intoxicating that he went immediately to Portland, and bought, in

a kind of secret penitence for his former fears, a pale pink-flowered

wall-paper for the bedroom in the new home. It had once been voted

down by the entire advisory committee. Mrs. Wiley said pink was

foolish and was always sure to fade; and the border, being a mass of

solid roses, was five cents a yard, virtually a prohibitive

price. Mr. Wiley said he "should hate to hev a spell of sickness

an' lay abed in a room where there was things growin' all over

the place." He thought "rough-plastered walls, where you could

lay an' count the spots where the roof leaked, was the most

entertainin' in sickness." Rose had longed for the lovely

pattern, but had sided dutifully with the prudent majority, so

that it was with a feeling of unauthorized and illegitimate joy

that Stephen papered the room at night, a few strips at a time.

On the third evening, when he had removed all signs of his work,

he lighted two kerosene lamps and two candles, finding the

effect, under this illumination, almost too brilliant and

beautiful for belief. Rose should never see it now, he

determined, until the furniture was in place. They had already

chosen the kitchen and bedroom things, though they would not be

needed for some months; but the rest was to wait until summer,

when there would be the hay-money to spend.

Stephen did not go back to the River Farm till one o'clock that

night; the pink bedroom held him in fetters too powerful to

break. It looked like the garden of Eden, he thought. To be

sure, it was only fifteen feet square; Eden might have been a

little larger, possibly, but otherwise the pink bedroom had every

advantage. The pattern of roses growing on a frellis was

brighter than any flower-bed in June; and the border--well, if

the border had been five dollars a foot Stephen would not have

grudged the money when he saw the twenty running yards of rosy

bloom rioting under the white ceiling.

Before he blew out the last light he raised it high above his

head and took one fond, final look. "It's the only place I ever

saw," he thought, "that is pretty enough for her. She will look

just as if she was growing here with all the other flowers, and I

shall always think of it as the garden of Eden. I wonder, if I

got the license and the ring and took her by surprise, whether

she'd be married in June instead of August? I could be all ready

if I could only persuade her."

At this moment Stephen touched the summit of happiness; and it is

a curious coincidence that as he was dreaming in his garden of

Eden, the serpent, having just arrived at Edgewood, was sleeping

peacefully at the house of Mrs. Brooks.

It was the serpent's fourth visit that season, and he explained

to inquiring friends that his former employer had sold the

business, and that the new management, while reorganizing, had

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