It was in the latter part of August
of that year that it became necessary for some one
in the office in which I was engaged to go to St.
Louis to attend to important business. Everything
seemed to point to me as the fit person, for I understood
the particular business better than any one else.
I felt that I ought to go, but I did not altogether
like to do it. I went home, and Euphemia and
I talked over the matter far into the regulation sleeping-hours.
There were very good reasons why we
should go (for, of course, I would not think of taking
such a journey without Euphemia). In the first
place, it would be of advantage to me, in my business
connection, to take the trip, and then it would be
such a charming journey for us. We had never
been west of the Alleghanies, and nearly all the country
we would see would be new to us. We would come
home by the great lakes and Niagara, and the prospect
was delightful to both of us. But then we would
have to leave Rudder Grange for at least three weeks,
and how could we do that?
This was indeed a difficult question
to answer. Who could take care of our garden,
our poultry, our horse and cow, and all their complicated
belongings? The garden was in admirable condition.
Our vegetables were coming in every day in just that
fresh and satisfactory condition altogether
unknown to people who buy vegetables for
which I had labored so faithfully, and about which
I had had so many cheerful anticipations. As
to Euphemia’s chicken-yard, with Euphemia
away, the subject was too great for us.
We did not even discuss it. But we would give
up all the pleasures of our home for the chance of
this most desirable excursion, if we could but think
of some one who would come and take care of the place
while we were gone. Rudder Grange could not run
itself for three weeks.
We thought of every available person.
Old John would not do. We did not feel that we
could trust him. We thought of several of our
friends; but there was, in both our minds, a certain
shrinking from the idea of handing over the place
to any of them for such a length of time. For
my part, I said, I would rather leave Pomona in charge
than any one else; but, then, Pomona was young and
a girl. Euphemia agreed with me that she would
rather trust her than any one else, but she also agreed
in regard to the disqualifications. So,
when I went to the office the next morning, we had
fully determined to go on the trip, if we could find
some one to take charge of our place while we were
gone. When I returned from the office in the
afternoon, I had agreed to go to St. Louis. By
this time, I had no choice in the matter, unless I
wished to interfere very much with my own interests.
We were to start in two days. If in that time
we could get any one to stay at the place, very well;
if not, Pomona must assume the charge. We were
not able to get any one, and Pomona did assume the
charge. It is surprising how greatly relieved
we felt when we were obliged to come to this conclusion.
The arrangement was exactly what we wanted, and now
that there was no help for it, our consciences were
We felt sure that there would be no
danger to Pomona. Lord Edward would be with her,
and she was a young person who was extraordinarily
well able to take care of herself. Old John would
be within call in case she needed him, and I borrowed
a bull-dog to be kept in the house at night.
Pomona herself was more than satisfied with the plan.
We made out, the night before we left,
a long and minute series of directions for her guidance
in household, garden and farm matters, and directed
her to keep a careful record of everything note worthy
that might occur. She was fully supplied with
all the necessaries of life, and it has seldom happened
that a young girl has been left in such a responsible
and independent position as that in which we left Pomona.
She was very proud of it.
Our journey was ten times more delightful
than we had expected it would be, and successful in
every way; and yet, although we enjoyed every hour
of the trip, we were no sooner fairly on our way home
than we became so wildly anxious to get there, that
we reached Rudder Grange on Wednesday, whereas we
had written that we would be home on Thursday.
We arrived early in the afternoon and walked up from
the station, leaving our baggage to be sent in the
express wagon. As we approached our dear home,
we wanted to run, we were so eager to see it.
There it was, the same as ever.
I lifted the gate-latch; the gate was locked.
We ran to the carriage-gate; that was locked too.
Just then I noticed a placard on the fence; it was
not printed, but the lettering was large, apparently
made with ink and a brush. It read:
To be sold
We stood and looked at each other. Euphemia turned
“What does this mean?” said I. “Has
our landlord ”
I could say no more. The dreadful
thought arose that the place might pass away from
us. We were not yet ready to buy it. But
I did not put the thought in words. There was
a field next to our lot, and I got over the fence
and helped Euphemia over. Then we climbed our
side-fence. This was more difficult, but we accomplished
it without thinking much about its difficulties; our
hearts were too full of painful apprehensions.
