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   Chapter 16 A SUMMER IN BOSTON

A Little Girl in Old Boston By Amanda M. Douglas Characters: 31772

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02


The Leveretts rejoiced heartily over Doris' good fortune. Aunt Priscilla began to trouble herself again about her will. She had taken the usual autumnal cold, but recovered from it with good nursing. Certainly Elizabeth Leverett was very kind. Aunt Priscilla had eased up Betty while her mother spent a fortnight at Salem, helping with the fall sewing and making comfortables. And this time she brought home little Ruth, who was thin and peevish, and who had not gotten well over the measles, that had affected her eyes badly. Ruth was past four.

"I wish Mary did not take life so hard," said Mrs. Leverett with a sigh. "They have been buying a new twenty-acre pasture lot and two new cows, and it is just drive all the time. That poor little Elizabeth will be all worn out before she is grown up. And Ruth wouldn't have lived the winter through there."

Ruth was extremely troublesome at first. But grandmothers have a soothing art, and after a few weeks she began to improve. The visits of Doris fairly transported her, and she amused grandpa by asking every morning "if Doris would come to-day," having implicit faith in his knowledge of everything.

Aunt Priscilla counted on the visits as well. She kept her room a good deal. Ruth's chatter disturbed her. Pattern children brought up on the strictest rules did not seem quite so agreeable to her as the little flower growing up in its own sweetness.

Betty used to walk a short distance home with her, as she declared it was the only chance she had for a bit of Doris. She was very fond of hearing about the Royalls, and now Miss Isabel's engagement to Mr. Morris Winslow was announced.

Warren declared Jane was quite "top-loftical" about it. She had been introduced to Miss Isabel at an evening company, and then they had met at Thayer's dry goods store, where she and Mrs. Chapman had been shopping, and had quite a little chat. They bowed in the street, and Jane was much pleased at the prospect of being indirectly related.

But Betty had taken tea at Uncle Winthrop's with Miss Alice Royall, who had come over with the two little girls to return some of the visits Doris had made. The girls fell in love with bright, versatile Betty, and Alice was much interested in her visit to Hartford, and thought her quite charming.

Then it was quite fascinating to compare notes about Mr. Adams with one of his own kin. Alice made no secret of her admiration for him; the whole family joined in, for that matter. Young girls could be a little free and friendly with elderly gentlemen without exciting comment or having to be so precise.

When Jane said "Cousin Morris told me such or such a thing," Betty was delighted to reply, "Yes, Doris was speaking of it." The girls were the best of friends, but this half-unconscious rivalry was natural.

Mrs. Leverett had no objections to the intimacy now. Betty was older and more sensible, and now she was really a young lady receiving invitations, and going out to walk or to shop with the girls. For hard as the times were, a little finery had to be bought, or a gown now and then.

Mrs. King had not gone to New York, though her husband had been there on business. She would have been very glad of Betty's company; but with little Ruth and Aunt Priscilla, Betty felt she ought not leave her mother. And, then, she was having a young girl's good time at home.

Mrs. Leverett half wished Jane might "fancy Warren." She was a smart, attractive, and withal sensible girl. But Warren was not thinking of girls just now, or of marrying. The debating society was a source of great interest and nearly every "talk" turned on some aspect of the possible war. His singing class occupied him one evening, and one evening was devoted to dancing. He liked Jane very much in a friendly fashion, and they went on calling each other by their first names, but if he happened to drop in there was almost sure to be other company.

The "Son" on the business sign over the doorway gave him a great sense of responsibility, especially now when everything was so dull, and money, as people said, "came like drawing teeth," a painful enough process in those days.

Finally Miss Isabel Royall's wedding day was set for early in June. The shopping was quite an undertaking. There were Thayer's dry-goods store and Daniel Simpson's and Mr. Bromfield's, the greater and the lesser shops on Washington and School streets. It was quite a risk now ordering things from abroad, vessels were interfered with so much. But there were China silks and Canton crape,-a beautiful material,-and French and English goods that escaped the enemy; so if you had the money you could find enough for an extensive wedding outfit. At home we had also begun to make some very nice woolen goods.

May came out full of bloom and beauty. Such a shower of blossoms from cherry, peach, pear, and apple would be difficult now to imagine. For almost every house had a yard or a garden. Colonnade Row was among the earliest places to be built up compactly of brick and was considered very handsome for the time.

