The Visioning by Susan Glaspell
Katie's memory of what followed was blurred. She remembered how relieved she was when Ann's laugh--oh the memory of that laugh was clear enough!--gave way to sobbing. Sobbing was easier to deal with. She said something about her friend's being ill, and that they would have to excuse them. She almost wanted to laugh--or was it cry?--herself at the way Harry Prescott was looking from Ann to his mother. After she got Ann in the house she went back and begged somebody's pardon--she wasn't sure whose--and told Colonel Leonard that of course he could understand it on the score of Ann's being a neurotic. She was afraid she might have said that rather disagreeably. And she believed she told Mrs. Prescott--she had to tell Mrs. Prescott something, she looked so frightened and hurt and outraged--that Ann had a form of nervous trouble which made it impossible for her to hear the name of God.
The hardest was Wayne. She came to him on the porch after the others had gone--they were not long in dispersing. "Wayne," she said, "I'm sorry to have embarrassed you."
His short, curt laugh did not reveal his mood. It was scoffing--contemptuous--but she could not tell at what it scoffed. He had not turned toward her.
"I'm sorry," she repeated. "Ann will be sorry. She's so--"
He turned upon her hotly. "Katie, quit lying to me. I know there's something you're not telling. I've suspected it for some time. Now don't get off any of that 'nervous trouble' talk to me!"
She stood there dumbly.
It seemed to enrage him. "Why don't you go and look after her! What do you mean by leaving her all alone?"
So she went to look after her.
Ann looked like one who needed looking after. Her eyes were intolerably bright. It seemed the heat behind them must put them out.
She was walking about the room, walking as if something were behind her with a lash.
"You see, Katie," she began, not pausing in the walking--her voice, too, as though a whip were behind it--"it was just as I told you. It was just as I tried to tell you. There are two worlds. There's no use trying to put me in yours. See what I bring you! See what you get for it! See what--"
She stood still, rocking back and forth as she stood there. "It was too much for me to hear her talking about God! That was a little too much! My father was a minister!" And Ann laughed.
A minister was one thing Katie had not thought of. Even in that moment she was conscious of relief. Certainly the ministry was respectable.
But why should it be "too much" for the daughter of a minister to hear anything about God?
"Ann," she began quietly, "I don't want to force anything. If you want to be alone I'll even take my things and sleep somewhere else. But, Ann, dear, if you could tell me a little I wouldn't be so much in the dark; I could do better for us both."
Ann did not seem to notice what she was saying. "She was tired of things! She was tired of things! Tired of hanging her hat on the same kind of peg! Why it's awful--it's awful, I tell you--to always be hanging your hat on the same kind of peg!
"She was tired of not having any fun! Oh so tired of not having any fun! Why you don't care what you do when you get tired of not having any fun!
"Then people laugh--the people who have all the fun. Oh they think it's so funny!--the people who don't have to hang their hats on any kind of peg. So trivial. So--what's that nervous word? Katie--you're not like the rest of them! Why, you seem to know--just know without knowing."
"But it's hard for me," suggested Katie. "Trying to know--and not knowing."
Ann was still walking about the room. "I was brought up in a little town in Indiana. You see I'm going to tell you. I've got to be doing something--and it may as well be talking. Now how did I start? Oh yes--I was brought up in a little town in Indiana. Until three years ago, that was where I lived. Were you ever in a little town in Indiana?"
Katie replied in the negative.
"Maybe there are little towns in Indiana that are different. I don't know. Maybe there are. But this one-in this one life was just one long stretch of hanging your hat on exactly the same kind of peg!
"It was so square--so flat--so dingy--oh, so dreadful! It didn't have anything around it--as some towns do--a hill, or a river, or woods. Around it was something that was just nothing. It was just walled in by the nothingness all around it.
"And the people in it were flat, and square, and dingy. And the things around them were just nothing. They were walled in, too, by the nothingness all around them."
Then the most unexpected of all things happened. Ann smiled. "Katie, I'd like to have seen you in that town!"
"I'm afraid," said Katie, "that I would have invented a new kind of peg."
The smile seemed to have done Ann good. She sat down, grew more natural.
"When I try to tell about my life in that town I suppose it sounds as though I were making a terrible fuss about things. When you think of children that haven't any homes-that are beaten by drunken fathers--starved--overworked-but it was the nothingness. If my father only had got drunk!"
