A daughter of Jehu
A DAUGHTER OF JEHU
Copyright, 1918, by
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
Printed in the United States of America
HENRIETTE AND MOLLY
WITH MUCH LOVE
II. Enter Kitty17
III. Ross House29
IV. The Home Guard41
V. The Neighbors51
VI. Johanna Ex Machina67
VII. A Symposium80
VIII. The Trivial Round98
IX. The Skeleton in Cyrus' Cupboard113
X. The Party126
XI. On the Rialto150
XII. Wilson Wimberley Wibird167
XIV. Johanna Rediviva200
XV. Largely Literary212
XVI. Psycho-Cardiac Processes222
XVII. Kitty Sings237
XVIII. Old Love and New252
XIX. "The Trivial Round"265
XX. The Pan-American276
XXI. The Tribulations of Cyrus289
XXII. The Duke of Lee303
XXIII. Haste to the Wedding!316
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
"A daughter of Jehu, for she driveth furiously" Frontispiece
"Oh, Judge, I've come home, I've come home!" 18
"Filling his pockets with gold, Tom strolled happily through the streets of Peking, looking in at all the bazaars" 172
—then the Duke of Lee took his bride away 323
A DAUGHTER OF JEHU
The June sun, lighting up the yard of the bigwhite house, lights up a pretty scene. To beginwith, the yard is pretty in itself, with itsstretch of emerald lawn, its trim gravel sweep, itslinden tree, in which the bees are humming, its fragrantmasses of purple lilac; but though one feels allthese things, one looks at the people in the yard. Twoladies, in light summer dresses, sitting on the stepsby the kitchen door; two children, riding a pony byturns, shrieking with glee. Both ladies are good tolook at: one, she in the pale green muslin, is so lovelythat it takes one's breath; like a dark lily, with herpale clear skin, her shadowy hair and eyes, her bendinggrace and languor. The other contrasts with herprettily enough: a tall, powerful young creature, vigorin every line of her, color flashing in her red-goldhair, in her dark blue eyes, in the shell-pink of hercheeks. She is in white, as befits her; this typeshould wear white always. A white dimity gown,made with absolute simplicity, this again contrastingwith the green muslin, which is flounced and ruffledand lace-trimmed, as if the lily had clad herself in[pg 2]fronds of the lady fern. The two are talking earnestlytogether, their eyes on the shouting children.
"No, Eleanor! no! you are wrong. Kitty shallknow nothing, if I can help it, but what is lovely.Think of St. Paul: 'Whatsoever things are pure,whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are ofgood report; if there be any virtue, and if there be anypraise, think on these things.' My Kitty shall thinkon these things, and on nothing else."
"Very well, my dear! but that will never do for myTom. He must worship the God of things as theyare. The public school for Tommy, the very minutehe strikes six! He must rub shoulders with the ashman'schildren, the washerwoman's, the——"
"Eleanor! Kitty shall never know that the washerwomanhas any children! She shall not touch, if Ican help it, anything that is rude or squalid or ugly.No, no! My little flower shall be 'a gentlewoman ofhigh quality'! And she shall marry the Duke of Lee,and go to the King's levee, or at least to the President's.I don't dare to say, you fierce republican, that I wishwe had a King! Come here, Kitty my Pretty, anddance the 'Duke of Lee' with Tommy! He shall bethe duke—you'd love to be a duke, wouldn't you,Tommy? See! now Kitty is a gentlewoman of highquality, and she picks up her petticoats—pick them up,Kitty!—and you make a low bow, so! left hand onyour heart, Tom, right hand on your sword—so! Nowdance, while I sing!"
The boy is perhaps eight years old, the girl six.Here, too, is contrast; Tommy Lee, a sturdy, square-shouldered,[pg 3]rosy urchin, Kitty Ross a slender windflowerof a child, with all her mother's lissome grace,but with the fair hair and steady gray eyes of herfather. They are both on the pony digging their heelsinto his side and shouting to him to "Go on! go won,Rosy Nanty!" Rosinante meanwhile, standing firm,revolving in his mind whether to rub them off gentlyagainst the fence, or to lie down and make believe goto sleep. They are his second generation of children;he knows all about them.
At the call, they slide down and come running.Everybody does what Mary Ross bids. Readilyenough they take place opposite each other: they oftendance together. Tom is a bit clumsy, but Kitty hasgrace enough for two, her mother thinks; indeed, sodoes Tom's mother. Now Mary Ross, leaning forward,claps her hands, and begins to sing:
To a gentlewoman of high quality,
How happy would that gentlewoman be
When she's blest with the duke's good company!
Marry oo diddy glu, diddy glu glu glu,
Diddy oo oo oo, diddy goo goo goo,
Marry oo diddy goo, diddy oo oo oo,
Marry oo, diddy glu, diddy glu!
And a coach and six for to take the air;
And she shall ride in St. James's Square;
And no lady in the city shall with her compare!
Marry oo, etc.
And dance a minuet with his majestie;
And she shall the very finest be
Of all the great nobility!
Marry oo," etc.1
1Republished by permission of The Page Company from"The Wooing of Calvin Parks" and "Up to Calvin's," byLaura E. Richards. Copyright, 1908 and 1910, respectively,by The Page Company.
