“We have proposed to make the canal from Wallasey to
That was fifteen years ago, and they had not seen him since; though two unanswered letters in Simeon Holly's desk testified that perhaps this, at least, was not the boy's fault.
It was not of the grown-up John, the willful boy and runaway son, however, that Simeon Holly and his wife were thinking, as they stood just inside the barn door; it was of Baby John, the little curly-headed fellow that had played at their knees, frolicked in this very barn, and nestled in their arms when the day was done.
Mrs. Holly spoke first--and it was not as she had spoken on the porch.
"Simeon," she began tremulously, "that dear child must go to bed!" And she hurried across the floor and up the stairs, followed by her husband. "Come, David," she said, as she reached the top; "it's time little boys were asleep! Come!"
Her voice was low, and not quite steady. To David her voice sounded as her eyes looked when there was in them the far-away something that hurt. Very slowly he came forward into the moonlight, his gaze searching the woman's face long and earnestly.
"And do you--want me?" he faltered.
The woman drew in her breath with a little sob. Before her stood the slender figure in the yellow-white gown--John's gown. Into her eyes looked those other eyes, dark and wistful,--like John's eyes. And her arms ached with emptiness.
"Yes, yes, for my very own--and for always!" she cried with sudden passion, clasping the little form close. "For always!"
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