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Hollen, Stanley (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Volume XII, Number 2 (November 1914)

Ketcham, Iva N.
The breath of spring,   pp. nineteen-twenty

Page nineteen

                            IvS)  N. Ketcham
   A real "breath of spring" that brings with it a fragment of
a romance about a woman
who waited long.
        HE SUNLIGHT shone through
   T     the masses of blossoms weigh-
         ing down the orchard trees. The
         breath of spring   was in the
warm air, and the grass was very green
and tender. A thick coat of brown moss
My upon the stone wall which enclosed the
orchard and separated it from the fields
just beyond. A long row of yellow dande-
lions grew close to the uneven stones, and
the tall lilac busTes lifted their purple
glusters up almost even with the lowest
boughs of the apple trees. A large body
of water shimmered upon the horizon, and
the path that ran through the fields seemed
to lead out to it. Tiere was song and sun-
shine everywhere, and the red-breasted
robins hopped from limb to limb chirrup-
itg softly to each other.
  A woman came to the door of the large
white House which was set back a little way
Irom the road. Her brown eyes drank in the
beauty outside, and something of the fresh-
ness of the spring stole into them. A smile
touched the corners of her mouth and
softened the tiny wrinkles meshed about it.
She sighed, after a few minutes, as if trou-
bled by a passing thought.
  A startled exclamation broke from her
lips. Two men had driven up to the house
just across the road. In the back of their
oeavy wagon were a number of boxes. She
notced for the first time that the blinds
were thrown back-all of them. The place
had been deserted for-no one realized
how long, but herself. A tall man in a long
gray coat came out of the door and began
gesturing to the men. She looked at the
gray-coated figure for a moment, and then
turned and fled upstairs.
  She crossed tCe floor of her chamber
with uncertain steps and sat down in a large
horsehair chair that stood in the farther
corner. A bird just outside of her window
in the mountain-ash tree began singing.
She listened during the whole melodious
outpouring. A tremulous smile flitted over
her face. She bent forward suddenly and
opened the drawer of a small desk just in
front of her. One bv one she lifted the
packets of letters from the sandalwood box
in which she had once placed them. They
were so old that the ink had faded and t he
paper slightly yellowed.
  Another spring morning came back to
her so vividly that she could scarcely be-
lieve it was only in memory. She had rush-
ed up to her room with a wildly throbbing
heart, and had listened to hear his steps up-
on the walk and the sharp clang of the iron
gate. After a few minutes, or it may have
been hours, she had placed the letters in
their scented box, and had never touched
them since. The house just across the
road had been deserted, also, that same day.
   And now after all the years, she had seen

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