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A Rose-Garden Story

By R. McD. DANIELS

T

HE house stood far back from surrounded by a hedge, stood in

the street. It was of the the centre; over the top even before

plain, substantial type, built one entered, one could see the roses three-quarters of a century ago,

a century ago, nodding. Here was a bed of portuwhen houses were not erected in a laca, there one of pansies, around day. The steps leading to the front the tall protecting hedge the leaves door were of stone and low and easy of the lilies-of-the-valley grew. Cutof ascent, and on either side were leaf birches and tall apple trees tall pillars supporting the roof of made a grateful shade and the wind the porch. On the right was a nar- sounded through the evergreens row balcony, overgrown with purple even on the hottest day. clematis which showed through its Further on

was

the asparagus broad leaves the iron framework of bed, now tall and feathery and full the railing. At the left was a wing of wondrous places for the game of and here on the porch and broad Hide-and-Seek. The vegetable garstone steps the young people were den was to the left,--potatoes and wont to gather of an evening and corn and tomatoes, the red of these sing college songs. The clematis and of the currants, whose bushes grew here also, and on either side surrounded the garden, giving color tall ferns reached up after the climb- to the scene. A fairy-land for chiling vine. The walk stretched in a dren, a trysting-place for youths semi-circular path to the two gates, and maidens, a garden sweet with enclosing in its curve a broad grass saddest memories for the old. plot where not a weed dared to But the woman upstairs was not raise its head under the watchful thinking now of the garden. A card eye of the gardener.

had been brought to her and she Among the many trees in the had read the name with a tremor yard, stood two elms, one at the left, she could not control. rising tall and stately above the “I will be down directly,” she house, its trunk covered with cling- said; and her voice, as she answered ing ivy; the other by the road, di- the maid, seemed distant and full of rectly in front, with branches droop- strange tones. She sat still for a ing almost to the ground. They moment after

he maid had gone, were the guardians of the place, the looking at the card. Why had he centenarians who held the rule. come? It had been many years

Back of the house, shale paths led since she had seen him. How would gently down a decline to a garden it be to see this man again? The where by circuitous ways one wan- joy of it-or was it the pain ?-made dered into unexpected nooks and her catch her breath. tiny summer-houses. A rose-garden, They had grown up together, he

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and she; as children they had made "Ah, this is good!" he said, as her mud-pies in the garden, and by mar- eyes welcomed him. velous Aights of the imagination had “But not one bit natural," she seen Oberon and Titania enthroned laughed. “Why did I not hear you under the lily leaves, or watched whistle as you came in? And to the winged horse, Pegasus, shoot think of finding you in the parlor like an arrow through the air. instead of on the side porch in the

Later, seated together under the old rocker!” trees, they had told each other of "Is it there yet?" he interrupted their future and dreamed strange eagerly. dreams; and then, waking to the "Indeed it is," and she led the realities of life, had played “Mum- way. bley Peg," or raced together to the "Yes," he said, carefully examincurrant bushes, eating until their ing the chair, “the rocker can still lips were as red as the berries them- be dislocated. O, the joy of my selves.

youth, when I arranged that chair And finally he had entered col- for the dear old pastor and then lege. What a wondrous time, those watched him apologize for breaking four years! Popular alike with pro- it!

And you have never had it fessors and students, he had been fixed! You are conservative." foremost in everything. He had "Well,” she answered, “to conbeen president of his class, leader fess; I really like to play with it in athletics, leader in the social life even yet!" as well.

And she had been given “Will you never grow up?" he a part in it all; had been always his exclaimed. "After all, you don't confidante and friend. Honors were look a day older. Are we any older, thrust upon him; prizes, coveted re- I wonder? Come, let's go into the wards; and laughing, in the flush of garden. I feel like a boy again. his victory, he had brought them all Time doesn't count the hours here, to her!

does it?" And then, one day, in the old "Not with old friends," she anrose-garden,-ah, it was not best to swered, smiling, as they walked think of that.

around the house. She rose quickly and after the "I want to run," he said boyishly, manner of woman, went to the mir- pointing to the smooth shale path. ror. There was

no time to “May I? Come!” And the maid, arrange her hair, but a deft touch looking out of the window, was here and there made a difference. scandalized to see her mistress, Then she leaned forward and sur- hand in hand with the tall stranger, veyed herself critically. Yes, she running down the walk! was no longer young. A woman at “And she did it that graceful!" thirty-five cannot expect to find soft she said to the hired man curves and rosy skin. And she came in after the milk-pail. "One sighed a little as she turned gentiy wouldn't ha' thought she was an away.

old maid." As she entered the room the man Tired and laughing and too, a little rose and came forward with hands shamed, the runners slowed into a outstretched.

walk.

re

as he

"Do you

up?”

“The currants !” exclaimed the the top with you, and 1,-of course man.

chivalrous,-followed you up. And "Oh," she answered, "I had for- then, just because the roof sloped, gotten how good they were,-and we were afraid to get down, and the apples! we must go after them.” hugging the flag-pole, shouted till

“See the Claw-tree,” he pointed the gardener came to our aid.” as they walked along.

"And have you forgotten the remember how I terrified you with pony? And the day he got loose the story of that tree? How an evil and ate a whole bushel of green spirit lived there and with his one apples before we caught him?" great awful paw would scoop you "It's a wonder he didn't die!"

ejaculated the man, "and I consider “But I never believed it!" retorted it a marvel explained only by belief the woman.

in an all-good Providence that pre"Oh, didn't you! But you were

served our own lives.plucky. How your teeth chattered They had been wandering in and that night when I dared you to out, amongst the beds and currant bring me one of the fallen leaves; bushes, plucking a flower here and and you had run so hard your there, chatting and laughing like breath was gone.

