List Of Contents | Contents of Elinor Wyllys, by Susan Fenimore Cooper
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was so affectionate and soothing, and the advice she sometimes
allowed herself to give, was so clear and sensible, that at last
Jane seemed to feel the good effects of her cousin's efforts.

After Mr. Ellsworth and his sister had left the room to join the
dancers, Jane suddenly turned to Elinor, with tears in her eyes.
"How kind you are!" she said. "I daresay you would like to go
down-stairs;--but you are too good to me, Elinor!"

"Nonsense, Jenny; I can't help it if I would. Do you think I
should enjoy dancing, if I knew you were sitting alone in this
dark corner, while grandpapa and Aunt Agnes are playing chess!
You are looking a great deal more woe-begone than you ought to,
now baby is so much better."

"You spoil me," said Jane, shaking her head, and smiling with
more feeling than usual in her unexpressive face.

"I shall spoil you a great deal more before we get through. Next
week, when Mr. Taylor comes, I intend to talk him into bringing
you over to Wyllys-Roof, to pay a good long visit, like old

"I had much rather think of old times, than of what is to come.
There is nothing pleasant for me to look forward to!"

"How can you know that, Jane? I have learned one lesson by
experience, though I am only a year older than you, dear--and it
is, that if we are often deceived by hope, so we are quite as
often misled by fear."

"I believe, Elinor, you are my best friend," said Jane, holding
out her hand to her cousin.

"Oh, you have more good friends than you think for, and much good
of every kind, though you will shut your eyes to the fact."

"It may be so," said Jane; "I will try to follow your advice, if
I can."

"Try hard, then," said Elinor, "and all will go well. And now,
shall I sing you the song Mrs. Creighton cut short?"

She began to sing "Auld Lang Syne;" but the song was interrupted
before she had finished the second verse. Several persons were
heard approaching their room, which was in a retired, quiet part
of the house; the door soon opened, and in walked Robert

"Well, good people," he exclaimed, "you take the world as quietly
as anybody I know! We supposed, of course, you were at the ball,
but Elinor's voice betrayed you. This way, Louisa," he said,
returning to the door, after having shaken hands with Mr. Wyllys
and Miss Agnes.

"How glad I am to see you!" exclaimed Elinor--"you are as good as
your word; but we did not expect you for several days;" and Jane
and herself went to the door to meet Mrs. Hazlehurst.

"And, pray, what reason had you to suppose that we should not
keep our word?" said the latter, as she appeared.

"We thought Harry would probably detain you," said Elinor.

"Not at all; we brought him along with us." 

"That was a good arrangement we had not thought of," observed
Miss Agnes.

Harry entered the room. He was not entirely free from
embarrassment at first; but when Mr. Wyllys met him with
something of the cordial manner of old times, he immediately
recovered himself. He kissed the hand of Miss Agnes, as in former
days, and saluted Elinor in the same way, instead of the more
brotherly greetings with which he used to meet her of old.

"And here is Jane, too, Harry," said Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had
just embraced her sister. "You have been so long away, that I
dare say you have forgotten half your old friends."

"Not at all," said Harry, crossing the room to Jane. "I think
myself a very lucky fellow, at finding them all collected here
together, for my especial benefit. I met Mr. Taylor for a moment
in New York," he continued, addressing Jane.

"Did he say when he was coming for me?" replied Mrs. Taylor,
offering her hand to her kinsman.

"He told me that he should be at Saratoga very shortly."

"I have a letter for you in my trunk, Jane," said Mrs. Robert

"Don't you think our invalid much better, already, Louisa?" asked

"Yes; she does credit to your nursing."

"No wonder," said Jane; "for during the last month I have been
petted all the time--first by Mrs. Taylor, then by Aunt Agnes and

"It's very pleasant to be petted," said Harry; "that's precisely
what I came home for. I give you my notice, Louisa, I expect a
great deal from you in the next three months."

"Is that the length of your holiday?" inquired Miss Agnes.

"So says my master, Mr. Henley. I understand," he added, turning
to Elinor, "that you have all the agreeable people in the country
collected here."

"There are some thousands of us, agreeable and disagreeable,
altogether. They say the place has never been more crowded so
early in the season."

"So I'm told. I was warned that if I came, I should have to make
my bed in the cellar, or on the roof. Are Ellsworth and Mrs.
Creighton at this house, or at the other?"

"They are staying at the United States. They are here this
evening, however, at the dance."

