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Title: A Little Girl in Old Pittsburg
Author: Douglas, Amanda M.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's Note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved. Examples include peddler and peddlar, grandmere and
  gran'mere, Mr. de Ronville and M. de Ronville.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

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  signs=.



A Little Girl in Old Pittsburg



     The "Little Girl" Series

     By AMANDA M. DOUGLAS

     In Handsome Cloth Binding

     Price, per Volume        60 Cents


     A Little Girl in Old New York
     A Little Girl of Long Ago
       A sequel to "A Little Girl in Old New York"
     A Little Girl in Old Boston
     A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia
     A Little Girl in Old Washington
     A Little Girl in Old New Orleans
     A Little Girl in Old Detroit
     A Little Girl in Old St. Louis
     A Little Girl in Old Chicago
     A Little Girl in Old San Francisco
     A Little Girl in Old Quebec
     A Little Girl in Old Baltimore
     A Little Girl in Old Salem
     A Little Girl in Old Pittsburg


     For Sale by all Booksellers or will be sent postpaid on
     receipt of price.

     A. L. BURT COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
     52, 58 Duane Street      New York



     A LITTLE GIRL IN
     OLD PITTSBURG

     By AMANDA M. DOUGLAS

     [Illustration]

     A. L. BURT COMPANY
     PUBLISHERS      NEW YORK



     Copyright, 1909, by
     DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY
     Published, September, 1909



CONTENTS


     CHAPTER                                    PAGE

         I A LITTLE GIRL                            1

        II A JOYFUL RETURN                         19

       III WELCOME                                 39

        IV OLD PITTSBURG                           60

         V HOW THE WORLD WIDENED                   81

        VI A NEW FRIEND                           103

       VII DAFFODIL'S NEW WORLD                   120

      VIII IN SILK ATTIRE                         141

        IX WITH THE EYES OF YOUTH                 152

         X THE PASSING OF THE OLD                 169

        XI THE WOOF OF DAILY THINGS               189

       XII SPINNING WITH VARIOUS THREADS          209

      XIII THE SWEETNESS OF LOVE                  227

       XIV SORROW'S CROWN OF SORROW               242

        XV ANOTHER FLITTING                       261

       XVI SAINT MARTIN'S SUMMER                  284

      XVII OH, WHICH IS LOVE?                     305

     XVIII A REVELATION                           320



CHAPTER I

A LITTLE GIRL


"Oh, what is it, grandad! Why is Kirsty ringing two bells and oh, what
is he saying?"

Grandfather Carrick had come out of his cottage and stood in the small
yard place that a young oak had nearly filled with a carpet of leaves.
He was a medium-sized man with reddish hair streaked with white, and a
spare reddish beard, rather ragged, bright blue eyes and a nose
_retroussé_ at the best, but in moments of temper or disdain it turned
almost upside down, as now.

"What is he sayin'. Well, it's a dirty black lee! Lord Cornwallis
isn't the man to give in to a rabble of tatterdemalions with not a
shoe to their feet an' hardly a rag to their back! By the beard of St.
Patrick they're all rags!" and he gave an insolent laugh! "It's a
black lee, I tell you!"

He turned and went in the door with a derisive snort. Daffodil stood
irresolute. Kirsty was still ringing his two bells and now people were
coming out to question. The street was a rather winding lane with the
houses set any way, and very primitive they were, built of logs, some
of them filled in with rude mortar and thatched with straw.

Then Nelly Mullin came flying along, a bright, dark-haired,
rosy-cheeked woman, with a shawl about her shoulders. She caught up
the child and kissed her rapturously.

"Oh, isn't it full grand!" she cried. "Cornwallis has surrendered to
General Washington! Our folks caught him in a trap. An' now the men
folks will come home, my man an' your father, Dilly. Thank the Saints
there wasna a big battle. Rin tell your mither!"

"But grandad said it was a--a lee!" and the child gave a questioning
look.

"Lie indeed!" she laughed merrily. "They wouldna be sending all over
the country such blessed news if it was na true. Clear from Yorktown
an' their Cornwallis was the biggest man England could send, a rale
Lord beside. Rin honey, I must go to my sisters."

The little girl walked rather slowly instead, much perturbed in her
mind. The Duvernay place joined the Carrick place and at present they
were mostly ranged round the Fort. That was much smaller, but better
kept and there were even some late hardy flowers in bloom.

"What's all the noise, Posy?" asked Grandfather Duvernay. He was an
old, old man, a bright little Frenchman with snowy white hair, but
bright dark eyes. He was a good deal wrinkled as became a
great-grandfather, and he sat in a high-backed chair at one corner of
the wide stone chimney that was all built in the room. There was a
fine log fire and Grandmother Bradin was stirring a savory mass of
herbs. The real grandfather was out in the barn, looking after the
stock.

"It was Kirsty ringing two bells. Cornwallis is taken."

"No!" The little man sprang up and clasped his hands. "You are sure
you heard straight! It wasn't Washington?"

"I'm quite sure. And Nelly Mullin said 'run and tell your mother, your
father'll be coming home.'"

"Thank the good God." He dropped down in the chair again and closed
his eyes, bent his head reverently and prayed.

"Your mother's asleep now. She's had a pretty good night. Run out and
tell gran."

Grandfather Bradin kissed his little girl, though he was almost afraid
to believe the good news. Three years Bernard Carrick had been
following the fortunes of war and many a dark day had intervened.

"Oh, that won't end the war. There's Charleston and New York. But
Cornwallis! I must go out and find where the news came from."

"Grandad don't believe it!" There was still a look of doubt in her
eyes.

Bradin laughed. "I d' know as he'd believe it if he saw the articles
of peace signed. He'll stick to King George till he's laid in his
coffin. There, I've finished mending the steps and I'll slip on my
coat and go."

"I couldn't go with you?" wistfully.

"No, dear. I'll run all about and get the surest news. I s'pose it
came to the Fort, but maybe by the South road."

He took the child's hand and they went into the house. The streets
were all astir. Grandfather stood by the window looking out, but he
turned and smiled and suddenly broke out in his native French. His
face then had the prettiness of enthusiastic old age.

"We'll shake hands on it," said Bradin. "I'm going out to see. There
couldn't be a better word."

The autumnal air was chilly and he wrapped his old friese cloak around
him.

"Mother's awake now," said Mrs. Bradin. "You may go in and see her."

The door was wide open now. It was as large as the living room, but
divided by a curtain swung across, now pushed aside partly. There was
a bed in each corner. A light stand by the head of the bed, a chest of
drawers, a brass bound trunk and two chairs completed the furnishing
of this part. The yellow walls gave it a sort of cheerful, almost
sunshiny look, and the curtain at the window with its hand-made lace
was snowy white. The painted floor had a rug through the centre that
had come from some foreign loom. The bedstead had high slender carved
posts, but was without a canopy.

A woman still young and comely as to feature lay there. She was thin,
which made the eyes seem larger and darker. The brown hair had a
certain duskiness and was a curly fringe about the forehead. She
smiled up at the little girl, who leaned over and kissed her on the
cheek.

"You are better, mother dear," she said as she seated herself with a
little spring on the side of the bed. "But you said so yesterday. When
will it be real, so you can get up and go out?" and a touch of
perplexity crossed the child's face.

"Gra'mere thinks I may sit up a little while this afternoon. I had no
fever yesterday nor last night."

"Oh, mother, I was to tell you that Cornwallis has--it's a long word
that has slipped out of my mind. Nelly Mullin said her husband would
come home and my father. Kirsty Boyle rang two bells----"

"Oh, what was it? Go and ask grandfather, child," and the mother half
rose in her eagerness.

"It was 'sur-ren-dered' with his army. Father has gone to see. And
then the war will end."

"Oh, thank heaven, the good God, and all the saints, for I think they
must have interceded. They must be glad when dreadful wars come to an
end."

She laid her head back on the pillow and the tears fringed her dark
lashes.

The child was thinking, puzzling over something. Then she said
suddenly, "What is my father like? I seem to remember just a
little--that he carried me about in his arms and that we all cried a
good deal."

"It was three years and more ago. He loved us very much. But he felt
the country needed him. And the good Allfather has kept him safe. He
has never been wounded or taken prisoner, and if he comes back to
us----"

"But what is surrendered?"

"Why, the British army has given up. And Lord Cornwallis is a great
man. England, I believe, thought he could conquer the Colonies. Oh,
Daffodil, you are too little to understand;" in a sort of helpless
fashion.

"He isn't like grandad then. Grandad wants England to beat."

"No, he isn't much like grandad. And yet dear grandad has been very
good to us. Of course he was desperately angry that your father should
go for a soldier. Oh, if he comes home safe!"

"Dilly," said gran'mere, pausing at the door with a piece of yellow
pumpkin in her hand which she was peeling, "you must come away now.
You have talked enough to your mother and she must rest."

The child slipped down and kissed the pale cheek again, then came out
in the living-room and looked around. The cat sat washing her face and
at every dab the paw went nearer her ear.

"You shan't, Judy! We don't want rain, do we, grandfather?" She caught
up the cat in her arms, but not before pussy had washed over one ear.

Grandfather laughed. "Well, it _does_ make it rain when she washes
over her ear," the little girl said with a very positive air. "It did
on Sunday."

"And I guess pussy washes over her ear every day in the week."

"It's saved up then for the big storms;" with a triumphant air.

"Get the board and let's have a game. You're so smart I feel it in my
bones that you will beat."

She put Judy down very gently, but the cat switched her tail around
and wondered why. She brought out the board that was marked like "Tit
tat toe," and a box that she rattled laughingly. Pussy came when they
had adjusted it on their knees and put two white paws on it,
preparatory to a jump.

"Oh, Judy, I can't have you now. Come round and sit by the fire."

Judy went round to the back of Dilly's chair and washed over both ears
in a very indignant manner.

The play was Fox and Geese. There was one red grain of corn for the
fox and all the geese were white. One block at the side was left
vacant. If you could pen the fox in there without losing a goose or at
the most two or three, you were the winner. But if once you let the
fox out the geese had to fly for their lives. Grandfather often let
the little girl beat.

He was very fond of her, and he was a sweet-natured old man who liked
to bestow what pleasure he could. Just now he was feeling impatient
for the news and wanted to pass away the time.

Dilly was quite shrewd, too, for a little girl not yet seven. She
considered now and moved a far off goose, and the fox knew that was
sour grapes.

"Oh, you're a sharp one!" exclaimed grandfather. "I'll have to mind
how I doze on this bout."

But alas! On the next move she let him in a little way, then she
fenced him out again, and lost one goose repairing her defences. But
it wasn't a bad move. The great art was to keep one goose behind
another for protection. He couldn't jump over but one at a time.

She beat grandfather, who pretended to be quite put out about it and
said she'd do for an army general. Grandmother was making a pumpkin
pudding with milk and eggs and sugar and stick-cinnamon, which was
quite a luxury. Then she poured it into an iron pan that stood upon
little feet, drew out a bed of coal, and plumped it down. The cover
had a rim around the top, and she placed some coals on the top of
this. She baked her bread in it, too. Stoves were great luxuries and
costly. Then she laid some potatoes in the hot ashes and hung a kettle
of turnips on the crane.

Grandfather and the little girl had another game and she was the fox
this time and lost, getting penned up.

"Grandfather," she said sagely, "if you know the good early moves and
don't make any mistake, you're sure to win."

"I believe that is so. You're getting a stock of wisdom, Dilly. Oh,
won't your father be surprised when he comes home. You were a mere
baby when he went away."

She was an oddly pretty child. Her hair was really yellow, soft and
curly, then her eyes were of so dark a blue that you often thought
them black. The eyebrows and lashes were dark, the nose rather
piquant, the mouth sweet and rosy, curved, with dimples in the
corners. But in those days no one thought much about beauty in
children.

The door was flung open.

"Ugh!" ejaculated Gran Bradin. "It's fairly wintry. Fire feels good!
The news is just glorious! They headed off Cornwallis after having
destroyed their fortifications and dismantled their cannon. The
British works were so in ruins they tried escape. One section of
troops crossed over to Glous'ter Point, but a storm set in and
dispersed the boats. There was nothing left but surrender. So the
great army and the great general who were to give us the finishing
stroke, handed in their capitulation to General Washington. There are
between seven and eight thousand prisoners and all the shipping in the
harbor. Grandfather, you may be proud. We had, it is thought, seven
thousand French troops, with Count De Rochambeau, and Count De
Grasse."

He reached over and wrung grandfather's slim white hand with its
tracery of blue veins. Then he kissed his wife. "They've been good
friends to us. We'll never forget that!"

"And the war is over?"

"Not exactly that. We've yet to dislodge them from various places. But
they think now England will be willing to treat. And we'll have a
country of our own! Well, it was three weeks ago."

There were no telegraphs, and only the more important places had post
roads. Pittsburg was quite out of the way. It had no dreams of
grandeur in those days, and about its only claim to eminence was
Braddock's defeat.

"Lang brought some copies of the Philadelphia _Gazette_, but you
couldn't get near one, they were rushed off so. But we'll hear it all
in a few days. Too much good news might puff us up with vain glory.
We may look for letters any day. Such a splendid victory!"

Grandfather was wiping the tears from his eyes. Marc Bradin went in to
comfort his daughter, though he could hardly forbear smiling with a
sense of inward amusement as he thought of Sandy Carrick, who had as
good as disowned his son for joining the Colonial army. He'd be glad
enough to have him back again. Though he had been rather disgruntled
at his marrying Barbe Bradin because she had French blood in her
veins, as if the Irish Bradin could not in some degree counteract
that!

Sandy Carrick had been in the sore battle of Braddock's defeat. But
after all the cowardly French had thought retreat the better part of
valor and left the Fort that had been partly burned, left that section
as well, and the government had erected the new Fort Pitt. He insisted
that the French had been really driven out. They certainly had been
checked in their advance to the Mississippi.

Pittsburg was a conglomerate in these early days. Welsh, Irish, and
English had contributed to its then small population of the few
hundreds whose history and beginning were like so many other
emigrants. The houses were ranged largely about the Fort for
protection from the Indians. There were small crooked lanes, a few
dignified by-streets, Penn Street, Duquesne way, Water and Ferry
streets. Colonel George Morgan had built a double-hewn log house of
considerable dimensions, the first house in the settlement to have a
shingle roof. Though the "Manor of Pittsburg" had been surveyed and
Fort Pitt had been abandoned by the British under orders of General
Gage and occupied by Virginia troops under Captain John Neville.

There were some French residents, some Acadians as well, and a few
Virginians who were mostly refugees. The houses were of very primitive
construction, generally built of logs, but made comfortable on the
inside. The emigrants had brought their industries with them. The
women spun and knit, there were several rude looms, but they depended
largely on Philadelphia for supplies.

Pierre Duvernay had fled to Ireland in one of the Huguenot
persecutions, but more fortunate than many, he had been able to take
some of his worldly possessions. Here his only daughter had married
Marc Bradin, his only son had died, and his wife had followed.
Broken-hearted he had accompanied his daughter and son-in-law to the
new Colonies. They had spent a few years in Virginia, then with some
French friends had come to Pittsburg and bought a large holding, which
seemed at the time a misadventure, and so they had built in nearer to
the Fort. Here pretty Barbe Bradin had grown up and married Bernard
Carrick, their neighbor's son, but they had not let the hospitable
Bradin home. Here Daffodil had been born, and the French and Irish
blended again.

"What made you call me Daffodil?" the child said one day to her
mother. "You were named after your mother and gran'mere after hers,
and you should have called me Barbe."

"It would have made no end of confusion. You see it does with
great-grandfather. And when you were born it was lovely sunshiny
weather and the daffodils were in bloom with their tender gold. Then
you had such a funny fuzzy yellow head. I loved the Daffodils so. They
come so early and look so cheerful, and you were such a cheerful baby,
always ready to smile."

"Do you suppose my hair will always stay yellow?"

"Oh, no. It will grow darker."

"Like yours?"

"Well, perhaps not quite as dark. I like it. You are my spring. If I
were in any sorrow, your brightness would comfort me."

Then the sorrow came. The young husband felt it his duty to join the
struggling army and fight for his country. It was in doubtful times.

This queer, rural, primitive settlement knew little about the great
causes. Since the new fort had been built and the French repulsed,
absolutely driven out of their strongholds, there had been only the
infrequent Indian encounters to rouse them. The stern resolves, the
mighty enthusiasm of the Eastern Colonies had not inspired them. Even
the Declaration of Independence, while it had stirred up their alien
and contradictory blood, had not evoked the sturdy patriotism of the
larger towns having so much more at stake. They added to their flocks
and herds, they hunted game and wild animals, and on the whole enjoyed
their rural life.

Sandy Carrick had never known which side to affiliate with the most
strongly. There was the brave old Scottish strain that his mother had
handed down in many a romantic tale, there was the Irish of his father
that had come down almost from royalty itself, from the famous Dukes
that had once divided Ireland between them. Why the Carricks had
espoused the English side he could not have told. He was glad to come
to the new countries. And when, after being a widower for several
years, he married pretty buxom widow Boyle, he was well satisfied with
his place in life.

He had been in the fateful encounter at Braddock's defeat at his first
introduction to the country. The French were well enough in Canada,
which seemed not very far from the North Pole, and a land of eternal
snow, but when they came farther down with their forts and their
claims it was time to drive them out, and nothing gave him greater
satisfaction than to think they were mostly out.

He took a great fancy to his next-door neighbor, Marc Bradin, but he
fought shy of the old black-eyed Frenchman. Pierre Duvernay had passed
through too many vicissitudes and experiences to believe that any one
party had all the right; then, too, he was a sweet-natured old man,
thinking often of the time when he should rejoin friends and
relatives, not a few of whom had died for their faith.

Sandy had not liked his son's marriage with Barbe Bradin, who
certainly was more French than Irish, but she had a winsome brightness
and vivacity, and indulged in many a laughing tilt with her
father-in-law. Nora Boyle openly favored them all. They spun and knit
and made lace and wove rugs of rags and compared cookery, and she and
Mrs. Bradin were wildly happy over Daffodil.

"If 't had been a boy now!" exclaimed Sandy. "A gal's good for naught
when it comes to handin' down the name. Though if its hair'll turn out
red, an 't looks so now, it may flout t'other blood," putting a strong
expletive to it.

"Don't now, Sandy!" said his wife's coaxing voice. "There's sorts and
kinds in the world. The good Lord didn't mean us all to be alike or
he'd made 'em so to start with."

"Did make 'em so, woman. There was only two of 'em!"

"Well, some others came from somewhere. And Cain went off an got
himself a wife. An' when you think of the baby there's good three
parts Irish to the one French. An' I'm sure no one keeps a tidier
house, an' the little old man sittin' by the chimney corner hurts no
one. And it's handy to have a neebur to play at cards."

When there came an urgent call for men to join what seemed almost a
lost cause Bernard Carrick went to Philadelphia with perhaps twenty
other recruits, to the sorrow of his wife and the anger of his father.

"For they can't win, the blunderin' fules! D'y spose King George's
goin' to let a gran' country like this slip out of his fingers.
Barbery, if you were half a woman you'd 'a' held onto him if y'd had
to spit on yer han's to do it. You'll never see him agen, an' it
comforts me for the loss of my son that you've lost your husband. Ye
can git anither one, but I'll have no more sons to comfort me in my
old age."

Poor Barbe was wild with grief, yet somehow Bernard's sense of duty to
his country _had_ inspired her, and then she had her little darling,
her mother, and father, and grandfather, who had not outlived a
certain heroic strain if his blood had come through French channels.

The people of Pittsburg had no tea to throw overboard. The Stamp Act
bore lightly on them. They could brew good beer, they could distil
whiskey and make passable wine. Fish and game were in abundance, the
fields laughed with riotous harvests, so what if a few did go to war?

Sandy relented after a little and they took up the evenings of
card-playing, with the cider or beer and doughnuts, or a brittle kind
of spice cake that Mrs. Bradin could make in perfection. They had
arguments, to be sure: Marc Bradin was on the side of the Colonies,
and he had taken pains to keep informed of the causes of disaffection.
It was going to be a big country and could govern itself since it must
know better what was needed than a king thousands of miles away!

Sandy held his spite against the French sufficiently in abeyance to
learn to play piquet with great-grandfather. It interested him
wonderfully, and since two could play a game the women could knit and
sew and gossip. News came infrequently. Bradin often went to the Fort
to hear. If there were reverses, he held his peace in a cheerful sort
of way--if victories, there was rejoicing among themselves. For they
tried not to ruffle Sandy Carrick unnecessarily.

Daffodil went often to see grandad and Norry, as they called the
merry-hearted second wife, who nearly always had some tidbit for her.
And grandad took her on journeys sitting in front of him on an
improvised pillion, teaching her to sit astride and buckling a strap
around both bodies.

"For you'll have to be my boy, Dilly. My other boy'll never come back
to us."

"Where will he go?" in her wondering tone.

"The Lord only knows, child."



CHAPTER II

A JOYFUL RETURN


"It is so good to get out among you all," Barbe Carrick said, as she
was pillowed up in a big high-backed chair and wrapped in a soft gray
blanket. Her hair was gathered in a pretty white cap with a ruffle of
lace about the edge, framing in her rather thin face. "So good! And
the good news! Why, I feel almost well."

It had been a slow autumnal fever, never very serious, but wearing.
Mrs. Bradin knew the use of many herbs and was considered as good as a
doctor by most of the settlers.

The room would have made a fine "Interior," if there had been a Dutch
artist at hand. It was of good dimensions, or the great fireplace
would have dwarfed it. Marc Bradin was a handy man, as not a few were
in those days when new settlers could not encumber themselves with
much furniture. There were some of the old French belongings, a sort
of escritoire that had drawers below and shelves above and was in two
pieces. But the tables and chairs and the corner cupboard were of his
fashioning. There was china, really beautiful pewter ware, some
pieces of hammered brass, candlesticks, and one curious lamp. The
rafters were dark with age and smoke, but they were not ornamented
with flitches of bacon, for there was a smoke-house out one side.

The chairs would pass for modern Mission furniture. A few had rockers,
notably that in which the little girl sat, with Judy on her lap, and
the cat almost covered her. Grandfather was in his accustomed place.
There was a small table beside him on which were his old French Bible,
a book of devotion, and a volume or two of poems, and a tall
candlestick with two branches. Gran'mere was doing some white
embroidery, a frock for the little girl's next summer's wear. Mrs.
Bradin had been settling her daughter and now stood undecided as to
her next duty.

"Has father gone out again?" Barbe asked.

"Yes, to the Fort--to see if he can't get one of the papers."

"It's wonderful news!" and the invalid drew a long breath of delight.
"But it isn't real peace yet."

"Oh, no, I do believe it is the beginning, though," said her mother.

"I wish the sun would shine. It ought to;" and Barbe gave a wan half
smile.

"But it isn't going to," announced Daffodil confidently. "And it _is_
going to rain."

Grandfather laughed.

"Why, Dilly?"

"Because." The child colored. "Oh, you will see."

There was a tap at the door and then it opened. Norah Carrick dropped
the shawl she had thrown over her head. A still pretty,
heartsome-looking woman, with a merry face bright with roses, laughing
blue eyes, and dark hair.

"It's good for sore eyes to see you up, Barbe. I hope we'll have some
fine weather to brace up one. An'--an' 'twas good news you heard the
morn." Then she gave a funny, rippling laugh.

"But he'll be glad to have Bernard come back," Barbe exclaimed
resentfully.

"Ah, that he will! Ye mustna mind him child, if he's cranky for a bit.
He's been that set about England winning the game that you'd take him
for wan of the high dukes that sit in state and tell what shall be
done. I've been for the country all along. It runs in my mind that
Ireland owes the king a gredge. She's been a cross-grained stepmother,
say your best. An' why couldn't she let us go on an' prosper! We'd
been willin' enough to work for her part of the time. An' it's not
such an easy thing to lave your own bit of a home and come over here
in these wilds, an' hew down trees for your houses and clear land for
the corn, an' fight Indians. So I'm wishin' the country to win. But
Sandy's carryin' the black cat round on his back to-day, an' it makes
me laugh, too. He's that smart when he gets a little riled up, and
he's husked corn to-day as if he was keepin' time with Nickey Nick's
fiddle."

"What makes the black cat stay on his back?" asked Daffodil, stroking
her own pussy softly.

"Ah, that's just a say so, Dilly darlin', for a spell of gettin' out
of temper when there's no need. But he made a good dinner. I had just
the stew he liked, an' a Donegal puddin' that come down from my
great-grandmother. An', Barbe, you begin to look like crawlin' about
again an' not so washed out. The good news should make a warm streak
all through you."

"Oh, I'm much better. If it will come off nice an' warm----"

"We'll have a storm first. And is there any more news?"

She had been taking some work out of a bag after she had nodded to
gran'mere and shaken hands with great-grandfather. Now she settled
herself and began to sew. She was never idle. Sandy Carrick had the
smartest wife anywhere about and few women would have minded his queer
quips so little.

Then the door opened and Marc Bradin entered, thrusting out a
newspaper.

"I've been waiting my turn and have promised to have it back in half
an hour, but I'll not count the coming and going," laughing. "And
it's news worth waiting for. It's all true and more, too. And if we
want a King or an Emperor, General Washington's the man. Now I'll
read, since that's the cheapest way, as you can all hear at once."

He dropped into a chair and threw his old cap on the floor. Bradin was
an excellent reader. Yes, it was glorious news. A big battle averted
and soldiers disabled by honor rather than wounds. A vivid description
of what had led up to the surrender and the conditions, the enthusiasm
and the predictions that at last victory was achieved for the
Colonies. And although numerous points were still held by the English,
it would be difficult to rouse enthusiasm after this crushing blow.

"Time's up," said the reader. "But you have all the real gist of the
matter. Norah, how's Sandy?"

Norah gave a laugh and a shrug of the shoulders.

"Oh, he'll come round. I can't see, with all the Scotch an' Irish in
him, why he must be shoutin' for King George just because he happened
to fight on that side years ago. An' it was under Washington, too, an'
people do say if Braddock hadn't been so high an' mighty, and taken
some of the young man's counsel, there wouldna have been such an awful
defeat."

"I'll come right back, jinky! It begins to rain."

Dilly looked up in triumph. "I told you so," she said, "and you just
laughed, grandfather. Now you see Judy knew."

She gave Judy an extra hug and squeezed a faint mew out of her.

"Judy is a wise cat," admitted grandfather.

"And I must run home an' get a supper that'll be a soothin' poultice
to the inside of the man," laughed Norah. "I'm glad I know about how
things stand, so my heart will be light. An' we will have Bernard home
safe and sound, never you fear, so, Barbe, get well to welcome him.
I'm cooking chicken to-morrow an' I'll send over broth an' a bit of
the breast. Run over to-morrow, little one. Grandad'll be all right."

Barbe was tired and went to bed. Dilly moved over by grandfather and
begged for a story. He and Norah had a packful of them. It grew darker
and rained, with a sort of rushing wind.

When Dilly grew older and began to understand what real living was, it
seemed as if this was her actual induction into it. She had run about
and played, listened to stories and songs, gravitated between the two
houses, ridden with grandad, who was always a little jealous that most
of her relatives should be on the French side. She could shut her eyes
and hear Kirsty's raucous voice and the two bells he was ringing and
see grandad's upturned nose and his derisive tone. She awoke to the
fact that she really had a father.

Grandad used to come over in the evening and play piquet with old
grandfather. It was a game two could enjoy, and the women folk were no
great hands at card-playing. Now and then, when Norah was not too
busy, they had a friendly, social game. It rained two days and then
cleared up in the glory of perfect autumn weather. Nothing came to
counteract the good tidings. Grandad came for Daffodil to take a ride
with him, and that evening he sauntered in and had a game of piquet
and beat. It always delighted him. It was fighting the French over
again.

Barbe improved rapidly now. People were quite apt to have what was
called a run of fever in the autumn at the change of the seasons, and
there were some excellent home-brewed remedies and tonics that
answered, if the case was not too severe.

Dilly and her mother talked a great deal about the return of the
husband and father.

"Is he like grandad?" she inquired with a little contraction of the
brows.

"Oh, not much. He was called a handsome young fellow. Your eyes are
like his, and he had such a brilliant color then," sighing a little
and wondering if the hardships had made him old before his time.

"And--and his nose?" hesitatingly.

Barbe laughed. "It isn't short like grandad's. His mother was a
handsome woman."

"It's queer," said the child reflectively, "that you can have so many
grand relatives and only one father. And only one gran'mere. For Norry
isn't _real_, is she, since she isn't father's mother. And how many
wives can one have?"

"Only one at a time. It's quite a puzzle to little folks. It was to
me."

Daffodil looked at her mother with wondering eyes and said
thoughtfully, "Were you truly little like me? And did you like
grandad? Did he take you out on his big horse?"

"We were living in Virginia then. Great-grandfather and
great-grandmother were living there--she was alive then. And when she
died gran'mere and gran came out here. I was about eight. And we
didn't like it here. The children were so different."

"It is all very queer," said Dilly. "You are little, and then you
grow, and--and you get married. Will I be married? Must you find some
one----"

"Oh, Dilly, I think some one will find you;" and her mother laughed.
"You will have to grow up and be--well, eighteen, I think, almost a
dozen years before you need to think about it."

"I'm very glad," she said soberly.

She did not like things that puzzled her. The war was another. What
had it been about? Grandad was sure the English were right, and
great-grandfather was glad they were going to be beaten.

She used to dream of her father, and watch out for him. For some of
the companies were furloughed, his among them. And now he was Captain
Carrick.

Christmas came. There was not much made of it here, as there had been
in Virginia, no gift-giving, but family dinners that often ended in a
regular carouse, sometimes a fight. For Pittsburg had not reached any
high point of refinement, and was such a conglomerate that they could
hardly be expected to agree on all points.

The little girl lost interest presently in watching for her father,
and half believed he was not coming. She was very fond of grandad, and
Norry, and the wonderful stories she heard about fairies and "little
folk," who came to your house at night, and did wonderful
things--sometimes spun the whole night long, and at others did bits of
mischief. This was when you had offended them some way.

She liked the Leprecawn so much. He was a fairy shoemaker, and when
all was still in the night you sometimes heard him. "Tip tap, rip rap,
Tick a tack too!" And the little Eily, who wished so for red shoes,
but her folks were too poor to buy them. So she was to find six
four-leaf clovers, and lay them on the doorstep, which she did.

"What a queer noise there was in the night," said the mother. "It was
like this, 'Tip tap, rip rap.'"

"Sho!" said the father, "it was the swallows in the chimney."

Eily held her peace, but she put four-leafed clovers again on the
doorstep, and tried to keep awake, so she could hear the little
shoemaker.

"I'll clear them swallows out of the chimney, they disturb me so,"
declared the father, and he got a long pole and scraped down several
nests. But the next night the sound came again, and the mother began
to feel afeared. But when Eily went downstairs there was a pair of
little red shoes standing in the corner, and Eily caught them up and
kissed them, she was so full of joy. Then her mother said, "The
Leprecawn has been here. And, Eily, you must never wear them out of
doors at the full of the moon, or you'll be carried off."

"Was she ever, do you think, Norry?"

"Oh, her mother'd be very careful. For if you go to fairyland, you'll
have to stay seven years."

"I shouldn't like that," subjoined Dilly. "But I _would_ like the red
shoes. And if I could find some four-leaf clovers----"

"You can't in winter."

"Well--next summer."

"Maybe grandad can find you some red leather, and lame Pete can make
them."

"But I rather have the fairy shoemaker, with his 'tip tap, rip rap';"
laughing.

"Don't minch about him. Here's a nice chunk of cake."

Dilly had cake enough to spoil a modern child's digestion. But no one
understood hygiene in those days, and kept well.

There were no schools for little girls to go to. But a queer old
fellow, who lived by himself, taught the boys, and tried to thrash
some knowledge in their brains. It was considered the best method.

Dilly's mother taught her to read English, and great-grandfather
inducted her into French. Gran'mere talked French to the old man.
Every morning she brushed his hair and tied it in a queue with a black
ribbon. He wore a ruffled shirt front, and lace ruffles at his wrist;
knee breeches, silk stockings, and low shoes with great buckles.

Dilly learned to sew a little as well. But early industry was not held
in as high esteem as in the Eastern Colonies. There was plenty of
spinning and knitting. Fashions did not change much in the way of
dress, so you could go on with your clothes until they were worn out.
The nicest goods were imported, but there was a kind of flannelly
cloth for winter wear, that was dyed various colors, mostly blue and
copperas, which made a kind of yellow.

So the winter went on, and in February there came a great thaw. Oh,
how the river swelled, and rushed on to the Ohio. It was very warm.
And one day Daffodil sat on the great stone doorstep, holding the
cat, and munching a piece of cake. Judy ate a few crumbs, but she did
not care much for it.

"There's a peddler," said Dilly to Judy. "He has a big pack on his
back, and he walks with a cane, as if he was tired. And there's
something hanging to his waist, and a queer cap. He seems
looking--why, he's coming here. Gran'mere wants some thread, but he
isn't our----Mother," she called.

He was thin, and pale, and travel-stained, and had not the brisk,
jaunty air of the peddlar.

But he came up the little path, and looked at her so sharply she
jumped up, hugging Judy tightly. "Some one, mother," she said, half
frightened.

Mrs. Carrick stepped to the door, and glanced. Then, with a cry, she
went to her husband's arms.

They both almost fell on the doorstep.

"Oh," she cried, "you are tired to death! And----"

"Never mind; I'm home. And I have all my limbs, and have never been
ill. It has been a desperate struggle, but it's ending grandly. And
everybody----"

"They are all alive and well. Oh, we've been watching, and hoping--it
doesn't matter now, you are here;" and she leaned down on his shoulder
and cried.

"Three years and four months. I couldn't get word very well, and
thought I'd rather come on. You see, my horse gave out, and I've had
a ten-mile walk. And--the baby?"

"Oh, she's a big girl. She was sitting here----"

"Not that child!" in surprise.

"Daffodil," called her mother.

The child came shyly, hesitatingly.

"Dilly, it's father. We've talked of him so much, you know. And you
have watched out for him many a time."

Somehow he didn't seem the father of her imagination. He took her in
his arms, and dragged her over in his lap.

"Oh, I forgot you could grow," in a tone broken with emotion. "But her
blue eyes, and her yellow hair. Oh, my little darling! We shall have
to get acquainted over again;" and he kissed the reluctant lips. "Oh,
it is all like a dream! Many and many a time I thought I should never
see you again;" and he wiped the tears from his eyes.

"If you are glad, what makes you cry?" asked the child, in a curious
sort of way.

Barbe put her arms around Dilly. Of course, no child could understand.

"And the others," began Bernard Carrick.

"Oh, let us go in." There was a tremble of joy in her voice. "Mother,
grandfather, he has come!"

Mrs. Bradin greeted her son-in-law with fond affection, and a great
thanksgiving that he had been spared to return to them. They talked
and cried, and Daffodil looked on wonderingly. Great-grandfather
Duvernay, who had been taking his afternoon rest, came out of his
room, and laid his hand tremblingly in the younger one, that had not
lost its strength. Yes, he was here again, in the old home, amid them
all, after many hardships.

"Oh, sit down," said Mother Bradin. "You look fit to drop. And you
must have something to eat, and a cup of tea. Or, will it be a man's
tipple? There's some good home-brewed beer--or a sup of whiskey."

"I'll take the tea. It's long since I've had any. And if I could wash
some of the dust off--it must be an inch thick."

Ah, that was something like the old smile, only there was a hollow in
the cheek, that used to be so round and so pink. She took him into her
room, and, filling a basin with warm water, set it on the cedar chest,
spreading a cloth over it, that he might splash in comfort.

"It's been a long journey," he said. "But the poor horse gave out
first. Boyle, and Truart, and Lowy were with me, but not to come quite
so far. Some of the young fellows remained, though the feeling is that
there won't be much more fighting. The impression is that England's
about as tired of the war as we."

"But you wouldn't have to go back again?" Barbe protested, in a sort
of terror.

"Well--no;" yet the tone was not altogether reassuring.

She took his coat out by the door and brushed it, but it was very
shabby. Still, he looked much improved when he re-entered the room,
where Mrs. Bradin had set a tempting lunch at the corner of the table.
But he could hardly eat for talking. Barbe sat beside him--she could
scarce believe he was there in the flesh.

Daffodil went out in the sunshine again. She started to run over to
grandad's. Norry would be so glad. Well, grandad too, she supposed.
Had he really believed father would never come home? Somehow, it was
different. In Norry's stories the soldiers were strong, and handsome,
and glittering with gold lace, and full of laughter. She couldn't
recall whether they had any little girls or not. And there was her
mother hanging over the strange man--yes, he _was_ strange to her. And
her mother would care for him, and stay beside him, and she somehow
would be left out. Her little heart swelled. She did not understand
about jealousy, she had had all the attention, and it was not pleasant
to be pushed one side. Oh, how long he was eating, and drinking, and
talking, and--yes, they laughed. Grandad was coming up to the house
with a great two-handled basket--she knew it was full of ears of
corn, and she did so like to see him shell it, and hear the rattle as
it fell down in the tub. He sat on a board across the tub, and had a
queer sort of affair, made by two blades, and as he drew the ears of
corn through it, scraped off both sides.

No, she wouldn't even go and see grandad, for he would say, "Well,
yellow-top, your father hasna come home yet;" and, she--well, she
could not tell a wrong story, and she would not tell the true one.
Grandad wouldn't go back on her, but he could wait.

"Oh, Dilly, here you are!" said her mother, coming out of the door,
with her husband's arm around her. "We're going over to grandad's;
come;" and she held out her hand.

The soldier looked more attractive. His faded cap had been thrown
aside, and his short dark hair was a mass of curls. He looked sharply
at the little girl, and she turned away her face. Still, she took her
mother's hand.

Norry had been sitting by the window. Now she rushed out with a shriek
of joy.

"Oh, Barney! Barney! Sure, I've been afraid we'd never set eyes on you
again! The saints be praised! Sandy!"

Sandy Carrick came and put his arms around his son. Both were rather
tall men. For some moments neither spoke. Then the father said,
"Cross the threshold, Barney. An' here's a silver shilling--kiss it
for good luck an' a long stay."

Bernard did as his father bade him, and the two crossed the threshold
together.

"Now, you must have something to eat and drink," began hospitable
Norah. "Deed an' true, the crows would hardly make a meal of you."

"But I've been stuffed already," he protested.

"No matter. There's always room intil you're laid on your back for the
last time. An' you're that thin, 't would take two of you to make a
shadow."

She set out cold chicken, and boiled bacon, and bread that would tempt
one on a fast day, with a great loaf of cake, and Bernard and Barbe
sat down. Sandy brought out the whiskey bottle. No one thought of
objecting in those days.

"Oh, where's the colleen?" and Norah stepped to the door.

"Has she gone back home? She takes it a little strange," said Barbe.
"She can't remember well. But she'll come to it presently." Then Barbe
raised her eyes and met her husband's, that were so full of adoration;
she blushed like a girl.

"And the war is over," declared Norah. "Did they all have leave to go
home?"

"Oh, no. We can't say it's over, though the thought is there'll be no
more hard fighting. And we've some good friends on the other side to
argue the case for us."

"No, no," snorted Sandy. "It's not over by a long shot. An' then
they'll get to fightin' atween theirselves, and split here an' there.
Weel, Mr. Captain, are we to have a King or a great Emperor, like him
of France, with a court an' all that?"

Bernard laughed. "We'll have neither. We've gotten rid of kings for
all time."

"Don't do your skreeking until you're well out o' the woods. But I
hope you'll be wise enough next time to let t'other fellow take his
chance. An' it beats me to think a great Lord an' a great soldier,
too, should be put about, and captured by a crowd of ignoramuses
without training."

"Oh, you learn a good deal in five or six years," said the son
good-naturedly. "There have been the Indians and the French."

"And I can't abide turn-coats. First we fight for th' old country,
then turn around and fight forninst it. We lick the French, an' then
ask their aid. A fine country we'll have, when no one knows his own
mind!"

"You'll see the sort of country we'll make when we get about it. And
we have no end of brave fine men who'll plan it out for us. Here's to
your health and luck. And now tell me what Pittsburg has been doing."

He raised his glass and barely touched it to his lips. Sandy drained
his.

"There's not much doin'--how could there be, with no money?" he
answered shortly.

"But you've the place for a fine town. New York and Philadelphia may
have the start, but it's up to us to come out fair in the race. You
have the key to the great West. Some day we'll clear the French out of
that."

"Oh, don't talk war," interposed Norah. "Tell us if you're glad to get
home. And should you have known Dilly? She'll be the one to set hearts
aching with those eyes of hers, when she gets a bit grown up."

"We must go back," said Barbe. "And, Bernard, you must be stiff with
your long tramp. They rode mostly all night, and when the horses gave
out, walked. You must go to bed with the chickens."

Sandy gave a snort.

"I'll be over in the morn, ready for a talk or a fight," laughed
Bernard. "God be praised that He has cared for us all these years, and
let us meet again."

Sandy looked after his son, who had the fine air of a trained soldier.

"An' when we get him fatted up," said Norah, "he will be main
good-looking."

Daffodil had sauntered slowly homeward. She looked for some one to
call after her, but there was no sound. Oh, her mother did not care
for her now, and Norry had not so much as coaxed her in and offered
her a piece of cake. She entered the house rather sadly. Gran'mere was
concocting some treat for supper. She just turned and said, "Were they
glad to see your father?"

"I don't know. I didn't go in." Then she crept up alongside of
grandfather, and leaned her face down on his breast and cried softly.

"Dear, what has hurt my little girl?" pushing aside the mop of hair.

"Mother won't want me any more. Nor grandad, nor Norry, nor--nor any
one;" and Daffodil seemed very lonesome in a great cold world, colder
than any winter day.

"Yes, I want you. Oh, they'll all want you after a day or two. And
it's a great thing for your father to come home safe."

"I don't believe I am going to like him. He isn't like what I
thought."

Grandfather smiled. "Wait and see what he is like to-morrow. It's
almost night now, and things look different, cloudy-like. There, dear,
don't cry when we are all full of joy."



CHAPTER III

WELCOME


Neighbors kept dropping in, and the table was crowded at supper time.
Hospitality was ungrudging in those days. Grandfather had the little
girl close under his wing, but she had a curiously strange feeling, as
if she was outside of it all. Then her mother said:

"Wouldn't you rather go to bed, dear? The men will want to talk about
battles, and things, not best for little girls to hear. When you are
older they will interest you more."

"Yes," she replied, and kissed grandfather. Then her mother undressed
her and tucked her in her little pallet.

"Oh, you _will_ always love me?" she cried, in a tremulous tone.

"Always, always. And father, too." Even if other children should come,
the years when Daffodil had been her all could never be dimmed.

The mother shut the door softly. They were kindly enough, this
conglomerate population, but rough, and the French strain in the
Bradins had tended to refinement, as well as living somewhat to
themselves.

Daffodil cried a little, it seemed a comfort. But she was tired and
soon fell asleep, never hearing a sound, and the company was rather
noisy. When she woke, the door to the living room was partly open, and
the yellow candlelight was shining through. Mornings were dark, for
they had come to the shortest days. There was a curious rustling
sound, and Dilly ran out in her little bare feet, though the carpet
was thick and warm. Gran'mere was cooking, Barbe was washing dishes,
Judy sat by the fire in a grave upright fashion. How white the windows
were!

"Oh, it's snow!" cried the little girl. "Are we snowed up, as grandad
tells about? Why, we can't see out!"

"Yes, it's a tremendous snow. Bring out your clothes, and let me dress
you. Don't be noisy."

The child seldom was noisy. She wondered at the request. And what had
happened? She had a confused sense of something unusual in her mind.

"Father is asleep. It was late when he went to bed last night, and he
is so tired out that we shall let him sleep as long as he will. Get
your clothes, and shut the door softly."

She did as she was bidden, with a furtive glance at the mound under
the blankets. Her mother soon had her dressed in a sort of brownish
red flannel frock, and a blue and white checked apron. Then she
brushed out her silky hair, and made three or four thick curls.

"Oh, isn't it funny! Why, we can't see anything, not a house, or a
tree, nor grandad's."

They could see that in almost any storm.

She went and patted Judy. Gran'mere was frying bacon, and when that
was brown and crisp, she slipped some eggs in the pan. Grandfather
kept his bed late winter mornings, and only wanted a bit of toast and
a cup of coffee. That was generally made by roasting wheat grains,
with a tiny bit of corn, and made very fair coffee. But it was
necessity then, not any question of nerves or health.

So they ate their breakfast and everything seemed quite as usual
except the snow. So far there had been none to speak of. Gran'mere put
out the candle, and the room was in a sort of whitey-gray light.

There was queer, muffled banging outside, that came nearer, and
finally touched the door, and a voice said "Hello! hello!"

Barbe opened it. There was grandad, in his frieze coat and fur cap, a
veritable Santa Claus.

