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Will you? I must go when the new
moon lies in the west."
"Go, dearest? Where ? "
"I may not tell you," she sighed,
"but you will know very soon very
soon now. And there will be no
more sorrow, I think," she added tim
idly. "There will be no more sorrow,"
he repeated quietly.
"For the former things are passing
away," she said.
He broke a heavy spray of golden
rod and laid it across her knees; she
held out a blossom to him a blind
gentian, blue as her eyes. He
"Be with me when the new moon
comes," she whispered, "it will be so
sweet. I will teach you how divine
is death, if you will come."
"You shall teach me the sweetness
of life," he said tremulously.
"Yes life. I did not know you
called it by its truest name."
So he went away, trudging sturdi
ly down the lane, gun glistening on
Along the row of village shops
loungers followed him iwith vacant
eyes. He saw nothing, heard noth
ing. The landlord of the Wildwood Inn
sat sunning himself in the red even
"Well, doctor," he said, "you look
tired to death. Eh? What's that
The young man repeated his ques
tion in a low voice. The landlord
shook his head.
"No, sir. The big house on the hill
is empty been empty these three
years. No, sir, there ain't no family
there now. The old gentleman
moved away three years ago."
"You are" mistaken," said the doc
tor; "his daughter tells me he lives
"His his daughter?" repeated
the landlord. "Why, doctor, she's
-dead." He turned to his wife, who
sat sewing by the open window:
'Ain't it three years, Marthyt,"
"Three years today," said the
woman, biting off her thread. "She's
buried in the family vault over the
hill. She was a right pretty little
"Turned nineteen," mused the
landlord, folding his newspaper re
flectively. The great gray house on the hill
was closed, windows and doors
boarded over; lawn, shrubbery and
hedges tangled with weeds.
His dog, which had sneaked after
him, cowered as he turned northward
across the fields. Swifter and swift
er he strode, and as he stumbled on,
the long sunset clouds faded, the
golden light in the west died out;
leaving a calm, clear sky tinged with
Pines hid the west as he crept to
ward the hill where she awaited him.
The pines answered him.
The pines replied, answering to
gether. Then the wind died away,
and there was no answer when he
East and south the darkening
thickets, swaying, grew still. He
saw the slim silver birches glimmer
ing like the ghosts of young trees
dead; he saw on the moss at his feet
a broken stalk of golden rod.
The new moon had drawn a veil
across her light; sky and earth were
While the moon lasted he lay, eyes
open, listening, his face pillowed on
the moss. It was long after sunrise
when his dog came to him; later still
when men came.
And at first they thought he was
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