Mrs. Nathaniel Adams Sawyer took Alice’s hand in hers and kissed her upon the cheek. “You will always be welcome, my daughter, at our home. I know we shall learn to love you in time.”
It was Florence’s turn now. Like her mother, she took her new sister’s hand and gave her a society kiss on the cheek. Then she spoke: “As mother said, I know I shall learn to love you, sister, in time.”
A slight form dashed through the front parlor door, and throwing her arms about Alice’s neck, gave her a hearty kiss upon the lips. “My sweet sister, Alice, I love you now, and I always shall love you, and I think my brother Quincy is just the luckiest man in the world to get such a nice wife.”
Then abashed at her own vehemance, she got behind Aunt Ella, who said to herself, “Maude has got some heart.”
Dinner was announced. The Hon. Nathaniel Adams Sawyer offered his arm to Mrs. Quincy Adams Sawyer, and they led the holiday procession. Sir Stuart Fernborough, M.P., escorted Mrs. Sarah Quincy Sawyer; next came Mr. Leopold Ernst and Miss Linda Fernborough Chessman, followed by Mr. Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mrs. Leopold Ernst; behind them walked, arm in arm, Mrs. Ella Quincy Chessman and Mdme. Rose Archimbault; while bringing up the rear came the Misses Florence Estelle and Maude Gertrude Sawyer. Maude had politely offered her arm to Florence, but the latter had firmly declined to accept it. In this order they entered the gorgeous dining-room and took their places at a table bearing evidences of the greatest wealth, if not the greatest refinement, to partake of their Christmas dinner.
Five years passed away, years of not unmixed happiness for any of those with whom this story has made us acquainted. Quincy and Alice had undergone a severe trial in the loss of two of the three little ones that had been born to them; the remaining child was a fair little boy, another Quincy, and upon him the bereaved parents lavished all the wealth of their tenderness and affection.
In his political life, however, Quincy had found only smooth and pleasant sailing, and thanks to his bright and energetic nature, and not a little, perhaps, to his father’s name and influence, he had risen rapidly from place to place and honor to honor. One of his earliest political moves had been the introduction of a bill into the House for the separation of Mason’s Corner and Eastborough into individual communities.
Soon after the incorporation of the former town under its new name of Fernborough, Abbot Smith, at Quincy’s suggestion, had started the Fernborough Improvement Association, and now after these few years, the result of its labors was plainly and agreeably apparent. The ruins of Uncle Ike’s chicken coop had been removed, and grass covered its former site. Shade trees had been planted along all the principal streets,