From Harper's Bazar Vol. XXIV No. 6 (February 7, 1891)
The Cook house was on one side of the street; the Haven house on the other. Both were old; nearly all the houses in the village were; but one had that stately venerableness which results from a prosperous origin; the other was as humble in its decline as it had been at its birth.
The Cook house, which was called the old Squire Cook place, was large, with a bold square front to the road. It had once been painted white; now it was overspread with soft gray shadows. There were black rain stains over the front door and around the sills, where the water had splashed up from the porch roof and the gutters. But the cornice under the ragged eaves had been wrought in a delicate pattern by the patient hands of some old artist in wood, and so had the gable and frieze above the reeling pillars of the old porch.
There had been no ornamental work displayed upon the Haven house opposite. It had never been painted; the rains and winds had had full sway in its coloring. It was so dark that one coming upon it behind the thicket of lilacs felt a shock of surprise to find it there. The door between the bushes had the blackness of a vacuum. The house, too, was very low — a cottage — and overtopped by the lilacs. It humped its old crooked roof in their shade, like an old laboring-man lying down to rest behind the bushes when his work is done.
It was seven o'clock in the evening, and the sun was getting low. Swallows were circling around the chimneys and singing in the clear sky. Out of the cottage windows sounded the sweet pipe of a flute, like a bird-call in a hidden nest.
Deborah Haven stood motionless between the house wall and the lilacs, peering between the leaves at the old Squire Cook place. Once in a while she glanced back uneasily at the house. She was afraid her son George would see her; but he was playing his flute at the north side window.
Presently the front door of the Cook house swung open, and Lucinda came out. She stepped between the old pillars of the porch, and she might have been a queen emerging from the marble portal of her palace. She walked down the old flag-stones between the door and the gate as if a row of bowing lackeys stood on either side.
Deborah Haven slunk softly out of the little gap in the lilac bushes before her front door. The flute stopped; there was a smothered exclamation of “Mother!” from the house, but she did not heed it. The flute sounded again with a sweet flutter. Lucinda advanced, holding her head high and thrown back; a blue feather on her bonnet stood up like a bird's crest. She kept her beautiful face set straight ahead.
Deborah glided before her. “Lucindy,” said she.
Lucinda stopped, but she did not start. “Good-evening, Mrs. Haven,” she returned.
Deborah fell back at her side. “I'm goin' to walk a long a little ways with you. I've got somethin' to say to you,” said she.
Lucinda said nothing; the two women walked on. It was a little while before Deborah spoke again. She kept glancing up at Lucinda; she was very much shorter and smaller. Lucinda's long skirt was of blue and orange changeable silk, flounced up to her waist; it hit the weeds with little musical rustles as she passed. She wore a worked muslin scarf, and worked muslin under-sleeves hung over her slender hands. Deborah in her scanty brown cotton gown, with a barége bonnet shading her small face, looked like an inferior being beside her.
“Lucindy,” said she, finally.
“What is it, Mrs. Haven?” returned Lucinda.
“I wanted to talk to you a little about somethin'.”
“Well?” Lucinda stepped along with haughty decorum. She wished to be rid of her companion and reach her destination, but she would not quicken her pace. She kept her face uplifted and averted; she never met the other woman's anxious glances.
“I — want to talk to you a little about — my George, Lucindy.”
“What say, Mrs. Haven?”
“You can't mean to treat him so.”
“Treat him how?”
“You can't mean to give him the mitten, after you've been encouragin' of him the way you have.”
“You've had him over to your house a good deal, Lucindy.”
“Did you want me to send him home, Mrs. Haven?”
“There wa'n't no need of your encouragin' him to come again, an' gettin' his hopes all raised up the way you did, if you didn't mean to have him.”
“Didn't you want me to be polite to him, Mrs. Haven?” said Lucinda, in her sweet, measured voice. Her face thrown up against the bright sky was smilingly insolent and haughty.
