“Oh, it would be too much to ask,” said Alice.
“But you have not asked,” answered Quincy. “I have offered you my services without your asking.”
“But when could we begin?” asked Alice, hesitatingly.
“At once,” replied Quincy. “I brought with me from Boston a half ream of legal paper and a dozen good pencils. I can write faster and much better with a pencil than I can with a pen, and as all legal papers have to be copied, I have got into the habit of using pencils for everything.”
It took Quincy but a few minutes to go to his room and secure his paper and pencils. He drew a table close to Alice’s chair and sat down beside her.
“What is the name of the story?” asked he.
Alice replied, “I have called it in my mind, ’How He Lost Both Name and Fortune.’”
A visit to Mrs. Putnam.
It must not be supposed that Alice’s story was written out by Quincy in one or even two days. The oldest inhabitants will tell you that the great snowstorm lasted three days and three nights, and it was not till the fourth day thereafter that the roads were broken out, so that safe travel between Eastborough Centre and Mason’s Corner became possible.
The day after the storm the sad intelligence came to Quincy and Alice that old Mr. Putnam had passed quietly away on the last day of the storm. Quincy attended the funeral, and he could not help acknowledging to himself that Lindy Putnam never looked more beautiful than in her dress of plain black. The only ornament upon her was a pair of beautiful diamond earrings, but she always wore them, and consequently they were not obtrusive.
Quincy bore an urgent request from Mrs. Putnam that Alice should come to see her. As the story was finished and copied on the seventh day after the storm, Quincy had the old-fashioned sleigh brought out and lined with robes. Taking the horse Old Bill, that sleigh bells or snow slides could not startle from his equanimity, Alice was driven to Mrs. Putnam’s, and in a few minutes was clasped to Mrs. Putnam’s bosom, the old lady crying and laughing by turns.
Quincy thought it best, to leave them alone, and descending the stairs he entered the parlor, the door being halfway open. He started back as he saw a form dressed in black, seated by the window.
“Come in, Mr. Sawyer,” said Lindy. “I knew you were here. I saw you when you drove up with Miss Pettengill. What a beautiful girl she is, and what a pity that she is blind. I hope with all my heart that she will recover her sight.”
“She would be pleased to hear you say that,” remarked Quincy.
“We were never intimate,” said Lindy. “You can tell her from me, you are quite the gallant chevalier, Mr. Sawyer, and what you say to her will sound sweeter than if it came from other lips. Are you going to marry her, Mr. Sawyer?”