Mrs. Dud's Sister
by Josephine Daskam
They were having tea on the terrace. As Varian strolled up to the
group he wished that Hunter could see the picture they madeHunter,
who had not been in America for thirty years, and who had been so
honestly surprised when Varian had spoken of Mrs. Dud's pretty
maidsshe always had pretty ones, even to the cook's third assistant.
Maids? Maids? It used to be 'help,' he had protested. You don't
mean to say they have waitresses in Binghamville now?
Varian had despaired of giving him any idea.
Come over and see Mrs. Dud, he had urged, and do her portrait.
We've moved on since you left us, you know. She's a wondershe really
is. When you remember how she used to carry her father's dinner to the
store Saturday afternoons
And now I suppose she sports real Mechlin on her cap, assented
Hunter, anxious to show how perfectly he caught the situation.
Varian had roared helplessly. Cap? Cap! he had moaned finally.
Oh, my sainted granny! Cap! My poor fellow, your view of Binghamville
must be like the old maps of Africa in the green geography, that said
'desert' and 'interior' and 'savage tribes' from time to time. I should
like awfully to see Mrs. Dud in a cap.
Hunter had looked puzzled.
But, dear me! she might very well wear one, I should think, he had
murmured defensively. I don't wish to be invidious, but surely Lizzie
must belet's see; 'eighty, 'ninetywhy, she must be between
forty-five and fifty now.
Varian had waved his hand dramatically. Nobody considers Mrs. Dud
and time in the same breath. If you could see her in her golf rig! Or
on a horse! She even sheds a lustre on the rest of us. I forget my
But Hunter, retreating behind his determination to avoid a second
seasicknessit might have been sincere; nobody ever knewhad stayed
in Florence, and Varian had been obliged to come without him to the
On a straw cushion, a cup in her strong white hand, a bunch of
adoring young girls at her feet, sat Mrs. Dud. Rosy and firm-cheeked,
crisp in stiff white duck, deliriously contrasted with her fluffy
Parisian parasol, she scorned the softening ruffles of her presumable
contemporaries; her delicately squared chin, for the most part held
high, showed a straight white collar under a throat only a little
fuller than the girlish ones all around her.
Old Dudley himself strolled about the group, gossiping here and
there with some pretty woman, sending the grave servants from one to
another with some particularly desirable sandwich, rubbing it in, as
he said to the men who had failed to touch his score on the links,
tantalizingly uncertain as to which one of the young women he would
invite to lead the cotillon with him at the club dance that week: none
of the young men could take his place at that, as they themselves
What a well-matched couple it was! What a lot they got out of life!
Varian walked quietly by the group, to enjoy better the pretty, modish
picture they made. Their quick chatter, their bursts of laughter, the
sweet faint odor of the tea, the gay dresses and light flannels, with
the quiet, sombrely attired servants to add tone, all gave him, fresh
from Hunter's quick sense of the effective, an appreciation that gained
force from his separateness; he walked farther away to get a different
point of view.
He was out of any path now, and suddenly, hardly beyond reach of
their voices, he found himself in a part of the grounds he had never
approached before. A thick high hedge shut in a kind of court at the
side and back of the great house, and a solid wooden door, carefully
matched to its green, left open by accident, showed a picture so out of
line with the succession of vivid scenes that dazzled the visitor at
Wilton Bluffs that he stopped involuntarily. The rectangle was carpeted
with the characteristic emerald turf of the place, divided by
intersecting red brick paths into four regular squares. In the farther
corner of each of these a trim green clothes-tree was planted, all
abloom with snowy fringed napkins that shone dazzling white against the
hedge. One of the squares was a neat little kitchen-garden; parsley was
there in plenty, and other vaguely familiar green things, curly-leaved
and spear-pointed. A warm gust of wind brought mint to his nostrils. A
second plot held a small crab-apple tree covered with pink and orange
globes. A great tortoise-shell cat with two kittens ornamented the
third, and in the middle of the fourth, beside a small wooden table, a
woman sat with her back toward the intruder. On the table were one or
two tin boxes and a yellow earthen dish; in her left hand, raised to
the shoulder-level, was a tall thin bottle, from which an amber fluid
dripped in an almost imperceptibly thin stream; her right arm stirred
vigorously. She was a middle-aged woman with lightly grayed haira
kind of premonitory powdering. Over her full skirt of lavender-striped
cotton stuff fell a broad, competent white apron. Except for the
thudding of the spoon against the bowl, and a faint, homely echo of
clashing china and tin, mingled with occasionally raised voices and
laughter from some farther kitchen region, all was utterly, placidly
Varian stood chained to the open gate. Something in the calm
sun-bathed picture tugged strongly at his heart. He thought suddenly of
his mother and his Aunt Deliahe had been very fond of Aunt Delia. And
what cookies she used to make! Molasses cookies, brown, moist, and
crumbly, they had sweetened his boyhood.
