Friday, October 26, 2012

Discovery Fridays: Baby Gifts

Christmastime is steadily approaching! Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year as it is a time of giving.  I love giving!  However, oftentimes as I walk through the store I am very much turned away by all of the plastic and impersonal gifts.  They just don't mean anything.  This is where my love for creating comes in.  I LOVE making gifts! Some of the hardest people to make gifts for are babies, in my opinion.  In reality they shouldn't be - if you gave them a cardboard box filled with paper they'd probably be very content! But I like to make things that are just a little more creative. :)  So here are some ideas to entertain the littles or help the parents out! I hope you enjoy them! And if you have other ideas, I would love to see them! :)  Happy creating!

If you are a Mom, older sister, or baby sitter...or if you are just someone who is around kids a have probably seen a baby methodically sitting with a diaper wipe container quite contentedly pulling the diaper wipes out. This is actually a great coordination skill, but it wastes the wipes, and it can be a source of irritation for a Momma.  So why not provide a baby with a diaper wipe container filled with his own fabric scraps! You can make those scraps complex, or just squares of fabric... Either way, that baby will enjoy pulling the fabric out of that wipes container!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

Fabric blocks are another great idea.  You can make them simply with fabric and cotton stuffing, or you can put bells and crinkly paper inside to make noise, or you can appliqué to the outside. Use your imagination! The baby will love them no matter what - especially if you use bright colors! This is a great use for fabric scraps.

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

You know those ring stacking toys?  The plastic ones? Babies love them (at least in my experience) and they are also great for coordination and size identification.  But the plastic ones just leave me feeling like something is missing.  So why not make your own?  There are several tutorials out on the web which are very easy...and oftentimes you can even make them with fabric scraps!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

Babies and Moms, alike, are often fans of soft, cuddly blankets. My favorite material for baby blankets is minky.  It's sooo soft and cuddly.  My little boy has a small one with minky & flannel and it is my go-to blanket, especially when we are out and about, as it is relatively small.  It is warm (a must for our location) and soft. So why not make a small blanket that will provide for some cuddletimes between Mommy and Baby?

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

Hooded towels for bathtime is a "must" in my book.  But the little ones are soon outgrown and are often made of thin fabric.  And the big ones are ridiculously expensive.  However, you can easily make some for about $6 by using a regular towel and a hand towel! Genius, cute, useful, and inexpensive! :)

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

There are many, many other ideas out there, but I hope you enjoy these selected few! More gift ideas coming in the upcoming weeks! And please share your ideas if you have any, as well. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What's at the Heart of Modesty?

A friend and I were talking a while back (you may notice a trend in my posts…oftentimes I get ideas from conversations with others) and we were discussing what is at the heart of modesty.  Some think of it as shame.  Modesty and fully covering one’s self is because you should be ashamed of what you could do with yourself…like use your body wrongly.  But this is completely not the reason why modesty is so important.

Photo Courtesy
 Modesty, on the contrary, is to protect a precious pearl.  You are beautiful.  God created you beautiful and exactly the way you should be.  And that is amazing.  However, God also created you to share your life in that special way for that one special guy.  Modesty, covering one’s self appropriately, and acting in a ladylike and godly manner, protects that pearl and saves it from the harsh elements of the world.  If exposed, that pearl is beaten and chipped until it is barely recognizable as the beautiful pearl that God created.  But if we behave according to how He would want us to, it is a beautiful thing that we cherish and modesty is one of the means we have in protecting that. 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Getting to Know Him

It’s 10am.  A pretty girl is sitting at her computer going through the list of things that must be done today: homework, chores, family time, work, and other odds and ends that make up a huge list.  It seems impossible to get it all done.  On top of that, there is, of course, Bible time that should take a priority.  With a sigh, the girl decides she needs a break or she’ll go crazy.  She logs into her computer, checks her email, chats with a few friends, and reads some Christian blogs.  While reading the blogs, she posts a few comments while talking to her friends for about an hour.  Then she returns to the crazy tasks of the day.  But at the end of the day, she crawls into bed realizing that she never got to Bible time.  In exhaustion she says, “I’ll get to it tomorrow” and falls asleep.

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 Sound familiar?  I am guessing it does.  We’ve all done it at some point.  And for a day or two, it’s actually somewhat understandable.  I don’t think it is excusable, because Jesus should be our all and we should always make time for Him.  However, life does get crazy and it does happen, whether it should or should not.  The problem with this scenario is that it can often go on for days, weeks, or months – always so busy that we never make time for Him. 

What is interesting to me, is that in order to make ourselves feel better, we often read Christian blogs online and post short comments saying that we agree or longer comments expounding on some topic…  And that somehow makes us feel spiritual or like we have spent our Christian-time that was required of us for that day.  Christian blogs are good.  They can be very encouraging and helpful.  However, they should never ever be a substitute for reading His Word, the Bible. 

It is curious to me how we work as humans.  We can’t make time for reading and studying His Word – but if you think about it, we probably have plenty of time.  We just think of texting and chatting with our friends, email writing, and blog reading as one of the priorities of life.  We probably (or at least, most of us probably) spend 2-3 hours doing these activities each day.  If we even took ¼ or ½ of that time, we would have plenty of time to study His Word and truly get the time we need to learn about Him.

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 I’m not trying to judge anyone or condemn anyone here.  Trust me, I’ve done this too.  But I am trying to encourage all of us to truly make time for Him.  He gave us His all, the least we can do is at least make sure He gets some time of day from us.  It is important to spend time in His Word – it’s what gives us direction, helps us grow in Him, helps us make wise decisions, and so much more.  Oftentimes I think we do things because we want others to think positively about us.  This drives us to read what everyone else reads, comment on posts, and write blogs that say a lot of good things.  And none of these are bad things.  In fact, they can be very good things.  Missy, Chip, and I like writing for our blogs.  We like commenting on other people’s blogs and we love reading your blogs and comments on our blog.  But if we did only those things and didn’t spend time in His Word, that would be very serious.  The Word keeps us grounded…not blogs and comments. 

I hope that you will be encouraged to really get to know Him – to study, read, and pray.  Spend time with Him.  He is amazing and He leads and guides us faithfully.  The least we can do is give Him some of our time.  And I know you won’t regret doing it! 

