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   Chapter 52 'FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE.'

Tracy Park By Mary Jane Holmes Characters: 30844

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


'Grandma, Jerrie has promised to be my wife!' Harold said to his grandmother that night when he took Jerrie in to her about ten o'clock, during which time they had walked to the Tramp House, and sitting down upon the chair which would hold but one, had talked the whole matter over, from the morning Harold first saw the sweet little face in the carpet-bag to the present moment when the same sweet face was pressed lovingly against his, and the same arms which had clung to him in the snow were around his neck in the darkness, as they went over with the old, old story, newest always and best to the last one who listens to it and believes that it is true.

'Father, I have promised to marry Harold,' Jerrie said to Arthur the next morning as she stood before him in the Gretchen room, with Harold's hand in hers, and a look in her face something like what Gretchen's had worn when Arthur first called her his wife.

'Lord bless you, I knew it was coming, but did not think it would be quite so soon. You shock my nerves dreadfully,' Arthur exclaimed, springing up and walking two or three times across the room. Then, confronting the young couple, he said, 'Going to marry Harold? I knew you would all this time. Well, he will do as well as any one to look after the business. Frank is no good, and Colvin is too old. So, get married at once, within a week if you like. I'm off for Germany next month, to find Gretchen's grave, and the house, and the picture, and everything, and as I shall take you with me I shall need some one with brains to look after things while I am gone.'

'But father,' Jerrie began, 'if I go to Germany, Harold will go, too, and if he stops here, I shall stay.'

Arthur looked at her inquiringly a moment, and then, as he begun to understand, replied: 'Ah, yes, I see; "where thou goest, I go, and where thou-" and so forth, and so forth. Well, all right; only you must come here directly; it will never do to stay there, now you are engaged; and you must be married in this room, with Gretchen looking on, and soon, too. No wedding, of course, Maude's death is too recent for that; but soon, very soon, so we can get off. I'll engage passage at once in the Germanic, which sails the 15th of October, and you shall be married the 10th. That's three weeks from to-day, and will give you a few days in New York. I'll leave Frank here till we return, and then he must go, of course, and the new mistress step in with Mrs. Crawford to superintend. We will get some nice man and woman to stay with her while we are gone.'

He had settled everything rapidly, but Jerrie had something to say upon the subject. She did not wish to come to Tracy Park altogether while Mrs. Tracy was there; she would rather enjoy the lovely room which Harold had built for her, she said, and preferred to be married in the cottage, the only home she had ever known.

'I shall stay with you all day,' she continued, 'but go home at night.'

'And so have a long walk with Harold. Yes, I see,' Arthur said, laughingly, but assenting finally to her proposal.

It was Jerrie now who planned everything, with Harold's assistance, and who broached the subject of Frank's future to her father, asking what provision he intended to make for him when he left Tracy Park.

'What provision?' Arthur said. 'I guess he has made provision for himself all these years, when my purse has been as free to him as myself. Colvin tells me there has been an awful lot of money spent somewhere.'

'Yes,' Jerrie replied, 'but you gave him permission to spend it, and it would hardly be fair now to leave him with little or nothing, and he so broken down. When Maude feared she was going to die, and before she knew who I was, she wrote a letter for her father and you, asking him to give me what he would have given her, and you to do the same. So now, I want you to give Maude's father what you would have given me for Maude's sake.'

'Bless my soul, Jerrie!' Arthur said. 'What a beggar you are! I don't know what I should have given you; all I am worth, perhaps. How much will satisfy you for Frank? Tell me, and it is done.'

Jerrie thought one hundred thousand dollars would not be any too much, nor did it seem so to Arthur, who placed but little value upon his money, and Jerrie was deputed to tell her uncle what provision was to be made for him, and that, if he wished, he was to remain at the park until his brother's return from Europe.

Frank was not in his own room, but Mrs. Tracy was, and to her Jerrie first communicated the intelligence that she was to be married and go with her father to Germany. The look which the highly scandalized lady gave her was wonderful, as she said:

'Married! almost before the crape is off the door, or the flowers wilted on Maude's grave! Well, that shows how little we are missed; and I am not surprised, though I think Maude would be, at Harold, certainly. I suppose you know there was something between them; but a man will do any thing for money. I wish you joy of your husband.'

