Face to Face

This incident of old Aunt Dilsey and Sam was but one of many that set Dorothea to thinking deeply. The summer had passed with but little change in the village of Washington. September had seen Sherman in possession of Atlanta; he had occupied Savannah in December and a month later began his successful march through South Carolina. But the most significant occurrence of that Autumn was the reëlection of Mr. Lincoln. This was a confirmation of the unity felt in the North to prosecute the war to the end and a blasting of the hopes of those Southerners who, realizing their dwindling resources, had worked to bring about some form of compromise. The winter of 1865 was a continued history of defeat for the Confederate armies who opposed Sherman. Charleston was evacuated in February, and when the Stars and Stripes once more floated over Sumter’s ruins, it seemed to Dorothea that the end of the war had really come. For she developed an intense interest in all these matters and it was hard for her to understand how her cousins could close their eyes to the clear meaning of events.

Miss Imogene was away upon a visit to other relatives and there was no one to whom the girl could talk freely, so that her thoughts were in a somewhat chaotic state. She was surprised sometimes to find herself so eager for news of the war, as if in some way her personal fortunes were involved. Now and then she would say to herself that these things made little difference to an English girl; but immediately there came the recollection that she was half American.

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A Strange Encounter

When Dorothea hurried back after locking the door she found that Miss Imogene was holding up the young man’s head and had managed to force some of the wine down his throat. A minute later a little color came into his cheek and he smiled up at them in a weak, embarrassed way.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured; “I’m an utter idiot to do this—but how did you know I was Larry Stanchfield?”

“I knew your father when he was about your age,” Miss Imogene replied gently. “For the moment I was silly enough to take you for him. But we haven’t time to talk of that.”

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The Next Morning

The baying of hounds and at length the rapid tread of horses’ hoofs reached their ears, growing more distinct each instant.

“They are coming this way,” Harriot murmured under her breath.

“Why should they come here?” Dorothea demanded, beginning to feel more and more apprehensive.

“I suppose somebody’s servant has run away,” Harriot answered, a little reluctantly. “Not ours,” she hastened to add. “Our people wouldn’t run away for anything. They’re too well treated.”

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