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The Hays free press. [volume] (Hays, Kan.) 1908-1924, October 27, 1917, Magazine Section, Image 14

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South Carolina.
A. C. J. Jacobs, X U. S.
tal, care of P M., N. Y C
S. S., Ves-
The Sunday, which is Reformation
Day, will be celebrated by special service-in-
the moraine- and eveninz in :
erai wear ana win give
splendid service. Col-
Co., I.
HOME CIRCLE MAGAZINE SECTION
Seffy
Continued from page 3)
"And you to me it's efen say
nossing more."
"You have kept me from going crazy,
I think."
"You haf kep my ol' heart from
breaking, I expect. Yas, I know, now,
that there is such a 6ing as proke herts,"
he averred.
"Pappy, I"
"What?" asked he.
"I don't know what I'm going to do
now. I got to work for my . living, I
expect. There is not enough left
for"
"You'll nefer work for you' keep
while I'fe got a dollar," said the old
man. "I owe you that much for
for"
She liked that. She- was sitting on a
low stool at his feet, her elbow on his
knee her favorite attitude. She
crowded a little closer.
"Pappy," she said presently, "let
me come and keep your house."
"Do you mean that?" asked the old
man joyously.
"But why? That's hard work for a
gal that's not used to it."
"Oh, maj'be I want to be where
Seffy .was. For some day he'll come
back and I want to be there to ask
his pardon."
They were silent for a while and then
the old man said huskily:
"You shall. You shall sleep in
Seffy's bed. You shall look in his little
cracked looking-glass. You shall set
in his place at the table. You shall be
my Seffy! And we'll wait for him to
gether and we'll bose ast his pardon
when he comes when he comes."
"May I ride his mare and plow with
her?"
"You you you?" he questioned in
his ecstasy. "Ken j'ou? say -do jrou
sink you ken?"
"Yes," she said very softly. . "If you
' will let me, I will be all and everything
Seffy was to you. I took him from you.
Let me do my best to replace him. It
is for that that, only, that I have
cared. We shall rent this house and
that will help for I know you have been
gettng poor, too and and if you
will take it I I want to give you'
the pasture-field for oh, for Seffy's
sake. Will you take it?" For he had
demurred. "For Seffy's sake just as
3'ou would take it from him and as he
would give it to you if he were ali
here? I want to be both son and daugh
ter to you. Let me be Seffy and my
self too! It is much but let me try."
But he had caught that little slip of
the tongue, and was dumb.
They sat 6ilent by the fire for a long
time then. Presently the old man rose
and lifting her he said, with a smile, a3
she had never seen on his face :
"Yas for Seffy's sake come! Now!"
It was night.' . But he led her from
her own house to his. And that night
she slept in Seffy's bed.
One of Sally's duties was the nightly
reading oMhe Farm Journal. And just
now this paper, edited by a gentleman
who knew nothing about farming and
by him edited well was full of the
great meeting of the National Farmer's
League of t he United States of America,
which was in session at Omaha.
"By far the most intelligent and in
teresting paper of the session, thus far,"
Sally read one night, "was that on The
Proper Succession of Crops in Maryland
by the youthful president of the Kansas
State League, Mr. " Sally rose sud
denly and vanished to the kitchen where
there was a lights?: - - i?
"What was it?" asked the old
when she returned.
"I I choked," said Sally quite
truthfully, "and went for a drink."
"Yas don't read no more. We'll
find out about the succession to-morrow
night. But what was the smart fellor's
name?"
She pretended tb look for it, and when
. she pretended to have found it: i I ' i
. ."l&i.S. P. Brown," she readi V ,
"A' Kansas man about Maryland!
Huh!"
But that night, after Seffy's father was
in bed, Sally wrote a pitiful letter
perhaps the first she had ever written:
"Dear Seffy (it ran)
Please come home. Come as soon
as you get this. Your pappy wants
you. He is old and sorry, so please
come right away.
Sepehnijah P. Baumgartner, Senior."
But the envelop was addressed to
"Mr. S. P. Baumgartner, Jr.,
President Kans. State League,
Kansas."
The post-mistress smiled indulgently
as Sally handed in the letter, the next
day.
"A long way off" she said.
"Yes," said Sally, fidgeting with her
bonnet. "How soon do you think it
will get there?"
The post-mistress reflected.
"About a week," she said then.
"So long?"
