October Vagabonds eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about October Vagabonds.
there, that beautiful child-woman in the solitude?  By what caprice of the strange law of the distribution of fair faces had she come to flower in this particular waste place of the earth?—­for her face had surely come a long way, been blown blossom-wise on some far wandering wind, from realms of old beauty and romance, and it had the exiled look of all beautiful things.  Could she be a plain farmer’s daughter, indigenous to that stubborn soil?  No, surely she was not that, and yet—­how had she come to be there?  But these were questions we could not put to the schoolmarm.  We could only ask our road, and the prosaic possibilities of lunch in the neighbourhood, and go on our way.  Nor could I press that rose among the pages of my book—­but, as I write, I wonder if it is still making sweet that desolate spot, and still studying irrelevant geography in the silence of the hills.

However, we did learn something about our young human rose at a farmhouse a mile or so farther on.  While a motherly housewife prepared us some lunch, all a-bustle with expectancy of an imminent inroad of harvesters due to thresh the corn, and liable to eat all before them, a sprightly young daughter, who attended the same school, and whom we had told about our call at the schoolhouse, entertained us with girlish gossip of the neighbourhood.  So we learned that our fancies had not been so far wrong, but that our beautiful young face had indeed come from as far as France, the orphaned child of a French sailor and an English mother, come over the seas for a home with a farmer uncle near by.  Strange are the destinies of beautiful faces.  All the way from France to Pine Creek!  Poor little world-wandered rose!

And while we ate our lunch, the mother had a sad, beautiful story of a dead son and a mother’s tears to tell us, too sacred to tell again.  How many beautiful faces there are hidden about the world, and how many beautiful sad stories hidden in the broken hearts of mothers!

CHAPTER XXII

CONCERNING THE POPULAR TASTE IN SCENERY AND SOME HAPPY PEOPLE

We had somewhat scorned the idea of Watkins, as being one of Nature’s show-places.  In fact, Watkins Glen is, so to say, so nationally beautiful as latterly to have received a pension from the Government of the United States, which now undertakes the conservation of its fantastic chasms and waterfalls.  Some one—­I am inclined to think it was myself—­once said that he never wished to go to Switzerland, because he feared that the Alps would be greasy with being climbed.  I think it is clear what he meant.  To one who loves Nature for himself, has his own discovering eyes for her multiform and many-mooded beauty, it is distasteful to have some excursionist effect of spectacular scenery labelled and thrust upon him with a showman’s raptures; and, in revulsion from the hypocritical admiration of the vulgar, he turns to the less obvious and less melodramatic beauty of

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October Vagabonds from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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