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Dreamland   By: (1864-)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

DREAMLAND

by

JULIE M. LIPPMANN

Author of "Miss Wildfire," "Dorothy Day," etc.

The Penn Publishing Company Philadelphia

MCMXIV

TO

LULU AND MARIE.

CONTENTS.

THE WAKING SOUL BETTY'S BY AND BY THE WHITE ANGEL IN THE PIED PIPER'S MOUNTAIN MARJORIE'S MIRACLE WHAT HAPPENED TO LIONEL MARIE AND THE MEADOW BROOK NINA'S CHRISTMAS GIFTS

DREAMLAND.

THE WAKING SOUL

Larry lay under the trees upon the soft, green grass, with his hat tilted far forward over his eyes and his grimy hands clasped together beneath his head, wishing with all his might first one thing and then another, but always that it was not so warm.

When the children had gone to school in the morning, they had seen Larry's figure, as they passed along the street, stretched out full length beneath the trees near the gutter curbstone; and when they returned, there he was still. They looked at him with curiosity; and some of the boys even paused beside him and bent over to see if he were sunstruck. He let them talk about him and discuss him and wonder at him as they would, never stirring, and scarcely daring to breathe, lest they be induced to stay and question him. He wanted to be alone. He wanted to lie lazily under the trees, and watch the sunbeams as they flirted with the leaves, and hear the birds gossip with one another, and feel the breeze as it touched his hot temples and soothed him with its soft caresses.

Across the street, upon some one's fence rail, climbed a honeysuckle vine; and every now and then Larry caught a whiff of a faint perfume as the breeze flitted by. He wished the breeze would carry heavier loads of it and come oftener. It was tantalizing to get just one breath and no more in this way.

But then, that was always the case with Larry; he seemed to get a hint of so many things, and no more than that of any. Often when he was lying as he was now, under green trees, beneath blue skies, he would see the most beautiful pictures before his eyes. Sometimes they were the clouds that drew them for him, and sometimes the trees. He would, perhaps, be feeling particularly forlorn and tired, and would fling himself down to rest, and then in a moment just for all the world as though the skies were sorry for him and wanted to help him forget his troubles he would see the white drifts overhead shift and change, and there would be the vision of a magnificent man larger and more beautiful than any mortal; and then Larry would hold his breath in ecstasy, while the man's face grew graver and darker, and his strong arm seemed to lift and beckon to something from afar, and then from out a great stack of clouds would break one milk white one which, when Larry looked closer, would prove to be a colossal steed; and in an instant, in the most remarkable way, the form of the man would be mounted upon the back of the courser and then would be speeding off toward the west. And then Larry would lose sight of them, just at the very moment when he would have given worlds to see more; for by this time the skies would have grown black, perhaps, and down would come the rain in perfect torrents, sending Larry to his feet and scuttling off into somebody's area way for shelter. And there he would crouch and think about his vision, fancying to himself his great warrior doing battle with the sea; the sea lashing up its wave horses till they rose high upon their haunches, their gray backs curving outward, their foamy manes a quiver, their white forelegs madly pawing the air, till with a wild whinny they would plunge headlong upon the beach, to be pierced by the thousand rain arrows the cloud god sent swirling down from above, and sink backward faint and trembling to be overtaken and trampled out of sight by the next frenzied column behind.

Oh! it sent Larry's blood tingling through his veins to see it all so plainly; and he did not feel the chill of his wet rags about him, nor the clutch of hunger in his poor, empty stomach, when the Spirit of the Storm rode out, before his very eyes, to wage his mighty war... Continue reading book >>




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