xt7d251fjn24 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7d251fjn24/data/mets.xml Litsey, Edwin Carlile, 1874-1970. 1902  books b92-222-31182224 English A.S. Barnes, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Love story of Abner Stone  / by Edwin Carlile Litsey. text Love story of Abner Stone  / by Edwin Carlile Litsey. 1902 2002 true xt7d251fjn24 section xt7d251fjn24 


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        Ccpyright, 1902

     Published June, 1902






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IT seems a little strange that I,
      Abner Stone, now verging upon
      my seventieth year, should bring
      pen, ink, and paper before me,
with the avowed purpose of setting
down the love story of my life, which
I had thought locked fast in my heart
forever. A thing very sacred to me;
of the world, it is true, yet still apart
from it, the blessed memory of it all
has abode in my breast with the unfad-
ing distinctness of an old picture done
in oils, and has brightened the years I
have thus far lived on the shadowed
slope of life. And now has come the
firm belief that the world may be made
better by the telling of this story - as
                [ vii ]


my life has been made better by having
lived it - and so I shall essay the brief
and simple task before my fingers have
grown too stiff to hold the pen, trusting
that some printer of books will be good
enough to put my story into a little
volume for all who would care to read.
And I, as I pursue the work which I
have appointed unto myself, shall again
stroll through the meadows and forests
of dear Kentucky, shall tread her dusty
highways under the spell of a bygone
June, and shall sit within the portals
of an old home whose floors are now
pressed by an alien foot. Now, ere I
have scarce begun, the recollections
come upon me like a flood, and this
page becomes blurred to my failing
sight. 0 Memory! MIemory I and the
visions of thine!

[ viii ]




I T is a long path which stretches from
     forty-five to seventy.  A  path
     easy enough to make, for each
     day's journey through life is a part
of it, but very difficult to retrace. When
we turn at that advanced mile-stone
and look back, things seem misty. For
there is many a twist and angle in the
highway of a life, and often the things
which we would forget stand out the
clearest. But I would not drive from
my brain this quiet afternoon the vi-
sions which enfold it, the blessed rec-
ollections of over a score of years ago.
For the sweet voice which speaks in
               [1 ]


my ear as I write I have never ceased
to hear; the face which the mirror of
my mind ever reflects before my eyes
I have looked upon with never-tiring
eagerness, and the tender hand which I
can imagine betimes creeping into my
own, is the chiefest blessing of a life
nearly spent.
  There is no haunting memory of past
misdeeds to shadow the quiet rest of
my last days. As I bid my mind go
back over the path which my feet have
trod, no ghost uprises to confront it;
no voice cries out for retribution or
justice; not even does a dumb animal
whine at a blow inflicted, nor a worm
which my foot has wantonly pressed,
appear. I would show forth no self-
praise in this, but rather a devout thank-
fulness unto the Creator who made me
as I am, with a heart of mercy for all
living things, and a reverent love for
all His wonderful works. The beauty


of tree, and flowering plant, and lowly
creeper abides with me as an everlast-
ing joy, and the song of the humblest
singer the forest shelters finds a response
in my heart. Without my window now,
as I sit down to make a history of part
of my life, a brown-coated English spar-
row is chattering in a strange jargon to
his mate on the limb of an Early Har-
vest apple tree, and I pause a moment
to listen to his shrill little voice, and to
watch the black patch under his throat
puff up and down.
  It is the fall of the year, and the
afternoon is gray. At times an arrow
of sunlight breaks through the shields
of clouds, and kisses the brown earth
with a quivering spot of light. Across
the sloping, unkept lawn, about midway
between the house and the whitewashed
gate leading from the yard, a rabbit
hops, aimlessly, his back humped up,
and his white tail showing plainly amid
                [ 3 ]



