Then Mrs. H. Boardman Jameson came close to Caroline Liscom, and tears were running down her cheeks quite openly. She did not even have out her handkerchief, and she threw her arms right around the other woman who had saved her daughter. “God bless you! Oh, God bless you!” she said; then her voice broke and she sobbed out loud. I think a good many of us joined her. As for Caroline Liscom, she sort of pushed Harriet toward her son, and then she threw her poor, scorched arms around Mrs. H. Boardman Jameson and kissed her. “Oh, let us both thank God!” sobbed Caroline.
As soon as we got calm enough we took Harriet upstairs; her pretty muslin was fluttering around her in yellow rags, and the slight burns needed attention; she was also exhausted with the nervous shock, and was trembling like a leaf, her cheeks white and her eyes big with terror. Caroline Liscom and her mother came too, and Caroline concealed her burns until Harriet’s were dressed. Luckily, the doctor was there. Then Harriet was induced to lie down on the north chamber bed on the old blue-and-white counterpane that Mrs. Sim White’s mother spun and wove.
Rev. Henry P. Jacobs did not read his poem; we were too much perturbed to listen to it, and nobody mentioned it to him. Flora Clark whispered to me that if he began she should go home; for her part, she felt as if she had gone through enough that day without poetry. The poem was delivered by special request at our next sewing circle, but I think the minister was always disappointed, though he strove to bear it with Christian grace. However, within three months he had to console him a larger wedding fee than often falls to a minister in Linnville.
The centennial dissolved soon after the burning accident. There was nothing more to do but to put the Shaw house to rights again and restore the various articles to their owners, which, of course, could not be done that day, nor for many days to come. I think I never worked harder in my life than I did setting things to rights after our centennial; but I had one consolation through it, and that was the happiness of the two young things, who had had indirectly their love tangle smoothed out by it.
Caroline Liscom and Mrs. Jameson were on the very best of terms, and Harriet was running over to Caroline’s house to take lessons in housekeeping, instead of to mine, before the week was out.
There was a beautiful wedding the last of October, and young Mrs. Harry Liscom has lived in our midst ever since, being considered one of the most notable housekeepers in the village for her age. She and her husband live with Caroline Liscom, and Louisa says sometimes that she believes Caroline loves the girl better than she does her own son, and that she fairly took her into her heart when she saved her life.
“Some women can’t love anybody except their own very much unless they can do something for them,” says Louisa; and I don’t know but she is right.