Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 19 Friends Again

  • Emily listened very anxiously on Monday morning, but "no sound of axe, n_onderous hammer rang" in Lofty John's bush. That evening on her way home fro_chool, Lofty John himself overtook her in his buggy and for the first tim_ince the night of the apple stopped and accosted her.
  • "Will ye take a lift, Miss Emily av New Moon?" he asked affably.
  • Emily climbed in, feeling a little bit foolish. But Lofty John looked quit_riendly as he clucked to his horse.
  • "So you've clean wiled the heart out av Father Cassidy's body, 'The sweetes_crap av a girl I've iver seen,' says he to me. Sure an' ye might lave th_oor prastes alone."
  • Emily looked at Lofty John out of the corner of her eye. He did not see_ngry.
  • "Ye've put  _me_  in a nice tight fix av it," he went on. "I'm as proud as an_ew Moon Murray av ye all and your Aunt Elizabeth said a number av things tha_ot under my skin. I've many an old score to settle with her. So I thought I'_et square by cutting av the bush down. And you had to go and quare me wid m_raste bekase av it and now I make no doubt I'll not be after daring to cut _tick av kindling to warm me shivering carcase without asking lave av th_ope."
  • "Oh, Mr Sullivan, are you going to leave the bush alone?" said Emil_reathlessly.
  • "It all rests with yourself, Miss Emily av New Moon. Ye can't be afte_xpecting a Lofty John to be too humble. I didn't come by the name bekase a_e makeness."
  • "What do you want me to do?"
  • "First, then, I'm wanting you to let bygones be bygones in that matter av th_pple. And be token av the same come over and talk to me now and then as y_id last summer. Sure now, and I've missed ye—ye and that spit-fire av an Ils_ho's never come aither bekase she thinks I mistrated you."
  • "I'll come of course," said Emily doubtfully, "if only Aunt Elizabeth will le_e."
  • "Tell her if she don't the bush'll be cut down—ivery last stick av it. That'l_etch her. And there's wan more thing. Ye must ask me rale make and polite t_o ye the favour av not cutting down the bush. If ye do it pretty enough sur_iver a tree will I touch. But if ye don't down they go, praste or no praste,"
  • concluded Lofty John.
  • Emily summoned all her wiles to her aid. She clasped her hands, she looked u_hrough her lashes at Lofty John, she smiled as slowly and seductively as sh_new how—and Emily had considerable native knowledge of that sort. "Please, M_ofty John," she coaxed, "won't you leave me the dear bush I love?"
  • Lofty John swept off his crumpled old felt hat. "To be sure an' I will. _roper Irishman always does what a lady asks him. Sure an' it's been the rui_v us. We're at the mercy av the petticoats. If ye'd come and said that to m_fore ye'd have had no need av your walk to White Cross. But mind ye keep th_est av the bargain. The reds are ripe and the scabs soon will be—and all th_ats have gone to glory."
  • Emily flew into the New Moon kitchen like a slim whirlwind.
  • "Aunt Elizabeth, Lofty John isn't going to cut down the bush—he told me h_ouldn't—but I have to go and see him sometimes—if you don't object."
  • "I suppose it wouldn't make much difference to you if I did," said Aun_lizabeth. But her voice was not so sharp as usual. She would not confess ho_uch Emily's announcement relieved her; but it mellowed her attitud_onsiderably. "There's a letter here for you. I want to know what it means."
  • Emily took the letter. It was the first time she had ever received a rea_etter through the mail and she tingled with the delight of it. It wa_ddressed in a heavy black hand to "Miss Emily Starr, New Moon, Blair Water."
  • But—
  • "You opened it!" she cried indignantly.
  • "Of course I did. You are not going to receive letters I am not to see, Miss.
  • What I want to know is—how comes Father Cassidy to be writing to you—an_riting such nonsense?"
  • "I went to see him Saturday," confessed Emily, realizing that the cat was ou_f the bag. "And I asked him if he couldn't prevent Lofty John from cuttin_own the bush."
  • "Emily—Byrd—Starr!"
  • "I  _told_  him I was a Protestant," cried Emily. "He understands all abou_t. And he was just like anybody else. I like him  _better_  than Mr Dare."
  • Aunt Elizabeth did not say much more. There did not seem to be much sh_could_  say. Besides the bush wasn't going to be cut down. The bringer o_ood news is forgiven much. She contented herself with glaring at Emily—wh_as too happy and excited to mind glares. She carried her letter off to th_arret dormer and gloated over the stamp and the superscription a bit befor_he took out the enclosure.
  • > "Dear Pearl of Emilys," wrote Father Cassidy. "I've seen our lofty frien_nd I feel sure your green outpost of fairyland will be saved for your moonli_evels. I know you  _do_  dance there by light o' moon when mortals ar_noring. I think you'll have to go through the form of asking Mr Sullivan t_pare those trees, but you'll find him quite reasonable. It's all in th_nowing how and the time of the moon. How goes the epic and the language? _ope you'll have no trouble in freeing the _Child of the Sea_  from her vows.
  • Continue to be the friend of all good elves, and of
  • >
  • > "Your admiring friend,
  • >
  • > _"James Cassidy._
  • >
  • > "P.S. The B'y sends respects. What word have you for 'cat' in your language?
  • Sure and you can't get anything cattier than 'cat' can you, now?"
  • Lofty John spread the story of Emily's appeal to Father Cassidy far and wide,
  • enjoying it as a good joke on himself. Rhoda Stuart said she always knew Emil_tarr was a bold thing and Miss Brownell said she would be surprised a_nothing_  Emily Starr would do, and Dr Burnley called her a Little Devil mor_dmiringly than ever, and Perry said she had pluck and Teddy took credit fo_uggesting it, and Aunt Elizabeth endured, and Aunt Laura thought it migh_ave been worse. But Cousin Jimmy made Emily feel very happy.
  • "It would have spoiled the garden and broken my heart, Emily," he told her.
  • "You're a little darling girl to have prevented it."
  • One day a month later, when Aunt Elizabeth had taken Emily to Shrewsbury t_it her out with a winter coat, they met Father Cassidy in a store. Aun_lizabeth bowed with great stateliness, but Emily put out a slender paw.
  • "What about the dispensation from Rome?" whispered Father Cassidy.
  • One Emily was quite horrified lest Aunt Elizabeth should overhear and thin_he was having sly dealings with the Pope, such as no good Presbyterian half-
  • Murray of New Moon should have. The other Emily thrilled to her toes with th_ramatic delight of a secret understanding of mystery and intrigue. She nodde_ravely, her eyes eloquent with satisfaction.
  • "I got it without any trouble," she whispered back.
  • "Fine," said Father Cassidy. "I wish you good luck, and I wish it hard. Good-
  • bye."
  • "Farewell," said Emily, thinking it a word more in keeping with dark secret_han good-bye. She tasted the flavour of that half-stolen interview all th_ay home, and felt quite as if she were living in an epic herself. She did no_ee Father Cassidy again for years—he was soon afterwards removed to anothe_arish; but she always thought of him as a very agreeable and understandin_erson.