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them, and develop her talent for drawing; pretext or another, to envy the girls who though in truth Mrs. Millard was not think- were in their second year, and were drawing so much of Henrietta's developing her ing from a bust of “Psyche” or “ The Young gift for art as that she had a fine face, and Augustus,” and especially did she wish that would undoubtedly develop into a beauty she were one of the favored circle in the under city influences. And as Mrs. Millard “ Venus Room.” She thought it would be had no children and her house was lonesome, fine to try the statue of the Venus de she thought it might add to her own conse- Milo. But day in and day out she had to quence and to the cheerfulness of the house, stand before a cast of a meaningless scroll, to have a handsome cousin under her care. endeavoring to represent it on drawing paHenrietta's father was rather unwilling to per. This was no longer play, but work as let her go; he didn't see how she could be tedious as the geography lessons in Weston. spared from the housework, but the mother There is a great difference between work was resolved that she should go, and go she and play, though they may both consist in did.
doing the same thing. Nevertheless HenThe first things that excited the country rietta had positive ability and the almost girl's wonder were not the streets and build- mechanical training of the first months did ings and works of art, but the unwonted her good. luxury of city life. Velvet carpets, large But somehow she was not so glad to see panes of plate-glass, hot and cold water that Rob Riley the granite cutter as she had excame for the turning of a stop-cock, illumin- pected to be. When Rob called at first to ation that burst forth as by magic, mirrors see her, the maid who had received many that showed the whole person and redupli- warnings against allowing sneak thieves cated the room-even door-bells and sliding and tramps to stand in the hall, did not doors and dumb waiters and speaking tubes, dare leave him by the hat rack. She eyed were things that filled her with astonish- him suspiciously, cross-questioned him ment. For weeks she felt as though she sharply, and finally called the cook up had moved out of the world into a fairy stairs to stand guard over him and the overbook. But like all high-spirited girls, she coats when she went to call Henrietta. Poor carefully concealed her wonder, moving Rob, already frightened at having to ring about with apparent nonchalance as though the door-bell of a brown-stone house, stood she had lived in the enchanted ground all in the hall fumbling his hat while the stalher life. Secretly she carried on experi- wart cook never once took her eyes off ments upon water works, and gas fixtures him, having determined to throttle him if and plate-glass mirrors, using the inductive he made a motion to steal a coat, or to open method of reasoning as all intelligent peo- the door behind him. Somehow the greetple have from the beginning without any of ing between the two, under these circumthe cumbrous and pedantic machinery pro- stances was as different as possible from vided for them by Lord Chancellor Bacon. their parting in the country. Henrietta
She was soon at work, but drawing from felt that by receiving Rob Riley in his uninteresting plaster casts of scroll work cheap Sunday clothes, she had forever comin the lower classes of the School of Design. promised herself with Hibernia down stairs; for Women, was not so pleasant as sponta- and poor Rob, half chilled by Henrietta’s neous picture-making on her slate had been reception, and wholly dampened by the In Weston, too, she had been the prodigy; rosewood furniture and the lace curtains, her gift for drawing was little less than and the necessity for sitting down upon miraculous in the eyes of her companions. damask upholstery, was very ill at ease. But in Cooper Institute she was one of Henrietta longed to speak freely as she had many, and there were those whom much done in the old days when they strolled practice had rendered far more skillful. through the hill-pasture together, but then She would slip away from her work and she trembled lest the door-bell should ring go through the alcoves sometimes, on one end some of Mrs. Cousin John's fine company enter the reception room. So the Millard shone now in a reflected glory, as meeting was a failure; Rob even forgot the keeper of the pretty Miss Newton. that he had meant to ask Henrietta to go Young gentlemen stood squarely in front of with him to the free lecture the next even- Mrs. Millard and made full bows to her, ing. And he was glad when he got out, and were delighted when she asked them to and Henrietta was relieved though she cried call. Mrs. Millard also carried it up to her with vexation and disappointment when he own credit in her confidential talks with was gone. As for Rob, he went home in ladies of her own age, that she was doing so great doubt whether it was worth while much for John's cousin, whom she had trying to be something. Of what use was found buried in an old farm-house. For it to seek to get to be a boss, a builder, a Mrs. Millard was a Christian and a philancontractor, or the owner of a quarry? thropist, besides being a reformer. Things were all wrong anyhow.
