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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 5, 1887)
THE HESTER A N.
There were four of us. Edward, now a rollicking junior a
Harvard; Ida, the beauty of the family; I, Nell, the torment
of my mother, the aversion of my father, but the delight of
my brothers, and Tommy, the pet of everyone.
According to my thinking no girl was ever so nice as Ida
and no one so dear to a girl's heart as Tommy. I admired
my brother Edward and he admired me, in his fashion. He
preferred mc to Ida, who could not ride horseback, would not
scramble through a hedge, and considered climbing trees an
unpardonable sin. She knew nothing of baseball or cricket;
she wouldn't even take a long walk without an escort, while
to mc any escort other than Tommy or Edward was an uninit
igatcd bore. Tommy and I were congenial spirits, so he liked
me belter than Ida, who was always hectoring him about his
rude ways. Hut you may be as anxious to find Tommy as I
was. As I called again a mufilcd sound came from the pre
serve closet. "What the dickens arc you making such a
racket for?" Tommy essayed to come down from the top
yhclf by the edges of the lower shelves, ladder fashion, when
he made a misstep and tumbled to the floor, bringing two pots
of jelly, making something of a clatter and smash.
"Now I'd like to know what's to be done?" he said sav
agely. "Let's run. Hush! there's Sally going past the door
What is she saying about somebody wanting Miss Nell in the
narlor? What do they want me for? Ida is there."
"Now what were you calling me for?" demanded Tommy
when we had reached our retreat, an old rustic seat in thcorch
"Why they said Mr. Kavanaugh's heir was come back and
lie's going to fence off Cowan wood from our place. What'll
"Is he going to do that? Stingy old curmudgeon!" and he
shook his fist vindictively at the absent foe.
"Maybe he isn't stingy," I say. "He doesn't know. If I
get a chance I'll ask him if we may go there, just once in a
"H'm; much chance you'd get to ask him. When could
you ask hint? When would we ever see his imperial high
Why O, I know. I forget to tell you. He's in the par.
lor this very minute, and his carriage and horses arc at the
door. Such a magnificent turnout I never saw."
"Lef's go back and ask him. O, go the front way so they
won't think I have been around the closet."
"Come on. O, there's little Susie. She oughtn't to be
"Never mind; let's go on, Nell. She's ail right. Some
fellow must be in a tearing hurry see those horses run!"
"It's a runaway," I gasped, as the horses swept round a
turn in the drive. "Susie, run, run!"
"Don't, Nell, you arc crazy. You can never reach her."
Perhaps I was, bu. I could and did reach her. But before I
could get off the road the carriage struck and stunned me. I
was roused by being lifted in some one's arms, and opening
my eyes saw a strange face, with a pair of the deepest blue
eyes bending over me. "Put me down. What are you going
to do with me?" I asked imperiously.
A relieved smile crossed the anxious face as he replied, "My
horses ran away. I am Harvey Kavanaugh. I am going to
take care of you till you can help yourself. Is there anything
else you would like to know?" with a saucy twinkle in his eye,
"Now tell me who you are," he said, "and how you happened
to make a heroine of yourself."
"I didn't make a heroine of myself. Susie was in the road
and I got her out, but wasn't as quick as I ought to have been.
I am Nellie Ward and this is my brother Tommy."
"How did you children happen to be on this road at this
If looks can kill, Mr. Kavanaugh certainly would have died
at that moment, as I informed him that I was nearly seventeen
Perceiving the source of my ire, he altered his manner and
conversed very much as he would with his grandmother, till
Tommy broached the subject of Cowan Wood and we received
lull permission to visit it whenever wc pleased and as often as
we pleased; then I unbent my dignity and was as gracious as
I knew how to be.
Suddenly I recollected that it was nearly dinner time, and
glad of any excuse to be removed from this embarrassing sit
uation, Tommy and I made our adicux. Our mother blandly
remarked at dinner: "The new land owner called and seemed
very much pleased with Ida, and paid her very marked atten
tion." "Did he stay long?" innocently asked Tommy.
"Not so long as he might have staid, had not Fido spied his
horses and barked till they broke loose and ran away, and he
had to leave to look after them. I hope nothing serious hap
pened." By agreement Tommy and I never mentioned the adventure
of that day, and when at his next visit we were formally intro
duced neither look nor word betrayed our secret. Mr. K.
often joined us in our walks in Cowan WoodtJand as time went
by Tommy and I became very well acquainted with him. I
was young and romantic and of course I thought he would
make the very nicest brother-in-law that ever was, and was in
a great hurry for him to begin to act lovcrlikc toward Ida. But
he was just as loverlikc toward mamma or even toward me as
he was toward her. Still as he used to call every few days
wc thought that Ida's chances to obtain a share in the estates
One day wc were very much astonished by the entrance of
my brother Edward. Amid the greetings we asked "What
"The train and an overwhelming desire to see Ida's young
man. Have you named the day yet, Sis?"
Ida blushed and mamma helped her out with "Mr. Kav
anaugh has not spoken yet, but 1 have no doubt as to his in
tentions." "Has he fixed up the place since he came?"
"No, Edward, he has improved the grounds but not the
house," replied mamma.
"When I live there that is if I" began Ida.
"Don't be modest, Ida. You know you mean to live there.
What will you do when you are Madame K?"
"Well, I don't know as there is any immediate prospect of
it, but if I should live there I'd h.'.ve all the dark arches and
pillars removed, and cover the West and south sides with deep
"Then you wauld spoil the whole," I broke in impetuously.
"You would ruin the beauty by modernizing it so."
"You would find Mr. Kavanaugh wouldn't let you," said
"Perhaps you will have the opportunity of seeing what 1
"Perhaps I won't; he likes Nell' twice as well as he docs
An incredulous smile broke overlier face. She was too se
cure in her own charms to fear any v'waty from her less showy
"Well," Tommy persisted, "any way lie talks to her and
) seems to be real glad to see her when we meet him in Cowan
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