“O, tell me all about it!” said Grace.
“Why, child,” Sedgwick said, “that is the lady who went to Texas and taught school one season, who set the honest heart of Tom Jordan on fire, and burned it half to ashes, made him sell his home because he was so wretched, and finally, with my help, or through my fault, set him to running a tunnel to a mine in Southern Africa, among the Boers and Kaffirs.”
“Do you believe that can be true?” asked Grace.
“I know it,” said the confident man. “The description an the singing tally, and the name is the same. Tom says her singing would make a lark, out of envy, ’fall outer a tree’.”
“Upon my soul!” said Grace, and then lapsed into silence.
“What are you thinking of, sweet?” asked Sedgwick, after a pause.
“I was thinking what accidents our lives hang upon,” she said. “O, love, suppose you had not fancied me at all, what would have become of me?”
“And suppose you had, when I did fancy you and you knew my heart was in the dust at your feet, that the touch of the hem of your robe upon me thrilled me like old wine; suppose then I had pleaded for your love, and though you felt it was mine and intended to give it to me, still had refused me; might you not be singing, Could you come back to me, Douglas, in tones to break any one’s heart who might hear you?”
Grace thought a moment, and then said: “There’s more than all that to this, love; you men do not know much when it comes to the hearts of women. She had some other and good reason when she refused the true-souled man.”
“I believe now that you are right, my little sorceress,” said Sedgwick, “and I believe that the reason has since been removed, and her great grief now is in thinking of Jordan’s sorrow and than she cannot find him.”
“I will tell you what,” said Grace; “I will get as near her to-morrow as I can, and will try to coax her, hire her—if needs be—to accompany us to England.”
“A capital thought, my wise little wife!” said Sedgwick. “Then when you gain her confidence, if you think it best, we will try and help her find the great-hearted man.”
“I believe you are an angel,” said Grace.
“I know you are,” said Sedgwick, and involuntarily they kissed each other.
Back to England.
Before the Sedgwicks left Indianapolis, Grace found her opportunity and said: “Mrs. Hazleton, soon after we reach England my husband will go away for four or five months. I shall be awfully lonesome. You have never been across the sea. Take pity upon me and be my guest for a few months until you weary of me.”
The lady was startled by the proposition, waited a moment, and then said:
“I do not know how to thank you, but I came here to teach music. I have several pupils, and have a contract to sing in the choir of one of the churches. I need the little revenue that I receive, but if I could get released from my obligations I would most gladly go, for I do covet a change exceedingly.”