him, stirring the deeps of his heart like a great wave, almost

sweeping him off his feet when he held it too close and let it

have full sway. It would be the fourth time that he had asked

Rose this question of all questions, but there was no perceptible

difference in his excitement, for there was always the possible

chance that she might change her mind and say yes, if only for

variety. Wanting a thing continuously, unchangingly, unceasingly,

year after year, he thought,--longing to reach it as the river

longed to reach the sea,--such wanting might, in course of

time, mean having.

Rose drove up to the bridge with the men's luncheon, and the

under boss came up to take the baskets and boxes from the back of

the wagon.

"We've had a reg'lar tussle this mornin', Rose," he said. "The

logs are determined not to move. Ike Billings, that's the

han'somest and fluentest all-round swearer on the Saco, has tried

his best on the side jam. He's all out o' cuss-words and there

hain't a log budged. Now, stid o' dogwarpin' this afternoon, an'

lettin' the oxen haul off all them stubborn logs by main force,

we're goin' to ask you to set up on the bank and smile at the

jam. 'Land! she can do it!' says Ike a minute ago. 'When Rose

starts smilin',' he says, 'there ain't a jam nor a bung in me

that don't melt like wax and jest float right off same as the

logs do when they get into quiet, sunny water.'"

Rose blushed and laughed, and drove up the hill to Mite

Shapley's, where she put up the horse and waited till the men had

eaten their luncheon. The drivers slept and had breakfast and

supper at the Billings house, a mile down river, but for several

years Mrs. Wiley had furnished the noon meal, sending it down

piping hot on the stroke of twelve. The boys always said that up

or down the whole length of the Saco there was no such cooking as

the Wileys', and much of this praise was earned by Rose's

serving. It was the old grandmother who burnished the tin plates

and dippers till they looked like silver; for crotchety and

sharp-tongued as she was--she never allowed Rose to spoil her

hands with soft soap and sand: but it was Rose who planned and

packed, Rose who hemmed squares of old white tablecloths and

sheets to line the baskets and keep things daintily separate,

Rose, also, whose tarts and cakes were the pride and admiration

of church sociables and sewing societies.

Where could such smoking pots of beans be found? A murmur of

ecstatic approval ran through the crowd when the covers were

removed. Pieces of sweet home-fed pork glistened like varnished

mahogany on the top of the beans, and underneath were such deeps

of fragrant juice as come only from slow fires and long, quiet

hours in brick ovens. Who else could steam and bake such mealy

leaves of brown bread, brown as plum-pudding, yet with no

suspicion of sogginess? Who such soda-biscuits, big, feathery,

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