Stepping upon a barrel, the Professor called out in a loud voice, “Order, please,” and in a short time the assembled crowd became quiet.
“Friends and Feller Citizens: I have this day received my commission as postmaster at Mason’s Corner, Mass. Mail matter will be sorted with celerity and delivered only to the proper parties, while the firm of Strout & Maxwell will always keep on hand a full assortment of the best family groceries at reasonable prices. Soliciting your continued patronage, I remain, yours respectively.
Obadiah Strout, Postmaster.
As the Professor stepped down from the barrel, Abner Stiles caught him by the arm and said in a low voice, “Isn’t Deacon Mason one of your bondsmen?”
“Yes,” said Strout, somewhat pompously, “but what of it?”
“Why, yer see,” said Abner, “I’m workin’ for the Deacon now, and I’m just as devoted to his interests as I used to be to yourn onct, and with a much better hope of reward, both on this earth and in Heaven, and if he’s got money put up on yer, of course yer won’t object if I drop in onct in a while and kinder keep an eye on yer.” And with this parting shot he dashed out a side door and was lost to sight.
When comparatively great events follow each other in quick succession, those of minor importance are liable to escape mention. It was for this reason, probably, that the second visit of Dr. Tillotson was not spoken of at the time of its occurrence. He examined Alice’s eyes and declared that progress towards recovery was being made, slowly but surely. He left a bottle of new medicine, and advised Alice, as an aid to recovery, to take a long walk, or a ride, each pleasant day. This advice he repeated to Uncle Ike, who was waiting for him outside the front door, and to Quincy, who brought him from the station and took him back.
On the day fixed upon, Quincy drove over to Montrose, and accompanied by Squire Rundlett, went to the county town and presented Mrs. Putnam’s will for probate. In due time the will was admitted, the executors’ bonds were filed and approved, and Quincy, at the age of twenty-three, found himself one of the financial guardians of the young heiress, Mary Alice Pettengill, she being his junior by less than two years.
About ten days after Quincy’s interview with his Aunt Ella, in which she had signified her intention of making him an allowance, he received a letter from a Boston banking firm, informing him that by direction of Mrs. Ella Chessman, the sum of five thousand dollars had been placed to his credit, and that a similar sum would be so placed on the first business day of January in each succeeding year. A blank card was enclosed for a copy of his signature, and the statement made that his drafts would be duly honored.
When Quincy and his aunt reached Eastborough Centre, after the trio of weddings, they found that they had a full hour to wait before the arrival of the next ingoing train.