|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||My Mother - in - Law|
I M wit "rmgau.1 : " ii...i..m. I I My fflothermLaw. S BY JENNY WREN. TT was ha. vl to realize, as I camo homo . J dcsouto and forlorn the day of ray I lather's funeral, that I was albne In I the world; that no longer my first impulse im-pulse on entering the house must bo to fly with quick steps to the library to see the handsome head raibed from his work of writing with Rome word of love on his lips, when now only an empty clmlr and soundless space hereafter would prove my greeting. His illness had been so short, so sudden, that it almost seemed as though 1 should awaken from the frightful nightmare of the past few weeks and find it all u dream, vivid but un 'nl. Only a fortnight fort-night bofore he had been stricken down, and 1 had sent in hot haste for my old practitioner, to find him absent and xi stranger in his place. At first I felt regret, but when I saw r. 1'hillipa and witnessed his earnest, skillful care, that feeling gave way to congratulation and thenssurance that if human skill could avail, he would be saved. It wm ho who told me finally there was no longer long-er hope; he whom I turned upon with quick fury that he should dare assert thntmyfathor'slifewas in absolute danger, dan-ger, when in all the wide world we two were alone together; he who stood be- , 3idc him at the last, then, with firm, gentle hand, drew me from the chamber of death and himself prepared the ! sleeping draught which sent retful sleep to quiet my strained ncrve. In 1 ' my new sadness, my utter despair, he I nmnn nml vrtit nn nf nld. until it scenfed as though a brother'! protec- tion had been offered me, and I begun to wait and watch for the hour when I should see him, to feel a keen disappointment disap-pointment if it passed without him, until one evening, sitting alone by tho low, smoldering fire in the first day of spring, 1 was roused by his familiar 1 step. I "Helen," he said, drawing chair close beside me, "Dr. Edwards, you know, has returned, and my on patients pa-tients in Philadelphia are demanding my presence among them. I have stayed already longer than I intended." "And you now are going?" I questioned, ques-tioned, while a black cloud swept bofore bo-fore my eyes. "Yes," he answered, "but if you will let me, I am coming back. I did not 3'k ' mean to tell you of my love just yet. ""- "--f -1 cnn nanll' ll0Pc that ln a11 tll0llrcar 7 " " desolation which has overspread your j life, love had found time to plant a single irerm. but with me it has boon 1 different. I have loved you from tho i first moment I saw you, and my fondest ' ambition is to see you my wife. Do f not answer me now; only when the I birds sing and the flowers bloom try .. to think they breathe a message from i me, and when I return in the fall, rc- ' member my home will have been made , ' ready for you, and if you can come to , ., my arms, they will open, oh, so gladly I 1 ' -to receive you." , -iiS So he cit ,nc' nnd I let h!m B wlth Ww J ' -no answer, for I did not know my own ff ":'" v . lieart. That it was love beating at its -portals for admission love which had ' . made his coming so welcome, his going , ho sad, I could not realize until ho had , gone; and then came only the long. v , brotherly letters, so full of earnest solic- i . itude for my comfort, so unselfish in the RJ '" careful guard ever shown in his own $&.. ,i feeling for me, till the time drew nigh Ot "" ' when he was to come again. Then ffl!! - doubt, uncertainly, all lied, and I knew ffeV ' my heart had passed from out of my hf , "keeping. So I went to meet him, stand- fe ing In the open door of my homo as ho " r5 ( nine up the pathway, and In answer to v , Ills question ns for a moment he held me I1- off while he looked straight into my ,, eyes: "Helen, Is this my wife?" I . , . could only falter: "ours Jorevor- ", - more," ' Tho succeeding week flew swiftly by. 1 He suddenly grew impatient of delay, r ..' -- and declared he could not go back to his fit work until I went with him. Tho ffr- V 4 bought of my loneliness without him ),, v . urged me to consent, and so the days , , vvS-e filled with busy preparation, while 1 in tke evenings I sat by his side, content tjw i""-v and lissful, while he told me of his Wfej; r f f home, of his widowed mother who ' '$ v sharecKt, and of the new, sweet daugh- .'. ' ,h- ' ter he via" to bring her. Rut when all f ' ' , wns oveA. when I had stood in my wed- &L . , VV. - ding robl's before the gray-lmlred mln- KL rM. ' ieter, nnll Unelt to receive for the last H&im'r' 'v ' J ' time his Iblessing, when my husband's 5$f ' ' fyjt ' $' first rapflnrous kiss had been pressed rfi ' upon im lips, fervent congratulations offered by the few friends present at our qudot wedding, my wedding dress ; oxohniwyed for traveling garb, the long journey at last over, it was with a feeling feel-ing ofltired relief that the carriage in the disk of the evening drew up before n hnuulsomo house, and my husband i V aolcomed mo to my home. But where wnB his mother"? All day visions had danced before my eyes of two loving arms wailing to enfold me, of a sweet, motherly face bending over me to imprint im-print the kiss of greeting on my cheek, of the whispered words: "Welcome, my daughter," sounding in my ear; but uo; the dobi- was thrown wide open by a uvwjftt in livery, but the handsome hall in Its long vista presented to sight no other occupants, and, to my amazement, I wns hurried past the elegant drawing-room, drawing-room, where I caught sight of a cheerful cheer-ful fire burning on tho hearth, and upstairs up-stairs into my own luxuriously furnished fur-nished apartments. "And how does my bird like her ;icst?" questioned my husband, bending bend-ing over me with tender care ns I sank exhausted into a chair. " "So much, Hugh,' that she feels nB though she must stay here forever. May I not have tea here to-night?" "Oil, darling, mother would bo so