Katie smiled understandingly.
"Katie, you've a lot of imagination. Just try to think what it would mean never to have what you could really call fun!"
Katie took a sweep back over her own life--full to the brim of fun. Her imagination did not go far enough to get a real picture of life with the fun left out.
"Oh, of course," said Ann, "there were pleasures! My father and the people of his church were like Miss Osborne--they believed it was one of the underlying principles of life--only they would call it 'God's will'--that all must have pleasure. But such God-fearing pleasure! I think I could have stood it if it hadn't been for the pleasures."
"Pleasures with the fun left out," suggested Kate.
"Yes, though fun isn't the word, for I don't mean just good times. I mean--I mean--"
"You mean the joy of living," said Katie. "You mean the loveliness of life."
"Yes; now your kind of religion--the kind of religion your kind of people have, doesn't seem to hurt them any."
Katie laughed oddly. "True; it doesn't hurt us much."
"My father's kind is something so different. The love of God seems to have dried him up. He's not a human being. He's a Christian."
Katie thought of her uncle--a bishop, and all too human a human being. She was about to protest, then considered that she had never known the kind of Christian--or human being--Ann was talking about.
"Everything at our church squeaked. The windows. The organ. The deacon's shoes. My father's voice. The religion squeaked. Life squeaked.
"I'll tell you a story, Katie, that maybe will make you see how it was. It's about a dog, and it's easy for you to understand things about dogs.
"Some one gave him to me. I suppose he was not a fine dog--not full-blooded. But that didn't matter. You know that we don't love dogs for their blood. We love them for the way they look out of their eyes, and the way they wag their tails. I can't tell you what this dog meant to me--something to love--something that loved me--some one to play with--a companion--a friend--something that didn't have anything to do with my father's church!
"He used to feel so sorry when I had to sit learning Bible verses. Sometimes he would put his two paws up on my lap and try to push the Bible away. I loved him for that. And when at last I could put it away he would dance round me with little yelps of joy. He warmed something in me. He kept something alive.
"And then one day when I came home from a missionary meeting where I had read a paper telling how cruelly young girls were treated by their parents in India, and how there was no joy and love and beauty in their lives, I--" Ann hid her face and it was a drawn, grayish face she raised after a minute--"Tono was not there. I called and called him. My father was writing a sermon. He let me go on calling. I could not understand it. Tono always came running down the walk, wagging his tail and giving his little barks of joy when I came. It had made coming home seem different from what it had ever seemed before. But that day he was not there watching for me. My father let me go on calling for a long time. At last he came to the door and said--'Please stop that unseemly noise. The dog has been sent away.' 'Sent away?' I whispered. 'What do you mean?' 'I mean that I have seen fit to dispose of him,' he answered. I was trembling all over. 'What right had you to dispose of him?' I wanted to know. 'He wasn't your dog--' The answer was that I was to go up to my room and learn Bible verses until the Lord chastened my spirit. Then I said things. I would not learn Bible verses. I would have my dog. It ended"--Ann was trembling uncontrollably--"it ended with the rod being unspared. God's forgiveness was invoked with each stroke."
She was digging her finger nails into her palms. Katie put her arms around her. "I wouldn't, Ann dear--it isn't worth while. It's all over now. Wouldn't it be better to forget?"
"No, I want to tell you. Some day I may try to tell you other things. I want this to try to explain them. Loving dogs, you will understand this--better than you could some other things.
"The dog had been given away to some one who lived in the country. It was because I had played with him the Sunday morning before and had been late to Sunday-school."
Her voice was dry and hard; it was from Katie there came the exclamation of protest and contempt.
"No one except one who loves dogs as you do would know what it meant. Even you can't quite know. For Tono was all I had. He--"
Katie's arm about her tightened.
"I could have stood it for myself. I could have stood my own lonesomeness. But what I couldn't stand was thinking about him. Nights I would wake up and think of him--out in the cold--homesick--maybe hungry--not understanding--watching and waiting--wondering why I didn't come. I couldn't keep from thinking about things that tortured me. This man was a deacon in my father's church. From the way he prayed, I knew he was not one to be good to dogs.
"And then one afternoon I heard the little familiar scratch at the door. I rushed to it, and there he was--shivering--but oh so, so glad! He sprang right into my arms--we cried and cried together--sitting there on the floor. His heart had been almost broken--he had grieved--suffered. He wasn't willing to leave my arms; just whimpering the way one does when a dreadful thing is over--licking my face--you know how they do--you know how dear they are.
