"And Miss Harriet's going into business for herself. She's taken rooms

downtown; she's going to be Madame Something or other."

Now, at last, was Mrs. McKee's attention caught riveted.

"For the love of mercy! At her age! It's downright selfish. If she

raises her prices she can't make my new foulard."

Tillie sat at the table, her faded blue eyes fixed on the back yard, where

her aunt, Mrs. Rosenfeld, was hanging out the week's wash of table linen.

"I don't know as it's so selfish," she reflected. "We've only got one

life. I guess a body's got the right to live it."

Mrs. McKee eyed her suspiciously, but Tillie's face showed no emotion.


"You don't ever hear of Schwitter, do you?"

"No; I guess she's still living."

Schwitter, the nurseryman, had proved to have a wife in an insane asylum.

That was why Tillie's romance had only paraded itself before her and had

gone by.

"You got out of that lucky."

Tillie rose and tied a gingham apron over her white one.

"I guess so. Only sometimes--"

"I don't know as it would have been so wrong. He ain't young, and I ain't.

And we're not getting any younger. He had nice manners; he'd have been

good to me."

Mrs. McKee's voice failed her. For a moment she gasped like a fish. Then: "And him a married man!"

"Well, I'm not going to do it," Tillie soothed her. "I get to thinking

about it sometimes; that's all. This new fellow made me think of him.

He's got the same nice way about him."

Aye, the new man had made her think of him, and June, and the lovers who

lounged along the Street in the moonlit avenues toward the park and love;

even Sidney's pink roses. Change was in the very air of the Street that

June morning. It was in Tillie, making a last clutch at youth, and

finding, in this pale flare of dying passion, courage to remember what she

had schooled herself to forget; in Harriet asserting her right to live her

life; in Sidney, planning with eager eyes a life of service which did not

include Joe; in K. Le Moyne, who had built up a wall between himself and

the world, and was seeing it demolished by a deaf-and-dumb book agent whose

weapon was a pencil pad!

And yet, for a week nothing happened: Joe came in the evenings and sat on

the steps with Sidney, his honest heart, in his eyes. She could not bring

herself at first to tell him about the hospital. She put it off from day

to day. Anna, no longer sulky, accepted wit the childlike faith Sidney's

statement that "they'd get along; she had a splendid scheme," and took to

helping Harriet in her preparations for leaving. Tillie, afraid of her

rebellious spirit, went to prayer meeting. And K. Le Moyne, finding his

little room hot in the evenings and not wishing to intrude on the two on

the doorstep, took to reading his paper in the park, and after twilight to

long, rapid walks out into the country. The walks satisfied the craving of

his active body for exercise, and tired him so he could sleep. On one such

occasion he met Mr. Wagner, and they carried on an animated conversation

until it was too dark to see the pad. Even then, it developed that Wagner

could write in the dark; and he secured the last word in a long argument by

doing this and striking a match for K. to read by.

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