his sombre surroundings. I can see the
muscles about his nostrils twitching, as
lhe stops now and again to nibble at a
withered tuft of grass. A lonely jay
flits from one tree to another; a car-
dinal speeds by my window, a line of
color across a dark background; and one
by one the dry leaves drop noiselessly
down, making thicker the soft covering
which Nature is spreading over the
breast of Mother Earth.
  It may be that I shall not see the
resurrection of another spring.  Each
winter that has passed for the last few
years has grown a little harder for me,
and my breathing becomes difficult in
the damp, cold weather. Perhaps my
eyes shall not again behold the glorious
flood of light and color which follows
the footsteps of spring; perhaps when
the earth is wrapped once more in its
mantle of leaves they shall lie over my
breast as well. For man's years upon
                [ 4 ]


this earth are measured in Holy Writ
as threescore and ten, and come De-
cember fourth next, I shall have lived
my allotted time. My ways have not
all been ways of pleasantness, nor all
my paths peace. But I am glad to
have lived; to have known the hopes
of youth and the trials of manhood.
To have felt within my soul that emo-
tion which rules the earth and the uni-
verses, and which is Heaven's undefiled
gift to Aan. From books I have gained
knowledge; from the lessons of life I
have learned wisdom; from love I have
found the way which leads to life
  Old age is treacherous, and it comes
to me now that maybe I have delayed
my work too long. For the mind of
age does not move with the nimbleness
of a young colt, but rather with the
labored efforts of a beast of burden
whose limbs are stiff from a life of toil.
                [ 5 ]


But this I know, that there is a period
in my existence which the years cannot
dim. I have lived it over again and
again, winter and summer, summer and
winter, here in my quiet country home
among the hills. There has been noth-
ing to my life but that; first, the living
of it, and then the memory of it.
  It is my love story.

[ 6 ]




 IN the spring of 1860, I wasa lodger
      in a respectable boarding-house
      on Chestnut Street, in Louisville.
      AMy father - God rest his soul -
had passed away ten years before, and I
was able to live comfortably upon the
income of my modest inheritance, as I
was his sole child, and my dear mother
was to me but an elusive memory of
childhood. Sometimes, in still evenings
just before I lit my student's lamp, and
I sat alone musing, I would catch vague
glimpses of a sweet, pure face with calm,
gray eyes - but that was all. No fig-
ure, no voice, not even her hair, but
sometimes my mind would picture an
aureole around her head. I have often
                [ 7 ]


wondered why she was taken from me
before I could have known her, but I
have also striven not to be rebellious.
But she must have been an unusual
woman, for my father never recovered
from her loss, and to the day of his
death he wore a tress of her hair in a
locket over his heart. I have it now,
and I wear it always.
  I was of a timid disposition, and re-
tiring nature, and so my acquaintances
were few, and of close friends I had not
one. AMy mornings and evenings were
spent with my books, and in the after-
noons I took solitary walks, often wan-
dering out into the country, if the
weather was fine, for the blue sky had
a charm for me, and I loved to look at
the distant hills, - the hazy and purple
undulations which marked the horizon.
And Nature was never the same to me.
Always changing, always some beauty
before undiscovered bursting on my
                [ 8]


sight, and her limitless halls were full
of paintings and of songs of which I
would never tire. Then, as evening
closed in, and I would reluctantly turn
back to my crowded quarters, the sordid
streets and the cramped appearance of
everything would fret me, and almost
make me envious of the sparrow perched
on the telegraph wire over my head.
For he, at least, was lifted above this
thoughtless, hurrying throng among
which I was compelled to pass, and the
piteous, supplicating voice of the blind
beggar at the corner did not remind
him that even thus he might some day
become. And thus, when my feet
brought me to the line of traffic, as I
returned home, I would unconsciously
hasten my steps, for the moil and toil
of a city's strife I could not bear.
  In the spring of 1 860, these long
walks to the country became more
frequent.  I had been cooped up for
                [ 9 ]



four rigorous months, a predisposition
to taking cold always before me as a
warning that I must be careful in bad
weather. And the confines of a four-
teen by eighteen room naturally become
irksome after weeks and weeks of inti-
mate acquaintance.  It is true there
were two windows to my apartment.
A glance from one only showed me the
side of a house adjoining the one in
which I stayed, but the other gave me
a view of a thoroughfare, and by this
window I sat through many a bleak
winter day, watching the passers-by.
One night there was a sleet, and when
I looked out the next morning, every-
thing was covered in a gray coat of ice.
A young maple grew directly under my
window, and its poor head was bent
over as though in sorrow at the treat-
inent it had to endure, and its branches
hung listlessly in their icy case, with a
frozen raindrop at the end of each twig.
               [ 10 ]


