Time passes, and the engines of the Truro Railroad are now puffing in and out
of the yards of Worthington's mills in Brampton, and a fine layer of dust covers
the old green stage which has worn the road for so many years over Truro Gap. If
you are ever in Brampton, you can still see the stage, if you care to go into
the back of what was once Jim Sanborn's livery stable, now owned by Mr. Sherman
of the Brampton House.
Conventions and elections had come and gone, and the Honorable Heth Sutton
had departed triumphantly to Washington, cheered by his neighbors in Clovelly.
Chamberlain Bixby was left in charge there, supreme. Who could be more desirable
as a member of Congress than Mr. Sutton, who had so ably served his party (and
Jethro) by holding the House against the insurgents in the matter of the Truro
Bill? Mr. Sutton was, moreover, a gentleman, an owner of cattle and land, a man
of substance whom lesser men were proud to mention as a friend—a very hill-Rajah
with stock in railroads and other enterprises, who owed allegiance and paid
tribute alone to the Great Man of Coniston.
Mr. Sutton was one who would make himself felt even in the capital of the
United States—felt and heard. And he had not been long in the Halls of Congress
before he made a speech which rang under the very dome of the Capitol. So said
the Brampton and Harwich papers, at least, though rivals and detractors of Mr.
Sutton declared that they could find no matter in it which related to the
subject of a bill, but that is neither here nor there. The oration began with a
lengthy tribute to the resources and history of his state, and ended by a
declaration that the speaker was in Congress at no man's bidding, but as the
servant of the common people of his district.
Under the lamp of the little parlor in the tannery house, Cynthia (who has
now arrived at the very serious age of nineteen) was reading the papers to
Jethro and came upon Mr. Sutton's speech. There were four columns of it, but
Jethro seemed to take delight in every word; and portions of the noblest parts
of it, indeed, he had Cynthia read over again. Sometimes, in the privacy of his
home, Jethro was known to chuckle, and to Cynthia's surprise he chuckled more
than usual that evening.
"Uncle Jethro," she said at length, when she had laid the paper down, "I
thought that you sent Mr. Sutton to Congress."
Jethro leaned forward.
"What put that into your head, Cynthy?" he asked.
"Oh," answered the girl, "everybody says so,—Moses Hatch, Rias, and Cousin
Eph. Didn't you?"
Jethro looked at her, as she thought, strangely.
"You're too young to know anything about such things, Cynthy," he said, "too
"But you make all the judges and senators and congressmen in the state, I
know you do. Why," exclaimed Cynthia, indignantly, "why does Mr. Sutton say the
people elected him when he owes everything to you?"
Jethro, arose abruptly and flung a piece of wood into the stove, and then he
stood with his back to her. Her instinct told her that he was suffering, though
she could not fathom the cause, and she rose swiftly and drew him down into the
chair beside her.
"What is it?" she said anxiously. "Have you got rheumatism, too, like Cousin
Eph? All old men seem to have rheumatism."
"No, Cynthy, it hain't rheumatism," he managed to answer; "wimmen folks
hadn't ought to mix up in politics. They—they don't understand 'em, Cynthy."
"But I shall understand them some day, because I am your daughter—now
that—now that I have only you, I am your daughter, am I not?"
"Yes, yes," he answered huskily, with his hand on her hair.
"And I know more than most women now," continued Cynthia, triumphantly. "I'm
going to be such a help to you soon—very soon. I've read a lot of history, and I
know some of the Constitution by heart. I know why old Timothy Prescott fought
in the Revolution—it was to get rid of kings, wasn't it, and to let the people
have a chance? The people can always be trusted to do what is right, can't they,
Jethro was silent, but Cynthia did not seem to notice that. After a space she
spoke again:—"I've been thinking it all out about you, Uncle Jethro."
"Yes, I know why you are able to send men to Congress and make judges of
them. It's because the people have chosen you to do all that for them—you are so
great and good."
Jethro did not answer.
Although the month was March, it was one of those wonderful still nights that
sometimes come in the mountain-country when the wind is silent in the notches
and the stars seem to burn nearer to the earth. Cynthia awoke and lay staring
for an instant at the red planet which hung over the black and ragged ridge, and
then she arose quickly and knocked at the door across the passage.
"Are you ill, Uncle Jethro?"
"No," he answered, "no, Cynthy. Go to bed. Er—I was just thinkin'—thinkin',
that's all, Cynthy."
