drift; the ice broke in every direction, and down, down, down, from

Bonnie Eagle and Moderation swept the harvest of the winter freezing. It

came thundering over the dam, bringing boats, farming implements, posts,

supports, and every sort of floating lumber with it; and cutting under

the flour mill, tipped it cleverly over on its side and went crashing on

its way down river. At Edgewood it pushed colossal blocks of ice up the

banks into the roadway, piling them end upon end ten feet in air. Then,

tearing and rumbling and booming through the narrows, it covered the

intervale at Pleasant Point and made a huge ice bridge below Union

Falls, a bridge so solid that it stood there for days, a sight for all

the neighboring villages.

This exciting event would have forever set apart this winter from all

others in Stephen's memory, even had it not been also the winter when he

was building a house for his future wife. But afterwards, in looking

back on the wild night of the ice freshet, Stephen remembered that

Rose's manner was strained and cold and evasive, and that when he had

seen her talking with Claude Merrill, it had seemed to him that that

whippersnapper had looked at her as no honorable man in Edgewood ever

looked at an engaged girl. He recalled his throb of gratitude that

Claude lived at a safe distance, and his subsequent pang of remorse at

doubting, for an instant, Rose's fidelity.

So at length April came, the Saco was still high, turbid, and angry, and

the boys were waiting at Limington Falls for the "Ossipee drive" to

begin. Stephen joined them there, for he was restless, and the river

called him, as it did every spring. Each stubborn log that he

encountered gave him new courage and power of overcoming. The rush of

the water, the noise and roar and dash, the exposure and danger, all

made the blood run in his veins like new wine. When he came back to the

farm, all the cobwebs had been blown from his brain, and his first

interview with Rose was so intoxicating that he went immediately to

Portland, and bought, in a kind of secret penitence for his former

fears, a pale pink-flowered wall-paper for the bedroom in the new home.

It had once been voted down by the entire advisory committee. Mrs. Wiley

said pink was foolish and was always sure to fade; and the border, being

a mass of solid roses, was five cents a yard, virtually a prohibitive

price. Mr. Wiley said he "should hate to hev a spell of sickness an' lay

abed in a room where there was things growin' all over the place." He

thought "rough-plastered walls, where you could lay an' count the spots

where the roof leaked, was the most entertainin' in sickness." Rose had

longed for the lovely pattern, but had sided dutifully with the prudent

majority, so that it was with a feeling of unauthorized and illegitimate

joy that Stephen papered the room at night, a few strips at a time.

On the third evening, when he had removed all signs of his work, he

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