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manner; and between every two strokes of his broom he was casting long looks at Ellen, evidently wondering who she was and what she could want there. 'Ellen saw it, and hoped he would ask her in words, for she could not answer his looks of curiosity,—but she was disappointed. As he reached the end of the piazza and gave his broom two or three knocks against the edge of the boards to clear it of dust, he indulged himself with one good long finishing look at Ellen, and then she saw he was going to take himself and his broom into the house. So in despair she ran up the two or three low steps of the piazza and presented her. self before him. He stopped short.
“ Will you please to tell me, sir," said poor Ellen, "if Miss Emerson is here ?" “Miss Emerson ?" said he," what Miss Emerson ?"
I don't know, sir,-Miss Emerson that lives not far from Thirlwall.”
Eyeing Ellen from head to foot, the man then trailed his broom into the house. Ellen followed him.
“Mr. Forbes !” said he, “ Mr. Forbes! do you know any thing of Miss Emerson ???
« What Miss Emerson ?" said another man, with a big red face and a big round body, showing himself in a doorway which he nearly filled.
«Miss Emerson that lives a little way out of town.” “Miss Fortune Emerson ? yes, I know her. What of her ?” " Has she been here to-day ?”
“ Here? what, in town? No-not as I've seen or heerd. Why, who wants her ?”
“ This little girl.” And the man with the broom stepping back, disclosed Ellen to the view of the red-faced landlord. He advanced a step or two towards her.
“ What do you want with Miss Fortune, little one ?" said he.
“I expected she would meet me here, sir,” said Ellen. * Where have you come from?" “From New York. “The stage set her down just now," put in the other man. “ And you thought Miss Fortune would meet you, did
“Yes, sir; she was to meet me and take me home."
“Take you home! Are you going to Miss Fortune's home?" “Yes, sir." Why you don't belong to her any way, do you ?" No, sir,” said Ellen, "but she's my aunt.'
" “My aunt, sir,-my father's sister."
. “Your father's sister! You ben't the daughter of Morgan Montgomery, be you?"
“ Yes, I am,” said Ellen, half smiling. " And you are come to make a visit to Miss Fortune, eh ?” ! “ Yes," said Ellen, smiling no longer.
“ And Miss Fortune ha'n't come up to meet you ;—that's real shabby of her; and how to get you down there to-night, I am sure is more than I can tell." —And he shouted, “Wife !”
“What's the matter, Mr. Forbes ?” said a fat landlady, appearing in the doorway, which she filled near as well as her husband would have done.
“ Look here," said Mr. Forbes, “ here's Morgan Montgomery's daughter come to pay a visit to her aunt, Fortune Emerson. Don't you think she'll be glad to see her?"
Mr. Forbes put this question with rather a curious look at his wife. She didn't answer him. She only looked at Ellen, looked grave, and gave a queer little nod of her head,
, which meant, Ellen could not make out what.
“Now, what's to be done?” continued Mr. Forbes. "Miss Fortune was to have come up to meet her, but she ain't here, and I don't know how in the world I can take the child down there to-night. The horses are both out to plough, you know; and besides, the tire is come off that wagon wheel. I couldn't possibly use it. And then it's a great question in my mind what Miss Fortune would say I should get paid, I s'pose ?"
I “Yes, you'd get paid,” said his wife, with another little shake of her head; “but whether it would be the kind of pay you'd like, I don't know.”
“Well, what's to be done, wife? Keep the child overnight, and send word down yonder ?"
No," said Mrs. Forbes, “I'll tell you. I think I saw Van Brunt go by two or three hours ago with the ox-cart,
and I guess he's somewhere up to yn yet; I ha'n't seen him go back. He can take the child home with him.. Sam!" shouted Mrs. Forbes,—“Sam!-here!-Sam, run up street directly, and see if you see Mr. Van Brunt's ox-cart standing anywhere -1 dare say he's at Mr. Miller's, or maybe at Mr. Hammersley's, the blacksmith—and ask him to stop here before he goes home. Now hurry!—and don't gun over him and then come back and tell me he ain't in town.”
Mrs. Forbes herself followed Sam to the door, and cast an exploring look in every direction.
“I don't see no signs of him,-up nor down,” said she, returning to Ellen; “ but I'm pretty sure he ain't gone home. Come in here come in here, dear, and make yourself comfortable; it'll be & while yet maybe 'afore Mr. Van Brunt comes, but he'll be along by and by: come in here and rest yourself.”