Though all his life he had eaten sparingly, Cynthia noticed that he scarcely
touched his breakfast the next morning, and two hours later he went unexpectedly
to the state capital. That day, too, Coniston was clothed in clouds, and by
afternoon a wild March snowstorm was sweeping down the face of the mountain,
piling against doorways and blocking the roads. Through the storm Cynthia fought
her way to the harness shop, for Ephraim Prescott had taken to his bed, bound
hand and foot by rheumatism.
Much of that spring Ephraim was all but helpless, and Cynthia spent many days
nursing him and reading to him. Meanwhile the harness industry languished.
Cynthia and Ephraim knew, and Coniston guessed, that Jethro was taking care of
Ephraim, and strong as was his affection for Jethro the old soldier found
dependence hard to bear. He never spoke of it to Cynthia, but he used to lie and
dream through the spring days of what he might have done if the war had not
crippled him. For Ephraim Prescott, like his grandfather, was a man of action—a
keen, intelligent American whose energy, under other circumstances, might have
gone toward the making of the West. Ephraim, furthermore, had certain principles
which some in Coniston called cranks; for instance, he would never apply for a
pension, though he could easily have obtained one. Through all his troubles, he
held grimly to the ideal which meant more to him than ease and comfort,—that he
had served his country for the love of it.
With the warm weather he was able to be about again, and occasionally to mend
a harness, but Doctor Rowell shook his head when Jethro stopped his buggy in the
road one day to inquire about Ephraim. Whereupon Jethro went on to the harness
shop. The inspiration, by the way, had come from Cynthia.
"Er—Ephraim, how'd you like to, be postmaster? H-haven't any objections to
that kind of a job, hev you?"
"Why no," said Ephraim. "We hain't agoin' to hev a post-office at
"H-how'd you like to be postmaster at Brampton?" demanded Jethro, abruptly.
Ephraim dropped the trace he was shaving.
"Postmaster at Brampton!" he exclaimed.
"H-how'd you like it?" said Jethro again.
"Well," said Ephraim, "I hain't got any objections."
Jethro started out of the shop, but paused again at the door.
"W-won't say nothin' about it, will you, Eph?" he inquired.
"Not till I git it," answered Ephraim. The sorrows of three years were
suddenly lifted from his shoulders, and for an instant Ephraim wanted to dance
until he remembered the rheumatism and the Wilderness leg. Suddenly a thought
struck him, and he hobbled to the door and called out after Jethro's retreating
figure. Jethro returned.
"Well?" he said, "well?"
"What's the pay?" said Ephraim, in a whisper.
Jethro named the sum instantly, also in a whisper.
"You don't tell me!" said Ephraim, and sank stupefied into the chair in front
of the shop, where lately he had spent so much of his time.
Jethro chuckled twice on his way home: he chuckled twice again to Cynthia's
delight at supper, and after supper he sent Millicent Skinner to find Jake
Wheeler. Jake as usual, was kicking his heels in front of the store, talking to
Rias and others about the coming Fourth of July celebration at Brampton.
Brampton, as we know, was famous for its Fourth of July celebrations. Not
neglecting to let it be known that Jethro had sent for him, Jake hurried off
through the summer twilight to the tannery house, bowed ceremoniously to Cynthia
under the butternut tree, and discovered Jethro behind the shed. It was usually
Jethro's custom to allow the other man to begin the conversation, no matter how
trivial the subject—a method which had commended itself to Mr. Bixby and other
minor politicians who copied him. And usually the other man played directly into
Jethro's hands. Jake Wheeler always did, and now, to cover the awkwardness of
the silence, he began on the Brampton celebration.
"They tell me Heth Sutton's a-goin' to make the address—seems prouder than
ever sence he went to Congress. I guess you'll tell him what to say when the
time comes, Jethro."
"Er—goin' to Clovelly after wool this week, Jake?"
"I kin go to-morrow," said Jake, scenting an affair.
"Er—goin' to Clovelly after wool this week, Jake?"
Jake reflected. He saw it was expedient that this errand should not smell of
"I was goin' to see Cutter on Friday," he answered.
"Er—if you should happen to meet Heth—"
"Yes," interrupted Jake.
"If by chance you should happen to meet Heth, or Bije" (Jethro knew that Jake
never went to Clovelly without a conference with one or the other of these
personages, if only to be able to talk about it afterward at the store),
"er—what would you say to 'em?"
"Why," said Jake, scratching his head for the answer, "I'd tell him you was
"Think we'll have rain, Jake?" inquired Jethro, blandly.
