“My daughter, what did you intend to do after sending off this young man? Be a dutiful child, and wed as I wish you?”
“Never, never, father! I intend to be dutiful only so far as not wedding against your wishes, that is all—to leave the future to God, only praying constantly that some blessed influence may be sent to change your mind and heart,” Susie answered, raising her eyes to his, filled with earnest determination.
“Your prayers must have commenced already, my child. Some influence hath surely been sent—some blessed influence, I truly believe. Yes, my child, you will wed to please your father. Here, Frank, take her. I ought to scold you for trying to coax her from me. I heard it all this morning. But I forgive you for her sake, and bless you, too, boy, for the sake of the one in heaven who loved you. There, there, daughter, don’t choke me with your kisses. Take her off, Frank, and make her happy. She is a good child, and will make a true and loving wife. God bless you both, my children!”
And so ended Susie’s intended elopement.
“Ah here we are!” said pleasant voice, as the driver, having jumped from his seat, opened the carriage door.
“Yes, sir, I think so. This is the street and number—244 or 246, which did you say?”
“’Pon my word, I’ve forgotten, and lost the card,” answered the pleasant voice.
“The name, sir? I’ll inquire.”
“Never mind. I’ll take a look at both houses, and see if I cannot decide. I’m earlier than expected, so I can look well before they come out to welcome me. Just dump my luggage down on the sidewalk, and make off for another job,” said the old gentleman, handing the fare to the man, who soon after drove off.
“Well, here are two cottages alike, and very unlike, too. This one is Charley’s home, I know. Why? Because it is newly painted. The fencing all in perfect order. The grounds, although very limited, are prettily fixed up. Flowers and vines—ah, I like the looks of this place! And I’m sure I’m right in fixing it in my mind as Charley’s. Some don’t-carish fellow lives there—loves his pipe, cigars and wine, may be, better than his home, wife and children. Dear, dear! how those blinds are suffering for a coat of paint! A few dollars would make that fence all right. How different that entrance would look with a little rustic seat like this one! I wonder that fellow does not notice how much he might improve his place, if he only did as Charley. But here comes the servant. I’ll get her to let me in.”
“Rather sooner than you expected me, ain’t it? Folks not up yet? Just go back and open the door, my girl; let me in, and then tell Mr. Charles Mayfield that his uncle has come!”
“Oh, sir, you mistake! It is next door Mr. Charles Mayfield lives,” answered the girl.
“Next door? No; you mistake, surely. My nephew Charley can’t live there!”