By Ray Stannard Baker
This publication is a facsimile reprint and will comprise imperfections corresponding to marks, notations, marginalia and fallacious pages.
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At least it had the virtue of unexpectedness. He wasn’t bored! When he had ﬁnished we both straightened our backs and looked at each other. There was a twinkle in his eye: then we both laughed. “He’s all right,” I said to myself. I held up my hands, then he held up his: it was hardly necessary to prove that wagon-greasing was not a delicate operation. “It’s a good wholesome sign,” I said, “but it’ll come off. ” Thus I led him up to the back steps and poured him a basin of hot water—which I brought myself from the kitchen, Harriet having marvellously and completely disappeared.
I don’t know who you are. ” I cannot well describe the intensity of the passion with which he spoke, his face shaking with emotion, his hands trembling. ” “No no,” he returned. ” And yet I longed to know of the life within this strange husk of manhood. “I know,” he said, as if reading my thought, “you think”—and he tapped his forehead with one ﬁnger—”but I’m not. ” It was a strange story he told. It seems almost unbelievable to me as I set it down here, until I reﬂect how little any one of us knows of the deep life within his nearest neighbour—what stories there are, what tragedies enacted under a calm exterior!
I was cutting close, and I didn’t venture to look at him). “No doubt he had his houses and yachts and went to Europe when he liked. I know I lived upstairs—back—where there wasn’t a tree to be seen, or a spear of green grass, or a hill, or a brook: only smoke and chimneys and littered roofs. Lord be thanked for my escape! Sometimes I think that Success has formed a silent conspiracy against Youth. ” John Starkweather said nothing. “Yes,” I said, “there are duties. We realise, we farmers, that we must produce more than we ourselves can eat or wear or burn.
Adventures in Contentment by Ray Stannard Baker