disappointed dis-appointed not to sco you! Come, change your dress and look your prettiest, that I may present you to her." Chango my dress! Even to-night, in tho quiet home circle, must I remove my dust-stained garb and go through the exertion of a fresh toilet ere my husband's hus-band's mother extended to me her welcome? wel-come? But I could not refuse, and when, my toilet completed, Hugh's proud glance of approval met mine, I felt rewarded. re-warded. Then he led me downstairs, and we entered the drawing-room together. to-gether. In the farthest corner a tall figure rose from an arm-chair, and in all the rustling dignity of velvet and lace approached me. "My wife, mother," Hugh said, while I felt a cold hand take mine in a passionless pas-sionless grasp. A kiss as if a fallen nnowfiake had rested on my brow, and Mrs. Phillips fell back with graceful ease into the chair from which she had men. It was Some nix weeks before her birthday that I once heard her express a wish that she had a picture of her boy (for so she ever called Hugh), and instantly in-stantly a resolution was formed in my brain. I had always had a talent for painting. Before my father's death it had been my delight and his pride, and I determined upon carrying a miniature of Hugh 1 possessed to nn artist I knew well, and ask his assistance in transferring trans-ferring the likeness and painting a portrait. por-trait. Perhaps I thought as my work it might soften her heart toward me. So the next morning I started out, and, to my inexpressible delight, I found my desire feasible, and received the artist's permission to use his studio for four hours each day the hours I knew Hugh would bo away from home. It was not long ere 1 saw that Mrs. Phillips watched my coming and going with suspicious sus-picious eyes, but I, picturing her shamed look of surprise when ehe found my mission, went silently on my way until the picture was almost completed, and I had received tho artist's congratulation congratu-lation upon my success, when, entering the house flushed and happy, I overheard over-heard her voice in the library addressing address-ing my husband: "Four hours every day, Hugh, she is absent. What can be her purpose? I told you when, you brought a young, giddy thing into this house you would rogret it. It is your duty to see where she goes and what she does." But 1 could hear no more, uo, with flashing eyes and head erect, I entered the room. "Since I entered this house six months ago a happy bride, a joyous girl, 1 have met, madam, tit your hands, with Insults In-sults and scorn, which I have suffered in alienee. Aa my reward you now try to take from mo the last thing left me my husband's confidence. What my mission has been you shall know tomorrow. to-morrow. Accept It aa my gift the gift of an Injured woman to a cruel injustice. Hugh," (turning to my husband) "tho same house no longer can hold us two. Choose between unl" and I turned and left the room. My husband, following, strove to calm tnc, but ln vain. "I rill not live with your mother," I said. "If you must have her share your homo I will go." "Darling, I cannot ask her to learo It when old age is creeping upon her. She does not know you yet. Wait! Have patience yet a little longer, and you wilj find your way into her heart, and once thex'P, you will know how reallj warm it Is, which she conceals beneath a cold exterior." "He has chosou between us. He w 111 not give her up." With this thought hugged to my heart for comfort, I saw him leave me next morning with an anxious frown upon his brow, ami I, quickly gathering together a few things, called a carriage and waB driven rapidly to tho dopot from which I had determined to take tho. first outgoing train. My plans were all formed. 1 would go to tho house of my old nurse, who would enre for me in my coming) trouble, and if I died there would be none to regret me, since von Hush hu riven mo up. "My babe, my bonny child ! " Oh, how tluj words of motherly greeting fell on my heart ns uhe clasped mo in her uraiH when 1 alighted at her door, and I told her in broken words ns much of m story as I thought necessary. Unt ns the weoks grew into months, and spent long, busy hours in fashioning the tiny garments the little strnngcr coming was to fill, softer memories began to creep into mv heart, and a dint wonder as to whether I had let my pride gain too much nseendnncy, and if Hugh really had given up his mother for my suke, could I still hae loved him so v ell? So. drop by drop, the gentle de.v of repentance repent-ance fell on my heart, and tear tiller tear upon my work, until there came a day when all was done a day when a child's cry broke for an instant upon my car aa if a sound from Heaven had reached me, and then darkness closed round, and I knew no more. In the anxious time which followed I was aware of .lome one near me H3i Hugh's eyes, some one with lln.h's voice, and I would try to catch anil hit' It stay, but in vain, until one moriiiu, the mists cleared up, and I opened m eyes to see his dear face bending over me, but ho sealed my lips with kisses, ne he murmured: "Not a word, my darling! Wc cannot can-not expect a woman's wisdom from a child, but our little mother must grow wise now for her baby's sake." Then, with a happy, dreaming smile. I fell asleep again, his hand clasped ' close In mine. When 1 was stronger he I told me how he never had lost sight of ' me, but thought it best to let my own I better self work out the end, and when ho whispered: "There Is some one, Helen, waiting to seo you some one who said no one could take care of baby as she could. May she come in?" I gave glad assent; and when, a few moments later, a sweet, motherly fueo bont over mine a face from which all tho hard lines seemed forever fietl, as hor arms clasped oloso a sleeping infant, in-fant, and her gentle voice whispered: "My daughtgr" in my ear, I could only clasp my arm around them both and I answer: "Mother!" N. Y. Ledger.'