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THREE SUCCESSFUL



:RLS.



JTXIA CROUCH.




NEW YORK:

PUBLISHED BY HUKD AXD HOUGHTOX.



1871.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by

JULIA CROUCH,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



ITVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE:

STEREOTYPE!) A ! D PRINTED Bt
n. 0. HOUfiUTOX ASD COMPANV.



DEDICATION.



To
MY FATHER AND MOTHER,

WHOSE AFFECTIOS FOR ICE, AXD ESTKSXST IS ALL MT FLAX*, IIAVB

AILED; TO JTT BBOTHEB ASD SISTEES a THIS WORLD,

ASD IS THE WORLD BETO3TD. AJO) TO THE DEAR OLD

HOME WHERE WE HAVE ALL LIVED ASD

LOVED ASD BEES HAFFT,



WITH TKXDKR AFFECT1OS,

75 ZXSCRISEO.



S3S8GO



CONTEXTS.



CHAPTER I.

VTASHLSG DAT ....



CHAPTER IL

AGALS5T THE TIDE - ... .



CHAPTER IIL

THE OBCHA2D



CHAPTER IV.

so

CHAPTER V.

IX SEW YORK 60



CHAPTER VL
. ..... . . . . .76

CHAPTER VII.

PLTMOCTH CHITKCH ... 91



CHAPTER VHI.
107

CHAPTER IX.

THE LOSE LITTLE WIDOW 134

CHAPTER X.

DARK CLOUDS . 140



vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XL PAGE

A SACRIFICE FOR PRINCIPLE 157

CHAPTER XII.

A TASTE OF FASHIONABLE LIFE 177

CHAPTER XIII.

AFTER THE BALL 190

CHAPTER XIV.

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS . . 209



CHAPTER XV.

CHRISTMAS DAY .



CHAPTER XVI.

HOPES AND FEARS 237

CHAPTER XVII.

A NEW EMPLOYMENT AND A NEW ACQUAINTANCE . . . .250

CHAPTER XVIII.

CHARITY 264

CHAPTER XIX.



THE OLD STORY



CHAPTER XX.

A DISAPPOINTMENT 291

CHAPTER XXI.

MAKY'S LETTER 304

CHAPTER XXII.

THE REVIVAL 313

B

CHAPTER XXIII.

HOPE AND PEACE . . aOR



CHAPTER XXIV.

TWO LETTERS



CONTESTS.
CHAPTER XXV.



CBAPTER



CHAPTER AJLV1L

.ara



THREE SUCCESSFUL, GIKLS.



CHAPTER L

WASHDfG DAT.

-HERE. Mary, b the last of this tubfoL Tuck them
into the boiler, please, and put a stick of wood into the
stove, t

44 How red your free is, Kate ! Don't work over
that hot suds any longer now, but help me rinse these
clothes in this cold water."

the summer before she found herself in New York
chy.

Washing day may be considered an unfavorable
time to introduce young ladies in their home ; but in
this case it is pardonable, as I am aware that my three
girls never appeared to better advantage than on this
day. and were never in better spirits, or enjoyed then-
Monday morning is generally considered one of the
bugbears of domestic fife, and is looked forward to
with dread and ifcJifa^ an unnecessary but famM*M^
fret. However, this was 'not die case with die Wind-
sor iamlly . There was no day during the whole week
pleasanter or more enjoyed. The great Qppr boiler
on the stove had a cheery,



2 THREE SUCCESSFUL GIRLS.

The tubs, washboard, and other implements of wash-
ing placed in pompous array on the old shady porch
made everybody laugh merrier, and step about with
nimbler feet. No hired washerwoman ever came
around to put restraint on the busy tongues that hact
so much more to communicate on this day than any
other. Hannah, Kate, and Mary took the washing
into their own hands, and left mother with the general
housework ; for she was not over strong, and had done
enough hard work in her life, the girls declared, to
warrant her a little rest. They were not remark-
ably early risers, which fact made known may be a
detriment to them in the eyee of many farmers ; but
this was in part owing to the somewhat peculiar notion
of their mother, that youth needed plenty of sleep, and
one was not necessarily lazy who took a pleasant nap in
the morning. Therefore it often occurred that neigh-
bor Dyke's clothes-line had a few fluttering white gar-
ments pinned to it before the Windsor wash was com-
menced ; and the girls would espy them, laugh good-
naturedly, and often hold a conversation something
like the following :

