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The Co-Citizens   By: (1869-1935)

Book cover

First Page:

THE CO CITIZENS

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

A Circuit Rider's Wife Eve's Second Husband The Recording Angel In Search of a Husband

[Illustration: "' Do you know what he means, Selah, sending for the oldest and fairest woman in Jordantown to meet him at this outrageous hour of the afternoon? '"]

THE

CO CITIZENS

BY CORRA HARRIS

Illustrated By Hanson Booth

GARDEN CITY NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1915

Copyright, 1915, by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"Do you know what he means, Selah, sending for the oldest and ugliest, and the youngest and fairest woman in Jordantown to meet him at this outrageous hour of the afternoon?'" Frontispiece

"'I want to ask you a delicate question: where ish the ladies? I haven't sheen a woman in four hours!'" 42

"'You may be mayor of this town before you are thirty. A fat mayoress would never do'" 84

"'Bob! I'll make a confession to you. It's been horrid, from first to last. When we are married I want to sit at home and darn your socks you do wear holes in them, don't you?'" 216

CHAPTER I

When Sarah Hayden Mosely died, she did something. Most people do not. They cease to do. They are forgotten. The grass that springs above their dust is the one recurrent memory which the earth publishes of them long after the world has been eased of their presence, the fever of their prayers and hopes. It was the other way with this dim little old woman. During the whole of her life she had never done anything. She was one of those faint whispers of femininity who missed the ears of mankind and who faded into the sigh of widowhood without attracting the least attention. She was simply the "relic" of William J. Mosely, who at the time of his death was the richest man in Jordantown. And by the same token, after his death, Sarah became the richest woman. She had no children, no relatives. She was detached in every way, even from her own property, which was managed by the agent, Samuel Briggs, and was still known as the "William J. Mosely Estate." She attended divine service every Sunday morning, always wearing a black silk frock and a black bonnet tied under her sharp little chin, always sitting erect and alone in her pew, always staring straight in front of her, but not at the minister. Recalling this circumstance afterward, Mabel Acres said:

"She must have been thinking of that all the time, not of the sermon."

She paid one dollar a year to the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society and twenty cents extra for "incidentals." She contributed five dollars each quarter toward the Reverend Paul Stacey's salary. And she never, under any circumstance, gave more, no matter how urgent the appeal. She was suspected of being a miser. There was nothing else of which she could be suspected. So far as any one knew in Jordantown, she permitted herself only one luxury: this was a canary bird, not yellow, but green. It was a very old bird, as canaries go. Somebody once said: "Old Sarah's making her canary last as long as possible!" Every night when she retired to her room, she took the cage in with her, hung it above her bed on a hook, and threw her petticoat over it to keep the bird quiet during the night.

On the morning of the 6th of April Mrs. Mosely did not appear at the usual hour, which was six o'clock. The maid waited breakfast until the toast was cold. Then she went to the door and knocked. No reply. She opened the door, and fell with a scream to the floor. Something soft and swift like wings brushed her face. She could not tell what it was. She saw nothing.

The gardener, hearing her cries, ran in. They both approached the bed. They beheld the face of their mistress looking like the yellowed dead petals of a rose, wrinkled, withered, awfully still on the pillow... Continue reading book >>




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