I sat down and covered my face. And from the pew behind me some one leaned over and patted my shoulder.
“Miss Bess!” old Isaac said gently. “Don’t take on, Miss Bess!”
He came the next day and brought me some lilies from the bride’s bouquet, that she had sent me, and a bottle of champagne from the wedding supper. I had not tasted champagne for twenty years!
That is all of the story. On summer afternoons sometimes, when the house is hot, I go to the park and sit. I used to take Peter, but now he is dead. I like to see Lida’s little boy; the nurse knows me by sight, and lets me talk to the child. He can say “Peter” quite plainly. But he does not call Alma “Grandmother.” The nurse says she does not like it. He calls her “Nana.”
Lida does not forget me. Especially at flood-times, she always comes to see if I am comfortable. The other day she brought me, with apologies, the chiffon gown her mother had worn at her wedding. Alma had never worn it but once, and now she was too stout for it. I took it; I am not proud, and I should like Molly Maguire to see it.
Mr. Holcombe asked me last night to marry him. He says he needs me, and that I need him.
I am a lonely woman, and getting old, and I’m tired of watching the gas meter; and besides, with Peter dead, I need a man in the house all the time. The flood district is none too orderly. Besides, when I have a wedding dress laid away and a bottle of good wine, it seems a pity not to use them.
I think I shall do it.