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The Story Girl

On The Edge Of Light And Dark
We celebrated the November day when Peter was permitted to rejoin us by a picnic in the
orchard. Sara Ray was also allowed to come, under protest; and her joy over being among
us once more was almost pathetic. She and Cecily cried in one another's arms as if they
had been parted for years.
We had a beautiful day for our picnic. November dreamed that it was May. The air was
soft and mellow, with pale, aerial mists in the valleys and over the leafless beeches on the
western hill. The sere stubble fields brooded in glamour, and the sky was pearly blue. The
leaves were still thick on the apple trees, though they were russet hued, and the after-
growth of grass was richly green, unharmed as yet by the nipping frosts of previous
nights. The wind made a sweet, drowsy murmur in the boughs, as of bees among apple
blossoms.
"It's just like spring, isn't it?" asked Felicity.
The Story Girl shook her head.
"No, not quite. It looks like spring, but it isn't spring. It's as if everything was resting--
getting ready to sleep. In spring they're getting ready to grow. Can't you FEEL the
difference?"
"I think it's just like spring," insisted Felicity.
In the sun-sweet place before the Pulpit Stone we boys had put up a board table. Aunt
Janet allowed us to cover it with an old tablecloth, the worn places in which the girls
artfully concealed with frost-whitened ferns. We had the kitchen dishes, and the table was
gaily decorated with Cecily's three scarlet geraniums and maple leaves in the cherry vase.
As for the viands, they were fit for the gods on high Olympus. Felicity had spent the
whole previous day and the forenoon of the picnic day in concocting them. Her crowning
achievement was a rich little plum cake, on the white frosting of which the words
"Welcome Back" were lettered in pink candies. This was put before Peter's place, and
almost overcame him.
"To think that you'd go to so much trouble for me!" he said, with a glance of adoring
gratitude at Felicity. Felicity got all the gratitude, although the Story Girl had originated
the idea and seeded the raisins and beaten the eggs, while Cecily had trudged all the way
to Mrs. Jameson's little shop below the church to buy the pink candies. But that is the
way of the world.
"We ought to have grace," said Felicity, as we sat down at the festal board. "Will any one
say it?"
 
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