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would never leave him in
circum- come to stay with them awhile, or that stances, used to speculate at times as to he seek his daughter in Pemberton County. what he would do if she were to die. That She had been notified. He was so old, was the one leaving that he really feared. and so fixed in his notions, however, and As he climbed on the chair at night to so accustomed to the exact surroundings wind the old, long-pendulumed, double- he had known all his days, that he could weighted clock, or went finally to the not think of leaving. He wanted to refront and the back door to see that they main near where they had put his Phæbe; were safely shut in, it was a comfort to and the fact that he would have to live know that Phæbe was properly ensconced alone did not trouble him in the least. on her side of the bed, and that if he stirred "I kin make a shift for myself,” he conrestlessly in the night, she would be there tinually announced to old Dr. Morrow, to ask what he wanted.
who had attended his wife in this case. "Now, Henry, do lie still! You 're as "I kin cook a little, and, besides, I don't restless as a chicken.”
take much more 'n coffee an' bread in the "Well, I can't sleep, Phæbe."
mornin's. I 'll get along now well enough. "Well, yuh need n't roll so, anyhow. You just let me be.” And after many You can let me sleep.”
pleadings and proffers of advice, with supThis usually reduced him to a state of plies of coffee and bacon and baked bread somnolent ease. If she wanted a pail of duly offered and accepted, he was left to water, it was a grumbling pleasure for himself. For a while he sat idly outside him to get it; and if she did rise first to his door brooding in the spring sun.
He build the fires, he saw that the wood was tried to revive his interest in farming, and cut and placed within easy reach. They to keep himself busy and free from divided this simple world nicely between thought by looking after the fields, which them.
of late had been much neglected. It was As the years had gone on, fewer and a gloomy thing to come in of an evening fewer people had called. They were well or in the afternoon and find no shadow known for a distance of as much as ten of Phæbe where everything suggested her. square miles as old Mr. and Mrs. Reif- By degrees he put a few of her things sneider, honest, moderately Christian, but away. He sat beside his lamp and read too old to be really interesting any longer in the papers that were left him occasion
. Now and then some old friend stopped ally or in a Bible that he had neglected with a pie or ake or a roasted chicken or for years, but he could get little solace duck, or merely to see that they were from these things. Mostly he held his well; even then kindly minded visits were hand over his mouth and looked at the no longer frequent.
floor as he sat and thought of what had One day in the early spring of her become of her, and how soon he himself sixty-fourth year Mrs. Reifsneider took would die. He made a great business sick, and from a low fever passed into of making his coffee in the morning and some indefinable ailment which, because frying himself a little bacon at night; of her age, was no longer curable. Old but his appetite was gone. This shell in Henry drove to Swinnerton, the neigh- which he had been housed so long seemed boring town, and procured a doctor. Some vacant, and its shadows were suggestive friends called, and the immediate care of of immedicable griefs. So he lived quite her was taken off his hands. Then one dolefully for five long weeks, and then a chill spring night she died, and old Henry, change began. in a fog of sorrow and uncertainty, fol- It was one night after he had looked lowed her body to the nearest graveyard, after the front and the back door, wound an unattractive space, with a few pines the clock, blown out the lamp, and gone growing in it. It was suggested to him through all the selfsame motions that he at once by one friend and another that he had indulged in for years that he went to bed not so much to sleep as to think. It "Phoebe," called old Henry, thrilling was a moonlight night. The green-lichen- from head to toe and putting out one bony covered orchard was a silvery affair, hand, “have you come back ?" sweetly spectral. The moon shone through The figure did not stir, and he arose the east windows, throwing the pattern of and walked uncertainly to the door, lookthe panes on the wooden floor, and making ing at it fixedly the while. As he drew the old furniture, to which he was accus- near, however, the apparition resolved ittomed, stand out dimly in the gloom. As self into its primal content-his old coat usual he had been thinking of Phæbe and over the high-backed chair, the lamp by the years when they had been young to- the paper, the half-open door. gether, and of the children who had gone, "Well," he said to himself, his mouth and the poor shift he was making of his open, “I thought shore I saw her.” And present days. The house was coming to he ran his hand strangely and vaguely be in a very bad state indeed. The bed- through his hair, the while his nervous clothes were in disorder and not clean, tension relaxed. for he made a wretched shift of washing. Another night, because of this first illuIt was a terror to him. He was getting sion, and because his mind was now coninto that brooding state when he would stantly on her and he was old, he looked accept anything rather than exert himself. out of the window that was nearest his He preferred to pace slowly to and fro or bed and commanded hen-coop and pig-pen to sit and think.