But people strolled around then to see the beautiful unfolding of nature. There was the old Hancock House on Beacon Street. The old hero had gone his way, and his wife was now Madam Scott, and lived in the same house, and though the garden and nursery had been shorn of much of their glory, there were numerous foreign trees that were curiously beautiful, and people used to make at least one pilgrimage to see these immense mulberry trees in bloom.

The old Bowdoin garden was another remarkable place, and the air around was sweet for weeks with the bloom of fruit trees and later on the grapes that were raised in great profusion. You sometimes saw elegant old Madam Bowdoin walking up and down the garden paths and the grandchildren skipping rope or playing tag.

But Summer Street, with its crown of beauty, held its head as high as any of its neighbors.

"I don't see why May should be considered unlucky for weddings," Isabel protested. "I should like to be married in a bower of apple blossoms."

"But isn't a bower of roses as beautiful?"

"And the snow of the cherries and pears! Think of it-fragrant snow!"

But Isabel gave parties to her friends, and they took tea out under the great apple tree and were snowed on with every soft wave of wind.

It was not necessary then to go into seclusion. The bride-elect took pleasure in showing her gowns and her finery to her dearest friends. She was to be married in grandmother's brocade. Her own mother had it lent to her for the occasion. It was very handsome and could almost "stand alone." There were great flowers that looked as if they were embroidered on it, and now it had assumed an ivory tint. Two breadths had been taken out of the skirt, people were so slim at present. But the court train was left. The bertha, as we should call it now, was as a cobweb, and the lace from the puff sleeve falling over the arm of the same elegant material.

It was good luck to borrow something to be married in, and good luck to have something old as well as the something new.

Morris Winslow had been quite a beau about town. He was thirty now, ten years older than Isabel. He had a big house over in Dorchester and almost a farm. He owned another in Boston, where a tavern of the higher sort was kept and rooms rented to bachelors. He had an apartment here and kept his servant Joe and his handsome team, besides his saddle horse. He was rather gay, but of good moral character. No one else would have been accepted as a lover at the Royalls'.

Jane was invited to one of the teas. People had not come to calling them "Dove" parties yet, nor had breakfasts or luncheon parties come in vogue for such occasions. There were about a dozen girls. They inspected the wedding outfit, they played graces, they sang songs, and had tea in Madam Royall's old china that had come to America almost a hundred years before.

Afterward several young gentlemen called, and they walked up and down in the moonlight. A young lady could invite her own escort, especially if she was "keeping company." Sometimes the mothers sent a servant to fetch home their daughters.

Of course Jane had an invitation to the wedding. Alice and a friend were to be bridesmaids, and the children were to be gowned in simple white muslin, with bows and streamers of pink satin ribbon and strew roses in the bride's path. They were flower maidens. Dorcas Payne was asked, and Madam Royall begged Mr. Adams to allow his niece to join them. They would all take it as a great favor.

"The idea!" cried Aunt Priscilla; "and she no relation! If the queen was to come to Boston I dare say Doris Adams would be asked to turn out to meet her! Well, I hope her pretty face won't ever get her into trouble."

It was a beautiful wedding, everybody said. The great rooms and the halls were full of guests, but they kept a way open for the bride, who came downstairs on her lover's arm, and he looked very proud and manly. The bridesmaids and groomsmen stood one couple at each side. The little girls strewed their flowers and then stood in a circle, and the bride swept gracefully to the open space and turned to face the guests. The maid was a little excited when she pulled off the bride's glove, but all went well, and Isabel Royall was at her very best.

While the kissing and congratulations were going on, four violins struck up melodious strains. It was just six o'clock then. The bride and groom stood for a while in the center of the room, then marched around and smiled and talked, and finally went out to the dining room, where the feast was spread, and where the bride had to cut the cake.

Cary Adams was among the young people. He was a great favorite with Alice, and a welcome guest, if he did not come quite as often as his father.

One of the prettiest things afterward was the minuet danced by the four little girls, and after that two or three cotillions were formed. The bride danced with both of the groomsmen, and the new husband with both of the bridesmaids. Then their duty was done.

They were to drive over to Dorchester that night, so presently they started. Two or three old slippers were thrown for good luck. Several of the younger men were quite nonplused at this arrangement, for they had planned some rather rough fun in a serenade, thinking the bridal couple would stay in town.

