The Story Girl
Dreamers Of Dreams
August went out and September came in. Harvest was ended; and though summer was
not yet gone, her face was turned westering. The asters lettered her retreating footsteps in
a purple script, and over the hills and valleys hung a faint blue smoke, as if Nature were
worshipping at her woodland altar. The apples began to burn red on the bending boughs;
crickets sang day and night; squirrels chattered secrets of Polichinelle in the spruces; the
sunshine was as thick and yellow as molten gold; school opened, and we small denizens
of the hill farms lived happy days of harmless work and necessary play, closing in nights
of peaceful, undisturbed slumber under a roof watched over by autumnal stars.
At least, our slumbers were peaceful and undisturbed until our orgy of dreaming began.
"I would really like to know what especial kind of deviltry you young fry are up to this
time," said Uncle Roger one evening, as he passed through the orchard with his gun on
his shoulder, bound for the swamp.
We were sitting in a circle before the Pulpit Stone, each writing diligently in an exercise
book, and eating the Rev. Mr. Scott's plums, which always reached their prime of juicy,
golden-green flesh and bloomy blue skin in September. The Rev. Mr. Scott was dead and
gone, but those plums certainly kept his memory green, as his forgotten sermons could
never have done.
"Oh," said Felicity in a shocked tone, when Uncle Roger had passed by, "Uncle Roger
"Oh, no, he didn't," said the Story Girl quickly. "'Deviltry' isn't swearing at all. It only
means extra bad mischief."
"Well, it's not a very nice word, anyhow," said Felicity.
"No, it isn't," agreed the Story Girl with a regretful sigh. "It's very expressive, but it isn't
nice. That is the way with so many words. They're expressive, but they're not nice, and so
a girl can't use them"
The Story Girl sighed again. She loved expressive words, and treasured them as some
girls might have treasured jewels. To her, they were as lustrous pearls, threaded on the
crimson cord of a vivid fancy. When she met with a new one she uttered it over and over
to herself in solitude, weighing it, caressing it, infusing it with the radiance of her voice,
making it her own in all its possibilities for ever.
"Well, anyhow, it isn't a suitable word in this case," insisted Felicity. "We are not up to
any dev--any extra bad mischief. Writing down one's dreams isn't mischief at all."