The Girl at the Halfway House eBook

Emerson Hough
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 250 pages of information about The Girl at the Halfway House.
under different flags, sometimes perhaps more luxurious, but nevertheless punctiliously neat, even when Fortune had left him servantless, as had happened now.  Colonel Battersleigh as he wrote now and then looked out of the open door.  His vision reached out, not across a wilderness of dirty roads, nor along a line of similar tents.  There came to his ear no neighing of horses nor shouting of the captains, neither did there arise the din of the busy, barren city.  He gazed out upon a sweet blue sky, unfretted by any cloud.  His eye crossed a sea of faintly waving grasses.  The liquid call of a mile-high mysterious plover came to him.  In the line of vision from the tent door there could be seen no token of a human neighbourhood, nor could there be heard any sound of human life.  The canvas house stood alone and apart.  Battersleigh gazed out of the door as he folded his letter.  “It’s grand, just grand,” he said.  And so he turned comfortably to the feeding of his mice, which nibbled at his fingers intimately, as had many mice of many lands with Battersleigh.

CHAPTER V

THE TURNING OF THE ROAD

At the close of the war Captain Edward Franklin returned to a shrunken world.  The little Illinois village which had been his home no longer served to bound his ambitions, but offered only a mill-round of duties so petty, a horizon of opportunities so restricted, as to cause in his mind a feeling of distress equivalent at times to absolute abhorrence.  The perspective of all things had changed.  The men who had once seemed great to him in this little world now appeared in the light of a wider judgment, as they really were—­small, boastful, pompous, cowardly, deceitful, pretentious.  Franklin was himself now a man, and a man graduated from that severe and exacting school which so quickly matured a generation of American youth.  Tall, finely built, well set up, with the self-respecting carriage of the soldier and the direct eye of the gentleman, there was a swing in his step not commonly to be found behind a counter, and somewhat in the look of his grave face which caused men to listen when he spoke.  As his hand had fitted naturally a weapon, so his mind turned naturally to larger things than those offered in these long-tilled fields of life.  He came back from the war disillusionized, irreverent, impatient, and full of that surging fretfulness which fell upon all the land.  Thousands of young men, accustomed for years to energy, activity, and a certain freedom from all small responsibility, were thrust back at once and asked to adjust themselves to the older and calmer ways of peace.  The individual problems were enormous in the aggregate.

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The Girl at the Halfway House from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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