“There’s some talk of it. But time enough—time enough for that! He’ll do first-rate if he gets the law to practise, let alone the making of it.”
“Maybe so; he’s young yet. Well, good morning to you. I’ll just step over the way to the Express office and get a proof out of them of that sermon of mine. I noticed their reporter fellow—what’s his name?—Rawlins, with his pencil out last night, and I’ve no faith in Rawlins.”
“Better cast an eye over it,” responded Mr Murchison cordially, and stood for a moment or two longer in the door watching the crisp, significant little figure of the minister as he stepped briskly over the crossing to the newspaper office. There Dr Drummond sat down, before he explained his errand, and wrote a paragraph.
“We are pleased to learn,” it ran “that Mr Lorne Murchison, eldest son of Mr John Murchison, of this town, has passed at the capital of the Province his final examination in Law, distinguishing himself by coming out at the top of the list. It will be remembered that Mr Murchison, upon entering the Law Schools, also carried off a valuable scholarship. We are glad to be able to announce that Mr Murchison, Junior, will embark upon his profession in his native town, where he will enter the well-known firm of Fulke and Warner.”
The editor, Mr Horace Williams, had gone to dinner, and Rawlins was out so Dr Drummond had to leave it with the press foreman. Mr Williams read it appreciatively on his return, and sent it down with the following addition:
“This is doing it as well as it can be done. Elgin congratulates Mr L. Murchison upon having produced these results, and herself upon having produced Mr L. Murchison.”
From the day she stepped into it Mrs Murchison knew that the Plummer Place was going to be the bane of her existence. This may have been partly because Mr Murchison had bought it, since a circumstance welded like that into one’s life is very apt to assume the character of a bane, unless one’s temperament leads one to philosophy, which Mrs Murchison’s didn’t. But there were other reasons more difficult to traverse: it was plainly true that the place did require a tremendous amount of “looking after,” as such things were measured in Elgin, far more looking after than the Murchisons could afford to give it. They could never have afforded, in the beginning, to possess it had it not been sold, under mortgage, at a dramatic sacrifice. The house was a dignified old affair, built of wood and painted white, with wide green verandahs compassing the four sides of it, as they often did in days when the builder had only to turn his hand to the forest. It stood on the very edge of the town; wheatfields in the summer billowed up to its fences, and corn-stacks in the autumn camped around it like a besieging army. The plank sidewalk finished there; after that you took