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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

They were so good to me that summer at Waupegan


She

promised to appear at the dinner table, and he went down with some idea of seeing Mrs. Owen at once, to assure her of his honorable intentions toward her in the "Courier" matter; he wanted to relieve his own fears as well as his wife's as to the mischief that had been wrought by Thatcher's suit.

In the hall below he met Sylvia, just back from her first day at the normal school. The maid had admitted her, and she was slipping her parasol into the rack as he came downstairs. She heard his step and turned toward him, a slender, dark young woman in black. In the dim hall she did not at once recognize him, and he spoke first.

"Good-afternoon, Miss Garrison! I am Mr. Bassett; I believe I introduced myself to you at Waupegan--and that seems a long time ago."

"I remember very well, Mr. Bassett," Sylvia replied, and they shook hands. "You found me in my dream corner by the lake and walked to Mrs. Owen's with me. I remember our meeting perfectly."

He stood with his hand on the newel regarding her intently. She was entirely at ease, a young woman without awkwardness or embarrassment. She had disposed of their previous meeting lightly, as though such fortuitous incidents had not been lacking in her life. Her mourning hat cast a shadow upon her face, but he had been conscious of the friendliness of her smile. Her dark eyes had inspected him swiftly; he

was vaguely aware of a feeling that he wanted to impress her favorably.

"The maid said Mrs. Owen and Marian are still out. I hope Mrs. Bassett is better. I wonder if I can do anything for her."

"No, thank you; she's quite comfortable and will be down for dinner."

"I'm glad to hear that; suppose we find seats here."

She walked before him into the parlor and threw back the curtains the better to admit the air. He watched her attentively, noting the ease and grace of her movements, and took the chair she indicated.

"It's very nice to see Mrs. Bassett and Marian again; they were so good to me that summer at Waupegan; I have carried the pleasantest memories of that visit ever since. It seems a long time ago and it is nearly four years, isn't it."

"Four this summer, I think. I remember, because I had been to Colorado, and that whole year was pretty full for me. But all these years have been busy ones for you, too, I hear. Your grandfather's death must have been a great shock to you. I knew him only by reputation, but it was a reputation to be proud of."

"Yes; Grandfather Kelton had been everything to me."

"It was too bad he couldn't have lived to see you through college; he must have taken a great interest in your work there, through his own training and scholarship."

"It was what he wanted me to do, and I wish he could have known how I value it. He was the best of men, the kindest and noblest; and he was a wonderful scholar. He had the habit of thoroughness."

"That, I suppose, was partly due to the discipline of the Navy. I fancy that a man trained in habits of exactness gets into the way of keeping his mind ship-shape--no loose ends around anywhere."


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