Doctor Hoyle lingered until the last of the laurel bloom was gone, and the widow had become so absorbed in her grandchild as to make the parting much easier. Then he took the small Adam and departed for the North. Never did the kind old man dream that his frail and twisted little namesake would one day be the pride of his life and the comfort of his declining years.
"Hoyle sure do look a heap bettah'n when Doctah David took him off that day. Hit did seem like I'd nevah see him again. Don't you guess 'at he's beginnin' to grow some? Seems like he do."
The widow was seated on her little porch with the doctor, the evening before they left, and Cassandra, who, since the birth of the heir, had been living again in her own little cabin, had brought the baby down. He lay on his grandmother's lap quietly sleeping, while his mother gathered Hoyle's treasures, and packed his diminutive trunk. The boy followed her, chattering happily as she worked. She also had noticed the change in him, and suggested that perhaps, as he had gained such a start toward health, he need not return, but would do quite well at home.
"He's a care to you, Doctor, although you're that kind and patient,—I don't see how ever we can thank you enough for all you've done!" Then Hoyle, to their utter astonishment, threw himself on the ground at the doctor's feet and burst into bitter