"Now I will tell you what I did. Holding him in my arms, my face buried in his fur--I made up my mind. The family would be away for at least an hour. I would give him the happiest hour I knew how to give him. One hour--it was all I had the power to give him. Then--because I loved him so much--I would end his life."
Katie's face whitened. "I carried out the plan," Ann went on. "I gave him the meat we were to have had for supper. I had him do all his little tricks. I loved him and loved him. I do not think any little dog ever had a happier hour.
"And then--down at a house in the next block I saw my father--and the man he had given Tono to. The man was coming to our house for supper. Our time was up.
"I can never explain to any one the way I did it--the way I felt as I did it. There was no crying. There was no faltering. It seemed that all at once I understood--understood the hardness of life--that things are hard--that things have got to be done. Then was when it came to me that you've got to harden yourself--that it's the only way.
"I filled a tub with water--I didn't know any other way to do it. Tono stood there watching me. I took a bucket. I took up the dog. I hugged him. I let him lick my face. Though I live to be very old, Katie, and suffer very much, I can never forget the look in his eyes as I put him in the water and held him to put down the bucket. There are things a person goes through that make perfect happiness forever impossible. There are hours that stay."
The face of the soldier's daughter was wet. "I love you for it, Ann," she whispered. "I love you for it. It was strong, Ann. It was fine."
"I wasn't very strong and fine the minute it was over," sobbed Ann. "I fainted. They found me there. And then I screamed and laughed and said I was going to kill all the dogs in the world. I said--oh, dreadful things."
"They should have understood," murmured Kate.
"They didn't. They said I was wicked. They said the Evil One had entered into me. They said I must pray God to forgive me for having killed one of his creatures! Me--!
"Of course it ended in Bible verses. Is it so strange I loathed the Bible? And every morning I had to hear myself prayed for as a wicked girl who would harm one of God's creatures. The Almighty was implored not to send me to Hell. 'Send me there if you want to,' I'd say to myself on my knees, 'Tono's not in Hell, anyway.'"
Ann laughed bitterly. "So that's why I'm a sacrilegious, blasphemous person who doesn't care much about hearing about God. I associate Him with thin lips that shut together tight-and people who make long prayers and break little dogs' hearts--and with boots--and souls--that squeak. I can't think of one single thing I ever heard about Him that made me like Him."
"Oh, Ann dear!" protested Katie shudderingly.
"Try not to think such things. Try not to feel that way. You haven't heard everything there is to hear about God. You haven't heard any of it in the right way."
"Perhaps not. I only know what I have heard." And Ann's face was too white and hard for Katie to say more.
"And your mother, dear? Where was she all this time? Didn't she love you--and help?"
"She died when I was twelve. She'd like to have loved me. She did some on the sly--in a scared kind of way."
Katie sat there contemplating the picture of Ann's father and mother and Ann--Ann, as child of that union.
"I think she died because life frightened her so. In a year my father married again. She isn't afraid of anything. She's a God-fearing, exemplary woman. And she always looks to see if you have any mud on your shoes."
After a moment Ann said quietly: "I hate her."
"So would I," said Katie, and it brought the ghost of a smile to Ann's lips, perhaps thinking of just how cordially Katie would hate her.
"And then after a while you left this town?" Katie suggested as Ann seemed held there by something.
"Yes, after a while I left." And that held her again.
"I was fifteen when I--freed Tono from life," she emerged from it. "It was five years later that you--stopped me from freeing myself. Lots of things were crowded into those five years, Katie--or rather into the last three of them. I had to be treated worse than Tono was treated before it came to me that I had better be as kind to myself as I had been to my dog. Only I," Ann laughed, "didn't have anybody to give me a last hour!"
"But you see it wasn't a last hour, after all," soothed Katie. "Only the last hour of the old hard things. Things that can never come back."
"Can't they come back, Katie? Can't they?"
Katie shook her head with decision. "Do you think I'd let them come back? Why I'd shut the door in their face!"
"Sometimes," said Ann, "it seems to me they're lying in wait for me. That they're going to spring out. That this is a dream. That there isn't any Katie Jones. Some nights I've been afraid to go to sleep. Afraid of waking to find it a dream. There's an awful dream I dream sometimes! The dream is that this is a dream."
