OCR Interpretation


Waco evening news. (Waco, Tex.) 1888-1889, December 24, 1888, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87090385/1888-12-24/ed-1/seq-2/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for

w SA? .' ' if "',
,f
b t '
1
'if
! .
A '"
.$
.'It
PS?
Jl .
R
'.
1&
rv
It1
i v
Is-
fj?
lr
h T
l'A
IV
J
"Entered at '.he Waco Poitolllce m iccond-clsu
MMlMtttM.
HILL Se WHITE,
j'liormiTOBi.
BO OE3STTS tPEIt MONTH.
WACO, TEXAS, DEC. 24, 1888.
MISS MARTHA.
Hiss Martha Bailey known through
out Rosovillo simply as "Miss Martha"
sot by one of tho windows of her cozy
Bitting room, putting tho lost stitches
into a flannel skirt for old Mrs. Bodlcy,
'who suffered terribly with fho rheuma
tism, which was not improved by the
weekly scrubbings sho gave tho offices in
tho brick block on Mabi6trcot.
Miss Martha had just sowed a stout
horn button on tho waist belt, and was
about to fold tho skirt up, smiling at tho
thought of tho old woman's delight when,
sho should rccolvo tho gift, when tho
hall door opened without tho ceremony
of a preceding knock, and a neighbor,
Mrs. Marsh, camo in.
"You ought not to sow by twilight,
Miss Martha," sho said, as sho entered
tho room, "you'll ruin your eyes. But
that s not what I camo hero to say; Mrs.
Norcross died an hour ago."
Tho smilo faded from Miss Martha's
face, and her eyes grow humid.
"Poor woman!" sho 6aid, in her low,
sweet toIco. "So sho has gono at last
Sho suffered a great deal."
"Yes, and sho was glad to go. But
sho had oTcry attention, in Bpito of being
a stranger here. Dr. Edgccourt visited
her every day, and never charged her a
cent, I know; and all tho neighbors sent
things to cat Cancers are terrible
things. Sho was a mighty patient
woman. Poor soul! But now," with a
sudden chango of tone, "what's to bo
done with Eva?'
"Has sho no relative at all?"
"No one. Sho is too refined and pretty
to do housework, oven if she was strong
enough, which sho isn't She can't go
to tho poorhouso, of course, and sho
liosn't a dollar there's to bo a subscrip
tion to pay tho burial expenses."
Miss Martha stood smoothing tho flan
nel skirt with her white, thin hands, her
faco wearing on expression of deep
thought mingled with anxiety. Once
sho opened her lips as if to speak, then
hesitated and closed them again. Ought
she to mako this sacrifice which seemed
urged upon her? It would bo selfish not
to do so. Sho raised her head and said,
in a firm, sweet voice:
"Tho girl must como tome, since then
is no ono elso to take her. I have plenty
for ono lean mako it enough for two
by exercising economy."
"That's just like you, Miss Martha! I
know you'd mako the offer. The girl
has got 'a first rate education, and sho
can study up enough to take a school by
next fall. Of course you won't want her
around after you are married."
A deep flush camo into Miss Martha's
naturally pale face; she dropped her eyes,
and turned away from Mrs. Marsh, with
somo murmured excuse about making
mo iianneisKUT sno neia into a nunoie to
bo sent away.
Tho neighbors agreed that Eva Nor
cross could not have found a better homo
than sho had at Miss Martha's. Tho lit
tlo cottago stood in a largo garden, well
filled with fruit trees and Bhrubs. In
tho summer it was gay with flowers of
very many variotles, and sweet smelling
honoysucklo wandered over and nearly
concealed tho fence and front piazza.
Miss Martha had lived in tho cottago
with old IIannh for twclvo years. For
threo of theso years sho had been en
gaged to Dr. Tom Edgccourt, whoso
practice wasyct too small to enable him
to marry. Ho was a year younger than
Miss Martha, nnd tliis fact often stung her
very keenly. She sometimes stood before
her looking glass and attentively studied
her face, wishing sho was 20 instead of
80, and had tho bloom of ten years be
fore. Her hair was still trlossv nnd
abundant, her eyes still bright; but tho
plumpness and bloom of her early girl
hood had fled forever.