There were some amusements, jesting and laughter, some card-playing and health-drinking among the elders. The guests congratulated Madam Royall nearly as much as they had the bride. Then one after another came and bade her good-night, and took away their parcel of wedding cake to dream on.

"Oh," cried Doris on the way home,-the night was so pleasant they were walking,-"oh, wasn't it splendid! I wish Betty could have been there. Cary, how old must you be before you can get married?"

"Well-I should have to look up a girl."

"Oh, take Miss Alice. She likes you ever so much-I heard her say so. But you haven't any house like Mr. Winslow. Uncle Win, couldn't he bring her home to live with us?"

Cary's cheeks were in a red flame. Uncle Win laughed.

"My dear," he began, "a young man must have some business or some money to take care of his wife. She wouldn't like to be dependent on his relatives. Cary is going to study law, which will take some years, then he must get established, and so we will have to wait a long while. He is too young. Mr. Winslow is thirty; Cary isn't twenty yet."

"Oh, dear! Well, perhaps Betty will get married. The girl doesn't have to be so old?"

"No," said Uncle Win.

Betty came over the next morning to spend the day and help Miss Recompense to distill. She wanted to hear the first account from Doris and Uncle Win, to take off the edge of Jane's triumphant news.

They made rose water and a concoction from the spice pinks. Then they preserved cherries. Uncle Win took them driving toward night and said some day they would go over to Dorchester. He had several friends there.

The next excitement for Doris was the college commencement. Mr. Adams was disappointed that his son should not stand at the head of almost everything. He had taken one prize and made some excellent examinations, but there were many ranking as high and some higher.

There were no ball games, no college regattas to share honors then. Not that these things were tabooed. There were some splendid rowing matches and games, but then young men had a desire to stand high intellectually.

A long while before Judge Sewall had expressed his disapproval of the excesses at dinners, the wine-drinking and conviviality, and had set Friday for commencement so that there would be less time for frolicking. The war, with its long train of economies, and the greater seriousness of life in general, had tempered all things, but there was gayety enough now, with dinners given to the prize winners and a very general jollification.

Doris went with Uncle Winthrop. Commencement was one of the great occasions of the year. All the orations were in Latin, and the young men might have been haranguing a Roman army, so vigorous were they. Many of the graduates were very young; boys really studied at that time.

The remainder of the day and the one following were given over to festivities. Booths were everywhere on the ground; colors flying, flowers wreathed in every fashion, and so much merriment that they quite needed Judge Sewall back again to restrain the excesses.

Mr. Adams and Doris went to dine at the Cragie House, and Doris would have felt quite lost among judges and professors but for Miss Cragie, who took her in charge. When they went home in the early evening the shouts and songs and boisterousness seemed like a perfect orgy.

Someone has said, with a kind of dry wit, "Wherever an Englishman goes courts and litigation are sure to prevail." Certainly our New England forefathers, who set out with the highest aims, soon found it necessary to establish law courts. In the early days every man pleaded his own cause, and was especially versed in the "quirks of the law." Jeremy Gridley, a graduate of Harvard, interested himself in forming a law club in the early part of the previous century to pursue the study enough "to keep out of the briars." And to Justice Dana is ascribed the credit of administering to Mr. Secretary Oliver, standing under the Liberty Tree in a great assemblage of angry townspeople, an oath that he would take no measures to enforce the odius Stamp Act of the British Parliament or distribute it among the people.

And now the bar had a rank of its own, and Winthrop Adams had a strong desire to see his son one of the shining lights in the profession. Cary had a fine voice and was a good speaker. More than once he had distinguished himself in an argument at some of the debates. To be admitted to the office of Governor Gore was considered a high honor then, and this Mr. Adams gained for his son. Cary had another vague dream, but parental authority in well-bred families was not to be disputed at that period, and Cary acquiesced in his father's decision, since he knew his own must bring about much discussion and probably a refusal.

Mrs. King came to visit her mother this summer. She left all her children at home, as she wanted to visit round, and was afraid they might be an annoyance to Aunt Priscilla. Little Ruth had gone home very much improved, her eyes quite restored.

Uncle Winthrop enjoyed Mrs. King's society very much. She was intelligent and had cultivated her natural abilities, she also had a certain society suavity that made her an agreeable companion. Doris thought her a good deal like Betty, she was so pleasant and ready for all kinds of enjoyment. Aunt Priscilla considered her very frivolous, and there was so much go

ing and coming that she wondered Elizabeth did not get crazy over it.

