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


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He took little notice of where he was going, threading his way skilfully through the congested portion of the city and out into the comparatively empty highways, until at last he found himself in the suburbs. The name of the street as he slowed up at a grade crossing gave him an idea. Why shouldn't he take a run out and hunt up that barn for himself? What had she said about it, where it was? He consulted the memorandum he had written down for his father's edification. "Glenside Road, near Allister Avenue." He further searched his memory. "Big stone barn, wide approach like a grand staircase, tall tree overhanging, brook." This surely ought to be enough to help him identify it. There surely were not a flock of stone barns in that neighborhood that would answer that description.

He turned into Glenside Road with satisfaction, and set a sharp watch for the names of the cross-avenues with a view to finding Allister Avenue, and once he stopped and asked a man in an empty milk-wagon whether he knew where Allister Avenue was, and was informed that it was "on a piece, about five miles."

There was something interesting in hunting up his own strange barn, and he began to look about him and try to see things with the eyes of the girl who had just called upon him.

Most of the fields were green with spring, and there was an air of things doing over them, as if growing were a business that one could watch, like house-cleaning and paper-hanging and painting. Graham had never noticed before that the great bare spring out-of-doors seemed to have a character all its own, and actually to have an attraction. A little later when the trees were out, and all the orchards in bloom, and the wild flowers blowing in the breeze, he could rave over spring; but he had never seen the charm of its beginnings before. He wondered curiously over the fact of his keen appreciation now.

The sky was all opalescent with lovely pastel colors along the horizon, and a few tall, lank trees had put on a soft gauze of green over their foreheads like frizzes, discernible only to a close observer. The air was getting chilly with approaching night, and the bees were no longer proclaiming with their hum the way to the skunk-cabbages; but a delicate perfume was in the air, and though perhaps Graham had never even heard of skunk-cabbages, he drew in long breaths of sweetness, and let out his car over the smooth road with a keen delight.

Behind a copse of fine old willows, age-tall and hoary with weather, their extremities just hinting of green, as they stood knee-deep in the brook on its way to a larger stream, he first caught sight of the old barn.

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