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The Wall Between   By: (1872-1968)

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By Sara Ware Bassett

The Taming Of Zenas Henry The Wayfarers at The Angel's The Harbor Road The Wall Between

[Illustration: And now, by some miracle, here were the blossoms of Martin's raising. Frontispiece. See page 159. ]




With Frontispiece by Norman Price

Boston Little, Brown, and Company 1920

Copyright, 1920, by Sara Ware Bassett. All rights reserved

Published August, 1920

"Such are the miracles men call lives." Edward Rowland Sill.


CHAPTER PAGE I A Modern Richelieu 1 II The Howes 20 III Lucy 38 IV The Episode of the Eggs 50 V A Clash of Wills 70 VI Ellen Encounters an Enigma 82 VII The Unraveling of the Mystery 95 VIII When the Cat's Away 109 IX Jane Makes a Discovery 135 X A Temptation 147 XI The Crossing of the Rubicon 163 XII The Test 189 XIII Melviny Arrives 205 XIV A Piece of Diplomacy 234 XV Ellen's Vengeance 246 XVI Lucy Comes to a Decision 258 XVII The Great Alternative 270 XVIII Love Triumphant 290




The Howe and Webster farms adjoined, lying on a sun flooded, gently sloping New Hampshire hillside. Between them loomed The Wall. It was not a high wall. On the contrary, its formidableness was the result of tradition rather than of fact. For more than a century it had been an estranging barrier to neighborliness, to courtesy, to broad mindedness; a barrier to friendship, to Christian charity, to peace.

The builder of the rambling line of gray stone had long since passed away, and had he not acquired a warped importance with the years, his memory would doubtless have perished with him. All unwittingly, alas, he had become a celebrity. His was the fame of omission, however, rather than of commission. Had he, like artist or sculptor, but affixed his signature to his handiwork, then might he have sunk serenely into oblivion, "unwept, unhonored, and unsung." But unfortunately he was a modest creature. Instead, he had stepped nameless into the silence of the Hereafter, leaving to those who came after him not only the sinister boundary his hands had reared, but also a feud that had seethed hotly for generations.

If within the narrow confines of his last resting place he had ever been conscious of the dissension for which he was responsible and had been haunted by a desire to utter the magic word he had neglected to speak in life, he at least gave no sign. His lips remained sealed in death, and his spirit was never seen to walk abroad. Possibly he retired into his shroud with this finality because he never found it imperative, as did Hamlet's ghost, to admonish posterity to remember him.

Only too well was he remembered!

The Howes and Websters who followed him hurled against the sounding board of heaven the repeated questions of who built the wall, and whose duty was it to repair it. Great grandfather Jabez Howe quibbled with Great grandfather Abiatha Webster for a lifetime, and both went down into the tomb still quibbling over the enigma. Afterward Grandfather Nathan Howe and Grandfather Ebenezer Webster took up the dispute, and they, too, were gathered into the Beyond without ever reaching a conclusion. Their children then wrangled and argued and slandered one another, and, like their forbears, retired from the field in impotent rage, leaving the combat a draw.

In the meantime the outlines of the ancient landmark became less clear cut... Continue reading book >>

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