" Come here, girls, and look across the field ! I
should think Sally's wash was .half out, certain, and
ours isn't commenced," was the very common remark
of one of them.

" The clothes look white, too," Hannah would say ;
" but, dear me ! Sally doesn't enjoy it at all, and I dare
sav she hardly gives herself time to eat her break-
fast."

Then Kate :

"It is a day of ' tremendous jerks,' Adonijah
says ; ' everything tubs, and hot water, and soft soap,
and Sally in a fret and a worry, and nothing but
crumbs for breakfast and dinner.' "



ASHLXG DAT. 3

" I like our way best," says Mary, " because we
have such a splendid dine ; and Fm sore we find as
much leisure as Sally, if we don't get up quite so early
ia the morning."

* ** Sally makes everything hard work, and seems to
think the beauty of life if she thinks it has any
beauty is scrubbing floors white, etc. We try to
combine work and pleasure together, and I think we
succeed very well," Hannah remarks ; and so they
chat away merrily.

I shall give a description of one washing day, which
is similar to all the rest, and proves that even this
much abused and dreaded day may be made pleasant
and enjoyable. There they are, all three of them,
on the porch in the midst of washing implements ; no
crinoline short calico dresses, displaying little stout
boots and clean stockings ; arms and hands gleaming
white, for somehow these girls would have white hands,
in spite of all their housework ; and, above all, smiling,
intelligent faces, and {he busiest tongues, that kept up
such a continual clatter that a person hearing them at
a distance would be impressed with the idea that a
half-dozen magpies were somewhere in the vicinity.
To say that no gossip entered into die conversation
would be a ridiculous thing to say of three merry
young girls, who went to meeting on Sunday ; bat
gossip, though it entered in largely, was by no means
the chief topic.

"There!" said Kate, if this suds doesn't look for
aD the world hie that heap of clouds yonder ! " straight-
ening herself over the wash-tub, and looking first at
the bubbles of snowy suds, and then up at the sky.

"What a comparison!" said Hannah, " soap-sods
and floating clouds!"



4 THREE SUCCESSFUL GIRLS.

" That is only combining the ornamental with the
useful," said Kate ; " and when I'm at work, I want
to find as many beauties in the labor as possible."

" You'll find all there is to find, you little matter-of-
fact," said Mary. " I wonder if Sally ever thought of
her soap-suds looking like the clouds."

" Doubtful," said Hannah. , " Clouds receive very
little of her attention, I'm thinking, except when they
threaten to bring rain, and sprinkle her clothes more
than is desirable. Yesterday, as I came along a little
distance with her from church, I remarked that the
sky appeared unusually attractive. She turned up her
face quickly, scanned the whole heavens, and then
said, 'I do hope it will be pleasant to-morrow, so I
can get my clothes out ; for last week I was obliged td
leave them in the rinsing water till Tuesday morning.
I had a mind to ask her if nothing ever really pleased
her eye or tickled her fancy, but I didn't."

" Well, I do pity Sally," said Kate ; " I don't see
how she can have any real enjoyment ; for, really, if I
couldn't see beyond my work, if I couldn't live above
it, I mean, I should be perfectly miserable."

"Why, no, you wouldn't," said Hannah ; "you of
course wouldn't enjoy what you do now, but you
wouldn't have any taste or idea of it, and therefore
wouldn't long for it or miss it. Sally is happy enough
in her way ; but it cannot be the best or highest way,
I am s.ure."

