Bad Hugh eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 488 pages of information about Bad Hugh.

This was an unlooked for trial to Adah.  She had not dreamed of living there at Terrace Hill, when Hugh and her own mother could make her so happy in their home.  But Adah had never consulted her own happiness, and as she listened to the pleading tones of the woman who surely had some heart, some noble qualities, she felt that ’twas her duty to remain there for a time at least, and so she replied at last: 

“I expected to live with my own mother, but for the present my home shall be here with you.”

“God bless you, darling,” and the proud woman’s lips touched the fair cheek, while the proud woman’s hand smoothed again the soft short curls, pushing them back from the white brow, as she murmured:  “You are very beautiful, my child, just as John said you were.”

It was hard for Adah to tell Mrs. Worthington that she could not make one of the circle who would gather around the home fireside Hugh was to purchase somewhere, but she did at last, standing firmly by her decision and saying in reply to her mother’s entreaties:  “It is my duty.  They need me more than you, who have both Hugh and Alice.”

Adah was right, so Hugh said, and Alice, too, while Irving Stanley said nothing.  He must have found much that was attractive about the little town of Snowdon, for he lingered there long after there was not the least excuse for staying.  He did not go often to Terrace Hill, and when he did, he never asked for Adah, but so long as he could see her on the Sabbath days when, with the Richards’ family she walked quietly up the aisle, her cheek flushing when she passed him, and so long as he occasionally met her at Mrs. Worthington’s rooms, or saw her riding in the Richards’ carriage, so long was he content to stay.  But there came a time when he must go, and then he asked for Adah, and in the presence of her mother-in-law invited her to go with him to her husband’s grave.  She went, taking Willie with her, and there, with that fresh mound between them, Irving Stanley told her what he had hitherto withheld, told what the dying soldier had said, and asked if it should be so.

“Not now, not yet,” he continued, as Adah’s eyes were bent upon that grave, “but by and by, will you do your husband’s bidding—­be my wife?”

“I will,” and taking Willie’s hand Adah put it with hers into the broad, warm palm which clasped them both, as Irving whispered:  “Your child, darling, shall be mine, and never need he know that I am not his father.”

It was arranged that Alice should tell Mrs. Richards, as Adah would have no concealments.  Accordingly, Alice asked a private interview with the lady, to whom she told everything as she understood it.  And Mrs. Richards, though weeping bitterly, generously exonerated Adah from all blame, commended her as having acted very wisely, and then added, with a flush of pride: 

“Many a woman would be glad to marry Irving Stanley, and it gives me pleasure to know that to my son’s widow the honor is accorded.  He is worthy to take John’s place, and she, I believe, is worthy of him.  I love her already as my daughter, and shall look upon him as a son.  You say they are in the garden.  Let them both come to me.”

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Bad Hugh from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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