“I said, brother was afraid it was improper under the circumstances for me to go, afraid lest people should talk; that I preferred going at once to New York. So it was finally decided, to the doctor’s relief, I fancied, that we come here, and here we are—hotel just like a beehive, and my room is in the fifth story.
“John had come on the day before to secure rooms, so madam and I were alone, occupying two whole seats, madam and myself on one, madam’s feet, two satchels, two silk umbrellas, one fan, one bouquet, and a book in the other. Several tired-looking folks glanced wistfully in that direction, but madam frowned so majestically that they passed on into another car, leaving us to our extra seat. At Rhinebeck, however, she found her match in a very fine-looking man, apparently forty or thereabouts, with a weed on his hat and a certain air, which savored strongly of psalms and hymns and extempore praying. In short, I guessed at once that he was a Presbyterian minister, old school at that. Now, madam, you know, is true blue—apostolically descended, and cannot tolerate anything like a dissenter. But I do not give her credit for having sufficient sagacity to detect the heretic in this handsome, pleasant-faced stranger, who stood looking this way and that for a seat. Madam, I saw, grew very red in the face, and finally threw down her veil, but not till the minister saw it, and half started forward as if about to speak. The movement showed him one extra seat, and very politely he laid his hand upon it, saying:
“’Pardon me, ladies, this,
I believe, is unoccupied, and I can find
“Madam’s feet came down with a jerk, ditto madam’s portion of the traps, although the stranger insisted that they did not trouble him, while again his mild but expressive eyes scanned the brown veil as if he would know whose face was under it. When we reached New York, he bowed to us again, as if to offer us assistance, but the doctor himself appeared, so that his services were unnecessary.
“‘Did you see him?’ madam whispered to John, who answered:
“‘Millbrook! He sat right there!’
“‘What, the parson? Where is he going?’
“‘I don’t know. I’m so glad Anna was not here.’
“All this was in an aside, but I heard it, and here are the conclusions. Parson Millbrook has been and wants to be again a lover of Anna Richards, but madam has shut up her bowels of compassion against him for some reason to this deponent unknown. Poor Anna, I am sorry for her, and as her sister, may perhaps help her; but shall I ever be her sister? Ay, there’s the rub, and now, honor bright, I reach the point at last.
“I am determined to bring the doctor to terms, and so rid you and Hugh of myself. To do this I must at some rate keep up the appearance of wealth. Perhaps Hugh never knew that Nell Tiffton