The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, November 01, 1899, Image 15

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    before his eyes comes the laughing face of a beautiful girl, and
over and over again he hears the words, " Turn back."
In another, distant city, on this spring morning, a young
woman sits in church and tries to listen to the sermon, but her
thoughts wander and she finds herself thinking of a little church
out in the country. She has become utterly weary of the perpetual
noise and tumult of the city, and she finds herself wishing that
she could be at the old home again where all is quiet and peace
ful. But there are sad memories as well as sweet ones connected
with the old home; perhaps it would not be as pleasant there
now, for many people have gone away—people whom she used to
know long ago; and before her eyes gathers a mist that is not
brought by any words of the preacher. " I did not think I cared
then, but—he might not have gone away so soon. Well, I will
forget, though it takes a long time."
But memories that will not die after six years of effort to banish
them are not easily driven away, and on her way from church she
finds herself wishing again for the old home.
Then suddenly a fire alarm rings and, she counts the strokes:
one—two, then a pause, then one—two—three. There is a
longer panse and then the number is repeated, but before the
bells stop ringing there is a rattle and a clang down the street and
the first wagon of the fire departitent rushes by; and just behind
comes the heavier apparatus, the big steamer with its three pow
erful, gray horses, tearing along the pavement, gong sounding,
and smoke and sparks pouring from its funnel; the trucks and
hose carriages, supply wagons and police patrol all add their
clatter. Then down another street comes the apparatus from
another station. The woman starts to cross the street when some
one shouts, " Back ! Back ! Go back ! " and she stops just as a
belated truck dashes around the corner and whirls by with a
clang. Bicycle bells jingle, dogs bark, children scream, men
shout, everything is noise and confusion, and she goes on her
way with the cry ringing in her ears, " Go back."
A man walks slowly up the road by the little old church.
" Yes, it is just the sane. There is the cracked pane in the
window up in the end, the swallows , are playing in and out of
the old tower just as they did, years ago; and, yes, there is an