The Enchanted Barn (Chapter II, page 2 of 6)


Previous Page
Next Page

Presently she found a rough ladder, cleats nailed to uprights against the wall; and up this she crept cautiously to the opening above, and presently emerged into the wide floor of the real barn.

There were several small windows, left open, and the sweet spring air swept gently in; and there were little patches of pale sunshine in the misty recesses of the great dim room. Gentle motes floated in the sharp lances of sunshine that stole through the cracks; another ladder rose in the midst of the great floor to the loft above; and festoons of ancient hay and cobwebs hung dustily down from the opening above. After Shirley had skipped about the big floor and investigated every corner of it, imagining how grand it would be to set the table in one end of the room and put mother's bed behind a screen in the other end, with the old piano somewhere in the centre and the big parlor chair, mended, near by, the old couch covered with a portière standing on the other side, she turned her attention to the loft, and, gathering courage, climbed up there.

There were two great openings that let in the light; but they seemed like tiny mouse-holes in the great place, and the hay lay sweet and dim, thinly scattered over the whole big floor. In one corner there was quite a luxurious lot of it, and Shirley cast herself down upon it for a blessed minute, and looked up to the dark rafters, lit with beams of sunlight creeping through fantastic cracks here and there, and wondered how the boys would enjoy sleeping up here, though there was plenty of room down-stairs for a dozen sleeping-rooms for the matter of that.

Foolish, of course, and utterly impossible, as all daydreams always had been; but somehow it seemed so real and beautiful that she could scarcely bring herself to abandon it. Nevertheless, her investigation had made her hungry, and she decided at last to go down and eat her lunch under the big tree out in the sunshine; for it was dark and stuffy inside, although one could realize how beautiful it would be with those two great doors flung wide, and light and air let in.

The day was perfect, and Shirley found a beautiful place to sit, high and sheltered, where she would not be noticed when the trolley-cars sped by; and, as she ate her sandwiches, she let her imagination build a beautiful piazza where the grassy rise came up to the front of the barn, and saw in thought her mother sitting with the children at the door. How grand it would be to live in a home like this, even if it were a barn! If they could just get out here for the summer, it would do wonders for them all, and put new heart into her mother for the hard work of the winter. Perhaps by fall mother would be well enough to keep boarders as she longed to do, and so help out with the finances more.

Previous Page
Next Page


Rate This Book

Current Rating: 3.6/5 (773 votes cast)



Review This Book or Post a Comment