January 1, 1900 - Continued


From A Rage to Live. 

The Old Caldwell Place. Fort Penn, Pennsylvania:

"There!" He raised his glass high. "Happy New Century to you all." They all raised their glasses, and before he drank he bent forward and kissed his wife. "My girl," he whispered. He drank, and then he kissed Grace. "Our daughter Grace," he said. They all became teary-eyed at this unprecedented exhibition of William Caldwell's. "Now, I want to kiss you, Connie, the daughter of my best friend, and you too, Betty Martindale." He shook hands with the boys. "Auld Lang Syne," he said. "Grace, will you officiate for us?"
   Grace opened the songbook.
   "Wait a second," said William Caldwell. He went out to the kitchen and called in the servants to join in the singing. "Happy New Year, Julie. Agnes. Mrs. Higgins. Neal. Hope the team don't run away in all this noise."
   "They're standing nicely, Sir," said Higgins. "I'd a look at them."
   "Well, then," said William Caldwell. "To you all."
   "Thank you sir, ma'am," they said, and raised their glasses. "God bless you."
   "About five minutes, Neal," said William. The servants left.
   "Couldn't we have another bottle of champagne, Father?" said Grace. "I don't feel anything."
   "I hope you don't feel anything, one glass," said William. "You don't take one glass of champagne to feel gay, it's the ceremony. The occasion, Grace."
   "But I'd like to feel something. I'm nearly seventeen, after all."
   "Well, all right," said Emily Caldwell.
   He opened another bottle and put it in the bucket. "Now we have to go back to our party," he said. "Good night to you all."

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