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"would. This is the last night of the
week, and there won't be another In
town for an age.""
"I don't care; I'm not coming," she
answered, snatching her hand away
as ,he pulled at her wrist coaxingly,
"Leave me alone!"
"Why, Ida!" exclaimed the boy,
looking in wonder at her flushed face,
"I didn't mean honest, I didn't
say! You aren't mad at me?"
But the girl had flung into the
house, leaving him standing outside
and gaping after her. He could not
understand what was the matter with
her. As he stood there Mrs. Norris
came out with the big watering can.
She had a box of asters, which she
was raising from seed; or, rather, it
had been Ida's but she had ceased to
care for the tender shoots.
"Say, Mrs. Norris, Ida's all right,
isn't she?" asked the boy.
The old woman looked at him,
pursing her lips. "I guess there's
nothing wrong with her," she an
swered, and began sprinkling the
plants. There was a wise smile on
her lips, and her face was faintly
"They're too young, Jim," she said
that night to her husband, when the
old couple were alone.
Outside, at the Barton end of the
piazza, Frank was waiting, He had
meant to go to the picture show
alone. He had wished that he had
some other girl to take with him.
They would stroll past the double
house together, their velces. (Slightly
raised, and Frank laughing. The
thought pleased him; but he only sat
sullenly at the end of the piazza, his
chin on his hands, staring out into
Ten yards, away the girl sat by
the window in the living room. She
was alone, too; her father had gone
out upon some errand, and her moth
er was making up accpunts in the
kitchen. From the corner of the win
down she could pust see the Barton
end of the piazza. She had a book
Jn her hand, bat she was not reading.
She had been trying hard not to
cry, and was exceedingly angry, be
cause it was not about Frank Bar
ton and yet it was, too, in a sort of
way. But what had he done? Noth
ing. That was just it; he was only a
boy and couldn't understand. But
what was there to understand, ex
cept that she hated him.
She went up to her room, at last,
and then she crouched down by the
window and cried in earnest. Pres
ently a slight squeaking sound in
side the chimney made her tiptoe
over to the stove. It had not been
lit since the warm weather began, a
month before. Something like a
mouse was squeaking and scurrying
behind the place where the stovepipe
Frank Barton, at the end of the
piazza, saw the girl's shadow thrown
on the lawn. He was not going to
look up at her. But he looked up,
and saw that she had pulled the
stovepipe from Its place and was
bending over something.
, "She's found a mouse's nest," he
thought, and a wave -of disgust surg
ed over him, He had heard the lit
tle beasts scurrying t0 and frjo at
night He had thought of pulling
out the pipe and' drowning them.
How like a girl!
He almost hated Ida then. He
hoped she had not been angry with
him because because she guessed!
The shame of that would make him
hang his head the rest of his days.
He saw Ida clearly again, a pale
young woman whose twin pigtails
had changed into fluffy, straw-colored
hair. He did not even want to
take another girl to the picture show
"Aren't you getting cold, Frank?
It's turning quite chilly," said his
mother, from the window of the liv
"I guess not," he answered.
"Shall I light the fire In the stove.?"
He hesitated. "Yes, it might warm
up the house," he answered.
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