But as a matter of fact, she had
thought it would take longer. Kansas
was a vague place in those days, and a
vast distance away.
"Well," said the post-mistress com
fortably, "mebby not quite so long.
But better not count much on its get
ting there sooner." I'll give it a good
start. I'll put it in the mail bag now."
"Thank you," said Sally.
She watchea her put it into the bag
and then went dreaming home, and for
all of the two weeks of waiting she was
very happy dreaming always. Poor
girl she had made her life so unhappy
that joy seemed divine. She was sure
of Seffy. Sometimes she wondered
with a blush and a start if he might
not come himself in answer. She would
not have been surprised to have him
steal up behind her that was his way,
she remembered and call out softly
her name. So she went about almost
on tiptoes so that she might hear him if
he should. It was a little difficult to keep
it from the inquisitive old man, who
did" not quite understand her sudden
happiness. But she did it.
And, finally, the two weeks were up.
She . was quite sure Seffy would not
waste a moment with his answer. And
he might use that mysterious instru
ment, the telegraph, which she under
stood would not take more than an
hour from Kansas. She supposed h 13
message, even if he used the telegraph,
would come to the post-office.
The ceremonial of a letter, with
simple people is as much a matter of
concern.-as treaty between two nations.
And now, as she dressed herself in her
best clothes to go to the post-office, she
felt, somehow, as if 6he were to be in
Seffy's personal presence, and must be
as immaculate as always. She wond
ered how he would address her! for
getting that his answer Must come to
the one whose name she had signed.
She had heard of various most dear
head-lines to letters. I am afraid
she blushed at all this. For, as she
looked in the glass, she saw a. face so
radiant that she looked again to iden
tify it.
So, all the more, she dressed herself
withrthe same care she would have taken
were she going to him instead of to the
Eost-office for his letter. She remem
ered what he had said about her hair,
and she ventured to pull it about her
face, much as it had been that night
in the dark parlor. But at the thought
of that the tears came slowly into her
eyes. She had been very happy that
night. It was all the happiness she
had ever known, it seemed now. She
dried her eyes and then she sat at the
table where Seffy had often sat; and
.looked again in his broken mirror.
The radiance was quenched. Her face
was pale and thin now. She thought
of it quite as if he were soon to see it.
. "I wonder if he'll think me hand
Eome, now?" She shook her head
doubtfully at the face she saw in the
glass. "No, I have no red cheeks no
more and my eyes are bigger and
my lips thinner and my hair is paler
and my hands "
She remembered how he had kissed
them, and put her head down and sob
bed. They did not seem fit to be kissed
now nor worth kissing.
But the post-m ist resa liked her bet
ter that way and so do I. For she had
acquired a daintiness that was al
most immaculate.
As soon as Sally came, the post
mistress smiled and shook her head.
For she had understood what the letter
contained quite as if she had seen it.
And she had watched anxiously for the
answer.
"Not yet," she said compassionately.
Sally's legs weakened and she clutch
ed at the little shelf before her. It
took a moment to swallow the thing
in her throat. Then she murmured:
"It's two weeks."
"Yes. But he'd have to be pretty
prompt to get it here by this time."
Sally had been sure of this prompt
ness. It never occurred to her to
doubt. She would not have wasted
a minute. She turned hopelessly away.
"Perhaps tomorrow!" said the kind"
post-mistress.
Sally veered, smiling.
"You think so?"
"Perhaps. One can never tell. Don't
worry, dear. You see the address was
very vague and it may be some time
before they find him."
"You don't think it is too late?"
"I hope not, dear."
She had not thought of that before.
She had fancied him waiting for some
such recall. But, -of course, he had
formed other ties he would be glad
to forget her. He might be married!
Of course he was! Otherwise he could
not be a president!
"I guess it's too late," she said again.
"I would not' think that. The ad
dress was very vague. But after you
were gone, I took the precaution to put
a return address on the envelop and
if he does not get it, it will come back;
but that will take some little time."
There was nothing the next day nor
the next, nor for the many days after
ward that she went to the post-office.
She no longer dressed up for the trip,
and she was glad now she had not told
his father.
' For a while she had to lock herself in
her room when the desire came on her
to go to the post-office. And then she
remained away three days, then a week,
and then the post-mistress admitted
that the letter had had time to be re
turned. She must not give up though.
Strange things happen, sometimes, with
letters.
