“Does she live in Worcester?” asked Maggie; and Henry answered: “No; in Leominster, which is not far distant. I go home once a month; and I fancy I can see Rose now, just as she looks when she comes tripping down the walk to meet me, her blue eyes shining like stars and her golden curls blowing over her pale forehead. She is very, very frail; and sometimes when I look upon her the dread fear steals over me that there will come a time, ere long, when I shall have no sister.”
There were tears in Maggie’s eyes, tears for the fair young girl whom she had never seen, and she felt a yearning desire to look on the beautiful face of her whom Henry called his sister. “I wish she would come here; I want to see her,” she said at last; and Henry replied: “She does not go often from home. But I have her daguerreotype in Worcester. I’ll write to Douglas to bring it,” and opening the letter, which was not yet sealed, he added a few lines. “Come, Maggie,” he said, when this was finished, “you need exercise. Suppose you ride over to the office with these letters?”
Maggie would rather have remained with him; but she expressed her willingness to go, and in a few moments was seated on Gritty’s back with the two letters clasped firmly in her hand. At one of these, the one bearing the name of Rose Warner, she looked often and wistfully; it was a most beautiful name, she thought, and she who bore it was beautiful too. And then there arose within her a wish—shadowy and undefined to herself, it is true; but still a wish—that she, Maggie Miller, might one day call that gentle Rose her sister. “I shall see her sometimes, anyway,” she thought, “and this George Douglas, too. I wish they’d visit us together;” and having by this time reached the post-office she deposited the letters and galloped rapidly toward home.
The senior partner.
The establishment of Douglas & Co. was closed for the night. The clerks had gone each to his own home; old Safford, the poor relation, the man-of-all-work, who attended faithfully to everything, groaning often and praying oftener over the careless habits of “the boys,” as he called the two young men, his employers, had sought his comfortless bachelor attic, where he slept always with one ear open, listening for any burglarious sound which might come from the store below, and which had it come to him listening thus would have frightened him half to death. George Douglas, too, the senior partner of the firm, had retired to his own room, which was far more elegantly furnished than that of the old man in the attic, and now in a velvet easy-chair he sat reading the letter from Hillsdale, which had arrived that evening, and a portion of which we subjoin for the reader’s benefit.
After giving an account of his accident, and the manner in which it occurred, Warner continued: