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HEY lived together in a part of the it had been done now stood like a dusty,

country which was not so prosper- bony skeleton, along with a broken rockous as it had once been, about three miles ing-chair, a worm-eaten clothes-press, from one of those small towns that, in- Heaven knows how old,-a lime-stained stead of increasing in population, are bench that had once been used to keep steadily decreasing. The territory was flowers on outside the door, and other denot very thickly settled; perhaps a house crepit factors of household utility, in an every other mile or so, with large areas of east room that was a lean-to against this corn- and wheat-land and fallow fields that so-called main portion. All sorts of broat odd seasons had been sown to timothy ken-down furniture were about this place: and clover. Their particular house was an antiquated clothes-horse, cracked in part log and part frame, the log portion two of its ribs; a broken mirror in an being the old original home of Henry's old cherry frame, which had fallen from grandfather. The new portion, of now a nail and cracked itself three days before rain-beaten, time-worn slabs, through their

youngest son, Jerry, died; an extenwhich the wind squeaked in the chinks at sion hat-rack, which once had had porcetimes and which several overshadowing lain knobs on the ends of its pegs; and a elms and a butternut-tree made pictur- sewing-machine, long since outdone in its esque and reminiscently pathetic, but a lit- clumsy mechanism by rivals of a newer tle damp, was erected by Henry when he generation. was twenty-one and just married.

The orchard to the east of the house That was forty-eight years before. The was full of gnarled old apple-trees, wormfurniture inside, like the house outside, eaten as to trunks and branches, and fully was old and mildewy and reminiscent of ornamented with green and white lichens, an earlier day. You have seen the what- so that it had a sad, greenish-white, silvery not of cherry wood, perhaps, with spiral effect in moonlight. The low outhouses, legs and Auted top. It was there. The which had once housed chickens, a horse old-fashioned heavy-posted bed, with ball- or two, a cow, and several pigs, were covlike protuberances and deep curving in- ered with patches of moss as to their roof, cisions, was there also, a sadly alienated and the sides had been free of paint for so descendant of an early Jacobean ancestor. long that they were blackish gray as to The bureau was of cherry also, high and color, and a little spongy.

The picketwide and solidly built, but faded-looking, fence in front, with its gate squeaky and and with a musty odor. The rag carpet askew, and the side fences of the stakethat underlay all these sturdy examples of and-rider type were in an equally runenduring furniture was a weak, faded, down condition. As a matter of fact, they lead-and-pink-colored affair woven by had aged synchronously with the persons Phæbe Ann's own hands when she was fif- who lived here, old Henry Reifsneider teen years younger than she was when she and his wife Phæbe Ann. died. The creaky wooden loom on which They had lived here, these two, ever

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since their marriage, forty-eight years be- in the night, and sounding as faintly as fore, and Henry had lived here before that cow-bells tinkling in the distance. from his childhood up. His father and Old Henry and his wife Phæbe were mother, well along in years when he was as fond of each other as it is possible for a boy, had invited him to bring his wife old people to be who have nothing else here when he had first fallen in love and in this life to be fond of. He was a thin decided to marry; and he had done so. old man, seventy when she died, a queer, His father and mother were the compan- crotchety person with coarse gray-black ions of him and his wife for ten years hair and beard, quite straggly and unkempt. after they were married, when both died; He looked at you out of dull, fishy, watery and then Henry and Phæbe were left eyes that had deep-brown crow's-feet at with their five children growing lustily the sides. His clothes, like the clothes of apace. But all sorts of things had hap.

many farmers, were aged and angular and pened since then. Of the seven children, baggy, standing out at the pockets, not fitall told, that had been born to them, three ting about the neck, protuberant and worn had died; one girl had gone to Kansas; one at elbow and knee. Phæbe Ann was thin boy had gone to Sioux Falls, and never and shapeless, a very umbrella of a wobeen heard of after; another boy had gone man, clad in shabby black, and with a to Washington; and the last girl lived black bonnet for her best wear. As time five counties away in the same State, but had passed, and they had only themselves was so burdened with cares of her own to look after, their movements had become that she rarely gave them a thought. Time slower and slower, their activities fewer and a commonplace home life that had and fewer. The annual keep of pigs had never been attractive had weened them been reduced from five to one grunting thoroughly, so that, wherever they were, porker, and the single horse which Henry they gave little thought as to how it might now retained was a sleepy animal, not overbe with their father and mother.

