October Vagabonds

Richard Le Gallienne
October Vagabonds , by Richard
Le Gallienne

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Title: October Vagabonds
Author: Richard Le Gallienne
Release Date: December 13, 2003 [eBook #10447]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Brendan Lane, Mary Meehan, and the Project
Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team



I The Epitaph of Summer II At Evening I Came to the Wood III
"Trespassers will be ..." IV Salad and Moonshine V The Green Friend
VI In the Wake of Summer VII Maps and Farewells VIII The
American Bluebird and Its Song IX Dutch Hollow X Where They Sing
from Morning Till Night XI Apple-Land XII Orchards and a Line from
Virgil XIII Fellow Wayfarers XIV The Old Lady of the Walnuts and
Others XV The Man at Dansville XVI In which we Catch up with
Summer XVII Containing Valuable Statistics XVIII A Dithyrambus of
Buttermilk XIX A Growl about American Country Hotels XX Onions,
Pigs and Hickory-nuts XXI October Roses and a Young Girl's Face
XXII Concerning the Popular Taste in Scenery and some Happy People
XXIII The Susquehanna XXIV And Unexpectedly the Last
As I started out from the farm with a basket of potatoes, for our supper
in the shack half a mile up the hillside, where we had made our
Summer camp, my eye fell on a notice affixed to a gate-post, and, as I
read it, my heart sank--sank as the sun was sinking yonder with wistful
glory behind the purple ridge. I tore the paper from the gate-post and
put it in my pocket with a sigh.
"It is true, then," I said to myself. "We have got to admit it. I must show
this to Colin."
Then I continued my way across the empty, close-gleaned corn-field,
across the railway track, and, plunging into the orchard on the other
side, where here and there among the trees the torrents of apples were

being already caught in boxes by the thrifty husbandman, began to
breast the hill intersected with thickly wooded watercourses.
High up somewhere amid the cloud of beeches and buttonwood trees,
our log cabin lay hid, in a gully made by the little stream that filled our
pails with a silver trickle over a staircase of shelving rock, and up there
Colin was already busy with his skilled French cookery, preparing our
evening meal. The woods still made a pompous show of leaves, but I
knew it to be a hollow sham, a mask of foliage soon to be stripped off
by equinoctial fury, a precarious stage-setting, ready to be blown down
at the first gusts from the north. A forlorn bird here and there made a
thin piping, as it flitted homelessly amid the bleached long grasses, and
the frail silk of the milkweed pods came floating along ghostlike on the
evening breeze.
Yes! It was true. Summer was beginning to pack up, the great
stage-carpenter was about to change the scene, and the great theatre
was full of echoes and sighs and sounds of farewell. Of course, we had
known it for some time, but had not had the heart to admit it to each
other, could not find courage to say that one more golden Summer was
at an end. But the paper I had torn from the roadside left us no further
shred of illusion. There was an authoritative announcement there was
no blinking, a notice to quit there was no gain-saying.
As I came to the crest of the hill, and in sight of the shack, shining with
early lamp-light deep down among the trees of the gully, I could see
Colin innocently at work on a salad, and hear him humming to himself
his eternal "Vive le Capitaine."
It was too pathetic. I believe the tears came to my eyes.
"Colin," I said, as I at length arrived and set down my basket of
potatoes, "read this."
He took the paper from my hand and read:
"Sun-up Baseball Club. September 19, 1908. Last Match of the Season"

He knew what I meant.
"Yes!" he said. "It is the epitaph of Summer."
My solitude had been kindly lent to me for the Summer by a friend, the
prophet-proprietor of a certain famous Well of Truth some four miles
away, whither souls flocked from all parts of America
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