water; and on the other a sturdy pine tree, well rooted against wind and

storm. And the sturdy pine yearned for the wild rose; and the rose, so

far as it knew, yearned for nothing at all, certainly not for rugged

pine trees standing tall and grim in rocky soil. If, in its present

stage of development, it gravitated toward anything in particular, it

would have been a well-dressed white birch growing on an irreproachable


And the river, now deep, now shallow, now smooth, now tumultuous, now

sparkling in sunshine, now gloomy under clouds, rolled on to the

engulfing sea. It could not stop to concern itself with the petty

comedies and tragedies that were being enacted along its shores, else it

would never have reached its destination. Only last night, under a full

moon, there had been pairs of lovers leaning over the rails of all the

bridges along its course; but that was a common sight, like that of the

ardent couples sitting on its shady banks these summer days, looking

only into each other's eyes, but exclaiming about the beauty of the

water. Lovers would come and go, sometimes reappearing with successive

installments of loves in a way wholly mysterious to the river. Meantime

it had its own work to do and must be about it, for the side jams were

to be broken and the boom "let out" at the Edgewood bridge.


It was just seven o'clock that same morning when Rose Wiley smoothed the

last wrinkle from her dimity counterpane, picked up a shred of corn-husk

from the spotless floor under the bed, slapped a mosquito on the

window-sill, removed all signs of murder with a moist towel, and before

running down to breakfast cast a frowning look at her pincushion.

Almira, otherwise "Mite," Shapley had been in her room the afternoon

before and disturbed with her careless hand the pattern of Rose's pins.

They were kept religiously in the form of a Maltese cross; and if, while

she was extricating one from her clothing, there had been an alarm of

fire, Rose would have stuck the pin in its appointed place in the

design, at the risk of losing her life.

Entering the kitchen with her light step, she brought the morning

sunshine with her. The old people had already engaged in differences of

opinion, but they commonly suspended open warfare in her presence. There

were the usual last things to be done for breakfast, offices that

belonged to her as her grandmother's assistant. She took yesterday's

soda biscuits out of the steamer where they were warming and softening;

brought an apple pie and a plate of seed cakes from the pantry; settled

the coffee with a piece of dried fish skin and an egg shell; and

transferred some fried potatoes from the spider to a covered dish.

"Did you remember the meat, grandpa? We're all out," she said, as she

began buttoning a stiff collar around his reluctant neck.

"Remember? Land, yes! I wish't I ever could forgit anything! The butcher

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