" I don't see what ails Sally, to be so entirely re-
gardless of beauty and abstract ideas," said Mary.
" Adonijah is more appreciative than she is, and he
often makes some original remark that causes me to
feel like bursting out into laughter ; but I never dare
to even smile, he is so sensitive."



-.,,*,



WASSIXG DAY. 5

"He can combine the ornamental with the useful
quite as well as Kate," said Hannah. " Here is an
apron for you to starch, Mary. That strawberry stain
positively never will come out, Tor I gave it a danger-
ous rubbing." .

"Mother can get it out- easy .enough," said Kate;
44 can't you, mother ? ", she asked in a louder voice.

Mother was in the kitchen, but she went and looked
out on the porch.

44 What is it that I can do ?" she said.

44 Get the strawberry stain out of my apron," said
Kate. " Adonijah brought me a bunch of wild straw-
berries yesterday ; and before I knew he had any, for
he carried them behind him, he put them right into
my apron."

4 * Just like Adonijah," laughed mother ; "he wanted
to surprise and please you at the same time ; but the
stain will come out easily by pouring hot water upon it,"

44 So I thought,", said Kate, as she flung a snowy skirt
into a white clothes-basket. There was silence for a
short time, and then Hannah said abruptly, " Twenty
dollars ! what is that ? only a drop in the bucket."

44 However, it's five more than fifteen," put in Mary
understandingly.

" And it only lacks five of being twenty-five," said
K - .

44 O, that's all plain enough to be seen ; but because
, it's more or less than something else don't make it
anything but twenty dollars," said Hannah; "and
MJiat will twenty dollars do ? "

44 Why, it is a heap of money, and will do a good
deal. It will pay your fare to New York, and board
fou quite a little time," said Mary encouragingly.
'* " Yes, quite a little time, sure enough," said Han-



6 THREE SUCCESSFUL GIRLS.

nah, smoothing her brown hair back with her wet
hands, and leaning against the great blue tub.
" Mamie is such a little goosie, I do believe she thinks
twenty dollars would board me half the winter ; but I
know something about how money goes in cities. You
might keep a dollar at home here six months, but a
dollar in New York would vanish away before one was
aware. Don't you believe it, Kate ? "

" Well, I suppose we should have to pay for every-
thing in New York, and that would be different from
what it would be at home ; but we might be economi-
cal, and not make a purchase at every peanut stand
we come to," said Kate.

" I like peanuts most dreadfully," said Mary, " but
I'd no more spend a cent of my fifteen dollars for one
than I would go a-begging. What are peanuts in
comparison to music ? " Mary had been exercising,
and her cheeks were very red as she stood in the door
that led from the porch to the kitchen, with her
thumbs in the bib of her apron, and her eyes sparkling.
The girls stood up and laughed merrily, and Mary-
joined them, but said, after the laughter had some-
what subsided,

''Well, I don't see what you are laughing at, after
all. I mean that I wouldn't spend my money for
sweetmeats. I think it's foolish, don't you, mother ? "

" Mary thinks she has advanced an original idea,"
laughed Kate, " and goes to mother for sanction, when
it is just what mother has always taught her."

" I think you all understand the sweetmeat subject
pretty well ; but how is it " about useless articles of
dress?" said mother.

" Mary must answer that," said Hannah. " You
all know I never trouble myself with such things."



WASHING DAT. 7

"I think a charming little hat, trimmed in French
pink rose-bads, would tempt Mary before the peanuts
would," said Kate.

u Who was it that was longing far a black silk vel-
vet dress and a diamond ring last night? Jim know,
Hannah," said Mary a little triumphantly.

"Well, I should* think that was the height of ex-
travagance," said mother, looking at Kate, and Laugh-
ing.

* Well, it was of coarse," said Kate, but I was
only referring to the time when I shall be rich, and
then it won't be extravagance. I hardly think my
twenty-five dollars will help get it."

