a new and becoming gray flannel shirt, with the soft turnover
collar that belonged to it, and a blue tie, the color of his kind
eyes. She knew that he had shaved his beard at her request not
long ago, and that when she did not like the effect as much as
she had hoped, he had meekly grown a mustache for her sake; it
did seem as if a man could hardly do more to please an exacting
And she had admired him unreservedly when he pulled off his boots
and jumped into the river to save Alcestis Crambry's life,
without giving a single thought to his own. And was there ever,
after all, such a noble, devoted, unselfish fellow, 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
"And that stout, clumsy one is Short Dennett.--What are you
"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
"There never was anything so like people," Rose repeated, leaningDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>