“It is hard, dear Robert,” she said, “for us to part, with nothing but a hand-shake, but there are people about, and this will have to do.” And then, after urging him to take good care of his health, so valuable to them both, and assuring him that he would soon see her again, she gave his hand a final shake, and left him. Accompanied by Peggy, she went out to the spring-wagon and clambered into it. It almost surpasses belief that Mr Brandon, a Virginia gentleman of the old school, should have stood in his hall, and have seen an old lady leave his house and get into a vehicle, without accompanying and assisting her; but such was the case on this occasion. He seemed to have forgotten his traditions, and to have lost his impulses. He simply stood where the Widow Keswick had left him, and gazed at her.
When she was seated, and ready to start, the old lady turned towards him, called out to him in a cheery voice: “Good-bye, Robert!” and kissed her hand to him.
Mrs Keswick slowly drove away, and Mr Brandon stood at his hall door, gazing after her until she was entirely out of sight. Then he ejaculated: “The Devil’s daughter!” and went into his library.
“I wonders,” said Peggy when she returned to the kitchen, “how you all’s gwine to like habin dat ole Miss Keswick libin h’yar as you all’s mistiss.”
“Who’s gwine to hab her?” growled Aunt Judy.
“You all is,” sturdily retorted Peggy. “Dar ain’t no use tryin’ to git out ob dat. Dat old Miss Keswick done gone an’ kunjered Mahs’ Robert, an’ dey’s boun’ to git mar’ed. I done heered all ‘bout it, an’ she’s comin’ h’yar to lib wid Mahs’ Robert. But dat don’ make no dif’rence to me. I’s gwine to lib wid Mahs’ Junius an’ Miss Rob in New York, I is. But I’s mighty sorry for you all.”
“You Peggy,” shouted the irate Aunt Judy, “shut up wid your fool talk! When Mahs’ Robert marry dat ole jimpsun weed, de angel Gabr’el blow his hohn, shuh.”
Slowly driving along the road to her home, the Widow Keswick gazed cheerfully at the blue sky above her, and the pleasant autumn scenery around her; sniffed the fine fresh air, delicately scented with the odor of falling leaves; and settling herself into a more comfortable position on her seat, she complacently said to herself: “Well, I reckon the old scapegrace has got his money’s worth this time!”
There were two reasons why Peggy could not go to live with “Mahs’ Junius and Miss Rob” in New York. In the first place, this couple had no intention of setting up an establishment in that city; and secondly, Peggy, as Roberta well knew, was not adapted by nature to be her maid, or the maid of any one else. Peggy’s true vocation in life was to throw her far-away gaze into futurity, and, as far as in her lay, to adapt present circumstances to what she supposed was going to happen. It would have delighted her soul if she could have been