Jake wended his way back to the store, filled with renewed admiration for the
great man. Jethro had given him no instructions whatever, could deny before a
jury if need be that he had sent him (Jake) to Clovelly to tell Heth Sutton to
come to Coniston for instructions on the occasion of his Brampton speech. And
Jake was filled with a mysterious importance when he took his seat once more in
Jake Wheeler, although in many respects a fool, was one of the most efficient
pack of political hounds that the state has ever known. By six o'clock on Friday
morning he was descending a brook valley on the Clovelly side of the mountain,
and by seven was driving between the forest and river meadows of the Rajah's
domain, and had come in sight of the big white house with its somewhat
pretentious bay-windows and Gothic doorway; it might be dubbed the palace of
these parts. The wide river flowed below it, and the pastures so wondrously
green in the morning sun were dotted with fat cattle and sheep. Jake was content
to borrow a cut of tobacco from the superintendent and wonder aimlessly around
the farm until Mr. Sutton's family prayers and breakfast were accomplished. We
shall not concern ourselves with the message or the somewhat lengthy manner in
which it was delivered. Jake had merely dropped in by accident, but the Rajah
listened coldly while he picked his teeth, said he didn't know whether he was
going to Brampton or not—hadn't decided; didn't know whether he could get to
Coniston or not—his affairs were multitudinous now. In short, he set Jake to
thinking deeply as his horse walked up the western heights of Coniston on the
return journey. He had, let it be repeated, a sure instinct once his nose was
fairly on the scent, and he was convinced that a war of great magnitude was in
the air, and he; Jake Wheeler, was probably the first in all the elate to
discover it! His blood leaped at the thought.
The hill-Rajah's defiance, boiled down, could only mean one thing,—that
somebody with sufficient power and money was about to lock horns with Jethro
Bass. Not for a moment did Jake believe that, for all his pomp and circumstance,
the Honorable Heth Sutton was a big enough man to do this. Jake paid to the
Honorable Heth all the outward respect that his high position demanded, but he
knew the man through and through. He thought of the Honorable Heth's reform
speech in Congress, and laughed loudly in the echoing woods. No, Mr. Sutton was
not the man to lead a fight. But to whom had he promised his allegiance? This
question puzzled Mr. Wheeler all the way home, and may it be said finally for
many days thereafter. He slid into Coniston in the dusk, big with impending
events, which he could not fathom. As to giving Jethro the careless answer of
the hill-Rajah, that was another matter.
The Fourth of July came at last, nor was any contradiction made in the
Brampton papers that the speech of the Honorable Heth Sutton had been cancelled.
Instead, advertisements appeared in the 'Brampton Clarion' announcing the fact
in large letters. When Cynthia read this advertisement to Jethro, he chuckled
again. They were under the butternut tree, for the evenings were long now.
"Will you take me to Brampton, Uncle Jethro?" said she, letting fall the
paper on her lap.
"W-who's to get in the hay?" said Jethro.
"Hay on the Fourth of July!" exclaimed Cynthia, "why, that's—sacrilege! You'd
much better come and hear Mr. Sutton's speech—it will do you good."
Cynthia could see that Jethro was intensely amused, for his eyes had a way of
snapping on such occasions when he was alone with her. She was puzzled and
slightly offended, because, to tell the truth, Jethro had spoiled her.
"Very well, then," she said, "I'll go with the Painter-man."
Jethro came and stood over her, his expression the least bit wistful.
"Er—Cynthy," he said presently, "hain't fond of that Painter-man, be you?"
"Why, yes," said Cynthia, "aren't you?"
"He's fond of you," said Jethro, "sh-shouldn't be surprised if he was in love
Cynthia looked up at him, the corners of her mouth twitching, and then she
laughed. The Rev. Mr. Satterlee, writing his Sunday sermon in his study, heard
her and laid down his pen to listen.
"Uncle Jethro," said Cynthia, "sometimes I forget that you're a great, wise
man, and I think that you are just a silly old goose."
Jethro wiped his face with his blue cotton handkerchief.
"Then you hain't a-goin' to marry the Painter-man?" he said.
"I'm not going to marry anybody," cried Cynthia, contritely; "I'm going to
live with you and take care of you all my life."