"Well, was there ever the beat of this! Stars out at twelve? The old
woman's geese are gettin' plucked close to the skin. Why, it's
furious! Dilly, come out and let me tumble you in the snow bank."

She shrank back, laughing.

"I'd have to dig you out again. How is the lad? Did we upset
grandfather with the racket?"

"Oh, no. He always sleeps late. Have a cup of hot coffee."

"An' that's just what I will. Well, the lad's lucky that he was no' a
day later, he'd been stumped for good. By the nose of St. Andrew, I
never saw so much snow fall in a little time. An' it's dark as the
chimney back."

"The snow is white," interposed Daffodil.

"Ah, ye're a cunnin' bairn. But put a lot of it together, and it turns
the air. The coffee's fine, it warm the cockles of one's heart."

"What are they?"

"Oh, the little fellys that get hot, an' cold, an' keep the blood
racin' round. And have delight bottled up to give out now and then
when one is well treated."

Daffodil nodded. She was not going to say she did not understand.

"An' the b'y? He wants fat, sure. The country's made a poor shoat out
of him. Well, I must go back, shovelin' for the path's about grown up.
The boss out to the barn?"

"Yes."

"Well, I'll kem over agin, an' give him a hand."

"Grandad has a good heart," said Mrs. Bradin.

Mr. Bradin came in presently with a pail of milk. "This beats all for
a storm," he said. "Now, I'll take a second breakfast. Dilly, come
and sit here beside me, and take a taste of things. Not a livin' hen
is up yet, just balls of feathers on the perch."

"Couldn't you take me out to see them?"

"If you get snowed under, we'll have to send for grandad. Well, they
did have a roarin' time last night. He was plucky to take that long
walk, though the poor fellows have had many a wearisome march."

He wrapped Dilly in a blanket, and carried her out to the barn. There
was Mooley munchin' her hay, there was the pen of sheep that was
always safe-guarded at night, and the hens, funny balls of feathers,
sure enough. But the head of the flock stretched up his long neck and
crowed. The pigs grunted and squealed a request for breakfast. Mr.
Bradin threw them a lot of corn.

"Oh, let me walk back," she exclaimed. But the snow drifted in her
eyes, and she tumbled over in the snow bank. He picked her up, and
they both laughed.

Grandfather was up now, looking as neat and trim as possible. He
always read a chapter in his French Bible, and Daffodil sat on the
broad arm of the chair and liked to listen. Then he had his breakfast
on the little stand, and Dilly ate the crust of his toast. She liked
so to crunch it in her teeth. Then she always wanted a story about
France, that seemed heroic to her, though she hardly knew the meaning
of the word. But Norah's stories were generally amusing, and
grandfather did not believe in the "little people."

It was noon when the soldier made his appearance. He really looked
much refreshed, though his clothes were worn and shabby. And he kissed
his little girl very fondly. Why, his blue eyes were very much like
hers, and his smile won one to smile in return.

And then the sun suddenly broke through the gray clouds, and a gust of
wind began tearing them to tatters, and letting the blue through.
Gran'mere opened the door, and the very air was warm. She drew long,
reviving breaths. Grandad was coming over again, with a great dish of
roasted apples Norah had sent.

"I should be ungrateful if I didn't get fat by the minute," Bernard
Carrick said. "But such a snow!"

"I never saw so much business done in the same time, but it'll run off
like a river. And the sun is fairly hot. But there's plenty of time
for winter yet. How does it seem to be out of barracks, or tents, or
whatever you had, or didn't have?"

"There was a good deal of _not_ having. But no one hardly knows all
the hardships, and the danger. The wonder to me is that so many come
out of it alive. And home is a better thing for all a man has passed
through. I'm anxious to see how the town has gone on."

"H-u-g," with a sort of disdain. "It hasn't gone on. How could it,
with the likeliest men thrashin' round the country worse than wild
Indians. For we counted on their having a little more sense."

Bernard laughed. His father had been very angry about his going, and
it was funny to see him try to be a little ungracious over his return,
as he had been so sure he would never come back alive.

"Suppose we go out and take a look at it?"

"In all the snow!" so amazed he reverted to the ancient tongue. With
the variety of people, and the admixture of English, the rugged points
of dialect were being rubbed off.

"I've seen some snow, and travelled through it. But this is rather
queer. Such a glorious air, and fairly a May day sun.

"Who dances barefoot in Janiveer will greet in March."

"But they wouldn't go barefooted in the snow," exclaimed Daffodil, in
surprise.

"They wouldn't do it for choice, though I've seen them dance with
their feet tied up in rags. Dance to keep themselves warm," said her
father.

"Yes. Let us go to the Fort. You'll be wanting to see the b'y's grown
up now. An' the old folk."

"You haven't grown much older;" looking his father over
affectionately.

"Bedad! It's not much beyant three years, and does a man get bowed
over, an' knock-kneed, an' half-blind, an' bald-headed, an' walk with
a stick in that little time. Havers! Did you expect to see me
bed-ridden!"

Bernard laughed. The same old contrarity that was not so much temper
after all.

"I can't say the same of you, more's the pity. You've given the
country, a pack of men who'll never give you a thankee, your good
looks, an' your flesh, an' at least ten years. Ye're a middle-aged
man, Bernard Carrick!"

Bernard laughed again. It was like old times, and, oh, how glad he was
to be home again.

"Come, then; and, Dilly, run down an' see Norah, an' have a good
time."

Sandy took his son's arm, and they went off together. Daffodil looked
after them with long breaths that almost brought tears to her eyes.
Grandad hadn't been glad when the news came; she could see just how he
had turned with his nose in the air, and now he was claiming his son
as if he had all the right.

Gran'mere was concocting some mystery on the kitchen table, Barbe sat
at the little wheel, spinning. And she was singing, too. A faint pink
had come back to her cheek, and her eyes almost laughed with delight.

     "What's a' the steer, kimmer.
     What's a' the steer,
     Jamie has landed, and soon he will be here."

She had a soft sweet voice. How long since she had sung with that
gayety. True, she had been ill, and now she was well again, and Jamie
had come home. But grandad had taken him off, and that somehow rankled
in the child's heart.

She stood by the window, uncertainly. There were only two small
windows in the large room that were of glass, for glass was costly.
Another much larger had board shutters, closed tightly, and a blanket
hung over it to keep out the cold. They called it the summer window.
One looked over to the other house and Daffodil was there.

"I wouldn't go over if I were you," said her mother. "It is very wet.
Grandad might have carried you, but he hardly knows whether he's on
his head or his heels."

"He'd look very funny on his head. What makes him so glad? He was
angry about--if that great general hadn't--I can't say the long word,
father couldn't have come home."

She turned a very puzzled face to her mother.

"There might have been a big battle;" and the mother shuddered. "Oh,
grandad will be as glad as the rest of us presently that we have a
country. Now we can begin to live."

It was all very strange to her small mind. The sun was making rivulets
through the snow, and the great white unbroken sheets sparkled with
iridescent lights. Out beyond there was the Fort; she could see
figures moving to and fro. Everything seemed so strange to her. And a
country of one's own! Would the farms be larger, and, if England was
beaten, what would become of it? Would they, our people, go over and
take what they wanted? Would they drive the people away as they did
the Indians?

She was tired of so much thinking. She went over to grandfather, and
seated herself on the arm of the chair. She did not want Norry's fairy
stories. Leaning her head down on the dear old shoulder, she said,
"Tell me about a great King, who beat the English."

"Are you going mad about the English?" her mother asked laughingly.
"We shall all be friends again. Quarrels are made up. And so many of
us came from England."

"We didn't," returned Dilly decisively.

"Well--on the one side Scotch and Irish."

"And on the other French, pure French, until your mother married a
Bradin, and you----"

"And Marc Bradin has been a good husband to me," said his wife,
looking up from her preparations.

Truly, he had, and a kind son to him as well, though he had not been
in favor of the marriage at first.

The story was about the grand old times in France. He never told of
the religious persecutions to the little girl. He had a soft winsome
sort of voice, and often lapsed into French idioms, but she was
always charmed with it, even if she could not understand all he said.
Presently she went fast asleep.

Then the darkness began to fall. The candles were lighted, and that
roused both sleepers. There was a savory smell of supper, even Judy
went around sniffing.

"We won't wait any longer," gran'mere said, with a little impatience.
She had been cooking some messes that she remembered her son-in-law
was very fond of, and she was disappointed that he was not here to
enjoy it.

After that grandfather went to bed. Dilly was wide awake and held her
cat, telling her a wonderful tale of a beautiful woman who had been
turned into a cat by an ugly witch, and all the adventures she could
remember. Judy purred very loudly now and then.

"Don't you want to go to bed?" asked Mrs. Carrick.

"Oh, I'm not a bit sleepy." Then, after a pause, "Will father stay at
grandad's?"

"Oh, no. He is with the men at the Fort."

"But grandad took him away."

"Oh, they all want to see him."

"Doesn't he belong to us?"

"Yes, dear. But they always make a time when one comes home from the
war."

"What queer things there are in the flames," the child went on. "I
think they fight, too. Look at that long blue streak. Just as soon as
the little red ones come out, he swallows them up. Then he sits and
waits for some more, just as Judy does for a mouse. It's funny!"

"There, I've spun out all my flax. Now let us both come to bed."

There was a sound of voices outside. Then the door was flung open, and
Bernard Carrick entered, with a rather noisy greeting, catching his
wife in his arms, and kissing her vehemently. Then he clasped his arms
about Dilly, and threw her up, she was so small and light. She
stretched out her hands to her mother.

"Don't, Bernard; you frighten the child. We have been waiting for you
to come home. And now Dilly must go to bed."

She took her little girl by the hand. Bernard dropped in the big
chair.

Barbe seldom undressed her now, but she did this night. Presently
Daffodil said in an imperious tone, "Do you like my father? I don't. I
like grandfather, and gran, and grandad sometimes, but not always.
And--father----"

"Hush, dear. You will come to like him very much, I know, for I love
him dearly. Now, say your little prayer and go to bed."

Barbe went out, poked the fire a little, put on another log, and then
sat down by her husband, who had fallen into a heavy sleep. Had he
given the country something more than his service these three
years--his manhood, the tender and upright qualities that dominated
him when he went away? Sandy Carrick was of the old school, strong and
stalwart, and not easily overcome, although he could not be called
dissipated in any sense. But Bernard had never been of the roystering
kind. She prayed from the depths of her heart that he might be made
aware of the danger. The fire dropped down again, and she roused with
a sudden shiver, rising and looking intently at him. The flush was
gone, he was pale and thin again. Then he opened his eyes and saw her
standing there. After a moment he held out both hands, and clasped
hers.

"Forgive me, Barbe," he said. "I ought not have come home to you like
that, but they are a wild lot and I hadn't the strength to stand it
after the months of privations. Zounds! what a head my father has! I
haven't been indulging in such junkets. I wanted to come home alive to
you and the little one. But I couldn't get away without offence and
one goes farther than one can bear. Don't think I brought the
detestable habit home with me, though many a poor fellow does yield to
it and you can't blame them so much, either."

"No," she answered softly, and kissed him on the forehead, much
relieved at his frankness. Then as an afterthought--"I hope you didn't
quarrel with anybody."

"Oh, no. Party spirit runs high. A man who has never seen anything
beyond an Indian skirmish thinks he could set the country on its feet
by any wild plan. And here we have so many shades of opinion. Father's
amuse me; I wonder how he and great-grandfather keep such amicable
friends!"

"Oh, he has no one nearby to play a game of piquet with him. And the
Duvernay temper is much milder. But you must be tired. Let us fix the
fire for the night."

"Tell me when I have it right. I am not quite sure, though I have
looked after many a camp fire. And now I am here to ease you up
somewhat, and look out for you. Your father has been very good through
these troublous times, and I will see that he need not be ashamed of
his son."

"Oh," she cried with deep emotion, "you make me very happy. So much of
our lives are yet to come."

There followed several pleasant days. The snow ran off and another
came and vanished.

There was little doing. Some people had looms in their houses and were
weaving goods of various rather common kinds and many of the women
were kept busy spinning thread and woolen yarns for cloth. Money was
scarce, most of the trade was carried on by barter.

"It has the making of a magnificent city," Bernard Carrick said,
surveying its many fine points. "From here you will go straight over
to the Mississippi. Some day we shall have both sides. What have the
French been about to let such a splendid opportunity slip through
their hands."

"Don't stir up a hornet's nest at home," counseled the elder Carrick.

"Oh, you mean great-grandfather! He sees the mistakes and
shortsightedness, and while he would have been proud enough to live
here under French rule, he understands some aspects at the old home
better than we, the extravagance of the Court, the corruption of
society, and," laughing, "he is hardly as hot for France as you are
for England. After all, what so much has been done for you or Scotland
or Ireland for that matter?"

"This will be fought all over again. You will see. The country will be
broken up into little provinces. Yankee and Virginian will never
agree; Catholic and Puritan are bound to fight each other."

"Hardly! They fought together for the great cause and they'll hardly
turn their swords on each other. I've been from New York to Yorktown.
And now the great work is for every man to improve his own holding,
his own town."

Pittsburg then had enjoyed or hated successive rulers. Great Britain,
then France, Great Britain again, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It had
been a strategic point worth holding, but no one then had dreamed of
its later renown.

Bernard Carrick did not seem to make much headway with his little
daughter. She had been startled with his rudeness, though he was
gentle enough now. But what with her mother, grandad, and Norah, who
was the most charming of stepmothers, she felt he had enough care and
attention. She was not going to sue for any favors.

"Daffodil," he said one pleasant day when they had been rambling round
the old Block House, not so very old then, though it could count on
over twenty years, "Daffodil, why can't you love me as well as you
love great-grandfather. I think you scarcely love me at all."

She kicked some gravelly stones out of her path and looked over the
river. It was all so beautiful then, no smoke to obscure it anywhere.

"They all love you, they're always wanting you. Grandad doesn't care
for me any more. And he wasn't a bit glad when the news came. He went
in the house saying it was a 'lee' and Norry said the black cat was on
his back. It wasn't a real cat, but like those in the stories. And he
stayed there all day. And he wouldn't believe you were coming home or
that the war was ended."

"He hardly believes it yet;" laughing. "But he _was_ glad to have me
come back. And are you not a little glad?"

"You have all mother's gladness. And gran'mere's."

She made a funny little movement with her dimpled chin, that if she
had been older would have been coquettish. Her lashes were long and a
sort of bronze brown, and her eyes made a glitter through them. Barbe
had been a very pretty girl but the child was not much like her mother
only in certain dainty ways. And her blue eyes came from him. He was
rather glad of that.

"Don't you want them to be glad that I am back?"

"Why?"--she looked up perplexed. She was not old enough to define her
emotions. "Of course I should want them to be glad."

"Yet you are a little jealous."

"Jealous!" she repeated. The word had no clearly definite meaning to
her.

"Maybe I have crowded you out a little. But you will find as you grow
that there is a great deal of love that can be given and not make any
one the poorer."

"What is jealousy?"

She had been following out her own thought and hardly minded his
truism.

"Why"--how could he define it to the child's limited understanding?
"Jealousy is wanting _all_ of another's regard and not being willing
that any other shall have a share. Not being willing that grandad
shall care for me."

"He wasn't glad at first." She could not forget that.

"It wasn't a question of wanting or not wanting me that made him
captious. He could not enjoy the English being beaten. I do not
understand that in him since he means to spend all the rest of his
life here, and has never wanted to go back. He was only a little boy,
not older than you when he came here. And he fought in the battle of
Braddock's defeat. Though the French gained the day it was no great
victory for them, for they gave up their plan of taking possession of
all the country here about. And he has not much faith in the rebels,
as he used to call us, and didn't see what we wanted to fight for. And
he _is_ glad to have me back. But he isn't going to love you any
less."

"Oh, yes he does," she returned quickly. "I used to ride with him and
he never asks me now. And he takes you away--then they all come asking
for you and if everybody likes you so much----"

"And don't you like me a little?" He gave a soft, wholesome laugh and
it teased her. She hung her head and returned rather doubtfully--"I
don't know."

"Oh, and you are my one little girl! I love you dearly. Are you not
glad to have me come back and bring all my limbs? For some poor
fellows have left an arm or a leg on the battlefield. Suppose I had to
walk with a crutch like poor old Pete Nares?"

She stopped short and viewed him from head to foot. "No, I shouldn't
like it," she returned decisively.

"But you would feel sorry for me?"

"You couldn't dance then. And grandad tells of your dancing and that
you and mother looked so pretty, that you could dance longer and
better than any one. And he was quite sure you would come home
all--all----"

"All battered up. But I think he and Norry would have been very good
to me. And mother and everybody. And now say you love me a little."

"I was afraid of you," rather reluctantly. "You were not like--oh, you
were so strange."

What an elusive little thing she was!

"But you are not afraid now. I think I never heard of a little girl
who didn't love her father."

"But you see the fathers stay home with them. There are the Mullin
children and the Boyles. But I shouldn't like Mr. Boyle for a
father."

"Why?" with a touch of curiosity.

"Oh, because----"

"Andy Boyle seems very nice and jolly. We used to be great friends.
And he gave me a warm welcome."

"I can't like him;" emphatically. "He beat Teddy."

"I suppose Teddy was bad. Children are not always good. What would you
have done if you had been Teddy?" he asked with a half smile.

"I would--I would have bitten his hand, the one that struck. And then
I should have run away, out in the woods and frozen to death, maybe."

"Why my father thrashed me and I know I deserved it. And you are not
going to hate grandad for it?"

She raised her lovely eyes and looked him all over. "Were you very
little?" she asked.

"Well--I think I wasn't very good as a boy."

"Then I don't like grandad as well. I'm bigger than Judy, but do you
suppose I would beat her?"

"But if she went in the pantry and stole something?"

"Can you steal things in your own house?"

"Oh what a little casuist you are. But we haven't settled the other
question--are you going to love me?"

"I can't tell right away;" reluctantly.

"Well, I am going to love you. You are all the little girl I have."

"But you have all the other people."

He laughed good-naturedly. She was very amusing in her unreason. And
unlike most children he had seen she held her love rather high.

"I shall get a horse," he said, "and you will ride with me. And when
the spring fairly comes in we will take walks and find wild flowers
and watch the birds as they go singing about. Maybe I can think up
some stories to tell you. I am going to be very good to you for I want
you to love me."

She seemed to consider. Then she saw grandad, who had a little
squirrel in his hands. Some of them were very tame, so she ran to look
at it.

"A queer little thing," said the father to himself.



CHAPTER IV

OLD PITTSBURG


Spring came with a rush. Barbe Carrick glanced out of the south window
one morning and called her little girl.

"Look, Dilly, the daffodils are opening and they make the garden
fairly joyous. They are like the sun."

There was a long border of them. The green stalks stood up stiff like
guards and the yellow heads nodded as if they were laughing. Wild
hyacinths were showing color as well, but these were the first save a
few snowdrops and violets one found in woody nooks. Birds were singing
and flying to and fro in search of nesting places.

Pittsburg was not much of a town then, but its surroundings were
beautiful. The two rivers were rushing and foaming now in their wild
haste to pour their overflow into the Ohio. The houses had begun to
stretch out beyond the Fort. Colonel Campbell some years before had
laid out several streets, the nucleus of the coming city. Then Thomas
Hickory completed the plans and new houses were in the course of
erection. Still the great business of the time was in the hands of
the Indian traders that the French had found profitable. Beyond were
farms, and the great tract, afterward to be Allegheny City, lay in
fields and woods.

A post road had been ordered by the government between Philadelphia
and the town. And there were plans for a paper. For now most people
were convinced that the war was at an end, and the Southern cities had
been turned over to the Continental government.

There was a brisk, stirring air pervading the place. Business projects
were discussed. Iron had been discovered, in fact the whole land was
rich in minerals. The traders were bringing down their furs. It had
not been a specially cold winter and in this latitude the spring came
earlier.

"Oh, it's beautiful!" The child clapped her hands. "Can't I bring in
some of them?"

"Oh, yes. But pick only the largest ones. Leave the others on to
grow."

She came in with an apron full. "Some are for grandfather," she said.

"Yes, fill this bowl and put it on his table."

She had just finished when he came out. He was always immaculate, and
his hair had the silvery tint. His daughter saw that it was always
neatly brushed and the queue tied with a black ribbon. He was growing
a trifle thinner and weaker.

"Oh, little one," he cried, "did you get a posy for me? Is it your
birthday?" and he stooped to kiss the golden hair, then the rosy lips.

"Her birthday will not be until next week," said her mother.

"I had forgotten. I am almost a hundred. And she is----"

"Seven."

"And when I get to be a hundred I'll have a little table like yours,
and read out of the Bible, and we'll talk over things that happened
when we were children."

He laughed and patted her shoulder. "I shall not be here," he said
slowly.

"Oh, where are you going? I do not want you to go away," and she drew
an apprehensive breath.

"We do not always stay in one place. I came from France years and
years ago. And I shall go to another country, heaven. It is always
summer there."

"Can't you take me?" with an eager, upward look.

"Mother wants you. And you are to be a little old lady and sit in this
chair."

"And wear a cap like gran'mere? And have two little creases in my
forehead, so?"

She tried to make them but they were not much of a success, and the
smile returned. "Now let us read."

She took her seat on the arm of the chair. Gran'mere came in and
busied herself about breakfast. The reading was from one of the minor
prophets. Dilly did not understand it very well but she could converse
in the language quite fluently. Her mother had taught her to spell and
read English. Girls were not expected to have much education in those
days; indeed, here they grew up mostly like the flowers of the field.
While the little girls to the eastward were working samplers, sewing
long overhand seams, hemming, and doing beautiful darning, these
little girls ran about, romped, helped to take care of the next
younger baby, grew up and married, no one could have told just how.

After breakfast when the sun was warm and bright grandfather started
for his walk. He always felt stronger in the morning. Sometimes Barbe
went, often only Dilly. He liked the child's prattle. He liked, too,
the way the denizens of the woods came to her, and the birds. True she
always had some bread to crumble and she talked in her low sunny
voice. Now and then a squirrel would run up her shoulder, watch her
with beady eyes that almost laughed and whisk his feathery tail about.

"It does seem as if they ought to talk," she often said.

"They do in their language, only we can't understand them; at least we
do in part. Doesn't he say in his fashion, 'I'm glad to see you? Have
you any crumbs to-day.' And how one of them scolded when another ran
off with that piece you dropped."

"That was funny, wasn't it!" and she laughed. They were sitting on a
fallen log in the warm sunshine. Bees were out also, buzzing and no
doubt grumbling a little because there were not more sweet flowers in
bloom. And the birds sang and whistled in great glee.

They returned from their walk presently through the woods, where she
gathered some curious wild flowers. Then they came out by the river,
foaming and tumbling about as if it longed to overflow its banks. Now
and then a rough kind of boat came down laden with stores of some
kind, but there was no hurry visible anywhere.

About sixteen years before the Indians had ceded all the lands about
Pittsburg to the Colonies. The six nations assembled with their
principal chiefs and warriors and gave the strongest assurance of
treaty keeping, which after all were not well kept, as usual. But they
had retreated to better hunting grounds and for some time had made
little trouble, though many friendly Indians remained.

The wanderers came out to the town proper. Streets were being
surveyed, straightened, new ones laid out. There were about a hundred
houses ranged round the Fort, but they had begun to spread outside.
The disputes with the Pitt family, who had held the charter of
Pennsylvania, had been mostly settled and grants of land given to many
of the returned soldiers in lieu of the money the Colonial government
could not pay. Pittsburg now belonged to the State, and a project had
been broached to make it the county seat.

Grandfather looked very tired and pale as he came in and went straight
to his chair. His daughter took his hat and cane.

"I did not mean to go so far. I wanted to look at the spot where I had
buried my money;" with a little hollow laugh.

"Did you bury some money?" asked Daffodil, with eager curiosity.
"Can't you dig it up again?"

"No, dear; it has to stay there for years. It may be dug up in your
time, but I shall not need it."

She looked puzzled.

"You must have a cup of tea," said Mrs. Bradin, and immediately she
set about it. Grandfather leaned back in his chair and closed his
eyes. Dilly espied her mother in the adjoining room and went thither
to exploit the splendid time with the squirrels and show the flowers
she had gathered. Then she stood rather wistfully.

"Well?" said her mother in a tone of inquiry.

"Grandfather went to look at the money he had buried, but he couldn't
find it. Do you suppose some one has taken it away?"

"Buried?" She seemed mystified a moment, then smiled. "It wasn't as we
bury things. A long time ago when the French held the Fort and seemed
likely to keep a good part of the country grandfather bought a large
tract of land. Then the French were driven out by the English and they
in their turn by the Colonists. But the land is there and some day the
money may come out of it. Grandad thinks he might as well have thrown
it into the river. But he has never wanted for anything, and it would
likely have been spent for something else. It's odd grandfather should
have said that to-day. He seldom mentions it. He was quite troubled
over it at first--when _I_ was a little girl."

"Oh," returned Daffodil, relieved, though she did not understand the
matter.

"Go and put your flowers in water;" said her mother.

Grandfather was soundly asleep and did not wake until dinner was on
the table. Then he scarcely tasted it.

"You must not take such long walks," his daughter said. "You cannot
stand it any more."

"No, I am getting old," rather sadly. "When your mother died I felt
that I didn't want to live, and now I am content to go on in this
lovely world until the Lord calls me home. I thought once I should
round out the century. There have been many changes in the hundred
years."

And though he had been on exile for his faith's sake, though he had
seen the blunders and sins of his country's rulers, he could not help
reverting to the grand old dream of the magnificent empire of New
France that would never come to pass now. How they had let all the
advantages slip through their fingers that had grasped only at the
wildest pleasures and dissipations.

Barbe went out in the sunshine to garden a little. She was so fond of
growing and blooming things. And they yielded such a beautiful return.
She sang snatches of songs, sometimes in French, sometimes the gay or
sad Scotch ditties. Dilly went over to see Norah, all the men were out
now at the spring work. Norah was spinning on the big wheel, but she
could raise her voice above its whir and to-day she was full of merry
legends. Dilly had brought the cat and Judy never objected to being
held.

"I'm going to be seven years old," she said in a pause. "And when will
I be almost a hundred like great-grandfather?"

"Oh, you've gone only a little bit toward it," laughed Norah. "Why I'm
not half way there myself. And I don't want to be. I'd like never to
grow any older. But you shouldn't stop at seven. You haven't come to
the cream of life. There's more fun at seventeen and that's ten years
away. But you're big enough to have a party."

"What is a party like?"

"Oh, you little innocent! A party is a lot of people together who
laugh and tell stories and have a good time and something to eat and
drink. And you must have a cake with seven candles around it."

"What are the candles for?"

"To light your way;" laughing. "No, to tell how many years you have
lived. I'll make the cake, and the candles too. They'll have to be
dips for I haven't any small mould. Don't you remember how your mother
and gran'mere made candles last fall? And I haven't a bit of wax
myrtle. Oh, I can melt up two or three of mine. They are more fragrant
than tallow. Yes, you shall have a party. I'll talk to your mother
about it."

Dilly was all interest and excitement. Her mother agreed at once. A
modern little girl would have refused such a party. For there would be
all grown people. Barbe Carrick had been a little exclusive with her
child and she had not felt the need of playmates. Then they were
rather out of the range of the Fort people as the somewhat crowded
settlement was called. There were no schools nor Sunday-schools for
little folks. Sunday was not very strictly kept. The schoolmaster read
prayers, the litany, and a sermon from some volume on Sunday morning
and the rest of the day was given over to social life. There were a
few Friends who held their meeting in each other's houses; some of the
Acadians had found their way thither, and now and then a priest came
who took in the more devout of the Irish population. But there was a
large liberty of opinion.

Norah would have the house decorated with blossoming shrubs and she
made a wreath for the little girl to wear, for a few neighbors were
asked in. James Langdale had been in Bernard's company, and Mrs.
Langdale and Barbe had exchanged many a fear and a few hopes. There
were two Langdale boys, but of course they were not eligible for a
girl's party.

They had some idea of the fitness of things even then. Barbe and
Bernard Carrick were at the head of the table with Daffodil on her
mother's side and great-grandfather on the other. At the foot were
grandfather and grandmother Bradin and on one side grandfather Carrick
and Norah, fresh and smiling and full of gayety in the pretty lavender
crêpe she had worn at her own wedding and that she saved now for high
occasions, with her sapphire earrings and brooch that had come down to
her through several generations and had been worn at Court and danced
with royalty.

It was what we would call a high tea, a bountiful spread, and there
was much jesting and joking. I think they didn't mind the little girl
very much. She was perched up higher than usual and wore a white robe
that was kept as a sort of heirloom when she outgrew it, for it was
lace and needlework of her mother's making.

Jetty, a half Indian woman, waited on the table, and when the meats
were taken out and the dessert brought in there was Daffodil's
beautiful cake with the seven candles all alight. She thrilled with
the pleasure. They passed around other cakes and home-made wine and
drank great-grandfather's health and wished him many more years.
Grandfather Carrick drank to Daffodil's future, wishing her long life
and a happy marriage with great prosperity.

Then her mother helped her up on her feet. She felt very bashful with
everybody's eyes upon her and almost forgot the little speech Norah
had taught her, but her mother prompted and she replied amid great
applause. The toasting went all around, then her candles were put out
and she had to cut the cake, which she did with a silver knife that
had a Louis stamp upon it. The cake was declared excellent.

"I'm going to take my piece home to the boys," declared Mrs. Langdale.
"Husband, give me a taste of yours."

After that there was more merriment. Then Jetty took off the things,
the tables were pushed back, and Norah and grandfather Carrick danced
a jig. And it _was_ dancing such as you seldom see nowadays. Norah
could have made her fortune on a modern stage.

After Daffodil's party broke up the men went over to grandfather
Carrick's, where they made a night of it, as was the fashion of the
times. But Dilly and great-grandfather wanted to go to bed.

"A party is just beautiful!" declared Dilly. "Couldn't I have another
sometime!"

"Oh, you are getting spoiled," laughed her mother. "Let me see--when
you are ten, maybe."

So many new thoughts came to Daffodil that she was surprised at
herself. Of course it was being seven years old. She began to sew a
little and knit and make lace over a cushion. Very simple at first,
and oh, the mistakes! Then there was gardening. How curious to plant a
dainty little seed and have it poke a green head out of the ground.
But funniest of all were the beans coming up with their shells on
their heads; she was sure at first they must be upside down.

The men were very busy about the new town and sometimes they almost
quarreled over the improvements. It was taking on quite a changed
aspect. They were giving names to the streets and building much better
houses of hewn logs, making plaster walls. But glass was very dear and
for a long while they could only put in a few windows. The rest were
openings, closed by shutters at night or in a storm.

The paper was a great source of interest, the Pittsburg _Gazette_.
What they did without any telegraph and depending only on post horses
puzzles us now. And the General Government had a hard task on its
hands reconciling the different states and trying ways of getting
money.

"They'll see, an' a sorry time they'll have of it," predicted Sandy
Carrick. "It's settin' up housekeeping for yourself on nothing. Th'
ould country's paid our bills and sent us what we needed an' they'll
be glad to go back, mark my words now."

Bernard took his father's talk in good part. His knowledge was so much
wider. There would be hard times, but there were brave men to meet it.
Sometimes he wished they could go to a big city, but it would be cruel
to tear Barbe away from the household when she was its light.

Daffodil had another wonderful pleasure. The old English people kept
up some of their customs and they had a gay time over the Maypole. It
was like a grand picnic. They had a smooth grassy place at the edge of
the woods and the pole was a young tree that was denuded of its limbs
as it stood in just the right place. They could not get ribbon, but
strips of dyed muslin answered for the streamers. There were two
fiddlers, there were gay choruses. One song grandad sang with great
gusto. Captious as he could be when people did not agree with him, he
had a fund of Irish drollery.

     "Come, lasses and lads, get leave of your dads
       And away to the Maypole hie;
     For every fair has a sweetheart there,
       And the fiddlers standing by,
     Then trip it, trip it, up and down."

And grandad did trip it merrily. It was fortunate for Norah that she
was not jealous, but she enjoyed a bit of fun, and her arch smile, the
merry flash of her eyes, with the color coming and going, made her
very attractive. Dilly wished she was big enough to dance--her little
feet kept patting the turf and keeping time with the fiddle.

"You're Daffodil Carrick, aren't you?" said a boyish voice almost in
her ear.

She turned, startled, and her eyes were so lovely they fairly
transfixed him, and she stared unconsciously.

She did not speak but nodded.

"I'm Ned Langdale. My mother was at your party and brought us home a
piece of your birthday cake. She said you were seven and as pretty as
a fairy, and I'm fourteen, just twice as old."

"Oh," she said, "that's funny. And will you always be twice as old."

"Why--no. You can never be that but just once in your life--I mean
with that special person. And when you were twenty I wouldn't like to
be forty."

"Is that so very old? Great-grandfather is ninety-seven."

"Whew! That is old! But you see now I am seven years older than you
and that is the way it will be all our lives. Do you go to school?
There's a lady in Water Street who takes little girls, though she's
only just begun."

"No; but I can spell, and read, and do little sums. And read in
French."

"Oh, that's great! I'm studying Latin, but it's awful tough. Isn't it
gay here? Can you dance?"

"I never tried with music."

"I can, just a little. Oh, say, it's splendid! If I knew just how I'd
ask you to try it with me. It seems so easy when you look at them.
It's so and so----" moving his hands. "Yes, do try. You whirl
round----"

And without any real intention they started. It was like floating.
Yes, she had done it when she thought of the little people dancing on
the green.

"Oh," with a soft laugh of protest, and all out of breath.
"It's--delicious! I didn't think I could do it for fair. I sometimes
make believe. I'll get Norry to teach me."

"Norry? Who?"

"Why----" she flushed daintily. "That's grandad's wife."

"Then she's your grandmother."

"Oh, no, she isn't. You see the other wife died; she was father's
mother and he married Norah. We all call her Norry."

"She doesn't look old enough to be any one's grandmother. And isn't
she gay? She has such a merry face, pretty too."

"And she sings such gay songs. She knows all about the fairies, too,
and she's seen them at home, that's Ireland. Why don't they come to
America?"

"Maybe the witches drive them away. Witches are just awful! Come; let
us try again."

He placed his arm around her and they whirled off to the fascinating
music. Is there anything like a fiddle to put the spirit of delight in
one's feet? Other couples were floating round or doing jigs with fancy
steps and laughter. Now and then a bright, mirthful young lad ran off
with some girl and left the first partner in the lurch, at which there
was a shout.

"Oh, I wish you were my sister! Wouldn't we have fun! I have only one
brother, Archie, and he's stupid as an owl--well, I mean he hasn't any
fun in him, and he'd dance about like a cow. Oh, there's your--well,
it would be queer to call her grandmother."

They both laughed at that.

"I wondered where you were, Daffodil. Isn't this Ned Langdale? I know
your mother. Dilly, I think I had better take you home. I promised
your mother I wouldn't keep you very long."

"Oh, no; let me stay just a little while. It's all so gay and they
dance so--so--isn't it like a fairy ring?"

Norah laughed. "Well, I'll take another round, then we must go. You
keep her just about here, then I shall know where to find you. Aren't
you tired, though?"

"Oh, not a bit."

Her eyes shone like stars and there was a most delicious color in her
cheeks like the dainty first ripeness of a peach.

"There's a tree over there--go and sit down. I won't be long."

The great tree had been cut down and there were no end of chips lying
about.

"Now, if I was home I'd get a basket and gather them up," said Ned.
"Mother thinks they make such a splendid fire. It's odd that our
fathers were out in the war together, and are real good friends. I
mean to be a soldier."

"But if there isn't any war?"

"There'll be Indian wars until they are all cleared out. They're a
treacherous lot and never keep their word. And governments need an
army all the time."

"But it's dreadful to fight and kill each other."

"Still you have to. History is full of wars. And there were so many in
the Bible times. The children of Israel had to fight so many people to
get the land of Canaan that the Lord promised them. And we've been
fighting for a country--that is, our fathers have--and now we've
gained it. Oh, wasn't it splendid when Cornwallis surrendered. Did you
hear Kirsty that morning? I thought the place was on fire."

That brought grandad's face before her and she laughed.

"I didn't know what it meant nor who Cornwallis was. I'm only a little
girl----"

"But you're awful smart to read French. Can you talk it?"

"Oh, yes. Grandmother Bradin was French. They went to Ireland and then
came to America, and since father has been away they have talked it a
great deal more, so you see I know both."

"Mother said your party was so nice. And the old grandfather was like
a picture. When they drank your health you had to reply."

Daffodil's face was scarlet.

"I almost forgot. Norry made me say it over and over, but mother
whispered and then I remembered."

"Oh, I wish I could have seen you. And you are so little and pretty.
I'd like to see your French grandfather. Could I come some time?"

"Why, yes. And you'd like Norry so much."

"Do they live with you?"

"Oh, no; but it's only a little way off----"

Norah came flying back. "Come," she said hurriedly. "Grandad's had a
fit about you because I did not have you tucked under my wing. Why, I
should have dropped you while I was dancing. Glad you've taken such
good care of her;" and Norah nodded to him as she took the child by
the hand. "Don't say a word about the lad, or grandad will show his
claws and scratch all round."

He was waiting where a path turned off.

"Well, Yellow-top," he began, "so you're not lost. Had a good time?"

"I was watching them dance. And they were so merry. Oh it was fine!"

"No place for a little youngster like you. Norry was crazy to think of
it."

"I saw some other little children----"

"Yes, rabble;" and the nose went up.

"Grandad, don't be cross. I had such a nice time;" and she slipped her
small hand in his.

"You're 'most a witch, you cunning little thing;" and he gave her a
squeeze. "Now, Norry, take her to her mother's arms before you let her
go."

They turned off, and grandad, who had not had his fun out, went back.

"It was all splendid, Norry. I want you to show me how to dance and
teach me some songs--some of those gay and pretty ones."

"Well, well! you _are_ getting along. Daffodil Carrick, you'll break
hearts some day;" and Norah laughed.

She had so much to tell them at home and she spoke of Ned Langdale,
but she did not quite like to tell about the dancing, wondering if
there had been anything wrong in it, and she did not want to have
Norah blamed. She liked the gayety so much. It was rather grave at
home, with all grown people. And her mother was not _all_ hers now.
Father was very fond of her. And she was coming to like him very much.

He was pleased that she had such a nice time. He wondered if it would
not be well to send her to this school for small children that had
lately been opened. But her mother objected decidedly.

Oh, how beautiful the summer was with its flowers, and then its
fruits. One Sunday afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Langdale came up with their
son Edward, and Daffodil was glad to see him again. He was a nice,
well-behaved lad, and very deferential to great-grandfather. The two
soldiers talked over their battles and the state of the country. The
preliminaries of peace were under way, but the settlement seemed to
drag along. France still stood our friend.

Daffodil took him out to see the squirrels that came at her call and
inspected him with such curious, inquiring eyes that he laughed about
it.

"You see they are not used to boys," she explained.

The quails were very much at their ease as well, and robins flew and
fluttered. Judy never tried to catch them, though sometimes she hunted
out in the woods.

"Ned Langdale is a nice boy," said Dilly's father. "I don't wonder
they are proud of him. His heart is set on being a soldier."

"I'm glad he isn't my son if that is his bent," Barbe said. "And I
hope we'll hear no more of war."



CHAPTER V

HOW THE WORLD WIDENED


The summer passed rapidly. Daffodil found many things to entertain
her, but grandfather demanded much of her time. He took his morning
walk with her hand in his, but he did not go as far as formerly. Then,
on his return, he had a nap in his chair. He lost his appetite during
the latter part of the season. In the afternoon he took a long nap.
Daffodil read to him now, and he did not appear to notice her
blunders.

"Father fails rapidly, I think," Mrs. Bradin said to her husband.

He shook his head with a slow, sympathetic movement.

"We shall miss him very much. And Dilly will feel it. I am sorry to
have her know the mystery no child can understand."

"We won't go for a walk this morning, Dilly," he said one day in later
August. "The air is very close. We will wait until evening."

"But you go to bed so early."

"Yes, I'm getting old," with his faint, sweet smile.

"But everybody says you must live to be a hundred. That's a whole
century."

"Sometimes I feel as if it were two centuries since I began. But it
has been a pleasant journey toward the last. I'm glad to have had you,
Dilly."

"I'm glad, too," the child said with her bright smile.

"Now you may sing to me a little."

So she sang him to sleep. Then she went to wait on her grandmother.
Her mother was sewing by the window in their sleeping-room.

"Go and look at grandfather," she said presently.

"He is still asleep. Mother, I wish you would show me that stitch I
began yesterday."

So she sat down at her work.

Mrs. Bradin went to her father. His head had drooped a little forward.
She placed her hand on his forehead, and drew a long quivering breath.
The summons had come, peacefully, for him.

She was still standing there when her husband entered, and at a glance
he knew what had happened.

"It is best so," he said.

Barbe was startled beyond measure. Latterly her thoughts had been
revolving much about herself, and though she had remarked the slow
alteration, she had put off the assumption of the great change.
Somewhere in the winter--maybe spring, and here it was with the
ripening of summer.

They carried him to his room and laid him tenderly on his bed. A long,
well-used life it had been.

To Daffodil it was a profound mystery. No child could comprehend it.
This was the journey grandfather had spoken of, that she had imagined
going back to France.

"What is it, mother? How do people go to heaven?" she asked.

"Some day we will talk it all over, when you can understand better. We
must all go sometime. And we shall see each other there."

"Then it isn't so bad as never seeing one again," and there was a
great tremble in her voice.

"No, dear. And God knows about the best times. We must trust to that."

He looked so peaceful the day of the burial that Daffodil thought he
must be simply asleep. She said good-by to him softly. There had been
no tragedy about it, but a quiet, reverent passing away.

Still, they missed him very much. Barbe wanted to set away the chair
that had been so much to him. She could not bear to see it empty.

"Oh, no, mother," pleaded Daffodil. "When I go and sit in it I can
talk to him, and he seems to come back and answer me. It's so lovely
where he is and there isn't any winter. Think of having flowers all
the year round. And no one ever is ill. There are such beautiful
walks, and woods full of birds, the like of which one never sees
here. And I can put my head down on his shoulder, just as I used, and
I can feel his hand holding mine. Oh, no, don't take it away, for then
I should lose him."

The child's eyes had a wonderful exalted light in them, and her voice
had a tender, appealing sound, that went to the mother's heart. She
was thankful, too, that Daffodil had no terror of death. She shrank
from it as from some dread spectre standing in her way.

The child missed him most in her walks. Norah liked neighbors to chaff
and gossip with; rambles, with no special motive, did not appeal to
her. Gran'mere was always busy, her mother was easily tired out. She
rode, as of old, with grandad, but she could not use the pillion, her
arms were too short to go around his stout body. Her father took her
out with him when he could; he did a good deal of surveying. On
Saturday Ned Langdale would hunt them up, and one day he brought
Archie, who was three years younger, and not exactly stupid, either,
but always wanting to examine the beginning of things, and how the
Indians came to own the continent, and why the Africans were black and
had woolly hair and in the country called Asia they were yellow? And
if God created only two at first, how did they come to be so
different? And how did Adam know what to name the animals? Were there
people living in the stars?

"Oh, do hush up," his mother would exclaim impatiently. "You are
enough to turn one's brain upside down! And you can't say half the
multiplication table. I don't believe you know how many black beans
make five!"

It had been a great puzzle to him. He sprung it on Daffodil one day.

She considered. "Why, five would be five of anything, wouldn't it?"

"Oh, how quick you are with a good reason, too. I couldn't see into it
for ever so long. I'm awful dull."

Then they both laughed. His face was such a good honest one, but not
full of mirth, like Ned's.

They were really nice boys, and her father felt he could trust her
with them. But he wished there were some tolerably well trained girls
for her to know.

Then the winter came on again. Her father had to go to Philadelphia on
some business, and there were stirring times in the brave old city.
They missed him so much. Grandfather Bradin was promoted to the whole
name now, as there was no chance of confusion, but the little girl as
often endearingly called him "gran."

Bernard Carrick brought home with him great-grandfather's will that
had been made five years before, and intrusted to a legal friend, who
was, like himself, a Huguenot refugee. To his wife Felix Duvernay had
entrusted his strong box, with the gold pieces that were almost
heirlooms, and various jewels, to do with whatever she chose. There
were some deeds of property that he brought home with him, and the
will.

"I was amazed," he said to Barbe. "Why, there are acres and acres of
ground that will be worth a mint of money some day. And it is all
securely made over to Daffodil Carrick. Your father and I are
appointed guardians, and this Mr. de Ronville is administrator. His
father was exiled about the same time, but he came at once to America.
It seems a little queer that great-grandfather shouldn't have made
more of it."

"I think, after the purchase he felt rather sore about it, as if it
was a foolish bargain. But he thought then that the French would be
the real rulers of America," said Mrs. Bradin. "Yet he never alluded
to the will; and you know he was always very fond of Dilly, and that
there was no other child."

