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a mighty hot day.” In the afternoon morning she slept, a fitful, broken he observed that it had been a mighty slumber that brought no rest with it. hot day. He told Mrs. Will Evans, She shrank from meeting her own who came to the front door fanning eyes in the mirror; they had witherself with a folded newspaper, that nessed her shame and her humiliation. he guessed “Miss Ellie Rose was feelin' She bathed her face and forehead in the heat some; she looked kind o' eau de Cologne, and guiltily pleaded a peeked.”
severe headache to the housekeeper's The high temperature continued solicitous inquiries at breakfast. throughout the night; it was a very It was nearly ten o'clock when the warm night indeed for June. There postman's whistle sounded from the was a tinge of saffron to the moon's corner above. disk, and the air was sultry and “There's Mitchell a-comin'," anoppressive. Miss Ellie Rose did not nounced the housekeeper from the sleep very well. Twice she got up, kitchen. "I'll go see if he's got anyand, going to the window, looked thing for us." down into the garden. The leaves of “No! That is, I-I will go, thank shrub and bush hung limp and heavy; you, Hannah,” said Miss Ellie Rose. the flowers drooped on their stalks. She walked a little giddily out of the The second time she went back to bed, front door and down the path to the Miss Ellie Rose buried her face in the gate. He was just leaving Mrs. pillow and wept bitter, scalding tears. Dixon's, up the block, on the other To love unasked, unwanted, to sur- side of the street. When he saw Miss render her lips, which had known no Ellie Rose, he waved his chubby hand man's lips save her father's, to the and held up an envelop. light kiss of a light lover! And he He came along slowly, very slowly. had thought her light.
Miss Ellie Rose opened the gate. She That which to her had been a sac- went out on the sidewalk. The postrament, the seal of a silent confession man stopped, sorting over the pile of of mutual love and esteem, the preface mail in his hand. He turned to the that would be followed by an honor- curb. Then he held up the envelop able declaration as inevitably as day again and wagged it at her. It was follows night, had to him been mean- a square envelop! Miss Ellie Rose ingless. He had thought her a light uttered a smothered little cry, and
. woman, and had treated her as such, ran toward him, across the street. doubtless dismissing her from his Even the postman himself, and he thoughts as one unworthy of respect. had adored Miss Ellie Rose from her And she had brought it on herself. childhood, said that it was unavoid
“But I did n't know," sobbed poor able; the chauffeur could n't possibly Miss Ellie Rose in the darkness of have prevented it, and was not in the her little chintz-hung bedroom. "I least to blame. did n't mean to be bold and brazen. “The Lord knows how she could Oh, I am ashamed—ashamed!” She have helped seein' the machine,” he knew that she ought to have had too said. “I stopped to let it pass. One much pride to weep, but the hurt minute there she was, standin' by the had gone deeper than pride. Toward curbstone and lookin' straight at it.
And the next there she was, all of a to come unless I send for him." She heap in the middle of the street, with spoke to Sam Banks about it, shyly, her pretty hair all tangled and God diffidently. “Until he knows what love her!” said Mitchell, the postman, my answer is, you know," she said. with the tears streaming down his “If you were just to say to him, Samfurrowed cheeks. "She 's a-goin' to uel, that Miss Ellie Rose would be
a get well, ain't she, Doc?"
pleased to know that he—that he had "While there is life there is hope,” inquired for her. Of course I could said the young surgeon, sententiously. not receive him.” He had answered the same question, The palm-leaf fan that Sam Banks in the same words half. a hundred was waving stopped briefly, then went times in the last twenty-four hours. on again. “Does she suffer much?”
“Van Deyn is n't home, Ellie Rose,” “Not very much. The injury is he said. “Left town day before yesinternal. We are doing everything terday; business trip somewheres. possible. She keeps asking about a Most likely—that is, there 's no way letter. Do you-"
he could know you 're here. That's "I brought it," said Mitchell. "I why he has n't been to inquire." thought maybe I 'd better. She 'd "Oh," said Miss Ellie Rose, “I been askin' me about one she expected. But the roses, Samuel, they Maybe she'll rest easier after she come every morning. How would reads it."
