“And so she got me through those years,” he said. “Those nip-and-tuck years that followed. By her lie.
“Insanity is a queer thing,” he went on, still brooding into the light. “There’s more of it about than we’re apt to think. It works in so many ways. In hobbies, arts, philosophies. Music is a kind of insanity. I know. I’ve got mine penned up in the music now, and I think I can keep it there now, and save my soul.”
“Yes, mine. I know now—now that it’s safe for me to know. I was down at that village by the beach a year or so ago. I’m a Kain, of course, one of the crazy Kains, after all. John Sanderson was born in the village and lived there till his death. Only once that folks could remember had he been away, and that was when he took some papers to the city for Mrs. Kain to sign. He was caretaker at the old ‘Kain place’ the last ten years of his life, and deaf, they said, since his tenth year—’deaf as a post.’ And they told me something else. They said there was a story that before my father, Daniel, married her, my mother had been an actress. An actress! You’ll understand that I needed no one to tell me that!
“They told me that they had heard a story that she was a great actress. Dear God, if they could only know! When I think of that night and that setting, that scene! It killed her, and it got me over the wall—”
By BEN AMES WILLIAMS
From Saturday Evening Post
I telephoned down the hill to Hazen Kinch. “Hazen,” I asked, “are you going to town to-day?”
“Yes, yes,” he said abruptly in his quick, harsh fashion. “Of course I’m going to town.”
“I’ve a matter of business,” I suggested.
“Come along,” he invited brusquely. “Come along.”
There was not another man within forty miles to whom he would have given that invitation.
“I’ll be down in ten minutes,” I promised him; and I went to pull on my Pontiacs and heavy half boots over them and started downhill through the sandy snow. It was bitterly cold; it had been a cold winter. The bay—I could see it from my window—was frozen over for a dozen miles east and west and thirty north and south; and that had not happened in close to a score of years. Men were freighting across to the islands with heavy teams. Automobiles had beaten a rough road along the course the steamers took in summer. A man who had ventured to stock one of the lower islands with foxes for the sake of their fur, counting on the water to hold them prisoners, had gone bankrupt when his stock in trade escaped across the ice. Bitterly cold and steadily cold, and deep snow lay upon the hills, blue-white in the distance. The evergreens were blue-black blotches on this whiteness. The birches, almost indistinguishable, were like trees in camouflage. To me the hills are never so grand as in this winter coat they wear. It is easy to believe that a brooding God dwells upon them. I wondered as I ploughed my way down to Hazen Kinch’s farm whether God did indeed dwell among these hills; and I wondered what He thought of Hazen Kinch.