The sidewalks were treacherous, and I
found some amusement in watching the
pedestrians as they warily proceeded
along the slippery pavement, most of
them treading as though walking on
egg-shells. There went an old gentle-
man who must have had business down
town, for I had seen him pass every
day. This morning he carried a stick
in his hand, and I discovered that it
was pointed with some sharp substance
that would assist him, for every time he
lifted it up, it left a little white spot in
the coating of ice. There went a school-
boy, helter-skelter, swinging his books
by a strap, running and sliding along
the pavement in profound contempt for
its dangers. A jaunty little Mliss with
fuir wraps and veiled face, but through
the thin obstruction I could plainly see
two rosy cheeks, and a pair of dancing
eyes. Her tiny feet, likewise, passed
on without fear, and she disappeared.
                [ 11 ]


Heaven grant they may rest as firm on
every path through life!
  Next came an aged woman, who
moved with faltering feet, and always
kept one hand upon the iron fence enclos-
ing the small yard, as a support. Each
step was taken slowly, and with trepida-
tion, and I wished for the moment that
I was beside her, to lend her my arm.
Some errand of mercy or dire necessity
called her forth on such a perilous ven-
ture, and I felt that, whatever the mo-
tive be, it would shield her from mishap.
And so they passed, youth and age, as
the day wore on. In the afternoon the
old gentleman re-passed, and I saw that
his back was a little more stooped, and
he leaned heavier on his stick.  For
each day adds weight to the shoulders
of age.
  And now a miserable cur came sniffing
along the gutter on the opposite side of
the street.  His ribs showed plainly
               [ 12 ]


through his dirty yellow coat, the
scrubby hair along his back stood on
end, and his tail was held closely be-
tween his legs. And so he tipped along,
half-starved, vainly seeking some morsel
of food. He stopped and looked up,
shivering visibly as the cold wind
pierced him through and through, then
trotted to the middle of the street, and
began nosing something lying there. A
handsome coup6 darted around the cor-
ner, taking the centre of the road. The
starving cur never moved, so intent
was he on obtaining food, and thus it
happened that a pitiful yelp of pain
reached my ears, muffled by the closed
window. The coupe whirled on its
journey, and below, in the chill, des-
olate grayness of a winter afternoon,
an ugly pup sat howling at the leaden
skies, his right foreleg upheld, part of
it dangling in a very unnatural manner.
A pang of compassion for the dumb un-
                t 13 ]


fortunate stirred in my breast, but I sat
still and watched. He tried to walk,
but the effort was a failure, and again
he sat down and howled, this time with
his meagre face upturned to my win-
dow. The street was empty, as far as I
could see, for twilight was almost come,
and cheery firesides were more tempting
4 han slippery pavements and stinging
winds. The muffled tones of distress
became weaker and more despairing,
and I could endure them no longer. I
quickly arose and cast off my dressing-
gown and slippers. In less than a min-
ute I had on shoes, coat, and great-coat,
and was quietly stealing down the
stairs. Tenderly I took the shivering,
whining form up in my arms, casting
my eyes around and breathing a sigh of
relief that no one had seen, and thank-
ing my stars, as I entered my room, that
I had not encountered my landlady, who
had a great aversion to cats and dogs.
               [ 14 ]