They were to remove to New York in the fall, Mr. King having perfected his business arrangements. So Betty would have her winter in the gay city after all.

There were many delightful excursions with pleasure parties up and down the bay. The Embargo had been repealed, and the sails of merchant ships were again whitening the harbor, and business people breathed more freely.

There were Castle Island, with its fortifications and its waving flag, and queer old dreary-looking Noddle's Island, also little towns and settlements where one could spend a day delightfully. Every place, it seemed to Doris, had some queer, interesting story, and she possessed an insatiable appetite for them. There was the great beautiful sweep of Boston Bay, with its inlets running around the towns and its green islands everywhere-places that had been famous and had suffered in the war, and were soon to suffer again.

Mrs. King had a friend at Hingham, and one day they went there in a sort of family party. Uncle Winthrop obtained a carriage and drove them around. It was still famous for its wooden-ware factories, and Uncle Win said in the time of Governor Andros, when money was scarce among the early settlers, Hingham had paid its taxes in milk pails, but they decided the taxes could not have been very high, or the fame of the milk pails must have been very great.

Mrs. Gerry said in the early season forget-me-nots grew wild all about, and the ground was blue with them.

"Oh, Uncle Win, let us come and see them next year," cried Doris.

Then they hunted up the old church that had been nearly rent asunder by the bringing in of a bass viol to assist the singers. Party spirit had run very high. The musical people had quoted the harps and sacbuts of King David's time, the trumpets and cymbals. At last the big bass viol won the victory and was there. And the hymn was:

"Oh, may my heart in tune be found,

Like David's harp of solemn sound."

But the old minister was not to be outdone. The hymn was lined off in this fashion:

"Oh, may my heart go diddle, diddle,

Like Uncle David's sacred fiddle."

There were still a great many people opposed to instrumental music and who could see no reverence in the organ's solemn sound.

Uncle Winthrop smiled over the story, and Betty said it would do to tell to Aunt Priscilla.

Betty begged that they might take Doris to Salem with them. Doris thought she should like to see the smart little Elizabeth, who was like a woman already, and her old playfellow James, as well as Ruth, who seemed to her hardly beyond babyhood. And there were all the weird old stories-she had read some of them in Cotton Mather's "Magnalia," and begged others from Miss Recompense, who did not quite know whether she believed them or not, but she said emphatically that people had been mistaken and there was no such thing as witches.

"A whole week!" said Uncle Winthrop. "Whatever shall I do without a little girl that length of time?"

"But you have Cary now," she returned archly.

Cary was a good deal occupied with young friends and college associates. Now and then he went over to Charlestown and stayed all night with one of his chums.

"I suppose I ought to learn how it will be without you when you want to go away in real earnest."

"I am never going away."

"Suppose Mrs. King should invite you to New York? She has some little girls."

"You might like to go," she returned with a touch of hesitation.

"To see the little girls?" smilingly.

"To see a great city. Do you suppose they are very queer-and Dutch?"

He laughed at that.

"But the Dutch people went there and settled, just as the Puritans came here. And I think I like the Dutch because they have such a merry time at Christmas. We read about them in history at school."

"And then the English came, you know. I think now there is not much that would suggest Holland. I have been there."

Then Doris was eager to know what it was like, and Uncle Winthrop was interested in telling her. They forgot all about Salem-at least, Doris did until she was going to bed.

"If you do go you must be very careful a witch does not catch you, for I couldn't spare my little girl altogether."

"Uncle Winthrop, I am going to stay with you always. When Miss Recompense gets real old and cannot look after things I shall be your housekeeper."

"When Miss Recompense reaches old age I am afraid I shall be quaking for very fear."

"But it takes a long while for people to get very old," she returned decisively.

Betty came over the next day to tell her they would start on Thursday morning, and were going in a sloop to Marblehead with a friend of her father's, Captain Morton.

It was almost like going to sea, Doris thought. They had to thread their way through the islands and round Winthrop Head. There was Grover's Cliff, and then they went out past Nahant into the broad, beautiful bay, where you could see the ocean. It seemed ages ago since she had crossed it. They kept quite in to the green shores and could see Lynn and Swampscott, then they rounded one more point and came to Marblehead, where Captain Morton stopped to unload his cargo, while they went on to Salem.

At the old dock they were met by a big boy and a country wagon. This was Foster Manning, the eldest grandson of the family.

