“Ain’t he splendid looking?” said she with the beads.
Ruth Tole had opened the door, and they were now observing the street and those who were passing in it.
“One of these days there’ll be some tall love-making up there at the Widow Vaughn’s,” said she that was called Lize.
“Like to be behind the door”—this from her with the beads.
“I wouldn’t,” said the sister Serene.
“No, you wouldn’t!”
“I’d rather be up next to the young man.” A merry laugh, and then a sigh from the sister Lize, who looked a bit dreamy and began to tickle her head with a knitting-needle.
“What are you sighing for?” said she with the beads,
“Oh, well,” said the other, yawning, “it makes me think o’ the time when I was a girl.”
“Look! there’s Jeanne Brulet,”—it was a quick whisper.
They gathered close and began to shake their heads and frown. Now, indeed, they were as the Fates of old.
“Look at her clothes,” another whispered.
“They’re better than I can wear. I’d like to know where she gets the money.”
Then a look from one to the other—a look of fateful import, soon to travel far, and loose a hundred tongues. That moment the bowl was broken, but the weird sisters knew not the truth.
She that was called Lize, put up her knitting and rose from her chair.
“There’s work waiting for me at home,” said she.
“No; I’m working on a shroud.”
The Law’s Approval
Trove had come to Hillsborough that very hour he passed the Golden Spool. In him a touch of dignity had sobered the careless eye of youth. He was, indeed, a comely young man, his attire fashionable, his form erect. Soon he was on the familiar road to Robin’s Inn. There was now a sprinkle of yellow in the green valley; wings of azure and of gray in the sunlight; a scatter of song in the silence. High on distant hills, here and there, was a little bank of snow. These few dusty rags were all that remained of the great robe of winter. Men were sowing and planting. In the air was an odour of the harrowed earth, and up in the hills a shout of greeting came out of field or garden as Trove went by.
It was a walk to remember, and when he had come near the far side of Pleasant Valley he could see Polly waving her hand to him at the edge of the maple grove.
“Supper is waiting,” said she, merrily, as she came to meet him. “There’s blueberries, and biscuit, and lots of nice things.”
“I’m hungry,” said be; “but first, dear, let us enjoy love and kisses.”
Then by the lonely road he held her close to him, and each could feel the heart-beat of the other; and for quite a moment speech would have been most idle and inadequate.
“Now the promise, Polly,” said he soon. “I go not another step until I have your promise to be my wife.”