I hurried to the front door; it was locked. All
the lower windows were shut. We went around to
the kitchen. What surprised us more than anything
else was the absence of Lord Edward. Had he
Before we reached the back part of
the house, Euphemia said she felt faint and must sit
down. I led her to a tree near by, under which
I had made a rustic chair. The chair was gone.
She sat on the grass and I ran to the pump for some
water. I looked for the bright tin dipper which
always hung by the pump. It was not there.
But I had a traveling-cup in my pocket, and as I was
taking it out I looked around me. There was an
air of bareness over everything. I did not know
what it all meant, but I know that my hand trembled
as I took hold of the pump-handle and began to pump.
At the first sound of the pump-handle
I heard a deep bark in the direction of the barn,
and then furiously around the corner came Lord Edward.
Before I had filled the cup he was bounding about me.
I believe the glad welcome of the dog did more to
revive Euphemia than the water. He was delighted
to see us, and in a moment up came Pomona, running
from the barn. Her face was radiant, too.
We felt relieved. Here were two friends who looked
as if they were neither sold nor ruined.
Pomona quickly saw that we were ill
at ease, and before I could put a question to her,
she divined the cause. Her countenance fell.
“You know,” said she,
“you said you wasn’t comin’ till
to-morrow. If you only had come then I
was goin’ to have everything just exactly right an’
now you had to climb in ”
And the poor girl looked as if she
might cry, which would have been a wonderful thing
for Pomona to do.
“Tell me one thing,” said I. “What
about those taxes?”
“Oh, that’s all right,”
she cried. “Don’t think another minute
about that. I’ll tell you all about it
soon. But come in first, and I’ll get you
some lunch in a minute.”
We were somewhat relieved by Pomona’s
statement that it was “all right” in regard
to the tax-poster, but we were very anxious to know
all about the matter. Pomona, however, gave us
little chance to ask her any questions. As soon
as she had made ready our lunch, she asked us, as a
particular favor, to give her three-quarters of an
hour to herself, and then, said she, “I’ll
have everything looking just as if it was to-morrow.”
We respected her feelings, for, of
course, it was a great disappointment to her to be
taken thus unawares, and we remained in the dining-room
until she appeared, and announced that she was ready
for us to go about. We availed ourselves quickly
of the privilege, and Euphemia hurried to the chicken-yard,
while I bent my steps toward the garden and barn.
As I went out I noticed that the rustic chair was
in its place, and passing the pump I looked for the
dipper. It was there. I asked Pomona about
the chair, but she did not answer as quickly as was
“Would you rather,” said
she, “hear it all together, when you come in,
or have it in little bits, head and tail, all of a
I called to Euphemia and asked her
what she thought, and she was so anxious to get to
her chickens that she said she would much rather wait
and hear it all together. We found everything
in perfect order, the garden was even free
from weeds, a thing I had not expected. If it
had not been for that cloud on the front fence, I
should have been happy enough. Pomona had said
it was all right, but she could not have paid the
taxes however, I would wait; and I went
to the barn.
When Euphemia came in from the poultry-yard,
she called me and said she was in a hurry to hear
Pomona’s account of things. So I went in,
and we sat on the side porch, where it was shady,
while Pomona, producing some sheets of foolscap paper,
took her seat on the upper step.
“I wrote down the things of
any account what happened,” said she, “as
you told me to, and while I was about it, I thought
I’d make it like a novel. It would be jus’
as true, and p’r’aps more amusin’.
I suppose you don’t mind?”
No, we didn’t mind. So she went on.
“I haven’t got no name
for my novel. I intended to think one out to-night.
I wrote this all of nights. And I don’t
read the first chapters, for they tell about my birth
and my parentage and my early adventures. I’ll
just come down to what happened to me while you was
away, because you’ll be more anxious to hear
about that. All that’s written here is
true, jus’ the same as if I told it to you, but
I’ve put it into novel language because it seems
to come easier to me.”
And then, in a voice somewhat different
from her ordinary tones, as if the “novel language”
demanded it, she began to read:
“Chapter Five. The Lonely
house and the Faithful friend. Thus was I left
alone. None but two dogs to keep me com-pa-ny.