Mrs. Haven looked at her. Suddenly the expression of her own face, pale and meekly anxious under her sun-bonnet, changed. It flashed with red, like a window opposite the sunset. “Polite to him,” she cried, and her voice sounded like the sharp, melancholy note of a cricket. “Lucindy Cook, you can pretend all you've a mind to, but I've seen you with him. I've seen you sit in the meetin'-house with your head canted for him to see. You wouldn't look at him, you was dreadful careful, but you kept movin' an' makin' yourself look different so he'd look at you. I've seen you put your hand up to your face, so dreadful absent an' innocent like, when you knew jest how your sleeve would fall back an' show your wrist, an' how he'd eye it. I've seen you lean back an' roll up your eyes at the minister, as if you were hearin' every word of the sermon, when all you was thinkin' about was how handsome you looked that way for my George to see. I've seen how you always have the feathers on the side of your bunnit that's next him in the meetin'-house. You can't cheat me; I'm his mother. There ain't no grass thick enough, nor no flowers handsome enough, to hide any trap that's set for him from me.”
She let her voice fall suddenly. The meeting bell was ringing. Two women in cashmere shawls came along, looking curiously at her and Lucinda. She stood back.
“Good-evenin', Mis' Slocum; good-evenin', Mis' Day,” she said, with dignity, although her lips trembled.
They stopped, and shook hands, and inquired if she were well and going to meeting.
“No, I ain't goin' to-night,” said she. “I'm as well as common, but I ain't goin'; I ain't in the frame of mind for it to-night. Ain't sure of my callin' an' election. I'll leave it to them that's sure, like Lucindy here.”
The two women looked at each other awkwardly, then went on, with a vague murmur. Lucinda made a motion to follow them, but Deborah Haven caught her arm, crushing the starched under-sleeve.
“You wait a minute,” said she; “I 'ain't finished.”
Lucinda freed her arm with a jerk. “Let me pass, Mrs. Haven,” said she, imperiously.
“You stan' still, Lucindy Cook. If you don't, I'll go to meetin' too, an' I'll stan' up an' speak there. If you'd ruther have me say what I'm goin' to here instead of in the face of the whole congregation, you stan' still.”
Lucinda stood still, frowning.
“How much longer do you think you're goin' to keep on this way, makin' young fellers like you, an' then givin' of 'em the mitten? When are you goin' to get married? You're forty year old.”
The beautiful color in Lucinda's cheeks deepened. She jerked impatiently.
“Yes, you are,” Deborah went on; “you are forty year old, an' my George ain't but twenty-three — nuthin' but a boy. You're old enough to be his mother.”
“I shouldn't think you'd want me to have him, then, Mrs. Haven. I don't see what you are taking me to do in this way for. You know your son is not a suitable match for me, and you would not like it if I married him. I can't stand talking here any longer. I shall be late for meeting, and it's getting damp.”
“It ain't any damper than it's been evenin's when you've been out walkin' with my George. You a-leanin' so soft on his arms. 'Ain't you never let him kiss you?”
“You can't say you 'ain't. Shame on you! A woman as old as you! Lettin' on him kiss you, when you didn't mean to have him; makin' him jest as fond of you as you knew how, so it would make him feel worse when you give him the mitten. Want you to marry him! Of course in the beginning of it I didn't want a woman as old as you to marry my son, but now I don't want him half crazy, an' goin' away from his home; an' I don't want him thinkin' there ain't no truth nowhere, an' all women are alike. An' there's another thing — you got him away from a girl his own age that was just suited to him. I dun'no' as she feels bad about it. She's a good, sensible girl, an' I suppose she made the best of it. But it was a mean thing for a woman like you to do, Lucindy Cook.”
“I don't know anything about that,” said Lucinda, coldly.
“Don't know anything about that? Do you mean to say you didn't know that my son had been to meetin' with Esther Mills ever so many times, an' taken her to ride twice? He always liked her when they went to school together.”
“No, I can't say as I did. Mrs. Haven, I am going to meeting; I shall not stand here any longer.” Lucinda moved off, holding her head back.
“Lucindy, you ain't goin' to be so cruel to my boy.”
Lucinda did not turn.
Mrs. Haven gazed at the majestic retreating figure. “Lucindy!” she gasped.
Lucinda kept on; her silk skirts rustled.
Mrs. Haven raised her voice to a scream. “Lucindy Cook,” said she, “Lucindy Cook, you can go now, an' you can hold up your head high, with your silks a-rattlin' an' your feathers a-wavin'. You can step along as if you was a queen, an' tread on folks as if they were worms; but the time's a-comin' when the Lord will punish you. I tell you, Lucindy Cook, the time's a-comin' when the Lord will punish you, an' bring down your proud nose into the dust.”
