Roger saw her confusion. “I’ll turn out this light,” he said, “and wait——”
And she waited, too, in the darkness until Barry was safe in his own room, then she spoke softly. “Thank you so much,” she said, and was gone.
In Which Roger Remembers a Face and Delilah Remembers a Voice—and in Which a Poem and a Pussy Cat Play an Important Part.
Since the night of his arrival, Roger had not intruded upon the family circle. He had read hostility in Barry’s eyes as the boy had looked up at him; and Mary, in spite of her friendliness, had forgotten that he was in the house! Well, they had set the pace, and he would keep to it. Here in the tower he could live alone—yet not be lonely, for the books were there—and they brought forgetfulness.
He took long walks through the city, now awakening to social and political activities. Back to town came the folk who had fled from the summer heat; back came the members of House and of Senate, streaming in from North, South, East and West for the coming Congress. Back came the office-seekers and the pathetic patient group whose claims were waiting for the passage of some impossible bill.
There came, too, the sightseers and trippers, sweeping from one end of the town to the other, climbing the dome of the Capitol, walking down the steps of the Monument, venturing into the White House, piloted through the Bureau where the money is made, riding on “rubber-neck wagons,” sailing about in taxis, stampeding Mt. Vernon, bombarding Fort Myer, and doing it all gloriously under golden November skies.
And because of the sightseers and statesmen, and the folk who had been away for the summer, the shops began to take on beauty. Up F Street and around Fourteenth into H swept the eager procession, and all the windows were abloom for them.
Roger walked, too, in the country. In other lands, or at least so their poets have it, November is the month of chill and dreariness. But to the city on the Potomac it comes with soft pink morning mists and toward sunset, with amethystine vistas. And if, beyond the city, the fields are frosted, it is frost of a feathery whiteness which melts in the glory of a warmer noon. And if the trees are bare, there is yet pale yellow under foot and pale rose, where the leaves wait for the winter winds which shall whirl them later in a mad dance like brown butterflies. And there’s the green of the pines, and the flaming red of five-fingered creepers.
It was on a sunny November day, therefore, as he followed Rock Creek through the Park that Roger came to the old Mill where a little tea room supplied afternoon refreshment.
As it was far away from car lines, its patronage came largely from those who arrived in motors or on horseback, and a few courageous pedestrians.
Here Roger sat down to rest, ordering a rather substantial repast, for the long walk had made him hungry.