I'm awful glad Sam got his own money back, though." "The money didn't amount to anything. But what you did was the wonderful thing. For now I understand why you did it. You thought you thought Charlie had taken it to to pay that horrid man in Middleford. That is what you thought and you " Jed broke in. "Don't! Don't put me in mind of it, Maud," he begged. "I'm so ashamed I don't know what to do.
"I think she meant she liked living here so much better than she did living in Middleford, where we used to be." "Hum," was the only comment Jed made. He was surprised, nevertheless. Judged by what Captain Sam had told him, the Armstrong home at Middleford should have been a pleasant one. Barbara rattled on. "I guess that was it," she observed. "She was sort of talking to herself when she said it.
That is, I don't think it's sartin sure it means that. I rather had the notion it might mean he was figgerin' whether or not to go straight to Sam and make a clean breast of it." "You mean tell tell everything?" "Yes, all about the the business at Middleford. I do honestly believe that's what the boy's got on his mind to do.
When he next spoke it was in a different tone. "Sis," he asked, slowly, "do you mean that he thought I took this money because he knew I had had done that thing at Middleford? Does he know about that?" The tears were streaming down her cheeks. "Yes, Charlie," she said, "he knows. He found it out, partly by accident, before you came here. And and think how loyal, how wonderful he has been!
And now it's comin' out that he's a crook and a jailbird! And he'll be jailed for stealin' THIS time, too. Ho, ho!" He stopped, out of breath, to indulge in another long chuckle. Jed leaned forward. "What are you talkin' about, Phin?" he demanded. "Even allowin' all this this rigmarole of yours about about Middleford business was true " "It is true and you know it is.
Now what am I going to do?" He had risen and was pacing the floor. Jed asked a question. "What does your sister want you to do?" he asked. "Ruth? Oh, as I told you, she thinks of no one but me. How dreadful it would be for me to tell of my Middleford record! How awful if I lost my position in the bank! Suppose they discharged me and the town learned why!
And, as for the rest of it, the big question that counts most of all to him, I hope yes, I think that's comin' out all right, too. Ruth," he added, "you remember what I told you about Sam's talk with me that afternoon when he came back from Wapatomac. If Maud cares for him as much as all that she ain't goin' to throw him over on account of what happened in Middleford."
After Seymour my husband died, he came East to see me at Middleford. One of Doctor Armstrong's patients, a bond broker in New Haven, took a fancy to him, or we thought he did, and offered him a position. He accepted, gave up his place at the bank in Wisconsin, and took charge of this man's Middleford office, making his home with Babbie and me.
Armstrong and Barbara, the latter an only child, had continued to occupy the house at Middleford, but recently the lady had come to feel that she could not afford to live there longer, but must find some less expensive quarters. "She didn't say so," volunteered Captain Sam, "but I judge she lost a good deal of her money, bad investments or somethin' like that.
At home there in Middleford I felt as if every person I met was staring at me and saying, 'Her brother is in prison. I was afraid to have Babbie play with the other children. I was but there, I won't talk about it. I can't. And I cannot have it begin again here. I'll go away first. We will all go away, out West, anywhere anywhere where we can be clean and like other people."