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for the Herons. One day he hopes to be able to dispense

2023-11-28 17:30:30 [art] source:Seven phase five public network

Alas for J.C.'s honesty! Even while he spoke there was treachery in his saucy eyes, for the milkman's heiress, as he called her, was not to him an object of dislike, and when, after the carriage drove away, he saw the shadows on her face, and suspected their cause, he felt a strong desire that his departure might affect her in a similar manner. That evening, too, when Nellie sang to him his favorite song, he kept one ear turned toward the chamber above, where, in a low, sweet voice, Maude Remington sang her suffering brother to sleep.

for the Herons. One day he hopes to be able to dispense

The next morning he removed to the hotel, saying he should probably remain there during the summer, as the air of Laurel Hill was highly conducive to his rather delicate health; but whether he meant the invigorating breeze which blew front the surrounding hills, or an heir of a more substantial kind, time and our story will show.

for the Herons. One day he hopes to be able to dispense

Mr. De Vere had been gone four weeks. Louis had entirely recovered from his illness, and had made the acquaintance of J.C., with whom he was on the best of terms. Almost every bright day did the young man draw the little covered wagon through the village, and away to some lovely spot, where the boy artist could indulge in his favorite occupation--that of sketching the familiar objects around him. At first Nellie accompanied them in these excursions; but when one day her aunt, who still remained at Laurel Hill, pointed out to her a patch of sunburn and a dozen freckles, the result of her outdoor exercise, she declared her intention of remaining at home thereafter--a resolution not altogether unpleasant to J.C., as by this means Maude was more frequently his companion.

for the Herons. One day he hopes to be able to dispense

If our readers suppose that to a man of J.C.'s nature there was anything particularly agreeable in thus devoting himself to a cripple boy they are mistaken, for Louis Kennedy might have remained indoors forever had it not been for the sunny smile and look of gratitude which Maude Remington always gave to J.C. De Vere when he came for or returned with her darling brother. Insensibly the domestic virtues and quiet ways of the black-haired Maude were winning a strong hold upon J.C.'s affections, and still he had never seriously thought of making her his wife. He only, knew that he liked her, that he felt very comfortable where she was, and very uncomfortable where she was not; that the sound of her voice singing in the choir was the only music he heard on the Sabbath day, and though Nellie in her character of soprano ofttimes warbled like a bird, filling the old church with melody, he did not heed it, so intent was he in listening to the deeper, richer notes of her who sang the alto, and whose fingers swept the organ keys with so much grace and beauty.

And Maude! within her bosom was there no interest awakened for one who thought so much of her? Yes, but it was an interest of a different nature from his. She liked him, because he was so much more polite to her than she had expected him to be, and more than all, she liked him for his kindness to her brother, never dreaming that for her sake alone those kindly acts were done. Of James De Vere she often thought, repeating sometimes to herself the name of Cousin Maude, which had sounded so sweetly to her ear when he had spoken it. His promise she remembered, too, and as often as the mail came in, bringing her no letter, she sighed involuntarily to think she was forgotten. Not forgotten, Maude, no, not forgotten, and when one afternoon, five weeks after James' departure J.C. stood at her side, he had good reason for turning his eyes away from her truthful glance, for he knew of a secret wrong done to her that day. There had come to him that morning a letter from James, containing a note for Maude, and the request that he would hand it to her.

"I should have written to her sooner," James wrote, "but mother's illness and an unusual amount of business prevented me from doing so. 'Better late than never,' is, however, a good motto at times, and I intrust the letter to you, because I would save her from any gossip which an open correspondence with me might create."

For James De Vere to write to a young girl was an unheard-of circumstance, and the sight of that note aroused in J.C.'s bosom a feeling of jealousy lest the prize he now knew he coveted should be taken from him. No one but himself should write to Maude Remington, for she was his, or rather she should be his. The contents of that note might be of the most ordinary kind, but for some reason undefinable to himself he would rather she should not see it yet, and though it cost him a struggle to deal thus falsely with both, he resolved to keep it from her until she had promised to be his wife. He never dreamed it possible that she could tell him no, he had been so flattered and admired by the city belles; and the only point which troubled him was what his fashionable friends would say when in place of the Nellie whose name had been so long associated with his, he brought to them a Maude fresh from the rural districts, with naught in her disposition save goodness, purity, and truth. They would be surprised, he knew, but she was worth a thousand of them all, and then with a glow of pride he thought how his tender love and care would shield her from all unkind remarks, and how he would make himself worthy of such a treasure.

This was the nobler, better part of J.C.'s nature, but anon a more sordid feeling crept in, and he blushed to find himself wondering how large her fortune really was! No one knew, save the lawyers and the trustee to whose care it had been committed, and since he had become interested in her he dared not question them lest they should accuse him of mercenary motives. Was it as large as Nellie's? He wished he knew, while at the same time he declared to himself that it should make no difference. The heart which had withstood so many charms was really interested at last, and though he knew both Mrs. Kelsey and her niece would array themselves against him, he was prepared to withstand the indignation of the one and the opposition of the other.

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