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Stories of the Supernatural

1. The Wind In The Rose-Bush
Ford Village has no railroad station, being on the other side of the river from
Porter's Falls, and accessible only by the ford which gives it its name, and a ferry
line.
The ferry-boat was waiting when Rebecca Flint got off the train with her bag and
lunch basket. When she and her small trunk were safely embarked she sat stiff
and straight and calm in the ferry- boat as it shot swiftly and smoothly across
stream. There was a horse attached to a light country wagon on board, and he
pawed the deck uneasily. His owner stood near, with a wary eye upon him,
although he was chewing, with as dully reflective an expression as a cow. Beside
Rebecca sat a woman of about her own age, who kept looking at her with furtive
curiosity; her husband, short and stout and saturnine, stood near her. Rebecca
paid, no attention to either of them. She was tall and spare and pale, the type of
a spinster, yet with rudimentary lines and expressions of matronhood. She all
unconsciously held her shawl, rolled up in a canvas bag, on her left hip, as if it
had been a child. She wore a settled frown of dissent at life, but it was the frown
of a mother who regarded life as a froward child, rather than as an overwhelming
fate.
The other woman continued staring at her; she was mildly stupid, except for an
over-developed curiosity which made her at times sharp beyond belief. Her eyes
glittered, red spots came on her flaccid cheeks; she kept opening her mouth to
speak, making little abortive motions. Finally she could endure it no longer; she
nudged Rebecca boldly.
"A pleasant day," said she.
Rebecca looked at her and nodded coldly.
"Yes, very," she assented.
"Have you come far?"
"I have come from Michigan."
"Oh!" said the woman, with awe. "It's a long way," she remarked presently.
"Yes, it is," replied Rebecca, conclusively.
Still the other woman was not daunted; there was something which she
determined to know, possibly roused thereto by a vague sense of incongruity in
the other's appearance. "It's a long ways to come and leave a family," she
remarked with painful slyness.
"I ain't got any family to leave," returned Rebecca shortly.
"Then you ain't--"
"No, I ain't."
"Oh!" said the woman.
Rebecca looked straight ahead at the race of the river.
It was a long ferry. Finally Rebecca herself waxed unexpectedly loquacious. She
turned to the other woman and inquired if she knew John Dent's widow who lived
in Ford Village. "Her husband died about three years ago," said she, by way of
detail.
 
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