Jerrie was too indignant to explain any thing, and hurried off in quest of her uncle, whom she found in Maude's room, where he spent the most of his time, walking up and down and examining the different articles which had belonged to his daughter, and which, at his request, remained untouched as she had left them. Her brushes, her comb, her bottled perfumery, her work-box, her Bible, a little half-finished sketch, and her soft bed-slippers she had worn when she died, and one of which he held in his hand when Jerrie went in to him.

'It is so like Maude,' he said, with quivering lips, as she went to his side, 'and when I hold it in my hand I can almost hear the dear little feet, which I know are cold and dead, coming along the hall as she used to come, and will never come again. I think I should like to die here in this room and go where Maude has gone, and I believe I should go there. I am sure God has forgiven me, and Maude forgave me, too, for I told her.'

'You did! I thought so,' Jerrie said.

'Yes, I had to tell her,' he continued, 'and I am glad I did, and she loved me just the same. You saw her die. You heard what she said to me. She must have believed in me, and that keeps me from going mad. I told Dolly, too; the shadow was so black I had to; and she said she'd never speak to me again as long as she lived, and she didn't either until last night, when I was alone in here, crying on Maude's bed; then she came to me and called me Frank, and said she was sorry she had been so hard, and asked me what we were going to do, and where we were going. I'm sure I don't know; do you?'

He was so broken, so like a child in his appeal to her, that Jerrie's tears came fast as she told him of her approaching marriage and what her father intended doing for him. Then Frank broke down entirely, and cried like a child.

'I don't deserve it, and I know I owe it to you, whom I have injured so much,' he said, while Jerrie tried to comfort him.

'I must go back now to father,' she said at last; and, with a kiss upon his worn face, she went out into the hall, where she encountered Tom just coming from his mother's room.

'Hallo!' Tom cried, with an attempt at a smile, 'and so you are going to marry Harold?'

'Yes, Tom; I'm going to marry Harold,' Jerrie replied, unhesitatingly, as she laid her hand on Tom's arm and walked with him down the stairs.

It seemed to her the most natural thing in the world that she should marry Harold, and she was not at all abashed in speaking of it to Tom; but when outside they saw Harold coming up the walk, the color rushed to her cheeks, and her eyes grew wondrously bright with the love-light which shown in them, as she dropped Tom's arm and hurried to Harold's side.

'By George, I b'lieve I'll go and hang myself!' Tom said, under his breath, as he stalked moodily away; but instead of that he went across the fields to Le Bateau, where he sat for an hour, talking with old Peterkin and waiting for Ann Eliza, who had gone to Springfield, her father said, after a new gown, for which he was to pay two hundred dollars.

'Think on't!' he continued. 'When we was fust married and run the 'Liza Ann, the best gown May Jane had to her back was a mereener or balzarine-dummed if I know what you call it-at one and ninepence a yard; but now, lord land, what's two hundred dollar gownd to me! Ann Eliza can have forty on 'em, if she wants to. There she is; there's the kerridge! By gosh, though, ain't she a neat little filly!' and the father's face glowed with pride as he watched his daughter alighting from the carriage, to which Tom had hastened in order to assist her, for she was still a little lame and limped as she walked.

He saw the two hundred dollar gown, for Peterkin would have it displayed, and admired it, of course, and wished thut he had half the sum it cost in his own right, and wondered if he could stand it, as he walked slowly home, where he heard from his mother that they were still to remain at Tracy Park for a while, and that his father was to have one hundred thousand dollars settled upon him.

'I guess now I'll wait a spell, and let old Peterkin go to thunder,' he decided, and for two weeks and more Ann Eliza watched in vain for his coming, while Peterkin remarked to his wife that if Tom Tracy was goin' to play fast and loose with his gal, he'd find himself brought up standin' mighty lively.

The news that Harold and Jerrie were soon to be married, and go with Arthur to Germany, created some surprise, and some talk, too, in town, where many of the people had believed that there had been an understanding, if not an engagement, between Harold and Maude. But Tom put that right with a few decided words. There had never been an engagement, he said. Maude had liked Harold very much, and he had liked her, but had always preferred Jerrie; in short, matters had been as good as settled between them, long ago.

