Phebe Cutts turned out to be my favorite character. She was the most fun to write and, although at first I felt sorry for her even as I piled on the indignities, I end up liking and respecting her. And, because she has no model or namesake in real life, I can finish her story any way I please. I will give her the fate I think she deserves:
Phebe returns to her New Hampshire home. After her mother’s death, she keeps house for her father and brothers. She is less awkward than when she left Mount Holyoke, and her face is not as round. At first, she is hurt that Bertha never writes to her, but she understands that their worlds are very different, and that Bertha must be busy. When she learns of Bertha’s disappearance, she writes a letter to the Mellish family and for the rest of her life treasures Florence’s grateful response. One day she meets a man, some years older than herself, who works a small farm in a neighboring county. They marry and have a child, a daughter, who gives them four grandchildren. After her husband’s death, Phebe lives happily with her daughter and son-in-law. She dies in her sleep at the age of eighty-nine.