"Poor dear," murmured Katie. "It will be more real now that we've talked."
"I used to dream a dream, Katie, and I think it was about you. Only you weren't any one thing. You were all kinds of different things. Lovely things. You were Something Somewhere. You were the something that was way off beyond the nothingness of Centralia."
"The something that didn't squeak," suggested Katie tremulously.
"Something Somewhere. You were both a waking and a sleeping dream. I knew you were there. Isn't it queer how we do--know without knowing? My father used to talk about people being 'called.' Called to the ministry--called to the missionary field--called to heaven. Well maybe you're called to other things, too. Maybe," said Ann with a laugh which sobbed, "you're even 'called' to Chicago."
The laugh died and the sob lingered. "Only when you get there--Chicago doesn't seem to know that it had called you.
"My Something Somewhere was always something I never could catch up with. Sometimes it was a beautiful country--where a river wound through a woods. Sometimes it was beautiful people laughing and dancing. Sometimes it was a star. Sometimes it was a field of flowers--all blowing back and forth. Sometimes it was a voice--a wonderful far-away voice. Sometimes it was a lovely dress--oh a wonderful gauzy dress--or a hat that was like the blowing field of flowers. Sometimes--this was the loveliest of all--it was somebody who loved me. But whatever it was, it was something I couldn't overtake.
"And you mustn't laugh, Katie, when I tell you that the thing that made me think I could catch up with it was a moving-picture show!
"It came to Centralia--the first one that had ever been there. I heard the people next door talking about it. They said there were pictures of things that really happened in the great cities--oh of kings and queens and the president and millionaires and automobile races and grand weddings; that the pictures went on just like the happenings went on; that it was just as if the pictures were alive; that it was just like being there.
"Oh, I was so excited about it! I was so excited I could hardly get ready.
"You see ever since Tono had died--two years before, I had kept that idea that things were hard. That the thing to do was to be hard. I dreamed about things that were lovely--the Something Somewhere things--but as far as the real things went I never changed my mind about them. You mustn't let them into your heart. They just wanted to get in there to hurt you.
"Now I forgot all about that. These pictures were dreams made real. They had caught up with the Something Somewhere. And I was going to see them.
"But I didn't--not that day. I was so happy that my father suspected something. And he got it out of me and said I couldn't go. He said that the things that would be pictured would be the wickedness of the world. That I was not to see it.
"But I made up my mind that I would see the wickedness of the world." Ann paused, and then said in lower voice: "And I have--and not just in pictures."
She seemed to be meeting something, and she answered it. "But just the same," she made answer defiantly, "I'd rather see the wickedness of the world than stay in the nothingness of the world!
"The pictures were to be there a week. I thought of nothing else but how I could see them. The last day there was a thimble-bee. I went to the thimble-bee--said I couldn't stay--and went to the pictures.
"Katie, that moving-picture show was proof. Proof of the Something Somewhere. And in my heart I made a vow--it was a solemn vow--that I would find the things that moved in the pictures.
"And there was music--such music as I had never heard before, even though it came out of a box. They had the songs of the grand opera singers. And as I listened--I tell you I was called!--I don't care how silly it sounds--I was called by the voices that had sung into that box. For this was real--if the life hadn't been there it couldn't have been caught into the pictures and the box. It proved--I thought--that all the lovely things I had dreamed were true. I had only to go and find them. People were walking upon those streets. Then I could walk on those streets. And those people were laughing--and talking to each other. Everybody seemed to have friends. Everybody was happy! And all of that really was. The pictures were alive. Alive with the things that there were out beyond the nothingness of Centralia.
"The man played something from an opera and showed pictures of beautiful people going into a beautiful place to listen to that very music. He said that the very next night in Chicago those people would be going into that place to listen to those very voices.
"Katie, I don't believe you'll laugh at me when I tell you that my teeth fairly chattered when first it came to me that I must be one of those people! It was something all different from the longing for fun--oh it was something big--terrible--it had to be. It was the same feeling of its having to be that I had about Tono.
"Though probably that feeling would have passed away if it hadn't been for my father. He came there and found me, and--humiliated me. And after we got home--" Ann was holding herself tight, but after a moment she relaxed to say with an attempted laugh: "It wasn't all being 'called.' Part of it was being driven.
