Chronicles of Avonlea HTML version

XI. The Miracle at Carmody
Salome looked out of the kitchen window, and a pucker of distress appeared on her
smooth forehead.
"Dear, dear, what has Lionel Hezekiah been doing now?" she murmured anxiously.
Involuntarily she reached out for her crutch; but it was a little beyond her reach, having
fallen on the floor, and without it Salome could not move a step.
"Well, anyway, Judith is bringing him in as fast as she can," she reflected. "He must
have been up to something terrible this time; for she looks very cross, and she never
walks like that unless she is angry clear through. Dear me, I am sometimes tempted to
think that Judith and I made a mistake in adopting the child. I suppose two old maids
don't know much about bringing up a boy properly. But he is NOT a bad child, and it
really seems to me that there must be some way of making him behave better if we only
knew what it was."
Salome's monologue was cut short by the entrance of her sister Judith, holding Lionel
Hezekiah by his chubby wrist with a determined grip.
Judith Marsh was ten years older than Salome, and the two women were as different in
appearance as night and day. Salome, in spite of her thirty-five years, looked almost
girlish. She was small and pink and flower-like, with little rings of pale golden hair
clustering all over her head in a most unspinster-like fashion, and her eyes were big and
blue, and mild as a dove's. Her face was perhaps a weak one, but it was very sweet and
Judith Marsh was tall and dark, with a plain, tragic face and iron-gray hair. Her eyes
were black and sombre, and every feature bespoke unyielding will and determination.
Just now she looked, as Salome had said, "angry clear through," and the baleful
glances she cast on the small mortal she held would have withered a more hardened
criminal than six happy-go-lucky years had made of Lionel Hezekiah.
Lionel Hezekiah, whatever his shortcomings, did not look bad. Indeed, he was as
engaging an urchin as ever beamed out on a jolly good world through a pair of big,
velvet-brown eyes. He was chubby and firm-limbed, with a mop of beautiful golden
curls, which were the despair of his heart and the pride and joy of Salome's; and his
round face was usually a lurking- place for dimples and smiles and sunshine.
But just now Lionel Hezekiah was under a blight; he had been caught red-handed in
guilt, and was feeling much ashamed of himself. He hung his head and squirmed his
toes under the mournful reproach in Salome's eyes. When Salome looked at him like
that, Lionel Hezekiah always felt that he was paying more for his fun than it was worth.