xt7c862b8w8q https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7c862b8w8q/data/mets.xml Holmes, Mary Jane, 1825-1907. 1910  books b92-253-31805030 English Burt, : New York : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Aikenside  / by Mary J. Holmes. text Aikenside  / by Mary J. Holmes. 1910 2002 true xt7c862b8w8q section xt7c862b8w8q 


  AIKENSIDE










    By MRS. MARY J. HOLMES
Author of "The Leighton Homestead," "Dora Deane,"
  "Tempest and Sunshine," "Lena Rivers," "The
       Rector of St. Mark's," etc,. etc.










 A. L. BURT COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
            NEW YORK

 This page in the original text is blank.


 











                 CONTENTS


;HAPTER                                      PAGE
    I. THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE                   I
    II. MADELINE CLYDE  .   .                  14

  111. THE EXAMINATION .                      25

  IV. GRANDPA MARKHAM                        40

  V. THE RESULT   .   .                      50
  VI. CONVALESCENCE                           69
  VII. THE DRIVE    .  .                      86

  VIII. SHADOWINGS OF WHAT WVAS TO BE          95
  IX. THE DECISION.            .    .        iO4
  X. AT AIKENSIDE        .    .    .107
  XI. GUY AT HOME                            120
  XII. A GENEROUS LETTER                      144

  XIII. UNCLE JOSEPH                          iss
  XIV. MADDY AND LUCY    ..             .     171
  XV. THE HOLIDAYS     .                     191
  XVI. THE DOCTOR AND MIADDY                  217
  XVII. WOMANHOOD    .   .   .                 226

XVIII. THE BURI)EN                            239
XIX. LIFE AT THE COTTAGE                    256
  XX. THE BURDEN GROWS HEAVIER               273
  XXI. THE INTERVAL BEFORE THE MARRIAGE       286

  XXII. BEFORE THE BRIDAL            .         296

XXIII. LUCY     .        ...                  308
XXIV. FINALE     .     .   .   .   .       .312
                       ffl

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          Al KENSIDE

               CHAPTER I

        THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE

  THE good people of Devonshire were rather
given to quarreling-sometimes about the minis-
ter's wife, meek, gentle Mrs. Tiverton, whose
manner of housekeeping, or style of dress, did not
exactly suit them; sometimes about the minister
himself, good, patient Mr. Tiverton, who vainly
imagined that if he preached three sermons a
week, attended the Wednesday evening prayer-
meeting. the Thursday evening sewing society,
officiated at every funeral, visited all the sick, and
gave to every beggar who called at his door, be-
sides superintending the Sunday school, he was
earning his salary of six hundred per year.
  Sometimes, and that not rarely, the quarrel
crept into the choir, and then, for one whole Sun-
day, it was all in vain that Mr. Tiverton read the
psalm and hymn, casting troubled glances toward
the vacant seats of his refractory singers. There
was no one to respond, unless it were good old

 

AIKENSIDE



Mr. Hodges, who pitched so high that few could
follow him; while Mrs. Captain Simpson-whose
daughter, the organist, had been snubbed at the
last choir meeting by Mr. Hodges' daughter, the
alto singer-rolled up her eyes at her next neigh-
bor, or fanned herself furiously in token of her
disgust.
  Latterly, however, there had come up a new
cause of quarrel, before which every other cause
sank into insignificance. Now, though the vil-
lage of Devonshire could boast but one public
schoolhouse, said house being divided into two
departments, the upper and lower divisions, there
were in the town several district schools; and for
the last few years a committee of three had been
annually appointed to examine and decide upon
the merits of the various candidates for teaching,
giving to each, if the decision were favorable,
a little slip of paper certifying their qualifications
to teach a common school. Strange that over
such an office so fierce a feud should have arisen;
but when Mr. Tiverton, Squire Lamb, and Law-
yer Whittemore, in the full conviction that they
were doing right, refused a certificate of scholar-
ship to Laura Tisdale, niece of Mrs. Judge Tis-
dale, and awarded it to one whose earnings in a
factory had procured for her a thorough English
education, the villagers, to use a vulgar phrase,
were at once set by the ears, the aristocracy abus-
ing, and the democracy upholding the dismayed



2

 

THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE



trio, who, as the breeze blew harder, quietly re-
signed their office, and Devonshire was without
a school committee.
  In this emergency something must be done,
and, as the two belligerent parties could only
unite on a stranger, it seemed a matter of special
providence that only two months before, young
Dr. Holbrook, a native of the modern Athens, had
rented the pleasant little office on the village com-
mon, formerly occupied by old Dr. Carey, now
lying in the graveyard by the side of some whose
days he had prolonged, and others whose days he
had surely shortened. Besides being handsome,
and skillful, and quite as familiar with the poor
as the rich, the young doctor was descended from
the aristocratic line of Boston Holbrooks, facts
which tended to make him a favorite with both
classes; and, greatly to his surprise, he found
himself unanimously elected to the responsible
office of sole Inspector of Common Schools in
Devonshire. It was in vain that he remonstrated,
saying he knew nothing whatever of the qualifica-
tions requisite for a teacher; that he could not
talk to girls, young ones especially; that he should
make a miserable failure, and so forth. The peo-
ple would not listen. Somebody must examine
the teachers, and that somebody might as well
be Dr. Holbrook as anybody.
  " Only be strict with 'em, draw the reins tight,
find out to your satisfaction whether a gal knows



3

 

AIKENSIDE



her P's and Q's before you give her a stifficut.
We've had enough of your ignoramuses," said
Colonel Lewis, the democratic potentate to whom
Dr. Holbrook was expressing his fears that he
should not give satisfaction. Then, as a bright
idea suggested itself to the old gentleman, he
added: " I tell you what, just cut one or two at
first; that '11 give you a name for being particular,
which is just the thing."
  Accordingly, with no definite idea as to what
was expected of him, except that he was to find
out " whether a girl knew her P's and Q's," and
was also to " cut one or two of the first candi-
dates," Dr. Holbrook accepted the office, and then
awaited rather nervously his initiation. He was
not easy in the society of ladies, unless, indeed,
the lady stood in need of his professional services,
when he lost sight of her at once, and thought
only of her disease. His patient once well, how-
ever, he became nervously shy and embarrassed,
retreating as soon as possible from her presence
to the covert of his friendly office, where, with
his boots upon the table and his head thrown back
in a most comfortable position, he sat one April
morning, in happy oblivion of the bevy of girls
who must, of course, erelong invade his sanctum.
  " Something for you, sir. The lady will wait
for an answer," said his " chore boy," passing to
his master a little three-cornered note, and nod-
ding toward the street.



4

 

THE EXAMINING COMMIITTEE



  Following the direction indicated, the doctor
saw, drawn up near his door, an old-fashioned
one-horse wagon, such as is still occasionally seen
in New England. A square-boxed, dark green
wagon, drawn by a sorrel horse, sometimes called
by the genuine Yankee " yellow," and driven l)v a
white-haired man, whose silvery locks, falling
around his wrinkled face, gave to him a pleasing,
patriarchal appearance, which interested the doc-
tor far more than did the flutter of the blue rib-
bon beside him, even though the bonnet that rib-
bon tied shaded the face of a young girl. The
note was from her, and, tearing it open, the doc-
tor read, in the prettiest of all pretty, girlish hand-
writing:
  " Dr. Holbrook-"
  Here it was plainly visible that a " D " had
been written as if she would have said " Dear."
Then, evidently changing her mind, she had wvith
her finger blotted out the " D," and made it into
an oddly shaped " S," so that it read simply:

  "DR. HOLBROOK-Sir: Will you be at leisure
to examine me on Monday afternoon, at three
o'clock
                       MADELINE A. CLYDE.
  "P. S.-For particular reasons I hope you can
attend to me as early as Monday.  M. A. C."