"Then there was another thing. The treasurer of the missionary society came that night with some money--eighteen dollars--I was to send off the next day. It was that money started me out to find my Something Somewhere."
"Oh Ann!" whispered Katie, drawing back. "But of course," she added, "you paid it back just as soon as you could?"
"I never paid it back! If I had eighteen million dollars, I'd never pay it back! I like to think of not paying it back!"
Katie's face hardened. "I can't understand that."
"No," sobbed Ann, "you'd have to have lived a long time in nothingness to understand that--and some other things, too." She looked at her strangely. "There's more coming, Katie, that you won't be able to understand."
Katie's face was averted, but something in Ann's voice made her turn to her. "I think it was wrong, Ann. There's no use in my pretending I don't. I can't understand this. But maybe I can understand some of the other things better than you think."
"I left at six o'clock the next morning," Ann went back to it when she was calmer. "And at the last minute I don't think I would have had the courage to go if my father hadn't been snoring so. How silly it all sounds!
"And the only reason I got on the train was that it would have taken more courage to go back than to go on.
"Katie, some time I'll tell you all about it. How I felt when I got to Chicago. How it seemed to shriek and roar. How I seemed just buried under the noise. How I walked around the streets that day--frightened almost to death--and yet, inside the fright, just crazy about it. And how green I was!
"Nothing seemed to matter except going to grand opera. I didn't even have sense enough to find a place to stay. I thought about it, but didn't know how, and anyhow the most important thing was finding the things that moved in the pictures--and sang in the box.
"I saw a woman go up to a policeman and ask him where something was and he told her, so I did that, too. Asked him where you went to hear grand opera. And he pointed. I was right there by it.
"I heard some people talking about going in to get tickets. So I thought I had better get a ticket.
"But they didn't have any. They were all gone.
"When I came out I was almost crying. Then a smiling man outside stepped up to me and said he had tickets and he'd let me have one for ten dollars. I was so glad he had them! Ten dollars seemed a good deal--but I didn't think much about it.
"Then I had my ticket and just two dollars left.
"But that night at the opera I didn't know whether I had two dollars, or no dollars, or a thousand dollars. At first I was frightened because everybody but me had on such beautiful clothes. But soon I was too crazy about their clothes to care--and then after the music began--
"Oh, Katie! Suppose you'd always dreamed of something and never been able to catch up with it. Suppose you'd not even been able to really dream it, but just dream that it was, and then suppose it all came--No, I can't tell you. You'd have to have lived in Centralia--and been a minister's daughter.
"My heart sang more beautifully than the singers sang. 'Now you have found it! Now you have found it!' my heart kept singing.
"When all the other people left I left too--in a dream. For it had passed into a dream--into a beautiful dream that was going to shelter it for me forever.
"I stood around watching the beautiful people getting into their carriages. And I couldn't make myself believe that it was in the same world with Centralia.
"Then after a while it occurred to me that all those people were going home. Everybody was going home.
"At first I wasn't frightened. Something inside me was singing over and over the songs of the opera. I was too far in my dream to be much frightened.
"Then all at once I got--oh, so tired. And cold. And so frightened I did not know what to do. My dream seemed to have taken wings and flown away. All the beautiful laughing people had gone. It was just as if I woke up. And I was on the strange streets all alone. Only some noisy men who frightened me.
"I hid in a doorway till those men got by. And then I saw a woman coming. She was all alone, too. She had on a dress that rustled and lovely white furs, and did not seem at all frightened.
"I stepped out and asked her to please tell me where to go for the night.
"Some time I'll tell you about her, too. Now I'll just tell you that it ended with her taking me home with her to stay all night. She made a lot of fun of me--and said things to me I didn't understand--and swore at me--and told me to 'cut it' and go back to the cornfields--but I was crying then, and she took me with her.
"She kept up her queer kind of talk, but I was so tired that the minute I was in bed I went to sleep.
"The next morning she told me I had got to go back to the woods. I said I would if there were any woods. But there weren't. She laughed and said more queer things. She asked me why I had come, and I told her. First she laughed. Then she sat there staring at me--blinking. And what she said was: 'Poor little fool. Poor little greenhorn.'