{"United States" = the other major hotel in Saratoga Springs,
less fashionable at this time than Congress Hall}

"Indeed!--I have half a mind to take Ellsworth by surprise. Will
they admit a gentleman in travelling costume, do you think?"

"I dare say they will; but here are your friends, coming to look
for you."

At the same moment, Mr. Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton joined the

"How d'ye do, Ellsworth?--Glad to see you, my dear fellow!" cried
the young men, shaking each other violently by the hand.

"How do you do, Mr. Hazlehurst?" added the lady, "Welcome back
again. But what have you done with your sister-in-law?--for I did
not come to call upon you alone. Ah, here you are, Mrs.
Hazlehurst. My brother observed you passing through the hall, as
you arrived, and we determined that it would be much pleasanter
to pass half an hour with you, than to finish the dance. We have
been wishing for you every day."

"Thank you. We should have set out before, if we had not waited
for Harry. Elinor tells me half Philadelphia is here, already."

"Yes; the houses have filled up very much since I first came; for
I am ashamed to say how long I have been here."

"Why, yes: I understood you were going to Nahant."

"We ought to have been there long ago; but I could not move this
obstinate brother of mine. He has never found Saratoga so
delightful, Mrs. Hazlehurst," added the lady, with an expressive
smile, and a look towards Elinor. "I can't say, however, that I
at all regret being forced to stay, for many of our friends are
here, now. Mr. Hazlehurst, I hope you have come home more
agreeable than ever."

"I hope so too, Mrs. Creighton; for it is one of our chief duties
as diplomatists, 'to tell lies for the good of our country,' in
an agreeable way. But I am afraid I have not improved my
opportunities. I have been very much out of humour for the last
six months, at least." 

"And why, pray?"

"Because I wanted to come home, and Mr. Henley, my boss, insisted
upon proving to me it would be the most foolish thing I could do.
He was so much in the right, that I resented it by being cross."

"But now he has come himself, and brought you with him."

"No thanks to him, though. It was all Uncle Sam's doings, who
wants to send us from the Equator to the North Pole."

"Are you really going to Russia, Hazlehurst?" asked Mr.

"Certainly; you would not have me desert, would you?"

"Oh, no; don't think of it, Mr. Hazlehurst; it must be a very
pleasant life!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton. "I only wish, Frank,
that you were enough of a politician to be sent as minister
somewhere; I should delight in doing the honours for you; though
I dare say you would rather have some one else in my place."

"We will wait until I am sent as ambassador to Timbuctoo, before
I answer the question."

"You have grown half-a-dozen shades darker than you used to be as
a youngster, Harry; or else this lamp deceives me," observed Mr.

"I dare say I may have a fresh tinge of the olive. But I am just
from sea, sir, and that may have given me an additional coat."

"Did you suffer much from heat, on the voyage?" asked Miss

"Not half as much as I have since I landed. It appeared to me
Philadelphia was the warmest spot I had ever breathed in; worse
than Rio. I was delighted when Louisa proposed my coming to
Saratoga to see my friends."

"You will find it quite warm enough here," said Mr. Wyllys. "The
thermometer was 92 {degrees} in the shade, yesterday."

"I don't expect to be well cooled, sir, until we get to St.
Petersburgh. After a sea-voyage, I believe one always feels the
cold less, and the heat more than usual. But where is Mrs.
Stanley?--we hoped to find her with you. Is she not staying at
this house?"

"Yes; but she left us early, this evening, not feeling very well;
you will not be able to see her until to-morrow," said Miss

"I am sorry she is not well; how is she looking?"

"Particularly well, I think; she merely complained of a head-ache
from riding in the sun."

"Mrs. Stanley has been very anxious for your return; but she will
be as agreeably surprised as the rest of us, to find you here,"
said Elinor.

"Thank you. I look upon myself as particularly fortunate, to find
so many old friends collected in one spot, instead of having to
run about, and hunt for each in a different place, just now that
I am limited for time."

"You ought to be greatly indebted to Frank and myself, for
breaking our word and staying here; instead of keeping our
promise and going to Nahant, as we had engaged to do," said Mrs.

"Certainly; I look upon it as part of my good luck; but I should
have made my appearance at Nahant, if you had actually run away
from me."

"I shall believe you; for I make it a point of always believing
what is agreeable."

"As I knew Mrs. Hazlehurst and your brother had engaged rooms
here, I hoped you would join us, soon after your arrival," said
Mr. Ellsworth.

"It was much the best plan for you," said Mr. Wyllys.

Harry looked gratified by this friendly remark.

