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|The Golden Road||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
A Tantalizing Revelation
|Page 2 of 5||
For a few moments amazement literally held us dumb.
"You're not in earnest, Sara Stanley?" gasped Felicity at last.
"Indeed I am. I thought you'd be astonished. But I wasn't. I've suspected it all summer, from little things I've noticed. Don't you remember that evening last spring when I went a piece with Miss Reade and told you when I came back that a story was growing? I guessed it from the way the Awkward Man looked at her when I stopped to speak to him over his garden fence."
"But--the Awkward Man!" said Felicity helplessly. "It doesn't seem possible. Did Miss Reade tell you HERSELF?"
"I suppose it must be true then. But how did it ever come about? He's SO shy and awkward. How did he ever manage to get up enough spunk to ask her to marry him?"
"Maybe she asked him," suggested Dan.
The Story Girl looked as if she might tell if she would.
"I believe that WAS the way of it," I said, to draw her on.
"Not exactly," she said reluctantly. "I know all about it but I can't tell you. I guessed part from things I've seen--and Miss Reade told me a good deal--and the Awkward Man himself told me his side of it as we came home last night. I met him just as I left Mr. Armstrong's and we were together as far as his house. It was dark and he just talked on as if he were talking to himself--I think he forgot I was there at all, once he got started. He has never been shy or awkward with me, but he never talked as he did last night."
"You might tell us what he said," urged Cecily. "We'd never tell."
The Story Girl shook her head.
"No, I can't. You wouldn't understand. Besides, I couldn't tell it just right. It's one of the things that are hardest to tell. I'd spoil it if I told it--now. Perhaps some day I'll be able to tell it properly. It's very beautiful--but it might sound very ridiculous if it wasn't told just exactly the right way."
"I don't know what you mean, and I don't believe you know yourself," said Felicity pettishly. "All that I can make out is that Miss Reade is going to marry Jasper Dale, and I don't like the idea one bit. She is so beautiful and sweet. I thought she'd marry some dashing young man. Jasper Dale must be nearly twenty years older than her--and he's so queer and shy--and such a hermit."
"Miss Reade is perfectly happy," said the Story Girl. "She thinks the Awkward Man is lovely--and so he is. You don't know him, but I do."
"Well, you needn't put on such airs about it," sniffed Felicity.
"I am not putting on any airs. But it's true. Miss Reade and I are the only people in Carlisle who really know the Awkward Man. Nobody else ever got behind his shyness to find out just what sort of a man he is."
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|The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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