The Riverside Press, Cambridge

















The coast of Maine was in former years brought so near to foreign

shores by its busy fleet of ships that among the older men and women

one still finds a surprisingproportion of travelers. Each

seaward-stretching headland with its high-set houses, each island of a

single farm, has sent its spies to view many a Land of Eshcol; one may

see plain, contented old faces at the windows, whose eyes have looked

at far-away ports and known the splendors of the Eastern world. They

shame the easy voyager of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean;

they have rounded the Cape of Good Hope and braved the angry seas of

Cape Horn in small wooden ships; they have brought up their hardy boys

and girls on narrow decks; they were among the last of the Northmen's

children to go adventuring to unknown shores. More than this one

cannot give to a young State for its enlightenment; the sea captains

and the captains' wives of Maine knew something of the wide world, and

never mistook their native parishes for the whole instead of a part

thereof; they knew not only Thomaston and Castine and Portland, but

London and Bristol and Bordeaux, and the strange-mannered harbors of

the China Sea.

One September day, when I was nearly at the end of a summer spent in a

village called Dunnet Landing, on the Maine coast, my friend Mrs. Todd,

in whose house I lived, came home from a long, solitarystroll in the

wild pastures, with an eager look as if she were just starting on a

hopeful quest instead of returning. She brought a little basket with

blackberries enough for supper, and held it towards me so that I could

see that there were also some late and surprising raspberries sprinkled

on top, but she made no comment upon her wayfaring. I could tell

plainly that she had something very important to say.

"You have n't brought home a leaf of anything," I ventured to this

practiced herb-gatherer. "You were sayingyesterday that the witch

hazel might be in bloom."

"I dare say, dear," she answered in a lofty manner; "I ain't goin' to

say it was n't; I ain't much concerned either way 'bout the facts o'

witch hazel. Truth is, I 've been off visitin'; there's an old Indian

footpath leadin' over towards the Back Shore through the great heron

swamp that anybody can't travel over all summer. You have to seize

your time some day just now, while the low ground 's summer-dried as it

is to-day, and before the fall rains set in. I never thought of it

till I was out o' sight o' home, and I says to myself, 'To-day 's the

day, certain!' and stepped along smart as I could. Yes, I 've been

visitin'. I did get into one spot that was wet underfoot before I

noticed; you wait till I get me a pair o' dry woolen stockings, in case

of cold, and I 'll come an' tell ye."

Mrs. Todd disappeared. I could see that something had deeply

interested her. She might have fallen in with either the sea-serpent

or the lost tribes of Israel, such was her air of mystery and

satisfaction. She had been away since just before mid-morning, and as

I sat waiting by my window I saw the last red glow of autumn sunshine

flare along the gray rocks of the shore and leave them cold again, and

touch the far sails of some coast-wise schooners so that they stood

like golden houses on the sea.

I was left to wonder longer than I liked. Mrs. Todd was making an

evening fire and putting things in train for supper; presently she

returned, still looking warm and cheerful after her long walk.

"There 's a beautiful view from a hill over where I 've been," she told

me; "yes, there 's a beautiful prospect of land and sea. You would n't

discern the hill from any distance, but 't is the pretty situation of

it that counts. I sat there a long spell, and I did wish for you. No,

I did n't know a word about goin' when I set out this morning" (as if I

had openly reproached her!); "I only felt one o' them travelin' fits

comin' on, an' I ketched up my little basket; I didn't know but I might

turn and come back time for dinner. I thought it wise to set out your

luncheon for you in case I did n't. Hope you had all you wanted; yes,

I hope you had enough."

"Oh, yes, indeed," said I. My landlady was always peculiarly bountiful

in her supplies when she left me to fare for myself, as if she made a

sort of peace-offering or affectionate apology.

"You know that hill with the old house right on top, over beyond the

heron swamp? You 'll excuse me for explainin'," Mrs. Todd began, "but

you ain't so apt to strike inland as you be to go right along shore.

You know that hill; there 's a path leadin' right over to it that you

have to look sharp to find nowadays; it belonged to the up-country

Indians when they had to make a carry to the landing here to get to the

out' islands. I 've heard the old folks say that there used to be a

place across a ledge where they 'd worn a deep track with their

moccasin feet, but I never could find it. 'T is so overgrown in some

places that you keep losin' the path in the bushes and findin' it as

you can; but it runs pretty straight considerin' the lay o' the land,

and I keep my eye on the sun and the moss that grows one side o' the

tree trunks. Some brook's been choked up and the swamp's bigger than

it used to be. Yes; I did get in deep enough, one place!"