But you stoutly children as they went. Now the maintained you had not felt one path lay open before them to tremor of fear while racing alone the rose-garden. Instinctively they down the dark path. Come now, avoided it and turning off into the confess! was that the whole truth?” grass, seated themselves beneath a

"Not truth at all, if I remember tree. But the spell was broken. aright,” she responded promptly. The moment of childlike enjoyment "Dear, dear, what I had to endure and frank comradeship was over from you! Do you remember the and the boy and girl had become the day when we had an Alice-in-Won- man and woman again. derland Tea Party? I was the Hat- They tried to talk as before, but ter and you were the March Hare there was a difference. In both their and you made me take a large bite minds was a vivid picture of the out of the tea-cup! Ugh! I remem- past. Why had she sent him away? ber now how the china crackled! Somehow the question seemed anAnd it was one of mamma's best

swered now.

Sitting there in the ones,—it had to be thin to bite it, familiar garden, the roses blowing

gently over the hedge, the face of “What did we do for the dor- his old sweetheart before him, the mouse?” asked the man, "oh, the man saw clearly what she, with a kitten, of course.

There! I even woman's quick perception, had felt remember the creature.

It was

long years before,—that his love had black and yellow and you named it been a love for womanhood, not for Ginger."

a single woman, and that the deeper, “Right!" responded the woman. truer passion had not then been

"And such recollections of that touched. He wondered a little as summer-house!" he exclaimed, he watched her, the hair blowing pointing and laughing. “How about about her face, so like her old self the day you invited me to climb on and yet with a certain dignity and

you know."

“Are you

a

a

poise which the girl had lacked.

mind-reader?" he What had all these years been to asked wonderingly. her? To him they had been filled "Perhaps,” she answered, “but am with struggle and a dogged deter- I not right?" mination to conquer against heavy The eyes of the man as he looked odds. It had been a hard fight;- into hers, were filled with light. to put disappointment behind and

"God has been very good to me,” to win in a nobler way than most he said simply. men dare to attempt.

But there And the woman stretched out her had been a sort of fierce pleasure in hand with an answering smile and the battle,-and in the victory. the words, “I am glad.” Through the afternoon until the

As they walked to the house, he shadows grew long, she listened to talked of her. "She is hardly more the story of the struggle, as she than a little girl," he said, "and yet used to listen when a child to his so womanly and sweet and true fairy-tales; or, when a girl, to his withal. I met her only two years dreams of battles to be fought; lis- ago, but when I had seen her for tened as worren do listen to men, just one evening, I knew. I am too forgetful of self, mindful only for old a man to grow very enthusiastic, the life and struggle of those they perhaps, and I am practical too, and love.

practical men look at things in a "And you?" he said finally, as the matter-of-fact way. But I know story ceased.

you understand all I mean; underShe smiled little, quaintly.

, quaintly. neath the matter-of-factness, I be"Women have their battles, too," lieve in all that better part of life. she said, “but they are not interest- It is good that I am to care for her; ing and wonderful like yours. Mine and through her help I shall grow consist mainly in keeping in order continually into a better life. May sixty unruly boys and girls. But she come to see you? There is no it's given me a feeling that I'm not one whom I care to have her know quite idle in this busy world. That so much as you.” is the reason I am teaching. After And no one whom I care so much all, it is worth while to feel you are to know," the

answered of yse.”

quickly. The man nodded. “The very best thing which can come to one," he When he had gone, she went upsaid gravely.

stairs slowly, and stood gazing into She leaned forward suddenly. the garden with unseeing eyes.

“Do you know," and the tone was Darkness was falling and one could different in some peculiar way, "it hardly distinguish the outlines of the has been a very wonderful thing to rose-garden hedge. me,—this afternoon. It has proved “It has grown very dark,” she what depth our friendship had,-. said. that,—we can let that one day make Then she laughed a little and no difference with it all. I am glad shook herself. of it and I am glad of something "I am very glad," she added, and else, I think-can I not wish you turning on the light, she seated her

self to correct Latin exercises.

Woman

*

joy?"

A Chronicle of Boston Clubs

By JULIA WARD HOWE

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F we may judge by historic rec- bled ladies devoted their time to

gether in making garments for the developed at a comparatively poor. As at present existing, these early stage of life in Massachusetts. societies represent different sets of Having heard from my maternal friends who meet together for mugrandmother some mention of a tual entertainment. But little of the patriotic band of women who once sewng is done at these meetings, waited · upon

the bulk of it beWashington in

ing hired out and Revolutionary

paid for by the times, I came

members. The some scores of

principal feature years later upon

of the meeting is the fact that the

abundant and members of this

hilarious luncheon, band called them

at which many selves the Daugh

matters of private ters of Liberty.

interest are fully The society of the

discussed. The Sons of Liberty

garments are dishad been formeil

tributed among at an earlier pe

needy families riod. Little is

The sewing circle know n now oi

has a good deal of either association,

social prestige, and and we can only

its range in age is hope that they

very large, each were helpful to

circle being as far each other.

as possible conOf old fashions LATEST PORTRAIT OF JULIA WARD HOWE

temporaneous in that have not died

its composition. out, that of the Boston Sewing Cir- In the early years of my residence cle may here be mentioned. I do in Boston, I learned of a little musinot know how far back we may cal circle devoted to the performtrace this institution, nor whether ance of Mozart's vocal composiit began with a single society or tions. This was succeeded at a with several. Its intention is avow- later day by a musical club formed edly charitable, and in times long and conducted by the eminent pianpast it is probable that the assem- ist and composer, Otto Dresel. The

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