"She asked me what I was going to do, and I said work, so I could stay there and go to the opera and see beautiful things. She asked me what kind of a job I was figuring on and told me there was only one kind would let me in for that. I asked her what it was and she said it was her line. I asked her if she thought I was fitted for it, and she looked at me--a look I didn't understand at all--and said she guessed the men she worked for would think so. I asked her if she'd say a good word to them for me, and then she turned on me like a tiger and swore and said--No, she hadn't come to that!
"It was a case of knowing without knowing. I was so green that I didn't know. And yet after a while I did. As I look back on it I appreciate things I couldn't appreciate then, thank her for things I didn't know enough to thank her for at the time.
"She was leaving that day for San Francisco. She gave me ten dollars, and told me if I had any sense I'd take it and go back to prayer-meeting. She said I might do worse. But if I didn't have any sense--and she said of course I wouldn't--I was to be careful of it until I got a job. She told me how to manage. And I was to read 'ads' in the newspaper. She told me how to try and get in at the telephone office. She had been there once, she said, but it 'got on her nerves.'
"She told me things about girls who worked in Chicago--awful things. But I supposed she was prejudiced. The last things she said to me was--'The opera! Oh you poor little green kid--I'm afraid I see your finish.'
"But I thought she was queer acting because she led that queer kind of a life."
Ann had paused. And suddenly she hid her face in her hands, as if it was more than she could face. Katie was smoothing her hair.
"Katie, as the days went on it was just as hard to believe that the world of the opera was the same world I was working in--right there in the same city--as it had been the first night to believe it was the same world as Centralia. I learned two things. One was that the Something Somewhere was there. The other that it was not there for me.
"The world was full of things I couldn't understand, but I could understand--a little better--the woman who wore the white furs.
"Oh Katie, you get so tired--you get so dead--all day long putting suspenders in a box--or making daisies--or addressing envelopes--or trying to remember whether it was apple or custard pie--
"And you don't get tired just because your back aches--and your head aches--and your hands ache--and your feet ache--you get tired--that kind of tired--because the city doesn't care how tired you get!
"I often wondered why I went on, why any of them went on. I used to think we must be crazy to be going on."
She was pondering it--somberly wistful. "Though perhaps we're not crazy. Perhaps it's the--call. Katie, what is it? That call? That thing that makes us keep on even when our Something Somewhere won't have anything to do with us?"
Katie did not reply. She had no reply.
"At last I got in the telephone office. That's considered a fine place to work. They're like Miss Osborne; they believe it is one of the fundamental principles of life that all must have pleasures. But they were like the pleasures of Centralia--not God-fearing, exactly, but so dutiful. They didn't have anything to do with 'calls.'
"The real pleasures were going over the wire. It was my business to make the connections that arrange those pleasures. A little red light would flash--sometimes it would flash straight into my brain--and I'd say 'Number, please?'--always with the rising inflection. Then I'd get the connection and Life would pass through the cords. That was the closest I came to it--operating the cords that it went through. There was a whole city full of it--beautiful, laughing, loving Life. But it was on the wire--just as in Centralia it had been in the pictures--and in the box. And oh I used to get so tired--so tight--operating the cords for Life. Sometimes when I left my chair the whole world was one big red light. And at night they danced dances for me--those little red lights."
She brushed her hand before her eyes as if they were there again and she would push them away. "Katie," she suddenly burst forth, "if you ever do pray--if you believe in praying--pray sometimes for the girl who goes to Chicago to find what you call the 'joy of living.' Pray for the pilgrims who go to the cities to find their Something Somewhere. And whatever you do, Katie--whatever you do--don't ever laugh at the people who kill themselves because they're tired of not having any fun!"
"But wasn't there any fun, dear?" Katie asked after a moment.
Ann did not speak, but looked at Katie strangely. "Yes," she said. "Afterwards. Differently."
They were silent. Something seemed to be outlining itself between them. Something which was meaning to grow there between them.
"There came a time," said Ann, "when all of life was not going over the wire."
And still Katie did not speak, as if pushed back by that thing shaping itself between them.
"Your Something Somewhere," said Ann, very low, "doesn't always come in just the way you were looking for it. But, Katie, if you get very tired waiting for it--don't you believe you might take it--most any way it came?"
It was a worn and wistful face she turned to Katie. Suddenly Katie brushed away the thing that would grow up between them and laid her cheek upon Ann's hair. "Poor child," she murmured, and the tears were upon Ann's soft brown hair. "Poor weary little pilgrim."