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Waking from your wandering upon Venetian shore,
Finding still your banjo-but the gondola no more!
Long and blowing tresses,
Grecian flowing dresses,

All are swept away among the tangled water-cresses.
And you seem to hear the poling as your sweetheart glides

away Down that golden path of moonlight, and you're left in glaring day. But as long as there is music and you have your old guitar, You have Venice and the gondola and your beloved afar!

Marguerite Jenkins.




Sunday Night, June Eighth.



BEYING the orders of Dr. Stebb, of my distinguished grandmother, and of yourself, after a weary day of traveling upward over rocky roads, I find myself in the old, old brick house in which my grandmother was born.

Since I am so weak and tired from the trip, perhaps I am not unprejudiced enough as yet to judge, but why on earth, I wonder, did you send me here to recover my health? Of course, the air will undoubtedly be very beneficial-but the loneliness of it, Martha! This ghostly-looking old house perched on the only level spot between these high peaks, separated from the road by a moss-grown stone wall, and overlooking the gray headstones which mark the family graveyard surely you must have forgotten that last detail when you sent me here!

And then these tenants who are living in the old house. They are good, simple, mountain people, I know; and I can see that they are going to be very kind to me— -for the sake of my grandmother, no doubt. I fear her homesick and heartsick granddaughter has not yet made a very favorable impression-these people would doubtless be very interesting to an author who would enjoy studying their characters, but I confess that they do not interest me particularly.

However, my first impressions are probably rather unfavorable, because, as I say, I am tired and not at all well. When I have rested a day or two and bave been here long enough to become accustomed to the place and to realize that the mountains are not really going to fall on me as they seem to threaten to do every minute now, I shall probably like well enough for me to

write a much more cheerful letter and to thank each of you for sending me here. I have at least the example of my grandmother's life to encourage me. Knowing that she lived here, loved the place, and often came back for inspiration and comfort when later years brought their cares and problems; and knowing that she always seemed to acquire serenity of spirit after her visits here, will cause me to hope to achieve the same results. The almost all-possessing desire to learn the secret of her poise, her peace of mind in the face of hardships which even her later years of fame and success did not totally dispel was, after all, the reason why I consented so readily to come here. Trying to find it will give me something to live for! I shall write again in a few days. Good night.


June the Tenth.

In order that I might find something pleasant to write about, I have waited several days. At first, I thought I should go wild. The mountains, dark and hovering, seemed to shut me in, to choke me. The loneliness oppressed me dreadfully. All day yesterday, I saw only three people pass-two mountain women walking by, and a man riding horseback on his way to the mill. The view I could see from my window-the winding road, the high peaks, the grass-grown graveyard-was so depressing that I decided I could not stand the sight any longer. So I went out and tried to walk about slowly. My one idea was to get as far as possible away from the dreary old house and the oppressing hills.

Hoping to find a change of scene, I followed the road upward, although was too weak for even its gradual rise. Since I soon began to get very tired, I had started to look for a place to rest when a turn in the road brought me before the quaintest, most picturesque little house I have even seen. Perched on the side of the road, mellowed with age, overrun by an old-fashioned rambler in full bloom, its little garden full of pink hollyhocks, standing up straight and tall, it looked like a dream house or a shrine. I instantly forgot my fatigue and low spirits, and ran

to it. On an impulse, I walked through the little gate, up the flower-bordered walk, and stopped before the open door, intending to knock, when to my surprise I saw that it was uninhabited. Stepping inside, I noticed that the room, though a little dusty, was not dilapidated as those of most deserted houses usually are. Within the little low-pitched room there was a crude stone fireplace, a table, and some empty bookshelves-nothing else. I could see a stairway leading to an upper room, but I was too tired to climb it.

Passing out again into the little garden, I sank down upon the doorstep, where I could touch the blooms of the rambler and looked off into the distance. For the first time since I reached here I saw a view that was really inspiring-blue peak after blue peak in the distance, far away the villages of the plain, and, near at hand, slopes covered with corn and fruitful orchards.

I am back now, but I am not so despondent as I was. That walk did me good. But this gloomy house of my ancestors seems doubly gruesome since I have been on the heights. Much love


to you.


July the First.

I write you from my new headquarters—the little log cabin at the turn in the road. Although the inhabitants of my ancestral home doubtless looked down on the dwellers in my humble little house, yet I prefer it to that gloomy pile of brick with its weird surroundings. No wonder that graveyard is well-filled! If I had not found this little retreat, I think I, too, should have soon been gathered there with my fathers.

As soon as I have had my breakfast, I set out for it with a sandwich in my pocket and a book in my hand; and here I stay sometimes until late in the afternoon, reading or writing or simply sitting still, looking out over the hills until the sun goes down. Here of late, since I have been feeling much stronger, I have been dusting the interior, weeding the little garden, even

transplanting wild ferns here from the mountain side. To be sure, it needs nothing to add to its charm, but I feel that I want to do something for it in return for the peace it has brought me.

By the way, Martha, it is really very strange that a deserted cabin should stay in almost perfect condition, isn't it? At first, I did not think much about it—I was too weak and discouraged— but now I often wonder if there is not some one who cares for it, unknown to anybody. Nothing is out of repair; the gate and the little fence have not a picket missing; the house has not a single sagging door, although it is very old. The grounds are not grown up in weeds or bushes. Who tends the flowers? Who keeps the house in repair? Yesterday I saw a new shingle on the roof at the back of the house in place of one which had rotted and fallen off. Surely there is a mystery here! Well, I should like to know, but as long as he or she will allow me to roam about and to dream over the house, I shall not try to fathom it.

July the Eighteenth.

Martha, Doctor Stebb was here yesterday and pronounced me well enough to return home. So I start to-morrow; but, do you know, I actually hate to leave the place which seemed so dreadful to me at first! This land of my grandmother-it is a wonderful land. I think I understand now the secret of her remarkable poise and peace of mind. No one could stay here long without gaining some insight into things as they are, without seeing some vision. The mountains are inspiring. But more than anything else to me has been the uplifting force of that little house of dreams.

I think I know why now. This morning after I had packed my bags, I went up there for one last look at its yellowed sides, its rambling roses, its prim little flowers, and the wonderful view from the doorstep. I was earlier than usual; for I had a desire to see the flowers and the grasses with the dew on them.

Just as I entered the gate, I was rather startled to see an old, gray-haired mountaineer with a flowing white beard and with

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