deane;andEugeniareplied—
"Onehundreddollarswillcoveralltheexpense,andpayDora'sfarebesides.
Whatistheuseofmoney,ifwecan'tuseit?Ishallgetmyfurs,andjewelry,and
forkswhileI'mthere,soI'dbettertakealongthreehundredandfiftydollars,for
fearofanyaccident.Wearenotobligedtospenditall,ofcourse;"sheadded,as
shesawthelookofdismayonhermother'sface."Andwecanbringback
whateverthereisleft."
FornineteenyearsEugeniaDeanehadbeensufferedtohaveherway,andher
motherdidnotliketothwarthernow,forhertemperwasviolent,andshe
dreadedanoutbreak;soshemerelysighedinreply,andwhen,onMonday
morning,EugeniastartedforNewYork,herpursecontainedthedesiredthree
hundredandfiftydollars,which,afterherarrivalinthecity,wasspentasfreely
asifitreallybelongedtoher,andnottotheorphanDora,whowasnowstaying
withMrs.Grannis,akind-heartedwomaninthesameblockwherehermother
haddied.Thefurswerebought,thepearlsexamined,theforkspriced,andthen
AliceventuredtoaskwhentheyweregoingtofindDora.
"Ishallleavethatforthelastthing,"answeredEugenia."Shecan'trunaway,and
nobodywantstobebotheredwithachildtolookafter."
SoforthreemoredayslittleDoralookedoutofthedingywindowuponthedirty
courtbelow,wishingherauntwouldcome,andwonderingifsheshouldlikeher.
Atlast,towardsthecloseofFridayafternoon,therewasaknockatthedoorand
ahaughty-looking,elegantlydressedyoungladyinquiredifalittleorphangirl
livedthere.
"That'sher—AuntSarah,"exclaimedDora,springingjoyfullyforward;butshe
pausedandstartedback,asshemetthecold,scrutinizingglanceofEugenia's
largeblackeyes.


"AreyouthechildIamlookingfor?"askedEugenia,withoutdeigningtonotice
Mrs.Grannis'srequestthatshewouldwalkin.
"IamDoraDeane,"wasthesimpleanswer;andthen,asbrieflyaspossible,
Eugeniaexplainedthatshehadbeensentforher,andthatearlythenextmorning
shewouldcalltotakehertothedepot.
"Didyouknowmother?Areyouanyrelation?"askedDora,tremblingwith
eagerexpectation;andAlice,who,withouthersister'sinfluence,wouldhave
beenacomparativelykind-heartedgirl,answeredsoftly,"Weareyourcousins."
TherewasmuchnativepolitenessandnaturalrefinementofmanneraboutDora,
andinstinctivelyherlittlechubbyhandwasextendedtowardshernewlyfound
relative,whopresseditgently,glancingthewhileathersister,who,withoutone
wordofsympathyfortheorphangirl,walkedawaythroughthewinding
passage,anddownthenarrowstairs,outintothesunlight,where,breathingmore
freely,sheexclaimed,"Whatahorridplace!IhopeIhaven'tcaughtanything.
Didn'tDoralooklikeaDutchdollinthatlongdressandhigh-neckapron?"
"Herfaceispretty,though,"returnedAlice,"andhereyesarebeautiful—neither
bluenorblack,butamixtureofboth.HowIpitiedherastheyfilledwithtears
whenyouweretalking!Whydidn'tyouspeaktoher?"
"BecauseI'dnothingtosay,"answeredEugenia,steppingintothecarriagewhich
hadbroughtthemthere,andorderingthedrivertogonexttoStuart's,whereshe
wishedtolookagainatavelvetcloak.
"Itissocheap,andsobecoming,too,thatIamhalftemptedtogetit,"she
exclaimed.
"Motherwon'tlikeit,Iknow,"saidAlice,whoherselfbegantohavesomefears
forthethreehundredandfiftydollars.
"Fudge!"returnedEugenia,addingthenextmoment,"Iwonderifshe'llhaveto
buyclothesforDorathefirstthing.Ihopenot,"andshedrewaroundherthe
costlyfur,forwhichshehadpaidfiftydollars.
Ofcoursethecloakwasbought,togetherwithseveralotherarticlesequally
cheapandbecoming,andbythetimethehotelbillswerepaid,therewerefound
inthepursejusttwenty-fivedollars,withwhichtopaytheirexpensesbackto