Photo Courtesy

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How to Grow Long Hair - Pt 2

Tips for growing your hair long:

1:) The first and best possible tip for growing long hair is:  Learn to be content with the hair that you already have.  If you are constantly wishing for different hair and trying to change the hair you have, then it is very likely that you will become discouraged and end up having it chopped off.  Contentment is the first step to long hair.

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2:) Avoid using heat whenever possible.  Hair dryers, straighteners, curling irons are detrimental to your hair.  Constant use of these items permanently damages the hair you have and even effects the hair that you have not yet grown.  This doesn’t mean to completely end the use of these items but at least dramatically limit the use of them.

3:) Rinse your hair with cool or cold water whenever possible.  I have friends in the hair industry that could scientifically explain to you why hot water irritates your hair and causes frizzy ness, but I don’t remember the smart sounding explanation so just trust me - Cold water is better for your hair.  I don’t use cold water all of the time when rinsing my hair because I don’t like to be cold, but if I can do a final rinse on at least most of my hair without freezing myself, then I make the effort to.  I usually notice that it is much less frizzy.

4:) Limit the use of styling products.  Hairspray, gel, moose - all such things are typically not good for your hair.  If you need something to help, try looking up natural alternatives that are actually healthy.  There are some neat options out there!   

5:)  On the days when you do end up using a curling iron or another heated object on your hair, make sure that you DO use a lot of hairspray, moose or other styling products.  Such products coat your hair and help prevent it from the damaging effects of heat.

6:)  Trim your hair often.  (Every 8-10 weeks)  If you are trying to grow your hair out long, trimming it often may sound like a horrible approach to achieving your goal - but it’s worth it.  I used to have hair down past my hips but it was full of split ends, very unhealthy and hard to take care of so I finally cut most of it off.  After that,  I determined that if I was going to have hair that long again, it was going to be healthy!  I have not regretted it. Healthy long hair is so much better!  Plus, supposedly your hair will grow faster if you trim it more often, and even if it doesn’t, it’s still more healthy and that is much better!  When you trim your hair that often, very little has to be taken off.  I have learned how to stylishly trim my own hair and save a bit of money - I also enjoy doing it.

7:) Be gentle.  I can’t tell you how many times I have watched as girls rip a brush carelessly through their hair or thoughtlessly pulled out a hair band while not even considering what they were doing to their hair!  When brushing, be gentle.  Start at the bottom, brushing out the tangles and work your way up.  When removing a hair band, remove it just as you put it in by unwinding it instead of just pulling it out.  Avoid the use of hair items that tend to take hair with them when they are removed.  Treat your hair with care as your glory instead of like it‘s damage proof!

8:)  Get the proper nutrition you need.  The typical American diet does not promote health and most of the food packages that say they are healthy and provide the minerals and vitamins you need, usually don’t actually do what they say.  Consider taking minerals or a green or fruit powder drink in the mornings when you wake up.  Getting proper nutrition is worth looking into for much more than just healthy hair.

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9:)  I read once that messaging your scalp regularly is supposed to stimulate hair growth and help rid your head of toxins.  I also read that rubbing peppermint oil into the scalp can help with stimulation.  I have not yet tried peppermint oil but I plan to if I can remember to do it before I wash my hair instead of after!

10:) You probably have heard it before, but gelatin is supposed to do wonders for hair and nails.  Try drinking a little bit of plain gelatin mixed into warm water every day.

11:)  Different herbs are great for the health and color of hair.  I have blonde hair so I use chamomile tea as a rinse after washing my hair.  It’s great for the health of my hair and it really brings out the natural color.  My sister has brown hair and so she uses rosemary and sage  Different herb tea’s are great for different hair types.

12:)  1-2 times a month, it’s great to give your hair a honey - olive oil treatment.  Warm olive oil and honey on the stove until the honey is pure liquid.  Make sure not to boil it or the honey, when cool, will harden and be horrible to get out of your hair! Just make it warm to the touch but not hot and that will be perfect. Generously coat your hair rubbing it into your scalp and combing it through the rest to be sure that every strand is coated.  Put your hair up in a shower cap or plastic bag with a towel turban.  (How cute!)  This helps the oil stay warm and your hair will soak it in better.  Leave the oil/honey on your head for an hour, any longer will not make a difference.  When showering, using shampoo twice is usually necessary to remove all of the oil.  

I hope these tips will help you to grow long, healthy hair.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Grow Long Hair - Pt 1

"The Gift Of Long Hair"

          I was recently asked the question, "Do you have any tips for growing long hair?"
          The answer is YES! I do!  As I started to write a list of growing long hair tips, the list turned into this article about long hair.  I hope you will read it and look at your hair with new eyes and then come back later for the helpful tips on how to grow long, healthy hair.

          In a world of feminism where women are trying to become like men, long hair is becoming increasingly rare in our culture.   So why have long hair?  
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          In 1 Corinthians 11 we learn that a woman’s hair is her “Glory.”  It is a special crown that God made especially for women to make them distinctly different from men.  Today, we are taught that we must compete with men, to be better than them and that we can do anything they can do.  Women are deeply offended when they read verses such as 1 Peter 3:7 when it says, “…husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel….”
    “The Bible just called us WHAT?  I’m not weak!  I can do anything that a man can do, in fact, I can do it better!”
          The writer of this verse did not mean the word “Weak” to be as in wimpy or not capable of doing anything. A husband is to treat a woman gently like one would treat a rose.  A rose is precious and beautiful, but it needs to be treated gently so it can bloom, if not, it will wilt and die.  
          In Proverbs 12:4 it says that “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed (Or she who brings shame) is like rottenness in his bones.”
           To understand this properly we have to look at the word - “Virtuous”  This word means,  “Good, righteous, worthy, honorable, moral, upright, honest”

          If you have ever tried, or are working to become a virtuous woman, then you should know well by now that to become virtuous takes a very TOUGH woman!  It’s so much easier to be bad then good, unrighteous then righteous, unworthy instead of worthy.  To do things that are not honorable, moral, upright, and let’s not forget honest! It’s much easier to force our opinions then to humbly listen to others, to insist on our own way then to consider others as better then ourselves, and it is much easier to be served then to have a true servant’s heart.  Though most women would never admit it, they are not the virtuous woman in this verse but rather the one that brings shame upon her home and upon her husband.  One of the biggest reasons for this is our increasing desire throw away a crown and want to replace it with a dirty shovel instead.  

