Dear woman—what have I to offer you? Just a home down here among the sand-hills—a little church that will soon stand in a circle of young pines, a life of work in a little rectory near the little church—for your dreams and mine are to come true, and the little church will be built within a year.
Yet, I have a garden. A garden of souls. Will you come into it? And make it bloom, as you have made my life bloom? All that I am you have made me. When I sat in the Tower Rooms hopeless, you gave me hope. When I lost faith in myself, it shone in your eyes. When I saw your brave young courage, my courage came back to me. It was you who told me that I had a message to deliver.
And I am delivering the message—and somehow I cannot feel that it is a little thing to offer, when I ask you to share in this, my work.
Other men can offer you a castle—other men can give to you a life of ease. I can bring to you a life in which we shall give ourselves to each other and to the world. I can give you love that is equal to any man’s. I can give you a future which will make you forget the past.
Not to every woman would I dare offer what I have to give—–but you are different from other women. From the night when you first met me frankly with your brave young head up and your eyes shining, I have known that you were different from the rest—a woman braver and stronger, a woman asking more of life than softness.
And now, will you fight with me, shoulder to shoulder? And win?
Somehow I feel that you will say “Yes.” Is that the right attitude for a lover? But surely I can see a little way into your heart. Your letter let me see.
If I seem over-confident, forgive me. But I know what I want for myself. I know what I want for you. I am not the Roger Poole of the Tower Rooms, beaten and broken. I am Roger Poole of the Garden, marching triumphantly in tune with the universe.
As I write, I have a vision upon me of a little white house not far from the little white church in the circle of young pines—a house with orchards sweeping up all pink behind it in April, and with violets in the borders of the walk in January, and with roses from May until December.
And I can see you in that little house. I shall see you in it until you say something which will destroy that vision. But you won’t destroy it. Surely some day you will hear the mocking-birds sing in the moonlight—as I am hearing them, alone, to-night.
I need you, I want you, and I hope that it is not a selfish cry. For your letter has told me that you, too, are wanting—what? Is it Love, Mary dear, and Life?
In Which a Strange Craft Anchors in a Sea of Emerald Light; and in Which Mocking-Birds Sing in the Moonlight.
Sweeping through a country of white sand and of charred trees run hard clay highways. When motor cars from the cities and health resorts began to invade the pines, it was found that the old wagon trails were inadequate; hence there followed experiments which resulted in intersecting orange-colored roads, throughout the desert-like expanse.