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as she did for a message for Jim. But I could leave my thanks for all his kindness, and my regrets sincere, though repented of — that I could not see him again, before I went, to say good-by; and, already in part effaced by the impression of the last blow that had fallen upon me, that scene in the dreadful meadow seemed months and miles away.
The engine shrieked. The cars started. My hopes and spirits rose; and I was glad, because I was going home, that is, where, when I had a home, it used to be.
THE rapid motion gratified my restlessness, and, together with the noise, soothed me homœopathically. I slept a great deal. The midsummer day was far shorter than I feared it would be; and I found myself rather refreshed than fatigued when the conductor roused me finally by shouting names more and more familiar, as we stopped at way stations. I sat upright, and strained my cinderful eyes, long surfeited with undiluted green, for the first for blue and silver glimpses of my precious sea. Then well-known rocks and cedars came hurrying forward, as if to meet me half-way.
As the cars stopped for the last time with me, I caught sight of a horse and chaise approaching at a rapid rate down the main street of the town. The driver sprang out and threw the reins to a boy. He turned his face - a grave face up, and looked searchingly along the row of car-windows. It was Dr. Physick. I darted out at the nearest door. He saw me, smiled, and was at it in an instant, catching both my hands in his to shake them and help me down by them at the same time.
"Little Katy!" he always would call me so, though, as I sometimes took the liberty to tell him, I was very sure I had long left off being that, even if I was not yet quite the size of some giants I had seen,—“Lit
tle Katy! How jolly! 'Fanny?' 0, Fanny's pretty comfortable, — looking out for you and putting her head out of the window, I dare say, the minute my back 's turned. I look to you now to keep her in order. Baggage? Only bag? Give it to me. Foot, -now
where I was
there you are!" And there I was, most glad to be once more, gig, and driving, in the cool, moist twilight, down the dear old street, shaded with dear old elms, with the golden and amber sunset still glowing between their dark boughs; where every quiet, snug, old wooden house, with its gables and old-fashioned green or white front-door with a brass or bronze knocker, and almost every shop and sign even, seemed an old friend.
The lingering glow still lay full on the front of our old home, which now had "Philemon Physick, M. D." on the corner. As we stopped before it, I thought I spied a sweet little watching face, for one moment, behind a pane of one of the second-story windows. But if I did, it was gone before I was sure.
"Here she is!" called out the Doctor. "Julia!-- Wait a minute, Kate, my dear, no hurry. Julia!" Up he ran, while "Julia" ran down, said something, in passing, to him on the stairs, kissed me at the foot three times over, affectionately, but as if to gain time, I thought,led me into the parlor to take off my bonnet, and told me Fanny was not quite ready to see me just then, but would be, most likely, in two or three minutes. The Doc.or had gone up to see about it, and would let me know.
"O, didn't I see her at the window?"
"Yes, dear, you did; and that was just the trouble. She saw you were there; and she was so pleased, it made her a little faint. The Doctor will give her something to take; and as soon as she is a little used to your being here, of course you can be with her all the time."
The Doctor came down, speaking cheerily. “She is all right now.
up, as fast as you like, and kiss her, was her solemn, peaceful gaze still Kate, my child ; but tell her I forbid, watching me, like that of an unsleeping your talking till to-morrow. In five ' guardian angel. She had slept too, minutes, by my watch, I shall call however, remarkably long and well, you down to tea; and when you are whether for joy, as she thought, or from called, you come. That will give her the opium which I had been startled to time to think about it and compose see given her the night before. She herself. Julia's help shall stay with said she had had many scruples about her in the mean while. Afterwards, taking it; but the Doctor insisted; you shall share your own old chamber and she did not think it her duty on with her. Julia has it, as usual, all the whole to make him any trouble by ready for you."
opposing his prescriptions, when we Fanny had sunk back on her white owed him so much. Poor Fanny! pillows, upon the little couch before How hard it was for her to owe any the window from which she watched one “anything, but to love one anfor me.
