"They live out towards the cemetery way," she added, "him and his father, all alone. Peter'll be along by here in a minute on his way to work—it's most quarter to. I set my husband down to his breakfast and got up his lunch before I come out—I don't have my breakfast till the men folks get out of the way."

I never cease to marvel at these splendid capabilities which prepare breakfasts, put up lunches, turn the attention to the garden, and all, so to speak, with the left hand; ready at any moment to enter upon the real business of life—to minister to the sick or bury the dead, or conduct a town meeting or a church supper or a birth. They have a kind of goddess-like competence, these women. At any of these offices they arrive, lacking the cloud, it is[Pg 27] true, but magnificently equipped to settle the occasion. In crises of, say, deafness, they will clap a hot pancake on a friend's ear with an ?sculapian savoir faire, for their efficiencies combine those of lost generations with all that they hear of in this, in an open-minded eclecticism. With Puritans and foresters and courtiers in our blood, who knows but that we have, too, the lingering ichor of gods and goddesses? Oh—"don't you wish you had?" What a charming peculiarity it would be to be descended from a state of immortality as well as to be preparing for it, nay, even now to be entered upon it!


, fuddled song had died away on the other street, Peter Cary came by my neighbour's house. He was a splendid, muscular figure in a neutral, belted shirt and a hat battered quite to college exactions, though I am sure that Peter did not know that. I could well believe that he was making a man of himself. I have temerity to say that this boy superintendent of a canning factory looked as, in another milieu, Shelley might have looked, but so it was. It was not the first time that I have seen in such an one the look, the eyes with the vision and the shadow. I have seen it in the face of a man who stood on a step-ladder, papering a wall; I have seen it in a mason who looked up from the foundation that he [Pg 28]mortared; I have seen it often and often in the faces of men who till the soil. I was not surprised to know that Peter Cary "took" on the violin.

The violin is a way out (for that look in one's eyes), as, for Nicholas Moor, I have no doubt, is the ringing of the Catholic bell. And I am not prepared to say that celluloid, and wall-paper, and mortar, and meadows, and canneries,—run under good conditions,—may not be a way out as well. At all events, the look was still in Peter's face.