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Likings and Longings.
We had been married not quite two
years, Jerome and I, and I think we had
contrived to be as happy as married coup
les generally are,
Jerome wasn’t rich, but he had a good
E&lary in his uncle’s shipping house, and I
had learned the lesson of economy, and
continued to get along nicely with only
To be sure, Aunt Penelope helped after
the baby was born, but after all, Penelope,
though she was a good soul, and meant
well, was more in the way than otherwise.
We had gone to housekeeping in apart
It was a very nice place, though aunt
declared from the first that it wasn’t
“It is more genteel than running in
debt for a whole house that you can’t af
ford,’" said Jerome; and so I didn’t care,
although some of my school mates who
had married rising young lawyers and
merchants, left ofl’visiting me.
And you may be sure I didn’t miss
them much after baby came, like a blue
eyed sunbeam, to fill my heart and hands
with those delicious cares that are so
sweet to a mother's soul.
“Amy,” said aunt, one day, “don’t
you think baby is looking pale?”
I dropped my needlework, flew to the
cradle, and took a good survey of my
dimpled treasure as he lay there asleep,
with one tiny fist tightly clenching his
corals and bells.
“Pale? No, Aunt Pen.
“I do,” said aunt, shaking her head,
“And Dr. Roper says this is likely to
prove a very sickly season for babies.”
I looked at her aghast.
“In the city, I mean,” corrected aunt.
“Now I’ve thought of apian.’’
I winced a little at this.
Aunt was always thinking of plans,—
and her plans invariably turned out fail
“My friend Mrs. Outerbridge, owns
the sweetest place up the river,” she went
on, blessedly unconscious of my pertur
bation. “My friend, Mrs. Outerbridge,
is going abroad, and has requested me
most politely to reside at Outerbridge
Park during her absence and look after
things a little. And when I mentioned
that I was devoted to my neioe and her
baby, she was kind enough to say that it
would make no difference if you came
there too. For four months, from the
first of May to the first of October, and
what a splendid thing it would be for the
baby to have four months in the coun
My eye glittered at the prospect.
The fiist tooth had already begun to
gleam like a pearl in his rosy gum, and I
dreaded the hot sultry air of summer for
little Bertie’s sake.
“Yes,” said I, doubtingly. “But Je
“Its only twenty-five minutes by
train,” s.aid aunt,
The more aunt and I discussed the
project, the more feasible and delightful
it appeared to us.
We could revel it in country cream,
velvet mown lawns, and fresh strawber-
'He can come out
Baby’s perambulator could roll over
graveled walks and paved terraces.
Jerome could hear the nightingales sing
of a s mmer twilight, and watch the
moon, reflected in the waters, and aunt
and I could be for the once fine ladies,
at the head of a> large establishment, for
all the Outerbridge servants were to re
main until the return of the mistress.
Veritably it seemed a delightful idea.
When Jerome came home, I could
hardly wait to give him his first cup of
tea before I unfolded the Story of Outer-
bridge Park, aunt sitting graciously by,
feeling like the fairy godmother who had
done it all with one whisk of her enchant
“Well !” quoth I restlessly, as soon as I
bad finished the recital.
“Well,” said Jerome, who by this time
had the baby on his hop, and was tickling
his plump ribs.
“Of course we’ll go.”
“Of course we won’t,” said this most
impractible husband of mine.
“But why not ?”
“In the first place, because I've no idea
of your turning housekeeper for an old
woman who wants to enjoy herself abroad,
and foist off her household cares on some
body else. In the second place, I like to
make my own arrangements instead of
having them made for me.”
At this aunt bridled a little and tossed
I looked with eyes full of tears at my
“Jerome,” cried I, “now you are un
reasonable. It would be such a fine
thing for baby.”
“I don’t see but what baby is doing
well enough,” retorted Jerome. “I do
not approve of your plans, Amy. Let
aunt accept the position if she pleases. I
am able to furnish a home for my own
“A home !”
“Yes,” cried he indignantly.
“In a first floor, without so much back
yard as one could bleach a table-cloth in.”
“ You have contrived to exist in it for
two years,” said Jerome, with what seem
ed to me the most heartless indifference.
I began to cry.
Aunt Penelope rose up and with a
great rustling of silk and lilac satin cap-
“ I shall certainly accept my friend
Mrs. Outerbridge’s kind offer,” said she
with dignity. “Of course, Amy, you
will do as you please. And I am going
upstairs now to pack. Mrs. Outerbridge
is anxious for me to come as soon as pos
sible. And, of course, Amy, you will
remember that I shall always be glad to
receive you and your family as my guests
at Outerbridge Park ”
I looked imploringly at Jerome.
