“Yes, more so,” Miss Eudora thought, “and more presuming,” whereupon she rehearsed the annoyances to which they had been subjected from their changed circumstances, dwelling at length upon Mrs. Roe’s tea drinking, and the insult offered by inviting them, when she knew there would be no one present with whom they associated.
“You forget Mrs. Johnson,” interposed Anna. “We would be glad to know her better than we do, she is so refined and cultivated in all her tastes, while Alice is the sweetest girl I ever knew. By the way, brother, they have come here since you left, consequently you have a rare pleasure in store, the forming their acquaintance.”
“Whose, the old or the young lady’s?” John asked.
“Both,” was Anna’s reply. “The mother is very youthful in her appearance. Why, she scarcely looks older than I, and I, you know, am thirty-two.”
As if fearful lest her own age should come next under consideration, Miss Eudora hastened to say:
“Yes, Mrs. Johnson does look very young, and Alice seems like a child. Such beautiful hair as she has. It used to be a bright yellow, or golden, but now it has a darker, richer shade, while her eyes are the softest, handsomest blue.”
Alice Johnson was evidently a favorite, and this stamped her somebody, so John began to ask who the Johnsons were.
Mrs. Richards seemed disposed to answer, which she did as follows:
“Mrs. Johnson used to live in Boston, and her husband was grandson of old Governor Johnson.”
“Ah, yes,” and John began to laugh. “I see now what gives Miss Alice’s hair that peculiar shade, and her eyes that heavenly blue; but go on, mother, and give her figure as soon as may be.”
“What do you mean?” asked Anna. “I should suppose you’d care more for her face than her form.”
John smiled mischievously, while his mother continued:
“I fancy that Mrs. Johnson’s family met with a reverse of fortune before her marriage. I do not see her as often as I would like to, for I am greatly pleased with her, although she has some habits of which I cannot approve. Why, I hear that Alice had a party the other day consisting-wholly of ragged urchins.”
“They were her Sabbath school scholars,” interposed Anna.
“I vote that Anna goes on with Alice’s history. She gives it best,” said John, and so Anna continued:
“There is but little more to tell. Mrs. Johnson and her daughter are both nice ladies, and I am sure you will like them—everybody does; and rumor has already given Alice to our young clergyman, Mr. Howard.”
“And she is worth fifty thousand dollars, too,” rejoined Asenath.
“I have her figure at last,” said John, winking slyly at Anna.
And, indeed, the fifty thousand dollars did seem to make an impression on the young man, who grew interested at once, making numerous inquiries, asking where he would be most likely to see her.