Dr. Holbrook knew very little Of girls, but he



5

 

AIKENSIDE



thought this note, with its P. S., decidedly girlish.
Still he made no comment, either verbal or men-
tal, so flurried was he with knowing that the evil
he so much dreaded had come upon him at last.
Had it been left to his choice, he would far rather
have extracted every one of that maiden's teeth,
than to have set himself up before her like some
horrid ogre, asking what she knew. But the
choice was not his, and, turning to the boy, he
said, laconically, " Tell her to come."
  MIost men would have sought for a glimpse of
the face under the bonnet tied with blue, but Dr.
Holbrook did not care a picayune whether it were
ugly or fair, though it did strike him that the
voice was singularly sweet, which, after the boy
had delivered his message, said to the old man,
"Now, grandpa, we'll go home. I know you
must be tired."
  Slowly Sorrel trotted down the street, the blue
ribbons fluttering in the wind, while one little un-
gloved hand was seen carefully adjusting about
the old man's shoulders the ancient camlet cloak
which had done duty for many a year, and was
needed on this chill April day. The doctor saw
all this, and the impression left upon his mind
was that Candidate 'No. i was probably a niceish
kind of a girl, and very good to her grandfather.
But what should he ask her, and how demean
himself toward her Monday afternoon was
frightfully near, he thought, as this was only Sat-



6

 


THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE



urday; and then, feeling that he must be ready, he
brought out from the trunk, where, since his ar-
rival in Devonshire, they had been quietly lying,
books enough to have frightened an older person
than poor little Madeline Clyde, riding slowly
home with grandpa, and Nwishing so much that
she'd had a glimpse of Dr. Holbrook, so as to
know what he was like, and hoping he would give
her a chance to repeat some of the many pages of
geography and " Parley's History," which she
knew by heart. How she would have trembled
could she have seen the formidable volumes
heaped upon his table and waiting for her. There
were French and Latin grammars, " Hamilton's
Metaphysics," " Olmstead's Philosophy," ' Day's
Algebra," " Butler's Analogy," and many others,
into which poor Madeline had never so much as
looked. Arranging them in a row, and half wvish-
ing himself back again to the days when he had
studied them, the doctor wsent out to visit his
patients, of which there were so many that Mlade-
line Clyde entirely escaped his mind, nor did she
trouble him again until the dreaded Monday
came, and the hands of his watch pointed to two.
  " One hour more," he said to himself, just as
the roll of wheels and a cloud of dust announced
the approach of something.
  Could it he Sorrel and the square-boxed wagon
Oh, no; far different from Grandfather Clyde's
turnout were the stylish carriage and the spirited



7

 


AIKENSIDE



bays dashing down the street, the colored driver
reining them suddenly, not before the office door,
but just in front of the white cottage in the same
yard, the house where Dr. Holbrook boarded,
and( where, if he ever married in Devonshire, he
would most likely bring his wife.
    Guy Remington, the very chap of all others
whom I'd rather see, and, as I live, there's Agnes,
with Jessie. Who knew she was in these parts
was the doctor's mental exclamation, as, running
his fingers through his hair and making a feint
of pulling up the corners of his rather limp collar,
hie hurried out to the carriage, from which a
lashing-looking lady of thirty, or thereabouts,
was alighting.
  " Why, Agnes. I beg your pardon, -Mrs. Rem-
ington, when did you comle" he asked, offering
his hand to the lady, who, coquettishly shaking
back from her pretty, dollish face a profusion of
light brown curls, gave him the tips of her
lavender kids, while she told him she had come
to Aikenside the Saturday before; and hearing
from Guy that the lady with whom he boarded
was an old friend of hers, she had driven over to
call, and brought Jessie wnith her. " Here, Jessie,
speak to the doctor. He was poor dear papa's
friend," and a very proper sigh escaped Agnes
Remington's lips as she pushed a little curly-
haired girl toward Dr. Holbrook.
  The lady of the house had spied them by this



8

 



THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE



time, and came running down the walk to meet
her rather distinguished visitor, wondering, it
may be, to what she was indebted for this call
from one who, since her marriage with the Sulp-
posedly wealthy Dr. Remington, had rather cut
her former acquaintances. Agnes was delighted
to see her, and, as Guy declined entering the cot-
tage just then, the two friends disappeared within
the door, while the doctor and Guy repaired to the
office, the latter sitting down in the very chair
intended for Madeline Clyde. This reminded the
doctor of his perplexity, and also brought the
comforting thought that Guy, who had never
failed him yet, could surely offer some sugges-
tions. But he would not speak of her just now;
he had other matters to talk about, and so. jam-
ming his penknife into a pine table covered with
similar jams, he said: " Agnes, it seems, has come
to Aikenside. notwithstanding she declared she
never would, when she found that the whole of
the Remington property belonged to your mother,
and not your father."
  "Oh. yes! She got over her pique as soon as
I settled a handsome little income on Jessie, and,
in fact, on her too, until she is foolish enough to
marry again. when it will cease, of course, as I
do not feel it my duty to support any man's wife,
unless it be my own, or my father's." was Guy
Remington's reply; whereupon the penknife went
again into the table, and this time with so much



