“I do love you, Polly,” said Trove, at length. “I’ve answered your queries,—all of them,—and now it’s my turn. If we were at Robin’s Inn, I should put my arms about you, and I should not let you go until—until you had promised to be my wife.”
“And I should not promise for at least an hour,” said she, smiling, as she turned, her dark eyes full of their new discovery. “Let us go home.”
“I’m going to be imperative,” said he, “and you must answer before I will let you go—”
“Dear Sidney,” said she, “let’s wait until we reach home. It’s too bad to spoil it here. But—” she whispered, looking about the room, “you may kiss me once now.”
“It’s like a tale in Harper’s,” said he, presently. “It’s ’to be continued,’ always, at the most exciting passage.”
“I shall take the cars at one o’clock,” said she, smiling. “But I shall not allow you to go with me. You know the weird sisters.”
“It would be impossible,” said Trove. “I must get work somewhere; my money is gone.”
“Money!” said she, opening her purse. “I’m a Lady Bountiful. Think of it—I’ve two hundred dollars here. Didn’t you know Riley Brooke cancelled the mortgage? Mother had saved this money for a payment.”
“Cancelled the mortgage!” said Trove.
“Yes, the dear old tinker repaired him, and now he’s a new man. I’ll give you a job, Sidney.”
“What to do?”
“Go and see the Governor, and then—and then you are to report to me at Robin’s Inn. Mind you, there’s to be no delay, and I’ll pay you—let’s see, I’ll pay you a hundred dollars.”
Trove began to laugh, and thought of this odd fulfilling of the ancient promises.
“I shall stay to-night with a cousin at Burlington. Oh, there’s one more thing—you’re to get a new suit of clothes at Albany, and, remember, it must be very grand.”
It was near train time, and they left the inn.
“I’m going to tell you everything,” said she, as they were on their way to the depot. “The day after to-morrow I am to see that dreadful Roberts. I’m longing to give him his answer.”
Not an hour before then Roberts had passed them on his way to Boston.
At the Sign of the Golden Spool
[1 The author desires to say that this chapter relates to no shop now in existence.]
It was early May and a bright morning in Hillsborough. There were lines of stores and houses on either side of the main thoroughfare from the river to Moosehead Inn, a long, low, white building that faced the public square. Hunters coming off its veranda and gazing down the street, as if sighting over gun-barrels at the bridge, were wont to reckon the distance “nigh on to forty rod.” There were “Boston Stores” and “Great Emporiums” and shops, modest as they were small, in that forty rods