I Say No
Postscript: Gossip In The Studio
The winter time had arrived. Alban was clearing his palette, after a hard day's
work at the cottage. The servant announced that tea was ready, and that Miss
Ladd was waiting to see him in the next room.
Alban ran in, and received the visitor cordially with both hands. "Welcome back to
England! I needn't ask if the sea-voyage has done you good. You are looking ten
years younger than when you went away."
Miss Ladd smiled. "I shall soon be ten years older again, if I go back to
Netherwoods," she replied. "I didn't believe it at the time; but I know better now.
Our friend Doctor Allday was right, when he said that my working days were
over. I must give up the school to a younger and stronger successor, and make
the best I can in retirement of what is left of my life. You and Emily may expect to
have me as a near neighbor. Where is Emily?"
"Far away in the North."
"In the North! You don't mean that she has gone back to Mrs. Delvin?"
"She has gone back--with Mrs. Ellmother to take care of her--at my express
request. You know what Emily is, when there is an act of mercy to be done. That
unhappy man has been sinking (with intervals of partial recovery) for months
past. Mrs. Delvin sent word to us that the end was near, and that the one last
wish her brother was able to express was the wish to see Emily. He had been for
some hours unable to speak when my wife arrived. But he knew her, and smiled
faintly. He was just able to lift his hand. She took it, and waited by him, and
spoke words of consolation and kindness from time to time. As the night
advanced, he sank into sleep, still holding her hand. They only knew that he had
passed from sleep to death--passed without a movement or a sigh--when his