“ May we go, dear ? I am so
hungry for apple-blossoms, and
grass and buttercups.” pleaded I.
“Of course, if you wish it.”
“ And you will come, too ?”
But Jerome shook his head.
“ My evenings, for the present, must be
spent in town,” said he. “ I have some
extra work to do which won’t bear post
poning. If you go, Amy, you must go
Aunt was loud in hei denunciations of
husbands in general, and Jerome in par
ticular, when I came up to her room with
heavy eyes and pale cheeks.
“ I could have told you how it would
be before you were ever married to him,’’
said aunt shaking her head ; “ but—”
“ You shall not talk so, auntl” flashed
I. “ I dare say Jerome is right, only—
And then I vindicated my cause right
royally by bursting into a new flood of
Aunt went away next day, and lone
some enough it seemed.
It was a showery April morning, with
a blue sky, dappled with clouds, and faint
sweet scents of growing things in the air.
Oh, how sick I was of the pavements
and brick walls, and all the items which
go to make up a city.
Baby v.ms more fretful and restless than
usual, and I easily persuaded myself he
“Oh, Jerome!” cried out I passionate
ly, when at last my husband came home
with a tired look on his face and a roll of
papers under his arm, “ have we always
to live so ?”
“ Live how, my darling?’’
“ Gooued up like rats iu a trap, away
from ail the beautiful sights and sounds
of the world,—shut up in mere lodging
houses. Can’t we live in a house that has
at least a piece of ground full of green
grass, and a little flower border, and a
grape-vine or two in its rear
“ I hope we can afford to some time,
my dear,” said Jerome, gravely.
And then he drew out his inkstand,
opened his roll of figures, and went to
The April days beamed on, all bright
skies, soft winds nnd kaleidoscopic glimp
ses of sun-sbowers, and I became almost
heari-siok for the country.
If Jerome cared for me as be used to
care,” I told myself, with feverish impa
tience, “ he would at least make some
effort to find a home where I could be
happier than in this human hive, where
a few pot-plants in the window are all I
have to remind me of the green world
Stung by these reflections, and still
further incited by a letter from aunt, full
of descriptions of lambs, daisies and lit
tle streamlets edged with peppermint, I
one day packed my valise.
" Hallo !” said Jerome, when he came
home, “ where are you going ?”
“ To aunt, for a week’s visit. I need
it, and so does Bertie.”
“And leave me ?”
I looked keenly at Jerome.
He too was paler and thinner than was
his usual wont.
Nights of figuring and days of count
ing-house toil were beginning to tell upon
“ No, no,” I cried, throwing my arms
around him. “ I won’t leave you, dear
est, not if I never see the country again !”
“ That’s my own brave little girl,” said
Jerome, stroking back my hair with a
loving touch. “ Wait a week, dear, and
I’ll take you myself for a little trip.”
So I waited,
The day-week came to my infinite de
I dressed baby in a long white frock,
with blue ribbon sash and shoulder-knots,
and put on my own dainty little spring
hat, trimmed with primroses, and away
we rolled in a comfortable open barouche,
Jerome, Bertie and I.
Uuntil—we came to the prettiest bifd’s
nest of a dove-colored cottage in the
world, just a little distance out of the
city, where vines garlanded the porch,
and a little lawn extended down to a
crystal clear brook.
Tulips and daffodils made the b.orders
gay, and a magnolia bush by the gate
was just bursting into creamy clusters of
“ I should like a home like this,” said
I, gazing abstractedly out at its blooming
“Shouldyou.? said Jerome, laughing,
as he drew up the horses in front of the
the gate. “I am glad to hear that, be
cause it is your home.”
“ My borne .?”
I stared at him as if he was half crazjn
“ Yes, little, patient, homeless wife.—
I have not forgotten your likings and
longings all this time. Your home.”
“ But—is it paid for ?”
“ Not entirely, hut if, will he soon.—
Uncle Joseph has helped me, and that
night-work was well paid. A quarter of
an acre, Amy, strawberry patch, currant
bushes, and a nice place to keep fowls.—■
So you like it, eh?”
My face answered him.
We moved out the following week, and
kept our May Day among the roses and
And little Bertie grows like a weed iii
the sweet scents and greening grass : and
aunt has all sorts of trouble with the .
Outerbridge servants. And I am the
happiest little wife in all the world.
There are miles enough of railroad in
the United States to go three times around
the world, and yet there are not enough
to go once around among us, which show's
what a big country this is.
Thiers complained that the sunshine
hurt hise3'6s and a friend proposed blue
spectacles. “Change the color of my
spectacles!” said the veteran. “Oh, no 1
France would be agitated for a month ”