"Dear old man! When Dilly is grown up she will be an heiress. It can
only be leased until she comes of age. I wish it was on this side of
the river. Well, as my father says, 'it will neither eat nor drink,'
except the rains of heaven. We won't proclaim it on the housetops."

So matters went on just the same. No one gave much thought to "over
the river" then.

One morning Mrs. Carrick was not very well. Norah came over, and there
was grave consulting. She took Dilly back with her, and in the
afternoon grandad bundled her up and drove her over to the mill with
him, and was very jolly. They did not return until dusk, and then
Norry's supper had such a savory fragrance she decided to share it.
Norry had been over to the other house, and "mother" had a bad
headache, and Dilly was to stay all night. She had brought over her
nightgown.

"That's funny!" exclaimed Daffodil. "Mother seldom has a headache.
Oh," with a sudden alarm, "you don't think mother will be ill for
weeks and weeks, and grow pale and thin, as she did before father came
home."

"Oh, no;" and Norry threw up her head with a laugh. "She'll be up
again in no time."

Grandad was teaching the little girl to play checkers, and she was
deeply interested. Norry was knitting a long woollen stocking for him,
and sang bits of gay Irish songs. But by and by the little girl began
to yawn, and made some bad plays.

"You're sleepy," said grandad.

"Yes, I can't get over to the king row;" and she smiled. "But you just
wait until to-morrow, when I'm bright and fresh."

So Norry put her to bed, and, leaving grandad to read the _Gazette_,
she ran over to see how it fared with Barbe, and did not come home
until morning. Grandad had a nice fire, and had made the coffee.

"Oh, dear," began Daffodil, coming out in her trained nightgown, as
they made garments for children to grow in, in those days, "isn't it
funny? When I woke up I couldn't think where I was, and it came into
my mind about little Bridget, that fairies took away for seven years.
Then I would be fourteen."

"That's some of Norry's nonsense. Get on your clothes, and come and
have these grand griddle cakes and sausage, that'll make you sing in
your sleep."

"Why not when I am awake?" with laughing eyes.

"Anybody can do that. But it takes something extra good to make you
sing in your sleep."

She thought they were quite good enough, and wondered how it would
seem to sing in the night, and the dark, and if she could hear
herself.

Then her father came after her. Grandad wrung his hand and said, "Lad,
I wish you joy and the best of luck."

What did that mean?

"Daffodil, something wonderful has happened to us, and I hope--you
will like it. We are very happy over it. We have a little boy who came
in the night. A little brother for you. And we want you to be glad."

"Oh, was that what grandad meant?" she asked gravely.

"Yes. You see, girls marry and give up their name. But a boy carries
it on. And grandad hated to have the name die out. He will be very
proud of the boy, but I think no one will be quite as dear to him as
Daffodil."

The child was revolving various thoughts in her mind, and made no
comment. When they entered the house, Grandmother Bradin took off her
hat and cloak, and kissed her very fondly. Her father watched the
small serious face. Then he sat down in the big chair, and took her on
his knee.

"Dilly," he began in a pleading tone, "I hope you won't feel as if--as
if you would be crowded out. We have had you the longest, and you were
our first sweet joy. We can never love any other child quite like
that. And nothing can ever change our love for you. So you must not
feel jealous because we shall love him and be glad to have him----"

"Oh, that was what you said a long time ago, when you first came
home--that I was jealous. No, I didn't like mother to love you so
much. And you were strange, and you can't love any one all at once;"
incoherently.

"But you are not jealous now?"

"No. It didn't take her love from me, only a little while."

"It did not take it away at all. And there were two people to love
you, instead of one. Suppose I had felt hurt because you loved
grandfather so much?"

"Was it like that?" She raised her lovely eyes with an appealing light
in them. "And was I very bad?"

He stooped and kissed her. "It was very natural, and the only thing,
the best thing, is to wait until the other one understands. You love
me now?"

She reached up and twined her arms about his neck.

"I love you very much," she returned in an earnest tone. "And I am
gladder than ever to have you love me, now that grandfather has gone
away. But I don't want any one else to go."

He clasped her more tightly. No, any other break in the circle would
mean a more poignant grief. There was no one to spare.

"And you will not mind if we love the little boy a good deal?"

"No--since it is a little boy. I am glad it is not a girl, that you
chose a boy," she made answer simply.

"We all wanted the boy. Dilly, I am glad to have you love me, and I
hope it will grow stronger as you grow older, and understand how sweet
affection really is."

Mr. Bradin called him away. He put Daffodil in the chair and she
leaned her head down and whispered to grandfather that a little boy
had come, and she was going to be glad, because they all wanted him.
And then a curious thought flashed over her. Death and life are
profound mysteries, even out of childhood.

"Would you like to see the baby?" asked gran'mere Bradin.

"Oh, yes."

Her mother glanced up out of fond dark eyes. Why, she was as pale as
in her long sickness, but not so thin. She said, "Kiss me, Daffodil."

"Oh, mother!"

"And here is little brother."

Daffodil's first feeling was disappointment. She had thought of some
angelic beauty. He was red and crumpled up, and there was a crown of
thick black hair, and his mouth was puckered up. The mother patted his
little face.

"He will look better by and by," she said reassuringly.

"Mother, I was thinking--it came to me in the chair--isn't it old
grandfather come back to us again to live his life over? You know,
everything begins little. The flowers die, but they spring up again,
most of them in the same places."

"Why, child, that is a pretty thought;" and the mother smiled. "And he
will have his name, only Grandfather Carrick must have his in, so it
will be Alexander Felix Duvernay."

"I don't want him to be called Sandy."

"I think he won't be. And, Daffodil, you won't mind--I mean, you won't
feel jealous. We wanted him so much." There was a touch of anxiety in
the mother's voice.

"Oh, no. Father asked me that. No, you may love him ever so much,
while you love me as well."

"She takes it very calmly," said Gran'mere Bradin afterward. "Some
children as old as she, and been the only one so long, would have made
a great fuss. We have all spoiled her a little, but she has such a
sweet temper. It is the Duvernay temper;" smiling.

"I hope I have a good share of it," resumed Barbe.

The baby was not small, and he grew by the hour. He had soft, large
dark eyes. Grandad did not like so much French about him, but he was
glad to have a grandson, even at that estate. He soon bleached out,
though he was not fair like Daffodil.

"I'll have to see about making a fortune for him," said grandad.
"Though those acres of wood and farmland will not amount to much, and
I don't see what a girl can do with a farm."

But the acres lay smiling in the sunshine, perhaps dreaming of the
time when they should be homes of beauty.

Meanwhile events had been going on rapidly, if not harmoniously, for a
stable government for the Colonies. And there must be some sort of a
head. A government of the largest liberty it must be, the states
forming a great federation for protection and advancement. Out of the
discussion came the Federal Constitution, and a President, the man who
had never lost faith in the possibility of a great nation.

There were, of course, a few dissenting voices, and many fears. For
the nation was only an infant.

"What did I tell you," said grandad to his son. He had to argue, it
was one of his satisfactions. "Four years, they say. In two years the
silly things will make him a king, and in ten years you'll be fighting
for liberty again. There's no money to be had--we shall be glad enough
to run back to England, and beg to be taken in. The French will throw
us over."

"Don't look so far ahead." Bernard kept his temper under these
onslaughts. But he did hate to have his father haranguing little
crowds here and there over the spirits that were being so largely
manufactured.

"Oh, yes! And have them catch us unprepared. Where's the money coming
from to build a navy, to pay new soldiers when the old ones are half
starving, to keep your grand President. You see, he'll have a court
and a style, while we common folks can kneel outside the gates."

"We're going to look out for our own town, and let the men at the helm
take care of the larger interests. We have everything for a fine
city, and work for all, so we will take up the nearby business."

People were straggling in; they are generally gregarious. And there
was plenty of work. There was felling of trees, a sawmill, and rough
log houses were meant for only temporary housing. Wharfs and docks
sprung up by magic. Then the school was merged into the Pittsburg
Academy, afterward to be the University of Pennsylvania. Smaller
schools came into existence, yet they were a great working people, and
in those years the three R's were esteemed the most necessary.

Then, after a heated discussion, Pittsburg was established as the
county seat, which enhanced its prestige. Some rigorous laws were
passed, and a ducking stool was set up at the junction of the three
rivers, much to the disgust of the better classes. At first there were
crowds haunting the place, and jokes bandied about, but there was
found small use for it.

"It's a good thing," said Sandy Carrick. "It'll keep the women in
check, anyhow."

"Isn't it as well for the men?" asked Norah mischievously. "An',
Sandy, you better look out, ye're scoldin' about the country 'cause
you daren't try much of it on me. Don't I keep your house clean, mend
your clothes, and knit you long stockings, so's you shan't get
rheumatiz in your knees. An' if you know a woman who cooks a better
meal of vittles, you had better go an' board with her."

She was so pretty and saucy that Sandy turned on his heel and laughed.

Then the _Mayflower_, with a lot of New England emigrants, passed
Pittsburg for the shores of the Muskingum.

"Them Eastern states must just have overflowed," was the verdict.
"Goin' out to Ohio, an' spreadin' theirselves abroad as bait for the
Indians, when there's civilized lands lyin' about."

And as if Pittsburg was not large enough, they turned to consider
Alleghany, and began to lay it out. It would make another fine city.

Meanwhile matters went on prosperously, with the Carricks and the
Bradins. Bernard added a room to his house for Daffodil, and placed a
window so she could see her mother's garden of posies. The baby grew
amazingly, was well and strong, and positively pretty, looking a
little like his mother, getting teeth without any trouble, walking,
saying all manner of crooked words, and then straightening them, being
a jolly, healthy child, and Norah's heart was bound up in him. She
borrowed him half her time.

"I'd be a happier woman with a houseful of them," she said, "Sandy
always insisted he didn't care, but I know he does. He's just ready to
eat up little Sandy without a grain of salt."

They _would_ call him that, while his home name was Felix. His father
called him baby at first, then son. He liked everybody, but he adored
his own father. Barbe stood a little in the background, not that she
loved him less, but she gave a continual thanksgiving that he had met
with such a warm welcome.

Daffodil was amused at his pretty ways, and the cunning bits of
mischief that she often kept from his mother. She was so certain of
her father's affection now. She took a warm interest in his doings,
she sided with him about the country, and listened delightedly to the
stories of bravery and endurance, and absolutely quarrelled with
grandad when he predicted the wretched times that would follow
throwing off the protection of the mother country, and the surety that
an appeal would be made again for her protection.

"An' just look at what they are saying about your precious Washington!
They'll turn him out before he's served his four years. No two of them
think alike! And how's the money to be raised for expenses! You silly
child, you don't know anything about it. An' your father's a gey
fule!"

"I'll never come in this house again, grandad!" with a dignity that
made her pink cheeks red and her blue eyes black.

"Then sure you'll never go out of it on such terms!" and grandad
caught her and scrubbed her with his stubby beard, and hugged her so
tight she was glad to promise she would come to-morrow. And likely she
ran over that very evening.

"He's not worth the minding," Norry would declare. "He don't believe
the half of it, and says it to see you spurt up. He's half the time
spilin' for a quarrel that has no more in it than an empty eggshell."

Daffodil began to have some new interests in her life. She was growing
rapidly, she went to school, and met children of her own age. Several
chapels had been started, and there was a real clergyman, though they
could not have him regularly, and then a reader took the service. The
men had various outdoor diversions that had been brought from "the old
country," and were never loath to join the women's frolics, at which
there was dancing, and, it must be admitted, not a little drinking.

Norah took her out occasionally, "for," she said to Barbe, "it isn't
just right to make an old woman of her. They love the fun when they're
young, and that's natural, an' it's a sin to crowd them out of it."

Barbe was very domestic. Her house, her little boy, her sewing and
spinning, filled up all her time. The child was a marvel to her. He
was so bright and active, so pretty and merry, but altogether
different from Daffodil.

Once when they had talked over great-grandfather's bequest, Bernard
had said, "It seems almost a pity that Dilly had not been the boy,
with that great estate to come to him. A man can do so much more in a
business way than a woman. Not but that the boy will be cared for,
father's heart is set on him. And I shall see that he is well provided
for if I live."

Bernard Carrick was deeply interested in the welfare and advancement
of the town, and found much work to do outside of the farm that his
father-in-law attended to, indeed, had the greater interest in. Sandy
Carrick had a great outlying tract. Grain of all kinds, especially
wheat, grew for the mere planting in the virgin soil. And the staple
product of the time was whiskey. Nearly every farmer had a still. The
morality of drinking was not called in question, and the better class
of people were temperate. It was the great thing they could exchange
for their needs. They sent it over the mountains to Kentucky and Ohio.
They built rough sort of tugs, and freighted it through the Ohio to
the Mississippi, disposing of it anywhere along the route. The mouth
of the great river was still in the hands of the Spanish.

It must be confessed, since the birth of Felix, Barbe had shared her
motherhood a good deal with Norah, who laid claim largely to Daffodil.
They wandered through the woods together, for the child peopled them
with the old stories that Norah's faith made so real. She stopped for
her at school, and brought her home to supper. Grandad at times tried
to tease her. Strangely enough she was never jealous, even of her
father's love for the little brother. And she said to grandad:

"You may love him all you like. He is a boy. Men ought to love boys.
And he is named after you, though I don't like the name."

"Oh, you don't! One grandfather is as good as the other, and I'm
nearer of kin. It's a good old Scotch name, an' they're good as the
French any day."

"I don't like Sandy."

"And I don't like Felix. But I put up with it. You won't make a
Frenchman out of him. I'll see to that;" and he gave a funny wink out
of his eye.

"And if some day he should want to go to France?"

"I'll see that he doesn't. This place will be big enough and good
enough for him. There's fortunes to be made here. I'm going to leave
him mine, an' I'll bet you a gallon of whiskey it'll be worth more
than your wild land."

"Well, I shan't care!" archly, and with laughing eyes. "I like the
woods and the birds and the squirrels. Some day I'll have a house
built, and I'll take Norah to live with me."

"You will, hey? I'll have something to say about that. Do you suppose
I'll stay here and starve?"

He tried to look very angry, but she knew all about his face, and his
tone, and said nonchalantly, "Oh, you can go over to the other house
and get something to eat."

"Well, we'll see, little Miss Madam. You'll be gravely mistook!"

So they jested and pretended to bicker. Then grandad set up Norah with
a pony and a sort of jaunting car, that would only hold two. For
Daffodil could no longer keep her seat in the old fashion, neither
would her arms reach around grandad.

Sometimes Norah took out Barbe and the little boy. For Daffodil went
to school quite regularly about eight months of the year. The
remaining time most of the children were needed to help at home.

Any other child would have been spoiled with the favoritism at school.
The older ones helped her at her lessons, and in those days there were
no easy kindergarten methods. They gave her tidbits of their
luncheons, they piled her little basket with fruit, although she
insisted there was so much at home. They brought her some strange
flower they had found, they hovered about her as if there was some
impelling sweetness, some charm. She had a way of dispensing her
regard impartially, but with so tender a grace that no one was hurt.

"I just wish we could go to the same school," Ned Langdale said in
one of the Sunday rambles. He was always on the lookout for Norah and
her.

"But--the big boys go there."

"Yes. Oh, you wouldn't like it a bit. Beside, you couldn't. And the
lessons are just awful. And the thrashings----"

"Don't. I can't hear about that;" shaking her pretty golden head.

"No. Girls oughtn't. But they say it's good for children----"

"For boys. Why, are boys worse than girls?"

"Oh, they are not. I know some girls who are mean, and tricky, and
don't tell the truth. All girls are not like you."

"Maybe it's because everybody is so good to me. I couldn't be bad in
return, you know."

"Oh, I just wish you were my sister, and lived with us."

"Well, you see that couldn't have been. God sent me to mother."

"But a fellow can wish it."

"It's queer, but there are a great many things wishing doesn't bring.
I suppose it's because they _can't_ happen."

He gave a sigh.

She knew how to dance now; Norah had taught her, but it comes natural
to most children, and it did to her. She used to dance by herself, and
sometimes whirl little brother round, to the great amusement of her
father.

Ned used to stray over summer evenings to hear Mr. Carrick talk about
the war, and the dangers he had escaped. He never told the hardest
side of it, not even to Barbe.

There were other boys who made various errands, and if she was not
home, went over to Sandy's for her.

"This thing must stop," grandad said angrily. "What are they running
after such a child as that for? Oh, don't tell me it's some trumped-up
errand. It's just to sit and look at her as if they never saw a girl
before! She's pretty to look at, to be sure, but she's not going to
have lovers in a long time yet."

"Sandy, don't get your head fuddled with that kind of nonsense. It's a
heap worse than whiskey."

Sandy gave an indignant grunt.



CHAPTER VI

A NEW FRIEND


"Oh, here's a letter for father. Grandad brought it. From
Philadelphia. And here's a queer red something"--and Dilly peered over
it.

"Seal," said her mother. "And, why, it's from that friend of
great-grandfather's," studying the French emblem. And an odd shiver
ran over her, as she suddenly studied her child.

Dilly laughed. "You look as if you were afraid he wanted me, as if he
was some cruel old ogre, who might eat me up."

Then Barbe laughed also, and stood the letter on the high shelf over
the chimney, that she could just reach.

It was from Monsieur de Ronville. He was coming to Pittsburg on some
quite important business, for parties who had heard about the
discovery of minerals, and that a blast furnace had been started; that
Pittsburg was coming to be a point of connection with the west and
south; and he would also like to see his ward and her possessions,
that he might be able to advise in time to come. Would Mr. Carrick be
kind enough to meet him and bespeak accommodations at some hotel for
himself and his man, for all of which he would be extremely obliged.

Bernard Carrick looked at his wife in sheer amazement.

"Hotel! Well, there are only two or three taverns good enough for
traders, and that ilk, who don't mind a roystering crew, gaming, and
drinking. If it was government business, he might be taken in at the
Fort. Why, what can we do? And a man. You see, he is used to the
habits of civilized life, and we have had no time to fall into the
traces. The Lindsays are in their new house, but I couldn't ask them
to take in our guest."

"And we;" Barbe hesitated, then said laughingly, "we shall have to
enlarge our borders. Sometime the boy will want a room."

Bernard dropped into grandfather's chair and considered. He had been
about the world enough to know the place would look rather rough to a
person from one of the chief cities. Somehow, they were a little
different. There were pieces of fine old furniture that had come from
France, then their ways were rather more refined. It would be the
proper thing to take him in. And he would be here in about a week.

Mrs. Bradin agreed on that point. Truth to tell, she was anxious to
see this M. de Ronville, whose father had been her father's boyhood's
companion.

"Why, you could give him Dilly's room, and she could go over to
Norry's," she said as they were discussing the next day what was to be
done. "It is a good thing we brought down that old bedstead, though
Dilly hated it so."

Dilly had outgrown her little pallet, though at first she declared the
high posts were the little brown men grown into giants, who would
carry her away. But when grandmere exhumed some faded silk hangings
where the roses were of a creamy pink, and cupids with wings were
flying about, she was soon reconciled. Then Grandfather Bradin had
made her a chest of drawers and two chairs that looked as though they
might have been imported.

"And I can fix a bed in the attic for the man, so we will have it all
running smoothly."

"You are a great comfort," said Bernard to his mother-in-law.

The post now came every week. Even the busy folks went to meet it for
the sake of the newspapers and the occasional letters, though those
mostly went to the Fort. Sometimes a few emigrants had joined the
train. For now there seemed to have broken out a fever for adventure,
for founding new settlements, although in some places the Indians were
still troublesome.

Bernard Carrick went to meet his guest. He could have picked him from
the group at once by his decidedly foreign air, the French aspect. He
was past sixty, rather tall, and very erect, almost soldierly, with a
beautiful white beard, though his hair was only half sprinkled with
snow. Clear, rather soft dark eyes, and a high-bred air that gave a
grave, yet kindly, expression to his countenance. He had his horse, as
well as his servant, who was a rather small, shrewd-eyed Frenchman.

Carrick introduced himself, and welcomed his guest cordially,
explaining to him that they had not arrived at the dignity of hotels,
and that the taverns were but poor affairs, so he would be pleased to
offer him the hospitality of his own house.

"Thank you," he returned. "You are the father of my ward, I presume."

"Yes, she is my little girl;" with a smile.

"An odd sort of charge. Though I suppose it was because I was of his
country. Nations are clannish."

"We shall get so mixed up that we shall hardly be able to trace our
forbears. On her mother's side my little girl is mostly French."

"A little girl!" He seemed surprised.

"She will always be that to me. Only heaven knows my joy and gratitude
at coming home from the long struggle, and finding her and her mother
alive; indeed, the whole household. I have had a son born since."

"Yes. You were in the war. You may be proud of that. It will be an
honor to hand down to your son. But your town----"

With a vague glance around, and an expression that was clearly not
admiration.

"It has not had your advantages, nor your people, and is much younger.
It seems to me on the verge of civilization."

Bernard Carrick laughed good humoredly.

"That is true," he returned. "Except for the confluence of the rivers
there seems no special advantage, though the land is thought to be
rich in minerals. And the Fort being built here--the French planned a
long chain of them."

"It seems a just return to France for her indifference to her splendid
Colonies. And I have lived long enough to see if there are no fatal
mistakes made, that this will be a grand country. From the depths of
my heart I pray for her welfare."

"And I fought for it," was the younger man's proud reply.

De Ronville had hardly expected to see such a house as this. The
aspect was undeniably French, heightened by the old furniture that he
had been used to in his boyhood. His room was delightful. Barbe had
taken out most of the girl's fancy touches, and odd things her
grandfather Bradin had made, and left a grave aspect. Outside,
everything was a-bloom, and a rose climbed up a trellis at the side
of the window, shaking its nodding fragrant blossoms against the
window-pane, and, when it was open, showering in its sweet silky
leaves.

They made friends readily. Great-grandfather Duvernay was the link
between, and the women were more French than of any other race. It was
almost supper time when Daffodil came in, leading her little brother
by the hand. In him again the mother's type predominated; he was a
fine, robust child, with a fearless, upright expression, and a voice
that had none of the rougher tones of so many of the early settlers.
But Daffodil! He studied her with a little wonder.

For her abundant hair had not yet shaken off its gold, and lay in
loose thick curls about her neck. Her complexion was of that rare
texture that neither sun nor wind roughened, and all the care it had
was cleanliness and the big bonnets of those days. Her features were
quite regular, the nose straight, rather defiant, but the beautiful
mouth, full of the most tantalizing curves, fun, laughter, sweetness,
and the something termed coquetry in older women, that is not always
experience either. She was slender and full of grace, tall for her
age, but most girls grew up quickly, though she had not left the
fairyland of childhood.

"I am glad to see the darling of my old friend," smiling as he took
her soft, dimpled hand. "I have always thought of her as a very
little girl, sitting on the arm of her grandfather's chair----"

"Oh, did he tell you that!" in her bright, eager tone. "Yes, and we
used to talk--he told me so much about France and--it was your
father--was it not? I thought you must be quite young;" and a faint
touch of surprise passed over her face.

"We were both set back in memory, it seems. And even I am getting to
be quite an old man."

"But I like old men," she said, with charming frankness, and a tint of
color deepened in her cheek. "They are all old except father, and the
men who come in to play games are wrinkled up, and some of them have
white hair. I've had such a lot of grandfathers, and only one
grandmother."

"How did you get more than two?"

"It was great-grandfather Duvernay," explained Barbe, "that made the
third."

"And this is his chair. Mother wanted to take it away, but I could not
bear to have it leave this corner. I could see him in it. Strange how
you can see one who is not really there, or do they come back for a
moment? Here is the arm where I sat, and I used to put my arm round
his neck. I am going to let you sit in his chair. Father won't mind;"
glancing inquiringly at her mother.

"Dilly, you are too forward," and Barbe colored. Felix was climbing in
her lap and almost upset her.

"No, no; her prattle is the most cordial welcome. And I hope you will
soon like me well enough to come and sit on the arm and hear my
stories."

"Oh, have you what Norry calls a bag of stories, that the little brown
men carry about? They're queer, and they drop them over you while you
are asleep, and that makes dreams, and you see people, and have good
times with them."

M. de Ronville laughed. Bernard came in; he had been settling the man,
and the luggage, and now repeated his hearty welcome.

When M. de Ronville settled himself in the corner and the chair you
could almost fancy grandfather had come back. They had a strong
likeness of race of the higher type, those who had been pure livers
and held strongly to their religion. He was very tired with the
journey and looked pale as he sat there, relaxed.

Barbe and her mother spread the table. They had a sort of outdoor
kitchen they used for cooking in the warm weather. Felix was asking
questions of his sister, who answered them with a sort of teasing
gayety. Why was this so and that, and did she ever see a panther.
Jimmy Servy's father killed a wolf out by the Fort, and Jimmy said a
wolf would eat you up. Would it truly? "Then when I am big enough to
fire a gun I'll go out and shoot all I can find."

The supper was most appetizing if it did not have the style of his own
house. He was really pleased with the simplicity of the two women, and
Mr. Bradin and his son-in-law certainly were intelligent if they had
not the range of the greater world. Daffodil was quiet and
well-mannered he observed. In truth he was agreeably surprised with
these people who were not held in high esteem by the culture of the
large city.

Dilly came to him afterward.

"I am going over to grandad's," she announced. "I stay all night with
them sometimes. Oh, I hope you will like Norry. I love her dearly and
you mustn't mind if grandad is a little queer."

"No, I will not," amused at her frankness.

"He is just a splendid old man!" she announced to Norah. "And he looks
like great-grandfather. I'm going to like him ever so much, and I want
you to."

"Oh, yes, I'll like him," responded Norah readily. "I fancied he was
one of the high and mighty dukes like that Colonel Leavitt, and I'm
glad for your mother's sake that he's comfortable to get along with.
It never would have done for him to go to a tavern."

They talked a little at the other house and then retired for the
night. And the next day was a busy one. Bernard Carrick took him about
and they inspected the blast furnace on which high hopes were built,
but the knowledge in those times was rather limited. It struggled
along for some years and then better things came in its stead.

The river front was quite a busy place. Yes, de Ronville admitted
there was great promise of a thriving city. And over opposite might be
another. He knew how the cities on the eastern coast had improved and
grown in power. One had only to wait. And his ward was young. Though
he wondered a little at the faith of his friend Duvernay. But the old
man, not so old then, had in his mind the beautiful estates in the
land of his birth, and this land commanding the river and what would
sometime be a thriving town attracted his fancy. He had hoped so that
Barbe's child would be a son, but he had loved Daffodil with the
passion of declining years. Felix had come too late.

M. de Ronville found much to interest him. The eastern shore would not
be all of the country. Explorers were sending back glowing tales of
western possibilities. Towns were springing up and this was the key to
them all. There were large tracts of fertile lands that seemed to have
been deserted by the Indians and that were of amazing fertility. After
all Felix Duvernay had made no mistake.

And Daffodil found her way to the guest's heart with very little
effort. It might have been her beauty, that no one around seemed
aware of, or her pretty, winsome manner. She accompanied him and her
father on their rides about. She was a graceful and well-trained
horsewoman. She had so many dainty legends of out-of-the-way nooks;
most of them Norah had grafted on old country tales.

And the evenings at home came to be quite a delight for them all,
listening to the glories of his city and the strides it had made. Of
the famous men, of the many incidents in the great struggle, its
churches and various entertainments as well as the social aspect.
Daffodil listened enchanted.

They had come to be such friends that she sat on the broad arm of the
chair, but he noted her wonderful delicacy in never dropping into
familiarities, while they were so common with her father, and grandad
was almost rough with her. True, Barbe had an innate refinement and it
was the child's birth-right as well.

She sat there one afternoon. Mother and grandmother were busy
preserving fruit for winter use, it grew so plentifully, but they had
not mastered the art of keeping some of the choicest through the
winter uncooked.

"Daffodil," he began gravely, "your parents have entertained me most
delightfully. You have a charming home and I shall hate to leave it.
But on Thursday there is a return post and I have overstayed the time
I thought would be ample to transact the business I came about. And
now I must return."

"Oh!" she exclaimed. "Oh, I do not want you to go."

What pleading, beautiful eyes she raised to him.

Old as he was it thrilled through his pulses.

"But, my child, I cannot live here. And I shall miss you so much. Why
I have half a mind to run away with you. I wonder if you would like a
visit to my beautiful city."

"Oh, it would be splendid! But--is there any one----"

"To take care of you? There is a housekeeper and a maid, and a jolly,
good-natured black woman, who cooks in the kitchen. There are two
carriages and horses, and there will be so much to see. It is so
different from this."

She seemed to consider. "Yes," rather irresolutely, "if I could go.
They would miss me so much here."

"And would you be homesick?"

"Not in a good long while, with you;" she returned with a child's
innocence. "And you would surely let me come back?"

"Yes, my dear; even if it broke my heart to do it. I wish you were my
little granddaughter."

"Then I would have another grandfather," and she gave a soft, musical
ripple. After an instant she caught his hand in hers so plump and
warm, and exclaimed--"Oh, I should like to go."

"Dilly; Dilly!" exclaimed the fresh boyish voice; "come and see what I
have. Grandad and I have been fishing."

There was a string of shining plump fish that as Felix said still
wiggled in their freshness. "Oh, Dilly, if you only were a boy!
Grandad says you are not worth a button at fishing."

"They're fine, little brother. No, I don't love to fish. And baiting!"
She shuddered as she spoke.

"But you can eat them afterward."

"I couldn't if I caught them myself."

"I wanted a nice lot before the gentleman went away. And Katy and Peg
Boyle were out and they are great. It was a fine afternoon for fishing
I tell you!"

She went through to the kitchen with him. He was a boy for all kinds
of sport, but he abhorred school and was glad when it closed early in
the summer, for the boys and girls were needed at home. Sandy Carrick
inducted his grandson into all boyish pursuits. His heart was bound up
in Felix.

He began to prepare the fish for cooking. Dilly looked out over the
wide expanse where trees were thick with leaves and laden with fruit.
But she did not truly see anything for her eyes were following her
thoughts. To go to a great and wonderful city where they had rung the
first bell for independence, to see the splendid houses and the
ladies in fine array and to hear beautiful music. But of course she
could not go. They would miss her so much. Yet it seemed as if she did
very little now.

They had not the strenuous methods of to-day. If those old settlers of
Pittsburg with their simple living could come back they would lose
their senses at the luxury and striving for gain, the magnificence,
the continual hurry and restlessness, the whirl of business undreamed
of then. No one was striving to outshine his neighbor. House
furnishing lasted through generations. Fashions in gowns and hats went
on year after year, and it left time for many other things. Barbe
Carrick found hours for lace-making; as was the custom of that time
she was laying by in the old oaken chest articles and napery for the
time when Daffodil would go to a home of her own. For then it was a
great disappointment to the mother if a girl did not marry.

In the old chair Gaspard de Ronville sat dreaming. He should have
married long ago and had children and grandchildren. Would there have
been one pretty, golden-haired girl among them with a sweet voice and
such eyes as were sure to find the way to one's heart, such rosy,
laughing lips, sweet for lovers to kiss when the time came? And
then--oh, if it could be!

That evening he laid his plan before the household. Might he take
Daffodil for a few months' visit, and thereby return their cordial
hospitality that had given him a most unexpected pleasure. She would
be well taken care of, that he could assure them. And in event of her
losing her natural protectors he as her trustee and guardian would be
only too happy to take charge of her. He would have her best interests
at heart always. And it might be well for her to see a little of the
world. She might desire more education than the place could afford.

They were all too much amazed to reply at once.

"Pittsburg is good enough!" flung out grandad. "Her interests will be
here. She'll marry here, she'll die and be buried here, and she'll
know enough to get to heaven at the last without all the folderols of
a great city, as those folks think it because they rung their bell
when they cut loose from the mother country!"

"Oh, we couldn't spare her," said the mother. "And, Dilly, you
wouldn't want to go away among strangers."

"Oh, no," returned the little girl, and she knew then she had two
sides to her nature, and one was longing for the new and untried, and
the other clung to what was familiar. There were tears in her eyes,
but she could not have told which chord of her soul of all the many
was touched.

"I should just die without you!" protested Norah. "I couldn't love a
colleen of my own better."

Grandmere said but little. She saw there was an unquiet longing in the
child's heart. She could not quite approve of trusting her to
strangers, but she knew girls had come from the old world to Virginia
and married men they had never seen before, and made good wives and
mothers. Daffodil was too young to think of lovers, two years hence
there might be danger.

"I'd go!" declared Felix in his most manly fashion. "Why, Tim Byerly
has been out to Ohio, which is a real country, not all a river. And
Joe Avery went over to the Mes'sipy and down to New Orleans."

"Mississippi," corrected his mother.

"That's what Joe calls it. And men haven't time for such long names.
Yes, I mean to go about when I'm big and have some money. Father 'n'
I'll set out and discover some new state and take possession of it in
the name of the President. Of course girls can't set out to discover
things. And Philadelphia has been discovered already."

They had not long to think about it. And as if to make it the more
possible an old neighbor, Mrs. Craig, who was going to spend the
winter in the distant city with a married daughter, offered to give
her a mother's care on the journey. Girl friends came in and envied
her the wonderful luck. Most of the neighbors took it for granted that
she would go.

As for the little girl she changed her mind about every hour. She had
come to care a great deal about M. de Ronville. In youth one responds
so readily to affection and he had learned to love her as he had never
loved anything in his life. He was charmed with her frankness and
simplicity, her utter unworldliness. She seemed to care no more for
the great estate over the river than if it had been a mere garden
patch. And he thought her too lovely to be wasted upon any of these
rather rough, commonplace young men. She must be taught to know and
appreciate her own value.

It was only settled the night before. There was no need of much making
ready, they could get what she wanted in the great city. And they must
allow him the pleasure of providing for her. No one would be wronged
by whatever he might do for her.

Grandad had been very grumpy about it, and Norah cried and scolded and
then admitted it was the most splendid thing, like a fairy story.
Felix was full of delight. And the good-by's were so crowded at the
last that her head was in a whirl. She felt as if she should come back
that same night and talk over her day's journey.

And so the little girl went out of Pittsburg with good wishes, and
perhaps a little envy from those who would like to have been in her
place.



CHAPTER VII

DAFFODIL'S NEW WORLD


Their first stage was in the coach. There was really quite a caravan
for the weather was very pleasant for such a trip. Mrs. Craig fussed a
little in a motherly way, and M. de Ronville watched her attentively,
fearful she might give way to tears. But she had a stunned,
incredulous feeling. Two men in the coach were arguing about the
feasibility of Philadelphia becoming the capital of the Nation. It
should never have gone to New York, which, after all, had been a nest
of Tories.

One of the men recalled grandad to her mind and she could not forbear
a vague little smile. It roused her to an amused interest and she
asked M. de Ronville in a low tone which was right.

"The stout man is right, but he might be less dogmatic about it. I
wondered at its going so far North."

Mrs. Craig was quite chatty and a very sensible body who saw several
amusing things outside of the coach. All the passengers had brought
luncheons along and they stopped by a wayside spring for a refreshing
drink and to water the horses. Most of the travellers took a little
walk around to rest their limbs. And then on again. The afternoon
seemed long to Daffodil, though M. de Ronville entertained her with
some reminiscences of the war and before that time, and how queer and
unpromising the first beginnings were, and about William Penn, whose
dream and desire had been "A fair roomy city with houses set in
gardens of greenery," and Benjamin Franklin, who had done so much
brave work for the country.

The post road had been made very tolerable. The darkness dropped down
and the woods seemed full of strange things that made her shiver. Then
they stopped at an inn--taverns they were called in those days--and
had a good supper.

"Are you very tired?" asked M. de Ronville with much solicitude.

"Not so much tired as stiff. I think I never sat still so long even at
school," and she smiled.

"It's a rather long journey, and I hope," he was going to say, "you
will not be homesick," but checked himself and added, "that you will
not get clear tired out. I will see if we cannot get some horses for
to-morrow. That will make a change."

"Oh, I shall like that," her face in a glow of pleasure.

The supper was very good and she was healthily hungry. Mrs. Craig
found some amusement to keep up the little girl's spirits, and she
fared very well until she was safe in bed beside her kind companion.
Then she turned her face to the wall and her mind went back to all the
nights in her short life when she had been kissed and cuddled by
mother or grandmere, or for the last ten days by Norry, and now she
suddenly realized what the separation meant.

The glamour was gone. She could not go back. Oh, why had she come! She
wanted to fly to the dear ones. She wiped her eyes with the sleeve of
her nightdress, and sighed very softly, but she need not have minded,
for Mrs. Craig was gently snoring.

The next morning was bright and clear, but she wondered where she was
when Mrs. Craig spoke to her. What a little bit of a room and a tin
basin to wash in!

"I hope you slept well. And I never dreamed a word! What a shame, when
your dreams in a strange place come true--but you wouldn't want a bad
dream to come true."

"No," in a very sober tone.

There was noise enough, but it was not the familiar home tones and
Felix bustling about. Daffodil made a great effort to restrain her
feelings and laughed a little at some of the sallies.

M. de Ronville was pacing up and down the hall, and he held out both
hands, but his eyes wore an anxious expression.

"My dear little girl, I could not help thinking last night that it was
very selfish of me to want to take you away from your home and those
who love you so dearly just for a bit of pleasure to myself. Did you
go to sleep thinking hard thoughts of me?"

She raised her lovely eyes, but the face was sweet and grave.

"Oh, you know I need not have come unless I had wanted to. I didn't
think it would be so--so hard," and there was a little quiver in her
voice.

"And are you sorry? Do you want to go back?"

"No," she answered with a certain bravery. "I like you very much and
you want to do the things that please those you care a great deal for.
And I want to see the beautiful city and the wonderful places where
things have happened. And I am going to be very happy, only I shall
think of them all at home."

"That is right. And I am going to do all I can to make you happy. The
journey will be tiresome--I have seldom had to take any delicate
person into consideration and I didn't think----"

"Oh, I shall not get tired out," laughing with some of her olden
spirit.

He had been upbraiding himself during the night for his covetous
desire of having her a little longer. Yes, he would have been glad if
she was in reality his ward, if she were some friendless, homeless
child that he could take to his heart for all time. There were many
of them who would be glad and thankful for the shelter. But he wanted
this one.

The riding for awhile was a pleasant change, and they talked of
themselves, of M. de Ronville's home, one of the early old houses
where he had lived for years, alone with the servants. She had heard
most of it before, but she liked to go over it again.

"I wonder why you didn't marry and have children of your own," and
there was a cadence of regret in her tone that touched him.

"I supposed I would. But year after year passed by and then I grew
settled in my ways, and satisfied. I was a great reader."

"Oh, I wonder if I shall disturb you?" and there is a charm in her
accent that warms his heart. "You must have seen that we live so
altogether, that word just expresses it, as if all our interests were
just the same. And they are. And I shall be--strange. Is the
housekeeper nice?"

"Well--a little formal and dignified perhaps. Mrs. Jarvis. And she is
a widow without children. Then there is Jane, quite a young woman. Of
course, Chloe belongs to the kitchen department. And there is a young
man."

There is no new accession of interest. She only says--"And is that all
in a great big house?"

"Oh, there are visitors at times. I've had General Lafayette and
Count de Grasse and not a few of our own brave men. But they have
largely dispersed now, and sometimes I have a rather lonely feeling. I
suppose I am getting old."

"Oh, I don't know how any one can live without folks, real folks of
their very own," she said with emphasis.

"Yet, the friends have ties and interests elsewhere, and you have no
close claim on them. It is not a good thing. Suppose grandfather
Duvernay had been all alone those later years."

"Oh, I don't believe he could have lived. He was so fond of us all.
And I loved him so. But I couldn't truly think he had gone away. I
used to sit on the arm of the chair and talk to him. Do you know just
where they go, and can't they come back for a little while? Oh, I know
mother would. She couldn't stay away!"

Her eyes had a beautiful expression, almost as if she had a vision of
the other world.

"Oh, he was to be envied," exclaimed de Ronville, with deep feeling.
His own life looked lonelier than ever.

By noon she was glad to go back to the coach. It had changed some of
its passengers and there were two children that attracted Daffodil's
interest and put her in a still more charming light.

It was a long and tiresome journey with one wild storm and some
cloudy days, but at last they reached the much desired city, and were
driven out to the end of Broad Street. It was still the "greene
country towne," although it had taken on city ways. This house stood
then in the midst of greenery, having a garden on both sides, one
devoted to choice fruit, the other to flowers and a sort of kitchen
garden. It was a square brick house with green blinds, a wide doorway,
and a hall running through the centre.

Mrs. Jarvis answered the summons herself.

"A hundred warm welcomes, my dear friend," she said most cordially.
"We have missed you so much. I hope you are well?"

"Quite worn with the journey. And this is my ward--Miss Daffodil
Carrick."

She held out her hand to the young girl and smiled at the attractive
face.

"Will you go upstairs at once? There will be time for a rest before
supper. Oh, sir, you can hardly think how glad we are to get you
back."

The hall and stairs seemed to Daffodil as if they were carpeted with
moss. Four rooms opened on the upper hall. Jules had his master's
portmanteau as well as that of the girl, which he set down at the
opposite door. Mrs. Jarvis led her in.

"This is my room and you see there is a connecting doorway so you need
not feel lonely. You must be tired with the dreadful journey. How
people ever ventured before there was a post road I can't imagine. Yet
there are families going out to Ohio and Kentucky, as if there was not
land enough here to settle. Now I'll send up Jane with some warm water
that will refresh you very much. And then you had better take a rest.
Supper is at six. You have nearly two hours."

Left to herself Daffodil took a survey of the room. It looked quite
splendid to her untrained eyes with its soft carpet, its pretty
chairs, its bedstead and bureau of light wood, its clock and tall
candlesticks on the mantel, and the dressing mirror that stood on feet
and in which you could see the whole figure. Then in a little nook
curtained off was a washing stand with beautiful appointments in white
and old blue. She glanced around in amazement and was still standing
there when Jane entered.

A quaint enough figure in a short, scant frock, short-waisted as was
the fashion of the times, of home-dyed blue linen that would have been
one of the new colors of to-day where we have gone through every
conceivable shade and hue. The sleeves were short, but there were
long-armed mitts for summer wear. The cape was of the same material
and the straw gipsy hat had a bow on the top and the strings to tie
under the chin when it was not too warm.

"Oh, you look as if you did not mean to stay," cried Jane. "Let me
take your hat and cape."

Jane was nearer thirty than twenty, a comely, fresh-faced girl with an
air of youthfulness, attired in a sort of Quaker gray gown, with a
lace kerchief crossed over her bosom. Her hair was banded straight
above her ears and gathered in a knot behind.

"Oh, miss, you look fagged out. Mrs. Jarvis said when you'd had a good
wash you must go to bed awhile. There's nothing freshens you up like
that. It must have been an awful journey! My brother has gone out to
Ohio. Do you live anywhere near that?"

"Not so very far away. And the Ohio river runs by us."

"I want to know now! The world's a funny sort of place, isn't it,
Miss, with land here and water there and great lakes up North and a
gulf at the South that they do say is part of the ocean. Now--shan't I
unpack your portmanteau?"

"Monsieur de Ronville wouldn't let mother pack up much, he said things
could be bought here."

"Yes, there's no end of them now that we are trading openly with
France."

"And I was growing so fast," she continued apologetically, for the two
frocks looked but a meagre outfit. One was a delicate gingham made out
of a skirt of her mother's when gowns were fuller, the other her best
white one tucked up to the waist and with some rare embroidery.

"Can I help you any?"

"No," returned Daffodil in a soft tone and with a half smile. "I'm
used to waiting on myself."

"I'll come in and fasten your frock. You'll put on the white one;" and
Jane withdrew.

Oh, how good the fresh water and soap scented with rose and violet
seemed! She loitered in her bathing, it was so refreshing. Then she
did throw herself across the foot of the bed and in a few moments was
soundly asleep, never stirring until some one said--"Miss; Miss!"

"Oh! I had a lovely rest. You get so jolted in a stage coach that it
seems as if your joints were all spinning out."

"Oh, miss, what beautiful hair? It's just like threads of gold. And it
curls in such a lovely fashion! And such dark lashes and eyebrows sets
you off."

Jane was such a fervent note of admiration that Daffodil blushed.

She was very pretty in her frock that ended above the ankles, and her
fine white linen home-knit stockings were clocked. True her shoes were
rather clumsy, but her shoulders made amends for any shortcomings. Her
skin was very fair; sometimes it burned a little, but it never
tanned.

"Oh, miss, if you had a ribbon to tie your curls up high! All the
young ladies wear it so."

"I'm not _quite_ a young lady," archly.

M. de Ronville came out of the library to meet her. The little flush
and the shy way of raising her eyes was enchanting. She seemed a part
of the handsome surroundings, really more attractive than in the
plainness of her own home.

"You are a most excellent traveller," he began. "And I give you a warm
and heartfelt welcome to my house. You should have been my
granddaughter. What now?" seeing a grave look settled in her face.

"I was thinking. I wish I might call you uncle. It's queer but I never
had an uncle with all the other relations. They seem to run in one
line," and she laughed.

"Oh, if you will. I've wished there was some way of bringing us nearer
together. Yes, you shall be my niece. You won't forget?"

"Oh, no; I am so glad." She seemed to come a little closer, and he
placed his arm around her. Oh why did he never know before how sweet
love could be! Then he kisses down amid the golden hair. Even her
cheek is sacred to him and her lips must be kept for some lover.

There was a little musical string of bells that summoned them to
supper. A young man of three- or four-and-twenty stood just inside the
door.

"For convenience sake Miss Carrick will be announced as my niece as
she is my ward. Allow me to present Mr. Bartram."

Daffodil flushed and bowed. M. de Ronville placed her chair for her.
The table was round and very beautifully appointed. She and the young
man were opposite. He was rather tall, well looking without being
especially handsome. Mrs. Jarvis poured the tea. The two men talked a
little business.

"I shall lay the matter before the Wetherills to-morrow," de Ronville
said. "I was surprised at the promise of the place and it has a most
excellent location. At present it is rather wild, but after seething
and settling down the real town comes to the surface. It will not be a
bad investment if one can wait. And the Wetherills are not likely to
lack descendants.

"I am glad you were not disappointed," returned the young man.

"We know so little about Pittsburg," said Mrs. Jarvis, "except the
great defeat of Braddock in the old war. Your people are French, I
believe," turning to Daffodil.

"Yes, on the one side. The town seems to be made up of all nations,
but they agree pretty well. And they have many queer ways and
fashions."

Daffodil did not feel as strange as she had been fearing for the last
two or three days that she would. Mother and grandmere would stand a
comparison with Mrs. Jarvis, who had the dignity and bearing of a
lady.

Some friends came in to congratulate M. de Ronville on his safe
return. Mrs. Jarvis was much relieved at Daffodil's quiet manner. And
she certainly was a pretty girl. They had quite a little talk by
themselves when the guests were gone and Mrs. Jarvis was well pleased
that she had come of a good family, as the town set much store by
grandfathers and the French were in high repute.

Before M. de Ronville went to business the next morning he made a call
on Miss Betty Wharton, who was a person of consequence and had had a
romance, a lover who had been lost at sea when he was coming to marry
her and the wedding finery was all in order. She and her mother lived
together, then the mother died and Betty went on in her small house
with a man and a maid and a negro cook. They were in high favor at
that time. She had been quite a belle and even now was in with the
Franks and the Shippens and the Henrys, and through the war her house
had been quite a rendezvous for the patriots. She was an excellent
card player, good humored and full of spirits, helpful in many society
ways. She could have married, that all her friends knew; indeed two or
three elderly beaux were still dangling after her.

"I am come to ask a favor," he said after the talk of his journey was
over. "I have brought back with me a young girl, my ward, who will
some day have a big and valuable estate as the country improves. Mrs.
Jarvis hardly feels capable of shopping for her, and of course does
not go about much. She is a charming girl and my father and her
great-grandfather were the dearest of friends. M. Duvernay almost
rounded out his hundred years. I call her my niece as the French blood
makes us kin. Could you oblige me by taking her in hand, seeing that
she has the proper attire and showing her through the paths of
pleasure? You will find her a beautiful and attractive young girl."

"Why--really!" and her tone as well as her smile bespoke amusement.
"French! Where did you unearth this paragon? And is she to have a
lover and be married off? Has she a fortune or is she to look for
one?"

He would not yield to annoyance at the bantering tone.

"Why, she is a mere child, and has no thought of lovers. She will have
fortune enough if times go well with us, and need not think of that
until her time of loving comes. She has been brought up very simply.
There is a brother much younger. Her father was in the war the last
three years. She is not ignorant nor unrefined, though Pittsburg does
not aim at intellectuality."

"Pittsburg! Isn't it a sort of Indian settlement, and--well I really
do not know much about it except that it is on the western borders."

"Oh, it is being civilized like all new places. We have had to work
and struggle to plant towns and bring them into shape. Pittsburg has a
most admirable position for traffic and abounds in iron ore as well as
other minerals."

"And the girl _is_ presentable?"

"Oh, she is not old enough for society. I did not mean that. But to go
about a little and perhaps to a play, and places where it would look
odd for me to take her without some womenkind. We French have rather
strict ideas about our girls. Come to supper to-night and see her."

"Why, I'll come gladly. I like your young man, too. He has not been
spoiled by the flirting young women. It is a shame I did not marry and
have such a son to lean on in my old age;" and she laughed gayly.

"Then you can see for yourself. And if you do not like Miss Carrick we
will let the matter drop through."

"Yes, I will be happy to come."

M. de Ronville went on to his office. Already there began to be
business streets in the Quaker City that was rapidly losing its
plainer appearance. This was rather old-fashioned and wore a quiet
aspect. One clerk sat on a high stool transcribing a lengthy deed,
and young Bartram had just deposited another pile of letters on his
employer's desk which was at the far end of the place and could be
shut off.

"I think these are not worth your first consideration," he said in a
quiet tone. "And here is a list of people anxious to see you to-day.
And--if you can spare me a little while--I am due at the Surrogate's
office."

"Yes," nodding politely. Then he watched the young man as he walked
away with a light, firm tread. There had always been a certain
manliness in Aldis Bartram since the time he had attracted his
employer's favor and been taken in as a clerk. Then he had an invalid
mother to whom he had been devoted, that had been another passport to
the elder's favor. On her death M. de Ronville had offered him a home
and he was now confidential clerk and might one day be taken in the
business which had been made a most excellent one from the Frenchman's
uprightness and probity as well as his knowledge and judgment. Many a
time he had settled a dispute and made friends between two hot-headed
litigants.

He did not read his letters at first but dropped into a peculiar train
of thought. He was in good health and vigor, his mind was clear and
alert. But he was growing old. And if Betty Wharton in the prime of a
delightful life thought a son would conduce to the pleasure and
security of her old age, why not to his? Could he have a better son
than Aldis Bartram? But he wanted the feminine contingent and he was
past marrying. He wanted some one young and bright, and, yes, charming
to look at, tender of heart. And here were these two in the very
blossom time of life. Why they might fancy each other and in the
course of time have it ripen to a real and lasting regard. Oh, the old
house would be a Paradise. And if there were children----

He had to rouse himself from the dream with an effort and look over
the accumulation. For perhaps the first time business seemed irksome
to him, and he had always been fond of it, too fond perhaps.

Men nearly always went home to a noon dinner. He found Mrs. Jarvis and
Daffodil in a comfortable state of friendliness, but the girl's eyes
lighted with pleasure at the sight of him and her voice was full of
gay gladness. No, she was not homesick; she had been in the garden and
there were so many flowers she had never seen before and the ripe
luscious fruit. There had been so many things to look at that she had
not finished her letter, but she would do that this afternoon.

She is a gleam of the most enchanting sunshine in the old house, and
her voice soft and merry, the tiredness and discomfort of travelling
gone out of it is sweetest music to him and warms his heart. The eyes
are very blue to-day, not so much brilliant as gladsome and her rosy
lips curve and smile and dimple and every change seems more
fascinating than the previous one. There is no young man in the room,
it is the outcome of her own delightful golden heart. Oh, any young
man might fall in love on the spot.

"Miss Wharton will be in to supper," M. de Ronville remarked casually.
"She is not a young girl," seeing the look of interest in Daffodil's
face; "but you will find her a very agreeable companion."

"It's queer, but I don't know many young girls. Some of the older ones
were married in the spring, and I have been so much with mother and
grandmere and Norah that I'm a little girl, a big little girl, I've
grown so much."

Her laugh was a gay ripple of sound. He took it with him to the office
and her golden head seemed dancing about everywhere, just as it had at
home.

"Of course," Miss Wharton said to herself as she lifted the brass
knocker, "de Ronville never could be so foolish as to fall in love
with a chit of a thing, though I have heard of men training a young
girl just to their fancy. He has always been so discreet and
punctilious. French _are_ a little different."

No, he had not overpraised her beauty. Betty Wharton admitted that at
once. And her manners had a natural grace, it ran in the French
blood. Why it would be a pleasure to take her about and have men
stare at her as they would be sure to do.

She and Mrs. Jarvis found enough to talk about, and while the
housekeeper had gone to look after the tea she turned her attention to
Daffodil.

"Oh, I can't help liking the place," the child said with charming
eagerness. "Mrs. Jarvis has been telling me about the stores and the
gardens a dozen times prettier than this, though I don't see how that
can be. They don't seem to care much about gardens at home, they have
a few posy beds, but you can go out and gather basketsful in the
woods, only they are not grand like these. And there are no such
beautiful houses. Oh, there are lots of log huts, really, the older
ones, and people are not--I don't just know what to call it, but they
do not seem to care."

"All towns improve after a while. The people in New York think they
are much finer than we, and then there is Boston--where the people are
starched so stiff with the essence of fine breeding that they can
hardly curtsey to one another. I like my town the best, having seen
them all."

"Oh, how splendid it must be to go about to strange, beautiful
places," the child said wistfully, with glowing eyes.

"But I have not been to France;" laughingly.

"Neither have I. But great-grandfather came from there when he was a
young man. And he had been to Paris, but he did not live there. And he
and grandmother, whom I never saw, had to fly for their lives because
they worshipped God in a different fashion from Royalty. And I can
talk quite a good deal in French, but I like English better. It seems
to mean more."

Miss Wharton laughed at that.

They had a very delightful meal and Betty, by a well known society
art, brought out the brightness of the little girl, that made her very
charming without any overboldness.

"Why you have unearthed quite a prize," Miss Wharton said to her host
later in the evening. "Has Pittsburg many such girls? If so I am
afraid our young men will be running after them. You may command me
for any service, only I must have her as my guest now and then."

"A thousand thanks. Will you see about her wardrobe to-morrow? There
is no need to stint."

"I shall be very glad to oblige you. I suppose you do not mean to turn
her into a young lady?"

"No--o," rather hesitatingly.

"Then it shall be simple prettiness."

After that Miss Wharton played on the spinet and sang several old
songs. Daffodil wished grandad could hear two that were his favorites,
and she was quite sure Norry could not have resisted jumping up and
dancing at the sound of "The Campbells Are Coming." Mr. Bartram turned
over the leaves of the music, while Daffodil snuggled in the corner of
the sofa beside her guardian. And when she went to bed her head was
full of Norah's fairy stories come true.



CHAPTER VIII

IN SILK ATTIRE


The shopping the next day was something wonderful. Daffodil was quite
sure the fairies must have had a hand in it. And such beautiful
things, she fairly held her breath over them.

"But, madam, when am I to wear these lovely garments? For mother says
I grow so fast, and there is no one to take them afterward."

Betty Wharton laughed many times at the fascinating simplicity of the
child.

Then she took her to the mantua-makers, where she was measured, and
where she hardly understood a word of what they were saying, but
between whiles played with a beautiful yellow cat, who sat on a silken
cushion and purred his delight at the touch of the gentle hands.

"Now, you are to come home to dinner with me."

"Did uncle say I might? For mother told me to do nothing without his
permission."

"Oh, you darling infant!" She squeezed the slim little body that,
after all, was plump enough. It was shocking for a young person to be
fat in those days.

"I will make it all right with him."

Miss Wharton's house was much smaller. A square sort of hall, with
oddly pretty furnishing, a parlor and a dining-room off it, and all
were filled with curiosities that were family heirlooms, beautiful
things, for Miss Wharton abhorred ugliness and despised horrid Chinese
idols. The dinner was very dainty, and Daffodil wondered how she could
feel so much at home.

"And to-morrow we will go out again, but we will drive around, and you
shall see the city. What means that sober look?"

"Oh, madam, I shall feel so spoiled with beauty, that I don't know how
I shall content myself to go back to Pittsburg;" and her eyes swam in
a soft lustre that was almost tears.

"Perhaps we shall not let you go back;" laughingly.

Jane came around for her in the afternoon, and she said, "We missed
you so much at dinner time. And ever so many bundles have come for
you."

"And I've been so full of pleasure, that any more would run over. Oh,
madam, how can I thank you!"

"By coming again. I'll call for you to-morrow."

They walked home, past pretty gardens all a-bloom with summer
richness. Daffodil was so full of delight she wanted to dance. In her
room was one large box--that was the new hat. A rather fancy straw,
and she had not seen it trimmed. It had a wreath of fine roses
inside, and larger ones on the outside, and beautiful wide strings of
some gauzy stuff, that in warm weather were to float around, but in a
high wind they were tied under the chin.

And there was a dainty pair of red slippers, laced across the top,
with a red cord fastened diamond-wise, and a pair of black shoes. They
were not "boots" then. These came up almost to the ankles, and were
laced across with ribbon and tied in a bow. There were some imported
stockings, but Mrs. Jarvis declared she had never seen such pretty
home-knit ones as the little girl wore, that looked quite as if they
were of silk, and the clocks were perfect.

In another package was a beautiful scarf, with threads of gold in the
border, and some fine handkerchiefs.

"Mother has some at home, two that have wide borders of beautiful
lace, that she made herself. And bibs that you wear over the neck of
your frocks. And she is making a lovely skirt for me, that is lace and
needlework, and I am to have it when I am quite grown up and go out to
tea."

Barbe Carrick had begun to think of her daughter's marriage, and as
there was but little ready money, outfits were made at home, and
packed away against the time. For most mothers counted on it, even
thought of grandchildren.

Daffodil had enough to talk about that evening. Mr. Bartram went out,
and for an hour Dilly had her guardian quite to herself. Then two
gentlemen came in, and the tired little girl went to bed.

About ten the next morning a pony chaise stopped at the door. Jules
came out and took the reins, and Miss Wharton stepped lightly down and
was greeted by Mrs. Jarvis.

"I have come for the little girl," she said, "having her guardian's
permission. I am going to show her the sights, and make her sick of
Pittsburg. We want her here. Why, I never supposed I had such a
motherly streak in my nature, or I would have wedded and had a
houseful. Or else the child has some bewitchment about her. Jane, put
on her new hat and the scarf. The frocks will be here in a day or
two."

Daffodil did look bewitching as she stepped into the chaise. Miss
Wharton was quite used to driving. They went along Chestnut Street
first, past the stores, then looked at some of the old places that
were to be historical. Mistress Betty told over many of the war
adventures and the coming of the good news.

"And I remember that," said Daffodil. "Grandad was angry about it. He
still believes England will get us back sometime."

"Yet your father went to war. How did he take that?"

"I was so little then. I think I didn't know much about him until we
heard he would come home. Then I really began to remember. I didn't
like him so much at first, and I went to great-grandfather for
comfort. Oh, madam, he was so sweet and dear. And when M. de Ronville
came, and I put him in the old chair, it seemed almost as if
grandfather had come back. And I liked him at once. Now he is to be my
uncle, we have settled that."

Then they went out on the beautiful road, where the Shippens and
several of the old families had their capacious estates, and their
large old mansions. Oh, how lovely and orderly everything looked, the
picture of peace and plenty.

"Some day we will go over to Valley Forge. But it is nearing noon, and
I must not starve you. I know of a nice place, where ladies often go
at noon, and you do not need to have a man tagging after you. Start
up, Dolly!" to the pony.

They came back to busy streets. There were Quakers at Pittsburg, but
they did not seem so pronounced as here. And there were such
fine-looking men, in their drab suits, widebrimmed hats, and they wore
knee-breeches and silk stockings, quite like the world's people. Here
and there one nodded to Miss Wharton. The elegance and harmony
appealed to the child, without her understanding why.

They paused at a house set back a little from the street, with a
courtyard of blooming flowers. There was a wide covered porch and a
trellis work wreathed with vines. A wide door opened into a spacious
hall.

A young colored boy came out to them.

"Pomp," Miss Wharton said, "take the pony and give him a little feed
and water, not too much, mind now. He wants a little rest, so do we."

Pompey assisted them out with a flourish, and led the pony up a side
way. They walked to the porch, raised by three steps, and Miss Wharton
was greeted warmly by several parties.

"Here is a table," said Mrs. Mason. "My dear creature, I haven't seen
you in an age. Have you been getting married, and is this _his_
daughter? Did you take him for the sake of the child?"

"Alas! I have not been so fortunate! The child has both parents. And
she has just come from Pittsburg. You know, M. de Ronville went out
there and brought back--well, it is his grandniece, I suppose--Miss
Daffodil Carrick."

The waiter, another colored servant--they were quite favorites in the
city for their obsequious politeness--placed chairs for them.

"Pittsburg! Why, that's way at the West in the Indian countries, on
the way to Ohio, I believe. What a long journey. And how is M. de
Ronville?"

"Rather improved by his journey, I think. Now, Daffodil, what will you
have? You ought to be hungry."

"You choose for me, madam;" in a low tone, and with a tint of
exquisite coloring.

It kept wavering over the sweet face, for she felt somehow that she
was being observed. She wished she had on one of the pretty frocks,
but Jane had ironed out this white one, and Mrs. Jarvis had found her
a sash. But she was not accustomed to much consideration of herself,
and she was hungry. The ladies were prettily dressed, some of them in
rather quakerish colors and they had beautiful fans and parasols. It
was quite a meeting-place, where they exchanged bits of news, a little
gossip, and had most excellent tea.

"Carrick isn't a French name," said Madam Neville, rather critically.

"No. She is French on the mother's side. M. de Ronville's father and
her grandfather were Huguenot exiles in the old times. He is her
guardian now, and there is some property, enough for a town, I
believe. And you know the French once had possession of most of that
country."

Betty Wharton knew that would settle her status at once, more
decisively than her beauty.

Then some other ladies, having finished their tea, came over for a
little chat. Had she been to see the new play? For "The Academy of
Polite Science" seemed rather above an ordinary theatre, and
Philadelphia had swung back to amusements. Was she going to Mrs.
Chew's card party this evening?

"Oh, yes. She wouldn't miss it for anything."

"What a beautiful child!" whispered another. "Will she live here in
town?"

"Oh, she is only on a visit now."

"She's too nice to be wasted on such an outlandish place as Pittsburg,
where they do nothing but make whiskey."

The pony came round, and the ladies said their good-bys. Since the
closing of the war, indeed, in gratitude for French assistance, much
honor had been paid to our noble allies.

That evening M. de Ronville went to his card club. But Daffodil had
Mrs. Jarvis for audience, and in return heard many wonderful things
about the great city.

If Daffodil had not been so utterly simple-hearted and had so little
self-consciousness, it might have proved a rather dangerous ordeal for
her. In a few days she certainly was the light of the house. Even Mr.
Bartram yielded to her charm, though he fancied girls of that age were
seldom interesting: either painfully shy, or overbold. She was
neither. She seemed to radiate a pervasive atmosphere of happiness,
her smile was so full of light and joy; and her sweet voice touched
the springs of one's heart.

M. de Ronville had never met with any such experience. A shy young
man, he had kept much to his own compatriots. Then he had devoted
himself to business, with a vague idea that when he had made a fortune
he would go back to France, that had grown much more liberal in
matters of religion. But he had become warmly interested in the new
country, and especially the city.

He had been pleased with the household at Pittsburg, the plain
sensible soldier, who was making an excellent citizen, but the two
ladies he found most interesting. It was golden-crowned Daffodil that
stirred his heart in a new fashion, and made him feel how much had
been lost out of his life. And now he had her. A sweet, dazzling,
bird-like creature, that gave the house an altogether new aspect.

She went with Jane to call on Mrs. Craig. The daughter was well
married, and had four small children, though their house was rather
simple.

"And have you cried yourself to sleep with homesickness?" asked Mrs.
Craig. "I've heard it is rather quiet in the big house where you are,
with only a few grown people. True, Mr. de Ronville is like a father
or, perhaps, a grandfather would be nearer, and you have been used to
elderly men."

"Oh, madam, it is delightful. I like him so much. I did at home, or I
never could have come. And Mrs. Jarvis is nice and pleasant, and tells
me what is good manners for little girls, and Jane spoils me by
waiting on me."

"Madam, indeed!" laughed Mrs. Craig. "Why, you make me feel as if I
belonged to the quality!"

"They call the grown-up ladies that, the elder ones I mean. And there
is one who has been so good to me, Miss Wharton, who bought my new
clothes, and tells me what to wear, and things to say that are the
fashion here. I think we have not much fashion at home. She takes me
out, and, oh, there are so many things to see. And now uncle has hired
a pony, and I ride with him in the morning, and we all went to a play,
where the people made believe they were part of a story, and I was
charmed, for it seemed so real. And there was a fine concert, I never
heard so many instruments. And going to church is quite grand. I wish
we had a lovely church at home. Oh, I hardly have a moment, but I do
think of them all, and how wild Felix will be over all I shall have to
tell him."

"I'm afraid you won't want to go back."

"Not go back to mother and all the others? Why, every day makes it one
day nearer;" and the lovely light in her face showed she was not
forgetting them.

"I am going before real cold weather. It would be too hard a journey
to take in winter. But I find it very pleasant, too."

"And the stores are so full of beautiful things. People must be very
rich, they spend so much money."

"It is a big town, and there are many people."

"And one can't help being joyous and happy." She looked as if she
could dance or fly. "And uncle likes me best to be gay, and I should
be ungrateful to mope when so much is being done for me."

"Yes, that is true."

"And next week Miss Wharton is going to take me to a grand out-of-door
party of young people. Mrs. Pemberton came and gave uncle the
invitation for me, and he has promised to come in the evening to see
us, and to fetch me home."

"Oh, but they're on the Schuylkill! Well, you are going among the
quality. You'll never do for Pittsburg again."

"But I shall do for father and mother, and I shall have such fun
hearing grandad scold about all the doings, and say that I am spoiled,
and not worth a pewter platter. And then he will hug me so tightly
that it will almost squeeze the breath out of me."

She laughed so merrily and her face was in a glow of mirth and
mischief. Then Jane came for her, though she was quick about learning
the city streets. But M. de Ronville thought her too precious to be
trusted out alone, though now the town was safe enough.



CHAPTER IX

WITH THE EYES OF YOUTH


The place was like a picture by some fine artist, and the midsummer
coloring, the shade of the tall trees, the great beds of flowers made
it lovely, indeed. There was a space of greensward that ran down to
the river, then a series of steps up the terrace, where a large level
lawn with another row of steps led and a wide porch, with fluted
columns. The house was large, and hospitable of aspect. Now it was
filled with graceful figures, flitting to and fro, of all ages, it
seemed. For it was quite a notable occasion.

There were two Pemberton sons, one married; then Miss Bessy, who was
eighteen; Mary of sixteen, and Belinda, a growing girl, whose birthday
was the same as Bessy's, though there was five years between them.
This is why young people are asked to the birthday party. And the
mothers of the girls, the brothers, and other young men. The tables
will be set out on the lawn, three of them.

Bessy was to be married early in the autumn, and lovers in those days
were in no wise abashed by their engagement. Mr. Morris hovered about
his betrothed, young Mr. and Mrs. Pemberton had not outlived their
honeymoon. There were other engaged couples, and quite a merry crowd
of children.

Betty Wharton glanced over the group, as they ascended the steps. Not
a girl was as handsome as her _protégée_. They had come in a coach,
and the child had just a light scarf thrown over her shoulders. Her
frock was of some white crapy stuff, the bodice cut square in the neck
after the fashion of the day, and edged with a bit of lace; the short
waist defined with a soft blue silk sash. Her curls were caught up
high on her head, with a blue bow, and every movement seemed to shake
off a shower of gold. Where the chin melted in her neck, and the neck
sloped to her shoulder, there were exquisite lines.

"That's the little girl from Pittsburg," exclaimed Anton Wetherell. "I
didn't suppose they could raise anything like that. She's not so
little, either; why, she must be well on to fifteen. Some connection
of that old French lawyer, de Ronville. I wonder if he means to make
her his heir? I fancy there's a good deal of money."

"Miss Wharton has been making much of her, it seems, and she isn't the
one to fall into a mistake."

The elder ladies greeted her cordially. There was such a charming
simplicity about her and her enjoyment of everything was infectious.
She gravitated to the younger girls, and Belinda was really
fascinated with her. They played some games, and she was so ready to
assent to what they proposed, so frank to admit her ignorance of some
things, that they were all ready to help her and explain. Presently
they sat on the grass in a little ring, and asked her about Pittsburg.
Was it a great city?

"Oh, you would think it very queer," she said laughingly. "Only the
rivers are beautiful, and the hills, and the woods over opposite. But
the people"--then she flushed a little, but she was too honest to
embellish--"well, they are Scotch, and Irish, and English, and a few
from the East, but now those folks are going out to Ohio. And----"

"But you're French," said one of the girls. "Though I thought all
French people were dark."

"Mother and grandmere have beautiful dark eyes and hair. So has my
little brother Felix. But my father has blue eyes, and I don't know
where the yellow hair came from. That was why my mother called me
Daffodil."

"What an odd, pretty name. And your hair is beautiful, like silk. Does
it curl that way without----"

For little girls and big ones, too, had their hair put up in curl
papers, or the hairdresser used tongs.

"Oh, yes, it curls naturally, and tangles, too. When I was little I
wanted it cut off, there were such awful pulls. But mother wouldn't,
because father was away soldiering, and when he came home he wouldn't
hear to it. One grandfather used to call me Yellowtop."

The nearest girl was petting one of the soft, silky curls. Another
said, "Can you talk French? I'm studying it at school. It's awful hard
and queer."

"Oh, yes. You see, I learned to talk in both languages. Then I had a
lovely great-grandfather, who lived to be almost a hundred, and he
taught me to read quite well. There are some French Acadians, who come
in to see us now and then. But their speech has been mixed up so much.
I've been reading a little with uncle. After grandfather died, I
almost forgot."

"And are there fine stores and churches, and do you have plays, and
entertainments, and parties?"

"Oh, no. It's queer and plain, quite rough, though now they are making
nice streets, and people are spinning and weaving. Some of the women
make beautiful lace. There's always a May party and a dance; and then
a time when the new year begins, and tea drinkings, and some birthdays
are kept. No, you wouldn't like it, after such a beautiful city."

"Oh, you won't want to go back!"

"Mother and all my people are there," she answered simply. "But if I
had always lived in a beautiful city like this, I wouldn't want to."

By this time the tables were arranged, and they were summoned to the
repast. Several young lads had joined the company, and Mary took the
head of the children's table. The lawn was a picturesque sight.
Afterward some lanterns were strung about, but it was clear and
moonlight, which added to the beauty of the scene, and presently
dancing began. There was much rambling around.

Miss Wharton found her, and asked if she was having a good time. She
had been dancing with two of the boys. "And Mr. Wetherell wants the
pleasure of dancing with the young lady from Pittsburg;" laughing.

"But I am not a real young lady. And I don't know all the dances;" in
a hesitating tone.

"You do it at your own risk, Anton," Betty said to the young man. "You
have been warned."

"I'll take the risk."

He piloted her through very skilfully. Then young Mr. Pemberton asked
her. She met Mr. Bartram in this quadrille, and he talked to her
afterward. She wished he would ask her to dance, but he seemed very
much occupied with the older girls. And presently she spied out uncle
de Ronville, and went over to the step of the porch, where he was
sitting in a chair. He felt very proud of her. She was so full of
enjoyment she fairly bubbled over with delight, as she detailed the
pleasures.

"And we must be thinking of going home. That is one of the penalties
of old age."

"Oh," with a kind of _riant_ sweetness in her voice, "if you could go
back halfway, and I could come on halfway, wouldn't it be delightful!
But I get sleepy often in the evening, not like to-night;" as an
afterthought. "I suppose that comes of living in a country place,
where people go to bed at nine! But you sometimes go to bed quite
late."

Yes, if they could meet halfway! Oh, what a foolish old man!

It has been a delightful evening, and Miss Wharton joins them.
"Daffodil, you have had honors enough to turn your head. M. de
Ronville, are we spoiling her?"

He gave her a fatherly look, and taking her soft little hand in his,
they rose together.

"Will you go home in our coach?" he asked of Miss Wharton.

"Very glad, indeed, my dear sir, I am rather tired. Our party began
early."

There were a good many adieus to make, and some very flattering
invitations for Daffodil. They put Mistress Betty down at her own
door, and when they reached home M. de Ronville gave her a tender
good-night.

"It was splendid, Jane," she said as the finery was being removed.
"And I danced with several of the young men. I didn't quite know how,
but I thought of Norry's stories about the fairy dances in the
moonlight, and I guess the real moonlight helped."

"I don't believe there was as pretty a girl among them all," declared
Jane admiringly.

It was late when Mr. Bartram came in, and he had enjoyed himself as
well.

But it was not all dissipation. There were evenings when Daffodil read
French to her host, and he corrected any faulty pronunciation. At
other times it was the newspaper. She had such a clear young voice,
and she did everything with such charming cheerfulness. The rides with
him in the morning were a delight. And though her figure had not
rounded out, there was something exquisite in the virginal lines. She
did not realize herself that she was a big girl now, so gradual was
the change, and she had been a little girl all her life to those at
home. He thought it was the French blood, as he could recall the girls
of his youth, with their pretty deference, but it is the little
admixture of Irish that makes her so winsome and frank.

Yet there were times when Daffodil was surprised at herself, and the
strange feelings and stronger emotions that would flash across her.
Was it the wider life, the variety of people and incident, the deeper
and more comprehensive tone of the talk, and the new pleasures of the
higher type?

There was no special dividing line in those days. Little girls wore
ankle-length frocks, so the tucks were let out as they grew taller.
After a little the hair was put up high with a pretty comb discarded
by an older sister. When she had a lover, the next younger girl came
to the fore.

"If the child was two years older I might make an excellent match for
her," thought Betty Wharton. "But she isn't thinking about lovers or
admiration. She will be very lovely presently, when she knows how to
use those heart-breaking eyes and that dangerous smile. When she comes
again--of course, it would be a sin to bury such a girl alive in that
dozy, drowsy old Pittsburg!"

The days flew by so rapidly. Letters did not come frequently, postage
was high, and there was a sort of secret faith in most people that
things were going on well, according to the old adage that "no news
was good news." But when a rare letter came, she cried over it
secretly for two or three days, and was rather grave, but she thought
it ungracious not to be bright and happy when so much was being done
for her. Mrs. Craig was planning to go before the autumnal rains set
in, and she took it for granted that it was her place to return
Daffodil.

The child had been talking this over one afternoon, and a flood of
home love had overwhelmed her. Mrs. Jarvis had an old friend to supper
and to spend the evening, Jane had gone out, and M. de Ronville had
gone to a sort of sociable dinner, with some of the citizens who were
interested in the library project. It had proved a rather lonesome
evening, and she had really longed for home. She wandered about
aimlessly, and presently settled herself in the corner of the
vine-covered porch, and yielded to the beauty and fragrance of the
night. Everything had a richer aspect and meaning to her. It was
moonlight again. The tall trees seemed outlined in silver, and the
flower-beds were transformed into fairy haunts. Only a few stars were
out, they were larger and more golden than usual. She drank in the
honeyed fragrance all about her, and it seemed a land of enchantment.

Some one came into the library, but did not make a light. She heard M.
de Ronville's low, but clear-toned, voice.

"I have wanted to talk this matter over with you. There need be no
hurry, one or two years here will answer. You see, I am getting to be
an old man. Latterly I have come to long for some one of my own, that
I could go down the valley of life with, and who would care to make
the journey more cheerful. You have been almost like a son to me. I
should like you to be that, indeed. And this child has grown very dear
to me. To think of you both going on here in the old house when I have
left it, would give me my heart's desire. She is lovely, she is sweet,
and has a most admirable temper. Then those people are in comfortable
circumstances, and of the better class. You know it is a trait of our
nation to be deeply interested in the marriage of our children, to
advise, often to choose for them, with our wider experience."

"But she is such a child, eager, unformed, and I have thought of some
one, companionable, with a wider education----"

That was Mr. Bartram's voice.

"We can remedy all that. I could have her here, and I think she is an
apt scholar. She is well up in French, and that is quite in demand
now. She could be trained in music, she has a sweet voice. And she is
very graceful. If you could see the indifferent manners of most people
in that queer, backward town, you would wonder at her refinement, her
nice adjustment. Her mother, the Duvernay people, are high-bred, yet
in no wise pretentious."

There was a brief silence, then the young man began.

"Mr. de Ronville, you have been the best and kindest friend a young
man could have. I owe you a great deal. But I would not like to bind
myself by any such promise. I have an old-fashioned notion that one
must or should choose for one's self, and another perhaps foolish one,
that I should like to win the woman I marry, not have her take me
because some one else desired it. She would naturally be
impressionable----"

All this talk was about her. She just realized it. She had listened as
if some one was reading out of a book. She started now, and light and
fleet as a deer flashed across the porch and up to her own room, in a
queer, frightened state, hardly knowing what it meant, and yet vaguely
suspicious. She had not been especially drawn to Mr. Bartram. He
treated her quite as a child, sometimes teased, and evoked quick,
mirthful replies, at others passed her by indifferently. All her
experience had been with boys, and men of middle age, and she had no
idea of lovers. Did uncle de Ronville mean that she should come here
and love, and then be married to Mr. Bartram!

She was suddenly and unreasonably homesick for ugly old Pittsburg. The
shops and the drives, the gayeties and delights, had lost their charm.
If she could fly home to her mother's arms! If she could sit on her
father's knee and have him hug her to his heart, or even grandad's
rough love. And Norah, and Felix, and grandfather Bradin, who took her
out in his boat, and sang funny sea-going songs. No, she couldn't come
here to live!

Yet it was curious the next morning. Everything seemed exactly the
same. Uncle said, "Will you get ready for your ride?" in that gentle,
courtly manner, and they went off together. Mr. Bartram had been very
quiet, she had hardly ventured to raise her eyes to him.

Oh, maybe she had fallen asleep and dreamed it.

Mary Pemberton came over early. A host of girls were going to have a
picnic up the river, and Belinda wanted her. They would bring her back
by five in the afternoon. It was to be just a girls' party, only her
brother would be there to see that Darius, the black servitor,
attended to them properly.

It was a bright, jolly day, with swinging, and a gipsy campfire,
playing tag and telling riddles, and even running races. And she was
so joyous talking it all over that evening, M. de Ronville felt he
could never let her go. Could he persuade her to stay? Young people
were fond of pleasure, and after this Pittsburg would be dull.

All the week the desire in Daffodil's heart had grown into absolute
longing to go home. Yet she cares so much for them here: Uncle, Mrs.
Jarvis, Miss Wharton, and a number of other people. But how could the
return be planned. No one had suggested such a thing.

Providence comes to her assistance, opening the way in the shape of
Mrs. Craig, who stays to supper, as she has a matter to lay before M.
de Ronville. And that is, that she has finished her visit, and desires
to return before the autumnal rains set in, while the going is still
good. And she will take Daffodil.

"I am afraid we can't spare her," returned M. de Ronville. "She has
become such a part of our household."

"But I must go home sometime," said the child with a quick gasp in her
breath.

"Are you tired of us?"

"Tired!" She came and placed her arm caressingly over his shoulder.
"Oh, I have never been tired, but there is mother and--the rest," with
a tremble in her voice, while her eyes had the softness of coming
tears. "Think how long I have been away!"

"And they've had many a heartache, I dare say. I don't know how they
could spare you long. Of course, where your daughters marry it is a
different thing. You resign yourself to that," said Mrs. Craig.

"When did you think of starting?"

"Well, so as to miss the equinoctial." People pinned their faith to
its coming regularly in those days. "And perhaps no one would care to
take such a journey if they had no need, and she couldn't come alone."

"No;" in a grave, slow tone. "We must talk it over. I've thought of
her staying in the winter and going to school, perhaps. And you might
study music," glancing at her.

"Oh, you are very good. But--I ought to go."

"Yes. You've had a nice long time, and lots of going about, I've
heard. I hope you have not been spoiled. And you are the only girl
your mother has. Then she had you so long before Felix came and while
your father was away, and I know she's missed you sorely."

The tears did come into Daffodil's eyes then.

After Mrs. Craig had gone, her guardian drew her down on the sofa
beside him.

"Daffodil," he began, "I have come to love you very dearly. There has
been no one in my life to call forth any special affection. There
might have been, I see now that there should have been. It is along
the last of life that we feel most of the need of these ties. And if
you could give me a little----"

"Oh, I do love you. You have been so kind, and given me so many
pleasures. But not altogether for that. I liked you when you first
came, you know. There was something--I can't quite express it--even if
I had not come to Philadelphia, I should have thought of you so often.
And it has been such a delightful visit. But I know mother has missed
me very much, and she has the first claim. And oh, I want to see her."

The longing and piteousness in her tone touched him. She was not all
lightness and pleasure-loving.

"My dear, it is hard to give you up. Child, why can you not divide
some time between us, and let me do for you as a father would. They
have Felix--and each other. They have parents as well. And I am all
alone. It would be a joy to my latter years to have some one to care
for, to share my almost useless fortune, and my home."

She leaned her golden head down on his shoulder, and he knew she was
crying.

"Oh," she sobbed, "it is very hard. I do love you. But, you see, they
have the best right, and I love them. I am torn in two."

Yes, it was selfish to try her this way. He had dreamed of what might
happen if he could keep her here, a girl sweet and lovely enough to
charm any one. But it was wrong thus to covet, to make it harder for
her.

"My child, it shall be as you wish. Sometime you may like to come
again. My home and heart will always be open to you, and I shall study
your best interests. When you want any favor do not hesitate to ask
me. I shall be only too glad to do anything."

"Oh, do not think me ungrateful for all this love and kindness. Every
day I shall think of you. Yes," and the brightness in her tone
thrilled him. "I may come again if you want me----"

"I shall always want you, remember that."

M. de Ronville was not the only one who made an outcry. Miss Wharton
took her to task.

"Daffodil, you are not old enough to realize what a foolish girl you
are, and so we must not be too severe. Mr. de Ronville is a rich man,
a fine and noble one as well. I have no doubt but that he would leave
you a handsome portion, for he loves you sincerely. And think of the
advantages of a city like this. But when you go back to Pittsburg, you
will see a great difference. If all is true, there is no society, no
interest for such a woman as you may become with proper training, such
as you would get here. You are--yes, I will say it, too lovely to be
wasted on a place like that. I am really vexed with you."

The tears stood in her beautiful eyes.

"Oh, one can't be angry with you, you are so sweet! A year or two
hence you could have no end of admirers at your feet, and take your
pick of them. I hate to give you up. I want to see you a queen in
society, you lovely, winsome, short-sighted thing! I don't believe you
have a bit of vanity, and they say no girl child was ever born without
it. I shall make your uncle, as you call him, keep track of you, for I
shall want to know where you throw away your sweetness. I believe if I
was Mr. de Ronville I would offer to buy you from your father."

"Oh, he couldn't."

It sounded as if she said it exultantly.

Jane bemoaned the proposed departure as well.

"The house will feel just like a funeral when you have gone out of it,
Miss Daffodil. You've been like the sunshine floating up and down. We
never missed it on the rainiest day, for there was your flashing
golden head. And, oh, I wish you could stay and, grow up a young
woman, and go to parties, and then have a splendid lover. Oh, dear!"
and then Jane broke down crying.

Poor Daffodil's heart was torn by the regrets. It seemed as if uncle
was the only one who was like to help her bear the parting, and he was
so tender that at times she almost relented. Mr. Bartram did not
count. He was polite, and to a degree sympathetic. He did not tease
her, nor laugh about Pittsburg, that would have made her indignant
now.

She had come with such a little parcel, now there was a trunk to be
packed. M. de Ronville slipped in some dainty little boxes that were
not to be opened until she reached home. And at last the day came, and
there were sad enough good-by's.

There was a new Post coach in its shining paint, and four stout
horses. Mr. de Ronville pressed Daffodil's hand the last one, but he
turned his eyes away. Yes, the light of his house had gone. But he
could not give up all hope.



CHAPTER X

THE PASSING OF THE OLD


Oh, how queer it looked at Old Pittsburg, after the fine city she had
left. Daffodil almost shrank from the sight of the old dilapidated log
houses, the streets that were still lanes. But there were the two
households to greet her, with not a change in them. Oh, how dear they
were! The familiar room, the chair so endeared to her, the high shelf,
with its brass candlestick, and there in the corner her mother's
little flax wheel.

"We were so afraid they'd keep you," said Felix. "Didn't they want you
to stay?"

"Ah, yes," and the tears came to her eyes.

"And you look queer, changed somehow. Your voice has a funny sound.
And I want you to tell me all about Philadelphia. Did you see that Mr.
Benjamin Franklin, and the men who signed the Declaration of
Independence?"

"Mr. Franklin was abroad. And they don't all live there. I believe I
saw only three of them. But there was Governor Mifflin. And they hope
sometime to have the Capitol there."

"Felix, let your sister have a little rest. There will be days and
days to talk. Dilly, are you not tired to death? Such a long journey
as it is. I don't see how Mrs. Craig stood it."

"Yes, I am tired," she answered. How plain her room looked, though it
had been put in nice order with the best knitted white quilt on her
bed, and a bowl of flowers on a pretty new stand grandfather Bradin
had made. She hung her coat in the closet, and took off the frock she
was so tired of, glad to change it for a fresher one.

"Now you look natural," declared grandmere. "We have our little girl
back, but it does seem as if you had grown. And, oh, how glad we are
to have her!"

There certainly was some mysterious change. Her mother studied it as
well. It seemed as if the little girl had vanished, one could almost
imagine the seven years had come and gone, and she had been to
fairyland. But she put her face down on her mother's shoulder and
cried.

"Dear, are you glad to see us all again, to come back to us? For I
have had a heart-breaking fear that I know it must have been
delightful there, and Mr. de Ronville had a great love for you. Oh, I
really wonder that he let you come."

"He wanted me to stay--yes. To stay and be educated in music and many
things. It is so different there. I don't know that I can make you
understand."

"Dear," subjoined her mother, "he wrote to us. It was the kindliest
letter. If he had persuaded you----"

They clung more closely together, each answering with the pressure.
But she made no mention of Mr. Bartram. The talk had not been meant
for her ears, indeed, she did not rightly understand the real desire
that underlay it.

"Now you must rest awhile," said her mother. "There will be a crowd in
to supper."

Felix had been denied the pleasure of a half holiday. "You will have
time enough to see your sister," Barbe said to the importunate boy.
"She is going to stay at home now."

Daffodil did have a nap and awoke refreshed, though she still looked
tired and pale.

"Put on one of your pretty frocks," said her mother, with a touch of
pride. Indeed, much as she had missed her darling she had enjoyed the
honor. Not every girl could have such an opportunity to see the great
city where so many notable events had happened. There were few formal
invitations in those early days. Evenings were generally given over to
pleasure, for the day was devoted to work. You were sure of a welcome
unless somewhere there was a family feud and even that was often
overlooked after a few glasses of whiskey. So there were guests
in--to supper. Daffodil was inspected, questioned, commented upon in a
friendly fashion. They drank to her health, to the fact of her return
safe and sound, for, after all, was not a big city where they had all
sorts of dissipations dangerous.

But all that was nothing to the evening. Then there was a crowd.
Grandad did get very merry and dance a jig, the laughter grew
uproarious. Dilly shrank with a fear that was half disgust.

Barbe caught Norah's arm presently.

"Ask them over to finish their merriment," she said persuasively.
"Daffodil is very tired and must go to bed."

She looked like a little ghost now and her eyes were heavy.

"Yes, yes; we ought to have a little thought," and Norah rapped on the
table and gave her invitation, which was cordially accepted.

"Dear little daughter," began her father. "It's rather wild and rough,
but it is their idea of a good, hearty welcome. And you must pardon
grandad. He has a warm, loving heart."

"Oh, yes; I know all that. But I _am_ tired." And her voice was full
of tears.

"Oh, child, it would be hard to have you outgrow us. And I love you
so! I had such hard work to win your love in the beginning. But you
don't remember."

"Oh, yes, I do. Was I dreadful? I think I couldn't love any one all at
once. And I didn't like mother to care so, when she had loved me best.
But I know better now. Her love for me is different from her love for
Felix and her love for you. Oh, I am glad to be back." And she clung
to him convulsively.

He hoped in his heart she would never go away again. There were some
promising beaux in the town. Of course she would marry. He wouldn't
want his little girl to be an "old maid."

She said a long prayer that night, it seemed as if there had never
been so many things to pray for. Then she crawled into bed and cried
softly, she did not know why. Did she wish herself back?

Was it that the place had changed so much or was it all in her. Felix
seemed such a big boy, good looking too, with beautiful dark eyes and
a very rosy face much sunburned. His dark hair was a mass of
clustering curls, they inherited that from their mother. But he talked
with his mouth full, he clattered his knife and fork, dropped them
occasionally, and asked more questions than one could answer in an
hour.

