The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.

I was one evening seated on the piazza, engaged in a very pleasant conversation with several ladies and gentlemen, who, like me, had sought the piazza to enjoy the refreshing coolness of the evening air, after an intensely hot day.  I noticed a carriage approaching in which several persons were seated.  I did not at first pay much attention, as the arrival of strangers was a matter of very frequent occurrence; but, as the carriage drew nigh, my attention was riveted by a lady seated therein.  She made some smiling remark as one of the gentlemen stepped from the carriage and assisted her to alight.  That smile was sufficient—­it was the very smile of Miss Edmonds, the same happy smile which had so pleased my fancy years ago.  The seven years which had passed since I had seen her had somewhat changed her countenance; but her smile was the same.  As she took the arm of the gentleman who accompanied her, and ascended the steps of the piazza, I stepped forward and spoke to her as any stranger might accost another in a place of public resort.  I wished to see if she would recognize me.  She replied to me only as she might have done to any other stranger, but without the least sign of recognition.  Perceiving that she did not recognize me, I went near to her and said,—­

“Can it be possible, Miss Edmonds, that you have forgotten your old pupil, Clara Roscom?”

In a moment I was clasped in her arms and felt her kisses upon my cheek.  Turning to the gentleman whose arm she had left, she said,—­

“Allow me, Miss Roscom, to introduce to you Mr. Harringford, my husband.”

I acknowledged the introduction as well as my feelings of joyful excitement would admit of, for I knew of no other friend whose presence would afford me so much happiness as she with whom I had so unexpectedly met.  Seeing that she looked very much fatigued, I conducted her at once to my own apartment.  She was very anxious to learn all that had befallen me since we parted in Philadelphia, but I insisted upon her resting before entering upon the long conversation which we anticipated enjoying together.

When Miss Edmonds, or Mrs. Harringford as I must now call her, had somewhat recovered from her fatigue, we derived mutual satisfaction from a long and confidential conversation.  In giving me a brief sketch of her life during the time we had been separated, Mrs. Harringford said,—­

“On going to New York, I obtained a situation as governess, which, for various reasons, I did not like, and I decided upon seeking another situation.  I chanced about this time to meet with a lady whose home was in South Carolina.  Her husband had business which required his presence in the City of New York, and he had prevailed upon her to accompany him.  The lady had, some years before, formed a slight acquaintance with Mrs. Leonard, the lady in whose house I was employed as governess, and when she visited the city she sought out Mrs. Leonard, and their former acquaintance was

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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