The cousins prepared supper together, in Aggie's exquisitely neat kitchen, not that this was really necessary, but because the kitchen was so warm and pleasant. The kettle was ticking on the back of the range, a scoured empty milk-pan awaited the milk-man.
Nothing could be better, he mused; and once more he passed the details of the story in review, and beheld all those pictures which the poor fellow's artless words had so vividly conjured up: he saw him leaping ashore in the gray summer dawn as soon as the ship hauled into the dock, and making his way, with his vague sea-legs unaccustomed to the pavements, up through the silent and empty city streets; he imagined the tumult of fear and hope which the sight of the man's home must have caused in him, and the benumbing shock of finding it blind and deaf to all his appeals; he saw him sitting down upon what had been his own threshold, and waiting in a sort of bewildered patience till the neighbors should be awake, while the noises of the streets gradually arose, and the wheels began to rattle over the stones, and the milk-man and the ice-man came and went, and the waiting figure began to be stared at, and to challenge the curiosity of the passing policeman; he fancied the opening of the neighbor's door, and the slow, cold understanding of the case; the manner, whatever it was, in which the sailor was told that one year before his wife had died, with her babe, and that his children were scattered, none knew where.
Up to this day, the matrons of the three houses had been in the habit of paying the bakers and the milk-man weekly, because they had preferred to receive the payments in this way, and sometimes it had thus been also with the butcher and grocer.
Now I'm going up stairs, to put on a calico long-short, and take a nap; and you are to wash these dishes, and put them in the closet; clear away the table; sweep the room and dust it; wash these children's faces, and keep them quiet; put some water in the tea-kettle and set it boiling; tend the door, and keep a look out for the milk-man. "Ma'am?" said Letty, looking bewildered.
They ran to him at once: "Take us home," said they, "do take us home." The milk-man did take them home. When Mrs. Lloyd saw them when she knew that they were safe, she could not speak a word, but her look told a great deal they felt that look, and they all said, "We have done wrong, but we will try not to do wrong more."
He would work, instead of lounging about the streets all day, smoking "cigarros." But alas! That day he had overheard some of the American boy scholars talking to the teacher about the Spanish ones. "You don't want to have him for your milk-man, Miss Montgomery! I don't believe they keep the milk pails any too clean at his house. Laziness and dirt go together in these Spanish houses!"
Since Dobbs was removed we have had for assessors of income-tax both the butchers, the baker, the brewer, the miller, the little tailor, the milk-man; and now Jimpson at the toy-shop, of all good people! There will soon be nobody left but the sweep." "The sweep is a very civil man, but Jimpson is impertinent.
"The ties in Brian's bureau," read Garry, thunderstruck at the wealth of detail. "My white flannels. Have cleaned. No place here. Had to ride seven miles with a milk-man to send this " Garry ran his eye over the rest and groaned again at the hopeless task ahead.
I'm out o' the game, an' I s'pose the Gen'ral jus' pinned this thing on my coat so I wouldn't take my discharge too much to heart." That was Joe Langley. Do you wonder they forgot he was once a milk-man, or that every resident of Dorfield swelled with pride at the very sight of him? Just one of "our soldier boys," just one of the boys the Liberty Girls were trying to assist.
Didn't you know that Donald Maxwell was engaged to be married before he ever set foot in Durford?" "Good gracious, no! What are you talking about?" "Well, he certainly was, for keeps." "Then he had no business to pose as a free man, if he were engaged. It is dreadful to have to lose faith in one's rector. It is next to losing faith in in " "The milk-man. Yes, I quite agree with you.