and a part of the wagon-shed, and there, By twelve o'clock he was asleep, how- a faint mist exuding from the damp of ever, and by two o'clock he had waked the ground, he thought he saw her again. again. The moon by this time had shifted It was a little wisp of mist, one of those to a position on the western side of the faint exhalations of the earth that rise in house, and it now shone in through the a cool night after a warm day, and Aicker windows of the living-room and those of like small white cypresses of fog before the kitchen beyond. A certain combina- they disappear. It had been a custom of tion of furniture a chair near a table, hers to cross the lot from her kitchen door with his coat on it, the half-open kitchen to the pig-pen to throw in any scrap that door casting a shadow, and the position was left from her cooking, and here she of a lamp near a paper-gave him an exact was again. He sat up and watched it representation of Phæbe leaning over the strangely, doubtfully, because of his pretable as he had often seen her do in life. vious experience, but inclined, because of He looked at her fixedly in the feeble the nervous titillation that passed over his half-light, his old hair tingling oddly at body, to believe that spirits really were, the roots, and then he sat up. The figure and that Phoebe, who would be concerned
, did not move. He put his thin legs out of because of his lonely state, must be thinkthe bed and sat looking at her, wondering ing about him, and hence returning. It if this could really be Phæbe. They had would be within the province of her chartalked of ghosts often in their lifetime, ity so to do, and like her loving interest of apparitions and omens; but they had in him to quiver deeply. He watched it never agreed that such things could be. eagerly; but a faint breath of air stirring, It had never been a part of his wife's it wound away toward the fence and discreed that she could have a spirit that appeared. could return to walk the earth. Her af- A third night, as he was actually dreamter-world was quite a different affair, a ing, some ten days later, she came to his vague heaven, no less, from which the bedside and put her hand on his head. righteous did not trouble to return. Yet “Poor Henry!” she said. “It 's too here she was now, bending over the table bad.” in her black skirt and gray shawl, her pale He roused out of his sleep, actually to profile outlined against the moonlight. see her, he thought, moving from his bed
room into the one living-room, her figure down his soft crush hat after he had a shadowy mass of black. The weak dressed himself, a new glint of interest straining of his eyes caused little points and determination in his eye, and taking of light to Aicker about the outlines of his black crook cane from behind the door, her form. He arose, greatly astonished, where he had always placed it, started walked the floor in the cool room, con- out briskly to look for her among the disvinced that Phæbe was coming back to tant neighbors that he knew. His old him. If he only thought sufficiently, if shoes clumped briskly in the dust as he he made it perfectly clear by his feeling walked, and his gray-black locks, now that he needed her greatly, she would grown rather long, straggled out in a come back, this kindly wife, and tell him dramatic fringe or halo from under his what to do. She would perhaps be with hat. His short coat stirred busily as he him much of the time, in the night, any- walked, and his hands and face were how; and that would make this lonely peaked and pale. state endurable.