          So what does this have to do with hair?!   I’m getting to that…
          When God gave woman her long hair, He gave it to her to be her glory, as a precious gift from Him to make her distinctly different from the man.  I find it fascinating that when  God created humans to be made in His likeness, His image, to show His glory, that the distinguishing comment that He made about what He had just created was not of how smart they would be, or how beautiful they would be, or how creative, but rather He glorified the fact that He made them as “Male,” and “Female.”  As “Man” and “Woman.”   He created them so that working together they could form an image that portrayed His ultimate beauty.  Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible never degrades women nor does it demean men but exalts both as being the most precious creation of God.  (But that’s a whole other blog post)
          Our world says that gender no longer matters and that there is no need for anything distinctive difference between men and women, in fact, you can now even chose what gender you want to be!  But to the Lord, gender does matter and so do distinctive factors like hair and outward displays of pure, true femininity. 

          If you have long hair or you want to grow it long, what is your motive?  Is it to draw attention to yourself?  To try to fit a certain style? Or is your heart to treasure the special gift, the “Glory”, that your Heavenly Father has given you as a woman?  If you have short hair, what is your reason? Insecurity? Fashion? Rebellion? Or just annoyance and not wanting to take care of it if it were long?  Would you be willing to view your precious hair, whatever color or texture it may be, as a special gift from your Heavenly Father and be willing to care for it and treasure it as the glory He has given you? Will you use it to ultimately use it to point back to His perfect glory?

          We look at hair as a way to express ourselves, to display our style and our personality.  To be chopped off or dyed in one impulsive moment.  But would we be so rash if we could see our hair as the precious gift that God has given us as women?  Imagine a Father who loves His daughter so very much that He gives her a precious crown to wear on her head and she takes it and discards it in the dirt as if it were nothing.  That would hurt…

          Most of you will probably never have knee length hair or ever hair that reaches your elbow, but would you be willing to look at your hair as the gift that it was intended to be? Not comparing your gift with the hair of others and trying to constantly change it, never happy with what’s been given to you.  Would you be willing to truly look at it as a gift and something that you can use to point to God’s ultimate goodness and glory?  I hope you realize what a special treasure that you possess.

          If so, then you are now ready for tips on how to grow long, healthy hair!  To be posted on October 20th.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Video - "What Kind of Guy Should You Date?" From a man's perspective

Hello Ladies!  I recently discovered this video and thought that it would be awesome to share with you what kind of guy you should date from a Christian man's perspective.  I hope you will watch it, be inspired and encouraged to look for a 6/11 type guy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

When Queens Ride By - Short Story

"This is an amazing story that I highly recommend to any woman or girl of any age.  It's a big long to read online so unless you're very dedicated, I suggest downloading the PDF file and printing it out or reading it on your computer. 

By Jill Cooper
This is a wonderful, inspiring and important story that I really want
to share with you. I first read this myself 30-some years ago and it
has had more of an impact on my thoughts, feelings and attitudes
toward being a wife, mother and homemaker than anything else in
my life ever has.

Even though it was written in 1926, its basic principles can still be
applied to today’s world. At first reading, it may not seem that way
but I’m going to give you some things to watch for as you read it to
see if you couldn’t apply them to your life today.

I get so exasperated when I hear people say “but things are so
much harder and more stressful now than years ago.” That is so not
true. People are the same and life is the same. That is why the
Bible’s principles can still work as well today as they have for
thousands of years. The basic human nature, the wants and needs
are still there.

Here are some things to watch for and notice while you are reading
the story. As you read, note how even though Jennie worked on the
farm she had all the same things to deal with as if she were a
modern woman who left to work her full time job each day.

• She couldn’t keep up with the laundry and housework
• She had to leave the kids “to their own devices” (like videos
games or coming home to an empty house)
• She didn’t bother with her appearance. (Is that like wearing
sweats all the time?)
• She spent time eating on the run. She didn’t have time to
prepare proper meals or often didn’t feel like it.
• She felt like she had no time or relationship with her spouse.
• Jennie and her husband had a large mortgage and were at the
point of losing their home.
• She constantly had feelings of self pity—making comments
like, “You don’t know my situation, I have no choice”.
• She thought, “This is too hard of work for a woman,” but was
convinced that if she left the job to her husband they would
starve and he needed her help. She was sure that they
couldn’t do it on one income.
• She had the desire for more and wanted to keep up with the
Keep your eyes open for these things and others as you read it.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