9

 



AIKENSIDE



force that the point was broken off; but the doctor
did not mind it, and with the jagged end con-
tinued to make jagged marks, while he con-
tinued: " She'll hardly marry again, though she
may. She's young-not over twenty-six Jo
    Twenty-eight, if the family Bible does not lie;
but she'd never forgive me if she knew I told you
that. So let it pass that she's twenty-six. She
certainly is not more than three years your senior,
a mere nothing. if you wish to maKe her MIrs.
Holbrook," and Guy's dark eyes scanned curi-
ously the doctor's face, as if seeking there for
the secret of his proud young stepmother's
anxiety to visit plain MNrs. Conner that afternoon.
But the doctor only laughed merrily at the idea
of his being father to Guy, his college chum and
long-tried friend.
  Agnes Remington-reclining languidly in Mrs.
Conner's easy-chair, and  overwhelming  her
former friend with descriptions of the gay parties
she had attended in Boston, and the fine sights
she sawv in Europe, whither her gray-haired
husband had taken her for a wedding tour-
would not have felt particularly flattered, could
she have seen that smile, or heard how easily,
from talking of her, Dr. Holbrook turned to
another theme, to Madeline Clyde, expected now
almost every moment. There was a merry laugh
on Guy's part, as he listened to the doctor's story,
and, when it was finished, he said: " Why, I see



So

 


THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE



nothing so very distasteful in examining a pretty
girl, and puzzling her, to see her blush. I half
wish I were in your place. I should enjoy the
novelty of the thing."
  " Oh, take it, then; take my place, Guy," the
doctor exclaimed, eagerly. " She does not know
me from Adam. Here are books, all you will
need. You went to a district school once a week
when you were staying in the country.   You
surely have some idea, while I have not the
slightest. Will you, Guy" he persisted more
earnestly, as he heard wheels in the street, and
was sure old Sorrel had come again.
  Guy Remington liked anything savoring of a
frolic, but in his mind there were certain con-
scientious scruples touching the justice of the
thing, and so at first he demurred, while the
doctor still insisted, until at last he laughingly
consented to commence the examination, pro-
vided the doctor would sit by and occasionally
come to his aid.
  " You must write the certificate, of course.
he said, " testifying that she is qualified to teach."
  " Yes, certainly, Guy, if she is; but maybe she
won't be, and my orders are to be strict."
  "How   did she look" Guy asked, and the
doctor replied: " Saw nothing but her bonnet.
Came in a queer old go-giggle of a wagon, such
as your country farmers drive. Guess she won't
be likely to stir up the bile of either of us, partic-



I I

 



AIKENSIDE



ularly as I am bullet-proof, and you have been
engaged for years. By the way, when do you
cross the sea again for the fair Lucy Rumor
says this summer."
  "Rumor is wrong. as usual, then," was Guy's
reply, a soft light stealing into his handsome eyes.
Then, after a moment, he added: " Miss Ather-
stone's health is far too delicate for her to incur
the risks of a climate like ours. If she were well
acclimated, I should be glad, for it is terribly
lonely up at Aikenside."
  " And do you really think a wife would make
it pleasanter " Dr. Holbrook asked, the tone of
his voice indicating a little doubt as to a man's
being happier for having a helpmate to share his
joys and sorrows.
  But no such doubts dwelt in the mind of Guy
Remington. Eminently fitted for domestic hap-
piness, he looked forward anxiously to the time
when sweet Lucy Atherstone, the fair English
girl to whom he had become engaged when, four
years before, he visited Europe, should be strong
enough to bear transplanting to American soil.
Twice since his engagement he had visited her,
finding her always lovely, gentle, and yielding.
Too yielding, it sometimes seemed to him, while
occasionally the thought had flashed upon him
that she did not possess a very remarkable depth
of intellect. But he said to himself, he did not
care; he hated strong-minded women, and would