"Oh," cried Betty in amazement, "how you have grown! It is Foster?"

He smiled and blushed under the sunburn-a thin, angular boy, tall for his age, with rather large features and light-brown hair with tawny streaks in it. But his gray-blue eyes were bright and honest-looking.

"Yes, 'm," staring at the others, for he had at the moment forgotten his aunt's looks.

Betty introduced them.

"I should not have known you," said Aunt Electa. "But boys change a good deal in two years or so."

They were helped in the wagon, more by Betty than Foster, who was evidently very bashful. They drove up past the old Court House, through the main part of the town, which even then presented a thriving appearance with its home industries. But the seaport trade had been sadly interfered with by the rumors and apprehensions of war. At that time it was quaint and country-looking, with few pretensions to architectural beauty. There was old Gallows Hill at one end, with its haunting stories of witchcraft days.

The irregular road wandered out to the farming districts. Many small towns had been set off from the original Salem in the century before, and the boundaries were marked mostly by the farms.

Betty inquired after everybody, but most of the answers were "Yes, 'm" and "No, 'm." When they came in sight of the house Mrs. Manning and little Ruth ran out to welcome the guests, followed by Elizabeth, who was almost as good as a woman.

The house itself was a plain two-story with the hall door in the middle and a window on each side. The roof had a rather steep pitch in front with overhanging eaves. From this pitch it wandered off in a slow curve at the back and seemed stretched out to cover the kitchen and the sheds.

A grassy plot in front was divided by a trodden path. On one side of the small stoop was a great patch of hollyhocks that were tolerated because they needed no special care. Mrs. Manning had no time to waste upon flowers. The aspect was neat enough, but rather dreary, as Doris contrasted it with the bloom at home.

But the greetings were cordial, only Mrs. Manning asked Betty "If she had been waiting for someone to come and show her the way?" Ruth ran to Doris at once and caught her round the waist, nestling her head fondly on the bosom of the guest. Elizabeth stood awkwardly distant, and only stared when Betty presented her to Doris.

They were ushered into the first room, which was the guest chamber. The floor was painted, and in summer the rugs were put away. A large bedstead with faded chintz hangings, a bureau, a table, and two chairs completed the furniture. The ornaments were two brass candlesticks and a snuffers tray on the high mantel.

Here they took off their hats and laid down their budgets, and then went through to mother's room, where there were a bed and a cradle, a bureau, a big chest, a table piled up with work, a smaller candlestand, and a curious old desk. Next to this was the living-room, where the main work of life went on. Beyond this were a kitchen and some sheds.

Baby Hester sat on the floor and looked amazed at the irruption, then began to whimper. Her mother hushed her up sharply, and she crept out to the living-room.

"We may as well all go out," said Mrs. Manning. "I must see about supper, for that creature we have doesn't know when the kettle boils," and she led the way.

Elizabeth began to spread the tea table. A youngish woman was working in the kitchen. The Mannings had taken one of the town's poor, who at this period were farmed out. Sarah Lewis was not mentally bright, and required close watching, which she certainly received at the Mannings'. Doris stood by the window with Ruth, until the baby cried, when her mother told her to take Hester out in the kitchen and give her some supper and put her to bed. And then Doris could do nothing but watch Elizabeth while the elders discussed family affairs, the conversation a good deal interrupted by rather sharp orders to Sarah in the kitchen, and some not quite so sharp to Elizabeth.

Supper was all on the table when the men came in. There were Mr. Manning, Foster and James, and two hired men.

"You must wait, James," said his mother-"you and Elizabeth."

The guests were ranged at one end of the table, the hired men and Foster at the other. Elizabeth took some knitting and sat down by the window. The two younger children remained in the kitchen.

Doris was curiously interested, though she felt a little strange. Her eyes wandered to Elizabeth, and met the other eyes, as curious as hers. Elizabeth had straight light hair, cut square across the neck, and across her forehead in what we should call a bang. "It was time to let it grow long," her mother admitted, "but it was such a bother, falling in her eyes." Her frock, whatever color it had been, was now faded to a hopeless, depressing gray, and her brown gingham apron tied at the waist betrayed the result of many washings. She was thin and pale, too, and tired-looking. Times had not been good, and some of the crops were not turning out well, so every nerve had to be strained to pay for the new lot, in order that the interest on the amount should not eat up everything.

