THE TOWER WINDOW
 IT is not to be expected that when one's thoughts lead so
persistently to a certain place, one's feet will not follow, if
they can; and David's could—so he went to seek his Lady of the
At four o'clock one afternoon, with his violin under his arm, he
traveled the firm white road until he came to the shadowed path
that led to the garden. He had decided that he would go exactly
as he went before. He expected, in consequence, to find his Lady
exactly as he had found her before, sitting reading under the
roses. Great was his surprise and disappointment, therefore, to
find the garden with no one in it.
He had told himself that it was the sundial, the roses, the
shimmering pool, the garden itself that he wanted to see; but he
knew now that it was the lady—his Lady of the Roses. He did not
even care to play, though all around him was the beauty that had
at first so charmed
 his eye. Very slowly he walked across the
sunlit, empty space, and entered the path that led to the house.
In his mind was no definite plan; yet he walked on and on, until
he came to the wide lawns surrounding the house itself. He
stopped then, entranced.
Stone upon stone the majestic pile raised itself until it was
etched, clean-cut, against the deep blue of the sky. The
towers—his towers—brought to David's lips a cry of delight.
They were even more enchanting here than when seen from afar over
the tree-tops, and David gazed up at them in awed wonder. From
somewhere came the sound of music—a curious sort of music that
David had never heard before. He listened intently, trying to
place it; then slowly he crossed the lawn, ascended the imposing
stone steps, and softly opened one of the narrow screen doors
before the wide-open French window.
Once within the room David drew a long breath of ecstasy. Beneath
his feet he felt the velvet softness of the green moss of the
woods. Above his head he saw a sky-like canopy of blue carrying
fleecy clouds on which floated little pink-and-white children
with wings, just
 as David himself had so often wished that he
could float. On all sides silken hangings, like the green of
swaying vines, half-hid other hangings of feathery, snowflake
lace. Everywhere mirrored walls caught the light and reflected
the potted ferns and palms so that David looked down endless
vistas of loveliness that seemed for all the world like the long
sunflecked aisles beneath the tall pines of his mountain home.
The music that David had heard at first had long since stopped;
but David had not noticed that. He stood now in the center of the
room, awed, and trembling, but enraptured. Then from somewhere
came a voice—a voice so cold that it sounded as if it had swept
across a field of ice.
"Well, boy, when you have quite finished your inspection, perhaps
you will tell me to what I am indebted for this visit," it said.
David turned abruptly.
"O Lady of the Roses, why did n't you tell me it was like
this—in here?" he breathed.
"Well, really," murmured the lady in the doorway, stiffly, "it
had not occurred to me that that was hardly—necessary."
 "But it was!—don't you see? This is new, all new. I never saw
anything like it before; and I do so love new things. It gives me
something new to play; don't you understand?"
"Yes—on my violin," explained David, a little breathlessly,
softly testing his violin. "There's always something new in this,
you know," he hurried on, as he tightened one of the strings,
"when there's anything new outside. Now, listen! You see I don't
know myself just how it's going to sound, and I'm always so
anxious to find out." And with a joyously rapt face he began to
"But, see here, boy,—you must n't! You—" The words died on her
lips; and, to her unbounded amazement, Miss Barbara Holbrook, who
had intended peremptorily to send this persistent little tramp
boy about his business, found herself listening to a melody so
compelling in its sonorous beauty that she was left almost
speechless at its close. It was the boy who spoke.
"There, I told you my violin would know what to say!"
" 'What to say'!—well, that's more than I
 do," laughed Miss
Holbrook, a little hysterically. "Boy, come here and tell me who
you are." And she led the way to a low divan that stood near a
harp at the far end of the room.
It was the same story, told as David had told it to Jack and Jill
a few days before, only this time David's eyes were roving
admiringly all about the room, resting oftenest on the harp so
"Did that make the music that I heard?" he asked eagerly, as soon
as Miss Holbrook's questions gave him opportunity. "It's got
"Yes. I was playing when you came in. I saw you enter the window.
Really, David, are you in the habit of walking into people's
houses like this? It is most disconcerting—to their owners."
"Yes—no—well, sometimes." David's eyes were still on the harp.
"Lady of the Roses, won't you please play again—on that?"
"David, you are incorrigible! Why did you come into my house like
"The music said 'come'; and the towers, too. You see, I know the
"You know them!"
"Yes. I can see them from so many places, and I always watch
 for them. They show best of anywhere, though, from Jack and Jill's.
And now won't you play?"
Miss Holbrook had almost risen to her feet when she turned
"From—where?" she asked.
"From Jack and Jill's—the House that Jack Built, you know."
"You mean—Mr. John Gurnsey's house?" A deeper color had come
into Miss Holbrook's cheeks.
