Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Painted Windows Elia W. Peattie


Page 2 of 5

Table Of Contents: Painted Windows

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Along in the middle of the afternoon three of the girls in the neighbourhood came over to play. They had their dolls, and they wanted to "keep house" in the "new part" of our home. We were living in a roomy and comfortable "addition," which had, oddly enough, been built before the building to which it was finally to serve as an annex. That is to say, it had been the addition before there was anything to add it to. By this time, however, the new house was getting a trifle old, as it waited for the completion of its rather disproportionate splendours; splendours which represented the ambitions rather than the achievements of the family. It towered, large, square, imposing, with hints of M. Mansard's grandiose architectural ideas in its style, in the very centre of a village block of land. From the first, it exercised a sort of "I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls" effect upon me, and in a vague way, at the back of my mind, floated the idea that when we passed from our modest home into this commanding edifice, well-trained servants mysteriously would appear, beautiful gowns would be found awaiting my use in the closets, and father and mother would be able to take their ease, something after the fashion of the "landed gentry" of whom I had read in Scotch and English books. The ceilings of the new house were so high, the sweep of the stairs so dramatic, the size of the drawing-rooms so copious, that perhaps I hardly was to be blamed for expecting a transformation scene.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

But until this new life was realised, the clean, bare rooms made the best of all possible play-rooms, and with the light streaming in through the trees, and falling, delicately tinged with green, upon the new floors, and with the scent of the new wood all about, it was a place of indefinable enchantment. I was allowed to play there all I pleased -- except when I had Julie. There were unguarded windows and yawning stair-holes, and no steps as yet leading from the ground to the great opening where the carved front door was some time to be. Instead, there were planks, inclined at a steep angle, beneath which lay the stones of which the foundation to the porch were to be made. Jagged pieces of yet unhewn sandstone they were, with cruel edges.

But to-day when the girls said, "Oh, come!" my newly discovered badness echoed their words. I wanted to go with them. So I went.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see father in the distance, but I wouldn't look at him for fear he would be magnetised into turning my way. The girls had gone up, and I followed, with Julie in my arms. Did I hear father call to me to stop? He always said I did, but I think he was mistaken. Perhaps I merely didn't wish to hear him. Anyway, I went on, balancing myself as best I could. The other girls had reached the top, and turned to look at us, and I knew they were afraid. I think they would have held out their hands to help me, but I had both arms clasped about Julie. So I staggered on, got almost to the top, then seemed submerged beneath a wave of fears -- mine and those of the girls -- and fell! As I went, I curled like a squirrel around Julie, and when I struck, she was still in my grasp and on top of me. But she rolled out of my relaxing clutch after that, and when father and mother came running, she was lying on the stones. They thought she had fallen that way, and as the breath had been fairly knocked out of her little body, so that she was not crying, they were more frightened than ever, and ran with her to the house, wild with apprehension.

Page 2 of 5 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Painted Windows
Elia W. Peattie

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004