How inspired and beautiful other.” she looked ! — she who was
The Doctor's bulletin that morning thought of as beautiful before, - the was, “Remarkably comfortable.”
But very transfigured likeness of herself, in the forenoon, while Fanny after as I hope one day to behold her in breakfast took a nap, I snatched an opglory, — and so like our mother, too ! portunity to cross-question Mrs. PhysShe lay still, as she had been ordered, ick, from whom I knew I could sooner lest she should faint again ; but by or later obtain all she knew, — the the cheerful lamp that stood on the sooner it would be, if she had anything stand beside her, I saw her smile as good to tell; as, in my inexperience, I she had never used to smile. The was almost sure she must have. eyes, that I left swollen and downcast, Fanny's “influenza," I now discovwere raised large and bright. But as ered, dated back to May. She kept she slowly opened her arms and clasped her room a few days, did not seem so me to her, I felt tears on my cheek; ill as many fellow-patients who were and her voice was broken as she said, now quite well again, and soon re“Katy, Katy! O, thank God! I was sumed her usual habits, but was never afraid I never should see you again. quite rid of her cough. Two or three Now I have everything that I want weeks after, there was a Sunday-school in the world !”
festival in the parish to which we beIt was hard to leave her when I was longed. She was called upon to sing called so soon; but she knew that it and assist in various ways, over-tasked was right, and made me go; and when her strength, was caught in a shower, I was allowed to return to her, she lay looked very sick, and being, on the in obedient but most happy silence for strength of Mrs. Physick’s representaall the rest of the evening, with those tions, formally escorted into the office, new splendid eyes fixed on my face, was found to have a quick pulse and her dim complexion glowing, and her sharp pain in one side. This led to a hands clasping mine. After I had put careful examination of the chest, and her to bed, and laid myself down in my the discovery not only of “acute pleuown beside her, I felt her reach out of risy,” but of “some mischief probably hers and touch me with a little pat two of longer standing in the lungs,” yet or three times, as a child will a new no more," the Doctor said, “than many doll, to make sure that it has not been people carried about with them all their merely dreaming of it. At first, I lives without knowing it, nor than othasked her if she wanted anything; but ers, if circumstances brought it to she said, “Only to feel that you are light, recovered from by means of good really there”; and when, after a very care and good spirits. and lived to a sound and long rest, I awoke, there good old age.”
“How long ago was that?”
was at all disturbed. This was a rule “The pleurisy ? About the begin- that she never to my knowledge broke; ning of June. The Doctor said last though she was naturally rather a highweek he could scarcely discover a ves- strung person, as I think the pleasanttige of it.' And now, Katy,” continued est and most generous people one kind, cheery Mrs. Physick, “you see, meets with generally are. your coming back has put her in the From whatever cause or causes, best of spirits ; and you and the Doc- to return to Fanny, — she grew up, tor and I are all going to take the best not fierce, sullen, nor yet hypocritical, of care of her; and so we may all hope but timid and distrustful, miserably the best."
sensitive and anxious, and morbidly “ The best of care"? Ah, there was conscientious. little doubt of that! But even “good There was another pleasure in store spirits ”! who could hope to for her, however ; for, the afternoon Fanny enjoying them for any length following that of my return, Mrs. Julia, of time, till she had done with time? looking out as usual for her husband, Good, uncomplaining, patient, I had with messages from four different always seen her, — happy, how seldom! alarmingly or alarmed sick persons, re- when, indeed, till now? There was questing him to proceed without delay not enough of earth about her for her in four different directions,
- saw him to thrive and bloom.
at length driving down the road with My mother, I believe, used to attrib- such unprofessional slowness that she ute in part to Fanny's early training feared some accident to himself or his her early joylessness. In her early harness. When he came before the days, so at least I have understood, door, the cause appeared. It was a - it was thought right even by some handsome Bath chair, with a basket of good people of our “persuasion,” to strawberries on the floor and a large lose no opportunity of treating the lit- nosegay on the seat, fastened to the tle natural waywardnesses of children back of his gig, and safely towed by it. with a severity which would now be 6 What is that for?” cried I from called ferocity. Mamma could never Fanny's window. have practised this herself; but per- Fanny's coach,” said he, looking haps she suffered it to be practised to up. “ Miss Dudley has sent it to be a greater extent than she would have taken care of for her. She does not consented to endure, had she foreseen want it herself for the present; and the consequences. My poor father must you can draw your dolly out in it every have been inexperienced, too ; and I fine day.” suppose his nerves, between sickness “0,” cried Fanny, sitting upright on and poverty, might at times be in such the couch by the window, - where she a state that he scarcely knew what he spent the greater part of the day, – to did.
see for herself, with the tears in her I was four years younger than Fan- eyes. “O, how lovely! That is the ny, and know nothing about it, ex- very kindest thing she has done yet; cept a very little at second-hand. But - and you don't know how she keeps at any rate I have often heard my sending me everything, Katy!” mother say, with a glance at her, and “ Miss Dudley? Who is she ? " a gravity as if some sad association “O, don't you know?
The great enforced the lesson on her mind, that naturalist's sister. He lives in that it was one of the first duties of those beautiful place, on the shore, in the who undertook the charge of children large stone cottage. The ground was to watch over their cheerfulness, and a broken for it before you went to Greenmost important rule, never, if it was ville. She is very sick, I am afraid, possible to put it off, so much as to rep- very kind, I am sure. I never saw her. rimand them when one's own balance She has heard about me. I am afraid
the Doctor told her. I hope she does east, and west after all the other docnot think I meant he should.”
tors. I hope you won't mention it, “Of course, dear, she does not." said I to the horse ; but Fanny is al“Do you really think so ?”
ways getting up some kind of a row. Certainly."
But there is Katy now, — Katy is a “Why?"
meek person, and always does as she "Why, - I know I should not like is bid. She has been cooped up too being begged of in that underhand much, and bleached her own roses way myself; and if I did not like it, I with teaching the Greenville misses might send something once, but after to sickly o'er with the pale cast of that I should never keep on sending." thought. Katy needs gentle exercise.
“I am very glad you think so ; for I So does Deacon Lardner.” Deacon like her kindness, though I scarcely Lardner was the fat inhabitant of the like to have her show it in this way, town, and ill of the dropsy. “I will because I am afraid I can never do send Katy out a-walking, with Deacon anything for her. But I hope she does Lardner in Miss Dudley's chair.” like to send; for Dr. Physick says she I laughed. Fanny smiled. The Docalways asks after me, almost before tor saw his advantage, and followed it he can after her, and looks very much up. “Julia, my dear, get my apothepleased if she hears that I have been cary's scales out of the office. Put an
I suppose the Doctor will think ounce weight into one, and Fanny into it is too late to take me down to-night. the other. Then put the ounce weight Katy, don't you want to go and see into the chair. If Katy can draw that, the wagon, and tell me about it, and she can draw Fanny." pour the strawberries into a great dish This time, it was poor Fanny who on the tea-table, and all of you have had the laugh to herself. some, and bring up the flowers when The next day, the Doctor carried you come back after tea?”
her down stairs, as soon as she could When I came back with the flowers, bear it after her breakfast, and left her Fanny smiled rather pensively, and did on a sofa, in the little parlor, to rest. not ask me about the chair.
About ten o'clock, he came back from Fanny,” said I, “the Doctor says his early rounds. I was dressed and you may go out to-morrow forenoon, waiting for him, with Fanny's bonnet and stay as long as you like, if it is and shawl ready. I put them on her, fair ; and the sun is going down as red while he drew out the chair from its safe as a Baldwin apple. The chair is con- stable in the hall. Once again he took trived so, with springs and the cush- her up ; and thus by easy stages we ions, that you can lie down in it, as got her into “her coach." I pulled, flat as you do on your sofa, when you and he pushed it, “to give me a start.” are tired of sitting up.”
