Gentle Julia (Chapter Five, page 2 of 9)


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From an upper window of a new stucco house two maidens of nineteen peered down at him. The shade of a striped awning protected the window from the strong sun and the maidens from the sight of man--the latter protection being especially fortunate, since they were preparing to take a conversational afternoon nap, were robed with little substance, and their heads appeared to be antlered; for they caught sight of Noble just as they were preparing to put silk-and-lace things they called "caps" on their heads.

"Who's that?" the visiting one asked.

"It's Noble Dill; he's kind of one of the crowd."

"Is he nice?"

"Oh, sort of. Kind of shambles around."

"Looks like last year's straw hat to me," the visiting one giggled.

"Oh, he tries to dress--lately, that is--but he never did know how."

"Looks mad about something."

"Yes. He's one of the ones in love with that Julia Atwater I told you about."

"Has he got any chance with her?"

"Noble Dill? Mercy!"

"Is he much in love with her?"

"'Much'? Murder!"

The visiting one turned from the window and yawned. "Come on: let's lie down and talk about some of the nice ones!"

The second house beyond this was--it was the house of Julia!

And what a glamour of summer light lay upon it because it was the house of Julia! The texture of the sunshine came under a spell here; glowing flakes of amber were afloat; a powder of opals and rubies fell silently adrizzle through the trees. The very air changed, beating faintly with a fairy music, for breathing it was breathing sorcery: elfin symphonies went tinkling through it. The grass in the next yard to Julia's was just grass, but every blade of grass in her yard was cut of jewels.

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