Fennel and Rue eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 137 pages of information about Fennel and Rue.

“You talk,” he answered, a little sulkily, “as if you knew some harm of the girl.”

“No, my son, I know nothing about her, except that she is not single-minded, and there is no harm in not being single-minded.  A great many single-minded women are fools, and some double-minded women are good.”

“Well, single-minded or double-minded, if she is what she says she is, what motive on earth could she have in writing to me except the motive she gives?  You don’t deny that she tells the truth about herself?”

“Don’t I say that she is sincere?  But a girl doesn’t always know her own motives, or all of them.  She may have written to you because she would like to begin a correspondence with an author.  Or she may have done it out of the love of excitement.  Or for the sake of distraction, to get away from herself and her gloomy forebodings.”

“And should you blame her for that?”

“No, I shouldn’t.  I should pity her for it.  But, all the same, I shouldn’t want you to be taken in by her.”

“You think, then, she doesn’t care anything about the story?”

“I think, very probably, she cares a great deal about it.  She is a serious person, intellectually at least, and it is a serious story.  No wonder she would like to know, at first hand, something about the man who wrote it.”

This flattered Verrian, but he would not allow its reasonableness.  He took a gulp of coffee before saying, uncandidly, “I can’t make out what you’re driving at, mother.  But, fortunately, there’s no hurry about your meaning.  The thing’s in the only shape we could possibly give it, and I am satisfied to leave it in Armiger’s hands.  I’m certain he will deal wisely with it-and kindly.”

“Yes, I’m sure he’ll deal kindly.  I should be very unhappy if he didn’t.  He could easily deal more wisely, though, than she has.”

Verrian chose not to follow his mother in this.  “All is,” he said, with finality, “I hope she’ll never see that loathsome paragraph.”

“Oh, very likely she won’t,” his mother consoled him.


Only four days after he had seen Armiger, Verrian received an envelope covering a brief note to himself from the editor, a copy of the letter he had written to Verrian’s unknown correspondent, and her answer in the original.  Verrian was alone when the postman brought him this envelope, and he could indulge a certain passion for method by which he read its contents in the order named; if his mother had been by, she would have made him read the girl’s reply first of all.  Armiger wrote: 

My dear Verrian,—­I enclose two exhibits which will possess you of all the facts in the case of the young lady who feared she might die before she read the end of your story, but who, you will be glad to find, is likely to live through the year.  As the story ends in our October number, she need not be supplied with advance sheets.  I am sorry the house hurried out a paragraph concerning the matter, but it will not be followed by another.  Perhaps you will feel, as I do, that the incident is closed.  I have not replied to the writer, and you need not return her letter.  Yours ever,

Project Gutenberg
Fennel and Rue from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook