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Newspaper Page Text
TWO GIRLS AND LIFE
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Zurie- lives on a mountain.
All her brief life the mountain has been Zurie's purlieu. The
cabin she lives in, the little garden with its split picket fence, the few
stony fields beyond, the narrow
cove below, the green wall of the
mountain rising to a craggy sum
mit behind and above all this is
Here Zurie's people are all the
folks in the world who know and
love her. Yonder, on the little
knob, her forebears are buried.
All the ties of earth that Zurie
knows are anchored here.
Nevertheless Zurie is discon
tented. From the doorstep of the cabin,
looking down the cove, far out
beyond where it opens out and yields its tumbling little stream to
the river below, she can see, faintly limned on the horizon, the spires
and stacks of a city. On humid days, when the wind is right, she
can hear, fitfully, the sound of its bells a"nd whistles. On very clear
days she can see, as silvery white streaks, the steam of locomotives
hurrying thither or thence. At night the city blazes to heaven and
is manifested to Zurie as an aurora in the clouds.
And Zurie, when she thinks of the city, ever falls to wondering
about the unimagiried delights of the girls who live there, and to
wishing that she might go there and know such delights.
Sue lives in a city.
Within a block of Sue's house burns one of the arc lamps that
go to make the aurora that Zurie sees at night. But Sue never sees
that aurora only the hard, blue glitter of the hissing arc; the -filthy
length of the narrow street it shines upon, ; the dismal fronts of the
squalid cottages that line the street all of a kind, all painted with
the same red iron paint.
On her way to her work Sue crosses a high bridge from which
there is a fine prospect up the river. And pausing there, many a
morning, Sue gazes up the valley, up the notch in the middle dis
tance, up to the very horizon beyond, where the mountain looms
against the sky blue, "beautiful, alluring, far aloof from the sordid
world that Susie knows.