She looked up at her father and smiled her approval. He understood it
was that. He had some gentlemanly ways and she was very glad that M.
de Ronville had not been shocked by the rude manners that obtained
largely in the town. Grandmere waited on the table for there was
generally a second cooking. People had stout appetites in those days.

It seemed to her the trees had grown, they were longer armed. And here
was the pretty flower garden a-bloom now with marigolds, which were
not field flowers. There were large balls of pale yellow and deep
orange, bronze ones with a pile as if made of velvet. How beautiful
they were. Not a weed was to be seen.

It was a half-cloudy day, not dark or sullen, but with friendly gray
under roof. She put on her sun-bonnet, her mother had it starched and
ironed for her. Up at the back of the house it was still wild land, a
sloping hill, a tangle of summer growth rhododendrons half smothered
with it. She threaded her way up, then there was a long level of
stubble turning brown. Far to the north vaster bulks loomed up. There
was a great world beyond. What if some day it should be cities like
Philadelphia. And--people, men and women living in pretty houses and
having nice times.

It was a beautiful world, too. There was the fragrance of wild grapes
in the air, the sweetness of dying clover blooms and the rich autumnal
smells. She drew long breaths and broke into song with the birds.
Then she started and ran. How little the houses looked down there!

"Oh," she cried in dismay as she ran through the open doorway, "is it
dinner time. I've been up in the woods. It _is_ beautiful."

Her mother looked up smilingly. She had been paring apples to dry and
had a great tubful. They strung them on a cord and hung them out in
the sunshine to dry. Grandmere had the dinner ready to dish up.

"Oh, I could have been stringing the apples!" she said remorsefully.
"And I've been way up the hill. I wondered if it would look so lovely
to me. For the Schuylkill is like a dream, but our rivers are finer
than the Delaware."

"Don't worry about work so soon. You must get used to it by degrees.
And get rested over the journey. Janie and Kate Byerly were in. They
want you to come to supper to-morrow night. Janie has a lover and
she's promised. 'Tisn't a good sign when the youngest goes off first."

"Why, Janie isn't----" in surprise.

"She was fifteen a month ago;" said grandmere.

"Would you want me to get married?" she asked soberly, recalling the
talk she could not confess for honor's sake.

"We are in no hurry," said grandmere. "Though I approve of early
marriages. You settle to one another more easily. And women are
happier in their own homes."

"I'll get father to put up an addition and bring my husband here;" she
rejoined with a kind of reckless gayety. "I couldn't go very far away
from you."

Her mother glanced up with fond eyes. And just then her father
entered.

Most people at that time were little given to caressing ways. But his
own had been much dearer to Bernard Carrick after his three years'
absence, and now he kissed his daughter, taking her sweet face in both
hands.

"Why, you look fresh as a rose. I half expected to find you in bed.
Are you equal to a ride this afternoon?"

"Oh, yes; only--mother----" glancing at her.

"Can't mother spare you?"

"Yes, yes. There will be time enough to work, child."

Her mother was made very happy at the deference.

Felix did not always come home at noon.

"They were pretty gay last night," he began apologetically. "Seen
grandad this morning?"

"No, I went up in the woods. I wondered how it would look to me. It
was beautiful. And it was a shame not to run over there first."

"Well, you may go a bit before we start. I have some papers to look
over. We're in a great wrastle about some whiskey business. And now a
man has to hold his tongue sharp if he isn't on the right side."

"You are on the right side?" She looked at him with laughing, trusting
eyes.

"I wouldn't dare go agin grandad," he laughed back.

It was the old time to her. The cloth was coarse homespun partly
bleached; they had some fine ones laid away for the little girl's
outfit; the dishes were a motley lot, some pewter plates among them.
The pretty accessories that she had become so accustomed to were
missing. Was it this way when M. de Ronville was here? She colored
vividly.

"I'll get up, Doll," her father said, "and stop for you." So she ran
down to the other house.

Norah kissed her effusively.

"I'm glad you weren't in this morning. I was on thorns an' briars all
the time for fear. The men were in howling an' shouting until you'd
thought they'd upset the government. An' they will, too. We're not
going to pay tax on our very bread. Why they're coming the old game
that they fit about for seven years. And grandad's fierce. He'd turn
us all back to England to-morrer."

"I don't know----" Daffodil looked up confused.

"No, I s'pose not. Women has husbands to think for them an' gals
needn't think about anything but beaux. Did you have any over there?"
nodding her head. "Body o' me! but you've grown tall. You ain't a
little girl any more. And we'll have to look you up a nice beau."

"Must everybody be married?"

Norah put both hands on her lips and laughed.

"Well, I don't know as there's a _must_, only old maids ain't of much
account an' get sticks poked at 'em pretty often. I wouldn't be one
for any money. I'd go out in the woods and ask the first man I met to
marry me."

"How old must you be?" asked Daffodil soberly, thinking of Miss
Wharton.

"Well, if you ain't married by twenty, lovers ain't so plenty, and at
twenty-four you're pushed out of the door and at thirty you might as
well go down. But you're not likely to have to ring the bell for them.
My! but you're pretty, only I wish your cheeks were redder. I guess
you've been housed up too much. I want to hear all about the sort of
time you had! Wasn't the old gentleman a little stiff?"

"Oh, no. He seemed so much like great-grandfather to me. I loved him a
great deal. And there was a splendid housekeeper. The maid was sweet
and she cried when I came away."

"Little Girl," called her father.

"Oh, are you going to ride away? Come over to-night. Grandad is going
to the meeting where they will spout like a leaky gargoyle. Or stay,
your father will go too. I'll come over instead."

Daffodil mounted Dolly, who certainly had not grown fat in her
absence. Felix had attended to that. "Dear old Dolly!" patting her
neck, and the mare whinnied as if overjoyed.

"You haven't forgotten, dear old Dolly;" and Daffodil was minded to
lean over and give her a hug as she had times before.

"We'll go down town. We are stretching out our borders. Here is the
new dock. We are building boats for the western trade, and here is the
shipyard."

It had doubled itself since spring. Everybody seemed hurrying to and
fro. Brawny, sunburned men with shirt sleeves rolled nearly to the
shoulders, jesting, whistling, sometimes swearing, the younger ones
pausing now and then to indulge in a few jig steps. There were boats
loading with a variety of freight, but largely whiskey. Carrick took
some drawings out of his memorandum book.

"Look them over sharp, Cap'n Boyle, though I think you'll find them
all right."

There was the long point, the two rivers flowing into the Ohio, the
murmur like the undertone of the sea. And over beyond, far beyond an
endless stretch. There were some Indian wigwams, there were long
reaches of cornfields yet uncut, a few stacked; apples ripening in the
mellow sunshine, a wild kind of fruit, great tangles of grapevine
enough to smother any tree.

"It is beautiful," she said with deep feeling. "Oh, do you suppose
there'll ever be anything--over there--like a town, houses and such?"

She nodded upward. That was her portion.

"If we go on this way. There's a line for trade between this and
Cincinnati all planned out, boats being built, there's coal and iron
to supply places around, and they're talking about glass even. We
shall be the head centre. Oh, land doesn't cost much since taxes are
so light. Yes, some likely young fellow will take it in hand and
evolve a fortune for you. Daffodil, you will not go back to de
Ronville?"

"To live? Oh, no."

"I couldn't spare my little girl. I want you to marry and settle
here."

She seemed to shrink from the thought.

Down here they were working streets. New houses were going up.
Store-houses were being built. Carrick had to stop and discuss several
openings. And no matter what subject was in hand it came round to the
whiskey.

"What is it all about, father?" she asked, raising her perplexed face
to his.

"I don't know that you can understand. We were all served with a
summons in the summer to appear at court over the other side of the
mountains. Crops were just at the point where they would be ruined if
left. The distillers were very angry, the farmers, too. They held
meetings and decided they wouldn't go. It's a matter of the general
government. The country is behind in everything and is striving to
meet its expenses. It could not be otherwise after such a war as we
have had. The tax is four pence per gallon--it seems a big figure on
hundreds of gallons, still they can recoup themselves on the other
end."

"And who is right?"

Bernard Carrick laughed.

"There is but one side to be on just now. Grandad is among the
distillers and Norah is as hotheaded as he. But women ought to stay
out of it. Take pattern by mother and grandmere and have no opinions.
You can't help hearing it talked about. I'm glad it wasn't one of M.
de Ronville's interests or you might have heard hard things said about
us. There now, business is done, let us have a fine gallop over this
road."

Dolly went very well for a while then said plainly she could not keep
it up.

"You are a good rider, Dilly. I'm glad you did not get out of
practice. Your guardian must have been indulgent."

"We had a ride every fine morning. He was very fond of it."

He was glad to have her talk about her visit. The life would be very
different here. Not only were all his interests here, and he was
getting to be one of the rising men of the town, but the Bradins held
the house they lived in and he was as a son to them. Barbe had never
been parted from her mother. And though he had gone to his country's
call with their consent he knew his own father would never forgive a
second defection. No, he must stay here, and his daughter must marry
here.

Felix begged her to come out with him and see the great bee tree where
father was going to take up the honey some night, but she was tired
and curled herself up in the grandfather chair. Her thoughts wandered
a little.

"I don't believe you are paying a bit of attention to me!" the boy
flung out angrily. "I wish you hadn't gone to that old city. You were
twice as good fun before. And I s'pose you won't climb trees or run
races or--or do any of the things that used to be such good fun. What
in the world _did_ you do there?"

"Oh, I'll try them with you again. But I've been out with father all
the afternoon----"

"And now he'll be so taken up with you he won't want me. Girls haven't
any call to be out so much with men."

"Not when they are our own fathers?" smiling.

"Well--there's knitting, and spinning, and sewing, and darning
stockings----"

"I thought you were begging me to go out and have a good romp with
you?"

"Oh, that's different."

She laughed. Then father came in and they had supper. After that until
he went out he had to help Felix with sums, then the boy was sleepy,
and went to bed.

Daffodil had to talk about her visit. She had been to the theatre
twice and to some fine out-of-doors concerts. Then the afternoon at
the Pembertons, where the ladies had been so beautifully dressed, and
the dance and the tea on the lawn. She had been sent to a dancing
class and knew the modern steps.

"And I just don't believe any one can beat grandad;" said Norah with
pride. "And stout as he is, he's as light on his feet as a young girl.
And about this Miss Wharton and her living alone with servants just as
if she was a widow, and she must be an old maid. It's queer they
should make so much of her."

"But she's so nice and sweet. Everybody likes her. And her house is so
full of pretty things. The gentlemen are always wanting to dance with
her and come to tea."

"Well, it's very queer except for a queen. There was a great queen
once who didn't and wouldn't get married."

"That was Queen Elizabeth and Virginia was named in her honor."

"Well, I hope you won't get sick of us after a little. But blood's
thicker than water;" and Norah nodded confidently to Daffodil's
mother.

Then it seemed really strange to go over to the Byerly's to tea. They
had been older girls in school. Now they were busy all day spinning
and Kate wove on a hand loom. Girls worked through the day and
frolicked in the evening. They all seemed so large to Daffodil. They
joked one another about beaux. Half a dozen young men were invited.
Kitchen and dining-room was all one, and the two tables were put
together, and would have groaned with their burden if they had not
been strong.

"I want Daffodil Carrick," said Ned Langdale rather peremptorily. "I
went to her first party and she came to mine."

"That's whether she wants you," said Janie saucily. "Do you,
Daffodil?"

"Do I--what?"

"Want Ned to take you in to supper. We're pairing off. By right you
ought to take Kate," to Ned. "She can have some of the younger boys."

Daffodil was rather startled at Ned. He had grown so tall and looked
so manly.

"I'll take Archie," she said a little timidly.

Archie smiled and came over to her, clasping her hand.

"I'm so glad," he said in a half whisper. "Oh, Daffodil, you're so
pretty, like some of the sweet pictures in a book mother has. Yes, I'm
so glad."

Did Daffodil go to school with most of these girls? She felt curiously
strange. After the first greeting and the question about her visit,
that she was getting rather tired of, there was a new diversion at the
entrance of Mr. Josephus Sanders, who was announced to the company by
his betrothed. He was a great, rather coarse-looking fellow, with a
red face burned by wind and water, and reddish hair that seemed to
stand up all over his head. Even at the back it hardly lay down. He
was a boatman, had made two trips to New Orleans, and now was going
regular between Pittsburg and Cincinnati with a share in the boat
which he meant to own by and by. He had a loud voice and took the
jesting in good part, giving back replies of coarse wit and much
laughter.

Mrs. Byerly waited on the guests, though the viands were so arranged
that there was a dish for every three or four. Cold chicken, cold ham,
cold roast pork temptingly sliced. White bread and brown, fried nuts
as they called them, the old Dutch doughnuts and spiced cakes, beside
the great round one cut in generous slices. And after that luscious
fruits of all kinds.

"Yes, I am so glad to see you. And you have been off among the
quality. But I hope you have not forgotten--" and he raised his eyes,
then colored and added, "but you weren't so much with the boys. I do
suppose girls' schools are different. Still there were Saturdays."

"I don't know why I lagged behind," and she gave a soft laugh that was
delicious. "Maybe it was because some of them were older. Even now I
feel like a little girl and I don't mean to be married in a long time.
Oh, yes, I remember the May day fun and the races and tag----"
pausing.

"And the tree climbing and the big jumps and prisoner's base, and
'open the gates' and 'tug of war.' Ned was famous in them. I liked
often to go off by myself and read, but once in a while it was fun."

"Oh, you should go to Philadelphia. There are so many fine books. And
many of the people have libraries of their own. My guardian had. And
pictures."

He bent his head quite low.

"I'm going some day. That's my secret. I mean to be a doctor."

"Oh!" The eyes she turned upon him thrilled him to the heart. Oh, she
was the prettiest and sweetest girl in the room.

But she wasn't glowing and red-cheeked and black-eyed. Then yellow
hair wasn't particularly in favor.

The table was cleared and the dessert was grapes and melons,
yellow-hearted cantelopes and rosy watermelons, and they snapped seeds
at one another, a rather rude play, which made a great deal of
dodging. Afterward they went to the best room and had some more
refined plays. They "picked cherries," they had to call their
sweetheart and stand with him in the middle of the room. Ned chose
Daffodil Carrick and he kissed her of course, that made her blush like
a peony. And she chose Archie.

But, alas! Archie had to choose some one else. He said afterward--"I
had a great mind to choose you again, but I knew they'd laugh and say
it wasn't fair. But I didn't care at all for Emma Watkins."

They wound up with "Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grows." Then Janie
Byerly took her betrothed's hand and stood in the middle of the room.

"Joe and I are to be married in October somewhere about the middle. We
haven't set the day yet, but you'll all know it and I want a great
crowd to come and see the knot tied. Then we're going to Cincinnati on
Joe's boat to visit his folks, and if I like it first-class we may
settle there. I hope you have all had a good time."

They said they had in a shout.

"I'm coming over to see your pretty frocks," Janie whispered to
Daffodil. "My, I shall be so busy that my head will spin."

Of course Archie had to see her home, but as Ned's girl was already
home, he walked with them and did most of the talking, to Archie's
chagrin. And he ended with--"I've so much to tell you. I'm coming over
right soon."



CHAPTER XI

THE WOOF OF DAILY THINGS


"Dilly, you're not worth shucks since you came back!" exclaimed the
boy in a severely upbraiding tone. "You don't do nothin' as you used,
you just sit and moon. Do you want to go back to that old man? I sh'd
think you'd been awful dull."

"Do you talk that way at school?"

"Oh, well, a fellow needn't be so fussy at home."

"What would you like me to do? You are off with the boys----"

"That's because you're no good. You don't run races nor climb trees
nor wade in the brook to catch frogs, nor jump--I'll bet you don't
know how to jump any more. And you were a staver!"

"Girls leave off those things. And you are a good deal younger, and
ought to have a boy's good times. I must sew and spin and help keep
house and work in the garden to take care of the flowers and learn to
cook."

"My! I wouldn't be a girl for anything! Dilly, who will you marry?"

Her face was scarlet. Must a girl marry? She understood now the drift
of the talk she had unwittingly overheard. And her cheek burned
thinking that she had been offered and declined.

"I'm not going to marry any one in a good while," she returned
gravely.

"Tim Garvin asked me----" he looked at her hesitatingly.

"Well?"

"If he might come round. He thinks you sing like a mocking bird. And
he says he likes yellow hair. I don't. I wish yours was black and that
you had red cheeks and that you'd laugh real loud, and want to play
games."

"There are plenty of little girls, Felix, who are ready for any sort
of fun."

He spun round on his heel and went off. It had been one of the
resplendent early autumn days with a breath of summer in the air and
the richness of all ripening things. The call of the wood thrush came
softly through the trees with a lingering delicious tenderness. She sat
on a large boulder nearly at the foot of a great sycamore tree. She
used to have a play-house here. What had changed her so? She did not
want to go back to Philadelphia. She would never want to see Mr.
Bartram again. In a way she was content. Her father loved her very
much, it was a stronger love in one way, a man's love, though her
mother was tender and planning a nice future for her.

She did not understand that it was the dawning of womanhood, the
opening of a new, strange life different from what had gone before.
There was a sort of delicious mystery about it and she stood in
tremulous awe. It was going to bring her something that she half
dreaded, half desired.

She had gone down by the schoolhouse one afternoon. They had built a
new one, really quite smart, and now they had taken off an hour of the
last session. The children were out at play, racing, screaming,
wrestling, here playing ring around a rosy, here London bridge is
falling down, here a boy chasing a girl and kissing her roughly, she
slapping his face and being kissed half a dozen times more. Had she
ever been one of this boisterous, romping group?

The French blood had brought in more refinement, like the Quaker
element. And she had been rather diffident. At home they were more
delicate, while they had too much good breeding and kindliness to hold
themselves much above their neighbors.

The marriage of Janie Byerly was quite an event. It took place at ten
in the morning and there was a great wedding cake with slices for the
girls to dream on. Then they went down to the boat in a procession and
there was a merry time as the boat made ready to push out. Rice had
not come in yet, but old shoes were there in abundance.

There were other marriages and the little girl went to them because
she did not want to slight her old companions. Some of the couples
set up housekeeping in a two-roomed cabin and the new wife went on
with her spinning or weaving and some of them were quite expert at
tailoring. There was plenty of work getting ready for winter.

Tim Garvin had been as good as his word and came on Sunday evening.
Daffodil sheltered herself behind her father's protecting wing. They
talked of the whiskey question, of the Ohio trade, and then there was
a lagging, rather embarrassing time. Four elderly people sat
around--they generally retired and gave the young folks a chance, but
it was Daffodil who disappeared first. And Tim did not make a second
attempt.

The Langdale boys had better luck in establishing friendliness. Ned
came over in high feather one afternoon. Daffodil was practising a
rather intricate piece of lace making. He looked manly and proud. He
was tall and well filled out, very well looking.

"I hope you'll all congratulate me," he began in a buoyant tone. "I've
enlisted. I'm going to live up at the Fort and begin soldier life in
earnest."

"And I do most heartily wish you success," declared grandmere, her
eyes lighting up with a kind of admiration at the manly face in the
pride of youth. "We shall need soldiers many a day yet, though I hope
the worst is over. Still the Indians are treacherous and stubborn."

"And we may have another fight on our hands;" laughing. "For we are
not going to be ridden over rough shod."

"But you must belong to the government side now."

"I suppose so;" flushing.

The delinquent distillers had been summoned to Philadelphia and had
refused to go.

"This is our very living," declared grandad, who was one of the most
fiery insurgents. "Then they will tax our grain, our crops of all
kinds. A king could do no worse! What did I tell you about these men!
Why, we'll have to emigrate t'other side of the Mississippi and start
a new town. That's all we get for our labor and hard work."

"I ought to have waited until this thing was settled," Ned said rather
ruefully, studying Daffodil's face. "But I had hard work to coax
father, and when he consented I rushed off at once. He thinks there's
going to be fortunes in this iron business, and Archie won't be worth
shucks at it. He hates it as much as I do, but he's all for books, and
getting his living by his brains. Maybe he'll be a lawyer."

Daffodil flushed. She held Archie's secret.

"You don't like it," Ned began when he had persuaded her to walk a
little way with him. "You said once you didn't like soldiering. Yet it
is a noble profession, and I'm not going to stay down at the bottom of
the line."

"No," with a sweet reluctance as if she was sorry to admit it. "It
seems cruel to me, why men should like to kill each other."

"They don't like it in the way of enjoyment, but do their duty. And
they are for the protection of the homes, the women and children. We
may have another Indian raid; we have some"--then he paused, he was
going to say, "some French to clear out," but refrained. The French
still held some desirable western points.

"Father talks of the war occasionally, and mother shivers and
says--'My heart would have broken if I had known that!' And to be away
three years or more, never knowing if one was alive!"

No, she wouldn't do for a soldier's wife. And Archie had prefigured
himself a bachelor; he really had nothing to fear there, only would
she not take more interest in his brother? There were other young
fellows in the town, but not many of her kind. Well, he would
wait--she seemed quite like a child yet.

Somehow she had not made the same impression as she had in
Philadelphia. No one praised her hair or her beautiful complexion or
her grace in dancing. It did not hurt her exactly, but she felt sorry
she could not please as readily. Only--she did not care for that kind
of florid approbation.

Grandmere looked up from her work when they had gone out. "He is a
fine lad," she commented. "And they are of a good family. Daffodil is
nearing sixteen. Though there doesn't seem much need of soldiers--it
is a noble profession. It seems just the thing for him."

"She is such a child yet. I don't know how we could spare her. And her
father is so fond of her."

Mrs. Bradin had a rather coveting regard for the young man. And a
pretty girl like Daffodil should not hang on hand.

Ned Langdale made friends easily at the Fort. And during the second
month, on account of a little misbehavior in the ranks, he was
advanced to the sergeantship.

Meanwhile feeling ran higher and higher. Those who understood that the
power of the general government must be the law of the land were
compelled to keep silence lest they should make matters worse. Even
the clergy were forced to hold their peace. Processes were served and
thrown into the fire or torn to bits. Then the government interfered
and troops were ordered out.

Bernard Carrick had tried to keep his father within bounds. It did not
do to protest openly, but he felt the government should be obeyed, or
Pittsburg would be the loser. Bradford and several others ordered the
troops to march to Braddock's field, and then to Pittsburg. The town
was all astir and in deadly terror lest if the insurgents could not
rule they would ruin. But after all it was a bloodless revolution.
Governor Mifflin, after a temperate explanation, softening some of the
apparently arbitrary points, commanded the insurgents to disperse.
Breckenridge thought it safest to give good words rather than powder
and balls. So they marched through the town in excellent order and
came out on the plains of the Monogahela where the talking was
softened with libations of whiskey, and a better understanding
prevailed, the large distillers giving in to the majesty of the law.

Some of the still disgruntled insurgents set fire to several barns,
but no special damage was done. And thus ended the year's turmoil and
business went on with renewed vigor. There was also an influx of
people, some to settle, others from curiosity. But the West was
awakening a new interest and calling for immigrants.

Mrs. Janie Sanders came back with glowing accounts of the town on the
Ohio. And now trade was fairly established by the line of boats. And
from there down to New Orleans continual traffic was established.

The older log houses were disappearing or turned into kitchens with a
finer exterior in front. People began to laugh at the old times when
there was much less than a thousand inhabitants.

And though Bernard Carrick still called his daughter "Little Girl,"
she was quite grown up with a slim lissome figure and her golden hair
was scarcely a shade darker. She was past sixteen, and yet she had
never had a lover. Young men dropped in of a Sunday afternoon or
evening, but she seemed to act as if they were her father's guests.
After two or three attempts they dropped out again.

Archie had gone to Philadelphia for a year at a preparatory school,
then was to enter college. Ned now was first lieutenant, having been
promoted for bravery and foresight in warding off an Indian sortie
that might have been a rather serious matter.

The little girl had vanished with the old Pittsburg. She hardly knew
herself in these days. Something seemed to touch her with a magic
wand. She was full of joy with all things of the outside world, and
the spring and the early summer, nature seemed to speak in all manner
of wooing tongues and she answered. She took long walks in the woods
and came home with strange new flowers. There was not much to read, it
was not a season of intellectuality but a busy, thrifty time laying
the foundation for the great city of industry and prosperity that was
to be.

Barbe Carrick made pretty garments with fine needlework and lace and
laid them by in an old oaken chest. Grandmere was sometimes a little
impatient over the dreaming child. Another year was going and she had
counted on Daffodil being married before the next generation of girls
came to the fore. Plain ones, loud, awkward ones were married and had
a jollification. Some of them at twenty had three or four children.

She was very sweet, charming and helpful. Grandad had taken the
"knuckling down," as he called it, rather hard, but it seemed as if
the tax and more came back in increased sales. He was very fond of
small Sandy, now a fast-growing boy, but there was a different love
for Daffodil, who looked over his accounts, read the paper to him, and
listened to his stories as well as his complaints.

"I wish it wasn't so much the fashion for girls to marry," he said one
day to Norah. "I don't know how we could spare Dilly."

"And keep her an old maid!" with scorn in her voice. "But it's queer!
One would think lovers would buzz about her like bees."

Now and then there came a letter from Philadelphia that she answered
with a good long one, yet she wondered afterward what she found to
say. That visit seemed such a long, long while ago, almost in another
life. And Mistress Betty Wharton had married and gone to Paris, as her
husband was connected with the embassy. There were many questions yet
to settle.

"Don't you want to go over to the Fort with me, Daffodil?" her father
asked one afternoon. He had a fondness for Lieutenant Langdale, and
not the slightest objection to him as a future son-in-law.

"Oh, yes," eagerly, and joined him, smiling under the great hat with
its flaring front filled in with gathered silk, her white frock short
enough to show the trim ankles and dainty feet, and her green silk
parasol that had come from Philadelphia that very spring. She
generally wore her hair in curls, though it was cut much shorter in
the front and arranged not unlike more modern finger puffs. A very
pretty girl of the refined type.

Fort Pitt was then in all its glory though the old block house of
Colonel Bouquet was still standing, up Duquesne way, and there were
soldiers strolling about and a few officers in uniform.

Langdale was on duty somewhere. Captain Forbes came to greet them.

"You'll find the general in his office, Mr. Carrick. May I take charge
of Miss Carrick, meanwhile?"

"Yes, I shall be glad to have you."

Captain Forbes was a Philadelphian, so they were not at loss for
conversation. Here two or three men were in earnest discussion, there
one deeply interested in a book, who touched his cap without looking
up. In a shady corner two men were playing chess, one a civilian, the
other a young private.

"Well, Hugh, how goes it?" asked the captain.

"Why, I am not discouraged;" laughing and bowing to Daffodil.

"He is going to make a good, careful player, and I think a fine
soldier."

"Allow me--Mr. Andsdell, Miss Carrick."

There had come with General Lee and his body of soldiers sent to quell
the insurgents, a number of citizens out of curiosity to see the place.
Among them a young Englishman, who had been in the country several
years seeking his fortune and having various successes. He had tried
the stage at Williamsburg, Virginia, and won not a little applause. He
was an agreeable well-mannered person and always had excellent luck at
cards without being a regular gamester. He made no secret of belonging
to a titled family, but being a younger son with four lives between
him and the succession he had come to America to try his fortune. Yet
even in this new world fortunes were not so easily found or made.

Daffodil watched them with interest. M. de Ronville had played it with
an elderly friend.

"You have seen it before?" Andsdell asked, raising his eyes and
meeting the interested ones.

"Oh, yes; in Philadelphia. I spent a few months there."

Her voice had a charm. She seemed indeed not an ordinary girl.

"I have been there part of the last year. I was much interested."

He kept a wary eye on the young fellow's moves.

Once he said--"No, don't do that; think."

The other thought to some purpose and smiled.

"You are improving."

A flush of pleasure lighted the boyish face.

"Check," said Andsdell presently. "I had half a mind to let you win,
but you made two wrong moves."

The young man glanced at his watch. "Now I must go and drill," he
exclaimed. "Can we say to-morrow afternoon again?"

"With pleasure;" smiling readily.

He bowed himself away. Andsdell rose.

"I wonder if I might join your walk? I have met a Mr. Carrick----"

"That was my father likely. Grandfather is quite an old man."

"And figured in the--what shall we call it--_émeute_?"

Captain Forbes laughed. "That was about it. Yet at one time I was a
good deal afraid there would be a fierce struggle. Better counsels
prevailed, however. When the army arrived those who had not really
dared to say the government was right so far as obedience was
concerned came out on the right side. A thousand or so soldiers
carried weight," with a half sarcastic laugh.

Andsdell stole furtive glances at the girl the other side of Forbes.
What a graceful, spirited walk she had; just what one would expect
with that well poised figure.

Then she stopped suddenly and the captain paused in his talk as she
half turned.

"There's father," she exclaimed with a smile that Andsdell thought
enchanting.

He had met the Englishman before and greeted him politely. After a
little talk he slipped his daughter's arm through his and said mostly
to her--"I am ready now."

She made her adieu with a kind of nonchalant grace in which there was
not a particle of coquetry. He followed her with his eyes until they
had turned the corner of the bastion. Then again he saw her as they
were going out.

"I should think that girl would have half the men in the town at her
feet," he said.

"Oh, Miss Carrick?" as if he was not quite certain. Then with a half
smile--"Do you think so? Well, she hasn't."

"She is very lovely."

"In a certain way, yes. I believe our people like more color, more
dash and spirit. We are not up on a very high round, pioneers seldom
are. It takes a generation or so to do the hard work, then comes the
embellishment. They are rather dignified and have some French ways.
An old grandfather, the fourth generation back, might have stood for a
portrait of the grand Marquis. It is on the mother's side."

"She doesn't favor the French."

"No, but the boy does, a bright, handsome fellow, wild as a deer and
full of pranks. It will be hard to tell what race we do favor most. A
hundred years hence we will be going back with a sort of pride,
hunting up ancestors. At present there is too much to do."

Andsdell went his way presently. He was comfortably well lodged. He
had a bountiful supper and then he went out for a walk. There was a
young moon over in the west just light enough to bring out the silvery
beech trunks and touch the tips of the grasses. The woodthrush still
gave his long sweet call at intervals. This path led into the town. He
would not go that way. He wished he knew just where these Carricks
lived. He fancied her sitting on the porch drinking in the loveliness
of the evening.

How absurd! He had seen pretty girls before, danced with them, flirted
with them. There were the imperious belles of Virginia, who bewitched
a man's fancy in one evening. There were the fair seductive maids of
Philadelphia, and so far he had not been specially impressed with the
girls of this town. A crowd were coming this way--he heard the
strident laughter and loud voices, so he stepped aside.

Dilly was not sitting out in the fragrant air, but trying to explain a
lesson to Felix. Neither did she give one thought to the young
Englishman. She was glad in her inmost heart that Ned Langdale had
been engaged elsewhere. Something in his eyes troubled her. She did
not want to make him unhappy. She hated to be cold and distant to her
friend, yet when she warmed a little he seemed to take so much for
granted that she did not feel inclined to grant. Why couldn't one be
satisfied with friendship? Occasionally she heard from Archie. They
were eager, ambitious letters and she always read them aloud.

But if there could come any warmer interest Archie never would be
content with this busy, bustling, working town, and then they would
lose her. Every day she grew dearer to the mother. Geoffrey Andsdell
decided he did not like the place very well either. He could not be
winning money all the time from the garrison, and no business opening
had been really thrust upon him, though he felt it was high time he
turned his attention to the fact of making an honest living. He had
wasted four years since he left England. It would be folly to return,
and when that thought crossed his mind he bit his lip and an ugly look
settled in his eyes. He had come to the New World to forget all that.

Yes, he would go back to Philadelphia. There were genteel
opportunities there, and he was not a dullard if he had not been
business bred.

He was asking a little advice of Mrs. Forbes as they had been
sauntering about the hills that were showing bits of autumnal scenery
and scattering the fragrance of all ripening things on the air. The
jocund song of the birds had settled into a sort of leisurely
sweetness, their summer work was done, nest building and caring for
the young was over with for the season, and they could review their
losses and gains. Somewhere along the stream that wound in and out a
great frog boomed hoarsely and the younger ones had lost their fine
soprano in trying to emulate him. Insects of all kinds were shrilling
and whirring, yet underneath it all there was a curious stillness.

Then a human voice broke on their ear singing a merry Irish lilt.

"Oh, that's Daffodil Carrick. I could tell her voice from fifty
others. It is never loud but it carries so distinctly. Let's see where
she is."

They turned into the wider path zigzagging through the woods. Yes,
there she sat on the limb of a tree she had bent down and was gently
swaying to and fro. Her sun-bonnet was held by the strings serving to
drive troublesome insects away. Her golden hair clustered about her
temples in rings and then floated off by the motion of the swinging, a
lovely bewildering cloud. She did not notice them at first; then she
sprang up, her face a delicate rosy tint.

"Oh, Mrs. Forbes! And--Mr. Andsdell!"

She looked a startled woodland nymph. He thought he had never seen a
more lovely picture.

"Are you having a nice time to yourself in your parlor among the
hills? Can't we sit down and share it with you? I am tired. We have
been rambling up hill and down dale."

A great hollow tree had fallen some time and Mrs. Forbes seated
herself waving her hand to Mr. Andsdell, who looked a little
uncertain.

"Oh, yes," Daffodil said. "I have been roaming around also. It is just
the day for it. Now the sun comes out and tints everything, then it is
shade and a beautiful gray green."

"You were singing," he said, thinking what compliment would not be too
ornate. Out here in the woods with nature and truth one could not use
flattery.

"Yes." She laughed softly a sound that was enchanting. "When I was
little I was a devout believer in fairies. Grandfather Carrick's
second wife came from Ireland when she was fifteen, and she knew the
most charming stories. You know there are stories that seem true and
hers did. I used to feel sure they would come and dance in the grass.
That was the song little Eileen sang, and they carried her off, but
they couldn't keep her because she wore a cross that had been put
round her neck when she was christened."

"And did you want to be carried off?" he asked.

"Yes, I think I did. But I had a cross that I made of beads and named
them after the saints. We are not Catholics, but Huguenots. I took my
cross out in the woods with me, but the fairies never came."

"There is a great deal of really beautiful faith about those things,"
said Mrs. Forbes. "And some of the Indian legends as well. Old
Watersee has stores of them. Some one ought to collect the best of
them. Fairy stories go all over the world, I think, in different
guise. They are the delight of our early lives. It's sad to lose that
childhood faith."

"Oh, I don't want to lose it all," Daffodil said earnestly. "I just
say to myself it might have been true somewhere."

Then they branched off into other matters. The sky grew grayer and the
wind moaned through the trees, shaking down a cloud of ripe leaves.

"Is it going to rain?" asked Andsdell.

"I think it will storm by to-morrow, but not now. You see, evening is
coming on. We might go down;" tentatively, not sure she was the one to
propose it.

The path was beautiful, winding in and out, sometimes over the pile of
richest moss, then stirring up the fragrance of pennyroyal. But the
streets and houses began to appear.

Barbe Carrick sat on the porch waiting for her daughter, always
feeling a little anxious if she loitered, though these woods were free
from stragglers. She came to meet them now, she knew Mrs. Forbes and
invited them to rest awhile, and they cheerfully accepted. Then she
went for some cake and grapes and brought some foaming spruce beer.
Even grandmere came out to meet the guests. Andsdell was delighted and
praised everything and Mrs. Bradin said with her fine French
courtesy--"You must come again."

"I shall be most happy to," he replied.

They finished their walk almost in silence. Andsdell was recalling the
many charms of the young girl. Mrs. Forbes was looking upon him in the
light of a lover. She could understand that the ordinary young man of
the town could not make much headway with Daffodil Carrick. There were
some nice men in the garrison, but after all----And it was high time
Daffodil had a lover. All women are matchmakers by instinct and
delight in pairing off young folks. She was a happy wife herself, but
she recalled the fact that the girl was not in love with soldiers.



CHAPTER XII

SPINNING WITH VARIOUS THREADS


"Richard," Mrs. Forbes began, looking up from the beaded purse she was
knitting, "do you know anything about that Englishman, Andsdell?"

He had been reading, and smoking his pipe. He laid down both.

"A sort of goodish, well-informed fellow, who doesn't drink to excess,
and is always a gentleman. He plays a good deal, and wins oftener than
he loses, but that's luck and knowledge. Like so many young men, he
came over to seek his fortune. He was in Virginia, was some general's
aide, I believe. Why are you so eager to know his record?"

"Why?" laughing softly. "I think he is very much smitten with Daffodil
Carrick. She is pretty and sweet, a most admirable daughter, but,
somehow, the beaux do not flock about her. She will make some one a
lovely wife."

"Young Langdale has a fancy for her."

"And she is not at all charmed with military glory. Her father was a
good, brave soldier, and went at the darkest of times, because his
country needed him, not for fame or enthusiasm. She has heard too
much of the dangers and struggles. Edward Langdale is full of
soldierly ardor. They have had opportunities enough to be in love, and
she rather shrinks from him. No, her husband, whoever he is, must be a
civilian."

"Why, I think I can learn about him. The Harrisons are at
Williamsburg, you know. And there is a slight relationship between us.
Yes, it would be well to learn before you dream of wedding rings and
all that."

Still she could not resist asking Daffodil in to tea to meet some
friends. There were Mrs. Trent, the wife of the first lieutenant, and
Bessy Lowy, young Langdale, and the Englishman. Bessy was a charming,
dark-eyed coquette, ready of wit, and she did admire Ned. Andsdell was
almost a stranger to her, and in the prettiest, most winsome fashion
she relegated him to Miss Carrick.

They had a gay time, for Mrs. Trent was very bright and chatty, and
her husband had a fund of small-talk. Afterward they played cards, the
amusement of the times. In two of the games Ned had Daffodil for a
partner, but she was not an enthusiastic player. And she had accepted
Andsdell's escort home, much to Ned's chagrin.

"I did not know whether you would be at liberty," she said simply.

"I'll have an afternoon off Thursday. Will you go for a walk?"

She hesitated, and he remarked it.

"I see so little of you now. And you always seem--different."

"But you know I am quite grown up. We are no longer children. And that
makes a change in every one."

"But that need not break friendship."

"I think it doesn't break friendship always," she returned
thoughtfully.

"Daffodil, you are the loveliest and sweetest girl I have ever known."

"But not in the whole world," she rejoined archly.

"In my world. That is enough for me. Good-night;" and he longed to
kiss her hand.

She and Andsdell came down from the Fort, crossed several streets, and
then turned to the east. Philadelphia was their theme of conversation.

"I was such a little girl then," she said, with almost childish
eagerness. "Everything was so different. I felt as if I was in a
palace, and the maid dressed me with so much care, and went out to
walk with me, and Miss Wharton was so charming. And now she is in
France."

"Would you like to go to France--Paris?"

"Oh, I don't know. You have been there?"

"Yes, for a short stay."

"And London, and ever so many places?"

"Yes. But I never want to see it again."

Something in his tone jarred a little.

"I am glad you like America."

Then they met her father, who was coming for her, but Mr. Andsdell
went on with them to the very door.

"Did you have a fine time?" asked her mother.

"Oh, yes, delightful. Mrs. Trent was so amusing, and Bessy Lowy was
like some one in a play. I wish my eyes were dark, like yours. I think
they are prettier."

Her mother smiled and kissed her.

All the next morning Dilly sat and spun on the little wheel, and sang
merry snatches from old ballads. She wished she were not going to walk
with Lieutenant Langdale.

"Is there any wrong in it, mother?" she asked, turning her perplexed
face to Barbe.

"Why, not as I see. You have been friends for so long. And it is
seldom that he gets out now."

The Post brought a letter from Archie. It was really very joyous. He
had won a prize for a fine treatise, and had joined a club, not for
pleasure or card playing, but debating and improvement of the mind.

She was very glad they would have this to talk about. And when Ned saw
her joyous face, and had her gay greeting, his heart gave a great
bound. They went off together in a merry fashion.

"Oh, you cannot think"--then pausing suddenly--"Did you have word from
Archie in the post?"

"No, but a letter came for mother."

"You hurried me so, or I should have remembered to bring it. Father
thought it so fine. He has won a prize, twenty-five pounds. And he
thinks another year he may pass all the examinations. Oh, won't your
mother be glad?"

There was such a sweet, joyous satisfaction in her tone, such a lovely
light in her eyes, that his heart made a protest.

"You care a great deal about his success?" he said jealously.

"Yes, why not?" in surprise.

"And none about mine?"

"Why--it is so different;" faltering a little. "And you know I never
was overfond of soldiering."

"Where would the country have been but for the brave men who fought
and gained her liberty? Look at General Washington, and that brave
noble-hearted Lafayette. And there was General Steuben that winter at
Valley Forge, sharing hardship when he might have lived at ease. It
stirs my blood when I think of the hundreds of brave men, and I am
proud to be a soldier."

He stood up very straight, and there was a world of resolution in his
eyes, a flush on his cheek.

"But you are glad of his success?"

"And why should you not be as glad of mine?" not answering her
question.

"Why--I am. But you see that appeals to me the more. Yet I shall be
glad for you to rise in your profession, and win honors,
only--fighting shocks me all through. I am a coward."

"And he will come back a doctor, and you will rejoice with him. I
shouldn't mind that so much, but you will marry him----"

"Marry him! Ned, what are you thinking of!"

There was a curious protest in her face almost strong enough for
horror. Even her lips lost their rosy tint.

"What I am thinking of is this," and there was a fierce desperation in
his tone. "I love you! love you! and I cannot bear to think of you
going to any other man, of any person calling you wife. I've always
loved you, and it has grown with my manhood's strength. Archie will
always be lost in his books, and his care for others. A doctor ought
never to marry, he belongs to the world at large. And I want you in my
very life;" then his arms were about her, and clasped her so tightly
that for an instant she could make no protest. She pushed away and
dropped on a great stone, beginning to cry.

"Oh, Daffodil, what have I done! It is my wild love. It is like some
plant that grows and grows, and suddenly bursts into bloom. I almost
hated Bessy Lowy taking possession of me in that fashion. I wanted to
talk to you, to be near you, to touch your dear hand. All last night I
lay awake thinking of you. It was so sweet that I did not want to
sleep."

"Oh, hush," she entreated, "hush," making as if she would put him away
with her slim hands. "You must not talk so to me. It is a language I
do not understand, do not like. I think I am not meant for lovers and
marriage. I will be friends always, and rejoice in your success. And
it is the same with Archie. Oh, let me live my own quiet life with
father and mother----"

"And never marry?"

"Not for years to come, perhaps never. I am not afraid of being called
an old maid. For Miss Wharton was delightful and merry, and like a
mother to me, though I shall not be as gay and fond of good times. I
like quiet and my own pretty dreams, and to talk with the birds and
squirrels in the woods, and the lambs in the fields, and sometimes
great-grandfather comes back."

Her face was partly turned away, and had a rapt expression. He was
walking moodily up and down. Why was she so different from most girls?
And yet he loved her. She might outgrow this--was it childishness?

"Well," with a long sigh, "I will wait. If it is not Archie----"

"It is no one. And when some nice girl loves you--oh, Ned, you should
find some nice sweet girl, who will be glad of your love. I think
girls are when they meet with the right one. And do not think of me in
that way."

"I shall think of you in that way all the rest of my life. And if you
do not marry, I shall not marry either."

Then there was a long silence.

"Shall we go on?" she asked timidly.

"The walk is spoiled. It doesn't matter now;" moodily.

"Oh, Ned, let us be friends again. I cannot bear to have any one angry
with me. No one ever is but grandad, when we talk about the country or
the whiskey tax," and she laughed, but it was half-heartedly.

What a child she was, after all. For a moment or two he fancied he did
not care so much, but her sweet face, her lovely eyes, the dainty
hands hanging listlessly at her side, brought him back to his
allegiance.

They walked on, but the glory had gone out of the day, the hope in his
heart, the simple gladness of hers. Then the wind began to blow up
chilly, and dark clouds were drifting about. She shivered.

"Are you cold? Perhaps we had better go back?"

"Well"--in a sort of resigned tone. Then, after a pause--"Are you very
angry with me?"

"Perhaps not angry--disappointed. I had meant to have such a nice
time."

"I am sorry. If I could have guessed, I would not have agreed to
come."

They paused at the gate. No, he would not come in. The fine face
betrayed disappointment.

"But you will come sometime, when you have quite forgiven me," and the
adorable tenderness in her tone reawakened hope. After all, Archie was
not looking forward to marriage. Jeffrey Andsdell had not even entered
his mind.

She went in, and threw aside her hat.

"Did you have a nice walk? You came back soon."

"No, I did not. Ned neither." She went and stood straight before her
mother, pale, yet with a certain dignity.

"You did not quarrel, I hope. Is it true he is charmed by Bessy?"

"He asked me to love him. He wants to marry me;" in a tone that was
almost a cry.

"Well?" subjoined her mother. The young lieutenant was a favorite with
her, worth any girl's acceptance, in her estimation.

"I--I don't understand about love. To give away your whole life, years
and years;" and she shivered.

