Puslapio vaizdai

the other. The eyes of Louisa and Harriet and Mary were averted. The hysterical note returned to Wilhelmina's voice.

"Eighteen-year-old Helen weeping over the sins of her forty-two-year-old aunt! Does n't that seem a trifle ridiculous? And suppose I did go to a restaurant for supper after the theater!"

'Wilhelmina!" said Louisa.

"Wilhelmina!" cried Harriet. "Wilhelmina!" groaned Mary.

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"You don't know how often I have and Mary together. All their wedbeen there."

"That," wailed Louisa, "is the awful part."

"Vulgar!" cried Harriet and Louisa dings had been six-week pageants of dinners and luncheons and theater-parties. Again their husbands looked at each other

"Or how often I may go there in the slyly. future."

Her three brothers-in-law, even the Rev. John Smith, stared at her with astonished, amazed approval. Her three sisters stared at one another aghast, That Wilhelmina, in the foolish immaturity of an unmarried person, might yield even once to the temptation to be unconventional was hard to believe; that she boldly purposed to repeat the offense was incredible.

There was a middle-aged woman of their acquaintance, a widow, who surrounded herself with a circle of admiring young men whom she took yachting and automobiling. Was Wilhelmina, staid, fortytwo-year-old Wilhelmina, to become another Anna Lenwood? They knew no wrong of Anna Lenwood, but her behavior was undignified, unconventional, mad.

They remembered with terror the elderly men, friends of their father, and the boys, sons of friends of their own, who liked to go to see Wilhelmina. They remembered also their own children, Wilhelmina's nieces and nephews, whom they had expected her to enrich as their Aunt Wilhelmina had enriched her. Suppose Wilhelmina should buy a yacht and an automobile!

Harriet found her breath first.

"No unmarried woman should go to a theater or to supper alone with a man if she is eighty," she declared. "The newer set may do those things. We do not."

"But suppose," said Wilhelmina, slowly, "suppose I should say I was going to be married."

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"Yes, vulgar," said Wilhelmina. "Well, I give up!" cried Harriet. "And to whom," faltered Louisa-"to whom would you like to be married?"

"I am married," said Wilhelmina. “I was married last evening at Dr. Pryor's. Then we went to the theater. We sat two rows behind Helen and Mrs. Wentworth, and we went out early on purpose to avoid them. I never thought of their driving past our restaurant. Then we came home. I sent you announcements this morning by special messenger. If you had waited a little longer you would have got them. The others have gone by mail."

"Announcements," cried Harriet "to your sisters!"

"I did n't wish to be talked over even for a week."

"And who-" gasped Louisa, in her mind a dozen frantic possibilities of attractive, foolish boys and unattractive old men, each of whom was an enemy taking an inheritance away from her children— "who is the man?”

"The man


?" Wilhelmina flushed crimA man appeared suddenly in the doorway. At sight of him Louisa groaned once more. It was John Barrett. She had been praying that he would not ap


John Barrett seemed to be very much at home. He walked across the room, put his arm round Wilhelmina, and called her Tiny.

"What do you think of it?" he asked them all.

"John!" said Miles Barrett.
"Is it you?" cried Louisa.

"Of course," said John Barrett. "None

of you supposed that a man could live in the same house with her without falling in love with her, did you?"

His brother, and newly acquired brothers-in-law rushed forward to seize his hand. To each of them Wilhelmina presented a flushed and dutiful cheek. Her sisters did not come forward. Harriet managed to cross the room to put her arms round her father. He had come into the room not to assist in the discussion,-he had not known that a discussion was in progress, but to find a book which he had mislaid. In the years of Wilhelmina's gentle administration he had occasionally

forgotten that he had been trained to keep his books in the library. Harriet embraced him tenderly.

"We can forgive her for treating us this way," she mourned; "it is you for whom we resent it, Father. To go out of your house alone, and be married at the clergyman's without an engagement, without attendants, without-"

Father shook himself free.

"Now, Harriet," he said, "don't be a goose. If you are talking about Wilhelmina's wedding, she had an attendant. I was the attendant. Wilhelmina, where is my book?"




HEY have hauled in the gang-plank; the breast-line crawls back;
It is "Port, and hard over!" and out through the black

Of the storm and the night, and across to the mouth

Of the harbor, where stretching far out to the south,
Run the lights of the town.

Swinging slowly, we turn,

Pointing out for mid-lake, past the long pier, where burn
The red harbor-lights, where the great billows churn,
Blow on blow, on the spiles, spilling down the white foam-
But I 've written the home-folks that I'm coming home.

And I'm coming; huddled close by the slow-falling rail,
Blinking red through the mist and the spray, while the hail
Rattles down the wet decks, lifting high, with the wail
Up the wind of the fog-horn, and behind on our trail,
And we nose straight out in the teeth of the gale,
I know by the throb that the engines prevail,
And-steady, my courage!-unless the stars fail,
We 'll make it.

But tell me, O gray eyes and blue,
Did you know, in your watching, O dim eyes and true,
In that black night's wild fury, while the storm-signals flew,
While the waves beat us back, and the hoarse whistles blew-
Did you know, O my dear ones, I was coming to you?


The silence of midnight; the hiss of the swell;
The creaking of timbers; the close cabin smell;
The slow-swaying shadows; the jar of the screw;
The wind at the shutter; the feet of the crew;
The cry of a child-is he coming home, too?

There's a rent in the night, and a star glimmers through;
The skies clear above us; the west banks up brown;
The wind dies across us; the sea 's running down;
And across the dim water, still breaking in foam,
Stretches out the far shore-line-and I'm coming home.

The hills smile a welcome, the long night is past,
And the ship 's turning into the harbor at last.
The engines slow down; we steal through the slip,
Past the low-burning lamp, and with quivering lip,
Call down to the life-savers, cheering us on.

The weary throb sends us straight into the dawn,
Fair and white up the bay, half asleep, all adream,
In its translucent purple and pearl. Just a gleam
Out there of the earliest sail; here the curl
Of the first lazy smoke from a cabin, a girl
Loops up the long vines at the doorway. A swirl
Of white water behind us; then a stir at the dock.
Steam slowly! The head-line- the stern-line- the shock
As we swing alongside, and across the plank flock
Wan faces, with breath still a-quiver, the roar
Of the night still above and about them, the floor
Still uncertain; but over the grateful, brown loam
We crowd to the shore-boat-and I 'm coming home.

And away to the north, over depths of cool green
From the bluffs overhead, where the deep-set ravine
Digs down to the heart of the wood, while a stream
Trickles out over sands drifting white and the pier
Reaches out through the water to meet us! We're here!

From the pier to the boat-house and far down the shore
Flutters back to the group at the old farm-house door
The word that I 'm coming; and from wrinkled old hands,
As the dear old feet toil through the weary, white sands,
Bringing welcome and welcome, from boat-house and strand,
The hurrying, white-wingèd signals all come-
God pity the mortal who has never come home.

And I? I'm not worth it. But, gray eyes and blue!
While the storms beat about me, O dear hearts and true!
Or the fogs, flinging far, blot the stars from the blue,
If the pole-star leads on or the rudder swings true,
It's not heaven I 'm after-I 'm coming to you.

But heaven it will be when down the blue dome
Flutter out the white signals that I 'm coming home.



Owned by Mr. Henry Clay Frick



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