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Thankful Rest   By: (1859-1943)

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First Page:

THANKFUL REST.

A Tale.

By ANNIE S. SWAN.

Author of "Aldersyde," "Carlowrie" "Shadowed" &c. &c.

There is no road, though rough and steep, Without an end at last, And every rock upon the way By patience can be passed.

There are few human hearts too hard For gentleness to win; Somewhere a hidden chink appears Where love may enter in.

1889

CONTENTS

I. UNWELCOME NEWS. II. THE PARSONAGE. III. THE ARRIVAL. IV. THE NEW HOME. V. SUNDAY. VI. LOSING HOLD OF THE BRIDLE. VII. THE RED HOUSE. VIII. UP THE PEAK. IX. A DAY TO BE REMEMBERED. X. ON THE LAKE. XI. HOPES FULFILLED. XII. WEARY DAYS. XIII. LUCY FINDS THE KEY. XIV. A GREAT CHANGE. XV. THE WEDDING. XVI. FIVE YEARS AFTER.

THANKFUL REST.

I.

UNWELCOME NEWS.

It was the prettiest homestead in all the township, everybody said, and it had the prettiest name. It stood a mile or so beyond Pendlepoint on the farther side of the river, from which it was separated by a broad meadow, where in the summer time the sleek kine stood udder deep in cowslips and clover.

It was a long, low, comfortable looking house, hidden by lovely creeping plants, and sheltered at the back by the old elm trees in the paddock, and at the front by the apple trees in the orchard. Perhaps it was because it had such a snug, cosy, restful look about it that it had been queerly christened Thankful Rest. The land adjoining the homestead was rich and fertile, and brought in every year a crop worth a goodly competence to its possessors. The family at Thankful Rest consisted of two people Joshua Strong and his sister Hepzibah. You are to make their acquaintance immediately, but a remark made once by old Reuben Waters, their next neighbour, may perhaps give you an idea of their characters better than any long description of mine:

"For crankiness and nearness, and unneighbourly sourness, give me Josh Strong and his sister Hepsy. They can't be equalled, I bet, in all Connecticut."

You will be able to judge by and by of the correctness of Reuben's estimate. On a lovely August afternoon Miss Hepzibah Strong was ironing in the kitchen at Thankful Rest. I wish you could have seen that kitchen; your eyes would have ached with its painful cleanliness. The stone flags were as cool and clean as water and hands could make them; the stove shone like burnished silver; the dresser and the table, at which Miss Hepzibah was at work, were white as snow; and the array of tins on the wall was perfectly dazzling with brightness. The wide diamond paned casement stood open to admit what little air happened to be abroad that sultry afternoon. How pleasant it was, to be sure, to look out upon the flower laden garden; upon the sunny orchard, rich and golden with its precious harvest; upon the silver thread of the river winding through the green meadow beyond; and to see and feel all the loveliness with which God had clothed the world. But Miss Hepzibah had no eyes for any of the beauties I have mentioned; she was intent upon her work, and hung on the clothes horse piece after piece of stiff, spotless linen, which, as she could boast, could not be equalled in the township. Miss Hepzibah herself was not a pretty picture. She was a woman of thirty five or thereabouts; with a thin, brown, hard looking face; sharp, twinkling gray eyes; and a long, grim, resolute mouth. She wore a short skirt of dark material, a lilac calico jacket, and a huge white apron. On ordinary occasions her head was adorned by a cap of fearful workmanship and dimensions, but in the heat of her work she had thrown it off, and her scanty brown hair was fastened tightly back in a cue behind.

Just as the old eight day clock in the lobby solemnly struck four, there was a loud knock at the back door, and the post messenger from Pendlepoint strode into the kitchen, holding in his hand a black edged letter... Continue reading book >>




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