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The Desert and The Sown

by Mary Hallock Foote

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It was an evening of sudden mildness following a dry October gale. The colonel had miscalculated the temperature by one log—only one, he declared, but that had proved a pitchy one, and the chimney bellowed with flame. From end to end the room was alight with it, as if the stored-up energies of a whole pine-tree had been sacrificed in the consumption of that four-foot stick.

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I knew she'd have friends enough, once she was quit of me. That was the case between us. The thing that hurt me most was to put her letter back where I found it, and leave it, there with him. Her little cry to me--and I couldn't come! I read the words over and over, I've said 'em to myself ever since. I've lived on them. But I had to leave the letter there to show I'd never come back. I put it back after he was dead.



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