he know where to send them if he
had n't heard of my accident?”' § 5
“The florist knows where you are, Miss Ellie Rose could not read the does n't he? He'd send any order letter because of the wide bandage for your house here, would n't he?" over her eyes, but she could feel the "Why, yes, of course. How foolish envelop—the thick, square envelop of me!" said Miss Ellie Rose. “You with the bold monogram embossed on are very kind to be so patient with the flap. She would not let it go out my stupidity, Samuel.” of her hands; she held it tightly hour "Stuff and nonsense!” said Sam after hour. She slept with it under Banks. her cheek. When she woke in the He spent a great deal of time at the night it helped her to bear the pain. hospital. Other visitors were ad
“That must be a very precious let- mitted but seldom. The doctors said ter," the nurse told her with kindly that the patient would need all her raillery. "And all these wonderful strength. But Sam Banks did not roses— Miss Ellie Rose, you've seem to tire her, and he was a very been putting something over on us.”
old and valued friend. Hour after Miss Ellie Rose smiled. It was a hour he sat in the straight-backed twisted little smile, and there was chair beside the bed, one hand spread just a trifle of wistfulness in it, be- on his big knee, the other waving the cause he had not come to the hospital; palm-leaf fan back and forth over the but there was happiness, too.
small, white face framed in its smoothly "If I could only read it!" she plaited dark hair. thought. "Perhaps he does n't like “You will tire yourself, Samuel,” Miss Ellie Rose would remonstrate "I 'm not fretting, Samuel, really. gently.
I-it 's only that Chester will be "Stuff and nonsense, Ellie Rose!" expecting an answer to his letter, and he would reply.
I do not know where to reach him. He did not talk much; he listened, It rather distresses me, Samuel.” as he had always listened, and agreed, "Oh, you'll be all right in a few as he had always agreed.
days, Ellie Rose," he repeated. "Now, "They are pink roses, Samuel?" just you lie back and be comfortable. Miss Ellie Rose asked him.
I 'll try to find out where we can reach He looked across the room at the Van Deyn with a message. Sometable whereon stood the vases holding body in town must know where he is." the great, fragrant clusters, then down "You are so kind, Samuel," she at the broad, white strip of gauze that said gratefully. “But—but be carebanded her forehead.
ful, won't you? Because, you see, "Yes, Ellie Rose."
it 's a secret; it must be until I have “Pale pink, like-like those in my given him his formal answer. I should garden?”
not like to have him think that I had “Yes, Ellie Rose.”
done anything in questionable taste.” The letter rustled in her hands. “He knows I ain fond of them. He
§ 6 asked me for one that-that night in She was a little delirious that aftermy garden. Do you think-do you noon, but through it all she kept her think he will be long away, Samuel? hold of the letter, and through it all Because," said Miss Ellie Rose, “the Sam Banks sat stolidly in the straightdoctor tells me that it may be some backed chair beside the bed, his hands time before my eyes are sufficiently spread on his knees, his eyes never recovered for me to read, and he-he leaving her face. She was living over is doubtless waiting to hear from me. again that night in the garden with He has perhaps given me his address Chester Van Deyn, and in fancy readhere,—” again the letter rustled ing the words that he had written in under the caress of her fingers,—"ex- his letter. It was nearly six o'clock
“ pecting me to communicate with him." when consciousness returned to her.
“Van Deyn did n't say how long "Has Mr. Banks gone?" she asked he 'd be gone, Ellie Rose. It was n't
the nurse. in the paper, either.”
“No, Miss Ellie Rose; he's still She sighed a little wistfully.
here.” “If I could only see!” she said. "Then would you mind if I asked "He must think it very strange that you to leave me alone with him for a I do not write to him; very strange few minutes, please?” indeed.”
When the door had shut behind the “Oh, you'll be all right in a few nurse, Miss Ellie Rose turned her days," Sam Banks said gruffly. "Don't head on the pillow.
fret, Ellie Rose.” It was only “Samuel,” she said, “I am going to
morning that the doctor had told ask a very great service of you. I hu that Miss Ellie Rose would never ask it because you are my oldest and see again.
most valued friend. There is no
one else to whom I can turn; it would you. Don't you think we might get seem like-sacrilege. Samuel, will you married, you and I?'” read my letter aloud to me?”
"Is it not beautiful?” said Miss Ellie “I—Ellie Rose, 1–” he began, and Rose.
Rose. "Could any one else possibly stopped.
have written it?” She stretched out “There is no one else whose eyes her hand for the letter. “I thank would not profane such a sacred thing, you, Samuel,” she said. “You are Samuel,” said Miss Ellie Rose. “And very, very kind to me." 1- I do not think I can wait any longer She tried to raise the paper to her to know what it is that—that Chester lips; her hand fell back weakly. Sam has to say to me. Will you read it for
read it for Banks put his short, stubby fingers me, Samuel?” Her lips quivered ever under it, and lifted it so that it lay on so little; the hand that held the letter her breast. groped across the counterpane, and “Thank you, Samuel,” said Miss the fingers were trembling.
