“Clarence!” cried she, louder. No answer. She touched his face—it was warm. “He’s fainted!” exclaimed she; and, ringing the bell violently, she screamed for help. Her husband and the nurse rushed into the room; then came Aunt Ada and Mr. Bates. They bathed his temples, held strong salts to his nostrils—still he did not revive. Finally, the nurse opened his bosom and placed her hand upon his heart. It was still—quite still: Clarence was dead!
At first they could not believe it. “Let me speak to him,” exclaimed little Birdie, distractedly; “he will hear my voice, and answer. Clarence! Clarence!” she cried. All in vain—all in vain. Clarence was dead!
They gently bore her away. That dull, cold look came back again upon her face, and left it never more in life. She walked about mournfully for a few years, pressing her hand upon her heart; and then passed away to join her lover, where distinctions in race or colour are unknown, and where the prejudices of earth cannot mar their happiness.
Our tale is now soon finished. They buried Clarence beside his parents; coloured people followed him to his last home, and wept over his grave. Of all the many whites that he had known, Aunt Ada and Mr. Balch were the only ones that mingled their tears with those who listened to the solemn words of Father Banks, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
We, too, Clarence, cast a tear upon thy tomb—poor victim of prejudice to thy colour! and deem thee better off resting upon thy cold pillow of earth, than battling with that malignant sentiment that persecuted thee, and has crushed energy, hope, and life from many stronger hearts.
* * * * *
Aunt Ada Bell remained for a short time with Emily, and then returned to Sudbury, where, during the remainder of her life, she never omitted an opportunity of doing a kindness to a coloured person; and when the increasing liberality of sentiment opened a way for the admission of coloured pupils to the famous schools of Sudbury, they could always procure board at her house, and Aunt Ada was a friend and mother to them.
Walters and dear old Ess reared a fine family; and the brown baby and her sister took numberless premiums at school, to the infinite delight of their parents. They also had a boy, whom they named “Charlie;” he inherited his uncle’s passionate fondness for marbles, which fondness, it has been ascertained, is fostered by his uncle, who, ’tis said, furnishes the sinews of war when there is a dearth in the treasury of Master Walters.