The letter had been returned, the
post-mistress had it then. But she
pityingly thought it best that Sally
should wait for it still, while she tried
to send it back to him. .
Otherwise it. was very much as Sally
had planned and hoped, save that she
was a bit sadder. She kept Seffy's
father's house, as, perhaps, no house
was ever kept before. She had not
been famous for the keeping of her own
house in the days of her coquetteship.
Her grandmother had attended to this
and then a maid who interpreted her
faultlessly. But now her own hands did
- all and did it with love. And she did re
place Seffy and more. For she plowed,
and, after a brief apprenticeship, no one
did it better. The bay mare was, as
kind to Sally as she had been to Seffy.
Nothing in his life had ever been so
sweet to the old man as those rests when
they met. And no food was ever so
piquant as that eaten under the trees at
their nooning.
Sally still went to the post-office and
the post-mistress still had her letter
where she could have put her hand upon
it, though she mercifully.concealed this.
But there was no hope. Not & word
of confidence had passed between Sally
and the kind post-mistress, but each
knew that the other understood quie
as if their confidence was complete.
So that it was as if they spoke of an old
matter when Sally said,' one day:
"Xes I guess it's too late. He's
married."
"I wouldn't think so, if I were you,
till I heard it from him said the com
passionate woman behind the counter.
"I thought so once. He went to war.
I heard that he was killed. I married
another man just oh, just because!
Then he came back. I have always
been sony."
Something filled the speaker's eyes
and Sally, with the dumb intuition of
the primitive nature, stood there a long
time and said only, "Thank you."
But after that hope rose and lived
again.
That night the post-mistress received,
from Washington, the -address of the
Kansas Statf Lk ague of Farmers' Clubs,
and put it on the face of the returned
letter and sent it forth again.
CHAPTER XV
SHALL. SEFFY ENTER AT THIS CUE?
Winter had come again the fifth
one. They sat together in the great
hearth of the kitchen, in their character
istic attitude when before a fire. The
hickory logs sputtered savagely, but
sent out to them, nevertheless, a grate
Jil warmth. Their f?ices and bodies
glowed in the fervor of it. And there
is nothing like this to put one at peace
with all the world.
"Sally," said the old man, "this is
nice."
"Very nice," aereed Sallj'.
But also there is nothing like this to
send one's memory backward. And
this it was doine for both of them.
"Efervbody don't haf no such fire
tonight' And the everybody he
thought of as he sighed was Seffy.
"No, not everybody," siched Sally,
propping her heabfupon his knee.
''Sallv who do vou mean bv efery
body." "Just one person," admitted Sally,
"the same one you mean."
"Yas," said Seffy's father very softly,
and then they were silent.
"Mebby some's got no homes and
out fretting to-night," the old man said
presently.
"I hope not," said Sally. "We could
take them in here if we knew where they
are couldn't we, pappj?"
But that last note was the one which
dams up tears.
"Yas if we knowed where they air
my God if we chust knowed where
they air! Sally, don't you nefer turn
no one away from the door on a cold
cold winter's night. You don't know
who it might be!"
"I'll never turn any one away from
the door!" said Sallv with emotion.
"That's '"right, Sally. Some's dead.
I'd rather be dead than haf no home.?'
"And I," agreed Sally.
"Nor no friends."
Sallv nodded.
"Sally how long is it sence you was
married?"
"More than four years nearly five,
pappy."
"My! but sings is changed!" 6aid
the old man. "Efen. the sun don't
seem so bright no more."
"Yes, things are changed," said
the girL
"Yit it must be chust an idee. Why
the Bible says that summer and winter
shall not change tell eferysing come
to pass eferysing eferysing '
Then his voice broke. "Yit yit "
yit it's one sing ain't come .to pass
and it seems like it's nefer going to.
It's better sence you came. But yit
the house is damp) and shifery,'
he . shivered himself "and empty
like it was a funeral about all the
time. Yit it's no one dead no one's
dead he's not dead chust gone.
You said so vou said it first! And
some day he'll come back and we'll
git on our knees and beg his pardon.
But it's so long oh, my God so
long! Oh, Seffy Seffy little Seffy
I got a pain in my breast about you!
You was all I had. Come back to
me come back! I'm a ol man.
And I'm sorry sorry and broke
broke down. But if youTl come back
Sally, do you think he'll haf a scar on
his fac-?
Something stifled his utterance. The
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