Read CHAPTER XXII - MORNING GRAY of Bylow Hill, free online book, by George Washington Cable, on

Mrs. Morris gave the physician her account of the accident, the physician gave the reporters his, and no other ever got into the old street or the town it looks down upon with such sweet superiority.

Said the rustic vestryman to another pall-bearer, as they turned toward their homes, “Many’s the time All Angels’s been craowded, but I never see it craowded as ’twas this time.”

The new mound was white under January snows when Godfrey and Isabel first stood beside it together; and when summer had come and gone again, and at last the time drew near when, by the regular alternations of the service, the ocean wanderer’s three years afloat were to be followed by three ashore, it was beside that mound that Ruth let him ask the long-withheld question.

And once more the new year followed the old.

On one of its earliest days, “I cal’late,” a certain somebody began to say to General Byington, “th’ never was a happier weddin’ so quiet, nor a qui-” But he caught the sheen of his daughter’s spectacles and forebore.

And still moved on the heavenly procession of the seasons; and as each new one passed with smile and song, and strewed its flowers or fruits on Bylow Hill, the memory of one who after life’s fitful fever slept soundly at last was ever a sweet forgetting of all that had once been bitter, and a sweeter and sweeter remembrance of whatsoever things had been pure, lovely, and of good report.

One day the travelling salesman of fruit trees came again.  This time he met Minnie, some of whose information puzzled him.

“But I thought you said the young Mrs. Winslow lived in the large house on this side.”

“Yes, but that’s the other one; that’s Mrs. Isabel Winslow, the widow.  Captain Winslow, he’s so much o’ the time to the navy yard that him and his wife they just keep their home along with her father and Mr. Leonard.”

“And who is it that, I understand, a Mr. Giles over here is about to marry?”

For reply Minnie covered her mouth and nose with her hand, sputtered, and shut the door in his face.

Another year went by, yet another followed, and still Ruth-daughter, sister, wife, and mother-remained the happy mistress of the house in which she was born, and Leonard remained one of her household.  Mrs. Morris turned the cottage over to Mr. and Mrs. Giles-hem!-and dwelt in the Winslow house with Isabel; who, even the young said, grew more beautiful and lovable all the time.

But there came a day, after all,-year uncertain,-when Leonard, with Mrs. Morris’s little namesake on his knee, asked Isabel if she did not think it would be well for him to go away for a while; and Isabel murmured no.

So by and by the Winslow pair went to live in the Winslow house, and the Byington pair in the Byington house; and if you listen well, you may hear an aged voice, a voice with a brogue, saying:-

“Ay! there’s a Linnard Winslow, now, and there’s a Godfrey Boyington.  And there’s still an Isable Winslow and a Ruth Boyington.  But the mother of Ruth Boyington is she that wor Isable Winslow, moy graciouz! and the mother of Isable Winslow is she that wor Ruth Boyington.  And so there be’s an Isable in the wan house and an Isable in th’ other; and there be’s a Ruth in the wan house and a Ruth in th’ other, moy graciouz! and there’s an Airthur in each, whatsomiver!”