“That reminds me,” said Quincy. “Will you tell Deacon Mason that I want the nurse to stay until to-morrow and I will be up to see her at nine o’clock?”
Quincy took up the reins and started for Eastborough Poorhouse.
He found his uncle weaker than on the day before. Quincy touched his hand, but did not lift it from the bed. Jim pointed towards the door.
“It’s all right,” said Quincy, “there is no one there.”
“Did you get it?” asked Uncle Jim in a whisper.
“Yes,” replied Quincy, “and it’s safe in the bank in Boston.”
“Thank God!” exclaimed Uncle Jim. “Now I don’t care how soon I am called to judgment for my sins.”
“Uncle Jim,” said Quincy, “I saw my father yesterday afternoon. Would you like to have your brother come see you?”
Uncle Jim shook his head. “It will do no good,” said he. “You have done all I could wish for. Pay the town for my board. Give them what they ask. Do with the balance what you wish, Quincy. It is yours.”
“Where do you wish to be buried, Uncle?” asked Quincy bravely.
“Right here,” replied Uncle Jim. “One of the boys here died about a month ago; his name was Tom Buck. He was a good fellow and did many kind things for me. Bury me side of him.”
“One more question, Uncle,” said Quincy. “In what town did your wife and children reside when they died?”
“In Amesbury,” said Uncle Jim. An idea seemed to strike him. “Well, Quincy, do you suppose you could find where they are buried?”
“Of course I can,” Quincy answered.
“Well,” continued Uncle Jim, “I don’t deserve it, I am not worthy of it, but she always loved me, and so did the children. I never struck her, nor them, nor did I ever speak unkindly to them. I never went home when I was drunk. I deserted them and left them to suffer. I don’t think she would object, do you?”
Quincy divined his thoughts and answered, “No, I do not, Uncle.”
“If you will do it, Quincy,” said Uncle Jim, “I shall die a happy man. Buy a little lot and put me beside Eunice and the children. Don’t put my name on the stone, put her name and those of the children. That will please me best. She will know I am there, but others will not.”
“It shall be done as you say, Uncle,” said Quincy. “I will be here early to-morrow morning and I shall come every day to see you. Good-by.”
He touched his uncle’s hand again softly and left the room. Uncle Jim, with a smile upon his wasted face, fell asleep.
Quincy drove leisurely towards Mason’s Corner. It was more than twenty-four hours since he had learned who was to be Mrs. Putnam’s heiress. He had made a promise. Should he keep it? How could he avoid keeping it? He would see Miss Putnam and be governed by circumstances.
He reached the Putnam house and was shown into the same room as on the morning before. In a few minutes Lindy joined him. He had never seen her looking better. She had on a handsome gown that he had never seen before. Quincy opened the conversation.