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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Seventeen.

          “Oh, I love my love in the morning
               And I love my love at night,
          I love my love in the dawning,
               And when the stars are bright. 
          Some may love the sunshine,
               Others may love the dew. 
          Some may love the raindrops,
               But I love only you-oo-oo! 
                    By the stars up above
                    It is you I luh-HUV! 
               Yes, I love own-lay you!”

They sang it four times; then Mr. Bullitt sang his solo, “Tell her, O Golden Moon, how I Adore her,” William following with “The violate loves the cowslip, but I love yew,” and after that they all sang, “Oh, I love my love in the morning,” again.

All this while that they sang of love, Mr. Parcher was moving to and fro upon his bed, not more than eighteen feet in an oblique upward-slanting line from the heads of the serenaders.  Long, long he tossed, listening to the young voices singing of love; long, long he thought of love, and many, many times he spoke of it aloud, though he was alone in the room.  And in thus speaking of it, he would give utterance to phrases and words probably never before used in connection with love since the world began.

His thoughts, and, at intervals, his mutterings, continued to be active far into the night, long after the callers had gone, and though his household and the neighborhood were at rest, with never a katydid outside to rail at the waning moon.  And by a coincidence not more singular than most coincidences, it happened that at just about the time he finally fell asleep, a young lady at no great distance from him awoke to find her self thinking of him.

XI

BEGINNING A TRUE FRIENDSHIP

This was Miss Jane Baxter.  She opened her eyes upon the new-born day, and her first thoughts were of Mr. Parcher.  That is, he was already in her mind when she awoke, a circumstance to be accounted for on the ground that his conversation, during her quiet convalescence in his library, had so fascinated her that in all likelihood she had been dreaming of him.  Then, too, Jane and Mr. Parcher had a bond in common, though Mr. Parcher did not know it.  Not without result had William repeated Miss Pratt’s inquiry in Jane’s hearing:  “Who is that curious child?” Jane had preserved her sang-froid, but the words remained with her, for she was one of those who ponder and retain in silence.

She thought almost exclusively of Mr. Parcher until breakfast-time, and resumed her thinking of him at intervals during the morning.  Then, in the afternoon, a series of quiet events not unconnected with William’s passion caused her to think of Mr. Parcher more poignantly than ever; nor was her mind diverted to a different channel by another confidential conversation with her mother.  Who can say, then, that it was not by design that she came face to face with Mr. Parcher on the public highway at about five o’clock that afternoon?  Everything urges the belief that she deliberately set herself in his path.

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