  It was little enough of surgery I
knew, veterinary or otherwise, but a
simpleton could have seen that a broken
leg was at least one of the injuries my
charge had suffered. I laid the dirty
yellow object down on the heavy rug
before the fire, and he stopped the
whining, and his trembling, too, as soon
as the soothing heat began to permeate
his half-frozen body. I knew there was
a pine board in my closet, and from this
I made some splints and bound up the
broken limb as gently as I could, but
my fingers were not very deft nor my
skill more than ordinary, and as a con-
sequence a few fresh howls were the re-
sult. But at last it was done, and then
I made an examination of the other
limbs, finding them as nature intended
they should be, with the exception of a
few scars and their unnatural boniness.
So I got one of my old coats and made
a bed on the corner of the hearth, to
               [ 15 l


which I proceeded to transfer my rescued
cur. He was grateful, as dogs ever are
for a kindness, and licked my hands as 1
put him down. And he found strength
somehow to wag his tail in token of
thankfulness, so I felt repaid for my
act of mercy, and very well satisfied.
A surreptitious visit to the dining-room
resulted in a purloined chunk of cold
roast beef, and two or three dry, hard
biscuit, which I found in the corner of
a cupboard.   Thus laden with my
plunder, I started back, and in the hall
came face to face with my boarding-
house mistress.
  "Why, Mr. Stone, what in the
world !" she began, before I could open
my mouth or put my hands behind my
  "I - that is - Irs. Moss, I have a
friend with me to-night who is very
eccentric. He has been out in the cold
quite a while, and he dislikes meeting
               [ 16 ]


strangers, so that I thought I would let
him thaw out in my room while I came
down and got us a little bite. You
need n't expect us at supper, for I have
enough here for both."
  " If it pleases you, Mr. Stone, I have
no objections. But I should be glad
to send your meals to your room as
long as your friend remains."
  I had reached the foot of the stair,
and was now going up it.
  " He leaves to-morrow, Mrs. Moss, -
I think. Thank you for your kind-
ness," and I dodged into my room and
shut the door.
  AMy charge was waiting where I had
left him, with bright eyes of anticipa-
tion. I took a newspaper and spread
it on the floor close up to him, and
depositing the result of my foraging
expedition on this, I stood up and
watched him attack the beef with a
vigor I did not suppose he possessed.
   2   [        17 ]


  "Enjoy it, you little wretch l" I
muttered, as he bolted one mouthful
after another. " I camne nearer telling
a lie for you, than I ever did in my life
  Then I made myself comfortable
again, drew up my easy-chair, and lit
my lamp, and with pipe and book be-
guiled the hours till bed-time.

[ 18 ]




I NAMED him Fido, after much
      deliberation and great hesitancy.
      AMy principal objection to this
      name was that nearly every di-
minutive dog bore it, but then it was
old fashioned, and I had a weakness for
old-fashioned things, if this taste could
be spoken of in such a manner. I had
really intended setting him adrift after
his leg was strong, but during the days
of his convalescence I became so strongly
attached to him that I completely for-
got my former idea. He was great
company for me, and after I had given
him several baths, and all he could eat
every day, he was n't such a bad-look-
ing dog, after all. The hair on his
back lay down now, and his pinched
                [ 19 ]


body rounded out till I began to fear
obesity, while his tail took on a hand-
some curl. Altogether, I was rather
proud of him. But the result of my
crude attempt at surgery became mani-
fest when I finally removed the splints.
The limb had grown together, it is true,
but it was dreadfully crooked, and a
large knot appeared where the fracture
had been. When he tried to walk, I
discovered that this leg was a trifle
shorter than its mate, and poor Fido
limped a little, but I believe this only
added to my affection.
  Winter held on till March, and then
reluctantly gave way before the ap-
proach of spring.  The wind blew;
the sun shone at intervals; the ice be-
gan to melt, and muddy rivulets formed
in the streets. When the ground dried
up a little, I began my afternoon walks,
Fido limping cheerfully along beside
me. One day my commiseration for
                L 20 ]


his affliction almost vanished. We had
strolled away out past the streets, and
had been walking along a pike, when
the refreshing green of a clover meadow
on my left caused me to climb the
fence and seek a closer acquaintance.
Fido wriggled through a crack at the
bottom, and as I sat on the top rail for
a moment, the little rascal suddenly
gave tongue and shot out across the
meadow after a young rabbit, which
was making good time through the low
clover. That lame leg did n't impede
my yellow pup's running qualities, and
I had to call him severely by name be-
fore he gave up the chase. He came
panting back to me with his dripping
tongue hanging out, and with as inno-
cent a look on his face as one could
imagine. I felt that he needed a gentle
chastising, but there was nothing lying
around wherewith to administer it, and
I did not search for the necessary
               [ 21 ]


switch. But I wasted no more sym-
pathy on that crooked right leg.
  I became interested in the view be-
fore me, and forgot that time was pass-
ing. The clover meadow stretched
away to a low bluff, at the base of
which I could see the shining surface
of a small stream. Far to my right a
field was being broken up for corn.
The fresh scent of the newly turned
earth came to my nostrils like perfume.
On the farther side of the field a patient
mule was plodding along, dragging his
burden, a plough, behind him, and I
heard the guiding cries of the driver as
he spoke in no gentle voice to the ani-
mal which was wearing its life away
for its master's gain. A meadow lark
arose a little to one side. I noticed his
yellow vest, sprinkled with dark spots,
as he flew with drooping tail for a few
rods, then sank down again in the
clover. From somewhere in the dis-
                [ 22 ]


tance a Bob VWhite's clear notes welled
up through the silence. A flutter of
wings near by, and I turned my head
to see a bluebird flit gently to the top
of a stake in the fence-corner not far
away. They were abroad, these har-
bingers of spring, and I knew that
balmy breezes and bursting buds came
quickly in their wake. How sweet it
was to know that earth's winding-sheet
had been rent from her breast once
more; that the shackles had been torn
from her streams and the fetters loosed
from  her trees; to feel that where
there had been barren desolation and
lifeless refuse of last year's math would
soon appear green shoots of grass, and
growing flowers; that the tender leaves
of the trees would whisper each to
each in a language which we cannot
understand, but which we love to hear.
Especially at eventide, when the heat
of the day is softened by twilight shad-
               [ 23 ]


ows, and a gentle breeze comes wander-
ing along, touching with fairy fingers
the careworn face and tired hands.
  The sun had sunk below the horizon.
As I now directed my gaze to the
western sky, one of those rarely beauti-
ful phenomena which sometimes ac-
comnpany sunset in early spring, was
spread before me. Spanning the clear
sky, stretching from western horizon to
zenith, and from zenith to eastern hori-
zon, was a narrow, filmy band of cloud.
And by some subtle reflection of which
we do not know, the whole had caught
the golden sheen of the hidden sun, and
glowed, pale gold and pink and saffron.
The sky was clear but for this encir-
cling cloud-band, and my fancy saw it as
a ring girding the earth with celestial
glory, -a fitting path for spirit feet
when they tread the upward heights.
I watched it pale, with upturned face,
its changing tints in themselves a mira-
                [ 24 ]


cle, and thought of the wonders which
lay beyond it, which we are taught to
seek. Thought of what was on the
other side of that steadily purpling
curtain stretched above me which no
human eye might pierce. Groves of
peace and endless song and light which
never paled; my mother's face-
  A star blossomed out in the tranquil
depths above me, white and pure as a
thought of God; some dun-colored
boats were drifting in an azure sea out
in the west, and a whippoorwill's plain-
tive wail sounded through the dusk
from adown the fence-row. Up from
the still earth there floated to my nos-
trils the incense of a dew-drenched
landscape, - fresh, odorous, wonderfully
sweet, - and a fire-fly's zigzag lantern
came travelling towards me across the
darkening meadow. Everything had
become very still. It was that magic
hour when the voices of the things of
               [ 25 ]