"But if you loved him, if you were glad to do it;" and the mother's
tone was encouraging.

"Ah. I think one ought to be glad. And I wasn't glad when he kissed
me." Her face was scarlet now, her bosom heaving with indignation, her
eyes full of protest.

"He will make a nice husband. His father is devoted to his mother. He
has learned what a true and tender love really is."

"Mother, would you like me to marry?"

She knelt down at her mother's knee.

"Oh, my dear, not until you love some one;" and she kissed her fondly.

"Do you think there was ever a girl who could not love in that way?"

"I should be sorry for her; love is the sweetest thing in life, the
best gift of the good Lord is a good husband."

Autumn was coming on slowly. Housewives were making preparations for
winter. Daffodil was cheery and helpful. Grandmere was not as well as
usual. She said she was growing old. There was a great deal of outside
business for the men. Pittsburg was a borough town, and its citizens
were considering various industries. Every day almost, new things came
to the fore, and now they were trying some experiments in making
glass. The country round was rich in minerals. Boat-building required
larger accommodations. The post road had been improved, straightened,
the distance shortened. There were sundry alterations in looms, and
homespun cloth was made of a better quality.

Daffodil Carrick watched some of the lovers, who came under her
notice. She met Lieutenant Langdale occasionally, and they were
outwardly friends. They even danced together, but her very frankness
and honesty kept up the barrier between them. He tried to make her
jealous, but it never quickened a pulse within her.

Yet in a curious way she was speculating on the master passion. There
were not many books to distract her attention, but one day there came
a package from her guardian that contained a few of the old rather
stilted novels, and some volumes of poems by the older English poets,
dainty little songs that her mother sung, and love verses to this one
or that one, names as odd as hers. And how they seemed to love Daisies
and Daffodils.

She took them out with her on her walks, and read them aloud to the
woods, and the birds, or sometimes sang them. Jeffrey Andsdell found a
wood nymph one day and listened. He had met her twice since the
evening at Mrs. Forbes'. And he wondered now whether he should
surprise her or go his way.

She rose presently, and by a sudden turn surprised him.

"I beg your pardon," he said. "I have been listening, enchanted. First
I could not imagine whether it was some wandering fay or wood nymph
wild."

"Oh, do I look very wild?" with a most charming smile.

"Why"--he colored a little--"perhaps the word may have more than one
meaning. Oh, you look as if you were part of the forest, a sprite or
fairy being."

"Oh, do you believe in them? I sit here sometimes and call them up.
There was an odd volume sent me awhile ago, a play by Shakespere,
'Midsummer Night's Dream,' and it is full of those little mischievous
elves and dainty darlings."

"That is not it?" coming nearer and looking at her book.

"Oh, it is verses by one Mr. Herrick. Some of them almost sing
themselves, and I put tunes to them."

"And sing to the woods and waters. You should have a more appreciative
audience."

"Oh, I couldn't sing to real people," and she flushed. "I wonder
if"--and there came a far-away look in her eyes that passed him, and
yet he saw it.

"What is the wonder?"

"That if you could write verses, songs."

She asked it in all simplicity.

"No, I couldn't;" in the frankest of tones.

"One must know a good deal."

"And be a genius beside."

"What queer names they give the girls. Chloe, that isn't a bit pretty,
and Phyllis, that is a slave name. And Lesbia, that isn't so bad."

"I think I have found Daffodil among them. And that is beautiful."

"Do you think so?" She could not tell why she was glad, but he saw it
in her face, and what a sweet face it was! He wondered then how such a
fascinating bit of sweetness and innocence could have kept its charm
in this rather rough soil. Her frankness was fascinating.

"Do you come here often?" he asked presently.

"Oh, yes, in the summer."

"That was when I first met you. I was with Mrs. Forbes. And her little
tea was very nice and social. I've not seen you since. Don't you go to
the Fort only on special invitation? There are quite a number of
visitors. Strangers always come."

"I am quite busy," she replied. "Grandmere has not been well, and I
help mother. There is a great deal to do in the fall."

Such a pretty housewifely look settled in her face. How lovely it was,
with the purity of girlhood.

The wind swayed the wooded expanse, and sent showers of scarlet and
golden maple leaves down upon them. The hickory was a blaze of yellow,
some oaks were turning coppery. Acorns fell now and then, squirrels
ran about and disputed over them. He reached over and took her book,
seating himself on the fallen log, and began reading to her. The sound
of his voice and the melody of the poems took her into another land,
the land of her fancy. If one could live in it always! The sun dropped
down, and it seemed evening, though it was more the darkness of the
woods.

She rose. They walked down together, there was no third person, and he
helped her with the gentlest touch over some hillocks made by the
rain-washed roots of the trees. Then she slipped on some dead pine
needles, and his arm was around her for several paces, and quietly
withdrawn.

Daffodil laughed and raised her face to his.

"Once I slipped this way, it was over on the other path, where it is
steeper, and slid down some distance, but caught a tree and saved
myself, for there was a big rock I was afraid I should hit. And I was
pretty well scratched. Now I catch the first thing handy. That rock is
a splendid big thing. You ought to see it."

"You must pilot me some day."

They emerged into the light. The rivers were still gleaming with the
sunset fire, but over eastward it was twilight gray.

"Good-night;" as they reached her house. "I am glad I found you there
in the woods. I have had a most enjoyable time."

"Good-night," she said in return.

A neighbor was sitting by the candle her mother had just lighted.

"Dilly, you come over here and write these recipes. My eyes ain't what
they used to be. And your mother does make some of that peppery sauce
that my man thinks the best in Pittsburg. And that grape jam is hard
to beat. Your fingers are young and spry, they hain't washed, and
scrubbed, and kneaded bread, 'n' all that for forty year."

Daffodil complied readily. Mrs. Carrick told the processes as well.

"For there's so much in the doin'," said Mrs. Moss. "That's the real
luck of it."

Felix went down to the shipyard after school, and came home with his
father. To go to New Orleans now was his great aim.

"Grandad wants you to come over there," Mrs. Carrick said to her
daughter.

"Then I'll have to read my paper myself," Mr. Carrick complained.

Grandad wanted her to go over some papers. They were all right, he
knew, but two heads were better than one, if one was a pin's head.
Then she must gossip awhile with Norah, while grandad leaned back in
his chair and snored. Her father came for her, and she went to bed to
the music of the dainty poems read in an impressive voice.

And when she awoke in the morning there seemed a strange music surging
in her ears, and in her heart, and she listened to it like one
entranced. But she had gone past the days of fairy lore, she was no
longer a little girl to build wonderful magic haunts, and people them.
Yet what was it, this new anticipation of something to come that would
exceed all that had gone before?

It came on to rain at noon, a sort of sullen autumn storm, with not
much wind at first, but it would gain power at nightfall. Daffodil and
her mother were sewing on some clothes for the boy, women had learned
to make almost everything. It took time, too. There were no magic
sewing machines. Grandmere was spinning on the big wheel the other
side of the room, running to and fro, and pulling out the wool into
yarn.

"Why so grave, child? Is it a thought of pity for the lieutenant?" and
Mrs. Carrick gave a faint smile that would have invited confidence if
there had been any to give. She could hardly relinquish the idea that
her daughter might relent.

"Oh, no. One can hardly fix the fleeting thoughts that wander idly
through one's brain. The loneliness of the woods when the squirrels
hide in their holes, and no bird voices make merry. And bits of verses
and remembrance of half-forgotten things. Is any one's mind
altogether set upon work? There are two lives going on within us."

Barbe Carrick had never lived but the one life, except when her
husband was with the army, and she was glad enough to lay down the
other. Had it been wise for Daffodil to spend those months in
Philadelphia? Yet she had accepted her old home cheerfully. And all
unconsciously she had worked changes in it to her grandmother's
delight. Now her father was prospering. They would be among the "best
people" as time went on.

The storm lasted three days. There had been some hours of wild fury in
it, when the trees groaned and split, and the rivers lashed themselves
into fury. Then it cleared up with a soft May air, and some things
took a second growth. There was a sort of wild pear tree at the corner
of the garden, and it budded.

Daffodil did not take her accustomed walk up in the woods. Something
held her back, but she would not allow to herself it was that.
Instead, she took rides on Dolly in different directions. One day she
went down to the shipyard with a message for her father. Mr. Andsdell
stood talking with him. Her pulses suddenly quickened.

"Well, you've started at the right end," Bernard Carrick was saying.
"This place has a big future before it. If it was a good place for a
fort, it's a splendid place for a town. Philadelphia can't hold a
candle to it, if she did have more than a hundred years the start. Why
they should have gone way up the Delaware River beats me. Yes, come up
to the house, and we'll talk it over."

Then they both turned to the young girl. There was a pleasurable light
in Andsdell's eyes.

Afterward he walked some distance beside her horse. The storm, the
beautiful weather since, the busy aspect of the town, the nothings
that are so convenient when it is best to leave some things in
abeyance. Then he said adieu and turned to his own street, where he
had lodgings.

She went on with a curiously light heart. Her father had said, "Come
up to the house," and she was glad she had not gone to the woods in
the hope of meeting him.

She slipped off Dolly and ran to the garden. "Oh, Norry, what are you
doing?" she cried with a sound of anger in her voice. "My beautiful
pear blossoms! I've been watching them every day."

They lay on the ground. Norry even sprang up for the last one.

"They're bad luck, child! Blossoms or fruit out of season is trouble
without reason. I hadn't spied them before, or I wouldn't have let
them come to light. That's as true as true can be. There, don't cry,
child. I hope I haven't been too late."

"Yes. I've heard the adage," said her mother. "Norry is
superstitious."



CHAPTER XIII

THE SWEETNESS OF LOVE


"Still, I'm glad you inquired," Mrs. Forbes said to her husband. "And
that there's nothing derogatory to the young man. He's likely now to
settle down, and he will have a fine chance with Mr. Carrick, who
certainly is taking fortune at the flood tide. And one can guess what
will happen."

"A woman generally guesses that. I hoped it would be Langdale. He is a
fine fellow, and will make his mark," was the reply.

"Daffodil isn't in love with military life. Most girls are;" laughing.
"Why, I never had two thoughts about the matter. I must give them a
little tea again."

"Ask Jack Remsen and Peggy Ray, and make them happy, but leave out the
lieutenant. Something surely happened between them."

Andsdell came to the Carricks according to agreement. How cosy the
place looked, with the great blaze of the logs in the fireplace, that
shed a radiance around. He was formally presented to Mrs. Carrick and
the Bradins. Daffodil and her mother sat in the far corner, with two
candles burning on the light stand. The girl was knitting some fine
thread stockings, with a new pattern of clocks, that Jane had sent her
from Philadelphia. Felix had a cold, and had gone to bed immediately
after supper, and they were all relieved at that.

Jeffrey Andsdell had stated his case. He was tired of desultory
wandering, and seven-and-twenty was high time to take up some life
work. He was the fourth son of a titled family, with no especial
longing for the army or the church, therefore he, like other young men
without prospects, had emigrated. The heir to the title and estates,
the elder brother, was married and had two sons, the next one was
married also, but so far had only girls, and the entail was in the
male line. The brother next older than Jeffrey had been a sort of
imbecile, and died. But there was no chance of his succeeding, so he
must make his own way. He had spent two years at Richmond and
Williamsburg, then at Philadelphia. At Williamsburg he had taken quite
a fancy to the stage, and achieved some success, but the company had
disbanded. It was a rather precarious profession at best, though he
had tried a little of it in London.

The straightforward story tallied with Captain Forbes' information.
True, there was one episode he had not dwelt upon, it would never come
up in this new life. How he had been crazy enough to take such a step
he could not now imagine. But it was over, and done with, and
henceforward life should be an honorable success.

Daffodil listened between counting her stitches. She stole shy glances
now and then, he sat so the firelight threw up his face in strong
relief. The brown hair had a little tumbled look, the remnant of some
boyish curls. The features were good, rather of the aquiline order,
the eyes well opened, of a sort of nondescript hazel, the brown beard
worn in the pointed style, with a very narrow moustache, for the upper
lip was short and the smiling aspect not quite hidden.

When he rose to go the ladies rose also. He shook hands, and held
Daffodil's a moment with a pressure that brought a faint color to her
soft cheek.

"He is very much of a gentleman," commented Mrs. Bradin. "And, taking
up a steady occupation is greatly to his credit. Though it seems as if
a soldier's life would have been more to his taste."

"I am glad he did not fight against us," said Barbe.

"Some have, and have repented," added her husband, with a touch of
humor in his tone. "And we are large-minded enough to forgive them."

Daffodil did not see him until she went over to the Fort. Langdale
dropped in to see her, but there was no cordial invitation to remain.
He knew later on that Andsdell was there, and in his heart he felt it
was not Archie who would be his strongest rival. If there was
something that could be unearthed against the Englishman!

The Remsens, mother and son, were very agreeable people, quite
singers, but there was no piano for accompaniment, though there were
flutes and violins at the Fort. Andsdell, after some pressing, sang
also, and his voice showed training. Then he repeated a scene from
"The Tempest" that enchanted his hearers. Daffodil was curiously proud
of him.

"You did not haunt the woods much," he began on the way home. "I
looked for you."

"Did you?" Her heart beat with delicious pleasure. "But I did not
promise to come."

"No. But I looked all the same, day after day. What were you so busy
about?"

"Oh, I don't know. I thought--that perhaps it wasn't quite--right;"
hesitatingly.

"It will be right now." He pressed the arm closer that had been
slipped in his. Then they were silent, but both understood. There was
something so sweet and true about her, so delicate, yet wise, that
needed no blurting out of any fact, for both to take it into their
lives.

"And who was there to-night?" asked her mother, with a little fear.
For Mrs. Forbes would hardly know how matters stood between her and
Lieutenant Langdale.

"The Remsens only. And they sing beautifully together. Oh, it was
really charming. Mrs. Remsen asked me to visit her. It's odd, mother,
but do you know my friends have mostly fallen out! So many of the
girls have married, and I seem older than the others. Does a year or
two change one so? I sometimes wonder if I was the eager little girl
who went to Philadelphia, and to whom everything was a delight."

"You are no longer a little girl."

"And at the nutting the other day, I went to please Felix, you know.
But the boys seemed so rough. And though I climbed a tree when they
all insisted, I--I was ashamed;" and her face was scarlet.

Yes, the Little Girl was gone forever.

Her mother kissed her, and she felt now that her child would need no
one to tell her what love was like. For it took root in one's heart,
and sprang up to its hallowed blooming.

It was too soon for confidences. Dilly did not know that she had any
that could be put into words. Only the world looked beautiful and
bright, as if it was spring, instead of winter.

"You've changed again," Felix said observantly. "You're very sweet,
Dilly. Maybe as girls grow older they grow sweeter. I shan't mind your
being an old maid if you stay like this. Dilly, didn't you ever have a
beau? It seems to me no one has come----"

"Oh, you silly child!" She laughed and blushed.

There were sleighing parties and dances. It is odd that in some
communities a girl is so soon dropped out. The dancing parties, rather
rough frolics they were, took in the girls from twelve to sixteen, and
each one strove boldly for a beau. She was not going to be left behind
in the running. But Daffodil Carrick was already left behind, they
thought, though she was asked to the big houses, and the dinners, and
teas at the Fort.

Andsdell dropped in now and then ostensibly to consult Mr. Carrick.
Then he was invited to tea on Sunday night, and to dinner at the
holidays, when he summoned courage to ask Bernard Carrick for his
daughter.

For he had begun a new life truly. The past was buried, and never
would be exhumed. And why should a man's whole life be blighted by a
moment of folly!

They grew brave enough to look at one another in the glowing
firelight, even if the family were about. One evening she stepped out
in the moonlight with him. There was a soft snow on the ground, and
some of the branches were yet jewelled with it. Half the lovers in the
town would have caught a handful of it and rubbed crimson roses on her
cheeks. He said, "Daffodil," and drew her closely in his arms, kissed
the lips that throbbed with bashful joy and tremulous sweetness.

"Dear, I love you. And you--you are mine."

There was a long delicious breath. The story of love is easily told
when both understand the divine language.

She came in glowing, with eyes like stars, and went straight to her
mother, who was sitting alone. Both of the men had gone to some
borough business. She kissed her joyous secret into the waiting heart.

"You love him. You know now what love is? That is the way I loved your
father."

"It is wonderful, isn't it? You grow into it, hardly knowing, and then
it is told without words, though the words come afterward. Oh, did you
think----"

"Foolish child, we all saw. He carried the story in his eyes. Your
father knew. He has been very honest and upright. Oh, my dear, I am so
glad for you. Marriage is the crown of womanhood."

Her mother drew her down in her lap. Daffodil's arms were around her
neck, and they were heart to heart, a happy mother and a happy child.

"You will not mind if I go to bed? I--I want to be alone."

"No, dear. Happy dreams, whether you wake or sleep."

She lay in a delicious tremor. There was a radiant light all about
her, though the room was dark. This was what it was to be loved and to
love, and she could not tell which was best.

Then at home he was her acknowledged lover. He came on Wednesday night
and Sunday to tea. But Norry soon found it out, and was glad for her.
Grandad teased her a little.

"And you needn't think I'm going to leave you any fortune," he said,
almost grumblingly. "The blamed whiskey tax is eating it up every
year, and the little left will go to Felix. You have all that land
over there that you don't need more than a dog needs two tails. Well,
I think there are times when a dog would be glad to wag both, if he
had 'em. That will be enough for you and your children. But I'll dance
at the wedding."

Barbe Carrick looked over the chest of treasures that she had been
adding to year after year. There was _her_ wedding gown, and it had
been her mother's before her. The lace was exquisite, and no one could
do such needlework nowadays. What if it had grown creamy by age, that
only enhanced it.

Here were the other things she had accumulated, sometimes with a pang
lest they should not be needed. Laid away in rose leaves and lavender
blooms. Oh, how daintily sweet they were, but not sweeter than the
girl who was to have them. And here were some jewels that had been
great-grandmother Duvernay's. She would have no mean outfit to hand
down again to posterity.

Barbe was doubly glad that she would live here. She could not bear
the thought of her going away, and a soldier's wife was never quite
sure where he might be called, or into what danger. There would be a
nice home not very far away, there would be sweet, dainty
grandchildren. It was worth waiting for.

Jeffrey Andsdell was minded not to wait very long. Love was growing by
what it fed upon, but he wanted the feast daily. They could stay at
home until their new house was built.

"We ought to go over across the river," she said, "and be pioneers in
the wilderness. And, oh, there is one thing that perhaps you won't
like. Whoever married me was to take the name of Duvernay, go back to
the French line."

"Why, yes, I like that immensely." That would sever the last link. He
would be free of all the old life.

"It isn't as pretty as yours."

"Oh, do you think so? Now, I am of the other opinion;" laughing into
her lovely eyes.

She grew sweeter day by day, even her mother could see that. Yes, love
was the atmosphere in which a woman throve.

Barbe settled the wedding time. "When the Daffodils are in bloom," she
said, and the lover agreed.

Archie Langdale wrote her a brotherly letter, but said, "If you could
put it off until my vacation. I'm coming back to take another year,
there have been so many new discoveries, and I want to get to the very
top. Dilly--that was the child's name, I used to have a little dream
about you. You know I was a dull sort of fellow, always stuffing my
head with books, and you were sweet and never flouted me. I loved you
very much. I thought you would marry Ned, and then you would be my
sister, you could understand things that other girls didn't. I am
quite sure he loved you, too. But your happiness is the first thing to
be considered, and I hope you will be very happy."

The engagement was suspected before it was really admitted. There were
various comments, of course. Daffodil Carrick had been waiting for
something fine, and she could afford to marry a poor man with her
possible fortune, and her father's prosperity. And some day a girl
would be in luck to get young Sandy Carrick.

Lieutenant Langdale took it pretty hard. He had somehow hoped against
hope, for he believed the Carricks would refuse a man who had come a
stranger in the place. If he could call him out and shoot him down in
a duel! He shut himself up in his room, and drank madly for two days
before he came to his senses.

March came in like the lion and then dropped down with radiant suns
that set all nature aglow. There were freshets, but they did little
damage. Trees budded and birds came and built in the branches. Bees
flew out in the sunshine, squirrels chattered, and the whole world was
gay and glad.

One day the lovers went up the winding path to the old hill-top, where
Jeffrey insisted he had first lost his heart to her. They sat on the
same tree trunk, and he said verses to her, but instead of Clorinda it
was Daffodil. And they talked sweet nonsense, such as never goes out
of date between lovers. And when they came down they looked at the
daffodil bed. The buds had swollen, some were showing yellow.

"Why, it can be next week!" cried the lover joyously.

"Yes," said the mother, with limpid eyes, remembering when the child
was born.

There was not much to make ready. The cake had been laid away to
season, so that it would cut nicely. There was a pretty new church
now, and the marriage would be solemnized there, with a wedding feast
at home, and then a round of parties for several evenings at different
houses. The Trents had just finished their house, which was considered
quite a mansion, and the carpets had come from France. They would give
the first entertainment.

She had written to her guardian, who sent her a kindly letter, wishing
her all happiness. The winter had been a rather hard one for him, for
an old enemy that had been held in abeyance for several years,
rheumatism, had returned, and though it was routed now, it had left
him rather enfeebled, otherwise he would have taken the journey to see
his ward, the little girl grown up, whose visit he had enjoyed so
much, and whom he hoped to welcome in his home some time again.

And with it came a beautiful watch and chain. Presents were not much
in vogue in those days, and their rarity made them all the more
precious.

They dressed the house with daffodils, but the bride-to-be was all in
white, the veil the great-grandmother had worn in Paris, fastened with
a diamond circlet just as she had had it.

"Oh!" Daffodil exclaimed, "if great-grandfather could see me!"

Jeffrey Andsdell took her in his arms and kissed her. This was,
indeed, a true marriage, and could there ever be a sweeter bride?

She was smiling and happy, for every one was pleased, so why should
she not be! She even forgot the young man pacing about the Fort
wishing--ah, what could he wish except that he was in Andsdell's
place? For surely he was not mean enough to grudge _her_ any
happiness.

She walked up the church aisle on her lover's arm and next came her
parents. Once Andsdell's lips compressed themselves, and a strange
pallor and shudder came over him.

Her father gave her away. The clergyman pronounced them man and wife.
Then friends thronged around. They were privileged to kiss the bride
in those days.

"My wife," was what Jeffrey Andsdell said in a breathless, quivering
tone.

They could not rush out in modern fashion. She cast her smiles on
every side, she was so happy and light-hearted.

They reached the porch just as a coach drove up at furious speed. A
woman sprang out, a tall, imperious-looking person, dressed in grand
style. Her cheeks were painted, her black eyes snapped defiance. One
and another fell back and stared as she cried in an imperious tone,
looking fiercely at the bride, "Am I too late? Have you married him?
But you cannot be his wife. I am his lawful, legal wife, and the
mother of his son, who is the future heir of Hurst Abbey. I have come
from England to claim him. His father, the Earl of Wrexham, sends for
him, to have him restored to his ancestral home."

She had uttered this almost in a breath. Daffodil, with the utmost
incredulity, turned to her husband and smiled, but the lines almost
froze in her face. For his was deadly white and his eyes were fixed on
the woman with absolute terror.

"It is God's own truth," she continued. "I have your father's letter,
and you will hardly disown his signature. Your son is at Hurst
Abbey----"

"Woman!" he thundered, "it is a base trumped-up lie! There are four
lives between me and the succession, and there may be more."

"There _were_, but last autumn they were all swept suddenly out of
existence. The Earl was crazed with grief. I went to him and took his
grandson, a beautiful child, that would appeal to any heart. And at
his desire I have come to America for you."

Jeffrey Andsdell placed his wife in her father's arms. "Take her
home," he said hoarsely, "I will follow and disprove this wild,
baseless tale."

Then he pressed her to his heart. "Whatever happens, you are the only
woman I have ever loved, remember that;" and taking the woman's arm,
entered her coach with her.

The small group dispersed without a word. What could be said! There
was consternation on all faces. Bernard Carrick took his daughter
home. Once her mother kissed the pallid cheek, and essayed some word
of comfort.

"Oh, don't!" she cried piteously. "Let me be still. I must wait and
bear it until----"

She did not cry or faint, but seemed turning to stone. And when they
reached the house she went straight through the room where the feast
was spread, to her own, and threw herself on the bed.

"Oh, acushla darlin'," cried Norah, "sure we had the warning when the
pear tree bloomed. I said it was trouble without reason, and though I
broke them all off it couldn't save you."

"Oh, my darlin', God help us all."



CHAPTER XIV

SORROW'S CROWN OF SORROW


"Whatever happens!" The words rang through Daffodil's brain like a
knell. There was something to happen. She had been so happy, so
serenely, so trustingly happy. For her youthful inexperience had not
taught her doubt. The cup of love had been held to her lips and she
had drank the divine draught fearlessly, with no thought of bitter
dregs at the bottom.

Grandmere came and unpinned the veil; it was too fine and precious an
article to be tumbled about.

"Let the rest be," she said. "He is coming and I want to be as I was
then."

Then they left her lying there on the bed, the gold of her young life
turning slowly to dross. Some curious prescience told her how it would
be.

She heard the low voices in the other room. There was crying too. That
was her mother. Felix asked questions and was hushed. Was it hours or
half a lifetime! All in her brain was chaos, the chaos of belief
striving with disbelief that was somehow illumined but not with hope.

He came at last. She heard his step striding through the room and no
one seemed to speak to him. He came straight to her, knelt at the
bed's side, and took her cold hands in his that were at fever heat.

"My poor darling!" he said brokenly. "I should not have learned to
love you so well, I should not have asked for your love. But in this
new country and beginning a new life it seemed as if I might bury the
old past. And you were the centre, the star of the new. Perhaps if I
had told you the story----"

"Tell it now," she made answer, but it did not sound like her voice.
She made no effort to release her hands though his seemed to scorch
them.

"You can hardly understand that old life in London. There is nothing
like it here. I was with a lot of gay companions, and all we thought
of was amusement. I had a gift for acting and was persuaded to take
part in a play. It was a success. I was flattered and fêted. Women
made much of me. I was only a boy after all. And the leading lady,
some seven years my senior, fascinated me by her attention and her
flatteries. It did turn my head. I was her devoted admirer, yet it was
not the sort of love that a man knows later on. How it came about, why
she should have done such a thing I cannot divine even now, for at
that time I was only a poor, younger son, loaded with debts, though
most of my compeers were in the same case. But she married me with
really nothing to gain. She kept to the stage. I was tired of it and
gave it up, which led to our first dissension. She fancied she saw in
me some of the qualities that might make a name. And then--she was
angry about the child. We bickered continually. She was very fond of
admiration and men went down to her. After a little I ceased to be
jealous. I suppose it was because I ceased to care and could only
think of the wretched blunder I had made and how I could undo it. We
had kept the marriage a secret except from her aunt and a few friends.
She would have it so. The child was put out to nurse and the company
was going to try their fortunes elsewhere. I would not go with her. In
a certain way I had been useful to her and we had a little scene. I
went to my father and asked him for money enough to take me to
America, where I could cut loose from old associates and begin a new
life. He did more. He paid my debts, but told me that henceforward I
must look out for myself as this was the last he should do for me."

"And now he asks you to return?" There was a certainty in her voice
and she was as unemotional as if they were talking of some one else.

"It is true that now I am his only living son. Late last autumn Lord
Veron, his wife and two sons, with my next brother, Archibald, were
out for an afternoon's pleasure in a sailboat when there came up an
awful blow and a sudden dash of rain. They were about in the middle of
the lake. The wind twisted them around, the mast snapped, they found
afterward that it was not seaworthy. There was no help at hand. They
battled for awhile, then the boat turned over. Lady Veron never rose,
the others swam for some time, but Archibald was the only one who came
in to shore and he was so spent that he died two days later. I wonder
the awful blow did not kill poor father. He was ill for a long while.
My wife went to him then and took the child and had sufficient proof
to establish the fact of the marriage, and her aunt had always been a
foster mother to the boy. There must be some curious fascination about
her, though I do not wonder father felt drawn to his only remaining
son. Archibald's two children are girls and so are not in the entail.
Hurst Abbey would go to some distant cousins. And she offered to come
to America and find me. She has succeeded," he ended bitterly.

There was a long pause. He raised his head, but her face was turned
away. Did she really care for him? She was taking it all so calmly.

"You will go," she said presently.

"Oh, how can I leave you? For now I know what real love is like. And
this is a new country. I have begun a new life, Daffodil----"

"But I cannot be your wife, you see that. Would you give up your
father's love, the position awaiting you for a tie that could never be
sanctified? You must return."

"There is my son, you know. I shall not matter so much to them. It
shall be as you say, my darling. And we need not stay here. It is a
big and prospering country and I know now that I can make my way----"

It was not the tone of ardent desire. How she could tell she did not
know, but the words dropped on her heart like a knell. Apart from the
sacrifice he seemed ready to make for her there was the cruel fact
that would mar her whole life, and an intangible knowledge that he
would regret it.

"You must go." Her voice was firm.

Did she love so deeply? He expected passionate upbraiding and then
despairing love, clinging tenderness. One moment he was wild to have
the frank, innocent sweetness of their courtship; he was minded to
take her in his arms and press bewildering kisses on the sweet mouth,
the fair brow, the delicately tinted cheek, as if he could not give
her up. Then Hurst Abbey rose before him, his father bowed with the
weight of sorrow ready to welcome him, the fine position he could
fill, and after all would the wife be such a drawback? There were many
marriages without overwhelming love. If his father accepted her--and
from his letter he seemed to unreservedly.

He rose from his kneeling posture and leaned over her. She looked in
her quaint wedding dress and marble paleness as if it was death rather
than life.

"You can never forgive me." His voice was broken with emotion, though
he did not realize all the havoc he had made. "But I shall dream of
you and go on loving----"

"No! no!" raising her hand. "We must both forget. You have other
duties and I must rouse myself and overlive the vision of a life that
would have been complete, perhaps too exquisite for daily wear. It may
all be a dream, a youthful fancy. Others have had it vanish after
marriage. Now, go."

He bent over to kiss her. She put up her hand.

Was it really more anger than love?

"I wish you all success for your poor father's sake." She was going to
add--"And try to love your wife," but her whole soul protested.

He went slowly out of the room. She did not turn or make the slightest
motion. She heard the low sound of voices in the other room, his among
them, and then all was silence. He had gone away out of her life.

Her mother entered quietly, came near, and took her in her arms.

"Oh, my darling, how could the good All Father, who cares for his
children, let such a cruel thing happen? If that woman had come a
month ago! And he fancied being here, marrying, never to go back, made
him in a sense free. But he should not have hidden the fact. I can
never forgive him. Yet one feels sorry as well that he should have
misspent so much of his life."

"Help me take off my gown, mother. No one must ever wear it again. And
we will try not to talk it over, but put it out of our minds. I am
very tired. You won't mind if I lie here and see no one except you who
are so dear to me."

It was too soon for any comfort, that the mother felt as she moved
about with lightest tread. Then she kissed her and left her to her
sorrow.

Mr. Carrick had been very much incensed and blamed the suitor
severely. Andsdell had taken it with such real concern and regret and
apparent heart-break that the father felt some lenity might be allowed
in thought, at least.

Grandad was very bitter and thought condign punishment should overtake
him.

"And instead," said warm-hearted Norah indignantly, "he turns into a
great lord and has everything to his hand. I could wish his wife was
ten times worse and I hope she'll lead him such a life that he'll
never see a happy day nor hour, the mean, despicable wretch."

In the night tears came to Daffodil's relief, yet she felt the
exposure had come none too soon. With her sorrow there was a sense of
deception to counteract it. He had not been honest in spite of
apparent frankness, and it hurt her to think he had accepted her
verdict so readily. Hard as it would have been to combat his
protestations in her moment of longing and despair, any woman would
rather have remembered them afterward.

Daffodil kept her bed for several days. She felt weak and distraught.
Yet she had her own consciousness of rectitude. She had not been so
easily won, and she had been firm and upright at the last. There was
no weak kiss of longing to remember. The one he had given her in the
church could be recalled without shame. For a few moments she had been
in a trance of happiness as his wife. And putting him away she must
also bury out of sight all that had gone before.

She took her olden place in the household, she went to church after a
week or two and began to see friends again, who all seemed to stand in
a little awe of her. The weather was lovely. She was out in the garden
with her mother. She rode about with her father. But she felt as if
years had passed over her and she was no longer the lightsome girl.

It made her smile too, to think how everything else was changing. The
old log houses were disappearing. Alleyways were transformed into
streets and quite noteworthy residences were going up. General O'Hara
and Mayor Craig enlarged their glass house and improved the quality of
glass. She remembered when her father had tacked some fine cloth over
the window-casing and oiled it to give it a sort of transparency so
that they could have a little light until it was cold enough to shut
the wooden shutters all the time, for glass was so dear it could not
be put in all the windows. Not that it was cheap now, the processes
were cumbersome and slow, but most of the material was at hand.

Mrs. Forbes was a warm and trusty friend through this time of sorrow.
She would not let Daffodil blame herself.

"We all liked Mr. Andsdell very much, I am sure. I can count up half a
dozen girls who were eager enough to meet him and who were sending him
invitations. He really was superior to most of our young men in the
way of education and manners. And, my dear, I rather picked him out
for you, and when I saw he was attracted I made the captain write to a
friend of his at Williamsburg and learn if there was anything serious
against him, and everything came back in his favor. Of course none of
us suspected a marriage. He talked frankly about his family when there
was need, but not in any boastful way. And this is not as disgraceful
as some young men who have really had to leave their country for their
country's good. But, my dear, if it had not been for this horrid
marriage you would have gone off in style and been my lady."

"But maybe none of it would have happened then;" with a rather wan
smile.

"True enough! But you're not going to settle down in sober ways and
wear hodden gray. And it's not as if you had been jilted by some gay
gallant who had married another girl before your eyes as Christy
Speers' lover did. And she found a much better man without any long
waiting, for Everlom has never succeeded in anything and now he has
taken to drink. Don't you suppose Christy is glad she missed her
chance with him!"

"It won't be that way, though. I think now he will make a fine man and
we shall hear nothing disgraceful about him, if we ever hear at all,
which I pray may never come to pass. For I want to put it out of my
mind like a story I have read with a bad ending."

"You are a brave girl, Daffodil."

"I don't know why I should be really unhappy. I have so many to love
me. And it doesn't matter if I should never marry."

Mrs. Forbes laughed at that, but made no reply. Here was the young
lieutenant, who was taking heart of grace again, though he did not
push himself forward.

On the whole it was not an unhappy summer for Daffodil. She found a
great interest in helping Felix though he was not a booky boy. Always
his mind seemed running on some kind of machinery, something that
would save time and labor.

"Now, if you were to do so," he would say to his father, "you see it
would bring about this result and save a good deal of time. Why
doesn't some one see----"

"You get through with your books and try it yourself. There's plenty
of space in the world for real improvements."

Daffodil went up to the old trysting place one day. How still and
lonesome it seemed. Had the squirrels forgotten her? They no longer
ran up her arm and peered into her eyes. He was at Hurst Abbey and
that arrogant, imperious woman was queening it as my lady. Was all
this satisfying him?

It was the right thing to do even if his motives were not of the
highest. To comfort his father in the deep sorrow, and there was his
little son.

"No," she said to herself, "I should not want to come here often. The
old remembrances had better die out."

She had written to her guardian explaining the broken marriage, and he
wondered a little at the high courage with which she had accepted all
the events. He had sent her a most kindly answer. And now came another
letter from him.

There had been inquiries about leasing some property at Allegheny.
Also there were several improvements to be made in view of
establishing a future city. His health would not admit of the journey
and the necessary going about, so he had decided to send his partner,
Mr. Bartram, whom she must remember, and whom he could trust to study
the interests of his ward. And what he wanted to ask now was another
visit from her, though he was well aware she was no longer the little
girl he had known and whose brightness he had enjoyed so much. He was
not exactly an invalid, but now he had to be careful in the winter and
stay in the house a good deal. Sometimes the days were long and
lonesome and he wondered if out of the goodness of her heart she could
spare him a few months and if her parents would spare her.
Philadelphia had improved greatly and was now the Capitol of the
country, though it was still staid and had not lost all of its old
nice formality. Couldn't she take pity on him and come and read to
him, talk over books and happenings, drive out now and then and be
like a granddaughter as she was to his friend Duvernay?

"Oh, mother, read it," and she laid the letter in her mother's lap.
Did she want to go? She had been so undecided before.

Bernard Carrick had received a letter also. Mr. Bartram was to start
in a short time, as it seemed necessary that some one should look
after Daffodil's estate and he wished to make her father co-trustee if
at any time he should be disabled, or pass out of life. He could
depend upon the uprightness and good judgment of Mr. Bartram in every
respect. And he put in a very earnest plea for the loan of his
daughter awhile in the winter.

"Oh, I should let her go by all means," declared Mrs. Forbes. "You see
that unlucky marriage service has put her rather out of gear with
gayeties and when she comes back she will be something fresh and they
will all be eager to have her and hear about the President and Lady
Washington. And it will cheer her up immensely. She must not grow old
too fast."

Daffodil went to tea at Mrs. Ramsen's and there was to be a card party
with some of the young men from the Fort. Mrs. Forbes and the captain
were at tea and the Major's wife. They talked over the great rush of
everything, the treasures that were turning up from the earth, the
boats going to and fro. Booms had not come in as a word applicable to
this ferment, but certainly Pittsburg had a boom and her people would
have been struck dumb if the vision of fifty or a hundred years had
been unrolled. Lieutenant Langdale came in to the card playing. They
really were very merry, and he thought Daffodil was not so much
changed after all, nor heartbroken. He was very glad. And then he
asked and was granted permission to see her home. He wanted to say
something sympathetic and friendly without seeming officious, yet he
did not know how to begin. They talked of his mother, of Archie and
how well he was doing.

"And at times I wish I had not enlisted," he remarked in a rather
dissatisfied tone. "Not that the feeling of heroism has died out--it
is a grand thing to know you stand ready at any call for your
country's defence, but now we are dropping into humdrum ways except
for the Indian skirmishes. And it gets monotonous. Then there's no
chance of making money. I didn't think much of that, it seemed to me
rather ignoble, but now when I see some of those stupid fellows
turning their money over and over,--and there's that Joe Sanders; do
you remember the wedding feast and his going off to Cincinnati with
his new wife, who was a very ordinary girl?" and Ned gave an almost
bitter laugh. "Now he owns his boat and is captain of it and trades
all the way to New Orleans."

"Oh, yes." She gave a soft little laugh as the vision rose before her.

"I remember how sweet you looked that night. And I had to be dancing
attendance on her sister. How many changes there have been."

"Yes; I suppose that is life. The older people say so. Otherwise
existence would be monotonous as you said. But you did admire military
life."

"Well, I like it still, only there seem so few chances of
advancement."

"But you wouldn't want real war?"

"I'd like an opportunity to do something worth while, or else go back
to business."

If she had expressed a little enthusiasm about that he would have
taken it as an interest in his future, but she said--

"You have a very warm friend in Captain Forbes."

"Oh, yes;" rather languidly.

Then they talked of the improvements her father had made in the house.
There had been two rooms added before the wedding. And the trees had
grown so, the garden was bright with flowering shrubs.

"I wonder if I might drop in and see you occasionally," he said rather
awkwardly, as they paused at the gate. "We used to be such friends."

"Why, yes;" with girlish frankness. "Father takes a warm interest in
you two boys."

Her mother sat knitting. Barbe Carrick hated to be idle. Her father
was dozing in his chair.

"Did you have a nice time, little one?"

"Oh, yes. But I am not an enthusiastic card player. I like the bright
bits of talk and that leads to carelessness;" laughing. "Mrs. Remsen
is charming."

Then she kissed them both and went her way.

"She is getting over her sorrow," admitted her father. "Still I think
a change will be good for her, only we shall miss her very much."

"She has been a brave girl. But it was the thought of his insincerity,
his holding back the fact that would have rendered him only the merest
acquaintance. She has the old French love of honor and truth."

"And the Scotch are not far behind."

Lieutenant Langdale tried his luck one evening. Mr. Carrick welcomed
him cordially, and Felix was very insistent that he should share the
conversation. He wanted to know about the Fort and old Fort Duquesne,
and why the French were driven out. Didn't they have as good right as
any other nation to settle in America? And hadn't France been a
splendid friend to us? And why should the French and English be
continually at war?

"It would take a whole history to answer you and that hasn't been
written yet," subjoined his father.

Ned had stolen glances at the fair girl, who was sitting under
grandmother Bradin's wing, knitting a purse that was beaded, and she
had to look down frequently to count the beads. Yes, she had grown
prettier. There was a fine sweetness in her face that gave poise to
her character. Had she really loved that detestable Englishman?

They made ready for Mr. Bartram. Not but what there were tolerable
inns now, but taking him in as a friend seemed so much more
hospitable. Daffodil wondered a little. He had not made much of an
impression on her as a girl. Sometimes he had fallen into good-natured
teasing ways, at others barely noticed her. Of course she was such a
child. And when the talk that had alarmed her so much and inflamed her
childish temper recurred to her she laughed with a sense of wholesome
amusement. She knew now a man must have some preference. The old
French people betrothed their children without a demur on their part,
but here each one had a right to his or her own most sacred feelings.

Mr. Bartram was nearing thirty at this period. Daffodil felt that she
really had forgotten how he looked. He had grown stouter and now had a
firm, compact figure, a fine dignified face that was gentle and kindly
as well, and the sort of manliness that would lead one to depend upon
him whether in an emergency or not.

Her father brought him home and they all gave him a cordial welcome
for M. de Ronville's sake first, and then for his own. He had the
refined and easy adaptiveness that marked the true gentleman.

They talked of the journey. So many improvements had been made and
towns had sprung up along the route that afforded comfortable
accommodations. Harrisburg had grown to be a thriving town and was the
seat of government. He had spent two very entertaining days within its
borders.

"Yes, M. de Ronville was in failing health, but his mind was clear and
bright and had gone back to the delights and entertainments of his
early youth. He had a fine library which was to go largely to that
started in the city for the general public. He kept a great deal of
interest in and ambition for the city that had been a real home.
Through the summer he took many outside pleasures, but now the
winters confined him largely to the house.

"I do what I can in the way of entertainment, but now that I have all
the business matters to attend to, I can only devote evenings to him
and not always those, but friends drop in frequently. He has been like
a father to me and I ought to pay him a son's devotion and regard,
which it is not only my duty, but my pleasure as well. But he has a
warm remembrance of the little girl he found so entertaining."

"Was I entertaining?" Daffodil glanced at him with a charming laugh.
"Everybody, it seems, was devoted to me, and my pleasure was being
consulted all the time. Mrs. Jarvis was so good and kindly. And Jane!
Why, it appears now as if I must have been a spoiled child, and
spoiled children I have heard are disagreeable."

"I do not recall anything of that. And Jane is married to a
sober-going Quaker and wears gray with great complacency, but she
stumbles over the thees and thous. Our new maid is very nice,
however."

"Oh, that is funny. And Jane was so fond of gay attire and bows in my
hair and shoulder knots and buckles on slippers. Why, it is all like a
happy dream, a fairy story," and her eyes shone as she recalled her
visit.

They still kept to the old living room, but now there was an outside
kitchen for cooking. And some logs were piled up in the wide
fire-place to be handy for the first cold evening.

"M. de Ronville talked about an old chair that came from France," Mr.
Bartram said as he rose from the table. "His old friend used to sit in
it----"

"It's this," and Daffodil placed her hand on the high back. "Won't you
take it? Yes, great-grandfather used it always and after he was gone I
used to creep up in it and shut my eyes and talk to him. What curious
things you can see with eyes shut! And I often sat here on the arm
while he taught me French."

"I suppose it is sacred now?" He looked at it rather wistfully.

"Oh, you may try it," with her gay smile. "Father has quite fallen
heir to it. Grandfather Bradin insists it is too big for him."

"I'm always wanting a chair by the light stand so that I can see to
read or make fish-nets," said that grandfather.

The room was put in order presently and the ladies brought out their
work. Daffodil saw with a smile how comfortably the guest adapted
himself to the old chair while her father talked to him about the town
and its prospects, and Allegheny across the river that was coming
rapidly to the attention of business men. What a picture it made,
Aldis Bartram thought, and, the pretty golden-haired girl glancing up
now and then with smiling eyes.



CHAPTER XV

ANOTHER FLITTING


Mr. Carrick convoyed his guest around Pittsburg the next day, through
the Fort and the historical point of Braddock's defeat, that still
rankled in men's minds. A survey of the three rivers that would always
make it commercially attractive, and the land over opposite. Then they
looked up the parties who were quite impatient for the lease which was
to comprise a tract of the water front. And by that time it was too
late to go over.

"Well, you certainly have a fair prospect. And the iron mines are
enough to make the fortune of a town. But the other is a fine
patrimony for a girl."