On the morning of the Fourth, Cynthia drove to Brampton with the Painter-man,
and when he perceived that she was dreaming, he ceased to worry her with his
talk. He liked her dreaming, and stole many glances at her face of which she
knew nothing at all. Through the cool and fragrant woods, past the mill-pond
stained blue and white by the sky, and scented clover fields and wayside flowers
nodding in the morning air—Cynthia saw these things in the memory of another
journey to Brampton. On that Fourth her father had been with her, and Jethro and
Ephraim and Moses and Amanda Hatch and the children. And how well she recalled,
too, standing amidst the curious crowd before the great house which Mr.
Worthington had just built.
There are weeks and months, perhaps, when we do not think of people, when our
lives are full and vigorous, and then perchance a memory will bring them vividly
before us—so vividly that we yearn for them. There rose before Cynthia now the
vision of a boy as he stood on the Gothic porch of the house, and how he had
come down to the wondering country people with his smile and his merry greeting,
and how he had cajoled her into lingering in front of the meeting-house. Had he
forgotten her? With just a suspicion of a twinge, Cynthia remembered that Janet
Duncan she had seen at the capital, whom she had been told was the heiress of
the state. When he had graduated from Harvard, Bob would, of course, marry her.
That was in the nature of things.
To some the great event of that day in Brampton was to be the speech of the
Honorable Heth Sutton in the meeting-house at eleven; others (and this party was
quite as numerous) had looked forward to the base-ball game between Brampton and
Harwich in the afternoon. The painter would have preferred to walk up
meeting-house hill with Cynthia, and from the cool heights look down upon the
amphitheatre in which the town was built. But Cynthia was interested in history,
and they went to the meeting-house accordingly, where she listened for an hour
and a half to the patriotic eloquence of the representative. The painter was
glad to see and hear so great a man in the hour of his glory, though so much as
a fragment of the oration does not now remain in his memory. In size, in figure,
in expression, in the sonorous tones of his voice, Mr. Sutton was everything
that a congressman should be. "The people," said Isaac D. Worthington in
presenting him, "should indeed be proud of such an able and high-minded
representative." We shall have cause to recall that word high-minded.
Many persons greeted Cynthia outside the meetinghouse, for the girl seemed
genuinely loved by all who knew her—too much loved, her companion thought, by
certain spick-and-span young men of Brampton. But they ate the lunch Cynthia had
brought, far from the crowd, under the trees by Coniston Water. It was she who
proposed going to the base-ball game, and the painter stifled a sigh and
acquiesced. Their way brought them down Brampton Street, past a house with great
iron dogs on the lawn, so imposing and cityfied that he hung back and asked who
"Mr. Worthington," answered Cynthia, making to move on impatiently.
Her escort did not think much of the house, but it interested him as the type
which Mr. Worthington had built. On that same Gothic porch, sublimely
unconscious of the covert stares and subdued comments of the passers-by, the
first citizen himself and the Honorable Heth Sutton might be seen. Mr.
Worthington, whose hawklike look had become more pronounced, sat upright, while
the Honorable Heth, his legs crossed, filled every nook and cranny of an
arm-chair, and an occasional fragrant whiff from his cigar floated out to those
on the tar sidewalk. Although the pedestrians were but twenty feet away, what
Mr. Worthington said never reached them; but the Honorable Heth on public days
carried his voice of the Forum around with him.
"Come on," said Cynthia, in one of those startling little tempers she was
subject to; "don't stand there like an idiot."
Then the voice of Mr. Sutton boomed toward them.
"As I understand, Worthington," they heard him say, "you want me to appoint
young Wheelock for the Brampton post-office." He stuck his thumb into his vest
pocket and recrossed his legs "I guess it can be arranged."
When the painter at last overtook Cynthia the jewel paints he had so often
longed to catch upon a canvas were in her eyes. He fell back, wondering how he
could so greatly have offended, when she put her hand on his sleeve.
"Did you hear what he said about the Brampton postoffice?" she cried.
"The Brampton post-office?" he repeated; dazed.
"Yes," said Cynthia; "Uncle Jethro has promised it to Cousin Ephraim, who
will starve without it. Did you hear this man say he would give it to Mr.
Here was a new Cynthia, aflame with emotions on a question of politics of
which he knew nothing. He did, understand, however, her concern for Ephraim
Prescott, for he knew that she loved the soldier. She turned from the painter
now with a gesture which he took to mean that his profession debarred him from
such vital subjects, and she led the way to the fair-grounds. There he meekly
bought tickets, and they found themselves hurried along in the eager crowd
toward the stand.