When Queens Ride By
by Agnes Sligh Turnbull, 1926

Jennie Musgrave woke at the shrill rasp of the alarm clock as she
always woke—with the shuddering start and a heavy realization that
the brief respite of the night's oblivion was over. She had only time
to glance through the dull light at the cluttered, dusty room, before
John's voice was saying sleepily as he said every morning, "All right,
let's go. It doesn't seem as if we'd been in bed at all!"
Jennie dressed quickly in the clothes, none too clean, that,
exhausted, she had flung from her the night before. She hurried
down the back stairs, her coarse shoes clattering thickly upon the
bare boards. She kindled the fire in the range and then made a
hasty pretense at washing in the basin in the sink.
John strode through the kitchen and on out to the barn. There were
six cows to be milked and the great cans of milk to be taken to the
station for the morning train.
Jennie put coffee and bacon on the stove, and then, catching up a
pail from the porch, went after John. A golden red disk broke the
misty blue of the morning above the cow pasture. A sweet, fragrant
breath blew from the orchard. But Jennie neither saw nor felt the
beauty about her.
She glanced at the sun and thought, It's going to be a hot day. She
glanced at the orchard, and her brows knit. There it hung. All that
fruit. Bushels of it going to waste. Maybe she could get time that
day to make some more apple butter. But the tomatoes wouldn't
wait. She must pick them and get them to town today, or that would
be a dead loss. After all her work, well, it would only be in a piece
with everything else if it did happen so. She and John had bad luck,
and they might as well make up their minds to it.
She finished her part of the milking and hurried back again to the
overcooked bacon and strong coffee. The children were down,
clamorous, dirty, always underfoot. Jim, the eldest, was in his first
term of school. She glanced at his spotted waist. He should have a
clean one. But she couldn't help it. She couldn't get the washing
done last week, and when she was to get a day for it this week she
didn't know, with all the picking and the trips to town to make!
Breakfast was hurried and unpalatable, a sort of grudging
concession to the demands of the body. Then John left in the milk
wagon for the station, and Jennie packed little Jim's lunch basket
with bread and apple butter and pie, left the two little children to
their own devices in the backyard, and started toward the barn.
There was no time to do anything in the house. The chickens and
turkeys had to be attended to, and then she must get to the tomato
patch before the sun got too hot. Behind her was the orchard with
its rows and rows of laden apple trees. Maybe this afternoon—
maybe tomorrow morning. There were the potatoes, too, to be
lifted. Too hard work for a woman. But what were you going to do?
Starve? John worked till dark in the fields.
She pushed her hair back with a quick, boyish sweep of her arm and
went on scattering the grain to the fowls. She remembered their
eager plans when they were married, when they took over the old
farm—laden with its heavy mortgage—that had been John's father's.
John had been so straight of back then and so jolly. Only seven
years, yet now he was stooped a little, and his brows were always
drawn, as though to hide a look of ashamed failure. They had
planned to have a model farm someday: blooded stock, a tractor, a
new barn. And then such a home they were to make of the old
stone house! Jennie's hopes had flared higher even than John's. A
rug for the parlor, an overstuffed set like the one in the mail—order
catalogue, linoleum for the kitchen, electric lights!
They were young and, oh, so strong! There was nothing they could
not do if they only worked hard enough.
But that great faith had dwindled as the first year passed. John
worked later and later in the evenings. Jennie took more and more
of the heavy tasks upon her own shoulders. She often thought with
some pride that no woman in the countryside ever helped her
husband as she did. Even with the haying and riding the reaper.
Hard, coarsening work, but she was glad to do it for John's sake.
The sad riddle of it all was that at the end of each year they were no
further on. The only difference from the year before was another
window shutter hanging from one hinge and another crippled
wagon in the barnyard which John never had time to mend. They
puzzled over it in a vague distress. And meanwhile life degenerated
into a straining, hopeless struggle. Sometimes lately John had
seemed a little listless, as though nothing mattered. A little bitter
when he spoke of Henry Davis.
Henry held the mortgage and had expected a payment on the
principle this year. He had come once and looked about with
something very like a sneer on his face. If he should decide
someday to foreclose—that would be the final blow. They never
would get up after that. If John couldn't hold the old farm, he could
never try to buy a new one. It would mean being renters all their
lives. Poor renters at that!
She went to the tomato field. It had been her own idea to do some
tracking along with the regular farm crops. But, like everything else,
it had failed of her expectations. As she put the scarlet tomatoes,
just a little overripe, into the basket, she glanced with a hard
tightening of her lips toward a break in the trees a half mile away
where a dark, listening bit of road caught the sun. Across its
polished surface twinkled an endless procession of shining, swift—
moving objects. The State Highway.
Jennie hated it. In the first place, it was so tauntingly near and yet
so hopelessly far from them. If it only ran by their door, as it did
past Henry Davis's for instance, it would solve the whole problem of
marketing the fruits and vegetables. Then they could set the
baskets on the lawn, and people could stop for them. But as it was,
nobody all summer long had paid the least attention to the sign
John had put up at the end of the lane. And no wonder. Why should
travelers drive their cars over the stony country byway, when a little
farther along they would find the same fruit spread temptingly for
them at the very roadside?
But there was another reason she hated that bit of sleek road
showing between the trees. She hated it because it hurt her with its
suggestions of all that passed her by in that endless procession
twinkling in the sunshine. There they kept going, day after day,
those happy, carefree women, riding in handsome limousines or in
gay little roadsters. Some in plainer cars, too, but even those were,
like the others, women who could have rest, pleasure, comfort for
the asking. They were whirled along hour by hour to new pleasures,
while she was weighted to the drudgery of the farm like one of the
great rocks in the pasture field.
And—most bitter thought of all—they had pretty homes to go back
to when the happy journey was over. That seemed to be the strange
and cruel law about homes. The finer they were, the easier it was to
leave them. Now with her—if she had the rug for the parlor and the
stuffed furniture and linoleum for the kitchen, she shouldn't mind
anything so much then; she had nothing, nothing but hard slaving
and bad luck. And the highway taunted her with it. Flung its
impossible pleasures mockingly in her face as she bent over the
vines or dragged the heavy baskets along the rows.
The sun grew hotter. Jennie put more strength into her task. She
knew, at last, by the scorching heat overhead that is was nearing
noon. She must have a bit of lunch ready for John when he came in.
There wasn't time to prepare much. Just reheat the coffee and set
down some bread and pie.
She started towards the house, giving a long yodeling call for the
children as she went. They appeared from the orchard, tumbled and
torn from experiments with the wire fence. Her heart smothered her
