A Mary Wilkins Freeman Reader

By Mary Wilkins Freeman; Mary R. Reichardt | Go to book overview

The Gold

1904

The colonies had but recently declared war with the old country; and Abraham Duke, being an able-bodied man, although no longer young, was going to fight for the cause. He was fastening on his old sword, which his father before him had wielded well, and his wife Catherine was standing watching him, with an angry cant to her head. "Wherefore cannot you tell me where the gold is, Abraham Duke?" said she.

Abraham Duke regarded his wife with stern melancholy, and his glance of fixedness in his own purpose was more impregnable than any fort.

"I can tell you not, Catherine," replied he, "because no man can tell any woman anything which he wants not the whole world to know, and there are plenty of evil-disposed folk abroad in these troublous times, and 'tis for your own sake, since, in case robbers come, you can tell them without perjury that you know not where the gold is."

"For my sake!" returned Catherine, with a high sniff. "You tell me not for fear I shall spend the gold, and you always loved gold better than your wife. You fear lest I should buy a new gown to my back, or a new capribbon. Never fear, Abraham Duke, for I have gone poorly clad so long that, faith, a new cap ribbon even would frighten me."

"I have given you all that I could, Catherine," returned Abraham, gravely.

"But now that you have all this wealth, five thousand pounds, you hide it away, and tell me not where it is—me, your wife, who has kept your house for scarce anything save a poor measure of daily bread, all these years. You wrong me, Abraham Duke."

But Abraham Duke only kept his mouth shut more tightly. He was perhaps ten years older than his wife, but he was handsome, with a stern, al

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