And Joscelyn, standing by Aunty Nan's bed, in the sunset light, sang the song she had sung to many a brilliant audience on many a noted concert-platform sang it as even she had never sung before, while Aunty Nan lay and listened beatifically, and downstairs even Mrs. William held her breath, entranced by the exquisite melody that floated through the old farmhouse.
Pauline was a quiet, docile maiden, industrious and commonplace just such a girl as they had vainly striven to make of Joscelyn, to whom Pauline had always been held up as a model. Yet neither Cyrus nor Deborah took to her, and they let her go unregretfully when they found that she wished to return home. "She hasn't any of Josie's gimp," was old Cyrus's unspoken fault.
His son's daughter should never be brought up by an actress; it was bad enough that her mother had been one and had doubtless transmitted the taint to her child. But in Spring Valley, if anywhere, it might be eradicated. At first neither Cyrus nor Deborah cared much for Joscelyn.
She thought her husband was right, albeit she might in her own heart deplore the necessity of such a decree. Joscelyn had disgraced them; could that be forgiven? Nevertheless both the old people missed her terribly. The house seemed to have lost its soul with that vivid, ripely tinted young life. They got their married daughter's oldest girl, Pauline, to come and stay with them.
William splendid in rustling black silk, her broad, rubicund face smiling, overflowing with apologies and welcomes, which Joscelyn cut short coldly. "Thank you, Mrs. Morrison, but I cannot possibly stay longer. No, thank you, I don't care for any refreshments. Jordan is going to take me back to Kensington at once. I came out to see Aunty Nan." "I'm certain she'd be delighted," said Mrs.
Deborah spoke, but all she said was, "Polly's a good girl, Father, only she hasn't any snap." Joscelyn wrote to Deborah occasionally, telling her freely of her plans and doings. If it hurt the girl that no notice was ever taken of her letters she still wrote them. Deborah read the letters grimly and then left them in Cyrus's way.
"And, anyway, the point is, I haven't forgotten HER. Oh, Maria, I've longed for years and years just to hear her sing once more. It seems as if I MUST hear my little Joscelyn sing once again before I die. I've never had the chance before and I never will have it again. Do please ask William to take me to Kensington." "Dear me, Aunty Nan, this is really childish," said Mrs.
William was out in the barn-yard, milking, and the house was deserted, save for the sleeping baby in the kitchen and the little old woman with the watchful eyes in the up-stairs room. "This way, ma'am," said Jordan, inwardly congratulating himself that the coast was clear. "I'll take you right up to her room." Up-stairs, Joscelyn tapped at the half-open door and went in.
She's always talking of you. If you can come out to Gull Point Farm and see her, I'll be most awful obliged to you, ma'am." Joscelyn Burnett looked troubled. She had not forgotten Gull Point Farm, nor Aunty Nan; but for years the memory had been dim, crowded into the background of consciousness by the more exciting events of her busy life. Now it came back with a rush.
She had all her mother's gifts, deepened by her inheritance of Morgan intensity and sincerity ... much, too, of the Morgan firmness of will. When Joscelyn Morgan was twenty-two she was famous over two continents. When Cyrus Morgan returned home on the evening after his granddaughter's departure he told his wife that she was never to mention the girl's name in his hearing again. Deborah obeyed.
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