And yet there was something about her which puzzled Joel, who felt that the difference between them was great. He was disappointed, and the declaration which he had fully intended making was left until another time, when, as he thought, “he shouldn’t be so confounded shy of her.” His quarters, too, at Maple Grove were not the most pleasant, for no one noticed him except grandma and John Jr., and with the conviction that “the Kentuckians didn’t know what politeness meant,” he ordered his horse after dinner, and started back to Lexington, inviting all the family to call and “set for their picters,” saying that “seein’ ’twas them, he’d take ’em for half price.”
As he was leaving the piazza, he turned back, and drawing a large, square case from his pocket, passed it to ’Lena, saying it was a daguerreotype of her mountain home, which he had taken on purpose for her, forgetting to give it to her until that minute. The look of joy which lighted up ’Lena’s face made Joel almost repent of not having said to her what he intended to, but thinking he would wait till next time, he started off, his heart considerably lightened by her warm thanks for his thoughtfulness.
“Look, grandmother!—a picture of our old home. Isn’t it natural?” exclaimed Lena, as she ran back to the parlor.
Yes, it was natural, and the old lady’s tears gushed forth the moment she looked upon it. There was the well, the garden, the gate partially open, the barn in the rear, now half fallen down, the curtain of the west window rolled up as it was wont to be, while on the doorstep, basking in the warm sunshine, lay a cat, which Mrs. Nichols’ declared was hers.
“John ought to see this,” said she, wiping the tears from her eyes, and turning towards the door, which at that moment opened, admitting her son, together with Mr. Graham, who had accidentally called. “Look here, John,” said she, calling him to her side—“Do you remember this?”
The deep flush which mounted to John’s brow, showed that he did, and his mother, passing it toward Mr. Graham, continued: “It is our old home in Massachusetts. There’s the room where John and Helleny both were born, and where Helleny and her father died. Oh, it seems but yesterday since she died, and they carried her out of this door, and down the road, there—do you see?”