I showed the solicitude that I felt. Mrs. Todd was no longer young,

and in spite of her strong, great frame and spirited behavior, I knew

that certain ills were apt to seize upon her, and would end some day by

leaving her lame and ailing.

"Don't you go to worryin' about me," she insisted, "settin' still's the

only way the Evil One 'll ever get the upper hand o' me. Keep me

movin' enough, an' I 'm twenty year old summer an' winter both. I

don't know why 't is, but I 've never happened to mention the one I 've

been to see. I don't know why I never happened to speak the name of

Abby Martin, for I often give her a thought, but 't is a dreadful

out-o'-the-way place where she lives, and I haven't seen her myself for

three or four years. She's a real good interesting woman, and we 're

well acquainted; she 's nigher mother's age than mine, but she 's very

young feeling. She made me a nice cup o' tea, and I don't know but I

should have stopped all night if I could have got word to you not to


Then there was a serious silence before Mrs. Todd spoke again to make a

formal announcement.

"She is the Queen's Twin," and Mrs. Todd looked steadily to see how I

might bear the great surprise.

"The Queen's Twin?" I repeated.

"Yes, she 's come to feel a real interest in the Queen, and anybody can

see how natural 't is. They were born the very same day, and you would

be astonished to see what a number o' other things have corresponded.

She was speaking o' some o' the facts to me to-day, an' you 'd think

she 'd never done nothing but read history. I see how earnest she was

about it as I never did before. I 've often and often heard her allude

to the facts, but now she's got to be old and the hurry's over with her

work, she 's come to live a good deal in her thoughts, as folks often

do, and I tell you 't is a sight o' company for her. If you want to

hear about Queen Victoria, why Mis' Abby Martin 'll tell you

everything. And the prospect from that hill I spoke of is as beautiful

as anything in this world; 't is worth while your goin' over to see her

just for that."

"When can you go again?" I demanded eagerly.

"I should say to-morrow," answered Mrs. Todd; "yes, I should say

to-morrow; but I expect 't would be better to take one day to rest, in

between. I considered that question as I was comin' home, but I

hurried so that there wa'n't much time to think. It's a dreadful long

way to go with a horse; you have to go 'most as far as the old Bowden

place an' turn off to the left, a master long, rough road, and then you

have to turn right round as soon as you get there if you mean to get

home before nine o'clock at night. But to strike across country from

here, there 's plenty o' time in the shortest day, and you can have a

good hour or two's visit beside; 't ain't but a very few miles, and

it's pretty all the way along. There used to be a few good families

over there, but they 've died and scattered, so now she 's far from

neighbors. There, she really cried, she was so glad to see anybody

comin'. You 'll be amused to hear her talk about the Queen, but I

thought twice or three times as I set there 't was about all the

company she 'd got."

"Could we go day after to-morrow?" I asked eagerly.

"'T would suit me exactly," said Mrs. Todd.


One can never be so certain of good New England weather as in the days

when a long easterly storm has blown away the warm late-summer mists,

and cooled the air so that however bright the sunshine is by day, the

nights come nearer and nearer to frostiness. There was a cold

freshness in the morning air when Mrs. Todd and I locked the house-door

behind us; we took the key of the fields into our own hands that day,

and put out across country as one puts out to sea. When we reached the

top of the ridge behind the town it seemed as if we had anxiously

passed the harbor bar and were comfortably in open sea at last.

"There, now!" proclaimed Mrs. Todd, taking a long breath, "now I do

feel safe. It's just the weather that's liable to bring somebody to

spend the day; I 've had a feeling of Mis' Elder Caplin from North

Point bein' close upon me ever since I waked up this mornin', an' I

didn't want to be hampered with our present plans. She's a great hand

to visit; she 'll be spendin' the day somewhere from now till

Thanksgivin', but there 's plenty o' places at the Landin' where she

goes, an' if I ain't there she 'll just select another. I thought

mother might be in, too, 'tis so pleasant; but I run up the road to

look off this mornin' before you was awake, and there was no sign o'

the boat. If they had n't started by that time they wouldn't start,

just as the tide is now; besides, I see a lot o' mackerel-men headin'

Green Island way, and they 'll detain William. No, we 're safe now,

an' if mother should be comin' in tomorrow we 'll have all this to tell

her. She an' Mis' Abby Martin's very old friends."

