University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

Dresbach, Glenn W. (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Volume VIII, Number 3 (December 1910)

Harrison, Maxwell
The way of the world,   pp. 17-18


Page 17


THE WAY OF THE WORLD
The Way of the World
           MAXWELL HARRISON
  lie sat alone in his room before the
dying fire and mused. The room was
small, vet it served both for a study and
bedroom, for he was poor and unable to
provide better accommodations.   Before
him over the mantel hung a girl's picture
in a simple brown frame. It was a shadow
picture; the outline of the girl in her white
gown showin-, indistinctly.   The face,
lit up, stood out, sweet, delicate, impas-
sive. It was a pretty face, and years be-
fore, it had appealed to the man so strong-
ly that he had given up every other
thought for her. She was his ideal, his
life, his ambition. For her he would have
done anything.
  This night he was thinking of this girl
and of all the changes which time brings.
At one time he thought only of her future.
When they were together they talked of
their future; of their little home, their
books, their pleasant evenings by the fire-
side. They would plan; she about her
extravagances, and how she would curb
her tastes, how she would make her own
clothes and do her own housework until
they got a start, and he about his habits
and his business; how he would work
steadfastly and conscientiously so as to
better provide for her. The days passed,
and each was happiest when the other was
there to talk to. Many enjoyable times
they spent together in walks, drives, pic-
nics and the like, and their evenings were
spent in reading or conversation about the
wondrous future. Both had the same air-
castles; built of the same material and
with the same ideas. They felt they were
suited, and neither had the slightest
thought that their future would not be
shared together.  Sometimes he would
test her by little hints that another girl
claimed his affection. When he spoke in
that strain she would look down and
seemed sad, and then he would convince
her that such was not true; that she was
the one and only.
  One year passed in this way and sum-
mer separated them.    Letters took the
place of calls; their friendship never les-
sened. He wrote of his journey, of his
interest in what she was doing, for his
thoughts were constantly with her, and
the letters always ended by his telling her
of his love. She answered in the same
spirit, never tiring of telling him to live
right and do right for she believed in him,
loved him and longed to see him. Finally
the summer came to an end. They were
again together. Nothing had changed.
The same routine was taken up once more.
He attended to his duties with a stouter
heart and a firmer determination, and she
busied herself with her various duties.
Much of their time was spent together,
when they rehearsed their plans all over
again many times. Life was sweetest to
them then. He was light-hearted, ambi-
tious, and persevering. His pleasure was
never complete without her, and she was
happiest when he was near.
  One night marked the turning point in
their lives.  It was in the spring, the
night before he was leaving for his sum-
mer's vacation. He had looked forward to
that night as the happiest and yet the
saddest in his life. However, there was a
question in his mind. For days he turned
the matter over in his thoughts, and at
last decided. He was a boy of twenty. It
had been his purpose to marry the girl he
loved, but only after he was absolutely
sure that he was in love. He felt that
furthermore no man has the right to ask
a girl to marry him until he has a future
and some prospects. What then should
he do?  He was twenty, in college, with
no future until he graduated; yet he was
in love. Of that he was sure. He knew
that he could have the girl, for no one
17


Go up to Top of Page