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Solitary Summer


"And then I read. Well, dear Sage, what of that?"
But he smoked in silence, and seemed suddenly absorbed by the stars.
"See," he said, after a pause, during which I stood looking at him and wishing he would use longer
sentences, and he looked at the sky and did not think about me at all, "see how bright the stars are to-
night. Almost as though it might freeze."
"It isn't going to freeze, and I won't look at anything until you have told me what you think of my idea.
Wouldn't a whole lovely summer, quite alone, be delightful? Wouldn't it be perfect to get up every
morning for weeks and feel that you belong to yourself and to nobody else?" And I went over to hi m and
put a hand on each shoulder and gave him a little shake, for he persisted in gazing at the stars just as
though I had not been there. "Please, Man of Wrath, say something long for once," I entreated; "you
haven't said a good long sentence for a week."
He slowly brought his gaze from the stars down to me and smiled. Then he drew me on to his knee.
"Don't get affectionate," I urged; "it is words, not deeds, that I want. But I'll stay here if you'll talk."
"Well then, I will talk. What am I to say? You know you do as you please, and I never interfere with you.
If you do not want to have any one here this summer you will not have any one, but you will find it a
very long summer."
"No, I won't."
"And if you lie on the heath all day, people will think you are mad."
"What do I care what people think?"
"No, that is true. But you will catch cold, and your little nose will swell."
"Let it swell."
"And when it is hot you will be sunburnt and your skin spoilt."
"I don't mind my skin."
"And you will be dull."
"Dull?"
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