We were walking down the long pasture slopes towards the dark woods and

thickets of the low ground. They stretched away northward like an

unbroken wilderness; the early mists still dulled much of the color and

made the uplands beyond look like a very far-off country.

"It ain't so far as it looks from here," said my companion

reassuringly, "but we 've got no time to spare either," and she hurried

on, leading the way with a fine sort of spirit in her step; and

presently we struck into the old Indian footpath, which could be

plainly seen across the long-unploughed turf of the pastures, and

followed it among the thick, low-growing spruces. There the ground was

smooth and brown under foot, and the thin-stemmed trees held a dark and

shadowy roof overhead. We walked a long way without speaking;

sometimes we had to push aside the branches, and sometimes we walked in

a broad aisle where the trees were larger. It was a solitary wood,

birdless and beastless; there was not even a rabbit to be seen, or a

crow high in air to break the silence.

"I don't believe the Queen ever saw such a lonesome trail as this,"

said Mrs. Todd, as if she followed the thoughts that were in my mind.

Our visit to Mrs. Abby Martin seemed in some strange way to concern the

high affairs of royalty. I had just been thinking of English

landscapes, and of the solemn hills of Scotland with their lonely

cottages and stone-walled sheepfolds, and the wandering flocks on high

cloudy pastures. I had often been struck by the quick interest and

familiar allusion to certain members of the royal house which one found

in distant neighborhoods of New England; whether some old instincts of

personal loyalty have survived all changes of time and national

vicissitudes, or whether it is only that the Queen's own character and

disposition have won friends for her so far away, it is impossible to

tell. But to hear of a twin sister was the most surprising proof of

intimacy of all, and I must confess that there was something remarkably

exciting to the imagination in my morning walk. To think of being

presented at Court in the usual way was for the moment quite



Mrs. Todd was swinging her basket to and fro like a schoolgirl as she

walked, and at this moment it slipped from her hand and rolled lightly

along the ground as if there were nothing in it. I picked it up and

gave it to her, whereupon she lifted the cover and looked in with


"'T is only a few little things, but I don't want to lose 'em," she

explained humbly. "'T was lucky you took the other basket if I was

goin' to roll it round. Mis' Abby Martin complained o' lacking some

pretty pink silk to finish one o' her little frames, an' I thought I 'd

carry her some, and I had a bunch o' gold thread that had been in a box

o' mine this twenty year. I never was one to do much fancy work, but

we 're all liable to be swept away by fashion. And then there's a

small packet o' very choice herbs that I gave a good deal of attention

to; they 'll smarten her up and give her the best of appetites, come

spring. She was tellin' me that spring weather is very wiltin' an'

tryin' to her, and she was beginnin' to dread it already. Mother 's

just the same way; if I could prevail on mother to take some o' these

remedies in good season 'twould make a world o' difference, but she

gets all down hill before I have a chance to hear of it, and then

William comes in to tell me, sighin' and bewailin', how feeble mother

is. 'Why can't you remember 'bout them good herbs that I never let her

be without?' I say to him--he does provoke me so; and then off he goes,

sulky enough, down to his boat. Next thing I know, she comes in to go

to meetin', wantin' to speak to everybody and feelin' like a girl.

Mis' Martin's case is very much the same; but she 's nobody to watch

her. William's kind o' slow-moulded; but there, any William's better

than none when you get to be Mis' Martin's age."

"Hadn't she any children?" I asked.

