When she reached the duet Quincy did not attempt to control himself any further, but joined in with her, and they sang the piece together to the end.
Alice turned upon the piano stool, faced the door and clapped her hands.
“That was capital, Mr. Sawyer. I didn’t know that you sang so well. In fact, I didn’t know that you sang at all.”
“How did you know it was I?” said Quincy, as he advanced towards her. “It is a little cool here, Miss Pettengill. Allow me to place your shawl about you;” and, suiting the action to the word, he put it gently over her shoulders.
“Yes,” said Alice, “I put it on when I first came down. It interfered with my playing and I threw it into the chair.”
“May I take the chair, now that it is unoccupied?” he asked.
“Yes,” said Alice, “if you will give me your word of honor that you did not try to make me think it was cold: here, so that you could get the chair.”
Quincy replied with a laugh, “If I did my reward is a great return for my power of invention, but I assure you I was thinking of your health and not of the chair, when I tendered my services.”
“You are an adept in sweet speeches, Mr. Sawyer. You city young men all are; but our country youth, who are just as true and honest, are at a great disadvantage, because they cannot say what they think in so pleasing a way.”
“I hope you do not think I am insincere,” remarked Quincy, gravely.
“Not at all,” said Alice, “but I have not answered your question. How did I know that it was you? You must remember, Mr. Sawyer, that those who cannot see have their hearing accentuated, and the ear kindly sends those pictures to the brain which unfortunately the eye cannot supply.”
“I have enjoyed your playing and singing immensely,” said Quincy. “Let us try that duet again.”
They sang it again, and then they went from piece to piece, each suggesting her or his favorite, and it was not till Mandy’s shrill voice once more called out with more than usual force and sharpness, “Supper’s ready,” that the piano was closed and Quincy, for the first time taking Alice’s hand in his, led her from the parlor, which was almost shrouded in darkness, into the bright light of the dining-room, where they took their accustomed seats. They ate but little, their hearts were full of the melody that each had enjoyed so much.
Some more new ideas.
When Ezekiel and Cobb’s twins returned from West Eastborough, they said the air felt like snow. Mandy had kept some supper for them. Ezekiel said they had supper over to Eastborough Centre, but the home cooking smelled so good that all three sat down in the kitchen and disposed of what Mandy had provided.
The other members of the Pettengill household were in their respective rooms. Uncle Ike was reading a magazine. Alice had not retired, for Mandy always came to her room before she did so to see that her fire was all right for the night. Alice was a great lover of music and she had enjoyed the afternoon almost as much as Quincy had. She could not help thinking what musical treats might be in store for them, and then the thought came to her how she would miss him when he went back to Boston.