boyish heart went out to her on the instant. She poured a cup of

coffee and walked with it to the table; then an unexpected,

interesting thing happened--something the boy ought not 'to

have seen, and never forgot. The man, putting out his hand to

take the cup, looked up at the pretty woman with a smile, and she

stooped and kissed him.

Stephen was fifteen. As he looked, on the instant he became a

man, with a man's hopes, desires, ambitions. He looked eagerly,

hungrily, and the scene burned itself on the sensitive plate of

his young heart, so that, as he grew older, he could take the

picture out in the dark, from time to time, and look at it again.

When he first met Rose, he did not know precisely what she was to

mean to him; but before long, when he closed his eyes and the old

familiar picture swam into his field of vision, behold, by some

spiritual chemistry, the pretty woman's face had given place to

that of Rose!

All such teasing visions had been sternly banished during this

sorrowful summer, and it was a thoughtful, sober Stephen who

drove along the road on this mellow August morning. The dust was

deep; the goldenrod waved its imperial plumes, making the humble

waysides gorgeous; the river chattered and sparkled till it met

the logs at the Brier Neighorhood, and then, lapsing into

silence, flowed steadily under them till it found a vent for its

spirits in the dashing and splashing of the falls.

Haying was over; logging was to begin that day; then harvesting;

then wood-cutting; then eternal successions of plowing, sowing,

reaping, haying, logging, harvesting, and so on, to the endless

end of his days. Here and there a red or a yellow branch,

painted only yesterday, caught his eye and made him shiver. He

was not ready for winter; his heart still craved the summer it

had missed.

Hello! What was that? Corn-stalks prone on the earth? Sign

torn down and lying flat in the grass? Blinds open, fire in the

chimney?

He leaped from the wagon, and, hinging the reins to Alcestis

Crambry, said, "Stay right here out of sight, and don't you move

till I call you!" and striding up the green pathway, hung open

the kitchen door.

A forest of corn waving in the doorway at the back,

morning-glories clambering round and round the window-frames,

table with shining white cloth, kettle humming and steaming,

something bubbling in a pan on the stove, fire throwing out sweet

little gleams of welcome through the open damper. All this was

taken in with one incredulous, rapturous twinkle of an eye; but

something else, too: Rose of all roses, Rose of the river, Rose

of the world, standing behind a chair, her hand pressed against

her heart, her lips parted, her breath coming and going! She was

glowing like a jewel, glowing with the extraordinary brilliancy

that emotion gives to some women. She used to be happy in a gay,

sparkling way, like the shallow part of the stream as it chotters

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