Taken Alive eBook

Edward Payson Roe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 334 pages of information about Taken Alive.

“We could crack nuts, rob apple-orchards, or if driven to extremity, raid a farmhouse.”

“You have heard too much from the soldiers about living off the country.  I’d rather raid mamma’s cupboard before we start.  I’ll be ready as soon as you are.”

He soon appeared in his low, easy phaeton; and she joined him with the presentiment that there might be even greater gladness in his face by evening than it now expressed.  While on the way to the brow of a distant hill which would be their lunching place, they either talked with the freedom of old friends or lapsed into long silences.

At last he asked, “Isn’t it a little odd that when with you the sense of companionship is just as strong when you are not talking?”

“It’s a comfort you are so easily entertained.  Don’t you think I’m a rather moderate talker for a woman?”

“Those that talk the most are often least entertaining.  I’ve thought a good deal about it—­the unconscious influence of people on one another.  I don’t mean influence in any moral sense, but in the power to make one comfortable or uncomfortable, and to produce a sense of restfulness and content or to make one ill at ease and nervously desirous of escape.”

“And you have actually no nervous desire to escape, no castings around in your mind for an excuse to turn around and drive home?”

“No one could give a surer answer to your question than yourself.  I’ve been thinking of something pleasanter than my enjoyment.”

“Well?”

“That your expression has been a very contented one during the last hour.  I am coming to believe that you can accept my friendship without effort.  You women are all such mysteries!  One gets hold of a clew now and then.  I have fancied that if you had started out in the spirit of self-sacrifice that I might have a pleasant time, you would be more conscious of your purpose.  Even your tact might not have kept me from seeing that you were exerting yourself; but the very genius of the day seems to possess you.  Nature is not exerting herself in the least.  No breath of air is stirring; all storms are in the past or the future.  With a smile on her face, she is just resting in serene content, as you were, I hope.  She is softening and obscuring everything distant by an orange haze, so that the sunny present may be all the more real.  Days like these will do you good, especially if your face and manner reveal that you can be as truly at rest as Nature.”

“Yet what changes may soon pass over the placid scene!”

“Yes, but don’t think of them.”

“Well, I won’t—­not now.  Yes, you are becoming very penetrating.  I am not exerting myself in the least to give you a pleasant time.  I am just selfishly and lazily content.”

“That fact gives me so much more than content that it makes me happy.”

“Hobart, you are the most unselfish man I ever knew.”

“Nonsense!”

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Project Gutenberg
Taken Alive from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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