My Queen_ A Weekly Journal for Young Women. Issue 3, October 13, 1900 Marion Marlowe's True Heart; or, How a Daughter Forgave
A WEEKLY JOURNAL FOR YOUNG WOMEN
No. 3. PRICE, FIVE CENTS.
MARION MARLOWE’S TRUE HEART
HOW A DAUGHTER FORGAVE
BY GRACE SHIRLEY
PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street, New York City.
Copyright, 1900, by Street & Smith. All rights reserved. Entered at New York Post-Office as Second-Class Matter.
Issued Weekly. By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at the N. Y. Post Office, by Street & Smith, 238 William St., N. Y.
Entered According to Act of Congress in the year 1900, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C.
No. 3. NEW YORK, October 13, 1900. Price Five Cents.
Marion Marlowe’s True Heart;
HOW A DAUGHTER FORGAVE.
By GRACE SHIRLEY.
IN THE FARMHOUSE KITCHEN.
It was a cold, dreary day and the countrywas white with snow, causing the sparselysettled village of Hickorytown to look evenmore desolate than usual.
Old Deacon Joshua Marlowe and his wifewere seated in the dingy kitchen of the oldfarmhouse, and it was plainly to be seen thatthey were both worried and angry.
The farmer’s elbows were on his knees andhis head between his hands, and as he sat insilent meditation he spitefully chewed a longwisp of straw.
Martha Marlowe dried her eyes with herapron now and then, and finally a decidedsniff evinced to her husband that she wascrying.
Instead of becoming more calm at thissign of his wife’s grief, Deacon Marloweraised his head and scowled at her angrily.
“’Tain’t no use tew snivel about it, Marthy,”he said, snappishly. “It’s got tew bedid, an’ thet’s all thar is about it! Sile’s gotthe mor’gage on the farm, an’ he’s a-goin’ tewforeclose, an’ all the cryin’ yew kin dew won’thelp matters any.”
“But where be we a-goin’?” asked his wife,desperately. “I’ve asked Samanthy tew takeus, an’ she ’lows Tom won’t have us!”
“Tom’s a doggoned jackass!” was thefarmer’s answer. “Ef I’d a-knowed how tarnalstingy he wuz, I’d never hev let Samanthymarry him!”
“Waal, you wuz pretty sot on the matter,Joshuy!” snapped his wife, with some spirit.“The Lord knows, Samanthy didn’t want tewmarry him!”
There was no answer to this, so Mrs. Marlowegrew bolder.
“Marion told yew how it would turn outwhen yew done it, Joshuy, an’, in spite of that,yew done yewr best tew make Dollie marrySile Johnson! Not but that yew meant wellby the gal,” she added, a little more humbly,“but it shows on the face of it that it ain’tright fer a father tew interfere in sech matters.Ef our children hadn’t been driv so bytheir father, they might a-been here tew comfortus this minute!”
She put her apron up to her face and burstout crying now. Her mother heart had atlast conquered her fear of her husband.
“I hain’t a-lookin’ fer comfort, Marthy,”said the old farmer, stubbornly. “The factsof the case is clear, an’ we’ve got tew face’em!”
“Yew mean we’ve got tew leave the oldhome an’ go tew the Poor Farm, I s’pose,”was the answer. “Oh, Joshuy! It’s hard, an’I ain’t done nothin’ tew deserve it!”
Joshua Marlowe arose and paced the floorexcitedly. For the first time in his life hebegan to feel the twinges of a rebuking conscience.
Only two years before he had been a fairlyprosperous farmer, with a good wife andthree of the prettiest daughters to be found inthat section.
When Tom Wilders, a lean, lanky, close-fistedfarmer from his own town, asked tomarry Samantha; he gave her to him withouta word, and his eldest daughter, who inheritedher mother’s meekness, accepted him for ahusband, knowing that she loathed the fellow.
Only a little while after the marriage, TomWilders called on the deacon. His interviewwith his father-in-law was strictly private,but in some way it cost the deacon exactlyfive hundred dollars.
Where he got the money no one knew for atime, but very soon Silas Johnson, anotherneighbor, began suing boldly for the hand ofDollie Marlowe.
Dollie was only seventeen, but she hadmore spirit than Samantha, and, better yet,she had her sister Marion to protect her.
For what the rest of the women of theMarlowe family lacked in spirit, beautiful,gray-eyed Marion made up in full. As shegrew older she developed the determinationof her father, but it was backed by honor andgood judgment, and her love for her twin sistermade her as fearless as a lion.
Quite by accident Marion learned of herfather’s reason for assenting to Silas Johnson’ssuit. He had given Silas a mortgageon the farm for five hundred dollars in orderto obtain the money to loan to Tom Wilders.
Now, when the mortgage was to be foreclosedand the old people turned out, Tom,the dutiful son-in-law, not only refused topay up, but he also refused to even harbor hiswife’s parents.
There was still a mystery about the loan ofthe money, but neither Mrs. Marlowe norSamantha dared to question their husbands,and there was not a scrap of paper to provethe transaction.
“Ef Marion wuz here, she’d sift this thingtew the bottom,” thought poor, weak Mrs.Marlowe, as she sat and wept, and then for,perhaps, the first time in her life, she turnedand bitterly berated her husband.
“Yew’ve done it all, Joshuy!” she said,lowering her apron. “Yew tied Samanthyhand and foot tew the stingiest critter thisside er Jordan, an’, what’s more, yew’ve drivboth Marion and Dollie from their own father’sdoor—yew’ve done it, an’ some day yew’llanswer fer it, Joshuy!”
Her husband paused in his nervous pacing,and stared at her wonderingly. There wasa red flush of shame creeping over his wrinkledforehead.
“I’ve never said it before, being I ain’tdared, but I’ll say it now ef yew kill me,Joshuy Marlowe! I’m tew full tew keepstill! I jest can’t, an’ that’s all there is aboutit! Yew’ve been tew hard on yewr own fleshan’ blood, an’ yew’ve been tew hard on me—an’we air goin’ tew the Poor Farm as ajedgement upon us—yew fer bein’ so hard,an’ me fer keepin’ still an’ mindin’ ye!”
Before such a flood of honest condemnation,Joshua Marlowe stood silent; he had notdreamed that his wife harbored such bitternesstoward him.
With hardly a pause for breath, she wenton speaking, rolling the corners of her apronin both hands and rocking her body back andforth in the torrent of her misery.
“Ef it warn’t fer yewr hardness, theywould be here now, Joshuy—Samanthy, Marionan’ Dollie! But yew turned ’em out!Yew did, Joshuy Marlowe! Yew giv Samanthytew Tom an’ disowned poor Dollie, an’yew’d a-turned Marion out ef yew’d a-dared,but yew dassent! That’s one of yewr childrenthat wasn’t afeard of yew, Joshuy! Oh,Marion! Marion! I wish yew wuz here thisminute!”
The poor woman clasped her hands overher face and began weeping again, whileJoshua Marlowe stood like one transfixed,staring grimly at her.
There was a light step on the snow outside,but neither of them heard it. The next secondthe door flew open and a beautiful girlstood upon the threshold, her eyes flashinglike diamonds as their glance fell upon theweeping woman.
“Mother! Mother! I have come back!”cried a sweet, young voice.
The poor woman dropped her apron andgave a scream of joy.
“Oh, Marion! Thank God! It is mydarter Marion!”
PAYING OFF THE MORTGAGE.
Without even noticing her father, MarionMarlowe crossed the room to her mother’sside, and for just a moment mother anddaughter wept together.
Joshua Marlowe stared at her silently. Hecould hardly believe his eyes. Was this beautiful,stylishly dressed girl his daughterMarion?
After her burst of tears was over, Mariondried her eyes. It was not her nature towaste much time in weeping.
“Why didn’t you answer our letters, mother—Dollie’sand mine?” she asked, and thenanswered her own question without waitingfor her mother.
“I suppose father would not let you,” shesaid, with some scorn, “and of course youwere too scared to dream of disobeying him!It doesn’t seem possible that a woman couldbe so weak, but I forgive you, mother. Iknow he would only have made your life miserablefor you.”
“Yew air tew hard on me, Marion,” saidher father, faintly. He had always stood alittle in fear of his daughter Marion.
The girl sprang to her feet and faced him,her cheeks flaming with indignation.
“No, I’m not, father!” she said, hotly. “Iam not hard enough on you! You havebroken up your own family and you ought tobe ashamed of it!”
“Did I send Dollie away?” asked thefarmer, flaring up a little. “Did I make herrun away with that scapegrace, Lawson?”
“No, you didn’t do that, father,” said Marion,sadly, “but you condemned and disownedher as soon as she was gone, when you mighthave known that Dollie was innocent.”
“Waal, any father would hev done thesame, I reck’n,” said the old man, lamely,“but ef I did wrong, I’m a-gittin’ paid fer it,there’s no use denyin’ that, Marion.”
His mood had softened and his lips weretwitching suspiciously.
As Marion looked at him she seemed suddenlyto realize how old and worn he was,and in an instant her heart was bleeding forhim.
“Father! Father!” she cried, going over tohim as he sank upon a chair and putting herhand almost tenderly upon his shoulder.“You have been hard with us all, father; butwe will forgive you! Just say that you loveus, and that in future you will be more kind.”
“It’s tew late, Marion,” cried the old man,huskily. “There’s no home fer yew tew comeback tew now, so it don’t make no diff’renceabout your old father! We air goin’ tew thePoor Farm, yewr mother an’ me, an’ I guessshe’s right—she sez it’s jedgement upon us!”
Marion Marlowe’s lips trembled, but onlywith a smile. Her eyes shone through hertears as she gazed steadily at her father.
There was something she must know beforeshe told them the truth about the errandthat had brought her back to the mortgagedhomestead.
“Father,” she began, sternly, “there issomething I must know! If you refuse totell me, I will never forgive you! Whatscrape was Samantha’s husband in when youloaned him that five hundred dollars? Tellme the actual truth, father, for I am determinedto know it.”
Deacon Marlowe raised his head with theold, stubborn motion that his wife and daughterknew so well, but one look at Marion’sface made his glance waver considerably.
“I can’t tell yew—it’s Tom’s secret,” he began,but Marion interrupted him.
“You must tell me,” she said, firmly, “or Iwill employ a detective to find out for me.”
Deacon Marlowe’s jaw dropped and hischeeks became almost ashen in color. Theword detective to his country ears was synonymouswith everything that meant diabolicalcleverness.
“Yew wouldn’t dew that!” he began, andstopped. There was something in Marion’seyes that told him plainly that she woulddo it.
“Waal, I’ll tell ef I must,” he muttered atlast, “an’, after all, I don’t much keer, ferTom’s behaved mighty mean tew me. I lethim hev the money when he went tew NewYork that time, an’ I reckon he lost it in someof them hocus-pocus games—I don’t knowwhat they call ’em, it’s ‘bunco,’ or sumthin’!Anyhow, he lost the money, an’ come homewith a satchel full of worthless green paper,an’ it’s nat’ral thet neither on us wanted tewsay much about it, excep’ I had tew tell Sile,’cause he took the mor’gage.”
Mrs. Marlowe stared at her husband inbreathless interest while he was talking. Inthe height of her indignation she had neverdreamed that he was such a sinner.
As for Marion, her first thought was oneof disgust; then, the picture of her gawkybrother-in-law being “buncoed” by sharpersrose before her mental vision, and, in spite ofherself, she burst out laughing.
“So you were a ‘green goods’ victim, dad!”she cried, hysterically. “You thought, bymortgaging the farm, you’d get rich in a minute!Oh, it’s no wonder that city peoplethink we country folks are green! That’swhy they never lose a chance of imposingupon us!”
“Waal, it’s did, an’ thet’s all there is aboutit,” said her father, dolefully, “an’ it’s me an’yewr mother thet’s got ter bear the brunt.Yew an’ Dollie air free, an’ yew look prosperous,Marion.”
The old man was weakening very rapidlynow. He was fast becoming meek and submissivein his manner.
“We’ve had an awful struggle,” was