Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Inspiring Novel > The Melting of Molly > Leaf VI. Conflagration.
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
Leaf VI. Conflagration.
 Most parties are just bunches of selfish people who go off in the corners and have good times all by themselves; but in Hillsboro it is not that way. Everybody that is not invited helps the hostess get ready and have nice things for the others, and sometimes I think they really have the best time of all.  
This morning Aunt Bettie came up my front steps before breakfast with a large basketful of things for my dinner, and I wondered what I would have collected to be served to those people by the time all my neighbours had made their prize contributions. It took Aunt Bettie and Jane a half-hour to her things and set them in the refrigerator and on the pantry shelves. One was a plump fruit-cake that had been keeping company, in a tight box, with other equally rich cakes ever since the New Year. It was ripe, or so. It made me feel very hungry.
A little later Jane was exclaiming over a two-year-old ham that had been simmered in some wonderful liquor and larded with egg , when Mrs. Johnson came in and began to unpack her basket.
I had planned to have a lot of food and had ordered some things up from a in the city, but I telegraphed to them not to deliver them until the next day, even if they did spoil. How could I use when Mrs. had sent me word that she was going to bake some by a recipe of the judge's grandmother's? Mrs. Hampton Buford had let me know about two fat little summer turkeys she was going to stuff with , and roast seemed foolish eating beside them. But when the little bit of a baby pig, roasted whole with an apple in its mouth, looking too and innocent for worlds with his little baked tail curled up in the air, arrived from Mrs. Caruthers Cain, I went out into the garden and laughed at the idea of having spent money for .
When I got back in the kitchen things were well under way, everything smelling grand, and Aunt Bettie in full swing matching up my dinner guests.
"Nobody in this town could suit me better than Pet Buford for a daughter-in-law, and I believe I'll have all the east rooms done up with blue chintz for her. I think that would be the best thing to set off her blue eyes and fair hair," she was saying as she cut orange peel into strips.
"You've planned the refurnishing of that east wing to suit the style of nearly every girl in Hillsboro since Tom put on long trousers, Bettie Pollard, and they are just as they have been for fifteen years since you did up the whole house," said Mrs. Johnson as she poured a wine-glass half full from one bottle and added a tablespoonful from another.
"Well, I think he is really interested now from the way he spent most of his time with her down at the hotel the other night, and I have hopes I never had before. Now, Molly, do put him between you and her, sort of cornered, so he can't even see Ruth Clinton. She is too old for him." And Tom's mother looked at me over the orange-peel as to a confederate.
"Humph, I'd like to see you or Molly or any woman 'corner' Tom Pollard," said Mrs. Johnson with a smile as she tasted the in the wine-glass.
"I have to put him at the end of the table because he is my and the only host I've got at present, Aunt Bettie," I said regretfully. I always take every chance to rub in Tom's and my relationship on Aunt Bettie, so that she won't notice our .
"I'd put John Moore at the head of the table if I were you, Molly Carter, because he's about the only man you've invited that has got any sense left since you and that Clinton girl took to going about Hillsboro. He's a host of steadiness in himself, and the way he ignores all you women, who would run after him if he would let you, shows what he is. He has my full confidence," and as she delivered herself of this of Dr. John, Mrs. Johnson drove in all the tight and began to pound spice.
"He's not out of the widower-woods yet, Caroline," said Aunt Bettie with her most smile. "I have about on him for Ruth since the judge has taken to following Molly about as bad as Billy Moore does. But don't any of you say a word, for John's very timid, and I don't believe, in spite of all these years, he's had a single notion yet. He doesn't see a woman as anything but a patient at the end of a spoon, and kind and gentle he does the dosing of them, too. Just the other day—dearie me, Jane, what has boiled over now?" And in the excitement that ensued I escaped to the garden.
Yes, Aunt Bettie is right about Dr. John; he doesn't see a woman, and there is no way to make him. What she had said about it made me realise that he had always been like that, and I told myself that there was no reason in the world why my heart should beat in my on that account. Still I don't see why Ruth Clinton should have her head thrown against that stone wall, and I wish Aunt Bettie wouldn't. It seemed like a even to try to match-make him, and it made me hot with indignation all over. I dug so fiercely at the roots of my phlox with a trowel I had picked up that they so loud I could almost hear them. I felt as if I must operate on something. And it was in this mood that Alfred's letter found me.
It had a surprise in it, and I sat back on the grass and read it with my heart beating like a hammer. He was leaving Paris the day he had posted it, and he was due to arrive in London almost as soon as it did, just any hour now I calculated in a flash. And "from London immediately to Hillsboro" he had written in words that fairly sung themselves off the paper. I was frightened—so frightened that the letter shook in my hands, and with only the thought of being sure that I might be alone for a few minutes with it, I fled to the garret.
Surely no woman ever in all the world read such a letter as that, and no wonder my breath almost failed me. It was a love-letter in which the cold paper was turned into a heart that beat against mine, and I bowed my head over it as I wetted it with tears. I knew then that I had taken his coming back lightly; had fussed over it and been silly-proud of it; while not really caring at all. All that awful reducing my waist measure seemed just a lack of confidence in his love for me; he wouldn't have minded if I weighed five hundred pounds, I felt sure. He loved me—really, really, really; and I had sat and weighed him with a lot of men who were nothing more than amused by my , or taken with my beauty, and who wouldn't have known such love if it were shown to them through a telescope.
I reached into a trunk that stood just beside me and took out a box that I hadn't looked into for years. His letters were all there, and his photographs, that were very handsome. I could hardly see them through my tears, but I knew that they were dim in places with being cried over when I had put them away years ago after Aunt Adeline decided that I was to be married. I kissed the poor little-girl cry-spots; and with that a perfect flood of tears rose to my eyes—but they didn't fall, for there, right in front of me, stood a more woe-stricken human being than I could possibly be, if I judged by appearances.
"Molly, Molly," Billy, "I am so ill I'm going to die here on the floor," and he sank into my arms.
"Oh, Billy, what is the matter?" I and gave him a little terrified shake.
"Mamie Johnson did it—poked her finger down her throat and mine, too," he against my breast. "We was full of things people gived us to eat and couldn't eat no more. She said if we did that with our fingers it would make room for some more then. She did it, and I'm going to die dead—dead!
"No, no, pet; you'll be all right in a second. Stay quiet here in your Molly's lap and you will be well in just a few minutes," I said with a smile I hid in his yellow mop as I kissed the drake-tail kiss-spot. "Where's Mamie?" I thought to ask with the greatest .
"In the garden eating cup-cake Jane baked hot for both of us," he answered, snuggling close and much comforted.
"Don't ever, ever do that again, Billy," I said, giving him both a hug and a shake. "It's piggy to eat more than is good for you and then still want more. What would your father say?"
"Father isn't no good, and I don't care what he says," answered Billy with spirit. "He don't play no more, and he don't laugh no more, and he don't eat no more hardly, too. I'm not going to live in that house with him more'n two days longer. I want to come over and sleep in your bed and have you to play with me, Molly."
"Don't say that, darling, ever again," I said as I over him. "Your father is the best man in the world, and you must never, never leave him."
"I 'spect I will, when I get big enough to kill a bear," answered Billy decidedly. "I say, do you think Mamie saved even a little piece of that cake? I 'spect I had better go see," and he slipped out of my arms and was gone before I could hold him.
It is a lonely house across the garden with the big and the tiny man in it all by themselves! And tears, from another corner of my heart ............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved