The Gentleman from Indiana (Chapter 3, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 3

When the rusty hands of the office clock marked half-past four, the
editor-in-chief of the "Carlow County Herald" took his hand out of his
hair, wiped his pen on his last notice from the White-Caps, put on his
coat, swept out the close little entry, and left the sanctum for the
bright June afternoon.

He chose the way to the west, strolling thoughtfully out of town by the
white, hot, deserted Main Street, and thence onward by the country road
into which its proud half-mile of old brick store buildings, tumbled-down
frame shops and thinly painted cottages degenerated. The sun was in his
face, where the road ran between the summer fields, lying waveless, low,
gracious in promise; but, coming to a wood of hickory and beech and walnut
that stood beyond, he might turn his down-bent-hat-brim up and hold his
head erect. Here the shade fell deep and cool on the green tangle of rag
and iron weed and long grass in the corners of the snake fence, although
the sun beat upon the road so dose beside. There was no movement in the
crisp young leaves overhead; high in the boughs there was a quick flirt of
crimson where two robins hopped noiselessly. No insect raised resentment
of the lonesomeness: the late afternoon, when the air is quite still, had
come; yet there rested--somewhere--on the quiet day, a faint, pleasant,
woody smell. It came to the editor of the "Herald" as he climbed to the
top rail of the fence for a seat, and he drew a long, deep breath to get
the elusive odor more luxuriously--and then it was gone altogether.

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