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Windy McPherson's Son

CHAPTER II.8
The blow given the plan of life so carefully thought out and so eagerly accepted by the
young McPhersons threw them back upon themselves. For several years they had been
living upon a hill top, taking themselves very seriously and more than a little preening
themselves with the thought that they were two very unusual and thoughtful people
engaged upon a worthy and ennobling enterprise. Sitting in their corner immersed in
admiration of their own purposes and in the thoughts of the vigorous, disciplined, new
life they were to give the world by the combined efficiency of their two bodies and minds
they were, at a word and a shake of the head from Doctor Grover, compelled to remake
the outline of their future together.
All about them the rush of life went on, vast changes were impending in the industrial life
of the people, cities were doubling and tripling their population, a war was being fought,
and the flag of their country flew in the ports of strange seas, while American boys
pushed their way through the tangled jungles of strange lands carrying in their hands
Rainey- Whittaker rifles. And in a huge stone house, set in a broad expanse of green
lawns near the shores of Lake Michigan, Sam McPherson sat looking at his wife, who in
turn looked at him. He was trying, as she also was trying, to adjust himself to the cheerful
acceptance of their new prospect of a childless life.
Looking at Sue across the dinner table or seeing her straight, wiry body astride a horse
riding beside him through the parks, it seemed to Sam unbelievable that a childless
womanhood was ever to be her portion, and more than once he had an inclination to
venture again upon an effort for the success of their hopes. But when he remembered her
still white face that night in the hospital, her bitter, haunting cry of defeat, he turned with
a shudder from the thought, feeling that he could not go with her again through that
ordeal; that he could not again allow her to look forward through weeks and months
toward the little life that never came to lie upon her breast or to laugh up into her face.
And yet Sam, son of that Jane McPherson who had won the admiration of the men of
Caxton by her ceaseless efforts to keep her family afloat and clean handed, could not sit
idly by, living upon the income of his own and Sue's money. The stirring, forward-
moving world called to him; he looked about him at the broad, significant movements in
business and finance, at the new men coming into prominence and apparently finding a
way for the expression of new big ideas, and felt his youth stirring in him and his mind
reaching out to new projects and new ambitions.
Given the necessity for economy and a hard long-drawn-out struggle for a livelihood and
competence, Sam could conceive of living his life with Sue and deriving something like
gratification from just her companionship, and her partnership in his efforts--here and
there during the waiting years he had met men who had found such gratification--a
foreman in the shops or a tobacconist from whom he bought his cigars--but for himself he
felt that he had gone with Sue too far upon another road to turn that way now with
anything like mutual zeal or interest. At bottom, his mind did not run strongly toward the
 
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