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Newspaper Page Text
By Ezra Hawley.
John Moor was writing a new novel
and he wanted a quiet country place
where he could be entirely alone.
Now he had found it. It was an ideal
spot, not far from the metropolis and
yet in the very heart of the country.
It was an old house, with the old
fcshioned garden in which bloomed
old-fashioned flowers: stocks, holly
hocks and canterbury bells, while
there was a promise of magnificent
I Am Not Sure Which of Our People
roges. These things would stimulate
his creative power.
"I like this place immensely," he
said to the agent. "But tell me frank
ly why the rent is so low."
"I will," the agent answered. "I'm
a frank man, and I believe frankness
pays. You see that red brick build
ing across the pasture? What do you
suppose ft is?"
"Some millionaire's house," said
"No, shy answered the agent. "It's
a lunatic asylum."
"Well, I don't mind that," said
"Of course, you ddn't," the agent
answered. "It's one of the best-managed
private asylums in the country.
But you see, they use the new sys
tem there; everything's done by kind
ness, and there's no wall round it Of
course, they shut up the dangerous
cases, but as for the rest why,
they're free to stroll around where
they please. They can't get away by
train, and now and then, if one of
them takes a fancy to dodge the
guards and take a stroll into the vil
lage, why, nobody cares. But renters
are nervous, especially their wives.
So that's why the rent's cheap."
"It suits me," answered John, and
took the house.
His unhappy neighbors interested
him greatly. Often he would stand
at the foot of the big garden and
watch them in the grounds. For the
most part, they seemed like ordinary
folk, but occasionally some gentle
man or lady on the other side of the
high privet hedge would greet him
with a grimace or invite him to enter
and listen to some marvelous story.
But John's nerves were proof against
all the supposed dangers of his en
vironment. At the bottom of the asy
lum grounds stood the six trim doc
tors' cottages, and whenever sC pa
tient roamed in this direction he
would see the doctor or guard alert,
watching, ready to hail his charge.
There was a strip of neutral
grounds, a sort of scrub forest, on
one side of the grounds. John often
wandered there when the creative
faculty was at work in him. One day,
making his way to his accustomed
seat beneath a pine, he discovered
that it had been preoccupied by a
very charming girl, - who surveyed
him thoughtfully as he approached,
but without the least sense of em-barrasment.