"Yes. Over there at the top of the little hill across the brook,
you know. You can't see their house from here, but from over
there we can see the towers finely, and the little window—Oh,
Lady of the Roses," he broke off excitedly, at the new thought
that had come to him, "if we, now, were in that little window, we
could see their house. Let's go up. Can't we?"
Explicit as this was, Miss Holbrook evidently did not hear, or at
least did not understand, this request. She settled back on the
divan, indeed, almost determinedly. Her cheeks were very red now.
 "And do you know—this Mr. Jack?" she asked lightly.
"Yes, and Jill, too. Don't you? I like them, too. Do you know
Again Miss Holbrook ignored the question put to her.
"And did you
walk into their house, unannounced and uninvited, like this?" she
"No. He asked me. You see he wanted to get off some of the dirt
and blood before other folks saw me."
"The dirt and—and—why, David, what do you mean? What was
David frowned and reflected a moment.
"No. I did it on purpose. I had to, you see," he finally
elucidated. "But there were six of them, and I got the worst of
"David!" Miss Holbrook's voice was horrified. "You don't mean—a
"Yes'm. I wanted the cat—and I got it, but I would n't have if
Mr. Jack had n't come to help me."
"Oh! So Mr. Jack—fought, too?"
"Well, he pulled the others off, and of course that helped me,"
explained David truthfully. "And then he took me home—he and
 "Jill! Was she in it?"
"No, only her cat. They had tied a bag over its head and a tin
can to its tail, and of course I could n't let them do that. They
were hurting her. And now, Lady of the Roses, won't you please
For a moment Miss Holbrook did not speak. She was gazing at David
with an odd look in her eyes. At last she drew a long sigh.
"David, you are the—the limit!" she breathed, as she rose and
seated herself at the harp.
David was manifestly delighted with her playing, and begged for
more when she had finished; but Miss Holbrook shook her head. She
seemed to have grown suddenly restless, and she moved about the
room calling David's attention to something new each moment.
Then, very abruptly, she suggested that they go upstairs. From
room to room she hurried the boy, scarcely listening to his
ardent comments, or answering his still more ardent questions.
Not until they reached the highest tower room, indeed, did she
sink wearily into a chair, and seem for a moment at rest.
David looked about him in surprise. Even
 his untrained eye could
see that he had entered a different world. There were no
sumptuous rugs, no silken hangings; no mirrors, no snowflake
curtains. There were books, to be sure, but besides those there
were only a plain low table, a work-basket, and three or four
wooden-seated though comfortable chairs. With increasing wonder
he looked into Miss Holbrook's eyes.
"Is it here that you stay—all day?" he asked diffidently.
Miss Holbrook's face turned a vivid scarlet.
"Why, David, what a question! Of course not! Why should you think
"Nothing; only I've been wondering all the time I've been here
how you could—with all those beautiful things around you
downstairs—say what you did."
"That other day in the garden—about all your hours being cloudy
ones. So I did n't know to-day but what you lived up here, same
as Mrs. Holly does n't use her best rooms; and that was why your
hours were all cloudy ones."
With a sudden movement Miss Holbrook rose to her feet.
 "Nonsense, David! You should n't always remember everything that
people say to you. Come, you have n't seen one of the views from
the windows yet. We are in the larger tower, you know. You can
see Hinsdale village on this side, and there's a fine view of the
mountains over there. Oh yes, and from the other side there's
your friend's house—Mr. Jack's. By the way, how is Mr. Jack
these days?" Miss Holbrook stooped as she asked the question and
picked up a bit of thread from the rug.
David ran at once to the window that looked toward the House that
Jack Built. From the tower the little house appeared to be
smaller than ever. It was in the shadow, too, and looked
strangely alone and forlorn. Unconsciously, as he gazed at it,
David compared it with the magnificence he had just seen. His
voice choked as he answered.
"He is n't well, Lady of the Roses, and he's unhappy. He's
Miss Holbrook's slender figure came up with a jerk.
"What do you mean, boy? How do you know he's unhappy? Has he said
"No; but Mrs. Holly told me about him.
 He's sick; and he'd just
found his work to do out in the world when he had to stop and
come home. But—oh, quick, there he is! See?"
Instead of coming nearer Miss Holbrook fell back to the center of
the room; but her eyes were still turned toward the little house.
"Yes, I see," she murmured. The next instant she had snatched a
handkerchief from David's outstretched hand. "No—no—I would n't
wave," she remonstrated hurriedly. "Come—come downstairs with
"But I thought—I was sure he was looking this way," asserted
David, turning reluctantly from the window. "And if he had seen
me wave to him, he'd have been so glad; now, would n't he?"
There was no answer. The Lady of the Roses did not apparently
hear. She had gone on down the stairway.