Dunwood.
———————TherewerebittertearsshedatthepartingnextmorninginMrs.Grannis's
humbleroom,forDorafeltthatthefriendstowhomshewasgoingwerenotlike
thosesheleftbehind;andverylovinglyherarmswoundthemselvesaroundthe
poorwidow'sneckassheweptherlastadieu,beggingMrs.Grannisnottoforget
her,buttowritesometimes,andtellheroftheladywhohadsokindly
befriendedher.
"Wecan'twaitanylonger,"criedEugenia,andwithonemorefarewellkiss,Dora
wentoutofthehousewhereshehadexperiencedmuchofhappiness,andwhere
hadcometoherherdeepestgrief.
"Forlorn.Whatisthatoldthinggoingfor!Leaveit,"saidEugenia,touchingwith
herfootasquare,greentrunkorchest,whichstoodbythesideofthelong,sacklikecarpet-bagcontainingDora'swardrobe.
"Itwasfather's—andmother'sclothesareinit,"answeredDora,withquivering
lips.
Therewassomethinginthewordsandmannerofthelittlegirl,asshelaidher
handreverentlyontheoffendingtrunk,thattouchedevenEugenia;andshesaid
nomore.Anhourlater,andtheattentionofmorethanonepassengerinthe
HudsonRivercarswasattractedtowardsthetwostylish-lookingladieswho
camein,ladenwithbundles,andfollowedbyalittlegirlinblack,forwhomno
seatwasfoundsavetheonebythedoorwherethewindcreptin,andthe
unmeltedfroststillcoveredthewindowpane.
"Won'tyoubecoldhere?"askedAlice,stoppingamoment,erepassingontoher
ownwarmseatnearthestove.
"Nomatter;Iamusedtoit,"wasDora'smeekreply;andwrappingherthin,halfwornshawlcloserabouther,anddrawingherfeetupbeneathher,shesoonfell
asleep,dreamingsweetdreamsofthehometowhichshewasgoing,andofthe
AuntSarahwhowouldbetoherasecondmother!
Godhelpthee,DoraDeane!


—————-


CHAPTERIV.
DORA'SNEWHOME.

Oneyearhaspassedawaysincethenightwhen,cold,wearyandforlorn,Dora
followedhercousinsupthegraveledwalkwhichledtohernewhome.One
wholeyear,andinthattimeshehassomewhatchanged.Themerry-heartedgirl,
who,untilafewweeksbeforehermother'sdeath,washappierfarthanmanya
favoredchildofwealth,hasbecomeasober,quiet,self-reliantchild,performing
withoutawordofcomplaintthemanydutieswhichhavegraduallybeen
imposeduponher.
Fromherauntshehadreceivedacomparativelywelcomegreeting,andwhen
Eugeniadisplayedherpurchases,whichhadswalloweduptheentirethree
hundredandfiftydollars,Mrs.Deanehadlaidherhandonthelittlegirl'ssoft,
auburnhair,asiftoaskforgivenessfortheinjusticedoneherbytheselfish
Eugenia,whoseonlyexcuseforherextravagancewas,that"nooneinherright
mindneedtothinkofbringingbackanymoneyfromNewYork."AndDora,
fromherseatonalittlestoolbehindthestove,understoodnothing,thoughtof
nothing,exceptthatEugenialookedbeautifullyinhervelvetcloakandfurs,and
thatherauntmustbeveryrich,toaffordsomanyhandsomearticlesoffurniture
astheparlorcontained.
"AndIamgladthatsheis,"shethought,"forshewillnotbesolikelytothink
meintheway."
Astimepassedon,however,Dora,whowasacloseobserver,begantosee
thingsintheirtruelight,andherlifewasfarfrombeinghappy.Byhercousin
Aliceshewastreatedwithatolerabledegreeofkindness,whileEugenia,
withoutanyreallyevilintention,perhaps,seemedtotakedelightinannoyingher
sensitivecousin,constantlytauntingherwithherdependenceuponthem,and
askinghersometimeshowsheexpectedtorepaythedebtofgratitudesheowed


