to the Tyrell girl, which means we must face the power
"Joel looked over my writing and said I'd left out the very thing I wanted to tell the most. We are married, me and Joel, and I only hope you are as happy with that doctor as I am with my man."
This announcement crushed at once the faint hope which Mrs. Kennedy had secretly entertained, of eventually having Janet to supply the place of Hannah, who was notoriously lazy, and never under any circumstances did anything she possibly could avoid. Dr. Kennedy did not tell his wife that he expected her to make it easy for Hannah, so she would not leave them; but he told her how industrious the late Mrs. Kennedy had been, and hinted that a true woman was not above kitchen work. The consequence of this was that Matty, who really wished to please him, became in time a very drudge, doing things which she once thought she could not do, and then without a murmur ministering to her exacting husband when he came home from visiting a patient, and declared himself "tired to death." Very still he sat while her weary little feet ran for the cool drink--the daily paper--or the morning mail; and very happy he looked when her snowy fingers combed his hair or brushed his threadbare coat; and if, perchance, she sighed amid her labor of love, his ear was deaf, and he did not hear, neither did he see how white and thin she grew as day by day went by.
Her piano was now seldom touched, for the doctor did not care for music; still he was glad that she could play, for "Sister Kelsey," who was to him a kind of terror, would insist that Nellie should take music lessons, and, as his wife was wholly competent to give them, he would be spared a very great expense. "Save, save, save," seemed to be his motto, and when at church the plate was passed to him he gave his dime a loving pinch ere parting company with it; and yet none read the service louder or defended his favorite liturgy more zealously than himself. In some things he was a pattern man, and when once his servant John announced his intention of withdrawing from the Episcopalians and joining himself to the Methodists, who held their meetings in the schoolhouse, he was greatly shocked, and labored long with the degenerate son of Ethiopia, who would render to him no reason for his most unaccountable taste, though he did to Matty, when she questioned him of his choice.
"You see, missus," said he, "I wasn't allus a herrytic, but was as good a 'Piscopal as St. George ever had. That's when I lived in Virginny, and was hired out to Marster Morton, who had a school for boys, and who larnt me how to read a little. After I'd arn't a heap of money for Marster Kennedy he wanted to go to the Legislatur', and as some on 'em wouldn't vote for him while he owned a nigger, he set me free, and sent for me to come home. 'Twas hard partin' wid dem boys and Marster Morton, I tell you, but I kinder wanted to see mother, who had been here a good while, and who, like a fool, was a- workin' an' is a-workin' for nothin'."
"For nothing!" exclaimed Mrs. Kennedy, a suspicion of the reason why Janet was refused crossing her mind.
"Yes, marm, for nothin'," answered John, "but I aint green enough for that, and 'fused outright. Then marster, who got beat 'lection day, threatened to send me back, but I knew he couldn't do it, and so he agreed to pay eight dollars a month. I could get more somewhar else, but I'd rather stay with mother, and so I stayed."
"But that has nothing to do with the church," suggested Mrs. Kennedy, and John replied:
"I'm comin' to the p'int now. I live with Marster Kennedy, and went with him to church, and when I see how he carried on week days, and how peart like he read up Sabba' days, sayin' the Lord's Prar and 'Postle's Creed, I began to think thar's somethin' rotten in Denmark, as the boys use to say in Virginny; so when mother, who allus was a-roarin' Methodis', asked me to go wid her to meetin', I went, and was never so mortified in my life, for arter the elder had 'xorted a spell at the top of his voice, he sot down and said there was room for others. I couldn't see how that was, bein' he took up the whole chair, and while I was wonderin' what he meant, as I'm a livin' nigger, up got marm and spoke a piece right in meetin'! I never was so shamed, and I kep' pullin' at her gownd to make her set down, but the harder I pulled the louder she hollered, till at last she blowed her breath all away, and down she sot."
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