What was it, that delighted sense of congruity that filled him,
every passing second, with keener familiarity, so strangely tinged with
sorrow and regret? Ah, he had it! He bit his lip as it came clear to
him. His little namesake nephew, dead at eight years old, and dear as
only a dearly loved child can be, had delighted greatly in the Kate
Greenaway pictures that came in painting-books, with colored prints
on alternate pages and corresponding outlines on the others. Dozens of
those books the boy had cleverly filled in with his little japanned
paint-box and mussy, quill-handled brushes; and the scene before him,
the rich tints of the hedge, the symmetrical little tree brilliant with
hundreds of tiny globes, the big white apron, the lazy yellow cats, and
everywhere the prim rectangular lines so amusingly conventional to
accentuate the likeness, almost choked him with the suddenness of the
recognition. They must have colored that very picture a dozen times,
Tommy and he.
Half unconsciously he rested his arms on the top of the gate and
drifted into revery. He forgot that he was at Wilton Bluffs, one of the
greatest of the country palaces, and lived for a while in a mingled
vision of his boyhood on the old farm and in the land of the Greenaway
Suddenly a door opened into the green.
A housemaid advanced to the table, bearing in both red hands a long
tray covered with a napkin. On the napkin lay, heaped in rich
confusion, a great pile of spicy, smoking brown cookies.
They're just out o' the oven, she began, but Varian could contain
himself no longer. He could not be deceived: he would have known those
cookies in the Desert of Sahara. He crossed the little plot in three
long steps, and faced the astonished maid.
I beg your pardon, he said firmly, but it is very necessary that
I should have one of those cookies! I hope you can spare one?
She giggled convulsively.
II guess you can, sir, she murmured, laying down the tray and
retreating toward the house door.
Varian faced the older woman, and, with hat still in hand,
instinctively bowed lower; for this was no housekeeperhe was sure of
that. Even as she met his eyes a great flood of pink rushed to her
smooth forehead, and she dropped her lids as she bowed slightly. He
reflected irrelevantly that he had never seen Mrs. Dudley blush in his
You are very welcome to all you wish, I am sure, she said
graciously. II didn't know any one liked them but me. I always have
them made for meI taught her the rule. I always call themshe
laughed nervously, and it dawned on him that this woman was really shy
and talking against time, as they saidI always call them 'Aunt
Delia's cookies.' They
Aunt Delia's cookies! he interrupted. What Aunt Delia?
Aunt Delia Parmentre, she returned, a little surprised, evidently,
at this stranger, who, with a straw sailor-hat in one hand and a warm
molasses cooky in the other, stared so intently at her. She wasn't
really my aunt, of course
But she was mine! he burst out, and these are her cookies, and no
mistake. Who are you?
Again she flushed, but more lightly.
I am Miss Redding, she said with a gentle dignity, Mrs. Wilton's
He stared at her vaguely.
Mrs. Wiltonoh! you're her sister? I didn't know He stopped
abruptly. As his confusion grew, her own faded away.
You didn't know she had one? she asked, almost mischievously.
I didn't know you were here, he recovered himself. You've never
been with Mrs. Dud before, have you?
No, not here when there was company, she said.
He hardly noticed the words; his mind was groping among past
Her sisterher sister, he muttered. Why, then, with an
illuminating smile, I used to go to school with you! I'm Tom Varian!
She smiled and held out her hand.
I'm very glad to see you, she said cordially. Won't you She
looked about for a chair, but he dropped on the grass at her feet.
You've changed since we met last, he remarked, biting into his
cooky. She looked at his bronzed face and thick silvered hair and
I was six years old then, she said; and you were one of the 'big
boys'you were fourteen.
That's a long while, he suggested laughingly.
It is thirty-six years, she replied simply.
