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neighbor women was calling at the house toads, lizards, and snakes. Also with the and, seeing my picture, said to mother, wild bees and wasps. One season I made “What taste that boy has!" That appli a collection of bumblebee honey, studycation of the word made an impression ing the habits of five or six different on me that I have never forgotten. kinds and rifling their nests. I kept my
About this time I heard another new store of bumblebee honey in the attic, word. We were working on the road, and where I had a small boxful of the comb I with my hoe was working beside an and a large phial filled with the honey. old Quaker farmer, David Corbin, who How well I came to know the different used to be a school teacher; a large flat dispositions of the different kinds—the stone was turned over and beneath it small red-vested, that made its nest in some orderly arrangement were some in a hole in the ground; the small blacksmaller stones. “Here are some an vested, the large black-vested, the yeltiquities," said Mr. Corbin, and my low-necked, the black-banded, etc., that vocabulary received another addition. made their nests in old mice nests in the A new word or a new thing was very meadow or in the barn and other places. apt to make its mark upon my mind. I I used to watch and woo the little piping have told elsewhere what a revelation frogs in the spring marshes when I had to me was my first glimpse of one of the driven the cows to pasture at night, warblers, the black-throated blue-hack, till they would sit in my open hand and indicating as it did a world of bird life pipe. I used to creep on my hands and of which I had never dreamed—the bird knees through the woods to see the life in the inner heart of the woods. My partridge in the act of drumming. I brothers and other boys were with me, used to watch the mud wasps building but they did not see the new bird. The their nests in the old attic, and noted first time I saw the veery, or Wilson's their complaining cry while in the act thrush, also stands out in my memory. of pressing on the mud. I noted the It alighted in the road before us on the same complaining cry from the bees edge of the woods. “A brown thrasher," when working on the flower of the pursaid Bill Chase. It was not the thrasher, ple-flowering raspberry—what we called but it was a new bird to me and the “Scotch caps.” I tried to trap foxes and picture of it is in my mind as if made soon learned how far their cunning suronly yesterday.
passed mine. My first lesson in animal Natural history was a word unknown psychology I got from old Nat Higby to me in my boyhood, and such a as he came riding by on horseback one thing as nature study in the schools winter day, his huge feet almost meeting was, of course, unheard of. Our under the horse, just as a hound was natural history we got unconsciously in running a fox across our upper mountain the sport at noontime, or on our way to lot. “My boy," he said, “that fox may and from school or in our Sunday excur be running as fast as he can, but if you sions to the streams and woods. We stood behind that big rock beside his learned much about the ways of foxes course, and as he came along should and woodchucks and coons and skunks jump out and shout, “Hello!' he would and squirrels by hunting them. The run faster.” That was the winter when partridge, too, and the crows, hawks, in fond imagination I saw a stream of and owls, and the song birds of the field silver dollars coming my way from the and orchard, all enter into the farm red foxes I was planning to deprive of boy's life. I early became familiar with their pelts when they needed them most. the song and habits of all the common I have told elsewhere of my trapping birds, and with field mice and the frogs, experiences and how completely I failed.
(To be continued)
THE IMPERFECT PARALLEL
BY CAMBRAY BROWN
VIS was hot and tired, and while appeared the prospect of dining unin
waiting in the Subway for a par- terruptedly alone every night. There ticularly reluctant local she reflected was her Work; and the need of mascuthat she might just as well have battled line society had melted into a nebulous for a place on the express. The local was nothing. But as June waned into July so late that it, too, would be crowded. and July slowly gave place to the sultry She felt extraordinarily lonely, with a days of August, an increasing weight of rising and rather exasperated sense of loneliness settled down on her—the loneimpatience. She resented the presence liness of a crowded, unfamiliar city. of so many strange, perspiring people, There were plenty of things to do in and in a flood of sudden, forlorn regret New York--summer shows, and places she thought of the cottage at Sunset to dine and dance—the cool, inviting Harbor where she usually spent a serene roofs of the great hotels with their and leisurely summer with her people. softened lights and tempered jazz, but There was the green, windy golf course; they were all barred to her since she the beach where they bathed; the Pren could not go about alone. Two or three tice motor boat. And there was Billy of the more enterprising young men at Prentice himself, and Tod Langley, and the General Textiles Company made a great many others; in fact, there was tentative advances in the way of sugrather more safety than satisfaction gesting a dinner, or hinting at the theain the number of suave, sunbrowned ter, but Avis refused invariably. In the young men there, who wore immaculate canon and apocrypha of Mrs. Grundyflannels and who appeared to possess no as interpreted and treasured in Back interest in that state of life to which it Bay—such invitations were out of the had pleased God to call them at Sunset question, and Avis regretted the fact Harbor other than a marked concern exceedingly. for her society. It stood to reason All this, vaguely present in her that Avis was not lonely at Sunset thoughts at any time, came vividly Harbor.
