"The very reason why she should not go," re turned the doctor." She and old Hannah would quarrel at once. You would take sides with Janet, I with Hannah, and that might produce a feeling which ought never to exist between man and wife. No, my dear, listen to me in this matter, and let Janet remain in Vernon. Old Hannah has been in my family a long time. She was formerly a slave, and belonged to my uncle, who lived in Virginia, and who, at his death, gave her to me. Of course I set her free, for I pride myself on being a man of humanity, and since that time she has lived with us, superintending the household entirely since Mrs. Kennedy's death. She is very peculiar, and would never suffer Janet to dictate, as I am sure, from what you say, she would do. So, my dear, try and think all is for the best. You need not tell her she is not to come, for it is a maxim of mine to avoid all unnecessary scenes, and you can easily write it in a letter."
Poor Mrs. Remington! she knew intuitively that the matter was decided, and was she not to be forgiven if at that moment she thought of the grass-grown grave whose occupant had in life been only too happy granting her slightest wish? But Harry was gone, and the man with whom she now had to deal was an exacting, tyrannical master, to whose will her own must ever be subservient. This, however, she did not then understand. She knew he was not at all like Harry, but she fancied that the difference consisted in his being so much older, graver, and wiser than her husband had been, and so with a sigh she yielded the point, thinking that Janet would be the greater sufferer of the two.
That evening several of her acquaintances called to see the bridegroom-elect, whom, in Mrs. Remington's hearing, they pronounced very fine looking and quite agreeable in manner; compliments which tended in a measure to soothe her irritated feelings and quiet the rapid beatings of her heart, which for hours after she retired to rest would occasionally whisper to her that the path she was about to tread was far from being strewn with flowers.
"He loves me, I know," she thought, "though his manner of showing it is so different from Harry; but I shall become accustomed to that after a while, and be very, very happy." And comforted with this assurance she fell asleep, encircling within her arms the little Maude, whose name had awakened bitter memories in the heart of him who in an adjoining chamber battled with thoughts of the dark past, which now on the eve of his second marriage passed in sad review before his mind.
Memories there were of a gentle, pale-faced woman, who, when her blue eyes were dim with coming death, had shudderingly turned away from him, as if his presence brought her more of pain than joy. Memories, too, there were of another--a peerlessly beautiful creature who, ere he had sought the white-faced woman for his wife, had trampled on his affections and spurned as a useless gift his offered love. He hated her now, he thought; and the little black- haired child, sleeping so sweetly in its mother's arms, was hateful in his sight, because it bore that woman's name. One, two, three-- sounded the clock, and then he fell asleep, dreaming that underneath the willows which grew in the churchyard, far off on Laurel Hill, there were two graves instead of one; that in the house across the common there was a sound of rioting and mirth, unusual in that silent mansion. For she was there, the woman whom he had so madly loved, and wherever she went crowds gathered about her as in the olden time.
"Maude Glendower, why are you here?" he attempted to say, when a clear, silvery voice aroused him from his sleep, and starting up, he listened half in anger, half in disappointment, to the song which little Maude Remington sang as she sat in the open door awaiting the return of her mother, who had gone for the last time to see the sunshine fall on Harry's grave.
Mrs. Kennedy looked charming in her traveling dress of brown, and the happy husband likened her to a Quakeress, as he kissed her blushing. cheek and called her his "little wife." He had passed through the ceremony remarkably well, standing very erect, making the responses very, loud, and squeezing very becomingly the soft white hand on whose third finger he placed the wedding ring--a very small one, by the way. It was over now, and many of the bridal guests were gone; the minister, too, had gone, and jogging leisurely along upon his sorrel horse had ascertained the size of his fee, feeling a little disappointed that it was not larger--five dollars seemed so small, when he fully expected twenty from one of Dr. Kennedy's reputed wealth.
Janet had seen that everything was done for the comfort of the travelers, and then out behind the smokehouse had scolded herself soundly for crying, when she ought to appear brave, and encourage her young mistress. Not the slightest hint had she received that she was not to follow them in a few, weeks, and when at parting little Maude clung to her skirts, beseeching her to go, she comforted the child by telling her what she would bring her in the autumn, when she came. Half a dozen dolls, as many pounds of candy, a dancing jack, and a mewing kitten were promised, and then the faithful creature turned to the weeping bride, who clasped her hard old hand convulsively, for she knew it was a long good-by. Until the carriage disappeared from view did Mrs. Kennedy look back through blinding tears to the spot where Janet stood, wiping her eyes with a corner of her stiffly starched white apron, and holding up one foot to keep her from soiling her clean blue cotton stockings, for, in accordance with a superstition peculiar to her race, she had thrown after the travelers a shoe, by way of insuring them good luck.