38 RARE OLD cflvivs.

things that o11ce her mother loved, and the brother who had graced the earth his few short summers.

She saw, and heard, and sickened with the scene. She saw the friends, who had been, throng the place to seize at bargains which their jealous souls had long since coveted. She saw her father, old and weary, sink beneath the burden. She saw the future, as, thank God, few children see; she saw the hollow world, and understood the utter nothingness of friendship. She learned in that brief day the meaning of life’s pain, and all the long, hard lesson of hun1anity’s great struggle. She learned what sorrow was, and friendship was not. She knew her father’s day in the great battle was all done, and he would fight no more. And with the ending of that fateful day she gathered all her sad, new knowledge to her aid, and took the reins of life, his life and hers, in hand.

The old man sat upon his lonely doorsteps in the twilight of a Southern autumn. The stars began to peep through the yellow leaves of the ancient locust- trees that stood like scarred old veterans in a long, straight, solemn line along the pavement. No crickets chirped among the grasses, for the hoarfrost had nipped all vegetation, and silenced the voices of nature. Even the katydids were dumb, and the birds gone southward. The honking of wild geese had been heard for days; the breath of summer chilled. All nature was full of the sadness of death.

“Only we two left,” said the old man, softly.