uppermost as the belated local arrived. But it had been by her own deliberate There was the usual surge and crush; choice that she happened to be marooned doors slammed to; and Avis found herin New York for the summer.
self standing beside a slim, straw-hatted matter of fact, that was the worst of young man in gray flannels, who made it-there was no one to blame but her room for her and at once stared intently self; for the offer of the General Tex at the straw hat of the man next to him. tiles Company had been too tempting She glanced at him casually, and since he to resist, and in the excitement of creat was good-looking in an unobtrusive, ing patterns which the magic of looms well-bred way, with a clear, even tan would weave into a gay and visible real which suggested a more extensive experiity Avis had been willing-even eager ence of outdoors than Wall Street or to forego the usual delights of the Maine Times Square, she wished she knew him coast. As nothing seemed the fact of a -or some one like him-in New York. furnished room, somewhere "uptown.” The train halted at the next station Of less than little importance, too, and more passengers crowded aboard.
Avis was wedged helplessly toward the would be! Avis imagined him turning young man's side. With the wide brim to her, with a gay glint of amusement in of her straw hat almost grazing his face, his eyes, and saying to her in a way he could not be otherwise than very that she, of course, would understand much aware of her, but he remained perfectly: studiously oblivious to her presence. “Let's chuck all this silly rot we've The train lurched and started again, been taught. My name's Stanley drew into another station and stopped, Drew .. where the crowding-in process was re It simply stood to reason that his peated.
name was Drew, or something nice like The next stop would be an express
Drew. . station, where the local would disgorge Just then the train lurched suddenly its oppressive load. It occurred to Avis round an abrupt curve. Humanity, inthat in the general exodus the young humanly packed together, swayed as one man would probably go, too, and the corporate mass. thought gave her an odd pang of regret. "Beg pardon," said the supposititious He had piqued her interest. He seemed Mr. Drew, politely but extremely so obviously to be the right sort-her briefly. sort. He might even know people in Avis regained her balance and said Boston whom she knew. But standing nothing. But she dwelt upon the sound elbow to elbow, they were infinitely re of his voice; it was a remarkably pleasmote from each other.
ant, well-bred voice; and it confirmed And then Avis experienced a moment her impression that his name was Drew, of exasperated revolt.
or something like that. An idea, wholly unprecedented in her The train came to an abrupt stop and thoughts, tempted her, only to be in a riotous tide of passengers surged past stantly suppressed. “Speak to her, while others swarmed in to take him? Never! What would he think of their places. Caught in these conflicting me!" . . . All her Back Bay traditions currents, Avis struggled to keep her feet, recoiled at the thought. Still, monstrous with the attractive young man holding as the thought was, it had definitely his ground stubbornly and protectively at formed itself for an instant, and now, her side. And then just as she reflected thrust ignominiously back into the sub for the fifth time how attractive he conscious depths of Avis's mind, it re really was-Avis found herself face to mained a potent though incalculable face with a girl she had not seen for factor for future evil.
ages. Meanwhile the young man continued "Why, Gladys!" to appear absorbed in the gayly colored "A-vis! You, in New York!" frieze of advertisements that lined the car. Of course it must have been the hot He looked-or rather Avis imagined that weather. It could have been nothing he looked—as if he, too, might have be- else, although the quick, inquiring gaze hind him a line of Revolutionary for- Gladys Jewett allowed to fall on the bears. Perhaps the same ancestral young man beside her
have unconinhibitions of birth and rearing which sciously influenced Avis into an unwary, restrained her likewise restrained him. if somewhat irrevocable, yielding to He could see that she was obviously temptation. Before she realized exactly not the sort of girl that flirts with what she was doing Avis had blurted strange men in Subway trains, but if out: only a certain telepathic understanding “Oh, Gladys, this is Mr. Drew. of mutual ancestral traditions could be Mr. Drew! established in some vaguely indefinite The words slipped out treacherously, way, how extraordinarily pleasant it without her meaning them to-irretriev
ably fatal words spoken before she could In that crucial instant, as the train halt her tongue.
