“And the old twin fathers,” I added almost begrudgingly, as I cast him my last treasure.
Then with a laugh that I know was a line-reproduction descended from the one that Adam gave when he first recognized Eve, Pan folded me into his arms, laid his red head on my breast, and held up his lips to mine with a “love-thirst” that it took me more than a long minute to slack to the point of words.
“I knew there was one earth woman due to develop at the first decade of this century, and I’ve found her,” Pan fluted softly as he in turn took me on his breast and pressed his russet cheek against the tan of mine. “I’m going to take her off into the woods and then in a generation salvation for the nation will come forth from the forest.”
“My word is given to the Golden Bird to see his progeny safe into the world, and I must do that before—” but my words ended in a laugh as I slipped out of Pan’s arms and sprang to my feet and away from him.
“We’ll keep that faith with Mr. Bird to-night, and then I can take you with me before daylight,” said Pan as he collected his Romney bundle with his left hand and me with his right and began to pad up the path from the spring-house towards the barn under a shower of the white locust-blossoms, which were giving forth their last breath of perfume in a gorgeous volume.
“To-night?” I asked from the hollow between his breast and his arm where I was fitted and held steadily so that my steps seemed to be his steps and the breath of my lungs to come from his.
“Yes; most of the eggs were pipped when I went in the barn to put away the tools,” answered Adam, with very much less excitement than the occasion called for.
“Oh, why—why didn’t you tell me?” I demanded as I came out of the first half of a kiss and before I retired into the last half.
“Too hungry—had to be fed before they got to eating at your heart,” answered Pan in a way that made me know that he meant me and not the dandelion greens and brown bread.
“You are joking me; they are not due until day after to-morrow,” I said as I took my lips away and began to hurry us both towards the barn.
“All April hatches are from two to three days early,” was Adam’s prosaic and instructive answer that cut the last kiss short as we entered the barn-door.
Quickly I released myself from his arm and flew to kneel in front of the metal mother, with the electric torch aimed directly into the little window that revealed all her inmost processes. The Peckerwood Pan hovered just at my shoulder, and together we beheld what was to me the most wonderful phenomenon of nature that had ever come my way. No sunset from Pike’s Peak or high note from the throat of Caruso could equal it in my estimation. Behold, the first baby Bird stepped forth into the world right before my astonished and enraptured eyes! It was in this manner.