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Cousin Maude   By: (1825-1907)

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First Page:

COUSIN MAUDE.

by

Mary J. Holmes

To Morris W. Smith,

of New Orleans,

This story of life among the Northern Hills is respectfully dedicated by his friend The Author

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. DR. KENNEDY II. THE JOURNEY III. THE NEW HOME IV. LITTLE LOUIS V. MRS. JANET BLODGETT VI. THE MOTHER VII. PAST AND PRESENT VIII. JAMES AND J.C. IX. THE MILKMAN'S HEIRESS X. THE ENGAGEMENT, REAL AND PROSPECTIVE XI. MAUD GLENDOWER XII. HOW THE ENGAGEMENTS PROSPERED XIII. HAMPTON XIV. THE DARK HOUR XV. THE NEW MISTRESS AT LAUREL HILL XVI. THE BLIND GIRL XVII. NELLIE'S BRIDAL NIGHT XVIII. COUSIN MAUDE XIX. A SECOND BRIDAL XX. THE SEXTON XXI. HOME AGAIN

CHAPTER I.

DR. KENNEDY.

"If you please, marm, the man from York State is comin' afoot. Too stingy to ride, I'll warrant," and Janet, the housekeeper, disappeared from the parlor, just as the sound of the gate was heard, and an unusually fine looking middle aged man was seen coming up the box lined walk which led to the cottage door.

The person thus addressed was a lady, whose face, though young and handsome, wore a look which told of early sorrow. Matilda Remington had been a happy, loving wife, but the old churchyard in Vernon contained a grass grown grave, where rested the noble heart which had won her girlish love. And she was a widow now, a fair haired, blue eyed widow, and the stranger who had so excited Janet's wrath by walking from the depot, a distance of three miles, would claim her as his bride ere the morrow's sun was midway in the heavens. How the engagement happened she could not exactly tell, but happened it had, and she was pledged to leave the vine wreathed cottage which Harry had built for her, and go with one of whom she knew comparatively little.

Six months before our story opens she had spent a few days with him at the house of a mutual friend in an adjoining State, and since that time they had written to each other regularly, the correspondence resulting at last in an engagement, which he had now come to fulfill. He had never visited her before in her own home, consequently she was wholly unacquainted with his disposition or peculiarities. He was intelligent and refined, commanding in appearance, and agreeable in manner whenever he chose to be, and when he wrote to her of his home, which he said would be a second Paradise were she its mistress, when he spoke of the little curly headed girl who so much needed a mother's care, and when, more than all, he hinted that his was no beggar's fortune, she yielded; for Matilda Remington did not dislike the luxuries which money alone can purchase. Her own fortune was small, and as there was now no hand save her own to provide, she often found it necessary to economize more than she wished to do. But Dr. Kennedy was rich, and if she married him she would escape a multitude of annoyances, so she made herself believe that she loved him; and when she heard, as she more than once did hear, rumors of a sad, white faced woman to whom the grave was a welcome rest, she said the story was false, and, shaking her pretty head, refused to believe that there was aught in the doctor of evil.

"To be sure, he was not at all like Harry she could never find one who was but he was so tall, so dignified, so grand, so particular, that it seemed almost like stooping, for one in his position to think of her, and she liked him all the better for his condescension."

Thus she ever reasoned, and when Janet said that he was coming, and she, too, heard his step upon the piazza, the bright blushes broke over her youthful face, and casting a hurried glance at the mirror, she hastened out to meet him.

"Matty, my dear!" he said, and his thin lips touched her glowing cheek, but in his cold gray eye there shone no love, no feeling, no heart... Continue reading book >>




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