the day are hushed, and the things of
the night have not yet awakened.
Only at intervals the whippoorwill's
call arose, like a pulse of pain. The
voice of the ploughman in the adjoining
field came no more to my ears; a respite
from labor had come to both man and
beast.  The birds were still. There
was no flutter of wings, no piping cry.
The earth rested for a spell, and a
solemn quietude stole over the scented
  I knew that I ought to be going -
that I ought to have gone long ago,
but still I sat on the topmost rail of the
fence, which stretched away like a many-
horned worm on either side of me.
Supper was already cold, but I had
been a little late on several occasions
before, and Mrs. Moss had very kindly
laid something aside for me. I was one
whom she called "a queer man who
saw nothing outside of his books," and
                [ 26 ]


while this was not altogether true, inas-
much as I was even now missing both
supper and books for another delight in
which my soul revelled, still she bore
with my eccentricities, and I was thank-
ful to her. " You should fall in love,
Mr. Stone," she said to me one day,
half jestingly, " and that would get you
out of some of your staid ways." I re-
plied with a smile that, as she did not
take young ladies to board, there was
small chance of that, and had thought
of her remark no more. But now, in
the tender gloaming of an April day,
I felt that I did love, and with as ardent
a passion as any man ever owned. I
loved the rich sunlight, which I had
watched fade away, but which still lin-
gered in my breast. I loved the green-
ing of Nature, and the yellowing of her
harvest. I loved the soul-expanding in-
fluence of sky and air, and the far-
reaching, billowy fields. All things
               [ 27 ]


that grew, and all things that moved in
this, God's kingdom, I loved. What
else was there to love  A woman 
Yes; but they lived for me only in the
pages of history and romance, and it
was not likely that I, a bookworm
bachelor of forty-five, would ever meet
the one to stir my heart. And I feared
them, a little. Out here, under the sky,
with no one to hear but Fido and the
dumb silence, I can make this confes-
sion. I knew she lived, somewhere, the
one to whom my heart would cry, be-
cause this is the plan of the Creator,
but I was glad that our lines of life had
not crossed.
  So please Him, thus would I live

[Q8 ]




T       HE last bright streamer had
         disappeared, but still there
         remained a faint, chaste glow
         above the dark line of hills.
An unseen Hand had sown the sky
thickly with stars, and more fell to
their appointed places as the moments
passed. A bull-frog boomed out his
guttural note, and Fido began to whine
and gnaw at the rail just below my feet.
He was getting hungry, and I acqui-
esced to his wordless plea to go home.
Night had now come, and the air was
chilly, so I buttoned my coat close up
to my chin, and moved briskly. We
were some distance from home, but the
lights of the city were reflected in the
sky, and besides, it was not dark, be-
                [ 29 ]


cause of the stars, and the road over
which we went had but one end.
  I ate in quiet satisfaction the lunch
which Mrs. Moss had saved for me, but
when I tried to interest myself in Emer-
son, a few minutes later, I found that
one of my favorites bored me. This
sudden lack of appreciation of the great
essayist annoyed me, and I forced my
eyes to traverse line after line, hoping
that the pleasing charm which they had
always held for me would return. But
this policy proved futile, so at length I
quietly closed the book and put it down
on the table, disgusted with myself.
Perhaps my mind required something
in lighter vein, and there was my book-
case, with its glass doors open, as they
usually were. But the delightful metre
of the " Lady of the Lake" seemed halt-
ing and tame to me that night, and this
volume I did not close as gently as I
had the former one, but flung it care-
               [ 30 ]


lessly on the table and walked ner-
vously to the window and raised the
sash. For a moment - only a moment
-I stood there, trying to find a few
stars through the curtain of factory
smoke which hung overhead, and let-
ting the cool air blow about me. Then
I put the window down, and came back
to my easy-chair, satisfied, for I had
solved the riddle of my unrest.
  That afternoon's walk had showed
me of what I was depriving myself. It
dawned upon me in that moment that
the pastoral joys which I had known
that day were dearer to my soul than
printed pages and the mind-narrowing
captivity of four walls. Out there were
unbounded possibilities for the mind
and soul, lessons to be learned, pages
to be read, secrets to discover, - a mes-
sage in each soft gurgle of the brook;
a whisper from each stirring leaf; a hid-
den story in the dreamy face of each
               [ 31 ]