The girl was still unaccountably angry over that mysterious affair of the
post-office, and sat with flushed cheeks staring out on the green field, past
the line of buggies and carryalls on the farther side to the southern shoulder
of Coniston towering, above them all. The painter, already, beginning to love
his New England folk, listened to the homely chatter about him, until suddenly a
cheer starting in one corner ran like a flash of gunpowder around the field, and
eighteen young men trotted across the turf. Although he was not a devotee of
sport, he noticed that nine of these, as they took their places on the bench,
wore blue,—the Harwich Champions. Seven only of those scattering over the field
wore white; two young gentlemen, one at second base and the other behind the
batter, wore gray uniforms with crimson stockings, and crimson piping on the
caps, and a crimson H embroidered on the breast—a sight that made the painter's
heart beat a little faster, the honored livery of his own college.
"What are those two Harvard men doing here?" he asked.
Cynthia, who was leaning forward, started, and turned to him a face which
showed him that his question had been meaningless. He repeated it.
"Oh," said she, "the tall one, burned brick-red like an Indian, is Bob
"He's a good type," the artist remarked.
"You're right, Mister, there hain't a finer young feller anywhere," chimed in
Mr. Dodd, a portly person with a tuft of yellow beard on his chin. Mr. Dodd kept
the hardware store in Brampton.
"And who," asked the painter, "is the bullet-headed little fellow, with
freckles and short red hair, behind the bat?"
"I don't know," said Cynthia, indifferently.
"Why," exclaimed Mr. Dodd, with just a trace of awe in his voice, "that's
Somers Duncan, son of Millionaire Duncan down to the capital. I guess," he
added, "I guess them two will be the richest men in the state some day. Duncan
come up from Harvard with Bob."
In a few minutes the game was in full swing, Brampton against Harwich, the
old rivalry in another form. Every advantage on either side awoke thundering
cheers from the partisans; beribboned young women sprang to their feet and waved
the Harwich blue at a home run, and were on the verge of tears when the Brampton
pitcher struck out their best batsman. But beyond the facts that the tide was
turning in Brampton's favor; that young Mr. Worthington stopped a ball flying at
a phenomenal speed and batted another at a still more phenomenal speed which was
not stopped; that his name and Duncan's were mingled generously in the cheering,
the painter remembered little of the game. The exhibition of human passions
which the sight of it drew from an undemonstrative race: the shouting, the
comments wrung from hardy spirits off their guard, the joy and the sorrow,—such
things interested him more. High above the turmoil Coniston, as through the
ages, looked down upon the scene impassive.
He was aroused from these reflections by an incident. Some one had leaped
over the railing which separated the stand from the field and stood before
Cynthia,—a tanned and smiling young man in gray and crimson. His honest eyes
were alight with an admiration that was unmistakable to the painter—perhaps to
Cynthia also, for a glow that might have been of annoyance or anger, and yet was
like the color of the mountain sunrise, answered in her cheek. Mr. Worthington
reached out a large brown hand and seized the girl's as it lay on her lap.
"Hello, Cynthia," he cried, "I've been looking for you all day. I thought you
might be here. Where were you?"
"Where did you look?" answered Cynthia, composedly, withdrawing her hand.
"Everywhere," said Bob, "up and down the street, all through the hotel. I
asked Lem Hallowell, and he didn't know where you were. I only got here last
"I was in the meeting-house," said Cynthia.
"The meeting-house!" he echoed. "You don't mean to tell me that you listened
to that silly speech of Sutton's?"
This remark, delivered in all earnestness, was the signal for uproarious
laughter from Mr. Dodd and others sitting near by, attending earnestly to the
Cynthia bit her lip.
"Yes, I did," she said; "but I'm sorry now."
"I should think you would be," said Bob; "Sutton's a silly, pompous old fool.
I had to sit through dinner with him. I believe I could represent the district
"By gosh!" exploded Mr. Dodd, "I believe you could!"
But Bob paid no attention to him. He was looking at Cynthia.
"Cynthia, you've grown up since I saw you," he said. "How's Uncle Jethro.
"He's well—thanks," said Cynthia, and now she was striving to put down a
"Still running the state?" said Bob. "You tell him I think he ought to muzzle
Sutton. What did he send him down to Washington for?"
"I don't know," said Cynthia.
"What are you going to do after the game?" Bob demanded.
"I'm going home of course," said Cynthia.
His face fell.
"Can't you come to the house for supper and stay for the fireworks?" he
begged pleadingly. "We'd be mighty glad to have your friend, too."
