Drusilla with a Million HTML version

Chapter II
The next morning there was a buzz of excitement in the Doane home for old
ladies. Word had got around that Drusilla had been left a fortune and was going
away. Some of the ladies were plainly envious and said spiteful, catty things,
while others were glad that at least one of their number would be able to leave
behind the "home"--the living on charity--that nightmare of the old. Drusilla had
endeared most of them to her by her many kindly acts, prompted by a loving
heart that even years of poverty and unappreciated labor for others had not
She passed the morning in looking over her few possessions and making little
packages of the things she treasured to be given to her friends after she left. The
handkerchiefs she had embroidered before her eye-sight was bad, she left for
Barbara. A little lace cap that had been given her years ago and which she had
never worn, thinking it too "fancy," was for the old lady who had seen better days.
The heavy shawl was for the oldest inmate, Grandma Perkins, who always
suffered with the cold. The warm bed-stockings were neatly folded and left with a
little word of love to Mary, who had rheumatism; and to Mrs. Childs, the beauty of
the place, she left her lace fichu.
There was ample room within the tiny trunk for her clothing. The plain black
cashmere that had been turned and returned until it had nearly forgotten its
original texture, but which was her Sunday best, the two black dresses for every-
day wear, the two night-dresses of Canton flannel, the woolen underskirt and the
lighter one for summer, the heavy stockings, the Sunday shoes, a life of John
Calvin that a director had given her, her Bible--and the packing was completed.
When Mrs. Smith came herself to tell her that Mr. Thornton had arrived, and in a
motor car, she trembled so that she feared she would not be able to go down to
meet him. But finally she put on the little bonnet that she had worn for many
years, and her "mantle"--an antiquated wrap that had been given her by some
kindly patron of former years--and went down the stairs. Mr. Thornton looked at
the little old lady as she came into the room--this little, kindly-faced, white-haired
old woman, who showed so plainly that life had sent her sorrow but not
bitterness--and offered her his hand, saying:
"I am glad you are ready, Miss Doane. We will have a nice ride to the city."
Drusilla looked up at him like a pitiful child.
"I--I--may I set down a minute--I--I'm rather trembly. I--I didn't sleep last night a-
thinkin' of it all."
She sat down and tried to still the trembling of her lips and keep the tears from
her eyes. Then, after a few moments, she said:
"Will you wait here or somewhere, Mr. Thornton? I want to say good-by. Mis'
Smith thought I hadn't better see the ladies until I was ready to leave, as it might
upset them."
"I will wait in the car for you, Miss Doane. Don't hurry; take all the time you want."
Drusilla went to the sunny veranda where she knew she would find the women in
their accustomed places, and immediately she was the center of the curious old