a bit of an angel, too, with healing in her wings. When and how

had this metamorphosis come about? Last summer the fragile

brier-rose had hung over the river and looked at its pretty

reflection in the placid surface of the water. Its few buds and

blossoms were so lovely, it sighed for nothing more. The changes

in the plant had been wrought secretly and silently. In some

mysterious way, as common to soul as to plant life, the roots had

gathered in more nourishment from the earth, they had stored up

strength and force, and all at once there was a marvelous

fructifying of the plant, hardiness of stalk, new shoots

everywhere, vigorous leafage, and a shower of blossoms.

But everything was awry: Boston was a failure; Claude was a

weakling and a flirt; her turquoise ring was lying on the

riverbank; Stephen did not love her any longer; her flower-beds

were plowed up and planted in corn; and the cottage that Stephen

had built and she had furnished, that beloved cottage, was to


She was in Boston; but what did that amount to, after all? What

was the State House to a bleeding heart, or the Old South Church

to a pride wounded like hers?

At last she fell asleep, but it was only by stopping her ears to

the noises of the city streets and making herself imagine the

sound of the river rippling under her bedroom windows at home.

The back yards of Boston faded, and in their place came the banks

of the Saco, strewn with pine needles, fragrant with wild

flowers. Then there was the bit of sunny beach, where Stephen

moored his boat. She could hear the sound of his paddle. Boston

lovers came a-courting in the horse-cars, but hers had floated

down stream to her just at dusk in a birch-bark canoe, or

sometimes, in the moonlight, on a couple of logs rafted together.

But it was all over now, and she could see only Stephen's stern

face as he flung the despised turquoise ring down the river bank.


It was early in August when Mrs. Wealthy Brooks announced her

speedy return from Boston to Edgewood.

"It's jest as well Rose is comin' back," said Mr. Wiley to his

wife. "I never favored her goin' to Boston, where that rosyposy

Claude feller is. When he was down here he was kep' kind o' tied

up in a boxstall, but there he's caperin' loose round the


"I should think Rose would be ashamed to come back, after the way

she's carried on," remarked Mrs. Wiley, "but if she needed

punishment I guess she's got it bein' comp'ny-keeper to Wealthy

Ann Brooks. Bein' a church member in good an' reg'lar standin',

I s'pose Wealthy Ann'll go to heaven, but I can only say that it

would be a sight pleasanter place for a good many if she didn't."

"Rose has be'n foolish an' flirty an' wrong-headed," allowed her

grandfather; "but it won't do no good to treat her like a

hardened criminile, same's you did afore she went away. She

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