There was now a great breach in the wall. Men moving to and fro could be seen. The strikers snatched up bricks and clubs and dashed toward this. But ere they had set foot on the rubbish they stopped. Half a dozen resolute men faced them. They were armed.
“That’s far enough, boys,” warned a powerful voice. “I told you we have all been sworn in as deputy police, with all the laws of the state back of us. The first man that steps across that pile of bricks will go to the hospital, the second man to the undertaker.”
Ah, the vanity of Dawn! Like a Venus she rises from her bath of opalescent mists and dons a gown of pearl. But this does not please the coquette. Her fancy turns from pearl to green, to amber, to pink, to blue and gold and rose, an inexhaustible wardrobe. She blushes, she frowns, she hesitates; she is like a woman in love. She casts abroad her dewy jewels on the leaves, the blades of grass, the tangled laces of the spiders, the drab cold stones. She ruffles the clouds on the face of the sleeping waters; she sweeps through the forests with a low whispering sound, taking a tithe of the resinous perfumes. Always and always she decks herself for the coming of Phoebus, but, woman-like, at first sight of him turns and flies.
Dawn is the most beautiful of all the atmospheric changes, but the vision is a rarity to the majority of us.
Warrington was up and away on his hunter before Phoebus sent his warning flashing over the hills. He took the now familiar road, and urged his animal vigorously. Fine! Not a bit of dust rose from the road, dew-wet and brown. The rime of the slight frost shone from the fences and grasses and stacked corn, like old age that strikes in a single night. Here and there a farmer could be seen pottering about the yards, or there was a pale curl of smoke rising from the chimney. The horse, loving these chill, exhilarating October mornings, went drumming along the road. Occasionally Warrington would rise in the stirrups and gaze forward over this elevation or that, and sometimes behind him. No. For three mornings he had ridden out this old familiar way, but alone. The hunger in his eyes remained unsatisfied.
For the first time in years he turned into a certain familiar fork in the road, and all his youth came back to him as vividly as though it had been but yesterday. Half a mile up this fork was the rambling old farm-house. It was unchanged. The clapboards were still stained with rust, the barns were still a dingy red, the stone and rail fences needed the same repairs. Nothing had changed there but the masters. And under that roof he had made his first feeble protest against life; he had dreamed those valiant dreams of youth that never come true, no matter how successful one may become in after life. Every waking means an illusion gone, another twig pruned from the tree of ardent fancy; and when one is old there is neither shade nor shelter.