“O,” said Dakie, with significant satisfaction. “We’re getting on better. Well?”
“Do you know what Hazel Ripwinkley is doing? And what Luclarion Grapp has done? Do you know how they are going among poor people, in dreadful places,—really living among them, Luclarion is,—and finding out, and helping, and showing how? I thought of that to-night, when they talked about living in cities and villages. Luclarion has gone away down to the very bottom of it. And somehow, one can’t feel satisfied with only reaching half-way, when one knows—and might!”
“Do you mean, Ruthie, that you and I might go and live in such places? Do you think I could take you there?”
“I don’t know, Dakie,” Ruth answered, forgetting in her earnestness, to blush or hesitate for what he said;—“but I feel as if we ought to reach down, somehow,—away down! Because that, you see, is the most. And to do only a little, in an easy way, when we are made so strong to do; wouldn’t it be a waste of power, and a missing of the meaning? Isn’t it the ‘much’ that is required of us, Dakie?”
They were under the tall hedge of the Holabird “parcel of ground,” on the Westover slope, and close to the home gates. Dakie Thayne put his arm round Ruth as she said that, and drew her to him.
“We will go and be neighbors somewhere, Ruthie. And we will make as big a Horseshoe as we can.”
Do you think I have passed her over lightly in her troubles? Or do you think I am making her out to have herself passed over them lightly?
Do you think it is hardly to be believed that she should have turned round from these shocks and pains that bore down so heavily and all at once upon her, and taken kindly to the living with old Uncle Titus and Rachel Froke in the Greenley Street house, and going down to Luclarion Grapp’s to help wash little children’s faces, and teach them how to have innocent good times? Do you think there is little making up in all that for her, while Rosamond Kincaid is happy in her new home, and Ruth and Dakie Thayne are looking out together over the world,—which can be nowhere wholly sad to them, since they are to go down into it together,—and planning how to make long arms with their wealth, to reach the largest neighborhood they can? In the first place, do you know how full the world is, all around you, of things that are missed by those who say nothing, but go on living somehow without them? Do you know how large a part of life, even young life, is made of the days that have never been lived? Do you guess how many girls, like Desire, come near something that they think they might have had, and then see it drift by just beyond their reach, to fall easily into some other hand that seems hardly put out to grasp it?
And do you see, or feel, or guess how life goes on, incompleteness and all, and things settle themselves one way, if not another, simply because the world does not stop, but keeps turning, and tossing off days and nights like time-bubbles just the same?