Occasionally sho wondered if Tom
would ulwaysl lovo her, and tortured
hwself with imagining it a sacrifice for
him to marry her. Would not a young
girl suit him better? Sho started liko a
guilty thing when Hannah's tap at the
door or call from tho hall below inter
rupted theso meditations. Sho was
ashamed of herself that sho thought so
much of her departed prettincss and tho
differenco between her ago and Tom's.
Yet sho could not drivo away her harass
ing doubts, nor would sho try to set
them at rest by speaking of them to
Tom. Sho was shy and sensitive, and so
was ho, and they were both very proud.
Eva Norcross found her now hosne a
very quiet but not on unhappy one. Sho
was gontlo and timid, and did not caro
for tho society of girls of her own ago.
Sho liked nothing better than to lie in on
cosy chair all day with a book' or somo
embroidery in her white, pretty hands,
which Miss Martha was never weary of
admiring. Tbo dead mothor had in
dulged Iter ono child, and never taught
her to maLo herself useful. Therowos
no need for her to bo octivo in tho cot
tage. At tho outset Miss Martha had
told her that sho would bo required to
do nothing but study, Hannah being
fully competent to do tho cntiro work of
tho email i stablUhmcnt
"You unut educato yourself to teach,"
Mrs, Mtm.h K'.ld, ono morning, as sho en
tered t!u! cottago in her abrupt way and
found Cv.i cmbroiderlncr n. ennhlnn.
"You i-an't lUo on Miss Martha all your
life. Ni;:.t fall wo will try to get you
tho dintiict rchool at Dodd's Corner."
Evanliuddcied nnd erow a little nalo.
whllo tho work fell from her hand.
"I havo heard that tho children at
Dodd'3 Corner were very rough with tho
last muter," cho said, in her soft, low
voice ,
"A woman might havo raoro influence
with 'cm than a man," said Mrs. Marsh.
"Anyhow, it won't hurt you to try it a
spell. Miss Martha," as that lady came
in from tho kitchen whero sho had been
making a "Quaker"' for old Mrs. Groen's
cow, -you must get toe aootor to give
Eva como strengthening medicine.
xel-
low dock tea would put new life into
nor.
- Dr. Edgccourt called that. afternoon
ioaliuu State LotUrjr.
Order your tickets from D, Domnau
ii Bro., opposite the McClelland hotel
Waco, or at DallaB and Temple. Lib'
ral rate to clubs,
for a moment, on his way to mako a pro
fessional visit and Miss Martha told him
what Mrs. Marsh had said.
Tho young man sat down by Eva and
took her hand In his. Miss Martha
watched him closely, wondering if ho
noticed how round and whito was tho
wrist on which ho pressed his finger.
"Sho Is not sick," ho said: "all bIio
needs is fresh air and exercise:" and then
ho proposed that sho should wrap up nnd
get into Ids sleigh nt tho door and drivo
with him to tho houso of his patient,
twe miles away.
"Can't you go, too, Martha, ho asked.
"Wo will crowd you in somowhere."
"I do not caro to go," sho said, and
Tom thought her manner rather cold
and depressing. Ho did not urgo tho
matter, for ho was cosily wounded, and
novor asked her a second timo to grunt
him a favor. Ho was not a demonstra
tive lover, perhaps because Miss Martha
novcr encouraged carcases. Sho did not
think it modest or womanly to do so, yet
sho often caucht herself wishing
tnat
Tom would bo moro affectionate. They
had been engaged for. thrco years, but
had seen comparatively littlo of each
other, owing to Tom's studies nnd poor
patients of whinh thoro wcro many
and thoy had novcr grown familiar, as
is tho caso with most lovers.
Miss Martha watched the couple drivo
away. Tom bent to arrango the buffalo
robo mora closely about his companion,
nnd said something which mndo them
both laugh, and Miss Martlia turned
quickly from tho window with a pain nt
her heart Tho rirlish faco framed in
fleecy wool of tho black hood was so
very lovely! Would ho mark tho differ
ence, and regret
She took up her work and began to
turn down a hem ; but sho could not drivo
awny tho haunting thoughts which tor
mented her.
