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We arranged to meet there at four. Then a servant brought us our hats. I heard Hope calling as we passed the stairway:
'Won't you come up a minute, Uncle Eb? I want to see you very much.
Then Uncle Eb hurried upstairs and I came away.
I read the advertisements of board and lodging - a perplexing task for one so ignorant of the town. After many calls I found a place to my liking on Monkey Hill, near Printing House Square. Monkey Hill was the east end of William Street, and not in the least fashionable. There were some neat and cleanly looking houses on it of wood, and brick, and brown stone inhabited by small tradesmen; a few shops, a big stable and the chalet sitting on a broad, flat roof that covered a portion of the stableyard. The yard itself was the summit of Monkey Hill. It lay between two brick buildings and up the hill, from the walk, one looked into the gloomy cavern of the stable and under the low roof, on one side7 there were dump carts and old coaches in varying stages of infirmity. There was an old iron shop, that stood flush with the sidewalk, flanking the stableyard. A lantern and a mammoth key were suspended above the door and hanging upon the side of the shop was a wooden stair ascending to the chalet The latter had a sheathing of weather-worn clapboards. It stood on the rear end of the brick building, communicating with the front rooms above the shop. A little stair of five steps ascended from the landing to its red door that overlooked an ample yard of roofing, adorned with potted plants. The main room of the chalet where we ate our meals and sat and talked, of an evening, had the look of a ship's cabin. There were stationary seats along the wall covered with leathern cushions. There were port and starboard lanterns and a big one of polished brass that overhung the table. A ship's clock that had a noisy and cheerful tick, was set in the wall. A narrow passage led to the room in front and the latter had slanting sides. A big window of little panes, in its further end, let in the light of William Street Here I found a home for myself'humble but quaint and cleanly. A thrifty German who, having long followed the sea, had married and thrown out his anchor for good and all, now dwelt in the chalet with his wife and two boarders - both newspaper men. The old shopkeeper in front, once a sailor himself, had put the place in shipshape and leased itto them.
Mine host bore the name of Opper and was widely known as 'All Right'Opper, from his habit of cheery approval. Everything and everybody were 'all right'to him so far as I could observe. If he were blessed or damned he said 'all right . To be sure he took exceptions, on occasions, but even then the affair ended with his inevitable verdict of 'all right . Every suggestion I made as to terms of payment and arrangement of furniture was promptly stamped with this seal of approval.
I was comfortably settled and hard at work on my article by noon. At four I went to meet Uncle Eb. Hope was still sick in bed and we came away in a frame of mind that could hardly have been more miserable. I tried to induce him to stay a night with me in my new quarters.
'I mus n t,'he said cheerfully.''Fore long I m comin'down ag in but I can't fool 'round no longer now. I ll jes'go n git my new clothes and put fer the steamboat. Want ye t'go n see Hope tomorrow. She's comm up with Mis Fuller next week. I m goin't find out what's the matter uv her then. Somethin's wrong somewhere. Dunno what 'tis. She's all upsot.
Poor girl! it had been almost as heavy a trial to her as to me' cutting me off as she had done. Remembrances of my tender devotion to her, in all the years between then and childhood, must have made her sore with pity. I had already determined what I should do, and after Uncle Eb had gone that evening I wrote her a long letter and asked her if I might not still have some hope of her loving me. I begged her to let me know when I might come and talk with her alone. With what eloquence I could bring to bear I told her how my love had grown and laid hold of my life.
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