How easy and light and strong it was ! “O Katy,” cried she, with a little How delighted were both she and I! quiver in her voice, for she was too Fanny was too easily alarmed to enjoy weak to bear anything, “I have been driving much, even when she was well; seeing how inconsiderate I was! To and she had not walked out for weeks. think of ietting you exert and strain During that time, the slow, late spring yourself in that way!”
had turned into midsummer; and the In came the Doctor, looking saucy. mere change from a sick-room to the " Fanny won't go, I suppose ? I fresh, outer world is always so very thought so. I said so to De Quincey great! For me, it was the first going [his horse), as I drove him down the abroad since my return to Beverly. street at a creep, sawing his mouth to We went in the sun till my charge's keep him from running away, till he little snowdrop hands were warm, and foamed at it epileptically, while all the then drew up under the shade of an sick people were sending north, south, elm, on a little airy knoll that com
manded a distant view of the sea, and had a large folding-screen, and in raw, was fanned by a soft air, which helped more blankets and a little fire. poor Fanny's breathing. She now in- Besides the chair, another thing came sisted on my resting myself ; and I in our way which gave pleasure to both turned the springs back and arranged of us, though it was not very pleasantthe cushions so that she could lie down, ly ushered in, as its pioneer was a long took a new handkerchief of my guar- visit from Fanny's old “Sabbath schooldian's from my pocket, and hemmed it, ma'am,” Miss Mehitable Truman, who as I sat at her side on a stone, while would come up stairs. Towards the she mused and dozed. When she close of this visit her errand came awoke, I gave her her luncheon from out. It was to inquire whether “Fana convenient little box in the chair, ny would n't esteem it a privilege to and drew her home by dinner-time. knit one or two of her sets of toilet
In this way we spent much of the · napkins for Miss Mehitable's table at month of July - shall I say it ? the Orphans' Fair, jest by little and agreeably. Nobody will believe it, who little, as she could gether up her failin' has not felt or seen the marvellous strength.” Fanny could not promise relief afforded by an entire change of the napkins, since, luckily for her, she scene and occupation to a person tried was past speech from exhaustion, as as I had been. If I had but 4 I was with indignation ; and Miss Truidea,” that idea was now Fanny. In- man, hearing the Doctor's boots creak stinctively in part, and partly of set below, showed the better part of valor, purpose, I postponed to her every oth- and departed. er consideration and thought. It was The next day, it rained. We were delightful to me to be able, in my turn, kept in-doors ; and Fanny could not to take her to one after another of the be easy till I had looked up her cotdear old haunts, in wood or on beach, ton and knitting-needles. She could where she had often led me, when a not be easy afterwards, either; for they child, to play. I always did love to made her side ache; and when Dr. have something to take care of; and Physick paid his morning visit, he the care of Fanny wore upon me lit- took them away. tle. She was the most considerate of I knew she would be sorry to have invalids.
nothing to give to that fair.
It was Besides, she was better, or at any one of the few rules of life which my rate I thought so, after she began to mother had recommended us to follow, go out in Miss Dudley's chair. Her never from false shame either to give appetite improved; her nerves grew or to withhold. “If you are asked to more firm; and her cough was some give," she would say, to any object, times so quiet at night that her lauda- and are not satisfied that it is a good num would stand on her little table in one, but give to it for fear that somethe morning, just as it was dropped body will think you stingy, that is not for her the evening before.
being faithful stewards. But when you Not only were my spirits amended do meet with a worthy object, always by the fresh air in which, by Dr. give, if you honestly can. Even if Physick's strict orders, I lived with you have no more than a cent to give, her through the twenty-four hours, then give a cent; and do not care if the but my health too. He had declared Pharisees see you. That is more than her illness to be “probably owing in the poor widow in the Gospels gave”; great part to the foul atmosphere in - how fond she always was of that stowhich,” he found, "she slept"; and ry!—“and you remember who, besides now she added that, since she had the Pharisees, saw her, and what he known the comfort of fresh air at said ? His objects would not have to night, she should be very sorry ever go begging so long as they do now, if to give it up In windy weather she every one would follow her example.” VOL. XVIII. NO. 109.