A chair was now brought, and placed near the cart; a woman mounted into the vehicle to assist her; Uncle Isham and another colored man stood ready to receive her, and Aunt Patsy began her descent. This, to her mind, was a much more difficult and dangerous proceeding than getting into the cart, and she was very slow and cautious about it. First, one of her great green baize feet was put over the tail of the cart, and resting her weight upon the two men, Aunt Patsy allowed it to descend to the chair, where it was gradually followed by the other foot. Having safely accomplished this much, the old woman ejaculated: “Bress de Lor’!” When, in the same prudent manner, she had reached the ground, she heaved a sigh of relief, and fervently exclaimed: “De Lor’ be bressed!”
Supported by Uncle Isham, and the other man, Aunt Patsy now approached the steps. She was so old, so little, so bowed, and so apparently feeble, that several persons remonstrated with her for attempting to go into the house when anything she wanted would be gladly done for her. “Much ‘bliged,” said the old woman, “but I don’ want no letters nor nuffin’. I’s come to make a call on de white folks, an’ I’s gwine in.”
This announcement was received with a laugh, and she was allowed to proceed without further hindrance. She got up the porch steps without much difficulty, her supporters taking upon themselves most of the necessary exertion; but when she reached the top, she dispensed with their assistance. Shuffling to the front door, she there met Miss Harriet Corvey, who greeted the old woman with much surprise, but shook hands with her very cordially.
“Ebenin’, Miss Har’et,” said Aunt Patsy. And then, lowering her voice she asked: “Is ole miss h’yar?”
Miss Harriet hesitated a moment, and then she answered: “Yes, she is, but I don’t believe she’ll come down to see you.”
“Oh, I’ll go up-stars,” said Aunt Patsy. “Whar she?”
“She’s in the spare chamber,” said Miss Harriet; and Aunt Patsy, with a nod of the head signifying that she knew all about that room, crossed the hall, and began, slowly but steadily, to ascend the stairs. Miss Harriet gazed upon her with amazement, for Aunt Patsy had been considered chair-ridden when the postmistress was a young woman. Arrived at the end of her toilsome ascent, Aunt Patsy knocked at the door of the spare chamber, and as the voice of her old mistress said, “Come in!” she went in.
When Lawrence Croft reached the Green Sulphur Springs, after his interview with Miss March, his soul was still bubbling and boiling with emotion, and it continued in that condition all night, at least during that great part of the night of which he was conscious. The sight of the lady he loved, under the new circumstances in which he found her, had determined him to throw prudence and precaution to the winds, and to ask her at once to be his wife.