During the remainder of the week Mr. Carrollton rode through the country, making the most minute inquiries, and receiving always the same discouraging answer. Once he thought to advertise, but from making the affair thus public he instinctively shrank, and, resolving to spare neither his time, his money, nor his health, he pursued his weary way alone. Once, too, Madam Conway spoke of Henry Warner, saying it was possible Maggie might have gone to him, as she had thought so much of Rose; but Mr. Carrollton “knew better.” A discarded lover, he said, was the last person in the world to whom a young girl like Margaret would go, particularly as Theo had said that Henry was now the husband of another.
Still the suggestion haunted him, and on the Monday following Henry Warner’s first visit to Worcester, he, too, went down to talk with Mr. Douglas, asking him if it were possible that Maggie was in Leominster.
“I know she is not,” said George, repeating the particulars of his interview with Henry, who, he said, was at the store on Saturday. “Once I thought of telling him all,” said he, “and then, considering the relation which formerly existed between them, I concluded to keep silent, especially as he manifested no desire to speak of her, but appeared, I fancied, quite uneasy when I casually mentioned Hillsdale.”
Thus was that matter decided, and while not many miles away Maggie was watching hopelessly for the coming of Arthur Carrollton, he, with George Douglas, was devising the best means for finding her, George generously offering to assist in the search, and suggesting finally that he should himself go to New York City, while Mr. Carrollton explored Boston and its vicinity. It seemed quite probable that Margaret would seek some of the large cities, as in her letter she had said she could earn her livelihood by teaching music; and quite hopeful of success, the young men parted, Mr. Carrollton going immediately to Boston, while Mr. Douglas, after a day or two, started for New York, whither, as the reader will remember, he had gone at the time of Henry’s last visit to Worcester.
Here for a time we leave them, Hagar raving mad, Madam Conway in strong hysterics, Theo wishing herself anywhere but at Hillsdale, Mrs. Jeffrey ditto, George Douglas threading the crowded streets of the noisy city, and Mr. Carrollton in Boston, growing paler and sadder as day after day passed by, bringing him no trace of the lost one. Here, I say, we leave them, while in another chapter we follow the footsteps of her for whom this search was made.
From the seaside to the mountains, from the mountains to Saratoga, from Saratoga to Montreal, from Montreal to the Thousand Isles, and thence they scarce knew where, the travelers wended their way, stopping not long at any place, for Margaret was ever seeking change. Greatly had she been admired, her pale, beautiful face attracting attention at once; but from all flattery she turned away, saying to Henry and Rose, “Let us go on.”