"There was no boy then," said Bernard Carrick. "And she was the idol
of great-grandfather. She does not come in possession of it until she
is twenty-five and that is quite a long while yet."

They discussed it during the evening and the next day went over the
river with a surveyor, and Bartram was astonished at its
possibilities. There were many points to be considered for a ten
years' lease, which was the utmost M. de Ronville would consent to.

Meanwhile Aldis Bartram became very much interested in the family
life, which was extremely simple without being coarse or common. Yet
it had changed somewhat since M. de Ronville's visit.

"And enlarged its borders," explained Daffodil. "There are three more
rooms. And now we have all windows of real glass. You see there were
board shutters to fasten tight as soon as cold weather came, and thick
blankets were hung on the inside. And now we have a chimney in the
best room and keep fire in the winter, and another small one in the
kitchen."

"It is this room I know best. It seems as if I must have been here and
seen your great-grandfather sitting here and you on the arm of his
chair. I suppose it was because you talked about it so much."

"Oh, did I?" she interrupted, and her face was scarlet, her
down-dropped eyelids quivered.

"Please do not misunderstand me. M. de Ronville was very fond of your
home descriptions and brought them out by his questions. And you were
such an eager enthusiastic child when you chose, and at others prim
and stiff as a Quaker. Those moods amused me. I think I used to tease
you."

"You did;" resentfully, then forgiving it.

"Well, I beg your pardon now for all my naughty ways;" smiling a
little. "What was I saying? Oh, you know he brought home so many
reminiscences. And he loves to talk them over."

"And bore you with them?"

"No; they gave me a feeling of going through a picture gallery and
examining interiors. When I see one with a delicate white-haired old
man, it suggests Mr. Felix Duvernay. I had a brief journey over to
Paris and found one of these that I brought home to my best friend and
I can not tell you how delighted he was. And because we have talked it
over so much, this room had no surprises for me. I am glad to find it
so little changed."

"We are--what the papers call, primitive people. It seemed queer and
funny to me when I came back. But the ones I love were here."

She paused suddenly and blushed with what seemed to him uncalled for
vividness. She thought how she had been offered to him and he had
declined her. It was like a sharp, sudden sting.

"I'm glad you don't----" Then she stopped short again with drooping
eyes. The brown lashes were like a fringe of finest silk. How
beautiful the lids were!

"Don't what?" It was a curious tone, quite as if he meant to be
answered.

"Why--why--not despise us exactly, but think we are ignorant and
unformed;" and she winked hard as if tears were not far off.

"My child--pardon me, you brought back the little girl that came to
visit us. I do not think anything derogatory. I admire your father and
he is a man that would be appreciated anywhere. And your grandparents.
Your mother is a well-bred lady. I can find queer and _outré_ people
not far from us at home, all towns have them, but I should not class
the Carricks nor the Bradins with them."

"Grandad is queer," she admitted. "He is Scotch-Irish. And Norry is
Irish altogether, but she's the dearest, kindliest, most generous and
helpful body I know. Oh, she made my childhood just one delightful
fairy story with her legends and her fun, and she taught me to dance,
to sing. I should want to strike any one who laughed at her!"

"Do you remember Mistress Betty Wharton?" His tone was quite serious
now. "She was one of the favorites of our town. And she was charmed
with you. If you hadn't been worthy of taking about, do you suppose
she would have presented you among her friends and paid you so much
attention? She considered you a very charming little girl. Oh, don't
think any one could despise you or yours. And if you could understand
how M. de Ronville longs for you, and how much pleasure another visit
from you would give him, I do not think you would be hard to
persuade."

He had laid the matter before her mother, who had said as before that
the choice must be left with her.

He and Felix had become great friends. The boy's insatiable curiosity
was devoted to really knowledgeable subjects, and was never pert or
pretentious.

When he decided, since he was so near, to visit Cincinnati, Felix
said--

"When I get to be a man like you, I mean to travel about and see what
people are doing and bring home new ideas if they are any better than
ours."

"That is the way to do. And the best citizen is he who desires to
improve his own town, not he who believes it better than any other.
Now, do you suppose your father would trust you with me for the
journey? I should like to have you for a companion."

"Would you, really?" and the boy's face flushed with delight. "Oh, I
am almost sure he would. That's awful good of you."

"We'll see, my boy."

"If you won't find him too troublesome. I meant to take him on the
journey some time when urgent business called me thither. You are very
kind," said Bernard Carrick.

"You see you're not going to have it all," Felix said to Daffodil. "I
just wish you had been a boy, we would have such fun. For another boy
isn't quite like some one belonging to you."

The child was in such a fever of delight that he could hardly contain
himself. His mother gave him many cautions about obeying Mr. Bartram
and not making trouble.

"Oh, you will hear a good account of me;" with a resolute nod.

Meanwhile the business went on and papers were ready to sign when the
two enthusiastic travellers returned. Mr. Carrick was to be joint
trustee with Mr. Bartram in Daffodil's affairs.

"It is a pity we cannot take in Felix as well," Mr. Bartram said. "He
will make a very earnest business man, and I look to see him an
inventor of some kind."

Felix had been wonderfully interested in the model of William Ramsey's
boat forty years before of a wheel enclosed in a box to be worked by
one man sitting in the end, treading on treadles with his feet that
set the wheel going and worked two paddles, saving the labor of one or
two men. It was to be brought to perfection later on.

Meanwhile Daffodil and her mother discussed the plan for her visit. It
would last all winter. Could they spare her? Did she want to stay that
long? Yet she felt she would like the change to her life.

There was another happening that disturbed her not a little. This was
Lieutenant Langdale's visit. When he came in the evening the whole
family were around and each one did a share of the entertaining. And
if she took a pleasure walk she always asked some friend to accompany
her. Mrs. Carrick was not averse to a serious ending. Daffodil had
reached a stage of content, was even happy, but the unfortunate
circumstance was rarely touched upon between them. It seemed as if she
had quite resolved to have no real lovers. What if an untoward fate
should send the man back again. The thought haunted the mother, though
there was no possible likelihood of it. And her sympathies went out to
the lieutenant.

If she went away, he would realize that there was no hope of
rekindling love out of an old friendship. It would pain her very much
to deny him.

They spoke of her going one evening, quite to his surprise.

"Oh," he said regretfully, "can you not be content here? I am sure
they all need you, we all do. Mrs. Forbes will be lost without you.
You are quite a star in the Fort society."

"In spite of my poor card-playing," she laughed.

"But you dance. That's more real pleasure than the cards. And we will
try to have a gay winter for you. But after all we cannot compete with
Philadelphia. I believe I shall try to get transferred from this dull
little hole."

"I do not expect to be gay. The great friend I made before married and
went to Paris. And M. de Ronville is an invalid, confined mostly to
the house during the winter. I am going to be a sort of companion to
him. He begs so to have me come."

Archie would be there. A sudden unreasoning anger flamed up in his
heart and then dropped down to the white ashes of despair. Was there
any use caring for a woman who would not or could not care for you?
There were other girls----

"You have really decided to go?" her mother said afterward.

"Oh, I hate to leave you." Her arms were about her mother's neck. "Yet
for some things it seems best. And the old story will be the more
easily forgotten. I may make it appear of less importance to myself.
It has grown quite dreamlike to me."

"Yes," answered the mother under her breath.

So the fact was accepted. "You will never regret giving a few months
to an old man near his journey's end," said Mr. Bartram. "And I am
very glad for his sake."

Then preparations were made for the journey.

"You must not want for anything, nor be dependent on your good
friend," said her father. "And have all the pleasures you can. Youth
is the time to enjoy them."

It gave them a heartache to let her go. Mrs. Craig wished she could be
her companion again, but she was too old to take such a journey. And
now travelling was a more usual occurrence, and she found two ladies
who were going to Harrisburg, and who had travelled a great deal, even
been to Paris. Aldis Bartram was much relieved, for he hardly knew
how to entertain a being who was one hour a child and the next a
serious woman. The last two years he had sought mostly the society of
men. There were many grave questions to discuss, for the affairs of
the country were by no means settled.

It was a very pleasant journey in the early autumn. She enjoyed
everything with so much spirit and delight, but she was never
tiresomely effusive. The ladies had come from New Orleans and were
full of amazement at the rapid strides the country was making, and the
towns that were growing up along the route. Their stay in Pittsburg
had been brief and they were much amused at some of the descriptions
of the earlier days the little girl could recall, the memories of the
French great-grandfather, who had lived almost a hundred years, and
grandad, who in his earlier years had been what we should call an
athlete and was a master hand at games of all sorts. They were much in
vogue yet, since there were no play-houses to draw people together for
social enjoyment.

Mr. Bartram used to watch her with growing interest. Yes, she would be
invaluable to M. de Ronville, and a great relief to him this winter.
How had she so easily overlived the great blow of her wedding day! She
was a very child then, and truly knew nothing about love.

"We shall be in Philadelphia sometime before Christmas," explained
Mrs. Danvers, who was a widow. "We are thinking of settling ourselves
there, or in New York, and we shall be glad to take up the
acquaintance again. We have enjoyed your society very much, and truly
we are indebted to Mr. Bartram for many favors that a maid is apt to
blunder over. Women never get quite used to the rougher ways of the
world."

"And I shall be glad to see you again," the girl said with unaffected
pleasure. "I have enjoyed the journey with you very much."

How did she know just what to say without awkwardness, Mr. Bartram
wondered.

The quiet street and the old house seemed to give her a cordial and
familiar greeting. Mrs. Jarvis herself came to the door.

"Oh, my dear, we are so glad to have you back again," she cried with
emotion. "But how tall you are! You are no longer a little girl."

"I have the same heart after all that has happened;" and though she
smiled there were tears in her eyes.

A slow step came through the hall, and then she was held close to the
heart of her guardian, who had longed for her as one longs for a
child.

Yes, he was quite an old man. Pale now, with snowy hair and beard, and
a complexion full of fine wrinkles, but his eyes were soft and tender,
and had the glow of life in them.

"Oh," he exclaimed, "you still have the golden hair, and the peachy
cheeks, and smiling mouth. I was almost afraid you had changed and
grown grave. And your voice has the same ring. I am so thankful to
your parents for sparing you again. And, Aldis, you must not mind me,
for the business has fallen so behind that I shall not feel neglected
if you go to the office at once. We will devote the evening to talk.
Are you very tired with your journey?" That to Daffodil.

"No, it was so pleasant and entertaining, and some of it beautiful.
Then I do not tire easily."

M. de Ronville held her hand as if he was afraid she might escape, and
his longing eyes touched her very heart. But Mrs. Jarvis stepped up on
the stairs, and giving him a tender smile, she followed.

Nothing had been changed. Why, she might have left it only yesterday.

As if Mrs. Jarvis had a similar thought about her she said, "My dear,
you are just the same, only grown up."

"And everything here is the same. I am very glad; it is like home."

There was the pretty dark blue-and-white toilette set, where the blue
looked as if somehow it had melted a little and run over the white.
She smiled, thinking how she used to wonder about it.

"This is Susan, our new maid. Mr. Bartram may have told you that Jane
was married. She has a good husband and a nice home. But Susan fills
the place very well, and now she will wait upon you with pleasure,"
announced Mrs. Jarvis.

Susan courtesied and smiled. She was younger than Jane, a fresh,
fair-looking girl, who had the appearance of having been scrubbed from
top to toe.

"And now, when you are ready, come down to the library and have a cup
of tea. Oh, I remember, you didn't care for tea, that's an old ladies'
comfort. Well, there are other refreshing things that will stay you
until supper. We have our dinner now in the middle of the day. M. de
Ronville likes it better. Feel thoroughly at home, child."

Susan unpacked her belongings and put them in drawers and the spacious
closet, where Daffodil thought they must feel lonesome.

She went downstairs presently, fresh and bright, having chosen her
simplest frock, and tied her curls in a bunch behind, instead of
putting them high on her head with a comb. On her pretty neck she wore
the chain and pendant M. de Ronville had given her. She looked very
sweet and youthful.

He motioned her to the sofa beside him.

"I understand how it is, that children and grandchildren keep one
young," he began. "It is the new flow of life that vivifies the old
pulses. And I advise all young men to marry;" smiling a little.
"After awhile business loses its keen interest, and when you have
made enough, why should you go on toiling and moiling? Then comes the
time you want to take an interest in younger lives. And now tell me
about your mother and father, who is prospering greatly, Aldis has
written. And the little brother."

She was in full flow of eager talk when Susan brought in the tray with
some tea and dainty biscuits, and golden-hearted cake, and Mrs. Jarvis
followed her and drew up the little table.

"You see, I am quite pampered. I like a cup of tea at mid-afternoon,
for the reason that it makes a break in a rather lonely time. I go out
in the morning, when I can, but I take the garden and the porch in the
afternoon, and in the evening friends drop in."

Daffodil had a glass of milk. There were some delightful sandwiches,
and she was really hungry, as they had not stopped for much dinner at
noon. And as she glanced around she saw more cases had been added, and
were filled with books, and two or three paintings and beautiful
vases. The room did have a cosy aspect, with some easy chairs that
were just coming in for elderly people. Young people were expected to
sit up straight.

Afterward they walked in the garden. There were choice late roses in
bloom, and flowers she had never seen before. Smooth paths of sand
beaten hard, here a way of fine white gravel that looked like a snowy
ribbon between the green. How beautiful it was! This was what money
and education and taste could do. Pittsburg was beginning to have the
money, to prosper and boast, but all things seemed in a muddle,
compared to this.

She was merry and sweet, and yet it did not seem to her as if it came
from a true heart. Was she sorry she had come. Was not her place back
there! Was it not her duty _not_ to outgrow Pittsburg, for there she
must live her life out. And when she was an old lady there would be
Felix, who would marry and have children growing up, true Duvernays,
for he would take the name, not her husband.

When they went in the paper had come, and she read that to him. She
had stepped so naturally into the old place. Susan began to arrange
the table, Mr. Bartram came in looking really fagged out, but
cordially attentive and chatty with the happenings.

It was a sort of high tea, and there was an air about everything
different from their simplicity at home, but Mr. Bartram had adapted
himself so readily to that. Was it out of kindly consideration?

"Now, I am going to dismiss you, my little dear," exclaimed the old
man gently, "for I want to hear what Aldis has to say. And you have
been very sweet and patient. Promise that you will not disappear in
the night."

"Oh, I promise. I am not a bird that I could fly back in the night,
and then I think only evil birds fly at that period."

He kissed her on the forehead. She sat on the porch awhile with Mrs.
Jarvis, and then went to bed in the room that was sweet with rose and
lavender. Well, so was her pillow at home. But it was so still here.
Even the insects seemed to have modulated their shrillness. She buried
her face in the softness and cried. Was she regretting the change? Was
some gladness, some hope, lost out of her life, that could never come
again?

It was bright morning when she woke. Even the very sun seemed to shine
in gladness. Susan came, bringing her some water, and wished her
good-morning. Yes, it should be a good morning and a good day.

They went to drive when the mists of the night had blown away. Oh, how
gay everything looked! Stores had increased, beautiful buildings had
gone up, and there was the President's residence. Lady Washington, as
many people still called her, came out with her maid and her black
servant, with a huge basket. There were others doing the same thing,
for it was quite a fashion of the day, though some people were
beginning to be waited on by the market men. Ladies in carriages and
men walking or riding bowed to M. de Ronville, and wondered who the
pretty girl beside him could be. He quite enjoyed the surprised look
they gave her.

Then he took a rest on the sofa, and begged her to tell him of the
changes they had made in the house, and the boats her father was
building, and what new industries had been started. And was grandad as
bright and merry as ever? And the ignoble whiskey insurrection; the
soldiers at the Fort!

Everything had so much interest for him, and the time passed so
rapidly, that Mr. Bartram came home before they hardly thought of
dinner. He asked with a smile if she was homesick yet, and although
she shook her head with vague amusement, she wondered why she had
cried last night? They had some bright talk and then M. de Ronville
asked her if she did not want to go shopping with Mrs. Jarvis, who
would like very much to have her. Mr. Bartram had brought some papers
that must be looked over and signed. But she must not stay out too
late for his cup of afternoon tea.

The shopping was really a great diversion. They met several people,
who remembered her. And how funny it seemed to pay away so much money
for an article, but then there seemed plenty of paper money.

Chestnut Street was gay with riders, both men and women, and some of
the latter looked fine in their dark-green habits and gilt buttons.
There were many promenading, dressed in the quaint style of the day,
and not a few Friends in silvery-gray, with the close-fitting
scuttle-shaped bonnets.

"I am so glad you have come," was Susan's greeting. "There are two
ladies waiting to see you, Miss Daffodil, and M. de Ronville would
make me bring in the tea for them."

"Oh, what are their names?" cried the girl eagerly.

"I was not to tell you;" and a smile lurked behind Susan's lips.

She ran upstairs and took off her hat and mantle, and came into the
library wondering.

"Oh;" pausing to think for a moment. "It's Miss Pemberton, and--is it
Belinda?"

"Oh, you haven't changed a bit, except to grow tall;" and Belinda
almost hugged her. "But Mary is Mrs. Hassel, and has the darlingest
little boy you ever saw. Oh, do you remember our party out on the
lawn, and our picnic? I'm so glad you have come again. I'm the only
girl home now;" and then Belinda blushed deeply.

"And Mr. de Ronville would have us share his tea. I've heard it's a
kind of English fashion, which he ought not countenance, since he is
French, I tell him," said Mrs. Hassel jestingly. "But it is
delightful. I think I'll start it. A cup of tea seems to loosen one's
tongue."

"Do women really need the lubrication?" asked M. de Ronville with a
smile.

"Yes, they do. Think of three or four different women hardly knowing
what to say to each other, and after a few sips of tea they are as
chatty as you please. But I must say I was so delighted with his
charming news that I would have waited until dark for the chance of
seeing you."

"Oh, thank you;" and Daffodil blushed prettily.

"And we know a friend of yours, at least Jack does, a young doctor,
who is going to be great some day, and who is from Pittsburg, Dr.
Langdale."

"Oh, yes, I knew he was studying here."

"And he has made one or two remarkable discoveries about something or
other. Dr. Rush considers him one of the coming men."

"I am very glad to hear that. Oh, we all seemed children together. And
his older brother is a lieutenant at Fort Pitt."

"Can't he get a furlough? I'd like to see him," said Belinda gayly.

"He's tired of dull Fort Pitt, and was talking of getting exchanged.
That isn't quite right, I believe; it sounds as if he was a prisoner."

"We must go," insisted Mrs. Hassel. "We will hardly have time for
another call. M. de Ronville has been so fascinating."

"Oh, did I hold out a fascination?" mischievously.

"It was both," admitted Belinda. "And now we want to see ever so much
of you. Mary, give us a regular tea party; she only lives round in
Arch Street. And you will want to see the baby."

"Of course I will," said the young girl.

Then they made their adieus. Susan took away the tea-things.

"Was the shopping nice?" enquired her guardian.

"Oh, there are so many lovely things! I didn't mean to buy anything,
you know, but we looked at such an elegant pelisse. Only everything
costs so much!"

"Oh, economical little girl!"

"And the shopwoman would try on such a splendid white beaver that had
just come in with a beautiful long plume and a white satin bow on top.
Why, I felt as if I had just arrived from Paris!"

M. de Ronville leaned back and laughed. She looked so pretty and
spirited, standing here. He could imagine her in the white beaver and
handsome pelisse.

"How about the French?" he asked. "Have you forgotten it all?"

"Oh, no. Grandmere and I talk sometimes."

"We must have a little reading. Why, _we_ could talk as well. I
sometimes get rusty."

"It was very nice of the Pembertons to remember me," she said
reflectively.

"I had said you were likely to come, and they heard Mr. Bartram had
returned. So they came at once."

She could see he was proud of the compliment paid her.

"Now, you are tired," he said. "I'll read the paper for myself."

"No, no." She took it away playfully. "When my voice gets shaky, you
may ask me to stop;" and the mirth in her tone was good to hear.

How delightful it was to lean back comfortably and listen to the
pleasant voice, with its subtle variations. Ah, if Aldis Bartram could
have made sure of her in that other time, before she had learned to
love and had her sorrow. And now he seemed to be settled in bachelor
ways, and resolved to miss the sweetness of love and life.

"Aldis," he said, at the tea table, "do you know young Dr. Langdale?"

"In a way. He is not in my line, you know. A very promising young
fellow. Were you thinking of trying him?"

"Oh, no. But he is from Pittsburg. The Hassels and Miss Pemberton seem
to know him quite well. And he is a friend of Daffodil's."

"Oh, and is that lieutenant his brother?"

Daffodil blushed, though why, she could not have told, and she merely
nodded.

"Mrs. Hassel seems to think very highly of him."

"He's made some sort of discovery--they had him at Dr. Rush's, and he
is in a fair way to success. Score one for Pittsburg."

"But he has been studying here," rejoined Daffodil frankly.

The next day it rained, and rainy days seemed to affect M. de
Ronville, but he hardly noted it. They read and talked French, and had
a rather laughable time. And in the afternoon an old friend, Colonel
Plumsted, came in to play chess, and Daffodil watched, much
interested. Aldis was surprised to find his host in such good spirits
when he returned.

Mrs. Hassel gave her tea party soon after. Daffodil met several old
friends, who remembered the little girl. Belinda found time to impart
the secret that she and Jack Willing were engaged, though she meant to
have one good winter of fun before she was married. Jack seemed to be
a nice, jolly fellow. And there was Anton Wetherell and Arthur
Pemberton, and Arthur was asked to take her out to the supper table.

"Why, it's quite like old times to have you here again! Truly, I never
thought of your growing up. You were always in my mind as a little
golden-haired fairy that flashes about and then--do they return to the
'little folk'?"

"I haven't, you see. But I was not quite a fairy. And one grandfather
used to call me Yellowtop." She laughed musically.

"One? How many grandfathers did you have?"

"I had three at one time, one in every generation. But the oldest one
went away, and now there are only two."

"And I danced with you, I remember. I hope you haven't forgotten how.
We have dancing parties, as well as tea parties. We are considered
quite staid and sober-going people, but we young folks put in a good
deal of fun. Bel's engaged, I dare say she told you, and I am the only
solitary--shall I call myself a blossom? left on the parent stalk."

They both laughed at that. It takes so little to amuse young people.

"You'll have to go to one of Lady Washington's receptions, though in
the whisper of confidence be it said they are rather stiff. There's
the Norris house, that's the place for fun. The Norris girls find so
many bright people, and they're not the jealous kind, but they make
everybody shine."

Then Bel took her off to meet Miss Plumsted.

"I'm very glad to see you;" and Miss Plumsted's voice was honestly
sweet. "Grandfather goes to play chess with M. de Ronville. He is your
guardian, I believe. And now, are you going to live here?"

"Oh, no. I am here only on a visit. My parents and all my folks live
at Pittsburg."

"Oh, that seems way out West. The Ohio River is there, and they go out
to St. Louis and down to New Orleans. Is it a real city?"

"Not yet, but they are talking about it."

Then some one else came. Two or three of the young men dropped in
during the evening, and there was some music on a flute and a violin.
Altogether it was a very pleasant time, and Arthur Pemberton took her
home and asked if he might not have the pleasure of calling
occasionally.

She hardly knew what was proper. It seemed ungracious to say "no," so
she answered that he might.



CHAPTER XVI

SAINT MARTIN'S SUMMER


One of the quiet evenings, the two men were playing chess and Daffodil
was watching them; Susan came in and said in her most respectful
manner:

"A gentleman wishes to see Miss Carrick. Here is his card."

Daffodil took it and read, "Archibald Langdale, M.D."

"Oh," in a glad, girlish tone, "it's my old friend, Archie, that I
haven't seen in ever so long. Dr. Langdale;" with a pretty assumption
of dignity.

"Yes."

"And, uncle, you must see him. Not that I want you to accept him for a
family physician, for really I don't know what he is like. He may be
the veriest prig;" and she gave a dainty half laugh. "If he is spoiled
it will be the fault of your city, he was very nice at Pittsburg. And
you, too, Mr. Bartram."

"I have met the young man. I didn't see that he was much puffed up
with his honors."

"Thank you." She made a fascinating courtesy. How pleased she was, he
could see that.

"We will soon be through with the game. Yes, I'll come," said M. de
Ronville.

She would hardly have known Archie. He stood up straight and he was
quite as tall as Ned. He had filled out somewhat, though he was still
rather thin, but his face had lost that deprecating expression, and
had a clear notion not only of truth and honor, but of his own power
as well. It was a tender face also, with the light in it that draws
one unconsciously. The eyes seemed to have grown darker, but the hair
was light as in boyhood.

"I am so glad to see you again;" and he took both hands in a warm
clasp. "I couldn't wait until some accidental meeting, where you might
kindly invite me for old friendship's sake."

"That would not have been worth while. I have heard about you, and I
wondered if you had outgrown childish remembrances."

"You would bring them all back if I had. How little you have changed,
except to grow tall. And now tell me about yours and mine. Once in a
great while Ned writes, and mother doesn't seem to have the gift of
chatty letters. Hers are mostly about my humble self, _her_ son
rather, and how he must avoid certain things and do other certain
things, and not grow hard-hearted and irreligious and careless of his
health;" smiling with a touch of tenderness. "So, you see, I do not
hear much about the real Pittsburg."

"Oh, you would hardly know it now, there are so many changes, and so
much business. New streets, instead of the old lanes, and the old log
houses are fast disappearing. We are making real glass, you know, and
there is talk of a paper mill. And nearly all the girls are married;
the older ones, I mean. Families are coming in from the country,
others go out to Ohio and Kentucky. Why, it is a whirl all the time."

"I'd like to see it and mother. I've planned to go several times, but
some study or lectures that I couldn't miss would crop up. And it
takes so much time. Why doesn't some one invent a quicker way of
travelling? Now, if we could fly."

"Oh, that would be just splendid!" eagerly.

"I used to watch the birds when I was a boy, and flying seemed so easy
for them. Now, why can't some one think up a pair of wings that you
could slip on like a jacket and work them with some sort of springs,
and go sailing off? I'm learning to put people together, but I never
was any hand for machinery."

"Oh, think of it! A winged jacket;" and they both laughed gleefully.

Then M. de Ronville entered and expressed his pleasure at meeting the
young man, who was already distinguishing himself, and who was an old
friend of Miss Carrick.

"Not that either of you are very old," he commented smilingly.

Mr. Bartram he recalled. And certainly the generally quiet student
talked his best. Was Daffodil a sort of inspiration? Was that one of
the graces of early friendship?

He apologized presently for his long stay. He so seldom made calls,
that he must plead ignorance of the correct length, but he had enjoyed
himself very much. And then M. de Ronville invited him to drop in to
tea. He would like to discuss some new medical methods with him.

"A very intelligent, well-balanced young man," the host remarked. "If
the other one is as sensible, they are sons to be proud of."

"Their mother _is_ proud of them, but their father would rather have
had them in business," said Daffodil.

Belinda Pemberton was quite fascinated with Daffodil. "You are such a
sweet, quaint, honest little thing," she said, "and you do make such
delightfully naïve remarks. And Arthur declares you must have learned
to dance in fairyland."

"I think I did," she returned gayly. "And I do love it so."

Then the little circle, and the wider one, had a fine surprise. Betty
Wharton, now Madame Clerval, returned quite unexpectedly, as her
husband had resigned his position.

"I had quite enough of Paris," she said to a friend. "One wants an
immense fortune to truly enjoy it. And somehow things seem shaky.
Then, too, one does have a longing for home when one gets past youth."

So she opened her house and set up a carriage. Monsieur Clerval found
himself quite in demand by the government, as the country needed a
multitude of counsellors.

She came in to see M. de Ronville, who gallantly said she had renewed
her youth, and begged for the secret.

"It is simply to keep young, to resolve _not_ to grow old;" with a gay
emphasis.

"But time passes, my dear lady."

"And where is that pretty, golden-haired Daffodil?" she enquired.

The girl was summoned. Yes, she had outgrown childhood, but there was
a delightful charm in her young womanhood.

"We were such friends--if you can remember so far back."

"And you were so good to me, and made everything so enjoyable. Wasn't
I very ignorant?"

"You were very frank, and honest, and adaptable. So we must take up
the old intimacy again. M. de Ronville, I shall drop in often and say,
'Lend me your daughter for this or that occasion.' Or is it your
niece? And if some one falls in love with her you must not scold me.
Young men have eyes, and really, I am too kindly-hearted to throw dust
in them."

Daffodil turned scarlet.

"Is it quite right to go about so much?" she said to M. de Ronville
afterward, and the tone had a great uncertainty in it, while the
curves of her pretty mouth quivered. "For you know----"

He drew her down beside him on the sofa.

"I thought some time we would talk it over--your unfortunate marriage,
I suppose, comes up now and then to haunt you. Yet, it was fortunate,
too, that the explanation came just as it did. I honestly believe it
was an ignorant child's fancy. You were not old enough to understand
real love. I think he could hardly have been a thorough villain, but
an incident like this has happened more than once. And I truly believe
you have overlived it."

She shuddered, and her eyes were limpid with tears. It was good to
feel his friendly arm about her.

"It is like a dream to me, most of the time. And I think now, if he
had made a passionate, despairing protest, it would have gone much
harder with me. But it was right for him to go away when his father
sent, and he was the next in succession to Hurst Abbey. And there was
his child, his boy. I could never have been his true wife, but it hurt
to be given up so readily, yet it was best. It gave me courage. And
what if he had tired of me later on? They all helped me to bear it.
And there was the deception. For if he had told the truth, there might
have been pity, but no love."

"It was a sad thing to happen. My heart ached for you. But you know,
Daffodil, you never were a wife in the true sense of the word. You are
quite free, you have always been free. And you must feel so. You must
not carry about with you any uncertainty. It is something buried
fathoms deep, that you need never draw up to the surface, unless in
time to come you tell the story to the man you marry."

"I shall never marry," she returned gravely. "I have it all planned.
Felix shall have the fortune, for what could a woman do with it in her
own hands? And he has the name, he has only to leave off the Carrick.
And it shall be my business to make every one as happy as I can. And
if it is not wrong to take pleasure for myself--I do love joy and
happiness, and I could not grieve forever, when I knew the thing I
would grieve for was wrong."

There were tears dropping off the bronze lashes, but she was not
really crying. He pressed her closer. There was an exquisite depth to
her that did not often come to the surface.

"So you have it all planned for the years to come," he returned after
a moment or two. "That is quite far off. Meanwhile you must have a
good time with other young people. That will make me the happiest, if
you care for me."

"Oh, indeed I do, indeed I do," she cried earnestly. Then, after quite
a pause, she continued--

"I almost lost sight of what I wanted to ask. It was whether I ought
to explain anything, whether it would be sailing under false colors
when no one knew;" and she gave a tangled sort of breath that she
would not allow to break into a sob.

"My dear child, there would be no use in explaining what could only be
a matter of gossip. I think, nay, I am certain, Aldis and myself are
the only ones who know, and if there had been any trouble I should
have sent him to your assistance. I dare say, some of your friends and
neighbors at home have wellnigh forgotten about it. And now, do not
let it disturb you, but be as happy as God meant you should be, when
He snatched you from the peril."

"Oh, thank you," she rejoined with a grateful emotion that he felt
quiver through her slender body.

She wondered if she was too light-minded, too easily pleased. For
every joyous thing seemed to come her way. The girls sought her out,
the young men wanted to dance with her, and were willing to bore
themselves going out to supper, if they knew she would be there. It
was not because she was brighter or wittier than the others, or could
think of more entertaining plays, but just that she seemed to radiate
an atmosphere of happiness.

She did not give up all her time to pleasure. She drove with her
guardian on pleasant days; he had left off riding now, but he sent her
out occasionally with Mr. Bartram, lest she should get out of
practice, he said. Then she read to him, or they took up French. She
made merry over her blunders.

The autumn was long and warm. They sat in the garden in the sunshine,
or walked up and down. Now and then he went to the office, when there
were some important matters on hand.

Madame Clerval gave a dance after she had her house set in order. It
might have been called a ball. It was mostly for the young people; she
was just as fond of them as ever, and secretly admitted that she
didn't enjoy prosy old people, who could talk of nothing but their
pains and aches, and how fast the country was going to ruin.

"Do you think Mr. Bartram would consider it a nuisance to come for
me?" she asked of her guardian, with a face like a peony.

"Why, no, child. Madame made quite a point of his coming. He is
growing old too fast."

"Why, he isn't old," she said rather indignantly. "And you see--it's
hard sometimes not to offend this one or that one, and if he is really
coming, will you ask him to bring me home? Wouldn't _you_ prefer it?"

"I think I would;" very gravely, though he wanted to smile.

Wetherell and Arthur Pemberton were pushing each other for her favors,
and she tried to distribute them impartially.

The dance was a splendid success, and the dainty supper had a French
air. Mr. Bartram came in just before that. Daffodil was engaged, of
course. Madame provided him with a charming partner.

There was only a galop afterward. At private affairs it was not
considered good taste to stay after midnight. Mr. Bartram made his way
to Daffodil, and asked her if she was ready to go, and she nodded
gracefully.

She looked so pretty as she came down the stairs, wrapped in something
white and fleecy, smiling on this side and that.

"It was very enjoyable," he said, "at least to you young people. I'm
not much of a dancer nowadays, so I didn't come early."

"It was just full of pleasure. Madame Clerval always plans admirably."

He smiled to himself. Most girls would have protested about his being
late, even if they had not specially cared.

The young people took up the habit of calling in the evening, three or
four of them, sometimes half a dozen. Mrs. Jarvis would send in some
cake and nice home-made wine, which was quite a fashion then. They
made merry, of course.

"Dear uncle," she said one morning, it was raining so they couldn't go
out, "didn't we disturb you last evening with our noise and laughter?
I don't know why they are so eager to come here, and think they have a
good time, for I am not as full of bright sayings as some of the
girls. And if it annoys you----"

"My child, no. I lay on the sofa and listened to it, and it almost
made me young again. I had no merry youth like that. Oh, am I coming
to second childhood?"

His eyes were bright, and she thought she had never seen them so
merry, save at first, when he had laughed at some of Felix's pranks.
And his complexion was less pallid, his lips were red.

"Then second childhood is lovely. And you have grown so interested in
everything. You don't get tired as you used. Are you real happy, or
are you doing it just to make me happy?"

She gave him such a sweet, enquiring look, that he was touched at her
solicitude.

"It is both, I fancy. You see, last winter I was ill and alone a great
deal. I missed Betty Wharton, who was always flying in with some fun,
or a bright story that had been told. Aldis had all the business to
attend to, and sometimes wrote in the evenings. Time hung very heavy
on my hands, and I began to think it was time for me to go hence. And
by spring I had quite lost heart, though I began to crawl about a
little. And I kept thinking how I should live through another dreary
winter, and be half sick. It kept looming up before me. Then I thought
I ought to settle something about your business when your father wrote
concerning the lease. You came into my mind. I thought how brave you
had been through that unfortunate time, and wondered if you would not
like a change. I wanted some one to bring in the sunshine of youth,
and you had spent so many of your years with elderly people, I thought
you must have some art. I could make it pleasant for you, and the
reflected light would brighten me. So I begged a little of your sweet
young life."

"I am glad if it has made you happy," she said, much moved.

"It has given me new zest, it has made me almost well. True, I have
had some twinges of my old enemy, rheumatism, but they have not been
severe. I have not been lonely. There was some pleasure within my
reach all the time. Oh, old people do want a little of the sun of
youth to shine on them. And if you had no dear ones at home, I should
keep you always, golden-haired Daffodil."

She took his hand in hers, so full of fresh young life. "And I should
stay," she said.

"So, do not think your little merry-makings annoy me at all. I am
glad for you to have them, and next day it is like reading a page out
of a book, a human book that we are apt to pass by, and say we have no
pleasure in it, but it is what we need, and what we want, down in our
very heart of hearts, but often we are ashamed to ask for it."

It was true, he was much better. The house was losing its grave
aspect. Jane had been used to flinging about wise old saws, and
comparisons, and finding things to enjoy; Susan was quiet, falling
into routine, and staying there until some new duty fairly pushed her
out in another direction. She had no sense of humor or enthusiasm, yet
she performed all the requirements of her place with ease and
industry.

Mrs. Jarvis was just as kindly solicitous as ever, but intellectually
there was a great gulf between her and M. de Ronville. She entertained
whatever guests came with an air of precision, never forgetting she
was a higher sort of housekeeper. She enjoyed the quiet of her own
room, where she sewed a little, and read a good deal, the
old-fashioned English novels, such as "Children of the Abbey,"
"Mysterious Marriage," "The Cottage on the Cliff," and stories of the
latter half of the century. She thought it no part of a woman's
business to concern herself with politics, she would have preferred
living under a real King and nobility, but she accepted the powers
that ruled, and stayed in her own little world, though she, as well
as M. de Ronville, enjoyed the stir and interest that Daffodil brought
about.

After Madame Clerval came, there was more variety and gayety in
Daffodil's life, and she helped to rouse M. de Ronville as well. Then
came a reception at the Presidential mansion.

"Of course, you will go," Madame said to him, in her persuasive, yet
imperious, manner. "We must not be a whit behind those New York people
in the attention we pay our President. And one need not stay the whole
evening through, you know. You will meet so many old friends. Come, I
cannot have you getting old before your time."

"But I am an old man," he protested.

"In our new country we must not get old. It is to be the land of
perennial youth," she answered gayly.

Aldis Bartram joined his persuasions as well, and M. de Ronville went
almost in spite of himself. He had kept his delicate, high-bred air
and French atmosphere, and looked well in the attire of that day, with
his flowered waistcoat, his black velvet suit and silk stockings, with
a jewelled buckle on his low shoes. His beautiful white hair was just
tied in a queue, with a black ribbon. There was something dignified
and gracious about him, and friends thronged around to congratulate
him. And though he had seen Washington in many different phases of his
eventful life, he had not as yet met him as President of the nation
he had fought for and cemented together.

There were handsomer girls than Daffodil; indeed, the fame of the
beauties of Philadelphia in that day has been the theme of many a song
and story. But she was very pretty in her simple white frock that in
the fashion of the day showed her exquisite neck and shoulders, though
the golden curls, tied high on her head, shaded and dazzled about it
in a most bewitching manner. Madame Clerval was wise, she was not
trying to outshine any of the belles, yet there was a bevy of young
men about her constantly, and most devoted to her and to M. de
Ronville, was Dr. Langdale. In fact, he was really the favorite
visitor at the house. He ran in now and then with news of some new
book, or some old translation, and a talk of the progress of the
library and the trend of general education. Why should Boston have it
all? Or a new medical discovery, though he was in no sense M. de
Ronville's physician.

Was it strange that both these young people, having passed their
childhood in Pittsburg, should come to a nearer and dearer
understanding? Aldis Bartram watched them with the sense of a new
revelation. Yet he could not subscribe to it cordially. The medical
enthusiast was hardly the one he would choose for a girl like
Daffodil. Arthur Pemberton would do better, yet he was not quite up to
her mark. She was a simple seeming girl, yet he was learning that she
had a great deal of character and sweetness. Somehow she kept herself
curiously enfranchised from lovers. Her friendly frankness gave them a
status it was difficult to overcome.

"I never expected to enjoy myself so much again," said M. de Ronville,
when they were in the carriage. "It is an excellent thing to go on
moving with the world, to keep in touch with the things that make up
the sum of life, instead of feeling they belong to the gone-by time,
and you have no interest in them."

How much like his olden self he was, Aldis Bartram thought. He
wondered if he had been at fault in letting him drop down. There was
much perplexing business, and he had hated to bother the elder man
with it. Sometimes it seemed tedious to explain. Had he grown selfish
in certain ways, preferring to take the burthen, rather than the
trouble of sharing it with another? He had much personal ambition, he
was in full earnest of a man's aims and life purposes. Yet it was this
man who had helped him to the place whereon he stood, and it was not
honorable to crowd him out under the plea that his best days were
over.

It seemed, indeed, as if days fairly flew by, there was so much
crowded in them. When the morning was fine, Daffodil insisted they
should drive out. It was delightful to keep bowing and smiling to
friends, with this attractive girl beside him. He went to some
meetings of the Philosophical Society, and he took a new interest in
the Library plans.

"You certainly have worked a transformation," Bartram said to
Daffodil, when M. de Ronville consented to go to a concert with them,
to hear two remarkable singers, who had come from abroad. "You will
have to stay. Didn't I hear you discussing Pittsburg with Mrs.
Jarvis?"

"Oh, they are longing for me to return. And in two days March will
come in, that will be spring. And I was only to stay through the
winter."

"But March is a cruel and deceitful travesty on spring. February has
been too short."

"But they want me. And, yes, I want to see them all, and the garden,
and the woods, and what new things have happened to Pittsburg. For
there is something new coming in all the time."

Her face was so eager and full of happy interest.

"Well--I don't know what we shall do without you"; and the inflection
of his voice was disconsolate. "I am afraid we shall fall back to the
old routine. I am a busy man, you know, and have to shoulder a great
many cares not really my own. Perhaps, too, I haven't the divine art
of making a house bright, a woman's province."

"Oh, Mr. Bartram, I will tell you;" in a clear, earnest tone. "Why do
you not marry, and bring some one here to do it? There are so many
charming girls, sometimes I feel quite unimportant and ignorant beside
them."

She uttered it in the same manner she might have asked why he did not
bring home some flowers to grace the study table. Her lovely eyes were
raised to his in the utmost innocence, and not a tint of color wavered
on her cheek. His flushed with sudden surprise.

"Perhaps the charming young girl would consider it a dull house for
life, and then elderly people have whims and fancies--well, younger
men do. I have myself. And it would be asking a good deal."

"I think uncle hasn't many whims, and he does keep them in the
background. You almost have to watch for them. Why, think of grandad!"
and she laughed with a soft musical sound. "What he liked yesterday he
may not like at all to-day, so Norry does the new thing, and says
nothing about the other. And he often disputes with father as to
whether there was any real need for the war, and that we would be
better off under King George. But uncle is so large-minded, and then
he has so many refined and delightful tastes. But you would get
lonesome if you were not very well, and no one came to cheer you up,
or bring you new thoughts and bright bits of things, that were going
on in the world outside."

She paused suddenly, and flushed like a culprit, looking more
beguiling than ever, with her downcast eyes.

"I suppose I oughtn't have said it, but it seems true to me, only I'm
not blaming you. You have a great many things to attend to, and you
must do them in a man's way, devote your whole mind to them, and you
can't be frivolous, or other people's business would suffer. If I
hadn't any one I would come and stay, but--I love them, and sometimes,
in spite of the pleasure, my heart is almost torn in two with the
longing. I said I would come back in the spring, and I must go. Then
it will not be quite so bad, for Madame Clerval will be in and out,
and he is so much better. And you'll let him take an interest in
business, when he feels like it--oh, I seem to be giving you advice,
and I sincerely beg your pardon. After all, I am not much more than a
little girl, and I am talking as if I was old and wise;" and a sudden
shame flamed her cheeks with scarlet.

"I think you have been wise, and sweet, and patient, without growing
old. You have done a great deal for your guardian this winter--I
really was afraid we should not have him with us for very long, and he
did seem to wish for you so. Perhaps we were selfish, he and I."

"Oh, I was ready to come, too. It has been a delightful winter, and
everybody has been so good to me, I've been just full of pleasure. But
when you love those you have left behind, you sometimes feel as if
you could fly."

She winked very fast, then made a sudden dab at her eyes, and half
laughed, too.

"I think I understand. I have had no one to love dearly since I was a
little lad, and all I remember about my mother is that she was pale,
and ill, and could not endure a noise. Then I was put in school, and
my father went away and died. When I was eighteen I went in M. de
Ronville's office, and finished my studies. He has been my best
friend, really like a father to me. I ought to make all the return in
my power."

"Oh;" and there was a bewildering sweetness in her tone. "I have been
so happy most of my life, and had so many to love me."

Then that unfortunate episode had not cost her any deep-seated grief.
Had she loved at all, or was it only a childish fancy? He hoped it
was, for the sake of her future.

He turned then and went out of the room. M. de Ronville had been up in
his dressing-room, with his valet, and now he went to the library, and
she followed him. There were some reports to look over, then the
carriage came for them. It was sunny, with very little wind, and they
had plenty of wraps.

Aldis Bartram went his way to the office. The two clerks were there
and busy. He opened his letters, and answered several, the others had
need of some legal opinions to be looked up. Then he took up a rather
complicated case, but he soon lost the thread of it, for Daffodil's
almost upbraiding voice haunted him. He had been outwardly patient
many a time when all was irritation within, for he was too manly and
too really grateful to show impatience.

Had Daffodil's being there this winter proved the source of the
reaction in M. de Ronville's health? Had loneliness intensified the
disease and discomfort? Perhaps. And now two or three young men
dropped in, and had entertaining talks with him. Or was it because
they liked the byplay of the pretty, vivacious girl, who never made
herself the first attraction.

"Marry some pretty, charming young girl!" Where would he find one to
M. de Ronville's liking?



