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Jessie Graham   By: (1825-1907)

Book cover

First Page:

JESSIE GRAHAM OR, LOVE AND PRIDE.

By MARY J. HOLMES

1878

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. THE INMATES OF THE FARM HOUSE. CHAPTER II. MR. GRAHAM AND JESSIE. CHAPTER III. EIGHT YEARS LATER. CHAPTER IV. JESSIE AND ELLEN. CHAPTER V. WALTER AND JESSIE. CHAPTER VI. OLD MRS. BARTOW. CHAPTER VII. HUMAN NATURE. CHAPTER VIII. A RETROSPECT. CHAPTER IX. NELLIE. CHAPTER X. A DISCLOSURE. CHAPTER XI. THE NIGHT AFTER THE BURIAL. CHAPTER XII. A CRISIS. CHAPTER XIII. EXPLANATIONS. CHAPTER XIV. THE STRANGER NURSE. CHAPTER XV. GLORIOUS NEWS. CHAPTER XVI. THANKSGIVING DAY AT DEERWOOD. CHAPTER XVII. CONCLUSION.

CHAPTER I. THE INMATES OF THE FARM HOUSE.

Old Deacon Marshall sat smoking beneath the maple tree which he had planted many years before, when he was scarcely older than the little girl sitting on the broad doorstep and watching the sun as it went down behind the western hills. The tree was a sapling then, and himself a mere boy. The sapling now was a mighty tree, and its huge branches swept the gable roof of the time worn building, while the boy was a gray haired man, sitting there in the glorious sunset of that bright October day, and thinking of all which had come to him since the morning long ago, when, from the woods near by, he brought the little twig, and with his mother's help secured it in its place, watching anxiously for the first indications of its future growth.

Across the fields and on a shady hillside, there were white headstones gleaming in the fading sunlight. He could count them all from where he sat, could tell which was his mother's, which his father's, and which his fair haired sister's. Then there came a blur before his eyes, and great tears rolled down his furrowed cheek, as he remembered that in that yard there were more graves of his loved ones than there were chairs around his fireside, even though he counted the one which for years had not been used, but stood in the dark corner of the kitchen, just where it had been left that dreadful night when his only son was taken from him. On the hillside there was no headstone for that boy, but there were two graves, which had been made just as many years as the arm chair of oak had stood in the dark corner, and on the handsome monument which a stranger's hand had reared, was cut the name of the deacon's wife and the deacon's daughter in law.

Fourteen times the forest tree had cast its leaf since this last great sorrow came, and the old man had in a measure recovered from the stunning blow, for new joys, new cares, new loves had sprung into existence, and few who looked into his calm, unruffled face, ever dreamed of the anguish he had suffered. Time will soften the keenest grief, and in all the town there was not apparently a happier man than the deacon; though as often as the autumn came, bringing the frosty nights and hazy October days, there stole a look of sadness over his face, and the pipe, his never failing friend, was brought into requisition more frequently than ever.

"It drove the blues away," he said; but on the afternoon of which we write, the blues must have dipped their garments in a deeper dye than usual, for though the thick smoke curled in graceful wreaths about his head, it did not dissipate the gloom which weighed upon his spirits as he sat beneath the maple, counting the distant graves, and then casting his eye down the long lane, through which a herd of cows was wending its homeward way. They were the deacon's cows, and he watched them as they came slowly on, now stopping to crop the tufts of grass growing by the wayside, now thrusting their slender horns over the low fence in quest of the juicy cornstalk, and then quickening their movements as they heard the loud, clear whistle of their driver, a lad of fourteen, and the deacon's only grandson... Continue reading book >>




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