AFTER THE FUNERAL
BY JAMES M. BAILEY
It was just after the funeral. The bereaved and subdued widow, enveloped
in millinery gloom, was seated in the sitting-room with a few
sympathizing friends. There was that constrained look so peculiar to the
occasion observable on every countenance. The widow sighed.
"How do you feel, my dear?" said her sister.
"Oh! I don't know," said the poor woman, with difficulty restraining her
tears. "But I hope everything passed off well."
"Indeed it did," said all the ladies.
"It was as large and respectable a funeral as I have seen this winter,"
said the sister, looking around upon the others.
"Yes, it was," said the lady from next door. "I was saying to Mrs.
Slocum, only ten minutes ago, that the attendance couldn't have been
better--the bad going considered."
"Did you see the Taylors?" asked the widow faintly, looking at her
sister. "They go so rarely to funerals that I was surprised to see them
"Oh, yes! the Taylors were all here," said the sympathizing sister. "As
you say, they go but a little: they are so exclusive!"
"I thought I saw the Curtises also," suggested the bereaved woman
"Oh, yes!" chimed in several. "They came in their own carriage, too,"
said the sister, animatedly. "And then there were the Randalls and the
Van Rensselaers. Mrs. Van Rensselaer had her cousin from the city with
her; and Mrs. Randall wore a very black heavy silk, which I am sure was
quite new. Did you see Colonel Haywood and his daughters, love?"
"I thought I saw them; but I wasn't sure. They were here, then, were
"Yes, indeed!" said they all again; and the lady who lived across the
"The Colonel was very sociable, and inquired most kindly about you, and
the sickness of your husband."
The widow smiled faintly. She was gratified by the interest shown by the
The friends now rose to go, each bidding her good-by, and expressing the
hope that she would be calm. Her sister bowed them out. When she
returned, she said:
"You can see, my love, what the neighbors think of it. I wouldn't have
had anything unfortunate to happen for a good deal. But nothing did. The
arrangements couldn't have been better."
"I think some of the people in the neighborhood must have been surprised
to see so many of the uptown people here," suggested the afflicted
woman, trying to look hopeful.
"You may be quite sure of that," asserted the sister. "I could see that
plain enough by their looks."
"Well, I am glad there is no occasion for talk," said the widow,
smoothing the skirt of her dress.
And after that the boys took the chairs home, and the house was put in
~~~~~~~ THE END ~~~~~~~