She opened a door, and Ellen followed her into a large kitchen, where a fire was burning that showed wood must be plenty in those regions. Mrs. Forbes placed a low chair for her on the hearth, but herself remained standing by the side of the fire, looking earnestly and with a good deal of interest upon the little stranger. Ellen drew her white bonnet from her head, and sitting down with a wearied air, gazed sadly into the flames that were shedding their light upon
her. “ Are you going to stop a good while with Miss Fortune ?" said Mrs. Forbes.
“I don't know, ma'am, -yes, I believe so," said Ellen faintly.
" Ha’n't you got no mother ?" asked Mrs. Forbės suddenly, after a pause.
“Oh yes!” said Ellen, looking up. But the question had touched the sore spot. Her head sank on her hands, and “Oh mamma !!!, was uttered with a 'bitterness that even Mrs. Forbes could feel.
“Now what made me ask you that !” said she. “Don't cry!-don't, love; poor little dear! you're as pale as a sheet; you're tired, I know-ain't you? Now cheer up, do,
- I can't bear to see you cry. You've come a great ways to-day, ha’n't you ?”
Ellen nodded her head, but could give no answer.
“I kn jw what will do you good,” said Mrs. Forbes presently, getting up from the crouching posture she had taken to comfort Ellen ; "you want something to eat; --that's the matter. "I'll warrant you're half starved;--no wonder you feel bad. Poor little thing! you shall have something good directly.” And away
she bustled to get it. Left alone, Ellen's tears Rowed a few minutes very fast. She felt forlorn; and she was besides, as Mrs. Forbes opined, both tired and faint. But she did not wish to be found weeping; she checked her tears, and was sitting again quietly before the fire when the landlady returned.
Mrs. Forbes had a great bowl of milk in one hand, and a plate of bread in the other, which she placed on the kitchen table, and setting a chair, called Ellen to come and partake of it.
“Come, dear,-here is something that will do you good. I thought there was a piece of pie in the buttery, and so there was, but Mr. Forbes must have got hold of it, for it ain't there now; and there ain't a bit of cake in the house for you; but I thought maybe you would like this as well
; as any thing. Come !"
Ellen thanked her, but said she did not want any thing.
“Oh yes, you do,” said Mrs. Forbes; “I know better. You're as pale as I don't know what. Come! this'll put roses in your cheeks. Don't you like bread and milk ? "
Yes, very much indeed, ma'am,” said Ellen, “but I'm not hungry. She rose, however, and came to the table.
“O well, try to eat a bit just to please me. It's real good country milk-not a bit of cream off. You don't get such milk as that in the city, I guess. That's right !-I see the
I roses coming back to your cheeks already. Is your pa in New York now ?"
"Yes, ma'am.” “You expect your pa and ma up to Thirlwall by and by, “ No, ma'am.”
Mrs. Forbes was surprised, and longed to ask why not, and what Ellen had come for; but the shade that had passed over her face as she answered the last question warned the landlady she was getting upon dangerous ground.
“Does your aunt expect you to-night?"
“I believe so, ma'am,- I don't know, she was to have met me; papa said he would write."
“O, well! maybe something hindered her from coming. It's no matter; you'll get home just as well. Mr. Van Brunt will be here soon, I guess ; it's most time for him to be along.
She went to the front door to look out for him, but returned without any news. A few minutes passed in silence, for though full of curiosity, the good landlady dared not ask what she wanted to know, for fear of again exciting the sorrow of her little companion. She contented herself with looking at Ellen, who on her part, much rested and refreshed, had turned from the table and was again, though somewhat less sadly, gazing into the fire.
Presently the great wooden clock struck half.past five, with a whirring, rickety voice, for all the world like a hoarse grasshopper. Ellen at first wondered where it came from, and was looking at the clumsy machine that reached nearly from the floor of the kitchen to the ceiling, when a door at the other end of the room opened, and “Good-day, Mrs. Forbes,” in a rough but not unpleasant voice, brought her head quickly round in that direction. There stood a large, strong-built man, with an ox-whip in his hand. He was wellmade and rather handsome, but there was something of heaviness in the air of both face and person mixed with his certainly good-humoured expression. His dress was as rough as his voice-a coarse grey frock-coat, green vel. veteen pantaloons, and a fur cap that had seen its best days sometime ago.
“Good-day, Mrs. Forbes,” said this personage; "Sam said you wanted me to stop as I went along.
Åh, how d’ye do, Mr. Van Brunt ?" said the landlady, rising; "you've got the ox-cart here with you, ha'n't you
, “ Yes, I've got the ox-cart," said the person addressed. “I came in town for a barrel of flour, and then the near ox had lost both his fore shoes off, and I had to go over there, and Hammersley has kept me a precious long time. What's wanting, Mrs. Forbes ? I can't stop.”
“ You've no load in the cart, have you ?" said the land. lady.