"'Cause I like you!" answered Janet, determined not to injure Maude's feelings by letting her know how soon her mother had been forgotten. "'Cause I like you, and always meant to give it to you. But don't tell anyone how much 'tis, for if the old fool widowers round here know I am still worth five thousand dollars they'll like enough be botherin' me with offers, hopin' I'll change my will; but I shan't. I'll teach 'em a trick or two, the good for-nothin' Old Maxim."
The latter part of this speech was made as Janet was leaving the room, consequently Maude did not hear it, neither would she have understood if she had. She knew her nurse was very peculiar, but she never dreamed it possible for her to fancy that Dr. Kennedy wished to make her his wife, and she was greatly puzzled to know why she had been so generous to her. But Janet knew; and when a few days afterward Dr. Kennedy, determining upon a fresh attempt to remove her from his house, came to her side, as she was sitting alone in the twilight, she felt glad that one-half her property at least was beyond her control.
"Mrs. Blodgett," he said, clearing his throat and looking considerably embarrassed, "Mrs. Blodgett."
"Well, what do you want of Mrs. Blodgett?" was the widow's testy answer, and the doctor replied, "I did not finish what I wished to say to you the other day, and it's a maxim of mine, if a person has anything on his mind, he had better tell it at once."
"Certainly, ease yourself off, do," and Janet's little gray eyes twinkled with delight, as she thought how crestfallen he would look when she told him her property was gone.
"I was going, Mrs. Blodgett," he continued, "I was going to propose to you--"
He never finished the sentence, for the widow sprang to her feet, exclaiming, "It's of no kind of use! I've gin my property all to Maude; half of it the day she's eighteen, and the rest on't is willed to her when I die, so you may as well let me alone," and feeling greatly flurried with what she verily believed to have been an offer, she walked away, leaving the doctor to think her the most inexplicable woman he ever saw.
The next day Janet received an invitation to visit her husband's sister who lived in Canada. The invitation was accepted, and to his great delight the doctor saw her drive from his door, just one week after his last amusing interview. In Canada Janet formed the acquaintance of a man full ten years her junior. He had been a distant relative of her husband, and knowing of her property, asked her to be his wife. For several days Janet studied her face to see what was in it "which made every man in Christendom want her!" and, concluding at last that "handsome is that handsome does," said "Yes," and made Peter Hopkins the happiest of men.