Cousin Maude (Chapter 2, page 1 of 4)


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Chapter 2

Mrs. Kennedy looked charming in her traveling dress of brown, and
the happy husband likened her to a Quakeress, as he kissed her
blushing. cheek and called her his "little wife." He had passed
through the ceremony remarkably well, standing very erect, making
the responses very, loud, and squeezing very becomingly the soft
white hand on whose third finger he placed the wedding ring--a very
small one, by the way.

It was over now, and many of the bridal
guests were gone; the minister, too, had gone, and jogging leisurely
along upon his sorrel horse had ascertained the size of his fee,
feeling a little disappointed that it was not larger--five dollars
seemed so small, when he fully expected twenty from one of Dr.
Kennedy's reputed wealth.

Janet had seen that everything was done for the comfort of the
travelers, and then out behind the smokehouse had scolded herself
soundly for crying, when she ought to appear brave, and encourage
her young mistress. Not the slightest hint had she received that she
was not to follow them in a few, weeks, and when at parting little
Maude clung to her skirts, beseeching her to go, she comforted the
child by telling her what she would bring her in the autumn, when
she came.

Half a dozen dolls, as many pounds of candy, a dancing
jack, and a mewing kitten were promised, and then the faithful
creature turned to the weeping bride, who clasped her hard old hand
convulsively, for she knew it was a long good-by. Until the carriage
disappeared from view did Mrs. Kennedy look back through blinding
tears to the spot where Janet stood, wiping her eyes with a corner
of her stiffly starched white apron, and holding up one foot to keep
her from soiling her clean blue cotton stockings, for, in accordance
with a superstition peculiar to her race, she had thrown after the
travelers a shoe, by way of insuring them good luck.

For once in his life Dr. Kennedy tried to be very kind and attentive
to his bride, who, naturally hopeful and inclined to look upon the
brighter side, dried her tears soon after entering the cars, and
began to fancy she was very happy in her new position as the wife of
Dr. Kennedy. The seat in front of them was turned back and occupied
by Maude, who busied herself a while in watching the fence and the
trees, which she said were "running so fast toward Janet and home!"
Then her dark eyes would scan curiously the faces of Dr. Kennedy and
her mother, resting upon the latter with a puzzled expression, as if
she could not exactly understand it.

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