1 2

 


THE EXAMIINING COM.1MITTEE



far rather his wife should be a little weak than
masculine, like his Aunt Margaret, who some-
times wore bloomers, and advocated women's
rights. Yes, he greatly preferred Lucy Ather-
stone, as she was, to a wife like the stately
Margaret, or like Agnes, his pretty stepmother,
who only thought how she could best attract
attention; and as it had never occurred to him
that there might be a happy medium, that a
woman need not be brainless to be feminine and
gentle, he was satisfied with his choice, as well
he might be, for a fairer, sweeter flower never
bloomed than Lucy Atherstone, his affianced
bride. Guy loved to think of Lucy, and as the
doctor's remarks brought her to his mind, he
went off into a reverie concerning her, becoming
so lost in thought that until the doctor's hand was
laid upon his shoulder by way of rousing him,
he (lid not see that what his friend had designated
as a go-giggle was stopping in front of the office,
and that from it a young girl was alighting.
  Naturally very polite to females, Guy's first im-
pulse was to go to her assistance, but she did not
need it, as was proven by the light spring with
which she reached the ground. The white-haired
man w as with her again, but he evidently did not
intend to stop, and a close observer might have
detected a shade of sadness and anxiety upon his
face as Madeline called cheerily out to him:
" Good-by, grandpa. Don't fear for me; I hope



1 3


 


4AIKENSIDE



you will have good luck."  Then, as he drove
away, she ran a step after him and said: " Don't
look so sorry, for if Mr. Remington won't let
you have the money, there's my pony, Beauty. I
am willing to give him up."
  " Never, Maddy.   It's all the little fortin'
you've got. I'll let the old place go first "; and,
chirruping to Sorrel, the old man drove on, while
Madeline walked, with a beating heart, to the
office door, knocking timidly.
  Glancing involuntarily at each other, the young
men exchanged meaning smiles, while the doctor
whispered softly: " Verdant-that's sure. WNon-
der if she'd knock at a church."
  As Guy sat nearest the door, it was he who
held it ajar wvhile Madeline came in, her soft
brown eves glistening with something like a tear,
and her cheeks burning with excitement as she
took the chair indicated by Guy Remington, who
found himself master of ceremonies.
  Poor little Madeline!


               CHAPTER II
               MADELINE CLYDE

  MADGE her schoolmates called her, because the
name suited her, they said; but Maddy they called
her at home, and there was a world of unutterable
tenderness in the voices of the old couple, her



14

 



MADELINE CLYDE



grandparents, when they said that name, while
their dim eyes lighted up with pride and joy when
they rested upon the young girl who answered
to the name of Maddy. Their only daughter's
only child, she had lived with them since her
mother's death, for her father was a sea captain,
who never returned from his last voyage to China,
ma(le two months before she was born. Very
lonely and desolate would the home of Grand-
father Markham have been without the presence
of Madeline, but with her there, the old red farm-
house seemed to the aged couple like a paradise.
  Forty years they had lived there, tilling the
rather barren soil of the rocky homestead, and,
saving the sad night when they heard that
Richard Clyde was lost at sea, and the far sadder
morning when their daughter died, bitter sorrow
had not come to them; and, truly thankful for the
blessings so long vouchsafed them, they had
retired each night in peace wt ith GoaM and man,
and risen each morning to pray. But a change
was coming over them. In an evil houir Grandpa
Markham had signed a note for a neig'h1bor and
friend, who failed to pay, and so it all fell on Mr.
MTarkham, who, to meet the demand, mortgaged
his homestead; the recreant neighbor still insist-
ing that long before the mortgage should be due,
he certainly wvould be able himself to meet it.
This, however, he had not done, and, after twice
begging off a foreclosure, poor old Grandfather



I 5

 