them.Manyandmanyanighthadtheorphanweptherselftosleep,inthelow,
scantilyfurnishedchamberwhichhadbeenassignedher;andshewasgladwhen
atlastanopportunitywaspresentedforhertobeinameasureoutofEugenia's
way,andatthesametimefeelthatshedoingsomethingtowardsearningher
living.
Theoft-repeatedthreatofBridget'smotherthatherdaughtershouldberemoved,
unlessherwageswereincreased,wasfinallycarriedintoeffect;andone
Saturdaynight,Mrs.DeanewasstartledbytheannouncementthatBridgetwas
goingtoleave.Inamoment,Dora'sresolutionwastaken,andcomingtoher
aunt'sside,shesaid:
"Don'thireanothergirl,AuntSarah.Letmehelpyou.Icandoalmostasmuch
asBridget,andyouwon'thavetopaymeeither.Ishallonlybepayingyou."
Unclaspingthehandsomebraceletwhichhadbeenpurchasedwithaportionof
theremainingonehundredandfiftydollars,Eugenia,erehermotherhadtimeto
reply,exclaimed:
"Thatisacapitalidea!Iwonderhowyouhappenedtobesothoughtful."
AndsoitwasdecidedthatDorashouldtakeBridget'splace,shethinkinghow
muchshewoulddo,andhowhardshewouldtrytopleaseheraunt,whoquieted
herownconsciencebysaying"itwasonlyatemporaryarrangementuntilshe
couldfindanotherservant."
Butasthedayswentby,thetemporaryarrangementbidfairtobecome
permanent,forMrs.Deanecouldnotbeinsensibletothevastdifferencewhich
Bridget'sabsencemadeinherweeklyexpenses.Then,too,Dorawassowilling
towork,andsouncomplaining,neverseekingawordofcommendation,except
once,indeed,whenshetimidlyventuredtoaskEugeniaif"whatshedidwas
enoughtopayforherboard?"
"Justabout,"wasEugenia'sanswer,which,indifferentasitwas,cheeredthe
heartofDora,as,dayafterday,shetoiledoninthecomfortlesskitchen,untilher
hands,which,whenshecametoLocustGrove,weresoftandwhiteasthoseof
aninfant,becameroughandbrown,andherfacegraduallyassumedthesame
darkhue,forshecouldnotalwaysstoptotieonhersunbonnet,whensentfor
woodorwater.


Withthecomingofsummer,arrangementshadbeenmadeforsendingherto
school,thoughMrs.Deanefeltatfirstasifshecouldnotbedeprivedofher
services.Stillforappearance'sake,iffornothingmore,shemustgo;andwith
theearliestdawnthebusycreaturewasup,workinglikeabee,thatherauntand
cousinsmightnothavesomuchtodoinherabsence.Atfirstshewentregularly,
butafteratimeitbecameveryconvenienttodetainherathome,foratleasttwo
daysineveryweek,andthiswrungfromheralmosttheonlytearsshehadshed
sincethemorning,when,ofherownaccord,shehadgoneintothekitchento
performaservant'sduties.
Possessingnaturallyafondnessforbooks,andfeelingambitioustokeepupwith
herclass,sheatlastconceivedtheideaofstudyingathome;andmanyanight,
longafterherauntandcousinswereasleep,shesatupalone,poringoverher
books,sometimesbythedimlightofalamp,andagainbythelightofthefull
moon,whoseraysseemedtofallaroundhermorebrightlythanelsewhere.It
wasononeoftheseoccasions,whentracinguponhermaptheboundarylinesof
India,thatherthoughtsrevertedtoheruncleNathaniel,whosenamesheseldom
heard,andofwhomshehadneverbutoncespoken.Theninthepresenceofher
auntandcousinsshehadwonderedwhyhedidnotanswerhermother'sletter.
"Becausehehasnothingtowrite,Ipresume,"saidEugenia,whowouldnottrust
hermothertoreply.
AndDora,whollyunsuspecting,neverdreamedofthefivehundreddollarssent
overforherbenefit,andwhichwasspentlongago—thoughnotforher—never
dreamedoftheletterwhichEugeniahadwritteninreply,thankingheruncle
againandagainforhisgenerousgift,whichshesaid"wasveryacceptable,for
mawasratherpoor,anditwouldaidhermateriallyinprovidingforthewantsof
Dora,"whowasrepresentedasbeing"aqueer,old-fashionedchild,possessing
butlittleaffectionforanyoneandwhoneverspokeofheruncleNathaniel,or
manifestedtheleastgratitudeforwhathewasdoing!"
Inshort,theimpressionleftuponthemindofUncleNatwasthatDora,aside
frombeingcold-hearted,wasuncommonlydull,andwouldnevermakemuchof
awoman,dowhattheymightforher!Withasigh,andafeelingofkeen
disappointment,hereadtheletter,sayingtohimself,ashelaiditaway,"Canthis
betrueofFanny'schild?"
Butthis,wesay,Fanny'schilddidnotknow;andashereyeswanderedoverthe


