Excerpt: ...and she believed she did so. It was not until spring came, healing the girls' grief as naturally as it covered their father's grave with violets and primroses, and making them cling a little less to home and her, a little more to the returning pleasures of their youth, for they were two pretty girls, well-born, with tolerable fortunes, ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...and she believed she did so. It was not until spring came, healing the girls' grief as naturally as it covered their father's grave with violets and primroses, and making them cling a little less to home and her, a little more to the returning pleasures of their youth, for they were two pretty girls, well-born, with tolerable fortunes, and likely to be much sought after-not until the spring days left her much alone, did Fortune's mind recur to an idea which had struck her once, and then been set aside-to write to Robert Roy. Why should she not? Just a few friendly lines, telling him how, after long years, she had seen his name in the papers; how sorry she was, and yet glad-glad to think he was alive and well, and married; how she sent all kindly wishes to his wife and himself, and so on. In short the sort of letter that any body might write or receive, whatever had been the previous link between them. And she wrote it on an April day, one of those first days of spring which make young hearts throb with a vague delight, a nameless hope; and older ones-but is there any age when hope is quite dead? I think not, even to those who know that the only spring that will ever come to them will dawn in the world everlasting. When her girls, entering, offered to post her letter, and Miss Williams answered gently that she would rather post it herself, as it required a foreign stamp, how little they guessed all that lay underneath, and how, over the first few lines, her hand had shaken so that she had to copy it three times. But the address, "Robert Roy, Shanghai"-all she could put, but she had little doubt it would find him-was written with that firm, clear hand which he had so often admired, saying he wished she could teach his boys to write as well. Would he recognize it? Would he be glad or sorry, or only indifferent? Had the world changed him? or, if she could look at him now, would he be the same Robert Roy-simple, true, sincere, and...Read Less
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