came to a stop, Avis hesitated, and was Gladys acknowledged the presence of lost. Indecision has been the ruin of the putative Mr. Drew with a perfunc more people than any positive wickedtory bow, and rippled merrily on. ness, and Avis was too confused to
“Avis, you old dear, why didn't you clutch at the easy escape that offered. let me know you were in New York? She had simply to accept for herself and ... Designing? Not really!"
plead some hastily contrived excuse for Avis struggled to reply, but with brain Mr. Drew which would send him on his awhirl and cheeks aflame at the enormity way; as a matter of fact, she merely which her lips had committed. It had demurred weakly. been a mad, fleeting incredible impulse. “Mr. Drew, can't you make her She had been obliquely aware of the come?” Gladys overrode her hesitation. young man lifting his hat politely to “I wish I could,” replied Mr. Drew, Gladys in acknowledgment of the in- promptly, but without any particular troduction. What on earth must he hopefulness in his voice. think of her!
The doors yawned open. Gladys was running on volubly. As “Are you going anywhere?” asked a matter of fact, she was mentally trying Gladys. to “place” Mr. Drew in relation to Avis. “Er-no place in particular," said Mr. Were they merely acquaintances?-old Drew, truthfully. friends?-or something more than that? “Then of course you'll come, both of Could Avis be in love? She did seem
you.” a little unaccountably flushed and “I'm living this summer with Doris embarrassed.
Brown," Gladys announced above the Meanwhile “Mr. Drew" stood atten roar of the departing train, “in the most tive but discreetly silent. Avis felt gorgeous place ever!" This, she exa rising, unreasonable resentment min- plained, as she convoyed her guests to gling with her hot shame. Couldn't he the street and over to Park Avenue, was be decent enough to take himself off, she nothing less than the city apartment of asked herself, desperately. Couldn't Mrs. Judson Keyes—“the daughter of he comprehend that it was just a old Langton Bassett, you know." mad slip of her tongue which she Even to the flustered Avis, who was would give worlds to recall? Couldn't hardly listening and not daring at all to he see that she was ready to sink through look at the young man at her side, the the floor from shame? But Mr. Drew name of Langton Bassett vaguely constood immovable as a rock, a third- noted millions extracted from the oil very much a third-of that impromptu fields of Mexico. Pretentious marble cortrio.
ridors and flunkies in livery graced the The ebullient Gladys continued to ground-floor approach to his daughter's talk, quite ignoring Mr. Drew, who, as city abode. Mrs. Keyes's apartment on Avis's personal possession, of course the fifth floor, although stripped for the didn't particularly interest her. She
of its embellishments, hadn't seen Avis for nearly a year, and with the tapestried furniture shrouded the arrears of gossip were appalling. At in slip covers of cool gray, presented an any rate they were not to be encom ornate and luxurious interior. Gladys passed in the few short minutes before led the way into a vast room flanked by the next station was reached, which was two enormous bays that looked out upon Gladys's destination.
the avenue. “Why don't you and Mr. Drew come “Mrs. Keyes goes to Newport every along with me and have tea? I've got summer, abandoning this wonderful millions of things I simply must tell you.” place completely. Doris Brown-my
chum, you know is some sort of cousin course, in the Subway. It's —it's all my of hers, and that's how Doris and I hap- fault," added Mr. Drew, with immense pen to be camping out in the midst of conviction in his voice. . all this gorgeousness. . . . And now, if “Don't be ridiculous,” said Avis, you'll excuse me a moment, I'll see sharply. about tea.”
"I mean it. I ought to have backed Mr. Drew deposited his hat and stick out in the Subway, instead of coming on a chair near the door and saun round here. You see, I really encouraged tered to an immense davenport in one
you." corner of the room with the air of “But whatever are we going to do?” one very much at home. Avis had she asked, helplessly, after a third paldropped into the first seat that presented pitating pause. itself to her upon entering, which hap “Do?" said Mr. Drew. “Why, have pened to be the bench before an open tea, of course!" concert - grand piano; Mr. Drew sat “What must you think of me?" down and looked about the enormous Mr. Drew considered privately that living-room of Mrs. Judson Keyes; and his opinion would be regarded as a piece then their eyes met.
of gross impertinence-just then. And Mr. Drew became serious and, bend so he simply said: ing forward, clasped his hands over his “Why, what you probably think of knees. "Look here," he said, vaguely, me." "I've rather let you in for this. I “But I haven't thought about you at well, I ought to have backed out, of all.”