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Mrs. Tree   By: (1850-1943)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: MRS. TREE.]


By Laura E. Richards

Author of "Captain January," "Melody," "Marie," etc.

Boston Dana Estes & Company Publishers

Copyright, 1902 BY DANA ESTES & COMPANY

All rights reserved

MRS. TREE Published June, 1902

Colonial Press Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co. Boston, Mass., U. S. A.

To My Daughter Rosalind



I. Wedding Bells 11

II. Phoebe's Opinions 25

III. Introducing Tommy Candy and Solomon, his Grandfather 41

IV. Old Friends 55

V. "But When He Was Yet a Great Way off" 75

VI. The New Postmaster 92

VII. In Miss Penny's Shop 107

VIII. A Tea party 124

IX. A Garden party 142

X. Mr. Butters Discourses 161

XI. Miss Phoebe Passes on 175

XII. The Peak in Darien 189

XIII. Life in Death 201

XIV. Tommy Candy, and the Letter He Brought 217

XV. Maria 233

XVI. Doctor Stedman's Patient 249

XVII. Not Yet! 267



Mrs. Tree Frontispiece

"She put out a finger, and Jocko clawed it without ceremony" 119

"'Careful with that Bride Blush, Willy'" 143

"'Perhaps this is as good medicine as you can take!' he said" 262




"Well, they're gone!" said Direxia Hawkes.

"H'm!" said Mrs. Tree.

Direxia had been to market, and, it was to be supposed, had brought home, beside the chops and the soup piece, all the information the village afforded. She had now, after putting away her austere little bonnet and cape, brought a china basin, and a mystic assortment of white cloths, and was polishing the window panes, which did not need polishing. From time to time she glanced at her mistress, who sat bolt upright in her chair, engaged on a severe looking piece of knitting. Mrs. Tree detested knitting, and it was always a bad sign when she put away her book and took up the needles.

"Yes'm; they're gone. I see 'em go. Ithuriel Butters drove 'em over to the Junction; come in yesterday o' purpose, and put up his team at Doctor Stedman's. Ithuriel thinks a sight of Doctor Strong. Yes'm; folks was real concerned to see him go, and her too. They made a handsome couple, if they be both light complected."

"What are you doing to that window, Direxia Hawkes?" demanded Mrs. Tree, looking up from her knitting with a glittering eye.

"I was cleanin' it."

"I'm glad to hear it. I never should have supposed so from looking at it. Perhaps you'd better let it alone."

"You're a terrible tedious woman to live with, Mis' Tree!" said Direxia.

"You're welcome to go any minute," replied Mrs. Tree.

"Yes'm," said Direxia. "What kind of sauce would you like for tea?"

"Any kind except yours," said Mrs. Tree; and then both smiled grimly, and felt better.

Direxia polished away, still with an anxious eye on the old woman whom she loved fiercely.

"He sent a message to you, last thing before he drove off. He wanted I should tell you what's this now he said? 'Tell her to keep on growing young till I come back,' that was it. Well, he's a perfect gentleman, that's what he is."

Something clicked in Mrs. Tree's throat, but she said nothing. Mrs. Tree was over ninety, but apart from an amazing reticulation of wrinkles, netted fine and close as a brown veil, she showed little sign of her great age... Continue reading book >>

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