If Lucinda heard she made no sign. She was as speechless as David's enemies before his imprecatory psalms. She kept on, and the soft spring dusk dimmed her outlines like a veil.
Mrs. Haven stood for a minute looking after her, trembling violently; then she turned toward home. She had not gone far before she met a young girl hurrying along. The girl was passing with a murmured good-evening, but Mrs. Haven caught her arm.
“Stop a minute, Esther,” said she.
The girl stopped without a word, and stood waiting.
“Where you goin'?” asked Mrs. Haven.
“I was going to meeting.”
“I wish — you'd go home with me. I — don't feel well.”
“Why, Mrs. Haven, what is the matter?”
“I dun'no'. I don't feel jest right. I wish you'd walk home with me, if you'd jest as soon.”
“I'd just as soon as not,” said the girl. And the two went on together.
“I hope you wa'n't particular about goin' to meetin',” remarked Deborah. “I s'pose it'll be too late.”
“No, I don't care. Do you feel better?”
“I guess so. I was kinder scared walkin' alone for fear I'd fall.”
The girl did not support Mrs. Haven at all, but she kept looking anxiously at her as they went along. When they reached the gap in the lilac bushes, Deborah caught the girl by the arm again.
“Come in a minute, Esther,” said she.
“I'm — afraid I can't to-night.”
“Come in jest a minute.”
“I don't b'lieve I'd better, Mrs. Haven.”
“Esther, do come in, jest a minute; you don't know how dreadful upset I am.” Deborah's voice quavered pitifully.
“Is there — anybody — there?” asked Esther, hesitatingly.
“No, I don't think there is. I ruther guess George is gone out. You needn't be afraid.”
Esther let herself be pulled between the lilacs into the house.
Deborah pushed her softly into a chair. “Set there till I get the lamp lit,” said she; then she fumbled out of the room.
Esther sat waiting. The room was quite dark. The twilight could not penetrate the windows: they were too thickly screened by the lilac bushes. Esther, straining her eyes, could see nothing but the white gleams of the curtains. Presently she heard voices. They came from the room overhead: the doors were open, and the flooring in the old house gaped in its seams. Deborah's voice was subdued. Esther could not always distinguish what she said, but she heard every word of her son's.
“No, I can't go down, mother,” said he.
Deborah said something, and Esther caught her own name.
“I don't want to see her,” said George. “I don't see what you brought her over here for. There's no use talking, mother. I'm going on the early train.”
Deborah's voice in response was louder. “Oh, George, you can't go off this way on account of that good-for-nothin' woman! Go off an' leave your mother! George, jest run down an' see Esther a minute; you used to like her.”
“I ain't going down,” returned George, “and I'm going on the early train. You've got to bear it; I can't help it. There's no use talking any more about it, mother. If you got Esther Mills over here, you'll have to get her home. I wish you'd go down stairs.”
Esther arose, and hurried out of the room, and out of the house. As she went between the lilacs she heard a great wail from Mrs. Haven. She did not cry herself; her heart beat so she could scarcely breathe as she ran along.
She had quite a long way to go. The moon was rising over misty meadow-lands. There was a great fragrance of lilacs and blossoming fruit trees; she heard in the distance the people singing in the meeting-house. It all seemed like a beautiful song about her own trouble, and the beauty of it did not console her; only mocked her.
When she reached her house its windows were all dark. “Mother's gone to bed,” she thought to herself. She opened the door, and immediately a weak voice somewhere in the recesses of the house called out,
“Is that you?”
“Yes, mother,” said Esther.
“Ain't meetin' out early?”
“It ain't out. I didn't go. I changed my mind. Don't you feel well, mother?”
“No; I feel real miserable. I thought I'd go to bed, an' maybe I'd get over it, but I guess you'll have to get my medicine.”
Esther lighted a lamp, prepared her mother's medicine, and gave it to her. Then she sat down in the kitchen with her sewing, to wait until her mother should be better before she went to bed herself.
It was after midnight when her mother fell asleep and she went up stairs. When she opened the door of her little room, whose ceiling followed the slant of the cottage roof, it was full of moonlight. The mist lay over the meadows on the other side of the road, and they looked like a white sea. Esther stood at her window and looked over them in the direction of the Haven house for a long time before she went to bed.
The early train left at six o'clock, at half past five Esther was peeping out of the window. George Haven would have to pass on his way to the railroad station. At quarter before six he appeared. Esther drew back quickly, but he did not look up. He walked fast, keeping his face set straight ahead. After he had passed the window Esther looked out again, and watched him out of sight. Then she went down stairs and got her mother's breakfast. In one way she was happier that day than she had been for a long time. George was gone from her, but he was also gone from Lucinda Cook. Toward sunset that day Lucinda, stately and beautiful in her silk gown and her plumed bonnet, went past the house. “He's out of your clutches, anyhow,” Esther said to herself as she watched her.
Shortly afterward Deborah Haven came in sight. Esther was at the front window; her mother was lying on the lounge. Deborah paused before the gate, and looked up beseechingly and beckoned.
“I'm going out the door a minute, mother,” said Esther, and hurried out.
Deborah was very pale, and her eyes were bloodshot. “He's gone,” said she, in a sharp whisper.
“He won't come back for years.”
“Maybe he will.”
“No; he won't. I sha'n't see him again for years. Sometimes I know things, I don't know jest how. I know I sha'n't see him again for years, an' I know Lucindy Cook will get her pay. You mark my words. Can't you come over to my house a little while, Esther?”
“I would, but I can't leave mother. She ain't quite so well as common. You come in.”
“No, I don't want to see nobody but you. You come over to-morrow, Esther.”
“I will if I can,” replied Esther.
Mrs. Haven put her handkerchief to her eyes and begun to cry. Esther stood looking dully past her to the green stretch of the spring meadows opposite.
Presently Mrs. Haven put her handkerchief in her pocket. “Well, come over to-morrow, if you can, Esther,” said she, with a catch in her voice, and went away. Esther stood looking after her, as she had looked after George.
The next day her mother was better, and she went over to see Mrs. Haven. It grew to be a daily habit with her. Whenever her mother was well enough to spare her, she carried her sewing over and spent an hour in the afternoon. The two women rarely spoke of George. The first time Mrs. Haven had a letter from him, and knew that he had settled for the present in Nebraska, she told Esther.
“He says he's got a good chance with that Houghton that used to live here, an' he's goin' to send home some money,” said she.
When the next letter came she did not allude to it. She and Esther would sit together silently and sew in the soft gloom of the sitting-room behind the lilac bushes.
Five years after George went away, Esther's mother died. Then she rented her little house, and went to live with George's mother. The village people talked about it. “She couldn't get George Haven, so she's taken up with his mother,” they said. But neither Mrs. Haven nor Esther heard it. They went very little among the neighbors; both had considerable natural reserve, which sorrow had heightened.
Three years after her son's departure, Mrs. Haven had had one rankling annoyance removed. Lucinda Cook had married a rich elderly widower from a neighboring town, and gone there to live; the old Cook house had been shut up ever since. Lucinda could not rent it. Her husband was not willing to spend money on repairs, and it grew more and more dilapidated.
The village boys broke the windows; the roof became more and more sodden; the mildew around the sills deepened; and the pillars of the porch became more unsteadily aslant.
Deborah Haven watched the decay of the Cook house with exultation. George had sent her enough money to keep her own roof shingled and her own abode in its stationary decay. “I guess Lucindy's rich husband ain't none too free with his money,” she told Esther. “I can see that old porch wobble when the south winds blow hard.”
Nobody knew the comfort Deborah took in not seeing Lucinda in her flounced silk step in her pride of beauty from under that trembling porch.
Lucinda appeared in her native village the Sunday after her marriage. She went to meeting, and stepped slowly up the aisle behind her husband in his wedding broadcloth. She wore a green and gold silk dress and a green velvet mantilla. Her beautiful face had the soft pink bloom of a rose in a green velvet white-plumed bonnet. Everybody except Deborah Haven and Esther Mills turned to look at her.
Although Lucinda lived so near, that was the last time she appeared in her old home for years. Soon after, there was a rumor that her husband had lost his money.
“She's too proud to show her face here,” said Mrs. Haven.
Whether that was the reason or not, Lucinda did not return until her husband's death, sixteen years after her marriage. Then she came quietly. Deborah Haven was probably the first to know it. One morning she called Esther excitedly. “She's come home,” said she. “I see the smoke comin' out of the kitchen chimney.”
