'"Good-morning ma'am," said Tom Smart, closing the door of the little parlour as the widow entered.
'"Good-morning, Sir," said the widow. "What will you take for breakfast, sir?"
'"There's a very nice ham," said the widow, "and a beautiful cold larded fowl.
His admiration of the widow increased as she spoke.
Down through the long lines of packed people they walked to the market-place, the palmer in the lead, and the widow's three sons marching firmly erect between soldiers.
And the widow's three sons, I warrant you, supped more heartily that night than ever before in their whole lives.
The widow looked down the aisle, and clinched the arm of one of her bridemaids in her bony hand with such unconscious violence, that the fair girl trembled.
"Nothing, my dear, nothing," said the widow; then, whispering close to her ear, "There is a foolish fancy that I cannot get rid of.
As they drew near, the widow recognized in every face some trait of former friends, long forgotten, but now returning, as if from their old graves, to warn her to prepare a shroud; or, with purpose almost as unwelcome, to exhibit their wrinkles and infirmity, and claim her as their companion by the tokens of her own decay.
The locksmith was upon him--had the skirts of his streaming garment almost in his grasp--when his arms were tightly clutched, and the widow
flung herself upon the ground before him.
The physicians were all at the cave, so the Widow
Douglas came and took charge of the patient.
followed their conquering march with a proud eye, and every now and then Rowena said to herself with deep satisfaction, "And to think they are ours--all ours!"