I milk-ed the lowing kine and water-ed and fed the
steed, and then, after my fru-gal repast, I clos-ed
the man-si-on, shutting out all re-collections of the
past and also foresights into the future. That
night was a me-mor-able one. I slept soundly
until the break of morn, but had the events transpired
which afterward occur-red, what would have hap-pen-ed
to me no tongue can tell. Early the next day
nothing hap-pened. Soon after breakfast, the
vener-able John came to bor-row some ker-osene oil
and a half a pound of sugar, but his attempt was foil-ed.
I knew too well the in-sid-ious foe. In the very
out-set of his vil-li-an-y I sent him home
with a empty can. For two long days I wander-ed
amid the ver-dant pathways of the gar-den and
to the barn, whenever and anon my du-ty call-ed me,
nor did I ere neg-lect the fowlery. No cloud o’er-spread
this happy pe-ri-öd of my life. But
the cloud was ri-sing in the horizon although I saw
“It was about twenty-five minutes
after eleven, on the morning of a Thursday, that I
sat pondering in my mind the ques-ti-on what to do
with the butter and the veg-et-ables.
Here was butter, and here was green corn and lima-beans
and trophy tomats, far more than I ere could use.
And here was a horse, idly cropping the fol-i-age
in the field, for as my employer had advis-ed and
order-ed I had put the steed to grass. And here
was a wagon, none too new, which had it the top taken
off, or even the curtains roll-ed up, would do for
a li-cen-ced vender. With the truck and
butter, and mayhap some milk, I could load that wagon ”
“O, Pomona,” interrupted
Euphemia. “You don’t mean to say that
you were thinking of doing anything like that?”
“Well, I was just beginning
to think of it,” said Pomona, “but of course
I couldn’t have gone away and left the house.
And you’ll see I didn’t do it.”
And then she continued her novel. “But while
my thoughts were thus employ-ed, I heard Lord Edward
burst into bark-ter ”
At this Euphemia and I could not help
bursting into laughter. Pomona did not seem at
all confused, but went on with her reading.
“I hurried to the door, and,
look-ing out, I saw a wagon at the gate. Re-pair-ing
there, I saw a man. Said he, ‘Wilt open
this gate?’ I had fasten-ed up the gates and
remov-ed every steal-able ar-ticle from the yard.”
Euphemia and I looked at each other.
This explained the absence of the rustic seat and
“Thus, with my mind at ease,
I could let my faith-ful fri-end, the dog (for he
it was), roam with me through the grounds, while the
fi-erce bull-dog guard-ed the man-si-on within.
Then said I, quite bold, unto him, ’No.
I let in no man here. My em-ploy-er and employ-er-ess
are now from home. What do you want?’ Then
says he, as bold as brass, ’I’ve come
to put the light-en-ing rods upon the house. Open
the gate.’ ’What rods?’ says
I. ‘The rods as was ordered,’ says
he, ‘open the gate.’ I stood and
gaz-ed at him. Full well I saw through
his pinch-beck mask. I knew his tricks.
In the ab-sence of my em-ployer, he would put
up rods, and ever so many more than was wanted, and
likely, too, some miser-able trash that would attrack
the light-ening, instead of keep-ing it off.
Then, as it would spoil the house to take them down,
they would be kept, and pay demand-ed. ‘No,
sir,’ says I. ’No light-en-ing rods
upon this house whilst I stand here,’ and with
that I walk-ed away, and let Lord Edward loose.
The man he storm-ed with pas-si-on. His eyes flash-ed
fire. He would e’en have scal-ed the gate,
but when he saw the dog he did forbear. As it
was then near noon, I strode away to feed the fowls;
but when I did return, I saw a sight which froze the
blood with-in my veins ”
“The dog didn’t kill him?” cried
“Oh no, ma’am!”
said Pomona. “You’ll see that that
wasn’t it. At one corn-er of the lot, in
front, a base boy, who had accompa-ni-ed
this man, was bang-ing on the fence with a long stick,
and thus attrack-ing to hisself the rage of Lord Edward,
while the vile intrig-er of a light-en-ing rod-der
had brought a lad-der to the other side of
the house, up which he had now as-cend-ed, and was
on the roof. What horrors fill-ed my soul!
How my form trembl-ed! This,” continued
Pomona, “is the end of the novel,” and
she laid her foolscap pages on the porch.
Euphemia and I exclaimed, with one
voice, against this. We had just reached the
most exciting part, and, I added, we had heard nothing
yet about that affair of the taxes.