CHAPTER XVII

OH, WHICH IS LOVE?


March opened cold and stormy. Rheumatism made a clutch at M. de
Ronville. For several days he did not come downstairs, but insisted
that some of the guests must come to him. Dr. Langdale skipped away
from a lecture he really desired to hear, and spent an hour comforting
the invalid. Madame Clerval came in with a budget of news and friendly
gossip, and Daffodil talked of her little girlhood, and old Pittsburg,
as they had begun to call it, and sitting on the arm of
great-grandfather's chair, and listening to tales of a still older
time. He did not wonder that his friend Duvernay had lived to be
almost a hundred, with all that affection to make the way pleasant.

Then he improved and came downstairs, took up chess-playing, and
little promenades on the porch when the sun shone. And then the talk
veered round to Daffodil's departure. He would not hear anything about
it at first.

"Yet we have no right to keep her away from her own household, when
she has been brave enough to give up all the winter to us," Mr.
Bartram said.

"Oh, no, I suppose not. If I was younger, or in assured health, I
should go and spend the summer with them. Oh, don't look so startled.
I know it wouldn't do, with my uncertain health."

Aldis smiled. "If the summer is fine, and you keep pretty well, we
might both take a trip. I would hardly trust you to go alone."

"So we might." The elder was gratified with the consideration.

"Aldis?" presently, in a half-enquiring tone.

"Well?" glancing up.

"Do you think--that Dr. Langdale--that there is anything between him
and Daffodil?"

"There has been some talk. But young Pemberton is devoted to her as
well."

"With either she would have to come back here to live. I like the
doctor. He is such a fine, large-hearted, sympathetic young fellow,
with so much real charity for suffering. I seem to be envying other
people's sons and daughters;" ending with a longing sound. "Yes, if
she were in love with him."

Aldis Bartram experienced a feeling of protest. Yet, why should he
object? They were both young, they had been friends from childhood,
and he was certainly worthy of her.

That very evening he dropped in. There had been a wonderful surgical
operation on a poor fellow, who had been mashed and broken by a bad
fall. There had been a dispute at first, whether they could save him
intact, but after hours of the most careful work there was a good
chance. Dr. Langdale was so proud and enthusiastic, giving every one
his due with no narrowness.

Then he said, "Oh, Daffodil, are you really going home?"

"They have sent for me. The winter has gone!" and there was a piquant
smile hovering about her face.

"It has been such a short winter I have not done half the things I
planned to do. But I am resolved to run away some time in the summer.
It is ungrateful not to visit mother. And I do want to see the town,
and all the old friends."

"Oh, do come!" There was a joyous light in her eyes, and a sweetness
played about her lips.

Yes, he surely thought he would. Then they went on about other
matters. Bartram was not much versed in love indications, but
something rose within him--as if there should be a higher, stronger,
more overwhelming love for _her_.

She would make them talk cheerfully about her going. She said sagely
there was such a thing as wearing out one's welcome, and that now she
should feel free to come again.

"Next winter," said her guardian. "I think I can get along through the
summer with this thought to sustain me, but I shall be a year older,
and perhaps more feeble."

"I strictly forbid either of the consequences;" she laughed with
adorable gayety, her eyes alight with fun.

"One would think I was of great consequence," she exclaimed a few days
later, "by the lamentations my friends make. Or is it a fashion? It
will make it harder for me to go. If we could move Pittsburg over! But
there are the splendid rivers, and the hills covered with
rhododendrons. And, you see, I shall miss the daffodils."

"If it is such sorrow to part with one, I hardly know how you can
endure losing so many," said Aldis Bartram gravely.

She looked at him enquiringly. He seldom paid compliments to any one
but Madame Clerval.

There were bloom and beauty enough in the grand old town, where every
point was romantic. Every day Daffodil and her guardian were out
driving, until it seemed to her she could have found her way about in
the dark. And in his office Aldis Bartram sat thinking how lonely the
house would be without the sunshine of her golden head, and the sound
of her sweet, merry voice, her small, thoughtful ways, and the ease
with which she could change from one mode of action that she saw was
not bringing about a desirable result. At first he considered this a
sort of frivolity, but he understood presently that she not
infrequently gave up her own pleasure or method for something that
suited M. de Ronville better.

He was ambitious, and he had marked out a career for himself. He meant
to be rich and respected, his instincts were all honorable, and this
had commended him to his employer, who detested anything bordering on
double dealing. So, from one position he had been advanced to another,
and by persistent study had taken his degree with honor. He enjoyed
the life of the class with which he was in keen touch, and he found he
could maintain a degree of mental superiority that satisfied his
ambition.

There had been a partnership; he was junior counsel, and some of the
clients preferred the young, broad-minded man. Then had come the
proffer of a home that really surprised him. There were no relatives
to be jealous; why, then, should he not be as a son to this man, who
no longer felt equal to the burthen and heat of the new day that had
dawned on the country, and was calling forth the highest aims and
energies of the men of the time?

There had been one intense fascination in his life that had turned to
the ashes of bitterness. And now, while he was affable and enjoyed the
society of women, he considered himself proof against their
blandishments. He had heard of Daffodil's interrupted marriage, and
gave her a very sincere sympathy. But he had not been warmly in favor
of her visit. Still, it seemed cruel and selfish not to agree to the
longing of the invalid, who had an obstinate idea that his days were
numbered. A pet and play-thing was perhaps what he needed, for
sometimes the devotion exacted bored him and seemed a painful waste of
time and energy.

Then M. de Ronville saw the necessity of arranging his guardianship of
Daffodil Carrick on a different basis, so that there might be no
trouble at his death. Her father might not understand all the fine
points, and need some legal aid. This had brought about the visit to
Pittsburg, and he had joined his solicitation to that of the guardian,
truly believing M. de Ronville's days were numbered, and he did
fervently desire to give him whatever happiness and comfort was
possible.

But Daffodil was different from the vague idea he had formed of her.
She was not a sentimental girl, even if she had been caught by a
specious love, and though gay and eager, had a tender, truthful, and
noble side to her nature. They were all of a higher class than he had
thought possible, and Felix he considered quite an unusual boy. Mr.
Carrick had made one brief explanation of the marriage, none of the
others alluded to it.

"But you know that the law holds her as an unmarried woman. There was
nothing binding in the vows on her side, and pure fraud on his," said
Bartram decisively.

"Yes, we are aware of that, but young as she is, it has changed her in
some respects. But she is dearer than ever to us. I deprecate this
fashion of such youthful marriages, though mine has been very happy,"
returned the father.

Dr. Langdale came in one morning with a face full of the highest
satisfaction. Bartram had been lingering about, discussing the
journey. Madame Clerval had offered one of her French maids, but she
knew so little of American ways.

"Daffodil," the doctor exclaimed, "will you take me for an escort? I
find there is nothing very important for the next few weeks. I have
but one more lecture in my course. And I do want to see mother. So, if
you have no objection----"

"Why, I should be delighted, though I begin to feel quite like a wise
and travelled body. And think how women are coming from abroad and
from Canada, and going West, and all over, and reach their destination
safely. But I shall be very glad all the same, and your mother will be
wild with joy."

"I am afraid we do not think of the pleasure we can give our elders,
who, in the nature of things, have less time for the enjoyment of
their children. And I feel ashamed that I have allowed the time to
slip by, content with a hurried letter. I mean to do better in the
future."

"And I applaud your decision," exclaimed M. de Ronville. "Oh, I think
you young people really do not know how much happiness you can give us
elders just by the sight of your happy faces, and a little cordial
attention."

Daffodil glanced at Dr. Langdale with a smile that seemed almost a
caress, it was so approving, enchanting. Aldis Bartram caught it and
turned away, saying--

"I must leave you to perfect arrangements. I am late now, so I must
wish you good-morning," bowing himself out of the room.

He was very busy, and did not go home to dinner, as he had been doing
of late. And it was not until he was walking home in the late
afternoon that he allowed himself to think of Daffodil's departure.

"She will marry Dr. Langdale and come back here to live, which will be
a great pleasure to M. de Ronville," he said to himself, remembering
it had his friend's approval. And why should it not have his? Yet he
felt as if he did not cordially assent. And if she returned next
winter--he lost a sudden interest in the plan. They would be lovers
and there would be their joy and satisfaction flaunted in everybody's
face.

How could Daffodil keep so bright and cheerful? Had she any real
depth? Did not every change, every new plan appeal to her just the
same?

But if he had seen her with her arms about Mrs. Jarvis' neck, and the
tears in her eyes, he would not have made the comment to himself. And
the tender, beseeching tone in which she was saying--

"Oh, you will not let him miss me too much. And when it is pleasant,
won't you walk about the garden with him and praise his roses and the
flowers he cares for? And keep him thinking that he is better, and has
years yet to live, and if Mr. Bartram will go on being devoted to
him."

"Mr. Bartram seems to have grown more tenderly thoughtful. Of course,
he has a great deal on his mind, and now there are so many perplexing
questions about the country, and when one is tired out with the day's
work it is hard to rehearse it all over. Oh, my dear, I think you have
worked a change in us all with your sweet, generous ways, and your
lovely outflowing youth. I am afraid I was beginning to think too much
of my own comfort."

Dr. Langdale proved himself most solicitous. Bartram found the
planning was taken quite out of his hands, and he chafed a little.
Madame Clerval declared herself inconsolable, but she had the fine
grace that speeds the parting guest when the going is inevitable.

There was only one day more. M. de Ronville had his breakfast sent
upstairs. Daffodil went to find some papers her guardian was going
over, and turning, she met Aldis Bartram entering the library.

"I was afraid you might forget them," she said, handing the packet to
him.

"Thank you." How often she had charged her mind with these little
things.

"I suppose," he began in a wandering sort of tone, as if his mind had
strayed to something else, "that it will not really be out of order to
congratulate you, since it will be a long while before I shall see you
again."

"Oh, about going home? But I shall often think of you all here, and
wish the old fairy stories were true, where you could be transported
elsewhere in a moment. I think I did truly believe in them once."

How charming she was in that absolute simplicity, the exquisite,
innocent, glowing face too frank for concealment. He had no business
to probe her secret, and yet he must know.

"Oh, I meant, you will not come back to us the same. You will have
learned the lesson of love, and I hope--you will be very happy."

"I don't understand"--a puzzled line settling in her fair brow. "Oh!"
suddenly relieved, and then half smiling, "did you think," and then
her face crimsoned to its utmost capacity, "that I, that Dr.
Langdale--it is a mistake. We were dear friends in childhood, we are
warm friends now. For, you see, he has been like a little bit of
Pittsburg to me, and sometimes, when I was longing for the dear ones
at home, it was comforting to talk them over. And he has no thought of
marrying in a long, long while. He means to do so much first."

Was she a finished coquette by the grace of nature? Young men were not
given to consideration of this or that when the bewildering passion
seized them. But coquette or not, a sharp, overmastering knowledge
seized him. Once she had advised him to marry and bring in the
household a charming girl. She recognized that his duty would be to M.
de Ronville while he lived. He knew that, too, if he would not prove
himself an ingrate. And here was the charming girl.

He looked at her so long and steadily that there came faint colors in
her face, growing deeper, the lines about her mouth showed tremors,
the bronze-fringed lids drooped over her eyes, and she turned away.
But the delicious half-bashful movement set his pulses aflame.

"Daffodil," and he caught her hand, "if there is no other among these
young men, or even at home, may I not sue for a little favor? I know
it surprises you; then perhaps I am too old to win a young girl's
regard, love I mean----"

"Oh, you must not," she interrupted. "For I think you hardly like
me--you did not at first. And then, I--well--I do not mean to marry.
You know there was the----"

"Which simply has no weight in your life."

"But you see, I thought I loved him. Oh, I _did_ love him. And I was
so happy. Why, I would have gone to the end of the world with him!
Only when one deceives you, when one dares not tell the whole truth,
and when one cannot, does not want to give up wealth and station, what
was love is some way crushed out. But how could I tell if any new love
was the right thing? I might be mistaken again. And there are fickle
women in the world I have heard, who can love many times. I don't
desire to be one of them. Maybe it is only friendship I am fitted
for."

She was trembling in every pulse, though she had made such a brave
defence. And she seemed to him a hundred times sweeter than she ever
had before. He had much ado not to clasp her to his heart. "My dear
little Daffodil," he said with passionate tenderness, "though you have
been wooed and said marriage vows, you know nothing about a true and
fervent love. That was not much beyond a child's fancy, and you have
overlived it, or you could not be so light-hearted. It is only a dream
in your life. And I will wait until the woman's soul in you wakes. But
I shall not let you go from my influence, I shall keep watch and ward,
and try to win you."

"No, no, I am not worth all that trouble. No, do not try," she
pleaded.

"I shall take your earlier advice. You said I must marry some charming
girl and bring her here. No other girl or woman could satisfy M. de
Ronville as well."

"Did I advise you to do that?" and she blushed daintily. "Well," and
there was a glint of mischief in her eyes, soft as they were, "once I
was offered to you, and you declined."

"Offered to me?" in surprise.

"When I was here before. It was in this very library. I was outside,
and when I knew who was meant I ran away."

"Oh, you were such a child then! And I was doing something that I have
always despised myself for. I knew a beautiful and fascinating woman,
who led me to believe she cared a great deal for me. And then she
laughed at my folly. I deserved it for my blindness. So you see, I too
had a rude awakening, and found that it was not love, but a mere sham.
I believe for a month or so I have been trying _not_ to love you,
shutting my eyes to a longing that stirred all my nature. And now that
I have admitted it, it has taken a giant's growth in a few hours. I
will wait until you can give me the true, sincere regard of your soul.
But I could not let you go until I had settled whether I had any
ground for hope. Shall we be friends, dear and fond friends, until
that time? But I want to be loved sincerely, deeply."

She stood like a lovely culprit before him, and then he did enfold her
in his arms, and pressed his lips against her blushing cheek.

"Oh, I cannot tell--yes, I like you--and you will be good to _him_
while I am gone. But it is new and strange to me, and I cannot
promise."

"But there is no one else--tell me that."

"There is no one else. But whether--I can love again;" and there was a
great tremble in her voice, "whether it would be right."

"Oh, little innocent, you will find the right and the truth some day,
I feel assured of that. I can trust you to tell me by word or sign
when that day comes, for I know you will be honest. And now I must go,
but I take with me a joy that will make glad the days and weeks of
separation. Oh, my little darling!"

He went out of the house with a proud tread. He would never pause
until he had won her. His soul was startled and roused by the sudden
revelation of himself. He had supposed he should marry sometime, after
his duty was done here, for he could not imagine a woman broad enough
to share it with him. And here an angel had touched him with her fine
beneficence, and shown him the duty in a stronger, truer light.

There was not much time for the ardent side of love, though Aldis
Bartram had to fight with himself for a show of mere friendliness. She
was to go at ten the next morning, and friends came to escort her.

"And I shall stay and help our good friend to bear the trial of
parting," declared Madame Clerval. "We will talk over your virtues and
your shortcomings, the lovers you might have had if you had been an
astute young woman, and try to shed some sunshine on the doleful days
until next winter."

There was the maid with some budgets, there was Dr. Langdale, proud
and serene enough for a lover, and it did rouse a spasm of jealousy in
the soul of Aldis Bartram. But he knew she was truth itself, and he
could depend upon her.



CHAPTER XVIII

A REVELATION


It was a lovely journey if the term could be applied to the
old-fashioned stagecoach. But the season of the year, the bloom and
beauty everywhere, and the pleasant companionship lightened the few
discomforts for Daffodil. There are natures that refrain from spoiling
anticipations by cares or perplexities left behind, and hers was one.
Indeed, hers was not complex, and people, women especially, had not
learned to crowd so many interests, and fears, and hopes together. She
would see those she loved the best, yes, she did love them the best of
all now.

How glad they were to get her back! Yes, there were changes and
changes. New business plans and firms, old ones enlarged, discoveries
of coal and iron all about, materials for glass-making, a paper mill
under consideration.

But the war was not yet over. The advisers of the King had begun to
adopt a tone of insolence toward the young Republic; indeed, in spite
of peace being signed, there was still an endeavor to stir up the
Indians on the outskirts of many of the towns. The Indian villages
along the Maumee received supplies of arms and ammunition, and were
fortifying their own forts. The alarm spread down the Ohio. The
British had not yet given up all the forts they had held in the
preceding war, in spite of the agreements.

Tired of inaction, Lieutenant Langdale had, with several others,
offered his services to General Anthony Wayne, as there was great need
of trained officers. So Mrs. Langdale was doubly delighted with this
visit of her son, of whom she was quite as proud as of her soldier.

"And I hope you have made good your chance with Daffodil Carrick," she
said to him a few days after his return. "She'll be quite worth the
winning, even if the father's money should all go to the son, who is a
very promising lad, I hear. But they count on having a big place over
the river, and that is all her share. One of you boys ought to win
her. I thought it would be Ned. And you have had a chance all winter."

Archibald smiled, but there was no disappointment in it.

"She was a great favorite all through the winter, and she can marry
any time she likes. But I have too much to do to take upon myself
family cares, and I think she isn't the sort of girl to be in a hurry.
We are just fine, sincere friends."

"But I want you to marry. And I've counted on grandchildren. I wish I
had you both settled just around me. I shall be a lonesome old woman."

"Then when I am rich enough to set up a house, you shall come and live
with me."

"Do you think Dilly's going to let that miserable mess of a marriage
spoil all her life?"

"Oh, she is very happy, mother; girls don't marry as young as they
did, and it is a good thing, too. They have some years of bright, gay
girlhood, and won't get worn out so soon. Daffodil is a charming
girl."

"But she's getting quite along, and it isn't like being a widow
either," said the mother, who thought every girl ought to marry.

Daffodil watched mother and grandmere with longing eyes. Yes,
grandmere _was_ getting old. Her mother was losing the pretty
girlishness, but she was very happy in her husband, and her son, who
was tall and very good-looking, quite toned down in manner.

The house had no more changes. Here was her pretty room. Oh, yes,
there was a new bright rag carpet on the floor. She went around with a
tender touch on everything, patting the white pillow-slips,
straightening a picture or two, and wondering in a curious fashion if
sometime her brother's wife would be here and a group of merry
children--she hoped there would be a houseful of them. And gran would
be a great-grandfather, and sit in the big chair at the corner of the
fireplace, that he had covered over with buckskin of his own tanning.
Where she would be she did not plan. Only she would not mind being an
old maid, she thought.

Everybody in the little circle supposed she would marry Dr. Langdale,
and were surprised when his mother sorrowfully admitted it was not to
be.

"There's them that goes through the woods, and picks up a crooked
stick at the last;" and Norah shook her head resentfully.

"My stick won't be crooked, I promise you," laughed the girl.

"You may have no stick at all and go limping afoot and alone," was the
curt rejoinder.

She was very happy, why she could hardly tell, for she felt she ought
not to be. There came a letter with the stamp of the office on it and
it had two enclosures. Her guardian's was most pleasant and fatherly.
They missed her very much, but Mrs. Jarvis had taken on a new phase of
kindliness so that he should not long too much for Daffodil, and Aldis
was like a son. They went out driving together. And Aldis had grown so
fond of the garden that he had not used to care much about. The
weather was fine and he really was quite well for an old gentleman.

She almost dreaded to open the other. A blinding sort of consciousness
pervaded her as if she were a prisoner, as if there was asked of her
a curious, undefined surrender that she could hardly understand.
Before, she had gone on simply and been overtaken, as it were, given
without knowing just what she gave. Was it because she was older,
wiser? She had still to learn that there were many mysteries in love
that only a lifetime could explain.

She let her eyes wander over it in a vague sort of fashion. Did she
really belong to him? He seemed to take possession of her in a way
that she could not gainsay, could not even refuse.

But did she want to refuse?

She went out to the keeping room after awhile. Her mother sat alone,
sewing some trifle. She came and laid both letters in her lap, then
went and sat on the door sill where a great maple threw its green arms
about in the soft breeze. There was a cuckoo somewhere, a
yellow-hammer searching for half-hidden food, and a thrush with his
long, sweet note.

"Yes," her mother remarked, as if in answer to a question. "He laid
the matter before your father a month ago in the letter that came with
you."

"Oh!" Then after a long while--"Mother, it is nothing like it was
before. Then I did not doubt myself, now I wonder. He is so wise in
many ways, I feel as if I had to reach up and up and I am a little
afraid. I have seen so many fine girls in the city. And beautiful
women."

"The woman a man chooses is the best to him always."

She did not torment herself with the thought that he was doing this
for her guardian's sake. She felt that he was not the kind of man to
take the mere crumbs of love while some one else feasted on the heart
of love divine. What troubled her was whether she could love enough.
And she hated to think there had been any previous regard. But did he
not say, too, that he had been fascinated by an unworthy liking?

The summer seemed to check the wave of prosperity and men looked at
each other in half affright. For no one knew just how the tide might
turn. When the Indians made their sortie on Fort Recovery word came
that the garrison had been massacred, but Captain Gibson bravely held
it in spite of an all-day attack, and at night the enemy retreated.
General Wayne was in command of all the forces and the Indians made
various feints, hoping to be joined by the British, who were urging
them on, but there was no big regular battle until that of Fallen
Timbers, where a tornado had swept through the woods some time before.
A few miles below was a British fort, the meeting place of the western
fur traders. It was a hard fought field, but the victory for the
Americans was such a signal one that it ended the terror of a frontier
war that had hung over the border so long.

No town rejoiced more than Pittsburg, which lost some men and was
proud of heroes who had come through the conflict unscathed. Among
these was Lieutenant Langdale, whose bravery and foresight gained him
a captaincy.

"He's a brave fellow!" declared grandad, and Daffodil was glad he had
won some of the fame and glory for which he had longed.

"It's fine to be a soldier when you can fight and have nothing happen
to you," declared Felix. "But I wouldn't want to be among the killed.
There's so many splendid things in life. I hope I will live to be a
hundred."

There were many matters to share Daffodil's attention, though she did
miss the bright society and the knowledge branching out on every side.
Yet these girls who had married half a dozen years ago and had grown
common and careless with their little ones about them seemed very
happy. It certainly was an industrious community, but they played as
they worked. There were games that would have been no discredit to
modern scores, there was dancing and merriment and happiness as well.

Was Daffodil learning her lesson? Aldis Bartram thought very slowly.
But he was a man who prized hard won contests. And if with the
attractive young men about her through the winter she had not been
won, then she was not an easy prize. He smiled at times over her
careful and futile reasoning. At least they would have the winter to
go over the ground. And though he was becoming an ardent lover he was
not an impatient one.

There are some events and decisions in life that are precipitated by a
shock, the film that held one in thrall, veiling the clear sight, is
suddenly disrupted. And this happened to Daffodil Carrick. Her father
put an English paper in her hand one evening as he came up the path
where roses were still blooming. It had been remailed in Philadelphia.

"From Madame Clerval," she said with a smile. "Some gay doings, I
fancy. She has friends in London."

She glanced it over carelessly. The summer struggles had made her more
of a patriot, and brought to her mind vividly the morning she had run
out to know the cause of Kirsty Boyle's call and the ringing of his
bell. A very little girl. She was always glad she had heard it.

She turned the paper to and fro rather impatiently. Oh, what was here
with the black insignia of death: "_Died, at Hurst Abbey, of a
malignant fever. Margaretta, wife of Jeffrey, Lord Andsdell, only
remaining son of the Earl of Wrenham._"

She was not interested in the beauty of the bride, who had been a
great belle in her day and won no little fame on the stage, nor the
terrible accident that had deprived the Earl of two older sons and
two grandsons, paving the way for the succession of Lord Andsdell. She
shuddered and turned ghostly pale, and was terrified with a strange
presentiment. But she could not talk of it just yet and was glad Norry
and grandad came in to spend the evening with them.

The next morning she gave her father a little note with "important"
written on the corner of the folded paper.

"What now?" enquired her father laughingly, "Did you forget your
postscript?"

She assented with a nod.

Then she went about her daily duties, but a great terror surged at her
heart. She was to remember through everything that she was the only
woman Jeffrey Andsdell loved. Long ago she had cast it out. No doubt
he had been happy in his ancestral home, at least, he had chosen that,
well, wisely, too. But to ask that the woman he wronged should cling
to her burthen!

How slowly the days passed. Aldis Bartram might have been away when
the note came--he had been to Baltimore on some troublesome
business--but waiting seemed very hard. And when it drew near to the
time, she used to take different paths down by the square where the
stage came in, just far enough away to see, but not be seen, and stand
with a blushing face and a strange trembling at her heart. One day
she was rewarded. There was the manly figure, the erect head, the
firm, yet elastic step. A sudden pride leaped up in her heart.

She waylaid him in a bypath.

"Daffodil!" he cried in surprise. "What has happened?

"Nothing, nothing; I wanted to see you," but her voice trembled. "Come
this way."

"How mysterious you are!" If she meant to give him his _congé_ she
could have done it better by letter. And the clasp of her hand on his
arm had a clinging force.

"There is something for you to see. Let us turn here."

After a space through intervening trees they came to the open, where
she paused and unfolded a paper she had held in her hand. "Read this,"
she said, and he stared a moment silently.

One moment, another moment. How still it was, every bird had hushed
its singing, even the crickets were not chirping.

"He will come back to America. He will come back for you now that he
is free," Bartram subjoined hoarsely. Should he hold her or let her
go? Was the old love----

She faced him and slipped both hands over his shoulders, clasped them
at the back of his neck. It seemed to him he had never seen such an
entrancing light in her eyes.

"Aldis," she began, with tremulous sweetness, "I would rather be your
wife than the greatest duchess of them all." And then she hid her
blushing face on his breast.

It would not be raised, but he kissed the brow, the eyelids, and said
in a shaken voice:

"Were you afraid----"

Then she raised the sweet face where he saw tears and the quick rifts
of color, but there were high lights of resolve in the beautiful eyes.

"Not afraid anything could rekindle the glamor of that mistake, nor
any repentance on his part mend the deception. I was a child then. I
did not understand the depths that go to the making of a true love.
All summer I have been learning----"

Then she paused and hid her face again.

"And there is a great deal more to learn, sweetheart. We shall go on
studying the delightful lesson all our lives, I trust, and never reach
the bottom of the cup of joy. Daffodil, you have already roused me to
a wider, higher life. A year ago I would not have been worthy of you.
Yes, I was blind and self-engrossed then. We will study the sweet
lesson together."

Then they paused at a fallen log, not the old place that she never
cared to see again. A little stream came trickling down the high hill
and there were tender bird voices as accompaniments to the delicious
confession. It had grown slowly, she was so afraid of another mistake,
but he would never need to doubt its truth, its duration, its
comprehensiveness.

It seemed minutes only and yet held the mysterious sweetness of hours.
Then she heard a voice calling.

"Why--see! It is almost night! And that is Felix's voice. Oh, what
have I been doing?" and she rose in a startled manner.

"We will explain our iniquity," he said laughingly.

They met Felix. "Oh!" he exclaimed in surprise. "We couldn't think!
And we had supper."

Then mother said, "Why, did you come in the stage? That was here hours
ago," to Mr. Bartram, in a wondering tone.

"Yes; but we had a good deal of business to settle. I hope you didn't
eat up all the supper?"

He studied them both curiously. Daffodil's face was scarlet.

"Mr. Bartram, are you going to marry her?" he asked with a boy's frank
eagerness.

"I hope to. Are you going to object?"

"No," rather reluctantly. "Only I wish you were going to live here."

Bernard Carrick had gone downtown. It showed the strides Pittsburg had
made when there was already a downtown. Barbe stood in the doorway
watching, for now the sky was growing gray with coming evening. But
before Mr. Bartram spoke, she knew. One of the delights of the other
engagement had been the certainty of keeping her daughter, now the
pang of separation pierced her to the quick.

"Mrs. Carrick," he said in an appealing tone, "will you take me for a
son?" but Daffodil kissed her.

They did not want much supper, but the others returned to the table
and talked. He had only come for a few days, but he begged that they
might have a wedding in the early fall, just as soon as possible
indeed, for the journey was so long they could not afford to waste
much time in courtship. They must be lovers afterward.

So, after much discussion to shorten the time, mid-September was
settled upon.

"Oh," Daffodil said in her most adorable tone, "I shall pray daily
that nothing will befall you, that God will send you back safely to
me."

"And I shall be praying for you. Love surely opens one's heart to
God."

There was not much to be made ready. The girl laid aside this and that
for the son's wife when he should take one, "for," said she, "there is
so much in my new house already. And Felix must marry young, so you
will have a new daughter in my place."

She would not be married in church nor wear the olden wedding gown.
"Let it skip a generation," she said, "and that may change the luck."

So the time came and the lover so full of impatience. She would have
the ceremony in the old room that had been so interwoven with her
life, and she fancied the spirit of great-grandfather was sitting
there in the old chair and she went for his blessing.

The little girl passed out of Old Pittsburg and left behind lonely
hearts. Grandad could not be reconciled, there were some fine young
fellows in the town that would make good husbands. But Norah gave her
a blessing and the best of wishes. So Daffodil Bartram went out to her
new life, wondering how one could be so glad and happy when they were
leaving behind so much love.

Old Pittsburg did not vanish with the little girl, however. But she
went on her way steadily, industriously. The new century came in with
great acclaim. Shipbuilding prospered. Iron foundries sprang up. The
glass works went from the eight pots and the capacity of three boxes
at a blowing to double that number, then doubled it again. The
primitive structure erected by George Anshuts before the century ended
was the progenitor of many others sending their smoke defiantly up in
the clear sky. And all along the Monogahela valley as well as in
other places the earth gave up its stores of coal as it had given up
its stores of iron.

And in 1816 Pittsburg was incorporated as a city and had a mayor and
aldermen and her own bank. It was a new Pittsburg then, a hive of
human industry, where one business after another gathered and where
fortunes were evolved from real work, and labor reaps a rich reward.

There are not many of the old things left. The block house built in
1764 by Colonel Bouquet still stands. A great depot covers the site of
the ancient Fort, and the spot of Braddock's defeat. But there are
Duquesne Heights, all her hills have not been levelled, if most of the
old things have passed away. She is the workshop of the world now, one
writer calls her "the most unique city in the world." And she has not
neglected the finer arts of beautifying. She has magnificent
buildings, fine libraries, and cultivated people, musical societies,
and half a hundred benevolent institutions. And we must not forget
that in six days after the firing on Fort Sumter a company of
Pittsburgers marched to Washington and offered their services to the
secretary of war.

If the little girl had vanished, Daffodil Bartram found much happiness
in the new home. M. de Ronville was not only delighted, but grateful
over his two children who were not of kindred blood, but of the finer
and higher kin of love. There came children to the household, three
boys and one golden-haired girl, but he did not quite reach the years
of his friend Duvernay. And when the two older sons were grown they
cast their lot with Allegheny City, which in the course of time grew
into a lovely residential city, free from smoke and dust and noise,
and theirs proved a noble patrimony. The Bartrams still had a son and
daughter, and the journey to Pittsburg no longer had to be made in a
stage coach.

Felix Duvernay Carrick made one of the notable citizens of the town,
the author of several useful inventions and a most thriving business
man, not needing any of his sister's fortune, for grandad left him
one, beside the one he was making with his brains and industry. And
Barbe was a happy grandmother to a merry flock, but she would never
leave the old house, though the farm was cut up by streets and houses
crowded in upon them. And she kept her bed of daffodils to the very
last.

If there was not so much romance, it was the old story of the
Rhinegelt of the land and the rivers yielding up such treasures as few
cities possess, but without the tragedy of their legend. Work and
thrift and the ingenuity of man have reared a magnificent city.



[Illustration]

THE LITTLE GIRL SERIES

By AMANDA M. DOUGLAS

ALL COPYRIGHT STORIES

HANDSOME CLOTH BINDING PRICE, 60 CENTS

A series of stories for girls by that popular author, Amanda M.
Douglas, in which are described something of the life and times of the
early days of the places wherein the stories are located. Now for the
first time published in a cheap edition.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD NEW YORK

This is a pretty story of life in New York 60 years ago. The story is
charmingly told. The book is full of vivacious narrative, describing
the amusements, employments and the social and domestic life of Old
New York.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD BOSTON

The story deals with the bringing up of little Doris by these Boston
people, who were her nearest relatives. It is a series of pictures of
life in Boston ninety years ago.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD BALTIMORE

This tells the story of how a little girl grew up in a Southern city a
hundred years ago. A host of characters of all sorts--women, children,
slaves, rich people and poor people, fill the pages.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD PITTSBURG

An interesting picture is given of the pioneer settlement and its
people; while the heroine, Daffodil, is a winsome lass who develops
into a charming woman.


A LITTLE GIRL OF LONG AGO

This story is a sequel to A Little Girl in Old New York. This is a
book for girls and boys of the present age, who will enjoy going back
to the old times.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD CHICAGO

Ruth Gaynor comes to Chicago with her father when she is but eight or
nine years old. Ruth is a keen observer and makes a capital heroine.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD NEW ORLEANS

The story gives a very picturesque account of the life in the old
Creole city. It is a well told and interesting story with a historical
background.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD SAN FRANCISCO

This is the story of the little Maine girl who went to live in the
strange new city of the Golden Gate; she grows up a bright and
charming girl.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD WASHINGTON

This story carries one back to Washington, a city then in its infancy.
The story throws a strong light on the early customs and life of the
people.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD PHILADELPHIA

Little Primrose was the child of Friends, or Quakers. The author tells
Primrose's experiences among very strict Quakers, and then among
worldly people.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD QUEBEC

The heroine is called "The Rose of Quebec." The picturesque life of
this old French city, as seen through the eyes of the little girl, is
here pictured.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD SALEM

Cynthia Leveritt lived in old Salem about one hundred years ago.
Cynthia grows up, and so dear a girl could scarce have failed to have
a romance develop. The book will be enjoyed by all girls.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD ST. LOUIS

This story will give a delightful treat to any girl who reads it. The
early days of this historical old city are depicted in a manner at
once true and picturesque.


A LITTLE GIRL IN OLD DETROIT

The stirring times in which the little girl lived, and the social life
of a bygone age are depicted very happily. The heroine is a charming
girl.



The Girl Comrade's Series


ALL AMERICAN AUTHORS.

ALL COPYRIGHT STORIES.

A carefully selected series of books for girls, written by popular
authors. These are charming stories for young girls, well told and
full of interest. Their simplicity, tenderness, healthy, interesting
motives, vigorous action, and character painting will please all girl
readers.

HANDSOME CLOTH BINDING.

PRICE, 60 CENTS.


=A BACHELOR MAID AND HER BROTHER.= By I. T. Thurston.

=ALL ABOARD. A Story For Girls.= By Fanny E. Newberry.

=ALMOST A GENIUS. A Story For Girls.= By Adelaide L. Rouse.

=ANNICE WYNKOOP, Artist. Story of a Country Girl.= By Adelaide L. Rouse.

=BUBBLES. A Girl's Story.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=COMRADES.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=DEANE GIRLS, THE. A Home Story.= By Adelaide L. Rouse.

=HELEN BEATON, COLLEGE WOMAN.= By Adelaide L. Rouse.

=JOYCE'S INVESTMENTS. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=MELLICENT RAYMOND. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=MISS ASHTON'S NEW PUPIL. A School Girl's Story.= By Mrs. S. S. Robbins.

=NOT FOR PROFIT. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=ODD ONE, THE. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=SARA, A PRINCESS. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.



The Girl Chum's Series


ALL AMERICAN AUTHORS.

ALL COPYRIGHT STORIES.

A carefully selected series of books for girls, written by popular
authors. These are charming stories for young girls, well told and
full of interest. Their simplicity, tenderness, healthy, interesting
motives, vigorous action, and character painting will please all girl
readers.

HANDSOME CLOTH BINDING.

PRICE, 60 CENTS.


=BENHURST, CLUB, THE.= By Howe Benning.

=BERTHA'S SUMMER BOARDERS.= By Linnie S. Harris.

=BILLOW PRAIRIE. A Story of Life in the Great West.= By Joy Allison.

=DUXBERRY DOINGS. A New England Story.= By Caroline B. Le Row.

=FUSSBUDGET'S FOLKS. A Story For Young Girls.= By Anna F. Burnham.

=HAPPY DISCIPLINE, A.= By Elizabeth Cummings.

=JOLLY TEN, THE; and Their Year of Stories.= By Agnes Carr Sage.

=KATIE ROBERTSON. A Girl's Story of Factory Life.= By M. E. Winslow.

=LONELY HILL. A Story For Girls.= By M. L. Thornton-Wilder.

=MAJORIBANKS. A Girl's Story.= By Elvirton Wright.

=MISS CHARITY'S HOUSE.= By Howe Benning.

=MISS ELLIOT'S GIRLS. A Story For Young Girls.= By Mary Spring Corning.

=MISS MALCOLM'S TEN. A Story For Girls.= By Margaret E. Winslow.

=ONE GIRL'S WAY OUT.= By Howe Benning.

=PEN'S VENTURE.= By Elvirton Wright.

=RUTH PRENTICE. A Story For Girls.= By Marion Thorne.

=THREE YEARS AT GLENWOOD. A Story of School Life.= By M. E. Winslow.



The Boy Spies Series

These stories are based on important historical events, scenes wherein
boys are prominent characters being selected. They are the romance of
history, vigorously told, with careful fidelity to picturing the home
life and accurate in every particular wherein mention is made of
movement of troops, or the doings of noted persons.


THE BOY SPIES WITH LAFAYETTE. The story of how two boys joined the
Continental Army.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE BOY SPIES ON CHESAPEAKE BAY. The story of two young spies under
Commodore Barney.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE BOY SPIES WITH THE REGULATORS. The story of how the boys assisted
the Carolina Patriots to drive the British from that State.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE BOY SPIES WITH THE SWAMP FOX. The story of General Marion and his
young spies.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE BOY SPIES AT YORKTOWN. The story of how the spies helped General
Lafayette in the Siege of Yorktown.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE BOY SPIES OF PHILADELPHIA. The story of how the young spies helped
the Continental Army at Valley Forge.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE BOY SPIES AT FORT GRISWOLD. The story of the part they took in its
brave defense.

By William P. Chipman. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE BOY SPIES OF OLD NEW YORK. The story of how the young spies
prevented the capture of General Washington.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.



The Navy Boys Series

These stories are based on important historical naval events, scenes
wherein boys are prominent characters being selected. They are the
romance of history, vigorously told, with careful fidelity to
picturing the life on ship-board, and accurate in every particular
wherein mention is made of movement of vessels or the doings of noted
persons.


THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE WITH PAUL JONES. A boys' story of a cruise with
the Great Commodore in 1776.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE NAVY BOYS ON LAKE ONTARIO. The story of two boys and their
adventures in the war of 1812.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE ON THE PICKERING. A boy's story of privateering
in 1780.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE NAVY BOYS IN NEW YORK BAY. A story of three boys who took command
of the schooner "The Laughing Mary," the first vessel of the American
Navy.

By James Otis. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE NAVY BOYS IN THE TRACK OF THE ENEMY. The story of a remarkable
cruise with the Sloop of War "Providence" and the Frigate "Alfred."

By William P. Chipman. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE NAVY BOYS' DARING CAPTURE. The story of how the navy boys helped
to capture the British Cutter "Margaretta," in 1775.

By William P. Chipman. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS. The adventures of two Yankee
Middies with the first cruise of an American Squadron in 1775.

By William P. Chipman. Cloth. Price 60 cents.


THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE WITH COLUMBUS. The adventures of two boys who
sailed with the great Admiral in his discovery of America.

By Frederick A. Ober. Cloth. Price 60 cents.



The Boy Chums Series

By WILMER M. ELY

Handsome Cloth Binding. Price, 60 Cents Per Volume.

In this series of remarkable stories by Wilmer M. Ely are described
the adventures of two boy chums--Charley West and Walter Hazard--in
the great swamps of interior Florida and among the cays off the
Florida Coast, and through the Bahama Islands. These are real, live
boys, and their experiences are well worth following. If you read one
book you will surely be anxious for those that are to follow.


THE BOY CHUMS ON INDIAN RIVER, or The Boy Partners of the Schooner
"Orphan."

In this story Charley West and Walter Hazard meet deadly rattlesnakes;
have a battle with a wild panther; are attacked by outlaws; their boat
is towed by a swordfish; they are shipwrecked by a monster manatee
fish, and pass safely through many exciting scenes of danger.


THE BOY CHUMS ON HAUNTED ISLAND, or Hunting for Pearls in the Bahama
Islands.

This book tells the story of the boy chums, Charley West and Walter
Hazard, whose adventures on the schooner "Eager Quest," hunting for
pearls among the Bahama Islands, are fully recorded. Their hairbreadth
escapes from the treacherous quicksands and dangerous water spouts;
how they lost their vessel and were cast away on a lonely island, and
their escape therefrom are fully told.


THE BOY CHUMS IN THE FOREST, or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida
Everglades.

The story of the boy chums hunting the blue herons and the pink and
white egrets for their plumes in the forests of Florida is full of
danger and excitement. How the chums encountered the Indians; their
battles with the escaped convicts; their fight with the wild boars and
alligators are fully told.


THE BOY CHUMS' PERILOUS CRUISE, or Searching for Wreckage on the
Florida Coast.

This story of the boy chums' adventures on and off the Florida Coast
describes many scenes of daring and adventure, in hunting for ships
stranded and cargoes washed ashore. The boy chums passed through many
exciting scenes, on shore and island; and the loss of their vessel,
the "Eager Quest," they will long remember.


THE BOY CHUMS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO, or a Dangerous Cruise with the
Greek Spongers.

This story of the boy chums, Charley West and Walter Hazard, hunting
for sponges, is filled with many adventures. The dangers of gathering
sponges are fully described; the chums meet with sharks and
alligators; and they are cast away on a desert island. Their rescue
and arrival home make a most interesting story.



The Boy Scout Series

By HERBERT CARTER

New stories of Camp Life, telling the wonderful and thrilling
adventures of the Boys of the Silver Fox Patrol. HANDSOME CLOTH
BINDINGS.

PRICE, 60 CENTS PER VOLUME


THE BOY SCOUTS FIRST CAMP FIRE; or, Scouting with the Silver Fox
Patrol.

This book, every up-to-date Boy Scout will want to read. It is
brimming over with thrilling adventure, woods lore and the story of
the wonderful experiences that befel the Cranford troop of Boy Scouts
when spending a part of their vacation in the wilderness. The story is
clean and wholesome in tone, yet with not a dull line from cover to
cover.


THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE BLUE RIDGE; or, Marooned Among the Moonshiners.

Those lads who have read The Boy Scouts First Camp Fire and followed
the fortunes of Thad Brewster, the Young Patrol leader, will be
delighted to read this story. It tells of the strange and mysterious
adventures that happened to the Patrol in their trip through the
"mountains of the sky" in the Moonshiners' Paradise of the old Tar
Heel State, North Carolina. When you start to read you will not lay
the book down until the last word has been reached.


THE BOY SCOUTS ON THE TRAIL; or, Scouting through the Big Game
Country.

In this story the Boy Scouts once more find themselves in camp and
following the trail. The story recites the many adventures that befel
the members of the Silver Fox Patrol with wild animals of the forest
trails, as well as the desperate men who had sought a refuge in this
lonely country, making most delightful reading for every lad who has
red blood in his veins. This is a story which every boy will be glad
to read and recommend to his chums.


THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE MAINE WOODS; or, The New Test for the Silver Fox
Patrol.

In the rough field of experience the tenderfoots and greenhorns of the
Silver Fox Patrol are fast learning to take care of themselves when
abroad. Many of the secrets of the woods, usually known only to old
hunters and trappers, are laid bare to the eyes of the reader. Thad
and his chums have a wonderful experience when they are employed by
the State of Maine to act as Fire Wardens, since every year terrible
conflagrations sweep through the pine forests, doing great damage.


THE BOY SCOUTS THROUGH THE BIG TIMBER; or, The Search for the Lost
Tenderfoot.

A serious calamity threatens the Silver Fox Patrol when on one of
their vacation trips to the wonderland of the great Northwest. How
apparent disaster is bravely met and overcome by Thad and his friends,
forms the main theme of the story, which abounds in plenty of humor,
rollicking situations, hairbreadth escapes and thrilling adventures,
such as all boys like to read about. If you ever dream of camping out
in the woods, here you may learn how to do it.


THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE ROCKIES; or, The Secret of The Hidden Silver
Mine.

By this time the boys of the Silver Fox Patrol have learned through
experience how to rough it upon a long hike. Their last tour takes
them into the wildest region of the great Rocky Mountains, and here
they meet with many strange adventures that severely test their grit,
as well as their ability to grapple with emergencies. This is one of
the most interesting of the stories in the Boy Scout Series,--the
experiences of Thad Brewster and his Cranford troop abounds in plenty
of humor, and hairbreadth escapes.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent post-paid on receipt of price by
the publishers, A. L. BURT COMPANY, 52-58 Duane Street, New York





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