scores,--hearts, be it understood, not hands. The wounding was,

on the whole, very innocently done; and if fault could be imputed

anywhere, it might rightly have been laid at the door of the kind

powers who had made her what she was, since the smile that

blesses a single heart is always destined to break many more.

She had not a single silk gown, but she had what is far better, a

figure to show off a cotton one. Not a brooch nor a pair of

earrings was numbered among her possessions, but any ordinary

gems would have looked rather dull and trivial when compelled to

undergo comparison with her bright eyes. As to her hair, the

local milliner declared it impossible for Rose Wiley to get an

unbecoming hat; that on one occasion, being in a frolicsome mood,

Rose had tried on all the headgear in the village emporium,--

children's gingham "Shakers," mourning bonnets for aged dames,

men's haying hats and visored caps,--and she proved superior to

every test, looking as pretty as a pink in the best ones and

simply ravishing in the worst. In fact, she had been so

fashioned and finished by Nature that, had she been set on a

revolving pedestal in a show-window, the bystanders would have

exclaimed, as each new charm came into view: "Look at her

waist!" "See her shoulders!" "And her neck and chin!" "And

her hair!" While the children, gazing with raptured admiration,

would have shrieked, in unison, "I choose her for mine."

All this is as much as to say that Rose of the river was a

beauty, yet it quite fails to explain, nevertheless, the secret

of her power. When she looked her worst the spell was as potent

as when she looked her best. Hidden away somewhere was a vital

spark which warmed every one who came in contact with it. Her

lovely little person was a trifle below medium height, and it

might as well be confessed that her soul, on the morning when

Stephen Waterman saw her hanging out the clothes on the river

bank, was not large enough to be at all out of proportion; but

when eyes and dimples, lips and cheeks, enslave the onlooker, the

soul is seldom subjected to a close or critical scrutiny.

Besides, Rose Wiley was a nice girl, neat as wax, energetic,

merry, amiable, economical. She was a dutiful granddaughter to

two of the most irritating old people in the county; she never

patronized her pug-nosed, pasty-faced girl friends; she made

wonderful pies and doughnuts; and besides, small souls, if they

are of the right sort, sometimes have a way of growing, to the

discomfiture of cynics and the gratification of the angels.

So, on one bank of the river grew the brier rose, a fragile

thing, swaying on a slender stalk and looking at its pretty

reflection in the water; and on the other a sturdy pine tree,

well rooted against wind and storm. And the sturdy pine yearned

for the wild rose; and the rose, so far as it knew, yearned for

nothing at all, certainly not for rugged pine trees standing tall

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