Herbert's father, returning from the war with the loss of an arm, was fortunate enough to receive the appointment of postmaster, and thus earn a small, but, with strict economy, adequate income, until a fever terminated his earthly career at middle age. Mr. Graham was a rival applicant for the office, but Mr. Carr's services in the war were thought to give him superior claims, and he secured it. During the month that had elapsed since his death, Mrs. Carr had carried on the post office under a temporary appointment. She was a woman of good business capacity, and already familiar with the duties of the office, having assisted her husband, especially during his sickness, when nearly the whole work devolved upon her. Most of the village people were in favor of having her retained, but the local influence of Squire Walsingham and his nephew was so great that a petition in favor of the latter secured numerous signatures, and was already on file at the department in Washington, and backed by the congressman of the district, who was a political friend of the squire. Mrs. Carr was not aware that the movement for her displacement had gone so far.