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The Quality of Mercy

William Dean Howells

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Miss Northwick," said Matt.

"No; get in with me here, and we'll drive down, and then I'll carry you back home. Or! Here, Dennis!" she said to the man in the rumble; and she handed him the telegram. "Take this to the telegraph-office, and tell them to send it up by Simpson the instant the answer comes."

The Irishman said, "Yes, ma'am," and dropped from his perch with the paper in his hand.

"Get in, Mr. Hilary," she said, and after he had mounted she skilfully backed the sleigh and turned the horses homeward. "If I hear nothing from my dispatch, or if I hear wrong, I am going up to Wellwater Junction myself, by the first train. I can't wait any longer. If it's the worst, I want to know the worst."

Matt did not know what to say to her courage. So he said, "Alone?" to gain time.

"Of course! At such a time, I would rather be alone."

At the house Matt found Louise had gone to her room for a moment, and he said he would lik. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I’d never heard of William Dean Howell before this year, and now this is the fourth book I’ve read of his. I’ve gained quite an appreciation for his Boston settings, his structurally sound plots and his deep probing into the meaning of morality. I think he probably deserves a higher standing in the