Life is a poor thing at times. And it is never so poor as when you think a friend has failed you. There was nothing on earth that could have made me believe Billy would ever fail me when we had known each other since children, and he had saved my life three or four times; but how can I help believing it when he is letting a perfectly ordinary, straight-haired, large-footed girl from the West make him forget that I am living and spending the summer in Twickenham Town? If he had not forgotten, would he not write? He would. I am miserable and I will never be happy until I can say some things to William Spencer Sloane that he ought to hear. But I’m trying to keep my miserableness to myself. People aren’t interested in other people’s miseries. I wonder if I will ever again get a letter from Billy!
It is a perfectly magnificent thing to be alive! And this world is a perfectly glorious place to be alive in! There isn’t a bird in Twickenham Town that isn’t singing to-day, or a flower that isn’t blooming, and, owing to the rain last night, the dust is laying. As for the sun—there couldn’t be a more shining one, and the sky is a blue so gorgeous that it seems heaven turned inside out, and in the air is the snap of coolness that makes one want to walk and walk and walk, and its crispness means fall is coming. I love the fall. I can’t think of anything I do not love to-day except Elizabeth Hamilton Carter and Grandmother Brandon, and I don’t exactly abhor them. I just don’t like them, and prefer to stay out of their way. But everybody else in town is a dear, and I wish I knew I was coming back next summer. That is—
It doesn’t matter what is or what isn’t. The thing that matters is that this morning I went to the post-office, as usual, but, what was not as usual, I got what I had long been looking for, and which had come not for endless, endless days. When I saw the big batch of letters and things from Billy, and knew that all my fears were at an end, I was so excited I could not speak without signs that shouldn’t show, and, lest some one stop me, I put the mail inside my shirt-waist and hopped on Skylark and flew out of town.
I didn’t stop until I got to a big chestnut-tree about three miles from Rose Hill, and there I took off Skylark’s bridle and let her have all the grass she could eat, and then I sat down and sorted the letters out. There were four from Billy and twelve cards and two packages, and at first I couldn’t understand why they had been held up, why I hadn’t gotten them before; and then I saw they were postmarked from the same place, and had been mailed within three days of one another. That puzzled me, so I decided to open them and find out what was the matter—whether it was the Western girl or something else.