"The sight of the place!" objected Mrs. Little, hiding her face in her hands instinctively.
He kissed her, and talked good manly sense to her, and begged her to have more courage.
She was little able to deny him, and she consented; but cried, out of his sight, a good many times about it.
As for Henry, strong in the consciousness of power and skill, he felt glad he was going to Hillsborough. "Many a workman has risen to the top of the tree in that place," said he. "Why, this very Cheetham was grinding saws in a water-wheel ten years ago, I've heard uncle Joe say. Come, mother, don't you be a baby! I'll settle you in a cottage outside the smoke; you shall make a palace of it; and we'll rise in the very town where we fell, and friends and foes shall see us."
Mr. Cheetham purchased both the carving and the tools to exhibit in Hillsborough; and the purchase-money, less a heavy commission, was paid to Henry. He showed Mrs. Little thirty pounds, and helped her pack up; and next day they reached Hillsborough by train.
Henry took a close cab, and carried his mother off to the suburbs in search of a lodging. She wore a thick veil, and laid her head on her son's shoulder, and held his brown though elegant hand with her white fingers, that quivered a little as she passed through the well-known streets.
As for Henry, he felt quite triumphant and grand, and consoled her in an off-hand, hearty way. "Come, cheer up, and face the music. They have all forgotten you by this time, and, when they do see you again, you shall be as good as the best of them. I don't drink, and I've got a trade all to myself here, and I'd rather make my fortune in this town than any other; and, mother, you have been a good friend to me; I won't ever marry till I have done you justice, and made you the queen of this very town."
And so he rattled on, in such high spirits, that the great soft thing began to smile with motherly love and pride through her tears, ere they found a lodging.