It is now May 15th, and I have not spoken to Georgians when I’ve had a chance. She has been entirely too happy, to judge from her singing, for me to get along with under the circumstances. But this morning, as I was planting a hedge inside my fence under her window, she leaned over and said, as though nothing were wrong between us, “What are you planting?”
I have sometimes thought that Georgiana can ask more questions than Socrates.
“What do you want it to grow for?”
“My garden is too public. I wish to be protected from outsiders.”
“Would it be the same thing if I were to nail up this window? That would be so much quicker. It will be ten years before your hedge is high enough to keep me from seeing you. And even then, you know, I could move up-stairs. But I am so sorry to be an outsider.”
“I merely remarked that I was planting a hedge.”
When Georgiana spoke again her voice was lowered: “Would you open a gateway for me into your garden, to be always mine, so that I might go out and come in, and never another human soul enter it?”
Now Jacob had often begged me to cut him a private gateway on that side of the garden, so that only he might come in and go out; and I had refused, since I did not wish him to get to me so easily with his complaints. Besides, a gate once opened, who may not use it? and I was indignant that Georgiana should lightly ask anything at my hands; therefore I looked quickly and sternly up at her and said, “I will not.”
Afterwards the thought rushed over me that she had not spoken of any gateway through my garden fence, but of another one, mystical, hidden, infinitely more sacred. For her voice descended almost in a whisper, and her face, as she bent down towards me, had on it I know not what angelic expression. She seemed floating to me from heaven.
May 17th. To-day I put a little private gate through my fence under Georgiana’s window, as a sign to her. Balaam’s beast that I am! Yes, seven times more than the inspired ass.
As I passed to-day, I noticed Georgiana looking down at the gate that I made yesterday. She held a flower to her nose and eyes, but behind the leaves I detected that she was laughing.
“Good-morning!” she called to me. “What did you cut that ugly hole in your fence for?”
“That’s not an ugly hole. That’s a little private gateway.”
“But what’s the little private gateway for?”
“Oh, well! You don’t understand these matters. I’ll tell your mother.”
“My mother is too old. She no longer stoops to such things. Tell me!
“I’m dying to know!”
“What will you give me?”
“But what would the flower stand for in that case? A little pri—”