**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Of Those Who Seek
by [?]

As she walked away, a sweet smile of pleasure and gratitude flashed for an instant across the exquisite curving line of her lips, and then the sad and wistful repose of her face came back again as if her loneliness had only been lightened, not warmed.

The young man drew a long breath of pain keen as a physical hurt. The elderly gentleman said again, “Poor child!”

The Indian looked up again into the mighty dome soaring hundreds of feet above him, and wondered how those forms came to be set flying in mid-air, and his heart grew sad and wistful too, as if a realization of the power and majesty of the white man fell like a poisonous, fateful shadow over his people and himself.


The young man came in out of the cold dash of rain. The negro man received his outside garments and ushered him into the drawing-room, where a bright fire welcomed him like a smiling hostess.

He sat down with a sudden relaxation of his muscles. As he waited at his ease, his senses absorbed the light and warmth and beauty of the house. It was familiar and yet it had a new meaning to him. A bird was singing somewhere in the upper chambers, caroling with a joyous note that seemed to harmonize with the warmth and color of the room in which the caller sat.

The young man stared at the fire, his head leaning on his hand. There were lines of gloomy thought in his face. There were marks of bitter struggle on his hands. His dress was strong and good, but not in the mode. He looked like a young lawyer, with his lean, dark face, smoothly shaven save for a little tuft on either cheek. His long hands were heavy-jointed with toil.

He listened to the bird singing and to the answering, chirping call of a girl’s voice. His head drooped forward in deep reverie.

How beautiful her life is! his thought was. How absolutely without care or struggle! She knows no uncertainty such as I feel daily, hourly. She has never a doubt of daily food; the question of clothes has been a diversion for her, a worry of choice merely. Dirt, grime, she knows nothing of. Here she lives, sheltered in a glow of comfort and color, while I hang by my finger-ends over a bottomless pit. She sleeps and dreams while I fight. She is never weary, while I sink into my bed each night as if it were my grave. Every hand held out to her is a willing hand–if it is paid for, it is willing, for she has no enemies even among her servants. O God! If I could only reach such a place to rest for just a year–for just a month! But such security, such rest is out of my reach. I must toil and toil, and when at last I reach a place to pause and rest, I shall be old and brutalized and deadened, and my rest will be merely–sleep.

He looked once more about the lovely room. The ocean wind tore at the windows with wolfish claws, savage to enter.

“The world howling out there is as impotent to do her harm as is that wind at the window,” the young man added.

The bird’s song again joined itself to the gay voice of the girl, and then he heard quick footsteps on the stairs, and as he rose to greet her the room seemed to glow like the heart of a ruby.

They clasped hands and looked into each other’s eyes a moment. He saw love and admiration in her face. She saw only friendliness and some dark, unsmiling mood in his.

They sat down and talked upon the fringe of personalities which he avoided. She fancied that she saw a personal sorrow in his face and she longed to comfort him. She longed to touch his vexed forehead with her fingers.