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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesAn Alabaster Box - Chapter 28
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An Alabaster Box - Chapter 28 Post by :froogle-feeder Category :Long Stories Author :Mary E Wilkins Freeman Date :May 2012 Read :1119

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An Alabaster Box - Chapter 28

Chapter XXVIII

"Fanny," said Ellen suddenly; "I want to tell you something."

Mrs. Wesley Elliot turned a complacently abstracted gaze upon her friend who sat beside her on the vine-shaded piazza of the parsonage. She felt the sweetest sympathy for Ellen, whenever she thought of her at all:

"Yes, dear."

"Do you remember my speaking to you about Jim-- Oh, a long time ago, and how he--? It was perfectly ridiculous, you know."

Fanny's blue eyes became suddenly alert.

"You mean the time Jim kissed you," she murmured. "Oh, Ellen, I've always been so sorry for--"

"Well; you needn't be," interrupted Ellen; "I never cared a snap for Jim Dodge; so there!"

The youthful matron sighed gently: she felt that she understood poor dear Ellen perfectly, and in token thereof she patted poor dear Ellen's hand.

"I know exactly how you feel," she warbled.

Ellen burst into a gleeful laugh:

"You think you do; but you don't," she informed her friend, with a spice of malice. "Your case was entirely different from mine, my dear: You were perfectly crazy over Wesley Elliot; I was only in love with being in love."

Fanny looked sweetly mystified and a trifle piqued withal.

"I wanted to have a romance--to be madly in love," Ellen explained. "Oh, you know! Jim was merely a peg to hang it on."

The wife of the minister smiled a lofty compassion.

"Everything seems so different after one is married," she stated.

"Is that really so?" cried Ellen. "Well, I shall soon know, Fan, for I'm to be married in the fall."

_"Married? Why, Ellen Dix!"_

"Uh--huh," confirmed Ellen, quite satisfied with the success of her _coup_. "You don't know him, Fan; but he's perfectly elegant--and _handsome! Just wait till you see him."

Ellen rocked herself to and fro excitedly.

"I met him in Grenoble last winter, and we're going to live there in the _sweetest house. He fell in love with me the first minute he saw me. You never knew anyone to be so awfully in love ... m'm!"

Without in the least comprehending the reason for the phenomenon, Mrs. Wesley Elliot experienced a singular depression of spirit. Of course she was glad poor dear Ellen was to be happy. She strove to infuse a sprightly satisfaction into her tone and manner as she said:

"What wonderful news, dear. But isn't it rather--sudden? I mean, oughtn't you to have known him longer! ...You didn't tell me his name."

Ellen's piquant dark face sparkled with mischief and happiness.

"His name is Harvey Wade," she replied; "you know Wade and Hampton, where you bought your wedding things, Fan? Everybody knows the Wades, and I've known Harvey long enough to--"

She grew suddenly wistful as she eyed her friend:

"You _have changed a lot since you were married, Fan; all the girls think so. Sometimes I feel almost afraid of you. Is it--do you--?"

Fanny's unaccountable resentment melted before a sudden rush of sympathy and understanding. She drew Ellen's blushing face close to her own in the sweetness of caresses:

"I'm _so glad for you, dear, so _glad!_"

"And you'll tell Jim?" begged Ellen, after a silence full of thrills. "I should hate to have him suppose--"

"He doesn't, Ellen," Jim's sister assured her, out of a secret fund of knowledge to which she would never have confessed. "Jim always understood you far better than I did. And he likes you, too, better than any girl in Brookville."

"Except Lydia," amended Ellen.

"Oh, of course, except Lydia."

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An Alabaster Box - Chapter 29 An Alabaster Box - Chapter 29

An Alabaster Box - Chapter 29
Chapter XXIXThere was a warm, flower-scented breeze stirring the heavy foliage drenched with the silver rain of moonlight, and the shrilling of innumerable small voices of the night. It all belonged; yet neither the man nor the woman noticed anything except each other; nor heard anything save the words the other uttered."To think that you love me, Lydia!" he said, triumph and humility curiously mingled in his voice."How could I help it, Jim? I could never have borne it all, if you--""Really, Lydia?"He looked down into her face which the moonlight had spiritualized to the likeness of an angel.She smiled and

An Alabaster Box - Chapter 27 An Alabaster Box - Chapter 27

An Alabaster Box - Chapter 27
Chapter XXVIIHistory is said to repeat itself, as if indeed the world were a vast pendulum, swinging between events now inconceivably remote, and again menacing and near. And if in things great and heroic, so also in the less significant aspects of life.Mrs. Henry Daggett stood, weary but triumphant, amid the nearly completed preparations for a reception in the new church parlors, her broad, rosy face wearing a smile of satisfaction."Don't it look nice?" she said, by way of expressing her overflowing contentment.Mrs. Maria Dodge, evergreen wreaths looped over one arm, nodded."It certainly does look fine, Abby," said she. "And I