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seemed to come to a little, and spoke right out, “Sally, dear.
“What, mother? says I, and my heart beat as if it would come through.
“Is there anybody with you?' says she.
“Yes, dear mother, a friend,' says I, whispering.
“Will he take care of you? says she, and she looked with her sunk eye full on Curry.
Curry got right up, and came by the bedside, and knelt down, and took her thin hand, and said, in a voice quite loud and solemn, ‘I will take care of her, so help me God.'
“She didn't say another word, but just gave a kind of sigh, as it were, not sorrowful, but as if she was satisfied, and squeezed his hand, and so she died.
“The sun rose then quite glorious. The light didn't look right to me; it shot to my heart like ice, and I would rather have had it dark again.
“Curry was very kind and serviceable to me, but just as he was going to call in the neigh
bours, one of the crew came, and said, the vessel was gettin under way, and he must go.
“ There wasn't much to be said, because he had to go so quick, but he kissed me once (you know I was in trouble, and that somehow brings us all equal), and took a gold ring out of his waistcoat pocket, and putting it on my finger, said, 'I bought that ring for my sister; but, Miss Sally, I love you more than I do her now, and if I live to come back, you shall see that I do, that you shall. '
“I felt as if my mother had died over again when he went out, but the neighbours soon came in, and she was decently laid out. Curry left twenty dollars to pay expenses. I was the only mourner at her funeral, and I cried enough for a hundred; and it seemed to me, the night after the funeral, that I should just like to go and throw myself into the ocean that poor Curry sailed on.
“Time passed on, and the ring was a kind of comfort to me.
Sometimes I was so foolish as
to talk to it, as if it could understand, and I would ask it questions I wouldn't like to ask anybody else.
“ The folks told me I should get higher wages in Boston than in Salem, and I have made out tolerable. I don't know how it was, it seemed to me that I would give myself a year to hear good news in, and I thought I might as well be laying up things with my earnings, when they turned up cheap, so that I have got pretty considerable beforehand.
“I hope, ma'am,” said Sally after a pause, for I was silent from the emotion her simple story caused me-"I hope you don't think I've been over-quick in my liking. I heard a very good character of Curry from the folks he lodged with, and the image of him that night seemed to take the place of my mother's, and filled up a very heavy want in my heart.”
“Oh no, Sally,” said I, quite charmed with her simplicity, “I do not blame you, but I hear the sound of a chaise on the pavement at the side door."
Sally's colour went and came, but she answered a sailor-like knock from the outside, and I believe Curry was very well satisfied with his reception.
This was Friday. On the following day the kitchen had an extra cleaning. I beat up a wedding cake, and we made busy preparations for Sunday evening.
The bride looked very sweetly in a plain white cambric frock, and as she stood beside Curry, reminded me of those beautiful figures we sometimes see painted on the sterns of sels; while he appeared like the good stout ship, which, though destined to bear her through winds and waves, was powerful enough to do it safely.
When our good pastor, the Rev. Mr. Lathrop, asked him the customary question, “Will you love, protect, and cherish this woman ?" &c., Curry was not content with the simple bowing affirmative. Something seemed struggling in his mind. He grasped Sally's hand, and with such an utterance as she told me he had used
on the night her mother died, said, “I will, so help me God."
On Monday morning my husband presented Sally with a large brass kettle, a common NewEngland present on such occasions, and the happy couple bade us farewell. As they rode away, Curry waved his red handkerchief, and Sally put her new cambric one to her
beIween tears and smiles. I never saw my pretty cook again.