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And was n't it in better taste to wait of the very things of which she had so until he asked permission to call often imagined he would talk to her. rather than to make the suggestion Had she seen the painting of "Spring," oneself? Still, Miss Ellie Rose had by that very promising young Amerinoticed that Mr. Van Deyn evinced can, Austin Shaw? The "Times" had
" no apparent distaste for the society of printed a reproduction the Sunday the young ladies who went out of their before. Of course all the exquisite own way to put themselves in his. tenderness of the coloring was lost, And sometimes when, from behind but the grace, the delicacy, the poetry the discreet screen of the dotted mus- of line and expression, had been caught lin curtains in her parlor, she had quite faithfully. watched his stalwart figure swinging "And she reminds me, somehow, of along on the other side of the street, you, Miss Ellie Rose; she has your she had wondered wistfully if eyes, I think,” said young Mr. Van dream picture would ever come true Deyn. wondered and hoped and almost des- Miss Ellie Rose glanced up at him paired.
in shy, bewildered delight. Under Somehow she could not quite be- the hemstitched ruffles of the white lieve it, it was all so wonderful and organdie frock her heart quickened its unexpected. She had been on her beat. She would have given a great way to the veranda to say good night deal to be able to say that she had to Katherine Hendricks and thank attended the exhibition and seen the her for a most delightful evening, painting; she knew that he had gone, when all at once there he stood be- because the local weekly had carried a fore her, smiling, and saying, “Won't notice of his trip. But to think that you give me the pleasure of walking he had actually been reminded of her, home with you to-night, Miss Ellie had compared that painting to her! Rose?" She had been christened Elea- "There is nothing, I believe," Mr. nor Rosamond Carew. Nobody ever Van Deyn was saying, "quite so beaucalled her anything but Miss Ellie tiful as simplicity.
tiful as simplicity. I 'm afraid that Rose, but nobody had ever spoken her we often lose sight of it in modern art, name so that it sounded quite as it as well as in modern life; everything did on the lips of Chester Van Deyn. seems to get over-trimmed, overFor an instant she had hesitated, ornamented. The
ornamented. The fashion runs to partly from sheer surprise, partly be- bizarre effects and bright colors. Do cause she knew that Sam Banks would you know, Miss Ellie Rose,-careful; be waiting for her as usual.
this curb is broken. Please let me “Ah, don't refuse!” Van Deyn had help you, I 've been quite sure for pleaded. “Is it quite fair to the rest some time that the loveliest flower in of us that Banks should always be the the world is the rose—a rose half lucky man? Let me tell him that opened and just showing the rare gold you 've accepted my escort for this of its heart. Tell me,”—he had evening, for just this once, Miss Ellie slipped his fingers under her elbow Rose."
when he had helped her over the bad And here he was, walking beside spot in the curbing; now he drew her her, matching his step to hers, talking arm through his in a way that was at once masterful and protective,-“tell passing on the other side of the street me, is n't it your favorite flower, too?” and seen you out there gathering the “Yes,” said Miss Ellie Rose.
flowers that seem to grow in perfec“Not a red rose, nor yet a white one tion just for you, I 've been tempted nor a yellow one-pink. Not vivid. to cross over and beg you for a single It is pale and soft, and the petals are bud. But I—well, I did n't dare. If like satin to touch-like the finger- I had dared,” young Mr. Van Deyn tips of a fair woman. Am I not right?" asked softly—“if I had dared, Miss
“Yes," said Miss Ellie Rose in a Ellie Rose, would you have given it to low voice; “pale pink.”
me?" "I knew it. You have them in “Yes," said Miss Ellie Rose. your garden. I 've seen you out They had reached her gate. Bethere, working among them, brooding tween the trim rows of four-o'clocks over them; and I knew you must love and ladies'-slippers the smooth gravel them. There are no geraniums in path stretched to the foot of the shalyour garden, are there? No holly- low steps. The air was laden with hocks or poppies; nothing garish or the scent of mignonette, fragrant with flaunting or exotic. Even in summer roses and honeysuckle. Van Deyn your garden breathes of spring. It is put his hand upon the gate. like you, your garden, Miss Ellie Rose. “Then—will you give it to me now, I made some verses about it once, at Miss Ellie Rose?” Easter. I hope you don't think it too She did not answer, but opening the great a liberty?"
gate, she turned aside from the path. "Werewere those about my gar- The bloom that she gathered for him den?” There was an odd little catch was small and perfect; half open, the in her voice.
pale-pink petals just parting to show “Yes. You are n't displeased? I the rare gold of the heart. She would know they were very poor verses,
have put it into his hand, but he said: but"
"Won't you fasten it in my button“They were beautiful. And the hole? Please?” card, with the rose painted on it, the With fingers that were neither quick pale-pink rose_” She stopped, clasp- nor skilful, because they trembled so, ing her hands tightly together in front she adjusted the flower in the lapel of of her. It was the only thing she had his coat. of his, the only thing he had ever sent "You do not know how I shall prize her, that little Easter card, with its this,” he said. “I cannot thank you four-line verse, and the single rosebud, enough. And now good night, little sketched in water-color. Chester Van lady.” He took her hand and bowed Deyn had quite forgotten that he had over it with that deferentially charmsent one to her, but she had kept it ing way of his, smiling down into the among her most cherished possessions, gray eyes that seemed too big, too carefully preserved in its thick, square wistful, for the small, sweet face framed envelop, with the bold embossed mon- in its quaintly banded hair. ogram that he affected on the flap. Miss Ellie Rose did not speak.
