They faced each other, she hardly able to conceal her impatience, he with a stern look upon his face.
“My simple question is this, Mr. Sawyer, have you ever eaten a meal at the same table with my mother’s heiress?”
“I have never seen her,” replied Quincy coldly. He took his hat, and with a low bow quitted the house and drove away.
Lindy threw herself in a passion on the sofa and burst into a flood of tears. She had played her last card and had lost.
An informal introduction.
When Quincy drove into the barn he found Jim Cobb there, and he turned the horse over to him. Entering by the back door he passed through the kitchen without seeing either Mandy or Mrs. Crowley, and went slowly upstairs. The house was very quiet. He remembered that Uncle Ike had gone to Eastborough Centre and ’Zekiel had gone to Deacon Mason’s. It was necessary for him to pass the door of the room occupied by Alice Pettengill in order to reach his own room. The door of her room was open. He involuntarily glanced in and then stood still.
What vision was this that met his eye? The sun, now dropping to the westward, threw its rays in at the window and they fell upon the head of the young girl seated beside it.
The hair was golden in the sunlight, that real golden that is seldom seen excepting on the heads of young children. She seemed slight in figure, but above the average stature. She wore a loose-fitting dress of light blue material, faced down the front with white, and over her shoulders was thrown a small knitted shawl of a light pink color. Quincy could not see her face, except in profile, for it was turned towards the window, but the profile was a striking one. He turned to step forward and enter his own room. As he did so the board upon which he stood creaked. He stopped again suddenly, hoping that the noise would not attract her attention, but her quick ear had caught the sound, and, rising, she advanced towards the door, her hands extended before her.
“Is that you, Uncle Ike?” she asked in a clear, sweet voice. “I heard you drive in.”
She had started in a straight line towards the door, but for some cause, perhaps the bright light coming from the wood fire in the open fireplace, she swerved in her course and would have walked directly towards the blazing wood had not Quincy rushed forward, caught her by the hand and stopped her further progress, saying as he did so, “Miss Pettengill, you will set your dress on fire.”
“You are not Uncle Ike,” said she, quickly. “He could not walk as fast as that. Who are you? You must know me, for you called me by name.”
Quincy replied, “Under the circumstances, Miss Pettengill, I see no way but to introduce myself. I am your brother’s boarder, and my name is Sawyer.”
“I am pleased to meet you, Mr. Sawyer,” said she, extending her hand, which Quincy took. “I feel acquainted with you already, for Uncle Ike speaks of you very often, and ’Zekiel said you used to board at Deacon Mason’s. Don’t you think Huldy is a lovely girl?”