Etudes of Summer

“The fog is long passed. Why must you fret so?” Mary Whitham asked her question from the doorway, not daring to cross the threshold.

Barnaby didn’t look at her but ceased from his reading and covered his weary eyes with his hand, “Because, my dear woman, it shall come again.” He winced at his own tone, which came out far more cutting than he had intended. Mary, like him, was single by fact of having survived a spouse, and she had shown him only kindness as he boarded in her home these last seven years.

“I only meant, it’s Summer. You should get out some, perhaps a walk by the old mill.”

“Yes, yes, I’m sure I shall…” The condescension in his voice gave way to the calm before the epiphany’s storm. Hands perpetually cramping with arthritis scurried through battered books and loose pages sending several of each to the floor.


“Aha!” proclaimed voice hoarse from neglect, “The mill, of course. Woman, I could kiss you!” In a flurry, he was out the door, said kiss never bestowed.

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