How Paul goes back to Wrenville.
While ’Squire Conant was speaking, Paul formed a sudden resolution. He remembered that Aunt Lucy Lee was a sister of ’Squire Conant. Perhaps, in his present frame of mind, it might be possible to induce him to do something for her.
“I believe I am acquainted with a sister of yours, ’Squire Conant,” he commenced.
“Ha!” exclaimed the ’Squire.
“Mrs. Lucy Lee.”
“Yes,” was the slow reply; “she is my sister. Where did you meet her?”
“At the Wrenville Poorhouse.”
“How long ago?”
“About six years since.”
“Is she there, still?”
“Yes, sir. Since I have been in New York, I have heard from her frequently. I am going from here to visit her. Have you any message, sir? I am sure she would be glad to hear from you.”
“She shall hear from me,” said the ’Squire in a low voice. “Sit down, and I will write her a letter which, I hope, will not prove unwelcome.”
Five minutes afterwards he handed Paul an open letter.
“You may read it,” he said, abruptly.
“You have been a better friend to my sister than I. You shall witness my late reparation.”
The letter was as follows:——
Cedarville, Jan 13, 18—.
My dear sister:—
I hope you will forgive me for my long neglect. It is not fitting that while I am possessed of abundant means you should longer remain the tenant of an almshouse. I send you by the bearer of this note, Paul Prescott, who, I understand, is a friend of yours, the sum of three hundred dollars. The same sum will be sent you annually. I hope it will be sufficient to maintain you comfortably. I shall endeavor to call upon you soon, and meanwhile remain, Your affectionate brother,
Paul read this letter with grateful joy. It seemed almost to good to be true. Aunt Lucy would be released from the petty tyranny of Mrs. Mudge’s household, and perhaps—he felt almost sure Aunt Hester would be willing to receive her as a boarder, thus insuring her a peaceful and happy home in her declining years.
“Oh, sir,” said he, seizing ’Squire Conant’s hand, “you cannot tell how happy you have made me.”
“It is what I ought to have done before. Here is the money referred to in the letter,—three hundred dollars,—mind you don’t lose it.”
“I will take every care, sir.”
“You may tell my sister that I shall be happy to have her write me.”
“I will, sir.”