He winced. His associates were not accustomed to be so scrupulously
accurate. It seemed indecently long ago. And yet there was a certain
charm, now one faced it, a quaint halo of interest.
You used to hand me water in a tin dipper, he said.
She nodded. Yes, that was for a reward, when I was good, she said
seriously. I could hand the water to the big boys. I was very proud of
it. You drank a great deal.
He chuckled. I was born thirsty, he acknowledged. By George, how
it comes back! I can see it now, that school-house! Funny little red
thingremember how it looked? Big shelf around the sides for a desk,
and another under that for the books? Bench all round the room to sit
on, and we just whopped our legs over and faced round to recite? And
carvedLord! I don't believe there was an inch of the wood, all told,
that was clear! I nearly cut my thumb off there, one day.
One of the big girls fainted away, she added, and they laid her
on the floor and told me to bring a dipper of water; but my hand shook
so I spilled it all over my apron, and she came to before we got more.
I was very timid.
He began on another cooky.
Did you have two pigtails? And striped stockings? he inquired, his
eyes fixed reminiscently on the hedge.
She nodded softly.
And played some game with stones? I can't just remember
It was houses, she reminded him. We little girls used to make
little housesjust marked out with stones in squares on the ground;
and if you boys felt like it, you'd bring us big flat stones to eat our
Ah, yes! It all came back to him. And then you'd race off to get
flag-root or something, and
And gobble our dinner as we ran. It was fun, all the same, she
But what a mite you were, to be in school! he said wonderingly.
What under heaven did you study?
I don't remember at all, she confessed. But I suppose I spelled.
Do you remember the spelling-matches? And how you big ones wanted to
'leave off head'?
He chuckled. I should say I did! And sometimes the greatest idiot
would 'leave off head' because there wasn't any more time. It was
He munched in silence for a while, and she did not dream of
In the winter, thoughGeorge! but it was cold! We used to
positively swim through the drifts. I tell you, there aren't any such
snows now! How did you get there?
I only went in the summer, she said; and I used to come in all
stained with the berries I ate along the way. It was dreadfulshe
grew stern, as if addressing the little girl in striped stockings and
pigtailsthe way I ate berries! I used to eat the bushes clean on the
way to school!
She had got over her first shyness, and had gained time to realize
her big apron, which she hastily untied. He caught the motion and
No, no! Keep it on! I haven't seen a womana ladyin an apron for
years! Please keep it on! And do go on with thethe mess in the dish!
The messshe bent her brows reprovinglyit's mayonnaise sauce.
But I don't think
He jumped up to put the bowl in her lap. A sudden twinge in his knee
wrung an involuntary groan from him. He walked a little stiffly toward
You have rheumatism! And you sat all the time on that damp grass!
she cried reproachfully. I thought at first it was the craziest thing
to do, but I didn't dare say so.
He ignored the charge but smiled at the confession.
And now you're not afraid?
She blushed again. It was very becoming.
It seemsit seems foolish to act like strangers when it's been so
longwe remember so well She sighed a little. He studied her
faceso like her sister's and so utterly different. The same gray
eyes, but calm and drooped; the same clear white skin, but a fuller,
yes, a more matronly face, a riper, sweeter, more restful curve. The
soft dark shadows that accentuated Mrs. Dudley's eyes were lacking; a
group of tiny wrinkles at the corners gave her instead a pleasant,
humorous regard that her sister's literal directness missed utterly.
Nervous under his scrutiny, she rose hastily, and before he could
prevent her she had brought him a roomy arm-chair from the house.
At our age there's no use in running risks, she said simply, you
ought not to sit on the grass; leave that for the young folks.
Again he winced, but dropped with relief into the chair.
Oh, one must keep up with the procession, you know! he said
She made no reply; and as she lifted the bottle and began to beat
the yellow mass again, it occurred to him that the remark was
Does it have to go in slowly like thatthe whole bottleful? he
She nodded. Or it curdles, she explained. The cook sprained his
wrist yesterday. He never allows anybody to make the mayonnaisehe
can't trust themand I was glad to do it for him. He says mine is as
good as his. Did you ever see him?
Well, no, Varian returned. But he doesn't need to be seen to be
A strange suspicion crept over him.
