This gave plenty of time for the reloading of the horses and carriage on the special car in which they had been brought from Boston and which had been side-tracked.
Quincy wished to accompany his aunt to Boston and escort her to her home, but she demurred. He insisted, but his aunt replied, “Don’t go, please don’t, Quincy; they will take me for your mother, and I really am not quite old enough for that.”
This argument was unanswerable, and Quincy bade her a laughing good-by as the train sped on towards Boston, the special car in charge of the coachman and footman bringing up the rear.
Thus Aunt Ella’s visit to Mason’s Corner became an event of the past, but the memory of it remained green for a long time in the minds of those who had witnessed her arrival and departure.
Ellis Smith drove Quincy home to the Pettengill house. It was to be home no longer, for Hiram and Mandy were to have the room that Quincy had occupied so long. His trunk and other belongings he had packed up the night before, and at Quincy’s request, Cobb’s twins had taken them out to Jacob’s Parlor, where he found them. He knew that Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins were to spend the afternoon with their daughter and son-in-law.
Quincy also knew that Uncle Ike and Alice were at Deacon Mason’s, where Ezekiel and Huldy were to remain for the coming week.
For the first time since he had been at Mason’s Corner, Quincy felt lonesome and deserted. He reflected on his way to Mrs. Hawkins’s boarding house that these weddings were all very nice, to be sure, but they had deprived him of the society of many good friends, who were now united by stronger ties than those of simple, everyday friendship.
He did not care to go to the grocery store, for he felt that the Professor was entitled to all the credit that he was likely to get for his day’s performance, and he did not wish to detract from it. So he went directly to his room, and for the first time felt out of sorts with Eastborough and its people.
He was not hungry for food, so he did not answer the call to supper, but sat in the dark and thought. He realized that he was hungry, yes, desperately hungry, for love—the love of one woman, Alice Pettengill. Why should he wait longer? Even if his father and mother objected his Aunt Ella was on his side, and her action had made him independent. He had felt himself so before, but now there was no doubt of it.
This determined young man then made up his mind he would declare his love at the first auspicious moment. Then he would go to his parents and learn their verdict on his proposed action. Thinking thus he went to bed, and in his dreams, ushers, and bridesmaids, and cut flowers, and potted plants, and miles of silken ribbon, and cream-colored horses, and carriages, and clergymen, and organists, and big pipe organs were revolving about him and Alice, as the planets revolve about the sun.