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Temple Bailey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about The Trumpeter Swan.

Mary laughed a little.  “You are such a darling—­making the best of things——­”

“Well, making the best is the easiest way,” said Mrs. Flippin.  “I ain’t taking any credit, Mary.”

“You’ve had a hard day.  You’d better go to bed.”

“I’ll have a harder one to-morrow.  Nothing would do but I must go back to Huntersfield.  Mandy’s off her head, and the Judge wants the whole house turned upside down for Truxton.”

“And Truxton comes—­on the noon train.”

“Yes.”

There was a long silence.  Then Mary said in a queer voice, “Mother, I’ve got to tell you something—­to-night——­”

“You ain’t got anything to tell me, honey.”

“But I have—­something—­I should have told you—­months ago.”

“There isn’t anything you can tell me that I don’t know.”

"Mother——­“

“Girls can’t fool their mothers, Mary.  Do you think that when Fiddle grows up, she is going to fool you?”

IV

The next morning Mr. Flippin was at the foot of the stairs when his daughter came down.

“So you lied to me, Mary.”

She shook her head, “No.”

“You said his name was Truelove Branch.”

“He is my true love, Father.  And his name is T. Branch—­Truxton Branch Beaufort.”

“What do you think the Judge is going to say about this?”

“He is going to hate it.  He is going to think that your daughter isn’t good enough for his grandson.”

“You are good enough for anybody, Mary.  But this wasn’t the right way.”

“It was the only way.  Didn’t Mother tell you that he begged me to let him write to you and go to the Judge, and I wouldn’t?”

“Why not?”

“I wanted to have him here, so that we might face it together.”

“Your mother says she guessed it long ago.  But she didn’t say anything.  Talking might make it worse.”

“Talking would have made it worse, Dad.  We had done it—­and I’d do it again,” there was a lift of her head, a light in her eyes, “but it hasn’t been easy—­to know that you wondered—­that other people wondered.  But it wouldn’t have been any better if I had told.  Truxton had to be here to make it right if he could.”

“Why didn’t he come a-runnin’ to you as soon as he got on this side?”

“He couldn’t.  His orders kept him in New York, and he wanted me to come.  But I wouldn’t.  I made him ask his mother.  I could spare him for three weeks,—­he will be mine for the rest of his life—­and he is to tell her before they get here.”

“I wouldn’t have had it happen for a thousand dollars,” said troubled Bob Flippin.  “I’ve always done everything on the square with the Judge.”

“I know,” said Mary, with the sudden realization of how her act had affected others, “I know.  That’s the only thing I am sorry about.  But—­I don’t believe the Judge would be so silly as to let anything I did make any difference about you——­”

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