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opened the wide intervale, dotted with haymakers at their
picturesque work. On the left flowed the swift river fringed with
graceful elms in their bravest greenery; on the right rose the purple
hills serene and grand; and overhead glowed the midsummer sky,
which glorified it all.
Little Dulce, tired of play, lay fast asleep in the nest she had made
in one of the haycocks close by, and Rose leaned against the
gnarled old tree, dreaming daydreams with her work at her feet.
Happy and absorbing fancies they seemed to be, for her face was
beautifully tranquil, and she took no heed of the train which
suddenly went speeding down the valley, leaving a white cloud
behind. Its rumble concealed the sound of approaching steps, and
her eyes never turned from the distant hills till the abrupt
appearance of a very sunburned but smiling young man made her
jump up, exclaiming joyfully: "Why, Mac! Where did you drop
"The top of Mount Washington. How do you do?"
"Never better. Won't you go in? You must be tired after such a
"No, thank you. I've seen the old lady. She told me Aunt Jessie and
the boy had gone to town and that you were 'settin' round' in the
old place. I came on at once and will take a lounge here if you
don't mind," answered Mac, unstrapping his knapsack and taking a
haycock as if it were a chair.
Rose subsided into her former seat, surveying her cousin with
much satisfaction as she said: "This is the third surprise I've had
since I came. Uncle popped in upon us first, then Phebe, and now
you. Have you had a pleasant tramp? Uncle said you were off."
"Delightful! I feel as if I'd been in heaven, or near it, for about
three weeks, and thought I'd break the shock of coming down to
the earth by calling here on my way home."
"You look as if heaven suited you. Brown as a berry, but so fresh
and happy I should never guess you had been scrambling down a
mountain," said Rose, trying to discover why he looked so well in
spite of the blue flannel suit and dusty shoes, for there was a
certain sylvan freshness about him as he sat there full of reposeful
strength the hills seemed to have given, the wholesome cheerful
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