A visit to the victim.
It was not until Quincy had reached the Pettengill house and helped Uncle Ike get his things in order, that he finally decided to accept Uncle Ike’s offer. If he went to Eastborough Centre to live at the hotel, he knew Strout would consider he had won a victory. He had thought of going to Mr. and Mrs. Putnam about a room and board, but then he remembered Lindy, and said to himself that Miss Putnam was a pretty girl and it would be the same old story over again. Then he thought, “There won’t be any danger here with a blind girl and Mandy Skinner, and if Uncle Ike can arrange matters it will be the best thing I can do.”
And so he drove up to Deacon Mason’s with Cobb’s twins, saw Mrs. Mason, went upstairs and packed his trunk quickly, and the Cobb boys drove away with it to his new, though perhaps only temporary, lodgings.
When Quincy went downstairs, Mrs. Mason was in the parlor, and she beckoned to him to come in. He entered and closed the door.
“I want to speak to you a few minutes,” said she, “and I want to tell you first I don’t blame you a bit. I know you told ’Zeke Pettengill that the tip-over was all your carelessness, but Huldy says it ain’t so. She said she was driving, though you didn’t want her to, and the accident was all her fault. Now, I believe my daughter tells the truth, and the Deacon thinks so too.”
“Well, Mrs. Mason,” said Quincy, “what your daughter says is partly true, but I am still to blame for allowing her to drive a horse with which she was not acquainted.”
“That warn’t the trouble, Mr. Sawyer,” said Mrs. Mason. “Huldy told me the whole truth. You said something to her about going away. She had heard what the village gossips were saying. Huldy’s got a high temper and she was so mad that she got flustrated, and that’s what caused all the trouble. I like you, Mr. Sawyer, and Huldy likes you. She says you have allus been a perfect gentleman, and the Deacon now is awful sorry you are going, but I hope you will come and see us often while you stay at Mason’s Corner.”
“I certainly shall, Mrs. Mason,” replied Quincy. “How is Miss Mason?”
“Oh, she is fust rate,” said the Deacon’s wife. “That doctor from the city fixed her arm all up in what he called a jacket, and that nurse that you sent just seems to know what Huldy wants before she can ask for it I hear them nurses are awful expensive, and I don’t think she better stay but a day or two longer.”
“She can’t leave till the surgeon comes from Boston and says she can go,” he remarked, thinking this was the easiest way to get out of it. “May I see Miss Mason?” he added.
“Certainly,” replied Mrs. Mason. “She is in the front chamber. We moved her in there ’cause there is a fireplace in the room and the nurse objected to the wood stove that Huldy had in her room. She said it was either too hot or too cold, and that Huldy must have an even temperature.”