nourished and not very clean. The chickOld Henry Reifsneider and his wife ens, of which formerly there was a large Phæbe were a loving couple. You per- fock, had almost disappeared, owing to haps know how it is with simple natures ferrets, foxes, and the lack of proper care, that fasten themselves like lichens on the which produces disease. The former healthy stones of circumstance and weather their garden was now a straggling memory of days to a crumbling conclusion. The great itself, and the vines and flower-beds that world sounds widely, but it has no call for formerly ornamented the windows and them. They have no soaring intellect. dooryard had now become choking thickThe orchard, the meadow, the corn-field, ets. Yet these two lived together in peace the pig-pen, and the chicken-lot measure and sympathy, only now and then old the range of their human activities. When Henry would become unduly cranky, comthe wheat is headed it is reaped and plaining almost invariably that something threshed; when the corn is browned and had been neglected or mislaid which was frosted it is cut and shocked; when the of no importance at all. timothy is in full head it is cut, and the “Phæbe, where 's my corn-knife? You hay-cock erected. After that comes win- ain't never minded to let my things alone ter, with the hauling of grain to market, no more." the sawing and splitting of wood, the sim- “Now you hush, Henry,” his wife ple chores of fire-building, meal-getting, would caution him in a cracked and occasional repairing, and visiting. Beyond squeaky voice. "If you don't, I 'll leave these and the changes of weather-the yuh. I 'll git up and walk out of here snows, the rains, and the fair days—there some day, and then where would y' be? are no immediate, significant things. All Y' ain't got anybody but me to look after the rest of life is a far-off, clamorous phan- yuh, so yuh just behave yourself."

a tasmagoria, Alickering like Northern lights Old Henry, who knew that his wife

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“An amazed husband and wife of sixty heard his strange query, and

realized also that he was mad”

since their marriage, forty-eight years be- in the night, and sounding as faintly as fore, and Henry had lived here before that cow-bells tinkling in the distance. from his childhood up. His father and Old Henry and his wife Phæbe were mother, well along in years when he was as fond of each other as it is possible for a boy, had invited him to bring his wife old people to be who have nothing else here when he had first fallen in love and in this life to be fond of. He was a thin decided to marry; and he had done so. old man, seventy when she died, a queer, His father and mother were the compan- crotchety person with coarse gray-black ions of him and his wife for ten years hair and beard, quite straggly and unkempt. after they were married, when both died; He looked at you out of dull, fishy, watery and then Henry and Phæbe were left eyes that had deep-brown crow's-feet at with their five children growing lustily the sides. His clothes, like the clothes of apace. But all sorts of things had hap.

many farmers, were aged and angular and pened since then. Of the seven children, baggy, standing out at the pockets, not fitall told, that had been born to them, three ting about the neck, protuberant and worn had died; one girl had gone to Kansas; one at elbow and knee. Phæbe Ann was thin boy had gone to Sioux Falls, and never and shapeless, a very umbrella of a wobeen heard of after; another boy had gone man, clad in shabby black, and with a to Washington; and the last girl lived black bonnet for her best wear. As time five counties away in the same State, but had passed, and they had only themselves was so burdened with cares of her own to look after, their movements had become that she rarely gave them a thought. Time slower and slower, their activities fewer and a commonplace home life that had and fewer. The annual keep of pigs had never been attractive had weened them been reduced from five to one grunting thoroughly, so that, wherever they were, porker, and the single horse which Henry they gave little thought as to how it might now retained was a sleepy animal, not overbe with their father and mother.

nourished and not very clean. The chickOld Henry Reifsneider and his wife ens, of which formerly there was a large Phæbe were a loving couple. You per- fock, had almost disappeared, owing to haps know how it is with simple natures ferrets, foxes, and the lack of proper care, that fasten themselves like lichens on the which produces disease. The former healthy stones of circumstance and weather their garden was now a straggling memory of days to a crumbling conclusion. The great itself, and the vines and flower-beds that world sounds widely, but it has no call for formerly ornamented the windows and them. They have no soaring intellect. dooryard had now become choking thickThe orchard, the meadow, the corn-field, ets. Yet these two lived together in peace the pig-pen, and the chicken-lot measure and sympathy, only now and then old the range of their human activities. When Henry would become unduly cranky, comthe wheat is headed it is reaped and plaining almost invariably that something threshed; when the corn is browned and had been neglected or mislaid which was frosted it is cut and shocked; when the of no importance at all. timothy is in full head it is cut, and the “Phæbe, where 's my corn-knife? You hay-cock erected. After that comes win- ain't never minded to let my things alone ter, with the hauling of grain to market, no more." the sawing and splitting of wood, the sim- "Now you hush, Henry," his wife ple chores of fire-building, meal-getting, would caution him in a cracked and occasional repairing, and visiting. Beyond squeaky voice. "If you don't, I 'll leave these and the changes of weather-the yuh. I 'll git up and walk out of here snows, the rains, and the fair days, there some day, and then where would y' are no immediate, significant things. All Y' ain't got anybody but me to loo! the rest of life is a far-off, clamorous phan- yuh, so yuh just behave yourself." tasmagoria, Alickering like Northern lights Old Henry, who knew th

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