Something; but very likely not the thing you have seen, or dreamed of; something quite different, it may be, when it comes; and it may come by the way of losing, first, all that you have been able yet, with a vague, whispering hope, to imagine.
The things we do not know! The things that are happening,—the things that are coming; rising up in the eastward of our lives below the horizon that we can yet see; it may be a star, it may be a cloud!
Desire Ledwith could not see that out at Westover, this cheery winter night, it was one of dear Miss Pennington’s “Next Thursdays;” she could not see that the young architect, living away over there in the hundred-year-old house on the side of East Hill, a boarder with old Miss Arabel Waite, had been found, and appreciated, and drawn into their circle by the Haddens and the Penningtons and the Holabirds and the Inglesides; and that Rosamond was showing him the pleasant things in their Westover life,—her “swan’s nest among the reeds,” that she had told him of,—that early autumn evening, when they had walked up Hanley Street together.
Spring came on early, with heavy rains and freshets in many parts of the country.
It was a busy time at Z——.
Two things had happened there that were to give Kenneth Kincaid more work, and would keep him where he was all summer.
Just before he went to Z——, there had been a great fire at West Hill. All Mr. Roger Marchbanks’s beautiful place was desolate. House, conservatories, stables, lovely little vine-covered rustic buildings, exquisitely tended shrubbery,—all swept over in one night by the red flames, and left lying in blackness and ashes.
For the winter, Mr. Marchbanks had taken his family to Boston; now he was planning eagerly to rebuild. Kenneth had made sketches; Mr. Marchbanks liked his ideas; they had talked together from time to time. Now, the work was actually in hand, and Kenneth was busy with drawings and specifications.
Down at the river, during the spring floods, a piece of the bridge had been carried away, and the dam was broken through. There were new mill buildings, too, going up, and a block of factory houses. All this business, through Mr. Marchbanks directly or indirectly, fell also into Kenneth’s hands.
He wrote blithe letters to Dorris; and Dorris, running in and out from her little spring cleanings that Hazel was helping her with, told all the letters over to the Ripwinkleys.
“He says I must come up there in my summer vacation and board with his dear old Miss Waite. Think of Kentie’s being able to give me such a treat as that! A lane, with ferns and birches, and the woods,—pine woods!—and a hill where raspberries grow, and the river!”