"Thrco years!" sho murmured. "It is
a long engagement; and I havo heard
it said that men are not patient waiters.
I wonder if ho has over wished to bo free
again." Tho ride proved of much benefit to
Eva, who was brighter and gayer for
days after. Seeing this, Tom took her
with him frequently, never thinking tlmt
ho was causing his betrothed pain oy so
doing. Ho camo of toner than over to tho
cottage, playing chcs3 and cribbago with
Eva at tho center table in tho evening,
while Miss Martha sat by with her sow
ing and wished sho wcro Eva's age.
"Do you think J will stand any chance
of getting tho school at Dodd's Corner
next fallT Dr. Edgccourt?" asked Eva,
ono evening.
"You surely don't think of applying
for it!" cried Tom. "Why, tho children
aro little heathens. They throw ink
bottles and spitballsat tho teacher and
swear liko troopers. No, no; wo must
not lot you go there."
"I must work for myself," tho girl
said. "I cannot consent to remain de
pendent on any one."
"Wait until next fall comes beforo
you begin to worry," Tom said. "It's
only March, now, and something better
may turn up in the next six months."
Eva, as was her custom, left tho room
as Boon as tho game of chess was over.
Tom always had a few minutes alone
with his betrothed beforo leaving the
cottage.
"I am so tired of boarding," ho said,
when, after somo unimportant conversa
tion, ho rose to go. "I wish I had a
home," and ho sighed.
For somo minutes Miss Martha stood
whero ho had left her, one bond bearing
rather heavily on tho small hall table.
Could ho only havo known what stress
sho laid upon his careless .words! She
mechanically repeated over and over the
lost sentence he nod uttered, and remem
bered the bitterness of his tone. Then
sho walked slowly into tho small parlor
again, and dropping on her knees by an
easy chair, buried her face in tho soft
cushions.
"I am no longeryoung," sho said in a
hoarso voice. "Ho sees his mistake,
now that Eva is hero to point a compar
ison. And yet how can I srivo him up!
How can I offer him his freedom? Could
I live on without tho hope that I held so
closo to my heart for nearly thrco years?
But I must decide. Not now. I will
wait just a littlo while, to bo suro ho has
ceased to lovo me."
Now was Miss Martha's chanco to sav
something tender and cheerful, but tho
words refused to form themselves on her
lips. Sho was very shy. and lately sho
and Tom had seemed to bo drifting very
far apart.
iom looiteu at nor a moment, as if
expecting her to speak; but as sho did
not do so be turned almost angrily from
her, a dark red flush of wounded nrido
dvintr his frank, fair face. Ho wished
ho had not uttered that longing for a
nome.
"Ob, I forgot to tell you," ho said, as
ho reached tho hall door, "that mv
brother Arnold is coming to Rosovillo to
morrow. Ho has somo affection of the
head, and wants to put himself under
my caro for a month or two. Ho will
leave his law business entirely in his
partner's hands. Poor Arnold! Ho has
other than physical troublest Thcro's
an old saying that women are at the
bottom .of all mischief, and men aro such
fools sometimes! Good night, Martha;"
and tho door closed loudly.
Eva noticed that Miss Martha was very
palo and distrait tho following day, and
was not looking her best when Arnold
Edgccourt como with Tom to coll. Sho
had novor seen tills brother beforo, but ho
was so liko Tom in every way that she
liked him at onco. Ho was, however,
moro a man of tho world than Tom, and
while Tom's faco woro a look of frank
good nature, Arnold's was clouded by an
expression of melancholy nnd discontent
This Miss Martha ascribed to those secret
troubles of which Tom had spoken, and
sho wondered if somo woman had jilted
tho handsomo lawyer.
Several weeks passed by, and Miss
Martha was no longer hqr former bright,
cheerful self. She did not know what it
was now to bo without that sharp pam
at neari, ana roe esanngoment oop-con
herself and Tom seemea to growgrcatcr
every day. Ho withdrow moro and
moro into himself, and sho mado no ef-
ion io restore tno oia pleasant relations
between them. Sho watched him closely,
and saw that ho seemed annoyed and
distressed at Arnold's decided attentions
to Eva. Onco sho heard him remonstrate
with his brother, but Eva's noma wna
tho only word sho caught distinctly. Sho
thought Tom jealous, and afraid that tho
girl's heart would bo won from himself.