Cynthia introduced her escort.
"It's very good of you, Bob," she said, with that New England demureness
which at times became her so well, "but we couldn't possibly do it. And then I
don't like Mr. Sutton."
"Oh, hang him!" exclaimed Bob. He took a step nearer to her. "Won't you stay
this once? I have to go West in the morning."
"I think you are very lucky," said Cynthia.
Bob scanned her face searchingly, and his own fell.
"Lucky!" he cried, "I think it's the worst thing that ever happened to me. My
father's so hard-headed when he gets his mind set—he's making me do it. He wants
me to see the railroads and the country, so I've got to go with the Duncans. I
wanted to stay—" He checked himself, "I think it's a blamed nuisance."
"So do I," said a voice behind him.
It was not the first time that Mr. Somers Duncan had spoken, but Bob either
had not heard him or pretended not to. Mr. Duncan's freckled face smiled at them
from the top of the railing, his eyes were on Cynthia's face, and he had been
listening eagerly. Mr. Duncan's chief characteristic, beyond his freckles, was
his eagerness—a quality probably amounting to keenness.
"Hello," said Bob, turning impatiently, "I might have known you couldn't keep
away. You're the cause of all my troubles—you and your father's private car."
Somers became apologetic.
"It isn't my fault," he said; "I'm sure I hate going as much as you do. It's
spoiled my summer, too."
Then he coughed and looked at Cynthia.
"Well," said Bob, "I suppose I'll have to introduce you. This," he added,
dragging his friend over the railing, "is Mr. Somers Duncan."
"I'm awfully glad to meet you, Miss. Wetherell," said Somers, fervently; "to
tell you the truth, I thought he was just making up yarns."
"Yarns?" repeated Cynthia, with a look that set Mr. Duncan floundering.
"Why, yes," he stammered. "Worthy said that you were up here, but I thought
he was crazy the way he talked—I didn't think—"
"Think what?" inquired Cynthia, but she flushed a little.
"Oh, rot, Somers!" said Bob, blushing furiously under his tan; "you ought
never to go near a woman—you're the darndest fool with 'em I ever saw."
This time even the painter laughed outright, and yet he was a little
sorrowful, too, because he could not be even as these youths. But Cynthia sat
serene, the eternal feminine of all the ages, and it is no wonder that Bob
Worthington was baffled as he looked at her. He lapsed into an awkwardness quite
as bad as that of his friend.
"I hope you enjoyed the game," he said at last, with a formality that was not
at all characteristic.
Cynthia did not seem to think it worth while to answer this, so the painter
tried to help him out.
"That was a fine stop you made, Mr. Worthington," he said; "wasn't it,
"Everybody seemed to think so," answered Cynthia, cruelly; "but if I were a
man and had hands like that" (Bob thrust them in his pockets), "I believe I
could stop a ball, too."
Somers laughed uproariously.
"Good-by," said Bob, with uneasy abruptness, "I've got to go into the field
now. When can I see you?"
"When you get back from the West—perhaps," said Cynthia.
"Oh," cried Bob (they were calling him), "I must see you to-night!" He
vaulted over the railing and turned. "I'll come back here right after the game,"
he said; "there's only one more inning."
"We'll come back right after the game," repeated Mr. Duncan.
Bob shot one look at him,—of which Mr. Duncan seemed blissfully
unconscious,—and stalked off abruptly to second base.
The artist sat pensive for a few moments, wondering at the ways of women, his
sympathies unaccountably enlisted in behalf of Mr. Worthington.
"Weren't you a little hard on him?" he said.
For answer Cynthia got to her feet.
"I think we ought to be going home," she said.
"Going home!" he ejaculated in amazement.
"I promised Uncle Jethro I'd be there for supper," and she led the way out of
the grand stand.
So they drove back to Coniston through the level evening light, and when they
came to Ephraim Prescott's harness shop the old soldier waved at them cheerily
from under the big flag which he had hung out in honor of the day. The flag was
silk, and incidentally Ephraim's most valued possession. Then they drew up
before the tannery house, and Cynthia leaped out of the buggy and held out her
hand to the painter with a smile.
"It was very good of you to take me," she said.
Jethro Bass, rugged, uncouth, in rawhide boots and swallowtail and coonskin
cap, came down from the porch to welcome her, and she ran toward him with an
eagerness that started the painter to wondering afresh over the contrasts of
life. What, he asked himself, had Fate in store for Cynthia Wetherell?