The entire village had a friendly concern in the approaching wedding; and the aged gossips never tired of saying, "I told you so," believing that they understood precisely how it had all come about. Even Mrs. Nichol aquiesced with a few deep sighs, assuring herself, "I suppose it's natural. I'd rather it was Bart Martine than anybody else."
"It's some neighbor that lives further up the street, I suppose, and saw you getting the coal at the store," Mrs. Marlow said, "Yes, Jamie, it was a good, kind act to help a little boy, and I think he'll have a happier Christmas for doing it."
"But, Miss Waldo, the tide is rising, and we may find wet places returning. Besides, it would bring us home very late. Now, Miss Carrie and I will drive slowly across this place and then return for you. After we have been across it twice you surely won't fear."
He then disclosed the fact of hearing that the keeper of the tavern had accumulated a good sum of hard money, and was looking out for a chance to send it to a bank. "We can save him the trouble, yer know," he concluded, facetiously.
"You are mocking me," she faltered, scarcely knowing what she said.下载
"Well, sir, as you say, it should be glad news; it will be to all eventually. I am placed in a very hard position; but I have tried to do my duty, and will."下载
The Marlows were comparative strangers in the city where they had resided. Her husband had been a teacher in one of its public schools, and his salary small. Patriotism had been his motive for entering the army, and while it had cost him a mighty struggle to leave his family, he felt that he had no more reason to hold back than thousands of others. He believed that he could still provide for those dependent upon him, and if he fell, those for whom he died would not permit his widow and children to suffer. But the first popular enthusiasm for the war had largely died out; the city was full of widows and orphans; there was depression of spirit, stagnation in business, and a very general disposition on the part of those who had means, to take care of themselves, and provide for darker days that might be in the immediate future. Sensitive, retiring Mrs. Marlow was not the one to push her claims or reveal her need. Moreover, she could never give up the hope that tidings from her husband might at any time bring relief and safety.
It often happens that the wife's disposition is an antidote to her husband: and this was fortunately true of Mrs. Jackson. She was neither curious nor gossiping, and with a quick instinct that privacy was desired by Martine, gave at an early hour her orders to close the house for the night. The few loungers, knowing that she was autocratic, slouched off to other resorts. The man and maids of all work were kept out of the way, while she and her husband waited on their unexpected guests. After Mr. Kemble's departure, the errand-boy was roused from his doze behind the stove and seat for Dr. Barnes; then Jackson wrote another note at Martine's dictation:
She did not dare to open the door for fear that the robbers might return, but clambering in at the window, made all secure as had been customary, for now it was her impulse to do just as her father would have done.