BLTC Press Titles

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The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman


"Where ye goin', Barney?" Ephraim inquired, with a chuckle and a grin, over the back of his chair.

"Ephraim!" repeated his mother. Her blue eyes frowned around his sister at him under their heavy sandy brows.

Ephraim twisted himself back into position. "Jest wanted to know where he was goin'," he muttered.

Barnabas stood by the window brushing his fine bell hat with a white duck's wing. He was a handsome youth; his profile showed clear and fine in the light, between the sharp points of his dicky bound about by his high stock. His cheeks were as red as his sister's.

When he put on his hat and opened the door, his mother herself interrupted Caleb's reading.

"Don't you stay later than nine o'clock, Barnabas," said she.

The young man murmured something unintelligibly, but his tone was resentful.

"I ain't going to have you out as long as you were last Sabbath night," said his mother, in quick return. She jerked her chin down heavily as if it were made of iron.

Barnabas went out quickly, and shut the door with a thud.

"If he was a few years younger, I'd make him come back an' shut that door over again," said his mother.

Caleb read on; he was reading now one of the imprecatory psalms. Deborah's blue eyes gleamed with warlike energy as she listened: she confused King David's enemies with those people who crossed her own will.

Barnabas went out of the yard, which was wide and deep on the south side of the house. The bright young grass was all snowed over with cherry blossoms. Three great cherry-trees stood in a row through the centre of the yard; they had been white with blossoms, but now they were turning green; and the apple-trees were in flower.

There were many apple-trees behind the stone

walls that bordered the wood. The soft blooming branches looked strangely incongruous in the keen air. The western sky was clear and yellow, and there were a few reefs of violet cloud along it. Barnabas looked up at the apple blossoms over his head, and wondered if there would be a frost. From their apple orchard came a large share of the Thayer income, and Barnabas was vitally interested in such matters now, for he was to be married the last of June to Charlotte Barnard. He often sat down with a pencil and slate, and calculated, with intricate sums, the amounts of his income and their probable expenses. He had made up his mind that Charlotte should have one new silk gown every year, and two new bonnets — one for summer and one for winter. His mother had often noted, with scorn, that Charlotte Barnard wore her summer bonnet with another ribbon on it winters, and, moreover, had not had a new bonnet for three years.

"She looks handsomer in it than any girl in town, if she hasn't," Barnabas had retorted with quick resentment, but he nevertheless felt sensitive on the subject of Charlotte's bonnet, and resolved that she should have a white one trimmed with gauze ribbons for summer, and one of drawn silk, like Rebecca's, for winter, only the silk should be blue instead of pink, because Charlotte was fair.

Barnabas had even pondered with tender concern, before he bought his fine flowered satin waistcoat, if he might not put the money it would cost into a


bonnet for Charlotte, but he had not dared to propose it. Once he had bought a little blue-figured shawl for her, and her father had bade her return it. .

"I ain't goin' to have any young sparks buyin' your clothes while you are under my roof," he had said.

Charlotte had given the shawl back to her lover. "Father don't feel as if I ought to take it, and I guess you'd better keep it now, Barney," she said, with regretful tears in her eyes.

Barnabas had the blue shawl nicely folded in the bottom of his little hair-cloth trunk, which he always kept locked.

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