"It must como," Miss Martha would
murmur to herself . "I must offer him
his freedom. Why cannot I bo bravo and
do it at once? Bo loves Eva, but ho ia
not free to win her, nnd Arnold's atteu-
tions pom .ana trquDio mm. But how
UttloCr UP JUS
Thus from day to day she put off the
evil hour in which eh was to tee her
dearest hopes crumble to dead ashes.
I She ahuddewa when she thought of
Telephone De Well for line candles,
pending tho rest of her ltfo without
Tom's love.
Ono ovonlng tho twoyoung men camo
&r invitation to tho cottago to supper.
Isa Martha sont thera into tho garden
to smoke, whllo she, witlf Eva's assist
ance, was busy laying tho tablo with tho
best damask and china. Presently she
went into the parlor to get from tho old
cabinet which stood between tho win
dows some silver spoons which had be
longed to her grandmother. Tho shut
ters wero closed, but the windows wcro
open, nnd tho low murmur of voices
camo to her cars, Sho know tho broth
ers wcro just outsldo on tho rustic bench,
and sho was about to closo tho cabinet
and Bpcak to them, when sho heard
Tom's voice uttering words which seemed
to fall on her heart liko drops of molten
lead.
"It is a great mlsiako for a man to en
gage himself to a woman oldor than
lilmself. Ho is suro to repent soon or
late. I was a fooh and now that I love
Eva with all my heart, as I havo con
fessed to von. I w isli tho other was in
Guinea. And what am I to do? My
honor blndi mo to I iur confound it nil,
ni'
Miss Maitha did not wait to hear Ar
nold's hiuwer. Shu walked slowly and
faltorlngly from tho room, and went up
stairs to tho spare clianibcr, whero bhc
locked herself in.
Tho joung men wondered why supper
n as so late, but just as their patience
was entirely exhausted Eva camo to call
them, and then went in to find Miss
Martha already seated at tbo head of tho
small tablo laid for four. Sho made no
excuse for delay, and tho supper was so
excellent that the young men forgot all
about their vexation.
Tho evening passed very quietly, Miss
Martha evidently making an effort to bo
entertaining; and seeing this, Tom and
Arnold left very early, the latter, as Miss
Martha noticed, having hardly spoken
to Eva sinco supper. Sho thought this
was out of respect for his brother's feel
ings, which had so lately been revealed
toliim.
Tho next day Tom was surprised in lus
ofiico by tho nppoaranco of old Hannah,
who quietly laid a letter on his desk and
went out again.
Tho young doctor's faco grow very
white as ho read what Miss Martha had
written. Without explanation or excuse
sno requested that tnctr engagement
might bo at an end, and said that as it
would be better that they should not
meet for a while at least, sho was going
to an aunt's in another town, to stay sev
eral months. Eva would remain at tho
cottago w itli old Hannah.
For some timo Tom oat gazing at the
letter, us if turned to stone. Then ho
touched a lighted match to it and
watched it burn away to ashes.
"That is over," ho said, aloud. "I
havo been expecting it. I havo Been it
in her face, and ct I had not tho cour
ago to ask her about it."
It was n sultry July day, tho railroad
journey dusty and fatiguing, and Miss
Martha was very glad to step out of tho
cars at Roscvillc. Sho walked slowly up
tho dusty road leading to her cottage.
It was nearly thrco months sinco sue
had left homo, and during that timo she
had neither written nor received a singlo
letter. Sho had not given Eva her ad
dress, and no ono knew where sho had
gone. Sho had wLhcd to cut herself
looso from tho past, hoping to forget it, but
sho had not forgotten, and her heart had
not lost its dull pain. Recollections of
Tom Btung her as tho saw tho familiar
streets and stores. Perhaps ho and Eva
wero married.
"You don't mean to say that's you.
