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The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
written by "Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941"
...ey looked as though they would be miraculously strong—and miraculously gentle. "I came to see—I came to see whether there was 'honey still for tea,' Mistress Dryad!" "Honey—for tea?" she echoed wonderingly; "was that why you were looking at the hive?" He puffed meditatively, "Well—partly. It's a quotation from a poem. Ever read Rupert Brooke?" "Oh, yes, yes." Her voice tripped in its eagerness. "I know one by heart— "'If I should die think only this of me: (That there's some corner of a foreign field (That is forever England. There shall be—" He cut in on the magical little voice roughly. "Ah, what damned nonsense! Do you suppose he's happy, in his foreign field, that golden lover? Why shouldn't even the dead be homesick? No, no—he was sick for home in Germany when he wrote that poem of mine—he's sicker for it in Heaven, I'll warrant." He pulled himself up swiftly at the look of amazement in Daphne's eyes. "I've clean forgotten my manners," he confessed ruefully. "No, don't get that flying look in your eyes—I swear that I'll be good. It's a long time—it's a long time since I've talked to any one who needed gentleness. If you knew what need I had of it, you'd stay a little while, I think." "Of course, I'll stay," she said. "I'd love to, if you want me to." "I want you to more than I've ever wanted anything that I can remember." His tone was so matter-of-fact[Pg 243] that Daphne thought that she must have imagined the words. "Now, can't we make ourselves comfortable for a little while? I'd feel safer if you weren't standing there ready for instant flight! Here's a nice bit of grass—and the wall for a back—" Daphne glanced anxiously at the green muslin frock. "It's—it's pretty hard to be comfortable without cushions," she submitted diffidently. The man yielded again to laughter. "Are even Dryads afraid to spoil their frocks? Cushions it ...

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