Two days later she was well enough to ride to Miss Martha's in a carriage, escorted by Madam Delia and by Anne, "that dull, uninteresting child," as Miss Amy had reluctantly described her, "so different from this graceful Adelaide." This romantic name was a rapid assumption of the soft-hearted Miss Amy's, but, once suggested, it was as thoroughly-fixed as if a dozen baptismal fonts had written it in water.
Madam Delia was sustained, up to the time of Gerty's going, by a sense of self-sacrifice. But this emotion, like other strong stimulants, has its reactions. That remorse for a crime committed in vain, which Dr. Johnson thought the acutest of human emotions, is hardly more depressing than to discover that we have got beyond our depth in virtue, and are in water where we really cannot quite swim,--and this was the good woman's position. During her whole wandering though blameless life,--in her girlish days, when she charmed snakes at Meddibemps, or through her brief time of service as plain Car'line Prouty at the Biddeford mills, or when she ran away from her step-mother and took refuge among the Indians at Orono, or later, since she had joined her fate with that of De Marsan,--she had never been so severely tried.
"That child was so smart," she said, beneath the evening canvas, to her sympathetic spouse. "I always expected when we got old we'd kinder retire on a farm or suthin', and let her and her husband--say Comstock, if he was young enough--run the business. And even after she showed us the ring and things, I thought likely she'd just come into her property somewheres and take care of us. I don't know as I ever thought she'd leave us, either way, and there she's gone."
"She won't forget us," said the peaceful proprietor.
"No," said the wife, "but it's lonesome. If it had only been Anne! I shall miss Gerty the worst kind. And it'll kill the show!"
And to tell the truth, the show languished. Nothing but the happy acquisition of a Chinese giant nearly eight feet high, with slanting eyes and a long pigtail,--a man who did penance in his height for the undue brevity of his undersized nation,--would have saved the "museum."
Meantime the neat proprieties of orderly life found but a poor disciple in Gerty. Her warm heart opened to the dear old ladies; but she found nothing familiar in this phantom of herself, this well-dressed little girl who, after a rapid convalescence, was introduced at school and "meeting" under the name of Adelaide. The school studies did not dismay her, but she played the jew's-harp at recess, and danced the clog-dance in india-rubbers, to the dismay of the little Misses Grundy, her companions. In the calisthenic exercises she threw beanbags with an untamed vigor that soon ripped the stitches of the bags, and sowed those vegetables in every crack of the school-room floor. There was a ladder in the garden, and it was some comfort to ascend it hand over hand upon the under side, or to hang by her toes from the upper rung, to the terror of her schoolmates.
But she became ashamed of the hardness of her palms, and she grew in general weary of her life. Her clothes pinched her, so did her new boots; Madam Delia had gone to Providence with the show, and Gerty had not so much as seen the new Chinese giant.
Source of this article：http://nyhps.medkent.com/news/879c998127.html
Copyright statement: The content of this article was voluntarily contributed by internet users, and the views expressed in this article only represent the author themselves. This website only provides information storage space services and does not hold any ownership or legal responsibility. If you find any suspected plagiarism, infringement, or illegal content on this website, please send an email to report it. Once verified, this website will be immediately deleted.