windows, too, framing the apple-orchard and the elms. She had chosen the

furniture, but how differently it looked now that it was actually in

place! The tiny shed had piles of split wood, with great boxes of

kindlings and shavings, all in readiness for the bride, who would do her

own cooking. Who but Stephen would have made the very wood ready for a

woman's home-coming; and why had he done so much in May, when they were

not to be married until August? Then the door of the bedroom was

stealthily opened, and here Rose sat down and cried for joy and shame

and hope and fear. The very flowered paper she had refused as too

expensive! How lovely it looked with the white chamber set! She brought

in her simple wedding outfit of blankets, bed-linen, and counterpanes,

and folded them softly in the closet; and then for the rest of the

morning she went from room to room, doing all that could remain

undiscovered, even to laying a fire in the new kitchen stove.

This was the plan. Stephen must pass the house on his way from the River

Farm to the bridge, where he was to join the river-drivers on Monday

morning. She would be out of bed by the earliest peep of dawn, put on

Stephen's favorite pink calico, leave a note for her grandmother, run

like a hare down her side of the river and up Stephen's, steal into the

house, open blinds and windows, light the fire, and set the kettle

boiling. Then with a sharp knife she would cut down two rows of corn,

and thus make a green pathway from the front kitchen steps to the road.

Next, the false and insulting "To Let" sign would be forcibly tweaked

from the tree and thrown into the grass. She would then lay the table in

the kitchen, and make ready the nicest breakfast that two people ever

sat down to. And oh, would two people sit down to it; or would one go

off in a rage and the other die of grief and disappointment?

Then, having done all, she would wait and palpitate, and palpitate and

wait, until Stephen came. Surely no property-owner in the universe could

drive along a road, observe his corn leveled to the earth, his sign

removed, his house open, and smoke issuing from his chimney, without

going in to surprise the rogue and villain who could be guilty of such

vandalism.

And when he came in?

Oh, she had all day Sunday in which to forecast, with mingled dread and

gladness and suspense, that all-important, all-decisive first moment!

All day Sunday to frame and unframe penitent speeches. All day Sunday!

Would it ever be Monday? If so, what would Tuesday bring? Would the sun

rise on happy Mrs. Stephen Waterman of Pleasant River, or on miserable

Miss Rose Wiley of the Brier Neighborhood?

THE DREAM ROOM

Long ago, when Stephen was a boy of fourteen or fifteen, he had gone

with his father to a distant town to spend the night. After an early

breakfast next morning his father had driven off for a business

interview, and left the boy to walk about during his absence. He

Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>
(C) 2013 Как раскрутить сайт навсегда