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auction. What we shall do then I don't know."
"Oh, auntie, is that why we gave up having a carriage and never hired anyone to take Norah's place? I never realized— why didn't you tell me?" cried Elaine, looking at her aunt with troubled eyes.
“Dear, you had to know soon enough. Oh, to think of giving up this place!" cried Aunt Helen. "Why, we were born in this house. I can see your mother now when she was a baby crawling up those stairs. She had golden curls, Elaine, just as you have, and how her mother loved them. I can see them sitting in the big west window downstairs. Elaine, this house is too full of memories. It will kill your aunt to have to give it up. We are old, dear, much too old to try to make a change, and yet we must."
Elaine looked down at her aunt. She looked pitifully old. The thin white hair was combed back, with the yellowing ends done up in a knot. Her hands were clasped convulsively and her fingers picked nervously at her black silk dress in a vain effort to keep back the tears which trembled in her eyes.
Elaine sank down beside her and caught her thin hand in her own. "Oh, Elaine," cried her aunt, "we need you. You are all we have left. You won't leave us now?"
Elaine looked out the window. The hills opposite were purple under the shadow of a coming storm. The white muslin curtain floated lazily inward on a sultry breeze. "You won't leave us— will you?" and her aunt's thin hand trembled in her own.
"I want to do what is best for us all," said Elaine slowly.
At eight o'clock Elaine was waiting expectantly in the garden. "He will be here any moment now," she said softly to herself. "In just a few minutes and then I will see him." The events of the last two days could be all explained away. Hal would know what was best to be done about her aunts. He had once said that love could overcome any obstacle. In a moment she lived again the events of the three years previous. Once more her spirits rose to sublime heights only to be checked by the memory of her aunt's trembling hand. "Oh Hal, I must see you, I must," she cried, looking across the meadow, the grass rippling in the wind, but there was no one in sight. She paced
nervously up and down the garden, hoping each time she turned that she would see that familiar figure coming across the lawn. It was oppressively hot. She was forced finally to sit down on the bench in the garden and wait. She could feel the storm coming. The air was sultry. Great lowering clouds had closed in overhead. In the sudden lull that proceeded the storm the fragrance of the garden seemed to be intensified. Dried leaves started to whirl in slow eddying circles with the rising wind. Elaine sat motionless. Her white dress began to show conspicuously in the darkening garden. Her eyes were fixed on the path where it disappeared over the edge of the hill.
Suddenly with a crash and low rumbling of thunder the storm broke. Elaine rose dazed and terrified and found her way into the house. Upstairs she could hear the scurrying of feet, followed by the sound of windows closing. Somewhere, down a windy corridor a door was slamming.
Elaine did not move. The rain beat against the windows, it roared through the drains, it pounded on a dry and sun-baked earth in the fury of its assault. The room was absolutely dark. Elaine stood by the window. "He will come yet, he will come yet!" she said to herself. There was a crash, followed by the glare of lightning. The room suddenly lit and then plunged once more into darkness. Then in the silence that followed came the long-drawn whistle of the train as it rounded the bend. The sound shrill and penetrating made her weak with fear. "Not that, oh not that," she moaned. The thunder rumbled overhead, the storm beat upon the house and rattled at the windows driven by the rising wind, but the girl huddled in the chair before the empty grate did not hear it. She lay with her face buried in her arm, sobbing.
The next morning the rain had stopped. Elaine was out among the wreckage of the garden. The air was fresh and cool and the rich damp earth clung to her trowel. Suddenly she knew some one was standing behind her. She felt it to be Hal. She could almost feel Hal's arms about her. The despair of the evening before suddenly disappeared. She knew that he loved her and her alone. All the pettiness and narrowness of their lives with their hampering obstacles were swept away.
His love was hers for all eternity and nothing could take it away. With her heart full, she turned to speak to him. There was only the sunlight on the lawn and the brightness of a midsummer morning.
The morning paper was always late in Bradford. Miss Agatha took it in herself. "Helen," she said, "where are my glasses?" But as she unfolded the paper, she started. This time there was no need of glasses. The headlines were in flaming type. "Bradford Boy in Accident. Young Hal Drummond killed by train last night while crossing the Maitland property."
"We must tell Elaine," she said softly, and turned to leave the room.
They looked up and saw Elaine standing in the doorway. The sunlight made a halo for her head. They dreaded to tell her. But as their eyes met, Elaine smiled slowly and, turning, went up the stairs without a word.
Spake then the Voice of Vision: There is a Town
A Mock, where Death is dead and Time outrun!
And great Zeus flung the planets from his path,
There is a City yonder-where the light
Flows like a silent river through the sky— A City of the dream time-where the night Is mellow as at dusk a maiden's eye.
Mind wallows carnal there in alley-stench
Where man reeks from his stinking canons, cut Like rotting gutters from a burial trench
And flesh writhes in the travail of a slut.
Then, dawning, and the spirit of the streets
Glides, moldering, miasmic, from the stones;—
Zeus flings the curse of brightness on the place,
So fares Zeus elsewhere, treading dusty winds
The sheerness of infinity-too bright.
J. A. Thomas.
(An Argonaut Speaks.)
Yes! I can remember the hopeless seas,
And our distant pale home;
The fog that crawled in from the grey
-This like a ghost, I recall!
With night after starless night of pain,
The promontory at length we cleared;
And the creaking strakes grew spongy-green,