She was endeavoring with all her heart to After this he only met Henrietta now reform a younger brother of her own, who and then as she came in or went out, though was enough to have filled the hands of three this was not easy for he had to work with or four red ribbon associations. He was a fine hammer all the day, and his evenings he subject to work on, this young Harrison spent in mechanical drawing. On second Lowder. Few young men had been so much thought he would be something if only just reformed as he. With a bright wit, and to show folks that looked down on him. genial manners, he was strongly deficient Though, if he had only known it, Henrietta in moral endowments. Nothing that was did not look down on him at all; all her pleasant could seem wrong to him. His contempt was expended on herself.
life was desperately bad on all sides but he But more and more did this feeling wear was a magnificent sinner, who had no clear away as she became naturalized in Mrs. intention to be bad, who never seemed to Cousin John's world. There were little sin with malice aforethought, and who took dance parties, and though Henrietta was his evil courses with such unfailing good obliged to dress plainly, she grew more to nature that people forgave him easily. be a beautiful woman. The simplicity of It was a happy thought of Mrs. Millard's her dress set off this fine loveliness and when she saw him becoming fascinated Henrietta Newton was artist enough to un- with Henrietta, to reform him and render derstand this, so that her clothes did not Henrietta a service at the same time. For make her abashed in company. She had Lowder had money, and to a poor country no party dresses, but with Mrs. Millard's girl such a marriage ought to be a heavenassistance she always looked the beautiful send, and it would serve to reform Harry. country cousin. Other girls remarked upon It isn't always that a match-maker can be the monotony of her dress, but then the sure of being a benefactor to both sides. gentlemen did not care that one merino did One of the most remarkable things in huduty on all occasions. Some women can man nature, however, is this willingness of stand the ordeal of a uniform for church women to sacrifice a girl's life for the chance and theatre, party and tele-a-tete.
of saving the morals of a scapegrace man. Mrs. Millard meant well by Henrietta. If a pious mother can only marry her son If Henrietta's art got along slowly, and her Beelzebub to some “good religious girl,” chance for a prize decreased steadily under the chance of his reformation is greatly inthe dissipating influences about her, it was creased. The girl is neither here nor there, not that Mrs. Millard intended to do her when one considers the necessity for saving harm by parading her pretty cousin Sundays the dear Beelzebub. and week days. It was only a second Harry Lowder had the advantage of all growth of vanity in cousin John's wife. other comers with Henrietta. The keeper When one is no longer sought after for was on his side, in the first place; and he one's own sake, the next best thing is to be was half domesticated at the house-coming sought after for somebody's else sake. Mrs. and going when he pleased. The city daz
zled the country girl, and it was a great marry and to reform—just a little_he pleasure to him to take her to theaters and thought that Henrietta Newton would be operas, and sometimes to places of amuse- the girl to marry. inent of very doubtful kinds. He enjoyed So it happened that Periwinkle, who had her naive surprise. His winning manners, waited for Christmas to come that she his apparent frankness, and the round of might see Henrietta again was bitterly disamusements he kept her in, could not but appointed. At Christmas Henrietta had have their effect on a strong-willed creature been promised two great treats-Fox in such as she was. Her pent up intensity of Humpty Dumpty, and the sight of St. Dives life burst out now into the keenest enjoy- Church in its decorations with the best mument of all that she saw, and heard, and sic in the city. And then there were to be felt, for the first time. She knew enough other things quite as wonderful to the of Harry Lowder's life to be afraid of him, country girl. In truth, Henrietta was afraid but then she felt grateful for his attentions, to go home. Somewhere in the associations and he was so kind to her, so thoughtful at home, there lay in wait for her a revengefor her pleasure, that she came to think of ful conscience, which she dared not meet. him as a disinterested friend.
Then, too, Rob Riley would be at home and There were times when the memory of a meeting with him must produce shame in her country home, and little Periwinkle her, and bring on a decision that she would came into her mind like a fresh breeze from rather postpone. Mrs. Millard begged her the hills. At such times she recoiled from to stay and it was hard to resist her benethe round of unhealthful excitement in factress. But in her girl's heart, at times, which she found herself; she hated the she was tired and homesick and the staying high-wrought plays and the burlesque operas in the city cost her two or three good crying that she had seen; she despised the exciting spells. And when the holidays were past, novels that Harry Lowder had lent her. She bitterly repented that she had not gone Then the old farm with its stern and quiet home. ways seemed a sort of paradise; she longed for And in this mood she sat down and wrote her mother's voice and even for her father's a long letter to her mother, full of regrets rebuke, for Rob Riley's homely love-making, and homesickness and longing and contraand Periwinkle's quaint ways.