Do you oftenDo you do muchHow is it that you He could not
say it properly. Was it possible that Mrs. DudIt was unworthy of
She caught his meaning, and her cool gray eyes met his with their
uncompromising directness. He seemed convicted of unnecessary
Oh, Lizzie asked me not to do anything, she said quietly. She
wanted me to enjoy myself with her friends. But I'm not used to so much
society, and I don't want to be any hinderance. I'm not so young as I
used to be. I'd have liked the gayety well enough when I was a girl,
but I guess it tires me a little now. There seems to be so much going
on all the time. Lizzie says she's resting, but it wouldn't rest me. Do
you find it so?
He recalled his yesterday's programme: driving a pulling team all
the morning; carrying Mrs. Dud's heavy bag over the links all the
afternoonshe preferred her friends to caddies; prompting for the
dramatics rehearsal, with a poor light, all the evening, while the
actors gossiped and squabbled and flirted contentedly.
It is not always restful, he admitted.
It makes my head ache, she remarked placidly. I like to see the
girls enjoy themselves. I'm glad they're happysome of those visiting
Lizzie are so pretty!but I'm glad I haven't got to run about so much.
I'm very fond of driving myself, if I have a good quiet horse that
won't shy and doesn't go fast, and Lizzie has one for mea white one
that's gentleand I drive about in the phaëton a great deal. The
doctor that came that nightwere you here?when Mrs. Page fainted and
they couldn't bring her to (it seems she was in the habit of taking
some medicine to make her sleep, and it weakened her heart) asked me if
I wouldn't like to take out some patients of his, and so I called for a
very nice ladya Mrs. Williams; you probably don't know her?and
after that a young girl with spinal trouble, andand several others.
They seemed to enjoy it, and I'm sure I did. Once I took a young girl
that's staying hereshe had a bad headache. She was a sweet girl, and
I liked her. She said the drive helped her a great deal. It's
astonishingher eyes met his wonderinglyhow much trouble you can
have, with all the money you want! II was sorry for her, she added,
half to herself.
Before he thought he leaned forward, took her hand with the silver
tablespoon in it, and kissed it gently. He admired her as he would
admire some charming soft pastel hung in a cool white room.
How sweet and good you are! he said warmly; and then, to cover her
deep embarrassment and his own sudden emotion, he continued quickly,
Are you very busy in the morning, always?
There are different things, she murmured, still looking at her
spoon. I have letters to writeI keep up with a good many old friends
in Binghamville and Albany, where I lived with my married niece ten
years, till they moved West. I loved her children; I half brought them
up. One died; I can't seem to get over it Her eyes filled, and she
made no effort to cover two tears that slipped over.
Varian took her hand again. I know about thatI know! he said
Then there are my flowers; I do so enjoy the beds and the
greenhouses here, she went on more cheerfully. The gardeners are very
kind to meI think they like to have me come in. Mr. McFadden gives me
a good many slips and cuttings. I love flowers dearly. Then I read a
good deal, and there is always some little thing to do for the young
girls here. Theythe ones I knowcome in for a moment while I mend
something, or pin their things in the back, and it's surprising how
much there is to do! They fly about so they can't stop to take care of
their things. They talk to me while I set them straight, and it's very
interesting. I tell Lizzie I go out a great deal, just hearing about
their adventures, when she drops in to see me. She never forgets me;
she brings somebody to my sitting-room every day or so that she thinks
I'd enjoy meetingand I always do. She never makes a mistake.
Oh, she's wonderful, Varian agreed easily. There's nobody like
Mrs. Dud, of course.
She stopped her work a moment and looked curiously at him.
What do you mean by that? she asked. You all say itin just that
way; but I don't think I quite see what you mean. Why is she wonderful?
Because she looks so young?
That, in the first place, Varian returned, with a smile, but not
Of course that is very strange, she mused. Now Lizzie is three
years older than I. You would never think it, would you?
No, he agreed, still smiling; but then, Mrs. Dud looks younger
than everybody. It is her specialty. I think what we mean, he
continued, is her amazing capacity; she does so much, so ridiculously
much, and so much better than other people. We try to keep up with
thingsyour sister is a little bit ahead. She seems to have always
been doing the very latest thing, you see. And all her
responsibilities, her various affairsit makes one's head swim! The
women have set themselves a tremendous field to cover nowadays, and
when one succeeds so admirably He paused.
She shook her head thoughtfully.
But everything is done for her! she protested. Why, I have never
yet seen all the servants in this house! And you know there is a
housekeeper? Lizzie sees her a little while in the morning, that's all.
