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"The book provoked her.

'I'm straight,' she said.

'I never talked like this before. The fellows that come round

Good Lord!

Showin' me two pink ticket corners

Stickin' out the pocket of their vest, "Say, kid- tonight,- you know,"

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Thinkin' I'll tumble

For a ticket to a show!

They make me sick, they do,

Boobs like that;

You're different. I want to know

What's in that book you read.

I want to hear you talk.

Oh, Mister, I'm so lonesome!

But I'm straight, I tell you.

I read, too, every evening in my room,
But I can't ever find

The books you have.

I expect you think I'm horrid

To talk like this but

I got some things by an Englishman
From the Public Library.

Say, they were queer!

He thinks a woman has a right

To say out if she likes a man;

He thinks they do the looking

Because they want

Oh, Mister, I'm so terribly ashamed

I'll die when I get home,

An' yet I had to speak

I'd be awful, awful good to you, if only,

Please, please, don't think I'm like—

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Don't think I'm one o' them!

Whatever you say, don't, don't think that!'

'She stopped, and turned to hide her crying. I looked at her again,

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Were my grandfather and four of my uncles
Elders in the Sixth Presbyterian Church,
Situated on the Avenue.

Oh not for nothing

Was I led

To squirm on those green rep seats

One day in seven.

And now,

The white-tiled, sweetly-smelling barber shop

Is lost to me.

What a pity!"

66

Mrs. Aldis's art is a whole-hearted expression of life," Cassandra began when Jason had finished. "Among the lowly, the outcasts, her muse goes visiting. But everywhere it goes with the soft step of pity and sympathy; best of all with understanding. Poems like 'Converse,' ' Window-Wishing,' 'The Sisters,' and all the Seven Stories in Metre,' are very fine. I think the latter are quite

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as good in their way as Wilfred W. Gibson's tales in Fires' and 'Womenkind.' Why such things as The Park Bench,' 'Ellie,' The Prisoner,' and" Cassandra was waxing in her enthusiasm, when Jason interrupted with a touch of irony:

"And the incomparable and poignant realism of modern life in its common aspects, shows that American poetry" here he paused, glancing at me with the air of one who acknowledges but refuses wholly to subscribe to another's faith.

66

Yes, yes; go on," I urged; " you are at least approaching the right shrine. Perhaps, you will pray a bit before leaving, when you realize it has performed, and can still perform, miracles. Here is David from the West, a living testament of the new age, whose poems you shall hear to prove it. It's a kind of miracle, this tender, wistful beauty," and I read these lines from memory:

"O, Mocking Bird,

Sing your love song to me,

But never let me know

The words you use in your singing,

For my moods need ever new words
And you have only a few."

"And I came all the way to these New Hampshire woods to learn that," laughed David. "What will my friend Billy Reedy say?"

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"And doesn't Mrs. Aldis, in the lyrical mood of Brown Sands," " I added, "give us a similar feeling of a genuine poetic spirit?

"My stallion impatiently

Stamps at my side,

Into the desert far

We two shall ride.

"Brown sands around us fly,
Winds whistle free,
The desert is sharing
Gladness with me.

"The madness of motion
Is mine again.
Forgotten forever

Sorrow and pain.

"Into the desert far

Swiftly we flee,

Knowing the passionate
Joy of the free."

When I finished, Psyche said: "Is it our Puritanism, Mr. O'Neil, which makes us unsympathetic with life close at hand, and very passionate in our feeling for misery half a world away?"

IV

THE CHANT OF ARMAGEDDON

We were not exactly out of tune with the surroundings of our little grove, for there surged through it a spirit too beautiful not to bring us up to an emotional obligation of what we owed to Nature in her ripest and most bounteous mood; but even here the echoes and sufferings of a world at war penetrated; and for a while we just sat with a sad consciousness, as if the anguish of Europe was as real to us as it must be to the civil population in the northern provinces of France, in Flanders, Poland and Serbia.

I do not think there was one of us who believed in war, not Jason even, though had the maternal consent been given he would at the very moment have been in Picardy instead of spending the summer afternoon with three agreeable companions, in the cool fragrance of pine woods expressing his soul about poetry. Two of our party hated war vehemently, and Psyche and Cassandra, in doing so, but gave voice to the almost universal feeling which the women of the world have towards this most cruel and destructive of all wars. Jason and myself accepted this war as a necessary evil. Since it had come, and was bound to come as the

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