Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/204

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193
CALLED HOME

and spend the day visiting the women who seemed most capable and interested, and arranging matters with them—often spending the whole day and coming back at night tired out. But I never noticed. One morning—it was a cold, rainy day—she told me at breakfast she had a sore throat and laughed about it, saying she hoped her voice would hold out, as she had called a mass meeting of all the women and was to give them an address about the purpose of her scheme; I advised her not to go, but she said she could n't disappoint them. They kept her talking nearly all that afternoon, answering questions, organizing the club; and when she came home she went at once to bed—and never got up from it again. I feel, Floyd, that if I had only been a little more watchful I might have saved her."

"You must n't blame yourself," Floyd answered. "It was in her spirit to do things that way."

"Those women—you must see the letters they have sent me. You will see how they loved her. They sent a wreath—but it's the letters from the poor women that count. Well, they could n't have helped loving her—though I never thought how much. For years she made it a duty to visit every one who had been widowed, every one in affliction—and when it was money that was needed, she knew how to give without hurting any one's pride. And the cases of little crippled children that she'd had treated at her expense—that was always her special charity—and she was so modest and shy about such things she never told even me the way the people felt and expressed themselves; going through her papers, I found some letters from women whose children she'd helped; she kept the letters—but she never showed them to me."

He handed a packet to Floyd.

"I don't know why," he said, and for the first time his voice broke, "but—if it's possible—I love her more for knowing how much others that I never dreamed of loved her."