"Oh! Eleanor, aren't they darlings? Aren't theydarlings? They simply are the Duke and the Gentlewoman!What if—oh, Eleanor, dear!"
The little creatures dance sedately, tiptoeing here,pirouetting there. The young mothers clap their handsin time to the quaint, old-world tune. The ponystamps and whinnies, rather vexed at being left outof the fun after all. The June sun, shining throughthe linden branches, thinks, perhaps, that he has seennothing prettier that day, nor for many days.
Dance, little Duke! Dance, fairy Duchess! Singand clap your hands, sweet, dark lily-lady! It is June,in the world and in your hearts; dance and sing whileyet you may!
To understand this story, you must know somethingof the topography of Cyrus, which is likeno other town in the State. (But every townsays that of itself!)
In the middle is the Common; square, green, withintersecting gravel paths, each with its marshaled rowsof maples, which in summer are just trees, but inautumn turn to bowers and towers of scarlet and gold.On one side of the Common are the Churches, Congregationaland Baptist; on two others the Houses,whereof anon; the fourth side, that fronting west,is mostly occupied by the Mallow House, where Mr.Marshall Mallow reigns as king and landlord. Underthe hill runs the Street proper, where are the"stores": Abram Hanks's, where you may buy everythingfrom pins to poplin, from buttons to bonnet wire;the general store, kept by Orison and AquilaWesley—peace to their memory! they are gone now,but one never forgets the large sign which gave theirnames in full, black on white, spelled over in wonderby generations of children; the "bookstore"—howproud we were of having a bookstore! Tinkham hadnone, nor Tupham. There were not many books in it,[pg 6]it is true; a selection of fifty-cent novels, chosen (itwas always supposed) by Miss Almeria Bygood fortheir "tone." Parents were perfectly safe in buyinga book for their children at Bygood's; "Bygones,"Cissy Sharpe called them; some of the novels, theshopworn ones, were let out at two cents a day. Myfirst novel, "John Halifax," came from Bygood's; Iread "St. Elmo," too, and "Queechy," and learnedfrom the latter that a heroine may weep on every pageof two hundred and be none the worse for it. Mr.Bygood was very old even when I first rememberhim. He sat mostly in the back shop, reading theFarmers' Almanac; a venerable figure in a black frockcoat with a high dickey. His blue eyes were full ofkindness. If a child of his acquaintance (and whatchild was not?) came in to buy a paper or get a librarybook, he would utter a gentle bellow. Then MissAlmeria or Miss Egeria would give one a little pushand say, "Go on, dear! Father wants to pass the timeof day with you!"
One was not clear in one's mind as to what passingthe time of day meant, but one went, and shookhands with Mr. Bygood—rather dreadful, this, becausehis hand shook, and the joints had chalk swellings—andsaid one was very well, thank you, and sowas Father, and so was Mother. Then Mr. Bygoodwould say, "Do you mind your book, my dear? Alwaysmind your book! Remember Goody Twoshoes!"The first part of this address was also puzzling, forto "mind" meant, in our vocabulary, A, to obey, asone's parents and elders, B, to dislike, as spiders and[pg 7]large, smooth green caterpillars. (We were told thatthey were Beautiful Works of Nature, but we knewbetter!) However, when we came to Goody Twoshoes,we were on safe ground, and could say heartilyand sincerely, "Please show me, Mr. Bygood!"
Then Mr. Bygood's mild blue eyes would brighten,and he would open a queer old desk and take out aqueer little old book—very old, for he had had itwhen he was a little boy, he said—only one couldhardly think printing was invented then!—and readaloud in his high quavering voice the immortal taleof the little school mistress.
"Nothing could have supported little Margery underthe affliction she was in for the loss of her brotherbut the pleasure she took in her two shoes. She ranto Mrs. Smith as soon as they were put on, and strokingdown her ragged apron, cried out: 'Two Shoes,Ma'am; see Two Shoes!' And so she behaved to allthe people she met, and by that means obtained thename of Little Goody Twoshoes."
This was for little girls. Mr. Bygood did not caremuch for boys as a rule; but when Tom Lee came inhe always produced "Marmaduke Multiply," whichwas even older than Goody Twoshoes, and read tohim from that. Dear Mr. Bygood! how kind he was!He had peppermints, too, sometimes, but I fear wewere not always grateful for these: they were apt tobe fuzzy, from carrying in his blue cotton handkerchief;and besides, was not Cheeseman's next door?But we have not come to Cheeseman's yet.
Miss Almeria and Miss Egeria kept the shop, sold[pg 8]the daily paper (that came from Tinkham; Tinkhamwas larger, we had to admit that, though otherwise—well,no matter!) and the Cyrus Centinel, our ownweekly; besides pens and paper and the above-describedbooks. They were dear ladies, Miss Almeria andMiss Egeria: we loved them both, and much of the romanceof old-time Cyrus—long before our own time,Kitty Ross's and mine—clustered about them. MissAlmeria was tall and handsome, with jet-black hairand eyes of brilliant Irish blue. She had a fine figureand great dignity, yet her laugh was as merry asKitty's own. Apparently, half Cyrus