at the sight of them. Among the other dreams that the years had
crushed out were those of little rosy boys and girls in clean suits
and fresh ruffled dresses. As it was, the children had just grown like
farm weeds.
This was the part of all the drudgery that hurt most. That she had
not time to care for her children, sew for them, teach them things
that other children knew. Sometimes it seemed as if she had no real
love for them at all. She was too terribly tired as a rule to have any
feeling. The only times she used energy to talk to them was when
she had to reprove them for some dangerous misdeed. That was all
wrong. It seemed wicked; but how could she help it? With the work
draining the very life out of her, strong as she was.
John came in heavily, and they ate in silence except for the
children's chatter. John hardly looked up from his plate. He gulped
down great drafts of the warmed-over coffee and then pushed his
chair back hurriedly.
"I'm goin' to try to finish the harrowin' in the south field," he said.
"I'm at the tomatoes," Jennie answered. "I've got them' most all
picked and ready for takin'."
That was all. Work was again upon them.
It was two o'clock by the sun, and Jennie had loaded the last heavy
basket of tomatoes on the milk wagon in which she must drive to
town, when she heard shrill voices sounding along the path. The
children were flying in excitement toward her.
"Mum! Mum! Mum!" they called as they came panting up to her with
big, surprised eyes. "Mum, there's a lady up there. At the kitchen
door. All dressed up. A pretty lady. She wants to see you."
Jennie gazed down at them disbelievingly. A lady, a pretty lady at
her kitchen door? All dressed up! What that could mean! Was it
possible someone had at last braved the stony lane to buy fruit?
Maybe bushels of it!
"Did she come in a car?" Jennie asked quickly.
"No, she just walked in. She's awful pretty. She smiled at us."
Jennie's hopes dropped. Of course. She might have known. Some
agent likely, selling books. She followed the children wearily back
along the path and in at the rear door of the kitchen. Across from it
another door opened into the side yard. Here stood the stranger.
The two women looked at each other across the kitchen, across the
table with the remains of two meals upon it, the strewn chairs, the
littered stove—across the whole scene of unlovely disorder. They
looked at each other in startled surprise, as inhabitants of Earth and
Mars might look if they were suddenly brought face-to-face.
Jennie saw a woman in a gray tweed coat that seemed to be part of
her straight, slim body. A small gray hat with a rose quill was drawn
low over the brownish hair. Her blue eyes were clear and smiling.
She was beautiful! And yet she was not young. She was in her
forties, surely. But an aura of eager youth clung to her, a clean and
exquisite freshness.
The stranger in her turn looked across at a young woman, haggard
and weary. Her yellowish hair hung in straggling wisps. Her eyes
looked hard and hunted. Her cheeks were thin and sallow. Her
calico dress was shapeless and begrimed from her work.
So they looked at each other for one long, appraising second. Then
the woman in gray smiled.
"How do you do? " she began. "We ran our car into the shade of your
lane to have our lunch and rest for a while. And I walked on up to
buy a few apples, if you have them."
Jennie stood staring at the stranger. There was an unconscious
hostility in her eyes. This was one of the women from the highway.
One of those envied ones who passed twinkling through the
summer sunshine from pleasure to pleasure while Jennie slaved on.
But the pretty lady's smile was disarming. Jennie started toward a
chair and pulled off the old coat and apron that lay on it.
"Won't you sit down?" she said politely. "I'll go and get the apples.
I'll have to pick them off the tree. Would you prefer rambos?"
"I don't know what they are, but they sound delicious. You must
choose them for me. But mayn't I come with you? I should love to
help pick them."
Jennie considered. She felt baffled by the friendliness of the other
woman's face and utterly unable to meet it. But she did not know
how to refuse.
"Why I s'pose so. If you can get through the dirt."
She led the way over the back porch with its crowded baskets and
pails and coal buckets, along the unkept path toward the orchard.
She had never been so acutely conscious of the disorder about her.
Now a hot shame brought a lump to her throat. In her preoccupied
haste before, she had actually not noticed that tub of overturned
milk cans and rubbish heap! She saw it all now swiftly through the
other woman's eyes. And then that new perspective was checked by
a bitter defiance. Why should she care how things looked to this
woman? She would be gone, speeding down the highway in a few
minutes as though she had never been there.
She reached the orchard and began to drag a long ladder from the
fence to the rambo tree.
The other woman cried out in distress. "Oh, but you can't do that!
You mustn't. It's too heavy for you, or even for both of us. Please
just let me pick a few from the ground."
Jennie looked in amazement at the stranger's concern. It was so
long since she had seen anything like it.
"Heavy?" she repeated. "This ladder? I wish I didn't ever lift anything
heavier than this. After hoistin' bushel baskets of tomatoes onto a
wagon, this feels light to me."
The stranger caught her arm. "But—but do you think it's right? Why,
that's a man's work."
Jennie's eyes blazed. Something furious and long-pent broke out
from within her. "Right! Who are you to be askin' me whether I'm
right or not?" What would have become of us if I didn't do a man's
work? It takes us both, slaving away, an' then we get nowhere. A
person like you don't know what work is! You don't know—"
Jennie's voice was the high shrill of hysteria; but the stranger's low
tones somehow broke through. "Listen," she said soothingly. "Please
listen to me. I'm sorry I annoyed you by saying that, but now, since
we are talking, why can't we sit down here and rest a minute? It's so
cool and lovely here under the trees, and if you were to tell me all
about it—because I'm only a stranger—perhaps it would help. It
does sometimes, you know. A little rest would—"
"Rest! Me sit down to rest, an' the wagon loaded to go to town? It'll
hurry me now to get back before dark."
And then something strange happened. The other women put her
cool, soft hand on Jennie's grimy arm. There was a compelling
tenderness in her eyes. "Just take the time you would have spent
picking apples. I would so much rather. And perhaps somehow I
could help you. I wish I could. Won't you tell me why you have to
work so hard?"
Jennie sank down on the smooth green grass. Her hunted, unwilling
eyes had yielded to some power in the clear, serene eyes of the
stranger. A sort of exhaustion came over her. A trembling reaction
from the straining effort of weeks.
"There ain't much to tell," she said half sullenly, "only that we ain't
gettin' ahead. We're clean discouraged, both of us. Henry Davis is
talking about foreclosin' on us if we don't pay some principle. The
time of the mortgage is out this year, an' mebbe he won't renew it.
He's got plenty himself, but them's the hardest kind." She paused;
then her eyes flared. "An' it ain't that I haven't done my part. Look at
me. I'm barely thirty, an' I might be fifty. I'm so weather-beaten.
That's the way I've worked!"
"And you think that has helped your husband?"
"Helped him?" Jennie's voice was sharp. "Why shouldn't it help him?"
The stranger was looking away through the green stretches of
orchard. She laced her slim hands together about her knees. She
spoke slowly. "Men are such queer things, husbands especially.
Sometimes we blunder when we are trying hardest to serve them.
For instance, they want us to be economical, and yet they want us in
pretty clothes. They need our work, and yet they want us to keep
