The pin stopped; there was a puzzled look in her face.
“I’m afraid it’s a very homely dress, anyway,” said she, looking down upon it, as she moved her foot impatiently.
Her mother came out of doors. “Polly,” said she, “you’d better go over to the post-office.”
“May I go with her?” Trove inquired.
“Ask Polly,” said the widow Vaughn, laughing.
“May I?” he asked.
Polly turned away smiling. “If you care to,” said she, in a low voice.
“You must hurry and not be after dark,” said the widow.
They went away, but only the moments hurried. They that read here, though their heads be gray and their hearts heavy, will understand; for they will remember some little space of time, with seconds flashing as they went, like dust of diamonds in the hour-glass.
“Don’t you remember how you came in the little red sleigh?” she asked presently.
“I think it’s very grand,” said she. “It’s so much like a story.”
“Do you read stories?”
“All I can get. I’ve been reading ‘Greytower.’”
“I read it last winter,” said the boy. “What did you like best in it?”
“I’m ashamed to tell you,” said she, with a quick glance at him.
“Please tell me.”
“Oh, the love scenes, of course,” said she, looking down with a sigh, and a little hesitation.
“He was a fine lover.”
“I’ve something in my eye,” said she, stopping.
“Perhaps I can get it,” said he; “let me try.”
“I’m afraid you’ll hurt me,” said she, looking up with a smile.
“I’ll be careful.”
He lifted her face a little, his fingers beneath her pretty chin. Then, taking her long, dark lashes between thumb and finger, he opened the lids.
“You are hurting,” said she, soberly; and now the lashes were trying to pull free.
“I can see it,” said he.
“It must be a bear—you look so frightened.”
“It’s nothing to be afraid of,” said the boy.
“Well, your hands tremble,” said she, laughing.
“There,” he answered, removing a speck of dust with his handkerchief.
“It is gone now, thank you,” said Polly, winking.
She stood close to him, and as she spoke her lips trembled. He could delay no longer with a subject knocking at the gate of speech.
“Do you believe in love at first sight?” he asked.
She turned, looking up at him seriously. Her lips parted in a smile that showed her white teeth. Then her glance fell. “I shall not tell you that,” said she, in a half whisper.
“I hope we shall meet again,” he said,
“Do you?” said she, glancing up at him shyly.
“Well, if I were you and wanted to see a girl,—I’d—I’d come and see her.”
“What if you didn’t know whether she was willing or not?” he asked.