Miss Martha?" cried a familiar voice, and
Miss Martha paused beneath the shade
of a spreading elm ns Mrs. Marsh came
hurrying towards her. "Well, you've
como too late. Lovo laughs at lock
smiths, you know. It's nil over Eva's
gono off with him, and thcy'ro married
by this time, I haven't a doubt,"
Miss Martha staggered back and put
her hand over her eyes. The shock it
was to her to hear of Tom's marriage
showed her, to her mortification, that
all hopo had not been crushed from her
heart, as sho had thought
"I I expected it," sho 6tommpred.
"Well, it s moro than any one else did.
Ho went off soon after you left, and no
one thought to seo him again. But back
ho camo yesterday, and eloped with Eva
Into last evening. Oh, it was wicked; it
was scandalous; and tho whole story is
all over town. I wonder now if you
know about Miss Somerby?"
"No," said Miss Martha, whito to the
lips.
"Well, it seems ho was engaged to this
Miss Somerby, a rich old maid. Sho is
mad enough at being jilted. Somebody
telegraphed to her father, and ho was
hero this morning to learn the facts of
tho case."
"What! Tom encaeed?" cried Martha.
in amazement
"Who said anvthinc about Tom? You
must be wandering in your mind. It is
Arnold EdgecourtTm talking about."
Without another woid, without the
slightest oxcuso, Miss Martha broke
away from tho hand of tho friendly gos
sip, and almost ran down the street
When nearly at her own gate she rushed
blindly against somebody, and looking
up with a hurried excuso, saw Tom.
"Martha!" ho gasped, forgetting for
tho moment in his excitement tbo gulf
between them. "You havo heard it all!
I seo it in your faco. Como right in; you
look really ill. I did not know you cared
so much for Eva. But tho scandal will
all dio out, and I know Arnold will bo
good to her. Ho sent mo a telegram say
ing thoy wero married in Brierly early
this morning. Ho was to marry Miss
Somerby next month, but ho novcr loved
her; ho was tempted by her enormous
wealth."
By this time they had reached tho cot
tago and gone into tho littlo darkened
parlor, whero tho shutters had been care
fully closed by old Hannah to keep out
dust and flics.
"Tom," said Miss Martha, laying hor
hand on his sleeve, "can you over forgive
me? I boo everything very plainly now.
It was not you I heard say a man was a
fool to engage himself too woman older
than himself. Your voice and Arnold's
aro so much alike, and I did not know of
his engagement" And then sho told all
sho had heard when she had gone to the
old cabinet for spoons the evening of the
Bunner.
Continued on Page S.
Housekeepers buying goods for the
holidays will consult thoir own inter
est by buying of Chas. Bast. Ho has
Anvil a eW Vn . ! VIaI...,
v..o u. uuut cuko BUU UUIUMIIB,
esh and nico, at bottom prices, being
the leader in theso lines, and has all
the fln 0hri8tmft Broco7 god. -
dc" a brnnTd ?ow y?0 bought since
I'ho fire. He is making a special drive
Ion fine fancy candies, of whioh be has
I tbo Urgest and finest stock in the city,
at discount price.
IHOUDAYJ
cl Jm
H MLJt H
I mnWl I
s i
iHOLIDAYSil
WE STILL HAVE ON
HAND THE MOST EI A
BORATE & BEST AS
SORTED STOCK OP
CHRISTMAS GOODS IN TEXAS
'
FURNI
icrw PRICES
1 '- i" i .,......,...
WACO
w
Sideboards by the
dozen, Parlor and Bed
room Furniture of
Every Description.
Rocking Chairs &
Fancy Tables. Hall
Racks by the
Hundred, and Every
thing Calculated to
Make a Handsome
Present from.
Fifty cents to $500.
COM
PANY.
ianmiffiaftTiWwyvTmT
EVERYTHING
BRAND NEW
and of the
LATEST STYLE
ir?Hii'
I
. v
T U RE
Our House will be
Lighted during the
Holidays for the"v(;be
nefit pf those who" can
not call during the
Day.
vl
' ' V
' ,f
.j-jM$4
Ji Ws
MyMkMllI
Ja&
MkjjmMjSkmiM
-fM

xml | txt