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by instinct that if ever she left the' I
farm she would never return;, she
would never stand with William be-r
fore the minister,,as they wer,e pledge
ed to do, and. supplemenUlhe. slender
ring upon; her finger,' 'withfits half
hoop of pearls with a.plairi gold band.
The twd-'imfiulses ;drew '.her, hy.dif
ferent ways.' One way lay fame-and'
joy "and beauty; the other duty.biit
duty consecrated by, love and' wife
hood. She looked at William more criti
cally than Usual that evening. His
hands were coarse and clumsy, his
shoes shapeless; he took no care. of
his appearance. William did not shine
in the external qualities. But he was
good. His very, goodness irritated
"Williari, how would you like to go
to town? "'asked Lettie. "I mean, for
a couple of years, maybe, befdre we
William's brow clouded. He looked
sullenly at her. "You mean that you
want to put off our marriage?" he
"Don't you want me to have a little
happiness before Ve are married?"
She spoke sharply, conscious of the
intolerable struggle. William an
swered her thoughts.
"I know if you leave Stapleton you
Won't never come back," he said.
Then, with a burst of passion, "It's
(hat Miss .Latham, isn't it, with her
notions. Do :you know who she is?
'She's a singer.' Just a plain singer
not even a typewriter or office girl.
There isn't much good to be said of
them, I reckon!"
"I reckon you're top mean to live!"
cried Leslie angrily,.and stood' before
him wjth flamingTcheeks. "Take your
ring back if you warit to talk that
William rose dully; he was only
conscious, in his heavy mind that the
inevitable had happened.. He sawthe
tragedy,but his untrained .mind ran
upon mundane things; the home that
he was buying, the.plgs,,the''cow, the
apple crop that would not bear fruit
fqr the new bride. He Jooto the ring
"If you change your mind.-Xiettie
-T" he began heavily.. But Letty had
lefJiini.-.;Sh'e-was inJMiss lathamls
room upoiiTiej, kneesTspbbing.
"You -must take me-withycu," she
wept,. "I .can!tstay here-3 can't. I
want to .rive jri the town, 'to see the
facesK of "people, to cultivate my-self-e-"
Miss Latham, laid her hand on the
There is another side to the pic
ture,, iBdear," 'she said: "Do you
realize"' what .you will have to go
through-the. days, of labor, the
nights of suffering, the loss of every
idealthe bruising of your heart, the
shattered hopes of life and. the. prom
ise of what mightJiave-been, Vanish
ing with the passing' years? ' Lettie,"
she said, earnestly, "if I could have
the past ten years over again they
would have been different. But I'll
speak to the friend I told you of when
I return if you ask me again tomor
row." Lettie went slowly down the stairs.
Her mental poise had come back to
her. She thought of-her mother's
dreary, round of days, tf her real loye
for herself, hidden though it was .be
neath the load of petulance. She
looked but into the village. There
were the friends whom she had al
ways, known; it was peaceful tonight
and the moon was'rising over the. ap
ple orchard. A'sudden. revulsion of
feeling came over her. The tears ran
down her cheeks.
A man, stepped lightly out of the
"Lettie," he, saidj'l want to say.
I don?t want to stand in your -light, I
want you to gp-4lwant you to. ber
happy. Perhaps -ypull think of me;
Lettie stretched put .her .arms and1.,
drew his head dpwn.to.her'own.-'tt'nv-goings
to. stay, William," she. said.
And Miss Latham, , at her window
above, ieard.and was gladi v.