our youth and our beauty. And sometimes they don't know
themselves which they really want most. So we have to choose.
That's what makes it so hard".
She paused. Jennie was watching her with dull curiosity as though
she were speaking a foreign tongue.
Then the stranger went on:
I had to choose once, long ago; just after we were married, my
husband decided to have his own business, so he started a very tiny
one. He couldn't afford a helper, and he wanted me to stay in the
office while he did the outside selling. And I refused, even though it
hurt him. Oh, it was hard! But I knew how it would be if I did as he
wished. We would both have come back each night. Tired out, to a
dark, cheerless house and a picked-up dinner. And a year if that
might have taken something away from us—something precious. I
couldn't risk it, so I refused and stuck to it.
"And then how I worked in my house—a flat it was then. I had so
little outside of our wedding gifts; but at least I could make it a
clean, shining, happy place. I tried to give our little dinners the
grace of a feast. And as the months went on, I knew I had done
right. My husband would come home dead-tired and discouraged,
ready to give up the whole thing. But after he had eaten and sat
down in our bright little living room, and I had read to him or told
him all the funny things I could invent about my day, I could see
him change. By bedtime he had his courage back, and by morning
he was at last ready to go out and fight again. And at last he won,
and he won his success alone, as a man loves to do.
Still Jennie did not speak. She only regarded her guest with a halfresentful
The woman in gray looked off again between the trees. Her voice
was very sweet. A humorous little smile played about her lips.
"There was a queen once," she went on, "who reigned in troublous
days. And every time the country was on the brink of war and the
people ready to fly into a panic, she would put on her showiest
dress and take her court with her and go hunting. And when the
people would see her riding by, apparently so gay and happy, they
were sure all was well with the Government. So she tided over many
a danger. And I've tried to be like her.
"Whenever a big crisis comes in my husband's business—and we've
had several—or when he's discouraged, I put on my prettiest dress
and get the best dinner I know how or give a party! And somehow it
seems to work. That's the woman's part, you know. To play the
A faint honk-honk came from the lane. The stranger started to her
feet. "That's my husband. I must go. Please don't bother about the
apples. I'll just take these from under the tree. We only wanted two
or three, really. And give these to the children." She slipped two
coins into Jennie's hand.
Jennie had risen, too, and was trying from a confusion of startled
thoughts to select one for speech. Instead she only answered the
other woman's bright good-bye with a stammering repetition and a
broken apology about the apples.
She watched the stranger's erect, lithe figure hurrying away across
the path that led directly to the lane. Then she turned her back to
the house, wondering dazedly if she had only dreamed that the
other woman had been there. But no, there were emotions rising
hotly within her that were new. They had had no place an hour
before. They had risen at the words of the stranger and at the sight
of her smooth, soft hair, the fresh color in her cheeks, the happy
shine of her eyes.
A great wave of longing swept over Jennie, a desire that was lost in
choking despair. It was as though she had heard a strain of music
for which she had waited all her life and then felt it swept away into
silence before she had grasped its beauty. For a few brief minutes
she, Jennie Musgrave, had sat beside one of the women of the
highway and caught a breath of her life—that life which forever
twinkled in the past in bright procession, like the happenings of a
fairy tale. Then she was gone, and Jennie was left as she had been,
bound to the soil like one of the rocks of the field.
The bitterness that stormed her heart now was different from the
old dull disheartenment. For it was coupled with new knowledge.
The words of the stranger seemed more vivid to her than when she
had sat listening in the orchard. But they came back to her with the
pain of agony.
"All very well for her to talk so smooth to me about man's work and
woman's work! An' what she did for her husband's big success. Easy
enough for her to sit talking about queens! What would she do if
she was here on this farm like me? What would a woman like her
Jennie had reached the kitchen door and stood there looking at the
hopeless melee about her. Her words sounded strange and hollow
in the silence of the house. "Easy for her!" she burst out. She never
had the work pilin' up over her like I have. She never felt it at her
throat like a wolf, the same as John an' me does. Talk about
choosin'! I haven't got no choice. I just got to keep goin'—just keep
goin', like I always have—"
She stopped suddenly. There in the middle of the kitchen floor,
where the other woman had passed over, lay a tiny square of white.
Jennie crossed to it quickly and picked it up. A faint delicious
fragrance like the dream of a flower came from it. Jennie inhaled it
eagerly. It was not like any odor she had ever known. It made her
think of sweet, strange things. Things she had never thought about
before. Of gardens in the early summer dusk, of wide fair rooms
with the moonlight shining in them. It made her somehow think
with vague wistfulness of all that.
She looked carefully at the tiny square. The handkerchief was of
fine, fairy like smoothness. In the corner a dainty blue butterfly
spread his wings. Jennie drew in another long breath. The fragrance
filled her senses again. Her first greedy draft had not exhausted it.
It would stay for a while, at least.
She laid the bit of white down cautiously on the edge of the table
and went to the sink, where she washed her hands carefully. Then
she returned and picked up the handkerchief again with something
like reverence. She sat down, still holding it, staring at it. This bit of
linen was to her an articulated voice. She understood its language.
It spoke to her of white, freshly washed clothes blowing in the
sunshine, of an iron moving smoothly, leisurely, to the
accompaniment of a song over snowy folds; it spoke to her of quiet,
orderly rooms and ticking clocks and a mending basket under the
evening lamp; it spoke to her of all the peaceful routine of a well
managed household, the kind she had once dreamed of having.
But more than this, the exquisite daintiness of it, the sweet, alluring
perfume spoke to her of something else which her heart
understood, even though her speech could have found no words for
it. She could feel gropingly the delicacy, the grace, the beauty that
made up the other woman's life in all its relations.
She, Jennie, had none of that. Everything about their lives, hers and
John's, was coarsened, soiled somehow by the dragging, endless
labor or the days.
Jennie leaned forward, her arms stretched tautly before her upon
her knees, her hands clasped tightly over the fragrant bit of white.
Suppose she were to try doing as the stranger had said. Suppose
that she spent her time on the house and let the outside work go.
What then? What would John say? Would they be much farther
behind than they were now? Could they be? And suppose, by some
strange chance, the other woman had been right! That a man could
be helped more by doing of these other things she had neglected?
She sat very still, distressed, uncertain. Out in the barnyard waited
the wagon of tomatoes, overripe now for market. No, she could do
nothing today, at least, but go on as usual.
Then her hands opened a little; the perfume within them came up
to her, bringing again that thrill of sweet, indescribable things.
She started up, half-terrified at her own resolve. "I'm goin' to try it
