"You will really be my cousin then," he wrote, "and I intend inviting yourself and husband to pass the holidays with us. I want my mother to know you, Maude. She will like you, I am sure, for she always thinks as I do."
This letter was far more pleasing to Maude's taste than were the oranges and figs, and: Louis was suffered to monopolize the latter-- a privilege which he appreciated, as children usually do. After the holidays J.C. paid a flying visit to Laurel Hill, where his presence caused quite as much pain as pleasure, so anxious he seemed to return. Rochester could not well exist without him, one would suppose, from hearing him talk of the rides he planned, the surprise parties he man--aged, and the private theatricals of which he was the leader.
"Do they pay you well for your services?" Louis asked him once, when wearying of the same old story.
J.C. understood the hit, and during the remainder of his stay was far less egotistical than he would otherwise have been. After his departure there ensued an interval of quiet, which, as spring approached, was broken by the doctor's resuming the work of repairs, which had been suspended during the coldest weather. The partition between the parlor and the large square bedroom was removed; folding-doors were made between; the windows were cut down; a carpet was bought to match the one which Maude had purchased the summer before; and then, when all was done, the doctor was seized with a fit of the blues, because it had cost so much. But he could afford to be extravagant for a wife like Maude Glendower, and trusting much to the wheat crop and the wool, he started for Troy about the middle of March, fully expecting to receive from the lady a decisive answer as to when she would make them both perfectly happy!
With a most winning smile upon her lip and a bewitching glance in her black eyes, Maude Glendower took his hand in hers and begged for a little longer freedom.
"Wait till next fall," she said; "I must go to Saratoga one more summer. I shall never be happy if I don't, and you, I dare say, wouldn't enjoy it a bit."
The doctor was not so sure of that. Her eyes, her voice, and the soft touch of her hand made him feel very queer; and he was almost willing to go to Saratoga himself if by these means he could secure her.
"How much do they charge?" he asked; and, with a flash of her bright eyes, the lady answered, "I suppose both of us can get along with thirty or forty dollars a week, including everything; but that isn't much, as I don't care to stay more than two months!"