"What's he want, mother?" came Roxy's clear voice from within the room. "That's Heman Blaisdell's voice." "Roxy, you come down here!" called Heman, masterfully. There was a pause, during which Mrs. Cole was apparently pulled away from the window. Then Roxy, her head enveloped in a shawl, appeared in her mother's place. "Well!" she said, impatiently. "What is it?"
"It's ole Meshach," said the negro, silently, with desperate eyes. "I hoped it wasn't. Dar is de hat, sho!" He cocked his huge horse-pistol, and took aim directly from below. "Pore Jack! Pore Jack! I reckon Roxy won't have pore Jack, caze Tommy won't sing. Sing, Tommy, little Roxy's pet: 'Pore Jack! Pore "
"I am rested," said Mara; "oh how much! And happy," she added, laying her little hand on Miss Roxy's shoulder. "I thank you, dear friend, for all your kindness to me. I am sorry I made you feel so sadly; but now you mustn't feel so any more, for all is well yes, all is well. I see now that it is so. I have passed beyond sorrow yes, forever."
He tuck 'n' dissenhurrit him." "Disenwhiched him?" "Dissenhurrit him." "What's dat? What do you mean?" "Means he bu'sted de will." "Bu's ted de will! He wouldn't ever treat him so! Take it back, you mis'able imitation nigger dat I bore in sorrow en tribbilation." Roxy's pet castle an occasional dollar from Tom's pocket was tumbling to ruin before her eyes.
Steavens had never heard anything in the least like it; it was injured, emotional, dramatic abuse, unique and masterly in its excruciating cruelty, as violent and unrestrained as had been her grief of twenty minutes before. With a shudder of disgust the lawyer went into the dining-room and closed the door into the kitchen. "Poor Roxy's getting it now," he remarked when he came back.
It seemed queer to Kit to think of Hope College as being any kind of an historic pile, but Rex had assured her anything that dated before Custer was ancient history, and if you wanted to get almost prehistoric, you went back to Lewis and Clarke, and the Jesuit explorers. "Why, back at Gilead," Kit told him, "even the mounting stone at Cousin Roxy's had 1721 on it."
"Why, Roxy's been an' taken her down to Cap'n Kittridge's to spend the night," said Miss Ruey. "Roxy's gone to help Mis' Kittridge to turn her spotted gray and black silk.
Mara was her picture-gallery, who gave her in the twenty-four hours as many Murillos or Greuzes as a lover of art could desire; and as she tied over the child's golden curls a little flat hat, and saw her go dancing off along the sea-sands, holding to Miss Roxy's bony finger, she felt she had in her what galleries of pictures could not buy.
In Miss Roxy's martial enthusiasm, she gave a sudden poke to her frisette, giving to it a diagonal bristle which extremely increased its usually severe expression; and any one contemplating her at the moment would have thought that for Moses Pennel, or any other young man, to come with tender propositions in that direction would have been indeed a venturesome enterprise.
The good woman stooped over and placed the child's little hand for a moment on the icy forehead. The little one gave a piercing scream, and struggled to get away; and as soon as she was put down, she ran and hid her face in Aunt Roxy's dress, sobbing bitterly. "That child'll grow up to follow vanity," said Mrs.