It was already late; and Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had been conversing
in a corner with Jane, complained of being fatigued by her day's
journey, which broke up the party. The Hazlehursts, like Mrs.
Creighton and her brother, were staying at the United States, and
they all went off together.

When Elinor, as usual, kissed Mr. Wyllys before retiring to her
own room, she hesitated a moment, and then said:

"I must thank you, grandpapa, for having granted my request, and
received Harry as of old. It is much better that the past should
be entirely forgotten. Self-respect seems to require that we
should not show resentment under the circumstances," she added,
colouring slightly.

"I cannot forget the past, Elinor. Harry does not stand with me
where he once did, by the side of my beloved grandchild; but we
will not think of that any longer, as you say. I hope for better
things from the future. Bless you, dear!"


"The foam upon the waters, not so light."

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Truth" line 43}

As usual at Saratoga, early the next morning groups of people
were seen moving from the different hotels, towards the Congress
Spring. It was a pleasant day, and great numbers appeared
disposed to drink the water at the fountain-head, instead of
having it brought to their rooms. The Hazlehursts were not the
only party of our acquaintances who had arrived the night before.
The Wyllyses found Miss Emma Taylor already on the ground,
chattering in a high key with a tall, whiskered youth. The moment
she saw Elinor, she sprang forward to meet her.

{"Congress Spring" = principal mineral water source at Saratoga

"How do you do, Miss Wyllys?--Are you not surprised to see me

"One can hardly be surprised at meeting anybody in such a crowd,"
said Elinor. "When did you arrive?"

"Last night, at eleven o'clock. We made a forced march from
Schenectady, where we were to have slept; but I persuaded Adeline
and Mr. St. Leger to come on. You can't think how delighted I am
to be here, at last," said the pretty little creature, actually
skipping about with joy.

"And where is Mrs. St. Leger?"

"Oh, she will he here in a moment. She has gone to Jane's room. I
left her there just now."

The platform round the spring was quite crowded. In one party,
Elinor remarked Mrs. Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard, escorted
by Monsieur Bonnet and another Frenchman. They were soon followed
by a set more interesting to Elinor, the Hazlehursts, Mrs.
Creighton, and her brother.

"I hope none of your party from Wyllys-Roof are here from
necessity," said Harry, after wishing Elinor good-morning.

"Not exactly from necessity; but the physicians recommended to
Aunt Agnes to pass a fortnight here, this summer. You may have
heard that she was quite ill, a year ago?"

"Yes; Robert, of course, wrote me word of her illness. But Miss
Wyllys looks quite like herself, I think. As for Mr. Wyllys, he
really appears uncommonly well."

"Thank you; grandpapa is very well, indeed; and Aunt Agnes has
quite recovered her health, I trust."

"Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Stryker, offering a glass of the water to
Elinor, "can't I persuade you to take a sympathetic cup, this

"I believe not," replied Elinor, shaking her head.

"Do you never drink it"' asked Mrs. Creighton. 

"No; I really dislike it very much."

"Pray, give it to me, Mr. Stryker," continued Mrs. Creighton.
"Thank you: I am condemned to drink three glasses every morning,
and it will be three hours, at this rate, before I get them."

"Did you ever hear a better shriek than that, Miss Wyllys?" said
Mr. Stryker, lowering his voice, and pointing to Emma Taylor, who
was standing on the opposite side of the spring, engaged in a
noisy, rattling flirtation. After drinking half the glass that
had been given to her, she had handed it to the young man to whom
she was talking, bidding him drink it without making a face. Of
course, the youth immediately exerted himself to make a grimace.

"Oh, you naughty boy!" screamed Miss Taylor, seizing another
half-empty glass, and throwing a handful of water in his face;
"this is the way I shall punish you!"

There were two gentlemen, European travellers, standing
immediately behind Elinor at this moment, and the colour rose in
her cheeks as she heard the very unfavourable observations they
made upon Miss Taylor, judging from her noisy manner in a public
place. Elinor, who understood very well the language in which
they spoke, was so shut in by the crowd that she could not move,
and was compelled to hear part of a conversation that deeply
mortified her, as these travellers, apparently gentlemanly men
themselves, exchanged opinions upon the manners of certain young
ladies they had recently met. They began to compare notes, and
related several little anecdotes, anything but flattering in
their nature, to the delicacy of the ladies alluded to; actually
naming the individuals as they proceeded. More than one of these
young girls was well known to Elinor, and from her acquaintance
with their usual tone of manner and conversation, she had little

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