This last was a little fiction of Tom's brain, but the people accepted it as true, and began to look eagerly forward to the approaching marriage, wondering, as people will, who would be invited, and who would not. It took place the 10th of October, in Mrs. Crawford's little parlor, with only a few intimate friends present-Grace Atherton, the St. Claires, Ann Eliza Peterkin, and the Tracys, with the exception of Dolly, who could not do so great violence to her feeling, as to attend a wedding. Billy was not there, but he sent a magnificent emerald ring to Jerrie, with the following note:

DEAR JERRIE,-I can't see you married, although I am glad for you, and glad for Hal. God bless you both. I shall never forget you as long as I live; and when you come back, maybe I can bear to see you as Hal's wife, but now it would kill me. Good-bye.

Jerrie read this note with wet eyes up in her room, and then passed it to Harold, to whom she told of that episode under the butternut tree, when Billy asked her to be his wife.

'Poor Billy! I am awful sorry for him, but I can't let him have you, Jerrie,' Harold said, passing the note back to her, and kissing her tenderly, as he added: 'That is my last kiss for Jerrie Tracy, my little girl of the carpet-bag. When I kiss you again, you will be my wife.'

'Come, children, we are waiting,' came with startling distinctness from Arthur at the foot of the stairs, and then Harold and Jerrie went down to the parlor, where they were soon made one, Arthur giving the bride away, and behaving pretty well under the circumstances.

He had been very flighty the day before, insisting that Jerrie should be married in white, with a blue ribbon on her bonnet, just as Gretchen had been, and when she reminded him of Maude's recent death, he replied:

'Well, Gretchen will wear colors if you do not.'

And again he brought out and laid upon his bed the dress bought in Paris years before, and which had been waiting for Gretchen on that stormy night when he heard the wild cry of the dying woman above the wintery gale. She was with him again in fancy, and when he went out to the carriage which was to carry him to the cottage, he stepped back and stood a moment by the door as if to let some one enter before him, and all during the ceremony those nearest to him heard him whispering to himself, 'I, Arthur, take thee, Gretchen,' and so forth; but when it was over he came to himself and seemed perfectly rational, as he kissed his daughter and shook hands with his son-in-law, to whom he gave a check for ten thousand dollars, saying as he did so, that young men must have a little spending money.

It was a very pleasant wedding, and every one seemed happy, even to Dick, whose spirits, however, were rather too gay to be quite natural, and whose voice shook just a little as he called Jerrie Mrs. Hasting, and told her he hoped to see her in Paris in the spring as he thought of going over there with Nina to join the Raymonds.

'Oh, I hope you will! Nothing could make me so happy as to meet you there,' Jerrie said, looking at him with an expression which told him she was thinking of the pines and was sorry for him.

The newly married pair were going directly to New York, where Arthur was to join them on the 4th, as the Germanic sailed the 15th.

All the wedding guests accompanied them to the station, Tom accepting a seat in the coupé with Ann Eliza, who wore her two hundred dollar gown, and was, of course, overdressed. But Tom did not think much about that. He was ill at ease that morning, though trying to seem natural; and when the train which took Jerrie away disappeared from view, he felt as if everything which had made life desirable had left him forever, and he cared but little now what he did, or with whom his lot was cast.

So when Ann Eliza, who had cried at parting with Jerrie, dried her eyes and said to him, 'It is such a fine day; suppose we drive along the river; it may dispel the blues,' he assented, and soon found himself bowling along the smooth turnpike with Ann Eliza, whom he thought rather interesting, with the tears shed for Jerrie on her long, light eyelashes.

'I shall miss her so much, and be so lonely without her. I hope you'll call often,' she said to him, when at last the drive was over, and Tom promised that he would, and kept his promise, too; for after Arthur left, he found Tracy Park so insupportably dull, with his father always in Maude's room and his mother always in tears, that it was a relief to go to Le Bateau and be made much of as if he were a prince and treated to nice little lunches and suppers, even if old Peterkin did make one of the party and disgust him so at times that he felt as if he must snatch up his hat and fly.

And one night, when the old man had been more than usually disagreeable and pompous, he did start up abruptly and leave the house, mentally vowing never to enter it again.

'I'd rather saw wood and gather swill, as Hal used to, than listen to that infernal old brag,' he was saying to himself, when he heard a wheezy sound behind him, and looking round saw the old brag in full pursuit and beckoning him to stop.

'I'm goin' to walk a spell with you,' he said, locking his arm in Tom's as he came up. 'I want to have a little talk.'

'Yes,' Tom faltered, with a dreadful sinking of the heart, while Peterkin went on:

'You see you've been a comin' to Lubbertoo off

and on for mighty nigh a month, and as the parents of a family it's time I as't your intentions.'

'Intentions!' Tom stammered, trying to draw his arm from Peterkin's.

But he might as well have tried to wrench it from a vise, for Peterkin held it fast and went on:

'Yes, intentions! Thunderation, hain't a chap 'sposed to have intentions when he hangs round a gal who has money like my Ann 'Liza! I tell you what, Thomas,' and his manner became very insinuating and frank, 'as nigh as I can kalkerlate I'm worth three millions, fair and square, and there's three on 'em to divide it amongst-May Jane, Bill, and Ann 'Liza. Now, s'posin' we say three into three million, don't it leave a million?'

Tom acknowledged that it did, and Peterkin continued:

'Jess so. Now I ain't one of them mean skunks that wants his folks to wait till he's dead afore they enjoys themselves; and the day my Ann 'Liza is married, I plank down a million in hard cash for her and her husband to do what they darned please with; cut a dash in Europe as Hal is doin', if they like, or cut a splurge to hum, it's all one to me. I call that square, don't you?'

Tom admitted that he did, and Peterkin went on:

'Now, then, I ain't goin't to have Ann 'Liza's affections trifled with, and if I catch a feller a doin' on't, d'ye know what I'll do?'

Tom could not guess, and Peterkin continued:

'I'll lick him within an inch of his life, and then set the dogs on him, and heave him inter the river! See?'

It was not a warm day, but Tom was perspiring at every pore as he saw presented to him the choice between a million or to be 'licked within an inch of his life and then dogged into the river.' Naturally he chose the first as the lesser evil of the two, and began to lie as he had never lied in his life before. He was very glad, he said, that Peterkin had broached the subject, as it made matters easier for him by showing him that his suit might not be rejected, as he had feared it might be.

'You know, of course, Mr. Peterkin,' he said, 'that I am a poor young man, with no expectations whatever, for though Uncle Arthur has settled something upon father, I cannot depend upon that, and how could I dare to look as high as your daughter without some encouragement?'

'Encouragement, boy? Great Scott!' and releasing Tom's arm, Peterkin hit him a friendly slap, which nearly knocked him down. 'Great Scott! What do you call encouragement? When a gal is so flustified at seeing you, and so tickled that she tetters right up and down, while her mother hunts heaven and earth for tit-bits to tickle your palate with-quail on toast, mushrooms, sweet-breads, and the Lord knows what-ain't that a sign they are willin'? Thunder and guns! what would you have? Ann 'Liza can't up and say "Marry me, Tom;" nor I can't up and say, "Thomas, marry my daughter," can I? But if you want to marry her, say so like a man, and I swan I'll meet you like a man, and a father!'

Alas for Tom! he had nothing left him to do except to say that he wished to marry Ann Eliza, and that he would come the next evening and tell her so.

It was Peterkin who answered his ring when he presented himself at the door of Le Bateau, Peterkin more inflated and pompous than ever as he shook the young man's hand, calling him Thomas-a name which aggravated him beyond all description-and telling him to go right into the parlor, where he would find Ann 'Liza waitin' for him, and where they could bill and coo as much as they liked, for he and May Jane would keep out of the way and give 'em a chance.

Even then Tom cast one despairing glance toward the door, with a half resolve to bolt; but Peterkin was behind him, pushing him on to his fate, which, after all, was not so very bad when he came to face it. There was nothing low, or mean, or coarse about Ann Eliza, who, but for her very bright red hair, would have been called pretty by some, and who was by no means ill-looking, even with her red hair, as she stood up to receive her lover, with a droop in her eyes, and a flush on her cheeks; for she knew the object of his visit, into which he plunged at once. He did not say that he loved her, but he asked her in a straightforward way to be his wife, and then waited for her answer, which was not long in coming, for Ann Eliza was no dissembler. She loved Tom Tracy with her whole soul, and felt herself honored in being sought by him.

'Oh, Tom!' she said, while the tears shone in her eyes, which Tom noticed for the first time were large and clear and very blue. 'It does not seem possible for you to love me, but, if you really do, I will be your wife and try to make you happy, and-and-'

She hesitated a moment and then went on:

'Save you as much as possible from father. We cannot live here; you and he would not get on; he means well and is the kindest of fathers to me, but he is not like you, and we must go away.'