Soon it was common talk in the village how Lucinda had come home, how she had only enough for her bare sustenance, and how she had lost all her good looks, and was afflicted with some mysterious terrible nervous disease. She was never seen on the street. The reports all came from curious neighbors and grocery men.
When Deborah heard of it she told Esther. It was an afternoon in spring, and she had just come home from the store. Her face looked white and awed. “She's terrible bad off,” said she. “They say you can't help laughin' to see her. And she looks dreadful old.”
Esther looked up from her sewing. “It's a terrible thing,” said she.
“Terrible. I'd go in there if she'd take it right; but she won't. It's the judgment of the Lord; but I knew it was comin', an' it makes me feel as if I had a hand in it. I'd take it off her if I could.” Deborah was an old woman now. She sank into a chair, and wept like a frightened child. Esther had work to soothe her.
The next day Deborah made an ineffectual attempt to call upon Lucinda. Her repeated knocks were not answered. She came home, and made a nice pudding for dinner, then sent over Esther with a plate of it to leave at Lucinda's door. Esther knocked, then hurried away. They watched, and saw the door opened cautiously, a lean arm thrust out, and the plate taken in.
After that there was scarcely a day that Deborah did not manage to have some little delicacy deposited at Lucinda's door. “They say she 'ain't actually got enough to live on,” she told Esther.
In the night Lucinda deposited the empty plates inside the lilac bushes, but she never gave a word of thanks.
The next spring, a year after Lucinda returned, a change came over Deborah. Esther noticed it first one morning in April. Deborah came out of her bedroom with an odd look on her face. It was almost ecstasy. She went about as usual. She did not talk much, but there was the look in her old face as if the spring was blooming forth in it as well as in the old earth. Esther wondered at it, but she said nothing, and the look did not wear away as the weeks went on.
May came, and all the lilac bushes around the house were in blossom. One morning, before breakfast, Deborah went out and picked a great bunch of lilacs. She arranged them in a pitcher on the sitting-room table, then bent over them and took a long breath. When she raised her head, she fairly laughed to herself.
Esther called her to breakfast, and when she sat down to the kitchen table, before the hot biscuits and tea, her face, old and worn and lined as it was, might have served as a type of joy.
Esther laid down her knife and fork and looked at her. “What is it?” she asked.
“He's comin' to-day,” said Mrs. Haven.
Esther turned pale. “Who's comin'?”
“George — my son George.”
“Has he — wrote?”
“No; he 'ain't wrote for three months. But he's comin'. I know. I've known it for a month past. He's comin' to-day.”
Esther had always a certain repose of manner from silent endurance and reserve. It did not desert her now. She ate her breakfast gravely, although her hands trembled. As the day advanced, however, the influence of the older woman's nervous joy and mysticism strengthened over her mind. She swept and dusted, and set the house in order; she cooked some dainty food, as if indeed some beloved guest were expected.
Deborah, with her beaming face, pottered about. “He's comin' on the five-o'clock train this afternoon,” she said.
After dinner Deborah wiped the dishes, while Esther washed. When they were all set away, and everything was clean and in order, she looked at her anxiously.
“What dress be you a-goin' to wear, Esther Mills?” said she.
Esther blushed. “I hadn't thought,” she replied.
“You'd better put on your gray silk.”
The gray silk was Esther's best dress, magnificent and sacred in her eyes, although she had had it before her mother died. Somehow the mention of that dispelled for a moment the fantastic illusion which she had caught from Deborah. It was a bit of realism at which her practical nature caught and righted itself.
“Oh, Mrs. Haven,” she said, “there ain't any use in my dressing up! I'm afraid you'll be dreadful disappointed.”
Deborah fastened her radiant, confident eyes upon her. “I tell you, Esther Mills, I know he's comin',” she said.
Esther trembled. She said no more about it, but got her gray silk out of her closet, and put it on. It was old but well-preserved, and had soft silver lights on the folds of the full skirt. When Esther rustled into the sitting-room in it, Deborah, who was sitting at the front window in her best black dress, eyed her sharply.
“Turn round,” said she.
Esther turned around.
“Come here an' let me pull the skirt down a little on that side.”
Esther obeyed, and Deborah twitched carefully at the silken breadths. After Esther had seated herself with some knitting-work, Deborah continued to look at her. Finally she arose, went out into the kitchen, and got a clean towel and a comb and brush. She pinned the towel over Esther's shoulders.
