HOME AGAIN

The next few weeks were full of the bustle of preparation. When I told Winifred she was to leave the convent before the end of the term, and, after a few weeks of travel, to return to Ireland, she seemed fairly dazed at the unexpected news. “Her education, of course, will have to be continued,” I thought; “but hardly in an American convent.” One May morning Winifred took leave of…

LETTERS AT LAST

The letter I had opened was, I knew, from Niall. I remembered the strange, crabbed characters, almost resembling Arabic, in which he had written my letter of instruction. “The hills of Wicklow,” he began, “are streaming with sunlight. Their spurs are all golden, and the streams are rushing in great gladness, for they are full of joy. They have been freed from the bondage of winter. “There is joy in…

WINIFRED TELLS HER NAME

Unhappily, the time went by without bringing any news of Niall, and the suspense became almost intolerable. I met Roderick O’Byrne once or twice; but he merely gave me a distant bow: I had no conversation with him whatever. Every morning I eagerly questioned the hotel clerk. The answer was always the same: “No, there are no letters.” Then Christmas came. Winifred spent the holidays with me, though I was…

AT THE CONVENT

I went up to see Winifred next day, and, in the light of my new discoveries, to talk with her over past, present, and future. She came into the dimly-lighted convent parlor with something of her former brightness. Her little figure was particularly graceful and symmetrical in the somber black of the costume. An attempt had been made to brush her curls as smooth as the regulations required, but they…

A MYSTERY SOLVED

When Winifred had returned to the convent, I waited patiently for Roderick’s coming, which I knew could not be long delayed. Indeed, before the week was out his card was brought to me where I sat at my sitting-room fire. I glanced up at him as he entered the room. His face was grave, even stern in its expression, reminding me forcibly of Niall. After the ordinary salutations had been…

ANOTHER UNEXPECTED MEETING

Coming to the cathedral, where it stands on the corner of Fiftieth Street and Fifth Avenue, we stopped to observe its proportions, at once noble and graceful, its white marble façade and tall spires being one of the ornaments of the Empire City. Entering the edifice, we knelt a while in prayer before we began to examine all its beauties in detail. The rich glow of the beautiful stained windows…

WINIFRED GOES SIGHT-SEEING

The next morning I woke earlier than usual; and, getting up at once, looked out of the window. Every trace of the fog had vanished, and there was the sun leaping and dancing as merrily as if it were midsummer instead of December. I hurried off to Mass, and got back again, to take a hasty breakfast and sit down in my room to wait for Winifred. It was about…

AN UNEXPECTED MEETING

It was a curious coincidence that on the very Sunday evening after I had visited Winifred and arranged for her to spend Tuesday with me at the hotel, I should have gone to supper with a friend of mine who was also a great friend of Roderick O’Byrne. She was an exceptional woman, of rare gifts, of warm heart and of long purse. She had the social talent in its…

ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK

Our voyage to America was a very pleasant one. The weather was excellent. The warm glow of midsummer was over everything, and the cool ocean breezes were most grateful as we sat at evening on the deck and watched the stars burn above our heads in the sky, which always seems so vast when one is on the face of the water. After the first two or three days, neither…

IN THE CAPITAL

The August morning which was to see our departure dawned at last. The leave-taking with old Granny Meehan was very pathetic. The poor woman, with her deep resignation, her confidence in God’s providence, was a striking illustration of the best virtues of her race. Calmly she bade us farewell, praying many a prayer, invoking many a blessing on the beloved head of her little charge. We left her sitting at…