The day Father got here was a beautiful day. The train was due at six-thirty in the morning, but it never hurries and has only been on time three times since it has been running, and Uncle Henson said there was no use getting to the station until seven o’clock, but I told him if he wasn’t in front of the porch by six o’clock I’d send for Mr. Briggs and go down in his automobile, and there was no need to say anything more. Mention automobile to Uncle Henson and his back begins to go up just like a cat’s. There are only a few automobiles in town, though a good many people have Fords, and several offered to lend me theirs, but not wanting to hurt Miss Susanna, who has been sending the same carriage to the station for over thirty years, I didn’t accept their offers, but went down in the coach, as Uncle Henson calls it. Its top is still upholstered in a sun-shaped thing which was once yellow satin and now tattered and torn, and hardly anybody ever rides in it, but when a new boarder comes Miss Susanna always says, in that queenly way of hers, “You will take the carriage to the station, Henson,” and Uncle Henson’s old gray head bows as if at royal orders, and they do not know they are playing a part that belongs to the days that are no more. That is what Tennyson, I think, calls a time that will never be the same again.
Uncle Henson’s coachman’s coat, long and faded and once brass-buttoned, and a battered hat to match, are always put on to meet the train; and when he held the door open for Father to get in the old, ramshackle thing he did it in a way that could be sold for big money, if manner could be bought, and Father got inside with equal elegance. After he was in and Uncle Henson couldn’t see him, he looked at me as if to ask if I thought it would stand, and I nodded back yes, and slipped my hand in his and hugged him again, I was so glorious glad to see him! He is such a splendid Father—my Father is, I am so sorry for girls who haven’t one like mine, and not one of them has. He is the only one of his kind on earth.