The Enchanted Barn (Chapter VI, page 2 of 7)

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In the midst of her perturbed thoughts the door opened and Sidney Graham walked in again. His fine, clean-cut face and clear eyes instantly dispelled her fears again. His bearing was dignified and respectful, and there was something in the very tone of his voice as he spoke to her that restored her confidence in him and in his impression of her. Her half-formed intention of rising and declining to take the ride with him fled, and she sat quietly looking at the pictures in the magazine with unseeing eyes.

"I hope you will find something to interest you for a few minutes," young Graham said pleasantly. "It won't be long, but there are one or two matters I promised father I would attend to before I left this afternoon. There is an article in that other magazine under your hand there about beautifying country homes, bungalows, and the like. It may give you some ideas about the old barn. I shouldn't wonder if a few flowers and vines might do a whole lot."

He found the place in the magazine, and left her again; and strangely enough she became absorbed in the article because her imagination immediately set to work thinking how glorious it would be to have a few flowers growing where Doris could go out and water them and pick them. She grew so interested in the remarks about what flowers would grow best in the open and which were easiest to care for that she got out her little pencil and notebook that were in her coat-pocket, and began to copy some of the lists. Then suddenly the door opened again, and Graham returned with George.

The boy stopped short on the threshold, startled, a white wave of apprehension passing over his face. He did not speak. The boy-habit of silence and self-control in a crisis was upon him. He looked with apprehension from one to the other.

Shirley jumped to her feet.

"Oh, George, I'm so glad you could come! This is Mr. Graham. He has been kind enough to offer to take us in his car to see a place we can rent for the summer, and it was through his suggestion that Mr. Farwell let you off for the afternoon."

There was a sudden relaxing of the tenseness in the young face and a sigh of relief in the tone as the boy answered: "Aw, gee! That's great! Thanks awfully for the holiday. They don't come my way often. It'll be great to have a ride in a car, too. Some lark, eh, Shirley?"

The boy warmed to the subject with the friendly grasp the young man gave him, and Shirley could see her brother had made a good impression; for young Graham was smiling appreciatively, showing all his even white teeth just as if he enjoyed the boy's offhand way of talking.

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