Afterward the men went to look to the cattle, and Mrs. Manning, when she had given orders a while in the kitchen, took her guests out on the front porch. She sat and knit as she talked to them, as the moon was shining and gave her light enough to see.

When the old clock struck nine, Mr. Manning came through the hall and stood in the doorway.

"Be you goin' to sit up all night, mother?" he inquired.

"Dear, no. And I expect you're all tired. We're up so early in the morning here that we go to bed early. And I was thinking-Ruth needn't have gone upstairs, and Doris could have slept with Elizabeth--"

"I'll go upstairs with Doris, and 'Lecty may have the room to herself," exclaimed Betty.

Grandmother Manning had a room downstairs, back of the parlor, and one of the large rooms upstairs, that the family had the privilege of using, though it was stored nearly full with a motley collection of articles and furniture. This was her right in the house left by her husband. But she spent most of her time between her daughter at Danvers and another in the heart of the town, where there were neighbors to look at, if nothing else.

Doris peered in the corners of the room by the dim candlelight.

"It's very queer," she said with a half-smile at Betty, glancing around. For there were lines across on which hung clothes and bags of dried herbs that gave the room an aromatic fragrance, and parcels in one corner piled almost up to the wall. But the space to the bed was clear, and there were a stand for the candle and two chairs.

"The children are in the next room, and the boys and men sleep at the back. The other rooms have sloping roofs. And then there's a queer little garret. Grandmother Manning is real old, and some time Mary will have all the house to herself. Josiah bought out his sisters' share, and Mrs. Manning's runs only as long as she lives."

"I shouldn't want to sleep with Elizabeth. I love you, Betty."

Betty laughed wholesomely. "You will get acquainted with her to-morrow," she said.

Doris laid awake some time, wondering if she really liked visiting, and recalling the delightful Christmas visit at Uncle Winthrop's. The indefinable something that she came to understand was not only leisure and refinement, but the certain harmonious satisfactions that make up the keynote of life from whence melody diffuses itself, were wanting here.

They had their breakfast by themselves the next morning. Friday was a busy day, but all the household except the baby were astir at five, and often earlier. There were churning and the working of butter and packing it down for customers. Of course, June butter had the royal mark, but there were plenty of people glad to get any "grass" butter.

Betty took Doris out for a walk and to show her what a farm was like. There was the herd of cows, and in a field by themselves the young ones from three months to a year. There were two pretty colts Mr. Manning was raising. And there was a flock of sheep on a stony pasture lot, with some long-legged, awkward-looking lambs who had outgrown their babyhood. Then they espied James weeding out the garden beds.

Betty sat down on a stone at the edge of the fence and took out some needlework she carried around in her pocket. Doris stood patting down the soft earth with her foot.

"Do you like to do that?" she asked presently.

"No, I don't," in a short tone.

"I think I should not either."

"'Taint the things you like, it's what has to be done," the boy flung out impatiently. "I'm not going to be a farmer. I just hate it. When I'm big enough I'm coming to Boston."

"When will you be big enough?"

"Well-when I'm twenty-one. You're of age then, you see, and your own master. But I might run away before that. Don't tell anyone that, Doris. Gewhilliker! didn't I have a splendid time at grandmother's that winter! I wish I could live there always. And grandpop is just the nicest man I know! I just hate a farm."

Doris felt very sorry for him. She thought she would not like to work that way with her bare hands. Miss Recompense always wore gloves when she gardened.

"I'd like to be you, with nothing to do."

That was a great admission. The winter at Uncle Leverett's he had rather despised girls. Cousin Sam was the one to be envied then. And it seemed to her that she kept quite busy at home, but it was a pleasant kind of business.

She did not see Elizabeth until dinner time. James took the men's dinner out to the field. They could not spend the time to come in. And after dinner Betty harnessed the old mare Jinny, and took Electa, Doris, and little Ruth out driving. The sun had gone under a cloud and the breeze was blowing over from the ocean. Electa chose to see the old town, even if there were but few changes and trade had fallen off. Several slender-masted merchantmen were lying idly at the quays, half afraid to venture with a cargo lest they might fall into the hands of privateers. The stores too had a depressed aspect. Men sat outside gossiping in a languid sort of way, and here and there a woman was tending her baby on the porch or doing a bit of sewing.

"What a sleepy old place!" said Mrs. King. "It would drive me to distraction."

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