“You see, sir,” said Pomona,
“it took me so long to write out the chapters
about my birth, my parentage, and my early adventures,
that I hadn’t time to finish up the rest.
But I can tell you what happened after that jus’
as well as if I had writ it out.” And so
she went on, much more glibly than before, with the
account of the doings of the lightning-rod man.
“There was that wretch on top
of the house, a-fixin’ his old rods and hammerin’
away for dear life. He’d brought his ladder
over the side fence, where the dog, a-barkin’
and plungin’ at the boy outside, couldn’t
see him. I stood dumb for a minute, an’
then I know’d I had him. I rushed into
the house, got a piece of well-rope, tied it to the
bull-dog’s collar, an’ dragged him out
and fastened him to the bottom rung of the ladder.
Then I walks over to the front fence with Lord Edward’s
chain, for I knew that if he got at that bull-dog there’d
be times, for they’d never been allowed to see
each other yet. So says I to the boy, ‘I’m
goin’ to tie up the dog, so you needn’t
be afraid of his jumpin’ over the fence,’ which
he couldn’t do, or the boy would have been a
corpse for twenty minutes, or may be half an hour.
The boy kinder laughed, and said I needn’t mind,
which I didn’t. Then I went to the gate,
and I clicked to the horse which was standin’
there, an’ off he starts, as good as gold, an’
trots down the road. The boy, he said somethin’
or other pretty bad, an’ away he goes after him;
but the horse was a-trottin’ real fast,
an’ had a good start.”
“How on earth could you ever
think of doing such things?” said Euphemia.
“That horse might have upset the wagon and broken
all the lightning-rods, besides running over I don’t
know how many people.”
“But you see, ma’am, that
wasn’t my lookout,” said Pomona. “I
was a-defendin’ the house, and the enemy must
expect to have things happen to him. So then
I hears an awful row on the roof, and there was the
man just coming down the ladder. He’d heard
the horse go off, and when he got about half-way down
an’ caught a sight of the bull-dog, he was madder
than ever you seed a lightnin’-rodder in all
your born days. ‘Take that dog off of there!’
he yelled at me. ’No, I wont, says I.
’I never see a girl like you since I was born,’
he screams at me. ’I guess it would ‘a’
been better fur you if you had,’ says I; an’
then he was so mad he couldn’t stand it any
longer, and he comes down as low as he could, and
when he saw just how long the rope was, which
was pretty short, he made a jump, and landed
clear of the dog. Then he went on dreadful because
he couldn’t get at his ladder to take it away;
and I wouldn’t untie the dog, because if I had
he’d ‘a’ torn the tendons out of
that fellow’s legs in no time. I never see
a dog in such a boiling passion, and yet never making
no sound at all but blood-curdlin’ grunts.
An’ I don’t see how the rodder would ‘a’
got his ladder at all if the dog hadn’t made
an awful jump at him, and jerked the ladder down.
It just missed your geranium-bed, and the rodder,
he ran to the other end of it, and began pullin’
it away, dog an’ all. ‘Look-a-here,’
says I, ’we can fix him now; and so he cooled
down enough to help me, and I unlocked the front door,
and we pushed the bottom end of the ladder in, dog
and all; an’ then I shut the door as tight as
it would go, an’ untied the end of the rope,
an’ the rodder pulled the ladder out while I
held the door to keep the dog from follerin’,
which he came pretty near doin’, anyway.
But I locked him in, and then the man began stormin’
again about his wagon; but when he looked out an’
see the boy comin’ back with it, for
somebody must ‘a’ stopped the horse, he
stopped stormin’ and went to put up his ladder
ag’in. ‘No, you don’t,’
says I; ’I’ll let the big dog loose next
time, and if I put him at the foot of your ladder,
you’ll never come down.’ ’But
I want to go and take down what I put up,’ he
says; ‘I aint a-goin’ on with this job.’
‘No,’ says I, ’you aint; and you
can’t go up there to wrench off them rods and
make rain-holes in the roof, neither.’
He couldn’t get no madder than he was then,
an’ fur a minute or two he couldn’t speak,
an’ then he says, ’I’ll have satisfaction
for this.’ An’ says I, ’How?
‘An’ says he, ’You’ll see
what it is to interfere with a ordered job.’
