Gentle Julia (Chapter Nine, page 2 of 8)


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But as he came hoping up the street, another already sat beside Julia, sharing with her the wicker settee on the dim porch, and this was the horn-rimmed young poet. Newland had, as usual, a new poem with him; and as others had proved of late that they could sit on Julia's veranda as long as he could, he had seized the first opportunity to familiarize her with this latest work.

The veranda was dark, and to go indoors to the light might have involved too close a juxtaposition to peculiar old Mr. Atwater who was in the library; but the resourceful Newland, foreseeing everything, had brought with him a small pocket flashlight to illumine his manuscript. "It's _vers libre_, of course," he said as he moved the flashlight over the sheets of scribbled paper. "I think I told you I was beginning to give all the old forms up. It's the one new movement, and I felt I ought to master it."

"Of course," she said sympathetically, though with a little nervousness. "Be just a wee bit careful with the flashlight--about turning it toward the window, I mean--and read in your nice low voice. I always like poetry best when it's almost whispered. I think it sounds more musical that way, I mean."

Newland obeyed. His voice was hushed and profoundly appreciative of the music in itself and in his poem, as he read:

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