Mrs. Upchurch sat in the entry of her house knitting, while down on the step—a rough block of Georgia granite—Mr. Upchurch sat resting and smoking an after-dinner pipe. It was on a summer afternoon, and the hot glare of the sun made a shade gratefully welcome. The house had only the space of an ordinary yard between it and the public country road, but it was on a breezy hill and commanded a fine view of the surrounding country.

 

Far away, above the green, wooded hills and valleys, rose the North Georgia Mountains, veiled in misty blue. Those mountains were the boundary line of Mrs. Upchurch's world. She had never gone to them; she never dreamed of going beyond them. Still, they were old friends, immovable, unchangeable, upon which she could look when perplexed, sorrowful, or glad. She worked slowly, and often glanced away toward those distant peaks, a very grave meditative light in her eyes.

 

She was a woman above medium height, and rather dignified in appearance and manner, with a kind, homely face, yellowed and hardened by sun and wind, and with honest, steadfast eyes. She had on a stout, plain cotton dress, and an old brown veil was drawn around her head and tied under her chin. Summer and winter she wore it, to ward off that greatest enemy of her peace—neuralgia.

 

"He always was an onfortunit creetur," she said abruptly, and with a sigh.

 

"Who now, Peggy?" inquired Mr. Upchurch in some surprise.

 

"Why, Ab," and laying her knitting down on her knee, she smoothed it out thoughtfully.