now. Mebbe I'm crazy, but I'm goin' to do it anyhow!"
It was a long time since Jennie had performed such a meticulous
toilet. It was years since she had brushed her hair. A hasty combing
had been its best treatment. She put on her one clean dress, the
dark voile reserved for trips to town. She even changed from her
shapeless, heavy shoes to her best ones. Then, as she looked at
herself in the dusty mirror, she saw that she was changed.
Something, at least, of the hard haggardness was gone from her
face, and her hair framed it with smooth softness. Tomorrow she
would wash it. It used to be almost yellow.
She went to the kitchen. With something of the burning zeal of a
fanatic, she attacked the confusion before her. By half past four the
room was clean: the floor swept, the stove shining, dishes and pans
washed and put in their places. From the tumbled depths of a
drawer Jennie had extracted a white tablecloth that had been
bought in the early days, for company only. With a spirit of daring
recklessness she spread it on the table. She polished the chimney of
the big oil lamp and then set the fixture, clean and shining, in the
center of the white cloth.
Now the supper! And she must hurry. She planned to have it at six
o' clock and ring the big bell for John fifteen minutes before, as she
used to just after they were married.
She decided upon fried ham and browned potatoes and applesauce
with hot biscuits. She hadn't made them for so long, but her fingers
fell into their old deftness. Why, cooking was just play if you had
time to do it right! Then she thought of the tomatoes and gave a
little shudder. She thought of the long hours of backbreaking work
she had put into them and called herself a little fool to have been
swayed by the words of a stranger and the scent of a handkerchief,
to neglect her rightful work and bring more loss upon John and
herself. But she went on, making the biscuits, turning the ham,
setting the table.
It was half past five; the first pan of flaky brown mounds had been
withdrawn from the oven, the children's faces and hands had been
washed and their excited questions satisfied, when the sound of a
car came from the bend. Jennie knew that car. It belonged to Henry
Davis. He could be coming for only one thing.
The blow they had dreaded, fending off by blind disbelief in the
ultimate disaster, was about to fall. Henry was coming to tell them
he was going to foreclose. It would almost kill John. This was his
father's old farm. John had taken it over, mortgage and all, so
hopefully, so sure he could succeed where his father had failed. If
he had to leave now there would be a double disgrace to bear. And
where could they go? Farms weren't so plentiful.
Henry had driven up to the side gate. He fumbled with some papers
in his inner pocket as he started up the walk. A wild terror filled
Jennie's heart. She wanted desperately to avoid meeting Henry
Davis's keen, hard face, to flee somewhere, anywhere before she
heard the words that doomed them.
Then as she stood shaken, wondering how she could live through
what the next hours would bring, she saw in a flash the beautiful
stranger as she had sat in the orchard, looking off between the
trees and smiling to herself. "There was once a queen."
Jennie heard the words again distinctly just as Henry Davis's steps
sounded sharply nearer on the walk outside. There was only a
confused picture of a queen wearing the stranger's lovely, highbred
face, riding gaily to the hunt through forests and towns while her
kingdom was tottering. Riding gallantly on, in spite of her fears.
Jennie's heart was pounding and her hands were suddenly cold. But
something unreal and yet irresistible was sweeping her with it.
"There was once a queen."
She opened the screen door before Henry Davis had time to knock.
She extended her hand cordially. She was smiling. "Well, how d' you
do, Mr. Davis. Come right in. I'm real glad to see you. Been quite a
while since you was over."
Henry looked surprised and very much embarrassed. "Why, no, now,
I won't go in. I just stopped to see John on a little matter of
business. I'll just—"
"You'll just come right in. John will be in from milkin' in a few
minutes an' you can talk while you eat, both of you. I've supper just
ready. Now step right in, Mr. Davis!"
As Jennie moved aside, a warm, fragrant breath of fried ham and
biscuits seemed to waft itself to Henry Davis's nostrils. There was a
visible softening of his features. "Why, no, I didn't reckon on
anything like this. I 'lowed I'd just speak to John and then be gettin'
"They'll see you at home when you get there," Jennie put in quickly.
"You never tasted my hot biscuits with butter an' quince honey, or
you wouldn't take so much coachin'!"
Henry Davis came in and sat in the big, clean, warm kitchen. His
eyes took in every detail of the orderly room: the clean cloth, the
shining lamp, the neat sink, the glowing stove. Jennie saw him relax
comfortably in his chair. Then above the aromas of the food about
her, she detected the strange sweetness of the bit of white linen she
had tucked away in the bosom of her dress. It rose to her as a
haunting sense of her power as a woman.
She smiled at Henry Davis. Smiled as she would never have thought
of doing a day ago. Then she would have spoken to him with a
drawn face full of subservient fear. Now, though the fear clutched
her heart, her lips smiled sweetly, moved by that unreality that
seemed to possess her. "There was once a queen."
"An' how are things goin' with you, Mr. Davis?" she asked with a
blithe upward reflection.
Henry Davis was very human. He had never noticed before that
Jennie's hair was so thick and pretty and that she had such pleasant
ways. Neither had he dreamed that she was such a good cook as
the sight and smell of the supper things would indicate. He was
very comfortable there in the big sweet-smelling kitchen.
He smiled back. It was an interesting experiment on Henry's part,
for his smiles were rare. "Oh, so-so. How are they with you?"
Jennie had been taught to speak the truth; but at this moment there
dawned in her mind a vague understanding that the high loyalties
of life are, after all, relative and not absolute.
She smiled again as she skillfully flipped a great slice of golden
brown ham over in the frying pan. "Why, just fine, Mr. Davis. We're
gettin' on just fine, John an' me. It's been hard sleddin' but I sort of
think the worst is over. I think we're goin' to come out way ahead
now. We'll just be proud to pay off that mortgage so fast, come
another year, that you'll be surprised!"
It was said. Jennie marveled that the words had not choked her, had
not somehow smitten her dead as she spoke them. But their effect
on Henry Davis was amazingly good.
"That so?" he asked in surprise. "Well now, that's fine. I always
wanted to see John make a success of the old place, but somehow—
well, you know it didn't look as if—that is, there's been some talk
around that maybe John wasn't just gettin' along any too—you
know. A man has to sort of watch his investments. Well, now, I'm
glad things are pickin' up a little."
Jennie felt as though a tight hand at her throat had relaxed. She
spoke brightly of the fall weather and the crops as she finished
setting the dishes on the table and rang the big bell for John. There
was delicate work yet to be done when he came in.
Little Jim had to be sent to hasten him before he finally appeared.
He was a big man, John Musgrave, big and slow moving and
serious. He had known nothing all his life but hard physical toil.
Heaviness had pitted his great body against all the adverse forces of
nature. There was a time when he had felt that strength such as his
was all any man needed to bring him fortune. Now he was not so
sure. The brightness of that faith was dimmed by experience.
John came to the kitchen door with his eyebrows drawn. Little Jim