6AIKEANSIDE



Markham found himself at the mercy of a grasp-
ing, remorseless man, into whose hands the
mortgage had passed. It was vain to hope that
Silas Slocum  would wait.  The money must
either be forthcoming, or the red farmhouse be
sold, with its few acres of land. Among his
neighbors there was not one who had the money
to spare, even if he had been willing to do so.
And so he must look among strangers.
  "If I could only help," Madeline had said one
evening when they sat talking over their troubles;
" but there's nothing I can do, unless I apply for
our school this sunmmer.  Mr. Green is com-
mitteeman; he likes us, and I don't believe but
what he'll let mne have it. I mean to go and
see; " and, ere the old people had recovered from
their astonishment, Madeline had caught her
bonnet and shawl, and was flying down the road.
  Madeline was a favorite with all, especially
with Mr. Green, and as the school would be small
that summer, the plan struck him favorably.
Her age, however, was an objection, and he must
take time to see what others thought of a child
like her becoming a schoolmistress.   Others
thought well of it, and so before the close of the
next day it was generally known through Hone-
dale, as the souithern part of Devonshire was
called, that prettv little Madge Clyde had been
engaged as teacher, she receiving three dollars a
week, with the understanding that she must board



I 6

 


MADELINE CL YDE



herself. It did not take Madeline long to cal-
culate that twelve times three were thirty-six,
more than a tenth of what her grandfather must
borrow. It seemed like a little fortune, and
blithe as a singing bird she flitted about the house,
now stopping a moment to fondle her pet kitten,
while she whispered the good news in its very
appreciative ear, and then stroking her grand-
father's silvery hair, as she said:
  "You can tell them that you are sure of paying
thirty-six dollars in the fall, and if I do Hivell,
maybe they'll hire me longer. I mean to try my
very best. I wonder if ever anybody before me
taught a school when they were only fourteen and
a half. Do I look as young as that " and for an
instant the bright, childish face scanned itself
eagerly in the old-fashioned mirror, with the
figure of an eagle on the top.
  She (lid look very young, and yet there weas
something womanly, too, in the expression of the
face, something which said that life's realities
were already beginning to be understood by her.
  "If my hair were not short I should do better.
XVhat a pity I cut it the last time; it would have
been so long and splendid now," she continued,
giving a kind of contemptuous pull at the thick,
beautiful brown hair on whose glossy surface
there was in certain lights a reddish tinge which
added to its beauty.
  " Never mind the hair, Maddy," the old man



17

 


AIKENSIDE



said, gazing fondly at her with a half sigh as he
remembered another brown head, pillowed now
beneath the graveyard turf. " Maybe you won't
pass muster, and then the hair will make no
difference. There's a new committeeman, that
Dr. Holbrook from Boston, and new ones are
apt to be mighty strict."
  Instantly Maddy's face flushed all over with
nervous dread, as she thought: " WN'hat if I should
fail I " fancying that to do so would be an eternal
disgrace. But she should not. She was called
by everybody the very best scholar in school, the
one whom the teachers always put forward when
desirous of showing off, the one whom Mr. Tiver-
ton, and Squire Lamb, and Lawyer Whittemore
always noticed so much. Of course she should
not fail, though she did dread Dr. Holbrook,
wondering much what he would ask her first,
and hoping it wvould be something in arithmetic,
provided he did not stumble upon decimals, where
she was apt to get bewildered. She had no fears
of grammar. She could pick out the most ol-
scure sentence and dissect a double relative with
perfect ease; then, as to geography, she could
repeat whole pages of that, while in the spelling-
book, the foundation of a thorough education, as
she had been taught, she had no superiors and
but a very few equals. Still she would be very
glad when it was over, and she appointed Mon-
day, both because it was close at hand, and be-



IS

 


MADELINE CLYDE



cause that was the day her grandfather had set
in which to ride to Aikenside, in an adjoining
town, and ask its young master for the loan of
three hundred dollars.
  He could hardly tell why he had thought of
applying to Guy Remington for help, unless it
were that he once had saved the life of Guy's
father, who, as long as he lived, had evinced a
great regard for his benefactor, frequently as-
serting that he meant to do something for him.
But the something was never done, the father was
dead, and in his strait the old man turned to the
son, whom he knew to be very rich, and who he
had been told was exceedingly generous.
  " How I wish I could go with you clear up to
Aikenside! They say it's so beautiful," Made-
line had said, as on Saturday evening they sat
discussing the expected events of the following
Monday. " Mrs. Noah, the housekeeper, had
Sarah Jones there once, to sew, and she told
me all about it. There are graveled walks, and
nice green lawns, and big, tall trees, and flowers
-oh! so many !-and marble fountains, with
gold fishes in the basin; and statues, big as folks,
all over the yard, with two brass lions on the
gateposts. But the house is finest of all. There's
a drawing room bigger than a ballroom, with
carpets that let your feet sink in so far; pictures
and mirrors clear to the floor-think of that,
grandpa! a looking-glass so tall that one can see