flower. All of these became voices in
my ears; I could listen to their singing
and sighing for hours. What an awak-
ening it was I I had been dreaming
for over half my life, and with a sigh I
looked at the well-worn tomes in my
bookcase, which must now take second
place in my heart. They had served
me well. True and tried friends, into
whose faces I had looked in both joy
and sorrow, and never failed of con-
solation or delight. I would never
desert them - God forbid ! They were
grappled to my soul with hooks which
would neither bend nor break, and
which could not fall away. Still would
I come to them and caress them with
lov ing fingers as I held them in my lap;
still would I ask their advice and store
my mind of their knowledge, for they
had lightened too many hours of my
life to be forsaken now, - it would be
like giving up a friend of twoscore
                [ 32 ]


years for one newly found.  And I
loved them none the less, - in the full
flush of the secret which I had discov-
ered I knew this, and I walked over
to where the long rows stood like pha-
lanxes, and ran my hands lovingly over
the sheepskin and vellum backs. And,
'pon my soul, they seemed to respond
to my fingers, as though I had touched
hands with a friend I They may have
been dumb, but they were not lifeless;
for the spirits of their creators still lin-
gered between the leaves, and made
them live - for me. Good friends, rest
easy on your shelves; one by one each
of you shall come down, as you have
always done, and commune with me.
When Nature sleeps, then we shall
  I sat down again, and stretched my
feet out towards the low fire.  With
pipe newly filled, I caressed it between
my joined hands, and thought. After
   3           [33]


a half hour of smoking and ruminating,
I came to a conclusion. I would move
to the country for the summer ! What
a dolt I had been all these years I The
matter of board need not be considered,
for that was cheaper in the country than
in town. When winter came again, I
could return to my present quarters, if
I chose. What I wanted was a quiet
old farmhouse with as few people in it
as possible, and located in the blue-grass
region of the State. Then life would
be one endless delight, - days afield,
and peaceful, noiseless nights. To be
awakened in the morning by the matin
song of the thrush; to breathe the
intoxicating odor of honeysuckle and
jessamine; to step out into the dew-
washed grass, instead of upon the hard
pavement, and to receive the countless
benedictions of the outstretched arms of
the trees as I walked beneath them.
Where had my mind been a-wandering
               [ 34 ]


all of these years that I had not thought
of this before  But I was too sensible
to mar my present joy with useless
regrets. The future was bright with
anticipation and rich with promise, and
my heart grew light.
  And Fido - poor Fido - would be
glad of the change, too, for I am sure
it must have taxed his love for me to
stay in the goods-box which I had con-
verted into a kennel and placed in the
small backyard. Mrs. Moss, - honest
soul, -when giving her reluctant con-
sent to this, consoled herself by think-
ing that she was only yielding to another
of my vagaries.
  There was no one else to consider,
and so I put the thing down in my
mind as settled.  I would leave this
soul-dwarfing, cramped, smoke-hung
atmosphere, and take up my abode
where the air was pure, and where the
sun could shine. Mrs. Moss would lose
               [ 35 ]


a good, quiet boarder, it is true; but my
consideration for Mrs. Moss's feelings
would not cause me to sacrifice my-
self. Some one else would come and
take the room which had been mine
for ten years, and I would soon be
  Tche revelation which I had experi-
enced put me in such high spirits at the
glorious prospects before me that I
could not think of going to bed when
eleven o'clock sounded from the mantel-
tree. Instead, I believe I actually
chuckled, as I slipped my hand into the
pocket of my dressing-gown for my
tobacco-pouch, and proceeded to fill my
pipe again. Method had always been
the rule of my life, but that night I put
it by for a space. The question para-
mount was-where should I go Cer-
tainly most any farm housewife would
give me a room upstairs for a small
money consider