" Perhaps such fancies do no harm," said mother,
"but I don't think a velvet dress would make you
feel any happier than your white lawn one does, that
you have just washed so nicely."

" I guess it would," said Mary; "for she said yes-
terday it was getting to be so old and thin, she was
ashamed of it "

Mary is. little tell-tale, there T' said Kate, blush-
ing and laughing. "Fin not really ashamed of it, bat I
was thinking I would like a new one. There ! here
is a basket of clothes to take to the line : who'll go
with me?"

" 1 wuV said Hannah, "if you Tl pass me my sun-
bonnet and gloves. Now, Mary, yon take those
clothes from the boiler while we are gone, and have
them ready to rinse when we get back."

In long sun-bonnets, and gloves with half of each
finger gone, together the girls lifted the clothes-basket,
and bore it out to the long clothes-line, beneath which
die grass was fresh and green. Talking busily and
earnestly, they pinned the white garments one by one



8 THREE SUCCESSFUL GIRLS.

to the line, and the June breeze swayed and folded
and unfolded them ; and the sun, yet in the east, flung
warm rays upon them, and made them as white as
snow.

When the last garment was gone from the basket,
the two little washerwomen sat down under an old
pear-tree near, and with their feet in the cool grass
they plucked at the daisies and clover, and talked
earnestly.

" I must go," said Kate ; " I must learn something.
I am old enough, as old as Daniel Stearns was when
he went away from home, two years older ; and he
is a rich man now. Shall I be a silly girl, and sacri-
fice the mines of knowledge I might explore ? Shall
the mere fact that I am a girl keep me from being
what my heart yearns for ? " The black eyes flashed.
Firm lines settled around the red lips, as Kate changed
her easy, idle position, and sat stiffly looking into her
sister's face". "I have always been sorry that I wasn't
a boy," she continued ; " but because I'm a girl, I
won't be a ninny. You may take note of that, Han-
nah."

Very serious note was taken of it by Hannah, who
tore the crimson clover-tops in pieces, and pushed her
long bonnet a little back from her face. " O, dear
Kate," she said, "if we only could go! If we were
sure it would be best ! You must go, Kate. I am sure
you have talent, and here it will be cramped, and at
last lost from sight. Take my money with yours,
which, with that you expect to make before fall, will
keep you a few months at least, and go to New York.
We will all help you, and you can go comfortably."

" No," said Kate, shaking her head, " not a cent of
your money when you are as anxious to go as I. Be-



WASHING DAT. 9

rides, money would not do me half the good that
yourself would, and yon must go with me."

-It would be pfcasanter," said Hannah, "but it
takes twice as much to support two as one. And then
Mary nerer would stay at home if we should go."

" Yes, that is just what worries me a little. Mazy
is so enthusiastic on the subject, and I don't think she
mines the hardships we must endure ; and then what
can she do if she goes?"

There wasa sudden spring behind the girls, a Ktde
sudden laugh, and Mary darted between them with
her hands full of clover, which she tossed into their



"I've heard what yon said about me, yon lazy
washerwomen, sitting in the shade while the sun is
almost at the noon point, and the wash not out. Yon '
undoubtedly would hare sat here till sunset without
your dinner or supper, if I hadn't come to break up
your slanderous conversation. I *haU go to Xew
York, though; yon may have as many sly talks about
it as you please. I have got fifteen dollars toward it,
and I can do as much as you can."

" I wish yon had stayed away a whue longer, Miss
Eavesdropper ; but as you have forced your company
upon us, we will not mind you, but keep on with our
talk," said Hannah. * I don't know why Mary can't
stay at home this winter; she isn't but eighteen and
a half. By next winter, you know, Mary, we shall be
accustomed to die city ; and then it win be 90 much
easier for yon. Only think what a time we'll have
with yon tagging us about, homesick and discouraged,
hungry and everything !"

" Tagging you about l n said Mary scornfully. "IH
do no such thing, m take care of myself and I shan't



10 THREE f SUCCESSFUL GIRLS.

get any more homesick, discouraged, or hungry than
you will. Pooh ! I guess I'm not quite a ninny, and I
can live on crackers a good while ; I like them."

" How are you going to pay for your music les-
sons ? " asked Kate.

" Father'll give me the money. He will give all
of us some, and I shall get a few scholars, and live
quite respectably. I shall go ; I've settled it thor-
oughly in my mind. So don't waste your time trying
to persuade me differently. I have no idea of being
persuaded ; but if we remain idle much longer, the
wash won't be through till dinner time. There comes
old Dan Pike and Maurice. I wonder where they're
going to."

The girls took more dignified positions, and brushed
the clover from their aprons as the rough old farmer
and his son passed along through the green yard.
" You're a-takin' it easy, gals, takin' it easy," said
Daniel, in a voice which sounded much like the bark of
a little spaniel. " Wai, I've no adjictions to't though
marm to hum keeps the gals there a-trottin' smartly,
then she scolds 'em case they don't get no more liter-
ary knowledge, like some of their neighbors ; but I tell
her how't they don't get time. A dryin' day for yer
close, but the sky looks a leetle too rainy to warrant us
dry weather long."

Daniel didn't cease his heavy tramp as he relieved
his mind of a thought or two, without giving the young
ladies in the grass opportunity to reply. Maurice, full
six feet tall, with his face burned and tanned, blood-
red to the roots of his sandy hair, tramped on behind
his father with a nod of his head, and a grunt of rec-
ognition. The girls were silent until they had well
by ; then Kate said, in low, musing tone,



WASHING DAY. 11

41

" They think we are lazy. Don't you know what
Mrs. Daniel said about us ? Maurice is the greatest
tell-tale made, and he will tell all over the neighbor-
hood about our lying on the grass Monday morning.
He'll be sure to say lying."

" Let him tell then," said Hannah. " I think we
can manage our own aflairs, and I guess we have a
right to manage them as we please."

" He was pretty short to-day, wasn't he ? " said
Mary. " You see I snubbed him yesterday. Con-
ceited fellow ! His father has got a good deal more
sense than he has, and that isn't saying much. He's
the chap that said I wasn't fit for a wife, but could only
sit up and pound on that great 4 pianner.' Ever since,
I've taken every opportunity to snub him."

" I think we have ' taken it easy ' long enough now ;
let us hurry and finish our work. I want to see if I
can make that gate look any better in my sketch,"
said Kate, rising, and taking the clothes-basket.

They went back leisurely to the porch. The smell
of savory meats came stealing out from the kitchen.
They worked a little livelier than before, pounding,
rubbing, and rinsing, but talking as busily as ever.

"This is the last," shouted Hannah* after a little
time, as she tossed a garment which she had been
starching into the basket. " Three cheers, and honor
to ourselves ! Only eleven 6*clock ; plenty of time for
clearing away things, making our toilets, and eating
our dinners. All through, mother."

" You have been very smart, and had very good
luck," said mother ; " and now, mind you, don't sit in
the wind and take cold, but bring in the clothes that
are already dry."

" Nothing goes * contrairy ' to-day," said Mary,



12 THREE SUCCESSFUL GIRLS.

" only you girls don't want me to go to New York with
you ; but I shall, and I was careful of my gray poplin
this spring, so I could have it for my travelling and
street dress. I shall go in to see Madame Demorest,
when I am there ; not to employ her, of course, but
because I want to see how the woman looks who de-
signs such elegant toilets."

" I opine that you'll find something else to do, be-
sides looking up a lady so little necessary to your hap-
piness," said Hannah.

" How high>flown and prudent you are ! " said Mary.