Ellie Rose. "You have always been There was the briefest of brief such a wonderful friend. Does he pauses before Sam Banks spoke. give any address?”
“Of course I 'll read it for you,” he "It's there, at the head of the letter, said. “And I–I thank you, Ellie Ellie Rose. I did n't notice just what Rose.”
it was. I 'll look in the morning. "Why, for what, Samuel?" she It's getting dark now, and the light 's asked wonderingly; but he made no bad here. I don't see as well as I used answer. He fumbled the letter a to." little as he took it from her hand. “Poor Samuel!” said Miss Ellie Although it was quite cool in the room, Rose, gently. “To-morrow will do his forehead was beaded with perspi- quite well. If it would not be taxing ration. He wiped it off with his your kindness too much, would you handkerchief, straightened his specta- write a little reply for me if I dictated cles on his nose, and unfolded the it? Because," said Miss Ellie Rose, single heavy sheet of notepaper the "I am afraid the doctor will not let envelop contained. He read very me have these bandages off for several slowly, with stumbling pauses; his days. And now, Samuel, if you don't voice was level, monotonous.
mind, I think I should like to sleep “ 'Dear Little Lady o' Dreams:
for a short while. I am just a little “ 'The other night when we were to- tired. But you have made me very gether in your garden, you gave me a happy, my kind friend,” said Miss rose to wear. I have kept it ever since. Ellie Rose, softly; “very happy, 1-'" Sam Banks coughed, and Samuel.” cleared his throat.
Clasped in her two hands, the letter “Yes?”' prompted Miss Ellie Rose, rested on her breast. She sighed eagerly. "Yes?”
once and smiled. “ 'I have kept it ever since. It is Sam Banks bent over the bed. Very just like you, so little and sweet. I'm gently, very reverently, he touched not worthy of you, buť ”—he coughed his lips to her hair. again—“'but I love you very much. I “O Ellie Rose!” he said, “O Ellie love you more than I can possibly tell Rose!”
Why, Sam, it was hardly a week ago $ 7
that I took her home from Katherine He went softly out of the room, as Hendrick's party. We had such a though he feared to awaken her from nice chat. I'd never known her very sleep; he walked slowly and rather well, but she was a dear little thing. uncertainly, as does a man whose She was telling me how much she sight is not quite clear. Just outside liked some verses I had printed once the hospital he stopped, braced his for Easter cards, and a few days ago shoulders. He lifted his hat from his I sent her a new one just four lines— head, bowed, and passed out into the about a butterfly. I thought maybe street. A convalescent patient, look- she 'd like it.
she'd like it. But I don't suppose ing from an upper window, wondered she ever got it, poor little thing!” at the salute, for there was no one in Sam Banks started for the door. sight on either side of the street.
"Yes," he said; "she got it. She Two blocks from the hospital was said it was beautiful. She told me the florist's shop. Sam Banks entered. she was sure no one but you could
“I'd like to have my bill, please,” have ever written it,” said Sam Banks. he said to the man in charge.
“Good night, Van Deyn.” He went “Certainly, Mr. Banks. Let me out, closing the door behind him. see eight dozen red and yellow roses, Van Deyn turned to the florist. at-oh, good evening, Mr. Van Deyn. "Pretty rough on him." He jerked Fine weather we 're having."
his thumb after the thick-set figure. “Very.” Mr. Van Deyn nodded “They'd been friends for years and pleasantly to the florist and came to years. Poor Miss Ellie Rose! Such the side of Sam Banks. "I saw you a quaint, old-fashioned little thing." come in, Sam, and followed you," he He moved over to the glass-paneled said. “I wanted to ask after Miss case and critically inspected its conEllie Rose. Katherine Hendricks told tents. "Send a hundred lavender me this afternoon that she had been sweet peas to Mrs. Hendricks, please,” reported worse."
he directed, "and two hundred pale "Ellie Rose is dead," said Sam pink ones to Miss Elsie Morton. Banks. He said it quite calmly, quite And those white roses-about four evenly. "She died less than half an dozen, I guess, in a spray; yes. Miss hour ago.”
Ellie Rose liked white ones, I think," “No! Why, that seems impossible! said young Mr. Van Deyn.