Clark is stunned when he receives a letter from his Uncle Howard, informing him that his aunt Georgiana will be in Boston to settle some estate matters.
Initially, he feels a little irritated that his uncle waited until his characteristic late hour to inform him about his aunt's visit. He muses that if he had been away from home for a day, he might have missed his aunt altogether.
After realizing that his uncle intends for him to attend to his aunt's pleasure and comfort during her stay in Boston, Clark starts to feel nervous. He finds himself ill at ease at the thought of meeting his aunt. Clark also feels self-conscious, remembering himself as the awkward 'gangling farmer-boy my aunt had known, scourged with chilblains and bashfulness, my hands cracked and raw from the corn husking.'
As he reminisces about his childhood experiences with his aunt, he feels as if he has been transported back in time, to once more emerge as the unsophisticated boy his aunt had known long ago. He wonders how he will relate to her now that he is grown. In short, his memories of his past interaction with his aunt adds to his nervousness.
When he finally meets her at the train station, he observes that his aunt still suffers from the characteristic nervous disorder she was plagued with when he was little. Despite this enduring 'horrible fascination' with her condition, he admits that his aunt was the source of most of the good things that came his way in his young life. So, with remembrance of her past kindnesses to him, Clark resolves to make his aunt's stay in Boston as pleasant as possible.