19

 

AIKENSIDE



the very bottom of their dress and know just how
it hangs. Ok, I do so wish I could have a peep
at it! There are two in one room, and the
windows are like doors, with lace curtains; but
what is queerest of all, the chairs and sofas are
covered with real silk, just like that funny, gored
gown of grandma's up in the oak chest. Dear
me! I wonder if I'll ever live in such a place as
Aikenside "
  "No, no, Maddy, no. Be satisfied with the
lot where God has put you, and don't be longing
after something higher. Our Father in heaven
knows just what is best for us; as He didn't see
fit to put you up at Aikenside, 'tain't noways
likelv vou'll ever live in the like of it."
  "Not unless I should happen to marry a rich
man. Poor girls like me have sometimes done
that, haven't they " was Maddy's demure
reply.
  Grandpa Markham shook his head.
  " They have, but it's mostly their ruination; so
don't build castles in the air about this Guy
Remington."
  " Me! Oh, grandpa, I never dreamed of Mr.
Guy! " and Madeline blushed half indignantly.
"He's too rich, too aristocratic, though Sarah
said he didn't act one bit proud, and was so
pleasant, the servants all worship him, and Mrs.
Noah thinks him good enough for the Queen of
England. I shall think so, too, if he lets you



20

 


MADELINE CLYDE



have the money. How I wish it was Monday
night, so we could know sure!"
  " Perhaps we, both shall be terribly disap-
pointed," suggested grandpa, but Maddy was
more hopeful.
  She, at least, wvould not fail, while what slhe
had heard of Guy Remington, the heir of Aiken-
side, made her believe that he would accede at
once to her grandlpa's request.
  All that night she was working to pay the
debt, giving the money herself into the hands of
Guy Remington, whom she had never seen, but
who came Up in her dreams the tall, handsome-
looking man she had so often heard described by
Sarah Jones after her return from Ailkenside.
Even the next day, when, by her grandparent's
side, Maddy knelt reverently in the small, time-
worn church at Honedale, her thoughts, it must
be confessedc, were wandering more to the to-
morrow and Aikenside, than to the sacred words
her lips were uttering. She knew it was wrong,
and with a nervous start would try to bring her
mind back from decimal fractions to what the
minister was saying; but Maddy was mortal, and
right in the midst of the Collect, Aikenside and
its owner would rise before her, together with the
wonder how she and her grandfather would feel
one week from that Sabbath day. Would the
desired certificate be hers or would she be dis-
graced for ever and ever by a rejection Would



2 I

 

AIKENSIDE



the mortgage be paid and her grandfather at
ease, or would his heart be breaking with the
knowing he must leave what had been his home
for so many years Not thus was it with the
aged disciple beside her-the good old man,
whose white locks swept the large-lettered book
over which his wrinkled face was bent, as he
joined in the responses, or said the prayers whose
words had over him so soothing an influence,
carrying his thoughts upward to the house not
made with hands, which he felt assured would
one day be his. Once or twice, it is true, thoughts
of losing the dear old red cottage flitted across
his mind with a keen, sudden pang, but he put it
quickly aside, remembering at the same instant
how the Father he loved doeth all things wvell to
such as are His children. Grandpa Markham
was old in the Christian course, while Maddy
could hardly be said to have commenced as yet,
and so to her that April Sunday was long and
wearisome. How she did wish she might just
look over the geography, by way of refreshing
her memory. or see exactly how the rule for
extracting the cube root did read, but Maddy
forbore, reading only the Pilgrim's Progress, the
Bible, and the book brought from the Sunday
school.
  With the earliest dawn, however, she was up,
and her grandmother heard her repeating to her-
self much of what she dreaded Dr. Holbrook



22

 


MADELINE CLYDE



might question her upon. Even when bending
over the washtub, for there were