She was really a very sensible girl, Tom thought, and in his joy at finding her so sensible he stooped and kissed her forehead as the proper thing for him to do, while she, the poor little mistaken girl, threw herself into his arms and began to cry, she was so glad and happy.

Tom did not know exactly what he ought to do. It was a novel situation for him to be in, with a girl sobbing on his bosom, and his first impulse was to push her off; but when he remembered that she represented a million of dollars, he did what half the men in the world would have done in his place: he held her close and tried to quiet her, and told her he was not half good enough for her, and knew in his heart he was telling the truth, and felt within him that stirring of a resolve that she should never know he did not love her, and that he would make her happy, if he could.

And so they were betrothed without much billing and cooing, and Peterkin came in with Mary Jane and made a speech half-an-hour long to his future son-in-law, and settled just when they were to be married and what they were to do.

Christmas week was the time, and he vowed he'd give 'em a wedding which should take the starch entirely out of Gusty Browne, whose mother, Mrs. Rossiter Browne, would think Gusty was never married at all when she saw what he could do. Greatly he lamented that Harold and Jerry could not be present. 'But they'll see it in the papers,' he said, 'for I'll have a four column notice, if I write it myself, and pay for it too! And when you meet 'em in Europe you can tell 'em what they missed.'

To all this Tom listened, with great drops of cold sweat running down his back as he thought of the ridicule he should incur if Peterkin should carry out his intentions to 'take the rag off the bush,' as he expressed it. The trip to Europe pleased him, but the party filled him with a horror from which he saw no escape, until he consulted his mother, to whom he at once announced his engagement, but did not tell her of the check on a Springfield bank for $2,000 which Peterkin had slipped into his hand at parting with him, saying, when he protested against taking it:

'Don't be a fool, Thomas. I'm to be your dad, so take it; you'll need it. I know your circumstances; they ain't what they was, and I don't s'pose you've got enough to buy the engagement ring, I want a big one. A solitary-no cluster for me. I know what 'tis to be poor. Take it, Thomas.'

So Tom took it with a sense of shame which prompted him several times to tear it in shreds and throw them to the winds. But this he did not do, for he knew he should need money, as he had none of his own; and when, a few days before, he had asked Colvin for some, that worthy man, who had never taken kindly to him, had bidden him go to a very warm place for money, as he had no orders to give him any.

'Your uncle,' he said, 'settled one hundred thousand dollars on your father-the more fool he-and expects him to live on it. So my advice to you is that you go to work.'

Now, Tom couldn't work, and after a little Peterkin's gift did not seem so very humiliating to him, although he could not bring himself to tell his mother of it when he announced his engagement to her, which he did bluntly and with nothing apologetic in his manner or speech.

'I am going to marry Ann Eliza Peterkin some time during the holidays, and start at once for Europe,' he said, and then brought some water and dashed it in her face, for she immediately went into hysterics and declared herself dying.

When she grew calm, Tom swore a little, and talked a good deal, and told her about the million, which he said was not to be sneezed at, and told her what Colvin had said to him, and asked what the old Harry he was to do if he didn't marry Ann Eliza, and told her of the proposed party, asking her to save him from it if she could.

When she found she could not help herself, Dolly rose to the situation, and said she would see her daughter-in-law elect, whom Tom was to bring to her, as she could not think of calling at Le Bateau in her present state of affliction. So Ann Eliza came over in the coat-of-arms carriage, and her mother came with her. But her Dolly declined to see. She could not endure everything, she said to Tom, and was only equal to Ann Eliza, whom she met with a bow and the tips of her fingers, without rising from her chair. Still, as the representative of a million, Ann Eliza was entitled to some consideration, and Dolly motioned her to a seat beside her, and, with her black-bordered handkerchief to her eyes, said to her:

'Tom tells me you are going to marry him, and I trust you will try to make him happy. He is a most estimable young man now, and if he should develop any bad habits, I shall think it owing to some new and bad influence brought to bear upon him.'

'Yes'm,' Ann Eliza answered, timidly; and the great lady went on to talk of family, and blood, and position, as something for which money could not make amends, and to impress upon her a sense of the great honor it was to be a member of the Tracy family.

Then she spoke of the wedding party, which she trusted Ann Eliza would prevent, as nothing could be in worse taste when they were in such affliction, adding that neither herself nor Mr. Tracy could think of being present.

