or a better brother? And would she not despise herself for rejecting him

simply because he was countrified, and because she longed to see the

world of the fashion-plates in the magazines?

"The logs are so like people!" she exclaimed, as they sat down. "I could

name nearly every one of them for somebody in the village. Look at Mite

Shapley, that dancing little one, slipping over the falls and skimming

along the top of the water, keeping out of all the deep places, and

never once touching the rocks."

Stephen fell into her mood. "There's Squire Anderson coming down

crosswise and bumping everything in reach. You know he's always buying

lumber and logs without knowing what he is going to do with them. They

just lie and rot by the roadside. The boys always say that a toad-stool

is the old Squire's 'mark' on a log."

"And that stout, clumsy one is Short Dennett.--What are you doing,

Stephen!"

"Only building a fence round this clump of harebells," Stephen replied.

"They've just got well rooted, and if the boys come skidding down the

bank with their spiked shoes, the poor things will never hold up their

heads again. Now they're safe.--Oh, look, Rose! There come the minister

and his wife!"

A portly couple of peeled logs, exactly matched in size, came

ponderously over the falls together, rose within a second of each other,

joined again, and swept under the bridge side by side.

"And--oh! oh! Dr. and Mrs. Cram just after them! Isn't that funny?"

laughed Rose, as a very long, slender pair of pines swam down, as close

to each other as if they had been glued in that position. Rose thought,

as she watched them, who but Stephen would have cared what became of the

clump of delicate harebells. How gentle such a man would be to a woman!

How tender his touch would be if she were ill or in trouble!

Several single logs followed,--crooked ones, stolid ones, adventurous

ones, feeble swimmers, deep divers. Some of them tried to start a small

jam on their own account; others stranded themselves for good and all,

as Rose and Stephen sat there side by side, with little Dan Cupid for an

invisible third on the bench.

"There never was anything so like people," Rose repeated, leaning

forward excitedly. "And, upon my word, the minister and doctor couples

are still together. I wonder if they'll get as far as the falls at

Union? That would be an odd place to part, wouldn't it--Union?" Stephen

saw his opportunity, and seized it.

"There's a reason, Rose, why two logs go down stream better than one,

and get into less trouble. They make a wider path, create more force

and a better current. It's the same way with men and women. Oh, Rose,

there isn't a man in the world that's loved you as long, or knows how to

love you any better than I do. You're just like a white birch sapling,

and I'm a great, clumsy fir tree; but if you'll only trust yourself to

me, Rose, I'll take you safely down river."

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