paintedmapofIndia,sheresolvedtowriteandtotellhimofhermother'sdying
words—tellhimhowmuchshelovedhim,becausehewasherfather'sbrother,
andhowshewishedhewouldcomehome,thatshemightknowhimbetter.
"IfIonlyhadsomekeepsaketosendhim—somethinghewouldprize,"she
thought,whenherletterwasfinished.Andthen,assheenumeratedhersmall
storeoftreasures,sherememberedhermother'sbeautifulhair,whichhadbeen
cutfromherhead,asshelayinhercoffin,andwhichnowheldaplaceinthe
largesquaretrunk."Iwillsendhimalockofthat,"shesaid;andkneeling
reverentlybytheoldgreentrunk,theshrinewhereshenightlysaidherprayers,
sheseparatedfromthemassofrich,brownhair,onelong,shiningtress,which
sheinclosedwithinherletter,adding,inapostscript,"Itismother'shair,and
Dora'stearshaveoftenfallenuponit.'TisallIhavetogive."
PoorlittleDora!NathanielDeanewouldhaveprizedthatsimplegiftfarmore
thanallthewealthwhichhecalledhis,butitwasdestinednevertoreachhim.
ThewilyEugenia,towhomDoraappliedforanenvelope,unhesitatingly
showingwhatshehadwritten,knewbetterthantosendthatnoteacrossthesea,
andfeigningtheutmostastonishment,shesaid:"Iamsurprised,Dora,thatafter
yourmother'sill-success,youshouldthinkofwritingtoUncleNat.Heisa
suspicious,miserlyoldfellow,andwillundoubtedlythinkyouareafterhis
money!"
"Iwouldn'tsenditfortheworld,ifIsupposedhe'dfancysuchathingasthat,"
answeredDora,hereyesfillingwithtears.
"Ofcourseyouwouldn't,"continuedEugenia,perceivingheradvantageand
followingitup."Youcandoasyoulike,butmyadviceisthatyoudonotsendit;
lethimwritetoyoufirstifhewishestoopenacorrespondence!"
Thisdecidedthematter,andturningsadlyaway,Dorawentbacktoherchamber,
hidingtheletterandthelockofhairintheoldgreentrunk.
"Howcanyoubesoutterlyvoidofprinciple?"askedAlice,asDoraquittedthe
room;andEugeniareplied:"Itisn'talackofprinciple,it'sonlymygood
management.Ihavemyplans,andIdonotintendtheyshallbefrustratedbythat
foolishletter,whichwould,ofcourse,befollowedbyothersofthesamekind.
NowIamperfectlywillingthatUncleNatshoulddividehisfortunebetweenus
andDora,butunfortunatelyheisaoneideaman,andshouldheconceivea


fancyforourcousin,ourhopesareblastedforever;soIdon'tproposelettinghim
doanysuchthing.Motherhasgivenupthecorrespondencetome,andIintend
makingtheoldgentlemanthinkIamamostperfectspecimenofwhatayoung
ladyshouldbe,saying,ofcourse,anoccasionalgoodwordforyou!IbelieveI
understandhimtolerablywell,andifintheendIwin,Ipledgeyoumywordthat
Dorashallnotbeforgotten.Areyousatisfied?"
Alicecouldnotsayyes,butsheknewitwasuselesstoreasonwithhersister,so
sheremainedsilent;whileacurioustrainofthoughtspassedthroughhermind,
resultingatlastinanincreasedkindnessofmanneronherparttowardsher
youngcousin,whowasfrequentlyrelievedofdutieswhichwouldotherwise
havedetainedherfromschool.AndDora'sstepgrewlighter,andherheart
happier,asshethoughtthatAliceatleastcaredforherwelfare.
OnNewYear'sDaytherecamealetterfromUncleNat,containingthepromised
check,whichEugeniahelduptoview,whileshereadthefollowingbrieflines:
"ManythankstoEugeniaforherkindandwelcomeletter,whichImayanswerat
somefuturetime,whenIhaveanythinginterestingtosay."
"HaveyouwrittentoUncleNat,anddidyoutellhimofme,orofmother's
letter?"exclaimedDora,Whohadbeensittingunobservedbehindthestove,and
whonowsprangeagerlyforward,whilehercheeksglowedwithexcitement.
Soonrecoveringhercomposure,Eugeniaanswered,"Yes,Iwrotetohim,andof
course,mentionedyouwiththerestofus.Hisansweryouhaveheard."
"Buttheotherpaper,"persistedDora."Doesn'tthatsayanything?"
ForamomentEugeniahesitated,andthen,decidingthatnoharmcouldcomeof
Dora'sknowingofthemoney,providedshewaskeptinignoranceoftheobject
forwhichitwassent,shereplied,carelessly,"Ohthat'snothingbutacheck.The
oldgentlemanwasgenerousenoughtosendusalittlemoney,whichweneed
badlyenough."
TherewasnotoneparticleofselfishnessinDora'sdisposition,andwithouta
thoughtorwishthatanyofthemoneyshouldbeexpendedforherself,she
replied,"Oh,Iamsoglad,fornowAuntSarahcanhavethatshawlshehas
wantedsolong,andAlicethenewmerino."


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