“I'm goin' to fix your hair the way you used to wear it,” said she. “You've got it strained back dreadful prim an' old-maidish.”
Esther sat unresisting while Deborah loosened her front hair and arranged it in two soft curls, one behind each ear.
“There!” said she; “now you look more the way you used to. Your hair's some gray, but it don't show much. You 'ain't got quite so much color as you used to have. Esther, why can't you jest rub your cheeks a little?”
“Don't, Mrs. Haven.”
“Jest take your handkerchief an' rub 'em a little.”
Esther shook her head; her lips trembled.
Deborah seized a fold of her woollen dress and bent over her. “I'll do it,” said she. She rubbed Esther's soft faded cheeks, then stood off. “There now, you've got quite a color. You look every mite as well as you used to when you was a girl.”
Deborah went back to her seat by the front window; Esther knitted, and the afternoon wore on. When the clock struck four, Deborah looked at Esther.
“It's only an hour more,” said she. “You'll be married pretty soon after he gets home, of course, Esther. You've waited long enough.”
Esther gave a great start. It seemed to her that Deborah was out of her head. “Oh, don't talk so,” said she.
“Why shouldn't I talk so? Don't I know you are goin' to marry my son? 'Ain't I known it all these years?”
“It's twenty years. There ain't any sense in it. You mustn't. He's forgotten me. You mustn't talk so, or I shall have to go away.”
“He 'ain't forgot you. Men ain't like us. They can have their hearts sot an' goin' like a windmill at the same time. There ain't no understandin' it, but it's so. He 'ain't never forgot you, an' he's comin' home thinkin' about you. Don't you worry.”
Esther knitted faster. Deborah sat staring into the fragrant purple gloom of the lilacs. The kitchen clock ticked. A few minutes before five a steam-whistle sounded in the distance.
“The train's in,” said Deborah. The clock struck. “Now he's comin',” said she. Esther knitted, never raising her eyes.
Presently there was a footstep outside. “He's come!” said Deborah. She arose, and her face was like a child's, because of joy that triumphed over age.
Esther also sprang up.
“Where are you goin'?” said Deborah.
Esther ran into the kitchen. “I can't. He won't know me,” she gasped.
“Come back,” said Deborah, “an' sit down.”
Esther crept back. The front door opened. Deborah went into the entry, and there was a murmur of voices. Esther presently heard her own name.
“Esther Mills is in there,” said Deborah. “Go in an' speak to her. She's liked you all this time.”
Esther sat still. When the door opened, and George Haven entered, she looked up at him. He was much changed, but she did not realize it. He looked to her as he had twenty years before. As far as she was concerned, she gave him immortal youth. He reached out his hand, and she arose weakly and took it.
“I hope I see you well, Esther,” he said, in a shy, stiff voice.
“Pretty well, thank you. I hope you're well.” Esther released her hand, and turned with some show of dignity. All the force in her gentle nature had been that of patient and constant affection. She had had little pride, only reserve, but now Deborah's speech had aroused her.
“Yes, I'm well; an' if you care anything about it, I 'ain't forgot you any more than I have mother,” said George.
George had been home only a week, when it was rumored quite openly through the village that he was going to marry Esther Mills.
One evening he and Esther strolled down the road past her old home. The sun was setting over the levels of green meadow-lands, and the dew was spreading over them like a silver film. The clear red sky was tumultuous with sweet calls and swift flights of spring birds. The fragrance of lilacs and fruit blossoms was as fresh as in any old spring of their youth.
Suddenly, as they walked along, they saw a woman's figure advancing to meet them. It had a strange, uncertain gait.
“Who's that?” whispered Esther, trembling.
The woman drew nearer. They scarcely knew her for Lucinda Cook. There was as little trace of her old face and form as there is of a June rose-bush in a December one, stripped of leaves and roses, with its dry stalks reeling drunkenly in the north wind.
George and Esther looked at each other. He flushed, and drew her hand closer in his arm.
Lucinda approached. Suddenly the power of her dreadful nervous malady asserted itself, and she made a grotesque run at her old lover. He started back, and she passed, staggering. Then George and Esther went on soberly through the sweet spring twilight.
p. 102 changed [ Deborah paused before the gate, and look up beseechingly and beckoned. ] to [ and looked up beseechingly ]