'Be married quietly, without any display, if you wish to please me,' she said; and with a wave of her cobweb handkerchief she signified that the conference was ended.

'Well, Annie, how did you and my lady hit it?' Tom asked, meeting Ann Eliza in the hall as she came out, flushed and hot from the interview.

'We didn't hit it at all,' Ann Eliza replied, with a sound of tears in her voice, and a gleam in her eye which Tom had never seen before. 'She just talked as if I were dirt, and that you were only marrying me for money. She don't like me and I don't like her, there!' and the indignant little girl began to cry.

Tom laughed immoderately, and, passing his arm around her as they went down the stairs, he said:

'Of course you don't like her. Who ever did like her mother-in-law? But you are marrying me, not my mother, so don't cry, petite.'

Tom was making an effort to be very kind, and even lover-like to his fiancée, who was easily comforted, and who, on her return to Le Bateau told her father plainly that the party must be given up, as it would be sadly out of place and deeply offend the Tracys. Very unwillingly Peterkin gave it up, and sent word to that effect to Mrs. Rossiter-Browne, who had already been apprised of the coming event and was having a wonderful gown made for the occasion.

'I find,' he wrote, 'that it wouldn't be at all rachelshay to have a blow out whilst the family is in deep black; but when they git into lavender, and the young folks is home from their tower, I'll have a tearer.'

Peterkin tried two or three times to see Mrs. Tracy, but she put him off with one excuse after another, until Tom took the matter in hand and told her she was acting like a fool and putting on quite too many airs. Then she appointed an interview, and, bracing herself with a tonic, went down to the darkened, cheerless room, and by her manner so managed to impress him with her superiority over him and his that he forgot entirely the speech he had prepared with infinite pains, and which had in it a good deal about family bonds, and family units, and Aaron's beard, and brotherly love. This he had rehearsed many times to May Jane, with wonderful gestures and flourishes; 'but, I'll be bumped' he said to her on his return from the Park House, 'if I didn't forget every blessed word, she was so high and mighty. Lord! as if I didn't know what she sprung from; but that's the way with them as was born to nothin'. May Jane, if I ever catch you puttin' on airs 'cause you're a Peterkin, I b'lieve I'll kill you!'

After this, anything like familiar intercourse ceased between the heads of the two families until the morning after Christmas day, when Frank and Dolly drove over to Le Bateau, where were assembled the same people who had been present at Jerrie's wedding, and where Peterkin insisted upon darkening the rooms and lighting the gas, as something a little out of the usual order of things in Shannondale. Peterkin was very happy, and very proud of this alliance with the Tracy, and his pride and happiness shone in his face all through the ceremony; and when the clergyman asked, 'Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?' his manner was something grand to see as he stepped forward and responded, 'I do, sir,' in a voice so loud and full of importance that Dolly involuntarily groaned, while Tom found it hard to refrain from laughing.

Tom behaved very well, and kissed his bride before any one else had a chance to do so, and called May Jane mother and Peterkin father, after he saw the papers which made Ann Eliza own in her own right a million dollars; and when, an hour later, she handed over to him as his own, a deed of property valued at one hundred thousand dollars, he took her in his arms and kissed her again, telling her what was very true, that she was worth her weight in gold. Tom had felt his poverty keenly, and all the more so that Ann Eliza's engagement-ring, a superb solitaire, had actually been bought with her father's gift, as had their passage tickets to Europe. But now he was a rich man, made so by his wife's thoughtful generosity, and he was conscious of a new set of feelings and emotions with regard to her, and inwardly vowed that, so far as in him lay, he would make her happy.

They took the train for New York that afternoon, accompanied by Peterkin, who, when the ship sailed away next day, stood upon the wharf waving his hands and calling out as long as they could hear him, 'God bless you, my children! God bless you, my children!' Then he went back to Shannondale and called at Tracy Park, and reported to Frank, the only one he saw, that the youngsters had gone, and that Mrs. Thomas Tracy looked as well as the best on 'em in the ship, and a darned sight better than some!

After this the great houses of Le Bateau and Tracy Park settled down into perfect quiet, especially that of Tracy Park, where Dolly shut herself up in her mourning and crape, and Frank spent most of his time in Maude's room, with her photograph in his hand, and his thoughts busy with memories of the dear little girl lying in her grave of flowers under the winter snow.

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