"What's the matter, Ed? Why so ceremonious, Perley?"
But his eagerness did not permit him to wait for explanations. Grasping his bag, the only baggage he possessed, he started off at a swinging stride for Hanover Street, pausing only to shake the hands of the few who recognized him, unconscious of the wild-fire at his back. Hanover Street was empty that drowsy summer afternoon, and he stopped under the well- remembered maples before the house and gazed at it long and tenderly; even at the windows of that room--open now for the first time in years-- where he had served so many sentences of imprisonment. Then he went cautiously around by the side and looked in at the kitchen door. To other eyes than his Euphrasia might not have seemed a safe person to embrace, but in a moment he had her locked in his arms and weeping. She knew nothing as yet of Mr. Blodgett's misfortunes, but if Austen Vane had depopulated a county it would have made no difference in her affection.
"My, but you're a man," exclaimed Euphrasia, backing away at last and staring at him with the only complete approval she had ever accorded to any human being save one.
"What did you expect, Phrasie?"
"Come, and I'll show you your room," she said, in a gutter she could not hide; "it's got all the same pictures in, your mother's pictures, and the chair you broke that time when Hilary locked you in. It's mended."
"Hold on, Phrasie," said Austen, seizing her by the apron-strings, "how about the Judge?" It was by this title he usually designated his father.
"What about him?" demanded Euphrasia, sharply.
"Well, it's his house, for one thing," answered Austen, "and he may prefer to have that room--empty."