At the dinner-table wqre three shining faces, not
heated, or anxious, or disturbed, but placid and satis-
fied ; and with appetites sharpened by pleasant labor,
they partook of the palatable food before them, each
declaring in her own mind what had been a settled
fact with them years ago, that mother was the best
cook and the best mother in the world. Adonijah,
who had come over with his great yoke of oxen to give
father "a lift" about "breaking up " a piece of new
land, thought that his hands must be all thumbs, or
his knife and fork had the very " deuce " in them, as
they " slid around like eels," and his fork at last
dropped on the floor with a hot potato attached to it.
By this time his face had become very red, for he
never once lost sight of the fact that three pairs of
bright eyes belonging to* three young ladies were
taking note of his awkwardness and confusion. Han-
nah, however, though like the rest, inwardly con-
vulsed with laughter, helped him to regain his com-
posure.

"Never mind that potato, 'Nijah. Here's another
and a better one. Didn't you find stones plenty in the
north field to-day?" '



WASHING DAY. 13

" Plenty? by yes, thick 's hail-stuns. I thought
the plough-nose must smell danger there one while."

Of course, this speech allowed everybody an oppor-
tunity to give vent to their feelings, and the laugh
went round.

After dinner, before going back to the field, Adoni-
jah took occasion to slip into Kate's hand a small roll,
tied with a black thread, saying in a tone which meant
to be a whisper, but which could be heard through
from the porch to the sitting-room, " It's the meetin'-
house. I made it yesterday settin' on an -old stump in
the brush paster. I haven't showed it to a livin' bein',
and I want you to see if you think it's a bit nat'ral.
Tell me to-night when I come round to supper."

"Yes, I will, 'Nijah," said Kate kindly, as she
slipped the roll into her pocket, and Adonijah cleared
the door-steps with one leap, and strided off to take
his " noonin' " under the apple-trees back of the house,
where the oxen were lazily eating their dinner.

" That boy has got considerable ingenuity," said
Kate, as she unrolled the paper in the presence of the
girls, and proceeded to examine the drawing ; " but,
really, I don't believe he will ever make an artist."

" However, I wish he could have an opportunity to
develop his tastes," said Hannah. " Why couldn't he
make a draughtsman ? This isn't a very bad-looking
picture, Kate. I'm sure I should know he meant it
for a meeting-house, though I should have no idea
what he meant that for in the background."

" O, what a looking thing ! " laughed Mary.
" Poor 'Nijah never need attempt to be a Raphael.
He would do better holding a plough in the north
field. Dear me ! Kate, what will you say to him ? "

" O, something encouraging," said Kate. " An at-



14 THREE SUCCESSFUL GIRLS.

tempt deserves appreciation at least, if it is ever so
rude and untimely. 'Nijah is more original than most
people we meet, and he does have now and then a re-
markably bright idea. He don't have any opportunity
to develop his refined notions, the family are all so
coarse, and think manual labor the only commendable
thing."

" Yes, and Sally never will give him an encourag-
ing word ; but it's always ' Here, 'Nijah, bring me a
pail of water, or an armful of wood, and don't be
droning over that old^book.' I've heard her many a
time. She can't understand him at all," said Mary.

" He must suffer from being so bashful," said Han-
nah, " and, instead of outgrowing it, I believe he
grows into it. I never thought of his being so terribly
awkward and bashful when we went to school. He is
nearly as old as Kate but good-day. I can't spend
my time moralizing or gossiping this afternoon. I am
going to write a startling story, with Adonijah for
hero."

Hannah darted away, ran lightly up the old back-
stairs, and was soon comfortably seated in a retired
corner, where she spent the entire afternoon in solitude,
oblivious to all around her, even the continual drill on
the piano in the parlor below, while she lived in an
ideal world of her own, laughing or crying over her
manuscript as the sentiment dictated.

Kate and Mary were also absorbed in their own
favorite employment. Kate hid away in a flowery nook,
where she could see in the distance the old farm-
house, and the tall, red gate leading into the barn-
yard ; and with her book and pencil sketched away
quietly, or sat back in her rough but comfortable
seat, and looked dreamily around her, weaving her



WASHING DAY. 15

thoughts into visions of future opportunity and attain-



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