"Your rose,” said young Mr. Van Somehow, she could not. It seemed Deyn. “Sometimes, when I 've been as if all the ache of the lonely, empty
years that lay behind her had all at had the courage, I should like to call once merged into a great wave of you my little lady o' dreams. Would tremulous longing that gripped her you mind very much if I did ?” by the throat and left her dumb. She "No," whispered Miss Ellie Rose. was frightened, a little ashamed, of Her eyes veiled themselves beneath the strength of her own emotions. her long lashes; she dared not lift She knew that she ought to thank them lest too soon he read in them the Chester Van Deyn for his escort, bid happiness of dreams come true. Her him a decorous good night, and go hand fluttered in his palm like a small, into the house; she knew that he imprisoned bird. She swayed a little. already had retained possession of her "Ah, you are tired!” h e cried, with hand longer than was necessary or quick contrition. “I 've kept you quite correct; she knew that in linger- standing too long. I'm sorry. But ing there with him in the silvered it was so sweet to be with you here summer night she must be behaving in the moonlight, in your own garquite as forwardly as any of those den. Good night, then-little lady o' young ladies whose conduct she had dreams." uncharitably criticized. Yet when he “Good night,” her tremulous lips slipped his other hand over hers, she managed. “And I thank you very did not withdraw her fingers. She much, Mr. Van Deyn, for your couronly stood quite still, with wide, star- tesy in escorting me home.” The gray ry eyes, her breath coming quickly eyes, dark and childlike, met his. through her parted lips.
Impulsively, Chester Van Deyn “I wonder,” said young Mr. Van bent his handsome head. Deyn in that slow, caressing voice of "You are a dear little thing," he his, "if you have ever loved any one, said, and kissed her. Then he went Miss Ellie Rose? Please don't think quickly down the path, between the me presumptuous or impertinent; be- trim rows of four-o'clocks and ladies'cause it seems to me that you would slippers, leaving her standing at the have loved very wonderfully, very foot of the shallow steps, her dainty, beautifully, if you had. You don't old-fashioned, white organdie frock, think I'm trying to pry, do you?" with its knots of pale-pink ribbon, all “No,” said Miss Ellie Rose.
silver in the flood of moonlight. “There are some women,” he told her, “who were made to love and to
$ 3 be loved and taken care of, just as Long after the crisp sound of his your roses are. The man who is lucky footsteps had died away on the still, enough to win one can go through all warm air Miss Ellie Rose stood there, his life with pride and thanksgiving motionless, her hands clasped over Look up at me, Miss Ellie Rose.” her heart. At last she turned and
Her eyelids flickered and fell and went into the house. She did not rose again. In her cheeks a soft flush light the lamp in the hall, but groped spread.
her way up the staircase and into her “You have beautiful eyes; do you bedroom. She moved slowly, rather know it?” he told her. “Deep and uncertainly, as one in a half daze.
a calm and full of dreams. If only I She remained a long time on her knees, her face buried in the lavender- disloyal and ungrateful, but Miss scented pillow; but her prayer was Ellie Rose could not help thinking of short, and different from any she had the difference. "My little lady o' ever offered before. “Oh, God, help dreams." me to be worthy of him!"
Would the letter begin so? She He would not come to her; she was could shut her eyes and visualize the very sure of that. No matter how words in the clear, bold handwriting, strong the temptation, he would not "My Little Lady o' Dreams.” yield; his consideration for her would not permit him to yield. If only she
§ 4 had been situated just a little differ- She did not watch for the postman ently, so that he might come boldly in the morning. It would not come to her house with his avowal, so that in the early mail unless he had gone he might receive his answer from her directly home and written it. In the own lips! But that was manifestly afternoon, perhaps. But the chubby out of the question. Miss Ellie Rose little man in the blue-gray uniform chided herself for the unmaidenly trotted past the gate, with a cheery, wish, chided herself, too, for the dis- "Nothin' for you to-day, Miss Ellie paraging comparison that came unbid- Rose." Of course she had not really den to her thoughts. Sam Banks had expected it. A letter like that, the never shown such delicacy of feeling one letter of a man's life, is not comfor her; Sam had never stopped to posed in a moment. It would be think that a housekeeper was not tender, yet humble; it would breathe really a proper chaperon. Dear, kind of devotion, yet respect and humility Samuel, with his big, generous heart would be its underlying tone. It and his blundering ways! She knew would be-a love-letter. Miss Ellie that he would be glad for her, even Rose had never received a love-letter. though her happiness involved his own Only two men had ever written her disappointment. Still, it would not any sort of letter whatever, her pastor be a great blow to him, for Samuel was and Sam Banks. The clergyman alnot romantic. He was fond of her, of ways wrote her on Christmas and on course, in his heavy, stolid way, but of her birthday; Sam had once sent her the love that was at once a benediction a note. and a sacrament he knew nothing.
Dear Ellie Rose: He would have come clumping up to her front door, hammering at the
I've made inquiries about those ramknocker until the noise of it resounded
bler roses, and they 're liable to mildew.
Order something else. to every corner of the house. He
Your ob't serv't, would have sat squarely on the horse
SAMUEL BANKS. hair sofa in the parlor, his hands spread on his big knees, his round, red No, she had not really expected a letface wreathed in a solemn smile. ter so soon. It would come in the “Well, now, Ellie Rose, don't you morning. think we might get married, you and She was at the gate when the postI?"
man passed. He smiled and nodded, It was unkind, of course, it was and observed that it was "goin' to be