“Oh, Bruce, what would you gain if I held you? Wouldn’t there be moments when in spite of me you would swing back to women like Hilda? You are big and fine, but you are spoiled by feminine worship—it is a temptation which assails clergymen and doctors—who have, as it were, many women at their feet.
“Does that sound harsh? I don’t mean it that way. I only want you to come into your own. And if you ever marry I want you to find some woman you can love as you loved your wife, someone who will touch your imagination, set you on fire with dreams, and I could never do it.
“Yet even as I finish this letter, I am tempted to tear it up and tell you only of my real appreciation of the honor you have conferred upon me in asking me to be your wife. I know that you are offering me more in many ways than Ulrich Stoelle. I don’t like his name, because something rises up in me against Teuton blood and Teuton nomenclature. But he loves me, and you do not, and because of his love for me and mine for him, everything else seems too small to consider.
“Oh, you’d laugh at his house, Bruce, but I love even the fat angels that are carved on everything from the mahogany chests to the soup tureens. It is all like some old fairy-tale. I shall make few changes; it seems such a perfect setting for Ulrich and his busy old gnome of a father.
“When you get this, pray for my happiness. Oh, I do want to be happy. I have made the best of things, but there has been much more of gray than rose-color, and now as I turn my face to the setting sun, I am seeing—–loveliness and light—”
She read it over and sealed it and sent it away. It was several weeks before it reached Doctor McKenzie. He was very busy, for the spring drive of the Germans had begun, and shattered men were coming to him faster than he could handle them. But he found time at last to read it, and when he laid it down he sat quite still from the shock of it.
And the next time he saw Drusilla he said to her, “Emily Bridges is going to be married, and she is not going to marry me.”
“I am glad of it,” Drusilla told him.
“My dear girl, why?”
“Because you don’t love her, and you never did.”
THE HOPE OF THE WORLD
The great spring drive of the Germans brought headlines to the papers which men and women in America read with dread, and scoffed at when they talked it over.
“They’ll never get to Paris,” were the words on their lips, but in their hearts they were asking, “Will they—?”
Easter came at the end of March, and Good Friday found Jean working very early in the morning on fawn-colored rabbits with yellow ears. She worked in her bedroom because it was warmed by a feeble wood fire, and Teddy came up to watch her.
“The yellow in their ears is the sun shining through,” Jean told him. “We used to see them in the country on the path in front of the house, and the light from the west made their ears look like tiny electric bulbs.”