An’ says I, ’There wasn’t no order
about it;’ an’ says he, ‘I’ll
show you better than that;’ an’ he goes
to his wagon an’ gits a book. ‘There,’
says he, ‘read that.’ ’What
of it? ’says I ‘there’s nobody of
the name of Ball lives here.’ That took
the man kinder aback, and he said he was told it was
the only house on the lane, which I said was right,
only it was the next lane he oughter ‘a’
gone to. He said no more after that, but just
put his ladder in his wagon, and went off. But
I was not altogether rid of him. He left a trail
of his baleful presence behind him.
“That horrid bull-dog wouldn’t
let me come into the house! No matter what door
I tried, there he was, just foamin’ mad.
I let him stay till nearly night, and then went and
spoke kind to him; but it was no good. He’d
got an awful spite ag’in me. I found something
to eat down cellar, and I made a fire outside an’
roasted some corn and potatoes. That night I
slep’ in the barn. I wasn’t afraid
to be away from the house, for I knew it was safe
enough, with that dog in it and Lord Edward outside.
For three days, Sunday an’ all, I was kep’
out of this here house. I got along pretty well
with the sleepin’ and the eatin’, but the
drinkin’ was the worst. I couldn’t
get no coffee or tea; but there was plenty of milk.”
“Why didn’t you get some
man to come and attend to the dog?” I asked.
“It was dreadful to live that way.”
“Well, I didn’t know no
man that could do it,” said Pomona. “The
dog would ‘a’ been too much for Old John,
and besides, he was mad about the kerosene. Sunday
afternoon, Captain Atkinson and Mrs. Atkinson and their
little girl in a push-wagon, come here, and I told
’em you was gone away; but they says they would
stop a minute, and could I give them a drink; an’
I had nothin’ to give it to them but an old chicken-bowl
that I had washed out, for even the dipper was in
the house, an’ I told ’em everything was
locked up, which was true enough, though they must
‘a’ thought you was a queer kind of people;
but I wasn’t a-goin’ to say nothin’
about the dog, fur, to tell the truth, I was ashamed
to do it. So as soon as they’d gone, I
went down into the cellar, and it’s
lucky that I had the key for the outside cellar door, and
I got a piece of fat corn-beef and the meat-axe.
I unlocked the kitchen door and went in, with the
axe in one hand and the meat in the other. The
dog might take his choice. I know’d he
must be pretty nigh famished, for there was nothin’
that he could get at to eat. As soon as I went
in, he came runnin’ to me; but I could see he
was shaky on his legs. He looked a sort of wicked
at me, and then he grabbed the meat. He was all
“Oh, my!” said Euphemia,
“I am so glad to hear that. I was afraid
you never got in. But we saw the dog is
he as savage yet?”
“Oh no!” said Pomona; “nothin’
“Look here, Pomona,” said
I, “I want to know about those taxes. When
do they come into your story?”
“Pretty soon, sir,” said she, and she
“After that, I know’d
it wouldn’t do to have them two dogs so that
they’d have to be tied up if they see each other.
Just as like as not I’d want them both at once,
and then they’d go to fightin’, and leave
me to settle with some blood-thirsty lightnin’-rodder.
So, as I know’d if they once had a fair fight
and found out which was master, they’d be good
friends afterwards, I thought the best thing to do
would be to let ‘em fight it out, when there
was nothin’ else for ’em to do. So
I fixed up things for the combat.”
“Why, Pomona!” cried Euphemia,
“I didn’t think you were capable of such
a cruel thing.”
“It looks that way, ma’am,
but really it aint,” replied the girl. “It
seemed to me as if it would be a mercy to both of ’em
to have the thing settled. So I cleared away
a place in front of the wood-shed and unchained Lord
Edward, and then I opened the kitchen door and called
the bull. Out he came, with his teeth a-showin’,
and his blood-shot eyes, and his crooked front legs.
Like lightnin’ from the mount’in blast,
he made one bounce for the big dog, and oh! what a
fight there was! They rolled, they gnashed, they
knocked over the wood-horse and sent chips a-flyin’
all ways at wonst. I thought Lord Edward would
whip in a minute or two; but he didn’t, for
the bull stuck to him like a burr, and they was havin’
it, ground and lofty, when I hears some one run up
behind me, and turnin’ quick, there was the
’Piscopalian minister, ‘My! my! my!’
he hollers; ‘what a awful spectacle! Aint
there no way of stoppin’ it?’ ‘No,
sir,’ says I, and I told him how I didn’t
want to stop it, and the reason why. Then says
he, ‘Where’s your master?’ and I
told him how you was away. ‘Isn’t
there any man at all about?’ says he. ‘No,’
says I. ‘Then,’ says he, ’if
there’s nobody else to stop it, I must do it
myself.’ An’ he took off his coat.
