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Newspaper Page Text
By H. M. Egbert.
The two houses Jiad formed one in
more spacious days, "but where the
stout brick chimney reared itself
through the center of the frame
building a brick wall had been built
in, extending from the cellar to the
he Was Alone, Too.
roof, and converting the one home
into two. The only symbol of com
munion between the disunited parts
of what had been organically one was
that, on windy days, smoke from a
stove set against the chimney on
either side would issue down the flue
into the stove in the adjacent room.
And sometimes, too, if any one lis
tened at the sheet iron, one could
hear words spoken upon the other
" en Prank Barton and Ida Nor-
children they had played at
; but that was long ago.
The intimacies of the old house were
not evoked by childish play any
more. Both were immeasurably old
each was twenty.
The double house stood in a small
town, just such a town as may be
seen almost anywhere in New Eng
land, neither rich nor poor, and proud
of its history. Greenfield fGlks prided
themselves on being ordinary Ameri
cans. Immigration had hardly
touched them, for there was only one
factory, and the French Canadian
hands had something of the colonial
tradition about them.
The Bartons and the Norrises had
lived there for fifteen years, and had
known each other for fifty. Some
times the elders looked at each other
from their opposite sides of the dou
ble piazza and smiled, when the boy
came home, carrying the girl's school
books for her, while she stepped at
his side with all the assurant owner
ship that a small gin feels for her
But that was years before. The
change of adolescence had set a bar
rier between the young people's lives.
Frank was in the local bank how.
Perhaps he earned $12 a week. Ida
stayed home and helped her mother.
The thing that happened came all
in a moment The girl had pictured
it a thousand times, the boy never;
but it was just as surprising to each.
One moment they were friends, chat
ting together on the piazza, wonder
ing whether the rain would kill the
gypsy moths that devastated the
shade-trees; and the next they were
looking at each other in amazed won
der. What is more inarticulate than
love at twenty? The strange help
lessness, the sense of some tremend
ous power that holds one in terror of
self-revelation; caprice and shyness,
as inexplicable to one as to the
other! For instance:
"Best get ready for the picture
"I'm not coming, Frank."
"Aw, why not, now? You said you,