The Enchanted Barn (Chapter IX, page 2 of 9)


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The next morning, when Graham went out to the stone barn, he found that the front windows were in, and gave a very inviting appearance to the edifice, both outside and in. As Elizabeth had surmised, the big latticed windows opening inwards like casement doors seemed quite in keeping with the rough stone structure. Graham began to wonder why all barns did not affect this style of window, they were so entirely attractive. He was thoroughly convinced that the new tenants would not be likely to remember or notice the difference in the windows; he was sure he shouldn't have unless his attention had been called to them in some way. Of course the sills and sashes were rather new-looking, but he gave orders that they should at once be painted an unobtrusive dark green which would well accord with the mossy roof, and he trusted his particular young tenant would not think that he had done anything pointed in changing the windows. If she did, he would have to think up some excuse.

But, as he stood at the top of the grassy slope and looked about, he noticed the great pile of stones under each window, from the masonry that had been torn away to make room for the larger sashes, and an idea came to him.

"Mr. Jones!" he called to the contractor, who had just come over on the car to see how the work was progressing. "Wouldn't there be stones enough all together from all the windows to build some kind of a rude chimney and fireplace?" he asked.

Mr. Jones thought there would. There were stones enough down in the meadow to piece out with in case they needed more, anyway. Where would Mr. Graham want the fireplace? Directly opposite the front doors? He had thought of suggesting that himself, but didn't know as Mr. Graham wanted to go to any more expense.

"By all means make that fireplace!" said the young owner delightedly. "This is going to be a jolly place when it gets done, isn't it? I declare I don't know but I'd like to come out here and live."

"It would make a fine old house, sir," said the contractor respectfully, looking up almost reverently at the barn. "I'd like to see it with verandys, and more winders, and a few such. You don't see many of these here old stone buildings around now. They knew how to build 'em substantial in those old times, so they did."

"H'm! Yes. It would make a fine site for a house, wouldn't it?" said the young man, looking about thoughtfully. "Well, now, we'll have to think about that sometime, perhaps. However, I think it looks very nice for the present"; and he walked about, looking at the improvements with great satisfaction.

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