In the next room, Quincy was pursuing a similar line of thought. He was thinking of the nice times that Alice and he could have singing together. To be sure he wished to do nothing to make his father angry, for Quincy appreciated the power of money. He knew that with his mother’s third deducted, his fathers estate would give him between two and three hundred thousand dollars. He had some money in his own right left him by a fond aunt, his father’s sister, the income from which gave him a good living without calling upon his father.
He knew his father wished him to become a lawyer, and keep up the old firm which was so well known in legal and business circles, but Quincy in his heart realized that he was not equal to it, and the future had little attraction for him, if it were to be passed in the law offices of Sawyer, Crowninshield, & Lawrence. At any rate his health was not fully restored and he determined to stay at Mason’s Corner as long as he could do so without causing a break in the friendly relations existing between his father and himself. His present income was enough for his personal needs, but it was not sufficient to also support a Mrs. Quincy Adams Sawyer.
What Ezekiel had prophesied came true. No one knew just when the storm began, but the picture that greeted Mandy Skinner’s eyes when she came down to get breakfast was a great contrast to that of the previous day.
The snow had fallen steadily in large, heavy flakes, the road and the fields showed an even, unbroken surface of white; the tops of the taller fences were yet above the snow line, each post wearing a white cap. As the morning advanced the storm increased, the wind blew, and great drifts were indications of its power. The thick clouds of white flakes were thrown in every direction, and only dire necessity, it seemed, would be a sufficient reason for leaving a comfortable fireside.
Mandy and Mrs. Crowley were busily engaged in preparing the morning meal, when a loud scratching at a door, which led into a large room that was used as an addition to the kitchen, attracted their attention. In bounded Swiss, the big St. Bernard dog belonging to Uncle Ike. At Uncle Ike’s special request Swiss had not been banished to the barn or the wood-shed, but had been allowed to sleep on a pallet in the corner of the large room referred to.
Swiss was a great favorite with Mandy, and he was a great friend of hers, for Swiss was very particular about his food, and he had found Mandy to be a much better cook than Uncle Ike had been; besides the fare was more bounteous at the Pettengill homestead than down at the chicken coop, and Swiss had gained in weight and strength since his change of quarters.
After breakfast Uncle Ike came into the kitchen and received a warm welcome from Swiss. Uncle Ike told Mandy and Mrs. Crowley the well-known story of the rescues of lost travellers made by the St. Bernard dogs on the snow-clad mountains of Switzerland. When Mrs. Crowley learned that Swiss had come from a country a great many miles farther away from America than Ireland was, he rose greatly in her estimation and she made no objection to his occupying a warm corner of the kitchen.