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   Chapter 21 WORK AND DREAMS

Hour of Enchantment / A Mystery Story for Girls By Roy J. Snell Characters: 4495

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


By early afternoon Jeanne's old cheerful smile was back again. And why not? Was she not seated between two friends, Jensie and Tom, studying the dialogue of this altogether absorbing movie that hour by hour took on a more vivid picture of reality?

They were having a gay time there in Lorena LeMar's living room. From time to time peals of laughter came drifting out through the open window.

Jensie was the critic. And a very expert critic she turned out to be.

"No. He would never say that, your old Jud who lives at the foot of Big Black Mountain. He would not say, 'Those horses are fast travelers.' He'd say, 'Them's the travelin'est hosses I ever most seed.' He wouldn't say, 'It's done.' He'd say, 'I done done it.'"

"But Jensie," Jeanne protested, "if we change all this, how are the people going to know what it's all about? Might as well have him talk German."

"W-e-l-l, you asked me." Jensie puckered her fair brow. "That's the way we talk down there. We don't say 'rifle,' but 'rifle-gun.' We say 'we-uns' and 'you-all.'"

"Well," said Tom after a moment's thought, "a great deal of that is easy enough to understand. It does make the whole thing seem a lot more real. And if we find old Jud talking too much, why, we'll just shut him up and make him talk with his hands and his feet."

"And his pistol-gun," Jensie added. "Pistol-guns talk a heap down there in the mountings."

They all had a good laugh, and once more the work moved on smoothly.

"To-morrow," Jeanne said to Jensie before bidding her good-bye, "to-morrow morning we will go out to that so beautiful college you have been telling me about. What do you say?"

"That," Jensie laughed joyfully, "that's a right smart clever idea."

"Then we shall go." Jeanne gave her hand a squeeze. "I am tired. There are trees, you say, and grass, very much grass. Good! We shall sit upon the grass beneath those spreading elms and forget this noisy city."

They went. The electric car whirled them away to the country. It seemed that but a moment had passed when they found themselves walking up a path shaded by two rows of ancient elms.

"So green the grass!" Jeanne murmured. "So graceful the trees and so strong! And that fine old building of limesto

ne. It is like France, my so beautiful France!

"But listen!"

She paused. From a smaller building with very high windows there floated the words of a song.

"Singing? It is Chapel! Come!" Jeanne seized Jensie by the hand. "Come quick! We will slip into a back seat. It has been so long, oh, so long since I heard such singing."

As they entered the door all heads were bowed in prayer. Deeply religious, as all the best of her race are, Jeanne bowed her head reverently.

The prayer at an end, six hundred young voices burst into song.

"And how they sing it!" There were tears in Jeanne's eyes. "They sing what they believe. How very, very wonderful!"

Hidden away in a high-backed seat, they listened to the simple, sincere message of a white-haired professor as he talked to this silent audience of young people about God and His relation to their lives.

Jeanne was strangely silent as she left the place. Perhaps in her mind was a picture of the little stone church in her own land where she had so often knelt in prayer.

"It is good," she murmured at last. "Tomorrow as I try to tell to the world in pictures the story of simple, kindly folks who live in the mountains, I shall do it better because of having been here."

For a long time they sat on the grass beneath the elms. A gray squirrel came down a tree to chatter at them. A robin, whose nest was in a nearby lilac bush, sang them a song. A cricket chirped. From far away came a dog's bark. A cobweb went floating high overhead.

"Come!" Jeanne whispered reluctantly. "We must go back."

That night as she sat looking out into the half darkness of the night, Jeanne saw again in her mind's eye the girl in a nile-green dress and golden slippers. And as before, the green changed its shade and became a sloping hill where broad elms sighed in the breeze.

"There will be no nile-green dress and golden slippers," she whispered. "Instead, if success is ours, Jensie shall go to that so beautiful college where they sing that which they believe and ask such wonderful prayers."

And down in her heart of hearts she knew that she would strive harder for success than ever before, because she was working for another's happiness and not entirely for her own.

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