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Trixie flushed, and her eyes filled with tears. "Yes, I know," she said helplessly, "it's no use pretending----"
and passionately jealous and energetic, and for the highways and market-places of life at any rate, one asks for law and convention. In Heaven or any Perfection there will be no Socialism, just as there will be no Bimetallism; there is the sphere of communism, anarchism, universal love and universal service. It is in the workaday world of limited and egotistical souls that Socialism has its place. All men who dream at all of noble things are Anarchists in their dreams, and half at least of the people who are much in love, I suppose, want to be this much Anarchistic that they do not want to feel under a law or compulsion one with another. They may want to possess, they may want to be wholly possessed, but they do not want a law court or public opinion to protect that possession as a “right.”
You don’t feel there’s anything to be done?”
Now for a number of years I’d been up in the other part of the town with Aunt Netty, who kept a shop that I tended between schools and before and after, and I’d almost forgotten there was such a soul on earth as Dan Devereux,——though he’d not forgotten me. I’d got through the Grammar and had a year in the High, and suppose I should have finished with an education and gone off teaching somewhere, instead of being here now, cheerful as heart could wish, with a little black-haired hussy tiltering on the back of my chair. Rolly, get down! Her name’s Laura,——for his mother. I mean I might have done all this, if at that time mother hadn’t been thrown on her back, and been bedridden ever since. I haven’t said much about mother yet, but there all the time she was, just as she is to-day, in her little tidy bed in one corner of the great kitchen, sweet as a saint, and as patient;——and I had to come and keep house for father. He never meant that I should lose by it, father didn’t; begged, borrowed, or stolen, bought or hired, I should have my books, he said: he’s mighty proud of my learning, though between you and me it’s little enough to be proud of; but the neighbors think I know ’most as much as the minister,——and I let ’em think. Well, while Mrs. Devereux was sick I was over there a good deal,——for if Faith had one talent, it was total incapacity,——and there had a chance of knowing the stuff that Dan was made of; and I declare to man ’t would have touched a heart of stone to see the love between the two. She thought Dan held up the sky, and Dan thought she was the sky. It’s no wonder,——the risks our men lead can’t make common-sized women out of their wives and mothers. But I hadn’t been coming in and out, busying about where Dan was, all that time, without making any mark; though he was so lost in grief about his mother that he didn’t take notice of his other feelings, or think of himself at all. And who could care the less about him for that? It always brings down a woman to see a man wrapt in some sorrow that’s lawful and tender as it is large. And when he came and told me what the neighbors said he must do with Faith, the blood stood still in my heart.
"Sinkin' spells. Doctors workin' with him," sententiously remarked the guard to the sergeant, pausing a moment in his regular tramp.
her pallid cheeks, when, looking up, she saw the sergeant standing white and dazed-looking before her. She turned a brilliant red, and then, in an instant, the color dropped out of her face as the mercury drops down in the tube. The officer caught her and placed her in the chair from which he had risen.
"Let me at 'em!" Georges roared. "I'll throttle 'em with my bare hands!"
and Trixie looked elated. She introduced "George" to "Gommie" with scarcely concealed pride and triumph.
"You bet," assented the sergeant, still laughing. "You oughter heard that gal sass me. There she was, all by herself in a little house, with a kid about two years old, an' when I come politely to tell her I'd take care the men didn't milk her cow or take her chickens, and told her she needn't be afraid of anything, she stood in her door, with that baby in her arms, and fairly poured hot shot into me. 'I'm a soldier's widow,' she says, her eyes blazing. 'Do you think I know what it is to be afraid of you? Oh, if this child only was a man to shoulder his dead father's musket!' Now, you know, Kaintuck, that kind o' talk from a poor young thing all dressed in black breaks a man all up. So I just kep' my cap in my hand, and I says, 'Madam, I respect a soldier's widow, no matter which side the soldier fought on, and whether you'll agree or not, I'll make it my business to see that you'll have some kind of protection.' We was in winter quarters then, about a mile from her house. You know, men is hard to manage sometimes, and if I hadn't spoke to some of the officers, the poor thing's little all in the way of chickens and such would have gone. But I told my cap'n about it, and that her husband was killed in the rebel army, and he settled it so that not a man dared to be seen near that hen roost
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