mothered as he was, felt all at once uncouth and awkward, rather

as if he were some clumsy lout pitchforked into the presence of a

fairy queen. He offered her the little bunch of bachelor's

buttons he held in his hand, augury of the future, had he known

it,--and she accepted them with a smile. She dropped her

memorandum; he picked it up, and she smiled again, doing still

more fatal damage than in the first instance. No words were

spoken, but Rose, even at ten, had less need of them than most of

her sex, for her dimples, aided by dancing eyes, length of

lashes, and curve of lips, quite took the place of conversation.

The dimples tempted, assented, denied, corroborated, deplored,

protested, sympathized, while the intoxicated beholder cudgeled

his brain for words or deeds which should provoke and evoke more

and more dimples.

The storekeeper hung the molasses pail over Rose's right arm and

tucked the packages under her left, and as he opened the mosquito

netting door to let her pass out she looked back at Stephen,

perched on the kerosene barrel. Just a little girl, a little

glance, a little dimple, and Stephen was never quite the same

again. The years went on, and the boy became man, yet no other

image had ever troubled the deep, placid waters of his heart.

Now, after many denials, the hopes and longings of his nature had

been answered, and Rose had promised to marry him. He would

sacrifice his passion for logging and driving in the future, and

become a staid farmer and man of affairs, only giving himself a

river holiday now and then. How still and peaceful it was under

the trees, and how glad his mother would be to think that the old

farm would wake from its sleep, and a woman's light foot be heard

in the sunny kitchen!

Heaven was full of silent stars, and there was a moonglade on the

water that stretched almost from him to Rose. His heart embarked

on that golden pathway and sailed on it to the farther shore.

The river was free of logs, and under the light of the moon it

shone like a silver mirror. The soft wind among the fir branches

breathed Rose's name; the river, rippling against the shore,

sang, "Rose;" and as Stephen sat there dreaming of the future,

his dreams, too, could have been voiced in one word, and that

word " Rose."


The autumn days flew past like shuttles in a loom. The river

reflected the yellow foliage of the white birch and the scarlet

of the maples. The wayside was bright with goldenrod, with the

red tassels of the sumac, with the purple frost-flower and

feathery clematis.

If Rose was not as happy as Stephen, she was quietly content, and

felt that she had more to be grateful for than most girls, for

Stephen surprised her with first one evidence and then another of

thoughtful generosity. In his heart of hearts he felt that Rose

was not wholly his, that she reserved, withheld something; and it

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