‘No,’ says I, ’you keep back, sir.
If there’s anybody to plunge into that erena,
the blood be mine;’ an’ I put my hand,
without thinkin’, ag’in his black shirt-bosom,
to hold him back; but he didn’t notice, bein’
so excited. ‘Now,’ says I, ’jist
wait one minute, and you’ll see that bull’s
tail go between his legs. He’s weakenin’.’
An’ sure enough, Lord Edward got a good grab
at him, and was a-shakin’ the very life out
of him, when I run up and took Lord Edward by the
collar. ‘Drop it!’ says I, and he
dropped it, for he know’d he’d whipped,
and he was pretty tired hisself. Then the bull-dog,
he trotted off with his tail a-hangin’ down.
‘Now, then,’ says I, ’them dogs will
be bosom friends forever after this.’ ‘Ah
me!’ says he, ’I’m sorry indeed
that your employer, for who I’ve always had a
great respect, should allow you to get into such habits.’
That made me feel real bad, and I told him, mighty
quick, that you was the last man in the world to let
me do anything like that, and that, if you’d
‘a’ been here, you’d ‘a’
separated them dogs, if they’d a-chawed your
arms off; that you was very particular about such
things; and that it would be a pity if he was to think
you was a dog-fightin’ gentleman, when I’d
often heard you say that, now you was fixed an’
settled, the one thing you would like most would be
to be made a vestryman.”
I sat up straight in my chair.
“Pomona!” I exclaimed, “you didn’t
tell him that?”
“That’s what I said, sir,
for I wanted him to know what you really was; an’
he says, ’Well, well, I never knew that.
It might be a very good thing. I’ll speak
to some of the members about it. There’s
two vacancies now in our vestry.”
I was crushed; but Euphemia tried
to put the matter into the brightest light.
“Perhaps it may all turn out
for the best,” she said, “and you may be
elected, and that would be splendid. But it would
be an awfully funny thing for a dog-fight to make
you a vestry-man.”
I could not talk on this subject.
“Go on, Pomona,” I said, trying to feel
resigned to my shame, “and tell us about that
poster on the fence.”
“I’ll be to that almost
right away,” she said. “It was two
or three days after the dog-fight that I was down
at the barn, and happenin’ to look over to Old
John’s, I saw that tree-man there. He was
a-showin’ his book to John, and him and his
wife and all the young ones was a-standin’ there,
drinkin’ down them big peaches and pears as if
they was all real. I know’d he’d
come here ag’in, for them fellers never gives
you up; and I didn’t know how to keep him away,
for I didn’t want to let the dogs loose on a
man what, after all, didn’t want to do no more
harm than to talk the life out of you. So I just
happened to notice, as I came to the house, how kind
of desolate everything looked, and I thought perhaps
I might make it look worse, and he wouldn’t care
to deal here. So I thought of puttin’ up
a poster like that, for nobody whose place was a-goin’
to be sold for taxes would be likely to want trees.
So I run in the house, and wrote it quick and put
it up. And sure enough, the man he come along
soon, and when he looked at that paper, and tried the
gate, an’ looked over the fence an’ saw
the house all shut up an’ not a livin’
soul about, for I had both the dogs in the
house with me, he shook his head an’
walked off, as much as to say, ’If that man had
fixed his place up proper with my trees, he wouldn’t
‘a’ come to this!’ An’ then,
as I found the poster worked so good, I thought it
might keep other people from comin’ a-botherin’
around, and so I left it up; but I was a-goin’
to be sure and take it down before you came.”
As it was now pretty late in the afternoon,
I proposed that Pomona should postpone the rest of
her narrative until evening. She said that there
was nothing else to tell that was very particular;
and I did not feel as if I could stand anything more
just now, even if it was very particular.
When we were alone, I said to Euphemia:
“If we ever have to go away from this place
“But we wont go away,”
she interrupted, looking up to me with as bright a
face as she ever had, “at least not for a long,
long, long time to come. And I’m so glad
you’re to be a vestryman.”