had told Jim that Henry Davis was there. He came into the room as
an accused man faces the jury of his peers, faces the men who,
though the same flesh and blood as he, are yet somehow curiously
in a position to save or to destroy him.
John came in, and then he stopped, staring blankly at the scene
before him. At Jennie moving about the bright table, chatting
happily with Henry Davis! At Henry himself, his sharp features
softened by an air of great satisfaction. At the sixth plate on the
white cloth. Henry staying for supper!
But the silent deeps of John's nature served him well. He made no
comment. Merely shook hands with Henry Davis and then washed
his face at the sink.
Jennie arranged the savory dishes, and they sat down to supper. It
was an entirely new experience to John to sit at the head of his own
table and serve a generously heaped plate to Henry Davis. It sent
through him a sharp thrill of sufficiency, of equality. He realized
that before he had been cringing in his soul at the very sight of this
Henry consumed eight biscuits richly covered with quince honey,
along with the heavier part of his dinner. Jennie counted them. She
recalled hearing that the Davises did not set a very bountiful table;
it was common talk that Mrs. Davis was even more "miserly" than
her husband. But, however that was, Henry now seemed to grow
more and more genial and expansive as he ate. So did John. By the
time the pie was set before them, they were laughing over a joke
Henry had heard at Grange meeting.
Jennie was bright, watchful, careful. If the talk lagged, she made a
quick remark. She moved softly between table and stove, refilling
the dishes. She saw to it that a hot biscuit was at Henry Davis's
elbow just when he was ready for it. All the while there was rising
within her a strong zest for life that she would have deemed
impossible only that morning. This meal, at least, was a perfect
success, and achievements of any sort whatever had been few.
Henry Davis left soon after supper. He brought the conversation
around awkwardly to his errand as they rose from the table. Jennie
was ready.
"I told him, John, that the worst was over now, an' we're getting' on
fine!" She laughed." I told him we'd be swampin' him pretty soon
with our payments. Ain't that right John?"
John's mind was not analytical. At that moment he was comfortable.
He has been host at a delicious supper with his ancient adversary,
whose sharp face marvelously softened. Jennie's eyes were shining
with a new and amazing confidence. It was a natural moment for
unreasoning optimism.
"Why that's right, Mr. Davis. I believe we can start clearin' this off
now pretty soon. If you could just see your way clear to renew the
note mebbe. . . ."
It was done. The papers were back in Davis's pocket. They had bid
him a cordial good-bye from the door.
"Next time you come, I will have biscuits for you Mr. Davis." Jennie
had called daringly after him.
"Now you don't forget that Mrs. Musgrave! They certainly ain't hard
to eat."
He was gone. Jennie cleared the table and set the shining lamp in
the center of the oilcloth covering. She began to wash the dishes.
John was fumbling through the papers on a hanging shelf. He finally
sat down with and old tablet and pencil. He spoke meditatively. "I
believe I'll do a little figurin' since I've got time tonight. It just struck
me that mebbe if I used my head a little more I'd get on faster."
"Well now, you might," said Jennie. It would not be John's way to
comment just yet on their sudden deliverance. She polished two big
Rambo apples and placed them on a saucer beside him.
He looked pleased. "Now that's what I like." He grinned. Then
making a clumsy clutch at her arm, he added, "Say, you look sort of
pretty tonight."
Jennie made a brisk coquettish business of freeing herself. "Go
along with you!" she returned, smiling and started in again upon the
dishes. But a hot wave of color had swept up in her shallow cheeks.
John had looked more grateful over her setting those two apples
beside him now, than he had the day last fall when she lifted all the
potatoes herself! Men were strange, as the woman in gray had said.
Maybe even John had been needing something else more than he
needed the hard, backbreaking work she had been doing.
She tidied up the kitchen and put the children to bed. It seemed
strange to be through now, ready to sit down. All summer they had
worked outdoors till bedtime. Last night she had been slaving over
apple butter until she stopped, exhausted, and John had been
working in the barn with the lantern. Tonight seemed so peaceful,
so quiet. John still sat at the table, figuring while he munched his
apples. His brows were not drawn now. There was a new,
purposeful light upon his face.
Jennie walked to the doorway and stood looking off through the
darkness and through the break in the trees at the end of the lane.
Bright and golden lights kept glittering across it, breaking dimly
through the woods, flashing out strongly for a moment, then
disappearing behind the hill. Those were the lights of the happy
cars that never stopped in their swift search for far and magic
places. Those were the lights of the highway which she had hated.
But she did not hate it now. For today it had come to her at last and
left with her some of its mysterious pleasure.
Jennie wished, as she stood there, that she could somehow tell the
beautiful stranger in the gray coat that her words had been true,
that she, Jennie, insofar as she was able, was to be like her and
fulfill her woman's part.
For while she was not figuring as John was doing, yet her mind had
been planning, sketching in details, strengthening itself against the
chains of old habits, resolving on new ones; seeing with sudden
clearness where they had been blundered, where they had made
mistakes that farsighted, orderly management could have avoided.
But how could John have sat down to figure in comfort before, in
the kind of kitchen she had been keeping?
Jennie bit her lip. Even if some of the tomatoes spoiled, if all of
them spoiled, there would be a snowy washing on her line
tomorrow; there would be ironing the next day in her clean kitchen.
She could sing as she worked. She used to when she was a girl.
Even if the apples rotted on the trees, there were certain things she
knew now that she must do, regardless of what John might say. It
would pay better in the end, for she had read the real needs of his
soul from his eyes that evening. Yes, wives had to choose for their
husbands sometimes.
A thin haunting breath of sweetness rose from the bosom of her
dress where the scrap of white linen lay. Jennie smiled into the
dark. And tomorrow she would take time to wash her hair. It used
to be yellow—and she wished she could see the stranger once
more, just long enough to tell her she understood.
As matter of fact, at that very moment, many miles along the sleek
highway, a woman in a gray coat, with a soft gray hat and a rose
quill, leaned suddenly close to her husband as he shot the highpowered
car through the night. Suddenly he glanced down at her
and slackened the speed.
"Tired?" he asked. "You haven't spoken for miles. Shall we stop at
this next town?"
The woman shook her head. "I'm all right, and I love to drive at
night. It's only—you know—that poor woman at the farm. I can't get
over her wretched face and house and everything. It—it was
The man smiled down at her tenderly. "Well, I'm sorry, too, if it was
all as bad as your description; but you mustn't worry. Good
gracious, darling, you're not weeping over it, I hope!"
"No, truly, just a few little tears. I know it's silly, but I did so want to
help her, and I know now that what I said must have sounded
perfectly insane. She wouldn't know what I was talking about. She
just looked up with that blank, tired face. And it all seemed so
impossible. No, I'm not going to cry. Of course I'm not—but—lend
me your handkerchief, will you dear? I've lost mine somehow!"