And she never sews a stitchthere's a seamstress here all the time,
you know, and that has nothing to do with the clothes that come home in
boxes. And little Dudley has his tutor, and his old nurse that looks
after his clothes. What is it that she does to make it so wonderful?
He only smiled at her perplexity, and she added confidentially:
Lizzie wanted me to go to her dressmaker, but I didn't like the
idea of a man, to begin with, and then I knew Miss Simms would feel so
hurt. She lives in Albany, and she's made my dresses for so long that I
thought, though she may not be so stylish, I'd better keep up with her;
A perfectly unreasonable tenderness surged through his heart. How
sweet she was!
If she made that dress, I certainly should! he declared.
She smoothed the crisp lavender folds deprecatingly.
Oh, this is only a cotton dress, she said. But she made my gray
silk, too, and Lizzie herself said it fitted beautifully.
She took up the bottle again: it was nearly empty.
Now my mother, she began, she was wonderful, if you like.
Do you know what my mother used to do? We lived on the farm, you know,
like yours, and most of the work of that farm mother did. She did the
cookingfor all the hired hands, too; she made the butter, and took
care of the hens; she made the candles and the soap; she made the
carpets and all our clothesmy brothers', too; and she put up
preserves and jellies and cordials, and did the most beautiful
embroidery; I have some of mother's embroidered collars, and I can't do
anything like them.
It was tremendous, he said. My Aunt Delia did that, too.
We were old-fashioned, even for then, she said. Everybody didn't
do so much, of course, as we did. Lizzie says we were just on the edge
of the new age. It certainly is different. And of course I wouldn't go
back to it for anything. After we came back from boarding-school it was
all changed. We moved, then, nearer the town. But, do you know, my
mother went to singing-school, and Lizzie was looking that up in a
book, the other day, to see what they didshe wanted it for a party!
He laughed. That is delicious! he said.
See what I found to-day! she added, drawing a small object from
her pocket. I hunted it up to show Miss Porter tonight. She was so
interested when I told her about it.
She showed him, with a tender amusement, a little slender white silk
mitten. Around the wrist was embroidered in dark blue a legend in Old
English script. He puzzled it out: A Whig or no Husband!
That was mother's, she said, the girls wore them then. She was
quite a belle, mother was! And when people ask me how Lizzie does so
much, I say that she inherits it. But at her age mother was broken down
and old. She had to be. There were nine of us, and here there's only
little Dudley, and it was so long before he came.
They sat quietly. The setting sun flamed through the crab-apples and
burnished the fur of the tortoise-shell cat. The mint smelled strong.
The sweet, mellow summer evening was reflected in her handsome face,
with its delicate lines, that only added a restful charm to forehead
and cheek. He had no need to talk; it was very, very pleasant sitting
A maid came out to get the mayonnaise, and the spell was broken. He
took out his watch.
Just time to dress, he sighed. Will you be here again? We must
talk old times once more.
She smiled and seemed to assent, but her eyes were not on him; she
was still in a revery. He walked softly away. She seemed hardly to
notice him, and his last backward glance found the quiet of the picture
unbroken; again it was a page from the Greenaway book.
He reached the terrace; laughter and applause from the piazza caught
his ear. Fresh from the atmosphere he had left, he stared in amazement
at the scene before him.
Swift figures were scudding from one to another of the four great
elms that marked out a natural rectangle on the smooth side lawn.
Puss! puss! Here, puss! a high voice called, and a tall slender
girl in a swish of lace and pink draperies rushed across one side of
the square. A portly trousered figure essayed to gain the tree she had
left, but a romping girl in white caught him easily, while Mrs. Dud,
the tail of her gown thrown over her arm, skimmed triumphantly across
to her partner's tree.
One more, one more, colonel. You can't give up, now you're caught!
One more before we go in! called the pink girl.
Here's Mr. Varian. Come and help us outthe colonel's beaten!
added Mrs. Dud.
Here, puss! here, puss! With excited little shrieks and laughs
they dashed by, the colonel making ineffectual grabs at their elusive
skirts. Varian shook his head good-naturedly.
Too late, too late! he called back, and taking pity on the
puffing, purple colonel, he bore him off.