"Quite a number," replied Mrs. Todd grandly, "but some are gone and the

rest are married and settled. She never was a great hand to go about

visitin'. I don't know but Mis' Martin might be called a little

peculiar. Even her own folks has to make company of her; she never

slips in and lives right along with the rest as if 'twas at home, even

in her own children's houses. I heard one o' her sons' wives say once

she 'd much rather have the Queen to spend the day if she could choose

  • surprising [sə´praiziŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惊人的;意外的   (初中英语单词)
  • proportion [prə´pɔ:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.比率 vt.使成比例   (初中英语单词)
  • wooden [´wudn] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.木制的;呆板的   (初中英语单词)
  • comment [´kɔment] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.评论;评注;注意   (初中英语单词)
  • yesterday [´jestədi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&ad.昨天;前不久   (初中英语单词)
  • mystery [´mistəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神秘;秘密;故弄玄虚   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • presently [´prezəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不久;目前   (初中英语单词)
  • cheerful [´tʃiəful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.快乐的;高兴的   (初中英语单词)
  • prospect [´prɔspekt, prəs´pekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.景色;境界 v.勘察   (初中英语单词)
  • steadily [´stedili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.坚定地;不断地   (初中英语单词)
  • earnest [´ə:nist] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.认真的 n.认真;诚恳   (初中英语单词)
  • dreadful [´dredful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怕的;讨厌的   (初中英语单词)
  • sunshine [´sʌnʃain] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光,阳光   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • pasture [´pɑ:stʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.牧场;放牧 v.吃(草)   (初中英语单词)
  • wilderness [´wildənis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.荒地,荒野   (初中英语单词)
  • indian [´indiən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.印度的 n.印度人   (初中英语单词)
  • overhead [´əuvə,hed] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.当头 a.在头上的   (初中英语单词)
  • rabbit [´ræbit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.兔子,野兔   (初中英语单词)
  • solemn [´sɔləm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.严肃的;隆重的   (初中英语单词)
  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • confess [kən´fes] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.供认;坦白;承认   (初中英语单词)
  • imagination [i,mædʒi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.想象(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • schoolgirl [´sku:lgə:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(中小学的)女生   (初中英语单词)
  • prevail [pri´veil] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.胜(过);流行;普遍   (初中英语单词)
  • feeble [´fi:bəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.虚弱的,无力的   (初中英语单词)
  • contented [kən´tentid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.满足的;心满意足的   (高中英语单词)
  • solitary [´sɔlitəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.独居的;孤独的   (高中英语单词)
  • stroll [strəul] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.漫步;散步;游荡   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • concerned [kən´sə:nd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有关的;担心的   (高中英语单词)
  • israel [´izreiəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.以色列   (高中英语单词)
  • openly [´əupənli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.公开地;直率地   (高中英语单词)
  • landlady [´lænd,leidi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.女房东;女店主   (高中英语单词)
  • affectionate [ə´fekʃənit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.亲爱的   (高中英语单词)
  • inland [´inlənd, in´lænd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.内地的 ad.在内地   (高中英语单词)
  • behavior [bi´heiviə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.举止,行为   (高中英语单词)
  • comfortably [´kʌmfətəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.舒适地   (高中英语单词)
  • liable [´laiəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.易于…的;有责任的   (高中英语单词)
  • detain [di´tein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.留住;拘留   (高中英语单词)
  • northward [´nɔ:θwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&a.向北(的) n.北   (高中英语单词)
  • lonesome [´ləunsəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.孤独的;冷清清的   (高中英语单词)
  • royalty [´rɔiəlti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.王位;特权阶层;版税   (高中英语单词)
  • loyalty [´lɔiəlti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.忠诚;忠心;忠实   (高中英语单词)
  • provoke [prə´vəuk] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.挑拨;煽动;引起   (高中英语单词)
  • woolen [´wulən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.毛线的;毛织品的   (英语四级单词)
  • peculiarly [pi´kju:liəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.特有地;古怪地   (英语四级单词)
  • far-off [´fɑ:rɔ:f] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.远方的,遥远的   (英语四级单词)
  • allusion [ə´lu:ʒən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.暗指;提及;引喻   (英语四级单词)
  • whereupon [,weərə´pɔn] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在什么上面;因此   (英语四级单词)
  • humbly [´hʌmbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.恭顺地,谦卑地   (英语四级单词)
  • packet [´pækit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.盒 vt.…打成小包   (英语四级单词)
  • riverside [´rivəsaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河岸 a.河岸上的   (英语六级单词)
  • headland [´hedlənd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.岬   (英语六级单词)
  • landing [´lændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.登陆;降落;楼梯平台   (英语六级单词)
  • speaking [´spi:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.说话 a.发言的   (英语六级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)
  • lacking [´lækiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.缺少的,没有的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:48:50
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