"Why, hello, Henry! Where 're yuh In age and with the feeble it is not such goin' this mornin'?” inquired Farmer a far cry from the subtleties of illusion to Dodge, who, hauling a load of wheat to actual hallucination, and in due time this market, encountered him on the public transition was made for Henry. Night road. He had not seen the aged farmer after night he waited, expecting her re- in weeks, not since his wife's death, and turn. Once in his weird mood he thought he wondered now, seeing him looking so he saw a pale light moving about the room, spry. and another time he thought he saw her "Yuh ain't seen Phæbe, have yuh?" inwalking in the orchard after dark. It was quired the old man, looking up quizzically. one morning when the details of his lonely "Phæbe who?" inquired Farmer state were virtually unendurable that he Dodge, not for the moment connecting woke with the thought that she was not the name with Henry's dead wife. dead. How he had arrived at this conclu- “Why, my wife Phæbe, o' course. sion it is hard to say. His mind had gone.
Who do yuh s'pose I mean?” He stared In its place was a fixed illusion. He and up with a pathetic sharpness of glance Phæbe had had a senseless quarrel. He from under his shaggy, gray eyebrows. had reproached her for not leaving his “Wall, I'll swan, Henry, yuh ain't pipe where he was accustomed to find it, jokin', are yuh?” said the solid Dodge, a and she had left. It was an aberrated ful- pursy man, with a smooth, hard, red face. filment of her old jesting threat that if “It can't be your wife you
're talkin' he did not behave himself she would leave about. She 's dead." him.
“Dead! Shucks!" retorted the de"I guess I could find yuh ag'in," he had mented Reifsneider. "She left me early always said. But her cackling threat had this mornin' while I was sleepin'. She always been:
allus got up to build the fire, but she 's "Yuh 'll not find me if I ever leave yuh. gone now. We had a little spat last night, I guess I kin git some place where yuh an' I guess that 's the reason. But I
guess can't find me.”
I kin find her. She 's gone over to MaThis morning when he arose he did not tilda Race's, that 's where she's gone." think to build the fire in the customary
He started briskly up the road, leaving way or to grind his coffee and cut his the amazed Dodge to stare in wonder afbread, as was his wont, but solely to meditate as to where he should search for her "Well, I 'll be switched !” he said aloud and how he should induce her to come to himself. “He's clean out 'n his head. back. Recently the one horse had been That poor old fellow 's been livin' down dispensed with because he found it cum- there till he's gone mad. I 'll have to bersome and beyond his needs. He took notify the authorities.” And he flicked
gium, from the cardinal to the humblest curé, has played the man. On the front line near Pervyse, where my wife lived for three months, a priest has remained through the daily shell-fire to administer last rites to his dying soldiers and to comfort the fighting men. Just before leaving Flanders, I called on the sisters in the convent school of Furnes. They were still cheery and busy in their care of sick and wounded civilians. Every few days the Germans shell the town from seven miles away, but the sisters will continue there through the coming months as through the last year. The spirit of the best of the race is spoken in what King Albert said recently in an unpublished conversation to the gentlemen of the English mission:
"The English will cease fighting before the Belgians. If there is talk of yielding,
Gaspar, a resugee baby ordered to evacuate the town, and it was à lonely job that this youngster of twenty-seven years carried on through that day.
Our corps has seen the Belgians every day for several months. We have seen several skirmishes and battles and many days of shell-fire, and the impression of watching perhaps twenty thousand Belgians in action is that of excellent fighting qualities, starred with bits of sheer daring as astonishing as that of any other races. With no country left to fight for, homes either in ruin or soon to be shelled, relatives under an alien rule, the home Government on a foreign soil, still this second army, the first having been killed, fights on in good spirit. Every morning of the summer I have watched those of them that have been resting in La Panne, boys between eighteen and twenty-five, clad in fresh khaki, go riding down the poplar lane from La Panne to the trenches, the first twenty with bright silver bugles, their cheeks puffed and red with the blowing. Twelve months of wounds and wastage, wet trenches and tinned food, and still they go out with hope.
And the helpers of the army have shown good heart. Breaking the silence of Rome, the splendid priesthood of Bel