At such dictoriness. She liked the city and she times she had a sense of standing in some didn't. She hadn't done very well in her iminent peril, a dark foreboding shadowed drawing as she confessed, but she meant to her, and she wished that she had never come do better. It was a letter that.gave the to New York, for the drawing did not get good old mother much uneasiness. This on well. Harry Lowder said that it didn't city-world was something that she did not matter about the drawing; she was meant understand—a great sea for the navigation for something better. There was always of which she had no chart. She got from an easy way out of such depressions. Harry Henrietta's letter a vague sense of danger, told her that she had the blues and that if a danger terrible because entirely incomshe would go to see this or that, the blues prehensible to her. would disappear. Getting rid of the blues And indeed she had already become unin this fashion, is pawning to-morrow to pay easy, for when Rob Riley came home at to-day's debt.
Christmas time he did not come to see them, It would hardly be right to say that Low- nor did he bring any messages from Henrider was in love with Henrietta Newton, etta. When she asked him about the girl for in our good English tongue there is a at meeting on Sunday, Rob hung his head moral element to the word love. But and looked at the toe of his boot a minute Harry certainly was fascinated with Henri- and then said that he hadn't laid eyes on etta—more fascinated than he had ever her for six weeks.” What did it all mean? been with any one else. And as he had be- Had Henrietta got into some disgrace? come convinced that it was best for him to The father was alarmed also. He thought
it about time that she should be getting a The greatest difficulty was to persuade thousand dollars for a picture. Though for Rob Riley to take her. His pride was his part he couldn't see why anybody should wounded and he didn't want to have any pay for a picture enough money to build two thing to do with Henrietta and her fine or three barns.
folks. But the old lady persisted, and above The little Periwinkle heard all of these all little Periwinkle informed Rob that she discussions, though nobody thought of her was going down to see about Henrietta. understanding them.
This touched Rob; he remembered when “ I'm going down there,” she said. “ I'm she had snatched Henrietta out of the jaws going to see about that, I am.”
of Miss Tucker. He consented to take her “What?” said the grandfather looking to Mr. Millard's house and ring the doorat the little thing fondly.
bell. “ About Henrietta. I'm a-goin' down Henrietta had recovered from her attack with Wob Wiley."
of penitence, and was again floating on the “Hello! you air, air you?”
eddying current of excitement. One evenNow it happened in her fit of repentance ing she went with Lowder to see and homesickness, Henrietta had written: tional play” of the French school. It was “ I wish you could send dear little Periwinkle very romantic and very pathetic. She tried down here some time. I do want to see her, to keep back tears but could not. Harry and she would be such a good model to took advantage of her softened feelings to draw from.” Henrietta had not thought of envelop her in a cloud of flattery and to the practical difficulties of getting the chubby make love to her. Something of the better little thing down, nor of how she would sense of the girl had heretofore held her keep her if she came, nor indeed of the back from any committal of her trust to him, possibility of her words being understood but when they reached Mrs. Millard's parin their literal sense. It was only a cry of lor Harry Lowder laid direct siege to Henlonging.
rietta's affection, telling her what moral But now the mother, full of apprehension miracles her influence had wrought in him, and at her wit's end what to do, looked and how nothing but her love was needed with a sort of superstitious respect at the to keep him steadfast in the future, and in self-confident little creature who proposed to truth he more than half believed what he go down to the city and see about things. said. The whole scene was quite in the key
The old lady at the first proposed to go of the play, and her over-wrought feelings down herself and take little Periwinkle drifted toward the man pleading thus earwith her. But she felt timid about the nestly for affection. Harry saw the advangreat city, and about cousin John's fine ways tage of the situation, and urged on her an of living. She wouldn't be able to find her immediate decision. Henrietta, still shaken way around and she felt “scarr't " when she by passionate excitement and without rest thought about it. Besides who'd get father's in herself, was on the point of promising breakfast for him if she went away?
eternal affection in the manner of the heroSo she proposed to send Periwinkle down. ine of the play, when there came a loud Rob Riley could take her, and Cousin John's ringing of the door-bell; so highly strained wife had always liked her and she'd be glad were the girl's nerves that she uttered a to see her. She hadn't any children of her sharp cry at this unexpected midnight alarm. own and might be real glad to have a lively The servants had gone to bed when Henrilittle thing about; and as for sending her etta came in. There was nothing for it but back, there was always somebody coming up to open the door herself. With Harry Lowfrom the city. Of course Grandma Newton der behind her for a reserve, she timidly didn't think how large the village of New opened the front door to find a child mufYork had grown to be, and how unlikely it fled in an old-fashioned cloak and hood, was that Henrietta should find any one go- standing upon the stoop, while a man was ing to Weston.
descending the steps. Looking around just
enough to see who came to the door, he to make a picture to-night, do you? 'Cause said: "Your mother said you wanted her, I'm awful sleepy. You see Wob had to and she would have me bring her to you." come on the seven o'clock twain, and that
Then, without a word of good night, Rob gits in at 'leven, an' it took us till midnight Riley walked away, Henrietta recognizing to git here, and Wob he's got to go ever so the voice with a pang.
fur yet. What made 'em build such a big “I come down to see about you," spoke town?” Here Periwinkle yawned and the solemn and quizzical figure on the seemed about to fall off the chair. In a few stoop.
minutes she was lying fast asleep on Henri“Where on earth did that droll creature etta's pillow. come from?” broke out Lowder. 6 What is But Henrietta slept not. It was a night the matter, Miss Newton ?”
of stormy trial. By turns one mood and For the suddenness of the apparition, the then another dominated. At times she rerude air with which Rob Riley had turned solved to be a lady admired and courted in his back upon her, had started a new set of the luxury of the city. As for possible conemotions in the mind of Henrietta. The sequences she had never been in the habit of home influence had blown suddenly over her, counting the cost of her actions carefully. and swept away the clouds. She felt now, There is a delicious excitement to a nature with that intuitive quickness that belongs like hers in defying consequences.
She to the artist temperament, that she had re- would take the risk. coiled but just in time from a brink. For But then a sight of Periwinkle's sleeping a moment she seemed likely to faint, though innocence sent back the tide. How much she was not the kind of a woman to faint better were the simple old home ways and when startled.
the love of this little heart, and the faithful She reached out her hand to Periwinkle devotion of that most kindly Rob Riley! and then, with a reaction of feeling, folded How she remembered her walks with him, her in her arms and wept.
her teasing him, his interference against Harry was puzzled. She suddenly became Miss Tucker, and the deliverance wrought stiff and almost repellant toward him. She by the little creature lying there. She would seemed impatient for him to be gone. It go back to her old self, how painful soever was a curious effect of surprise upon her it might be. nerves, he thought; he mentally confounded But she couldn't stay in the city and turn his luck, and said good night.
away Harrison Lowder. And to go home Henrietta bore Periwinkle off to her own was to confess that she had failed in her art; room and removed her cloaks, crying a little and how could she humble herself to seem all the time. She was quite too full of emo- to wish to regain Rob Riley's love ? And tion to take into account as yet all the per- then what kind of an outlook did the life of plexities in which she would be involved by a granite cutter's wife afford her? Here she the presence of Periwinkle in the house of looked at herself in the glass. All her pride Cousin John Millard.
rebelled against going home. But all her “What brought you down here?” she pride sank down when she stooped to kiss said at last, when the sturdy little girl, di- the cheek of the sleeping child. vested of her shawl and cloak and mittens In this alternation of feeling she passed and hood, sat upon a chair in front of Hen- the night. When breakfast time came she rietta, who sat upon the floor looking up at took Periwinkle down, making such explaher.
nations as she could with much embarrass“I come down to see about you. Gran'ma ment. said some things and Gran’pa said some "You're sick, Henrietta,” said Cousin things, and Wob Wiley he looked bad, and John. “You don't eat anything. You've I thought maybe I'd just come down and been working too steadily.” see about you; and Gran'ma said you wanted After breakfast the family doctor called to make a picture of me. You don't want and said that Henrietta was suffering from