Thank God! I'm just about winded! I'd have dropped in my tracks,
complained the rescued man, breathing hard as they rounded the
shrubbery. In the corner two figures, half seen in the dark, leaned
toward each other an imperceptible moment. The colonel laughed
When I see that sort of thing, I think we've made a mistakeeh,
Varian? he said, half serious. It's a poor job, getting old alone.
Live at the club, visit here and there, make yourself agreeable to get
asked again, nobody to care if you're sick, always play the other
fellow's gamelittle monotonous after a while, eh?
Varian nodded. Right enough, he said.
Different ending to their route! suggested the colonel, jerking
his elbow back toward the two in the shrubbery.
That's it! The answer was laconic, but the pictures that swept
through his brain took on a precision and color that half frightened
He had no idea how frequently he dropped in at the little court
behind the hedge after that. Sometimes he sat and mused alone there;
more than once he took a surreptitious afternoon nap. He developed a
dormant fancy for gardening, and walked with his new-old friend
contentedly among the deserted garden paths. He studied her hair
especially, wondering why it was that the little tender flecks of white
attracted him so. At dinner he secretly tried to rouse in himself the
same desire to stroke the gleaming silver fleece, high-dressed, puffed,
and ornamented with jet, of the woman opposite him, whose hair,
somewhat prematurely turned snowy, had won her a great vogue among her
friends. But he never succeeded. She was absolutely too effective. She
turned the simplest gathering to a fancy-dress ball, he decided.
He had supposed that it was the quaint privacy of their acquaintance
that charmed him particularlythe feeling of an almost double
existence; but when Mrs. Dud, who, he afterwards reflected, was of
course omniscient, restrained herself no longer, and thanked him with a
pretty sincerity for his delicate and appreciated courtesy, intimating
charmingly that she realized the personal motive, a veil suddenly
dropped. He gasped, shook himself, colored a little, and met her eye.
I'm afraid I'm not so kind as you think, he said, a little
awkwardly. I've been an old fool, I see. Do you thinkis that the way
she looks at it?
Mary? said Mrs. Dud, wonderingly. Yes, I suppose so. Why?
The naïve egotism of the answer only threw a softer light on the
picture that had grown to fill his thoughts. He smiled inscrutably.
Because in that case it is due to her to undeceive her, he said.
I am glad I have entertained her. I should like to have the
opportunity to do so indefinitely. Do you think there's a chance for
What on earth do you mean? asked his hostess, in unassumed
I mean, do you think she would marry me? Varian brought out
plumply. Is therewas there ever anybody else?
For one instant Mrs. Dud lost her poise; in her eyes he almost saw
more than she meant; the sheer, flat blow of it levelled her for a
breath to the plane of other and ordinary women. But even as he thought
it, it was gone. She put out her hand; she smiled; she shook her finger
I think, my friend, she would be a fool not to marry you, she
answered him, clear-eyed; and there was never, her tone was too
sweet, he thought, to carry but one meaningpleasure for him, there
was never anybody else!
Varian walked straight to the garden. She was training a fiery wall
of nasturtiums with firm white fingers. It occurred to him that he was
ready to give up the tally-ho, and the Berkshires, and the scramble of
pretty girls for the place beside him, to sit quietly and watch her
among her flowers.
I'm getting oldold! he said to himself, but he said it with a
For he knew that no boy's heart ever beat more swiftly, no boy's
tongue ever sought more excitedly to find the right words. But when he
faced her a little doubt chilled him: she was so calm and complete, in
her sunny, busy, balanced life, that he feared to disturb that sweet
placidity. With an undercurrent of fear, a sudden realization that he
had no more the blessed egotism of youth to drive him on, he walked
beside her, outwardly content, at heart a little solitary. At some
light question he turned and faced her.
You could not have all the greenhouses, but there could be plenty
of flowers, he said pleadingly.
Flowers? Where? she asked.
Wherever we lived, he answered. And oh, Mary, I think we could be
happy together! Don't say no! as she shrank a little. Don't, Mary,
for heaven's sake! I care too muchI care terribly. I am too old a man
to care so much andlose.... There, there, my dear girl, never mind. I
can bear it, of course. Only I didn't know I'd planned it all out so,
andBut never mind. I was going to have a bay-window full of
He turned away from her for a moment. But her hand was on his arm.
We can plan it out together, she said.
He knew how she would blush; he had even dared to think how directly
her clear gray eyes would meet hisher sky-ness was never
hesitationbut he had not dreamed how soft her hair could be.