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He wandered far from the accustomed haunts of boys, and sought desolate
places that were in harmony with his spirit. A log raft in the river invited him,
and he seated himself on its outer edge and contemplated the dreary vastness of
the stream, wishing, the while, that he could only be drowned, all at once and
unconsciously, without undergoing the uncomfortable routine devised by
nature. Then he thought of his flower. He got it out, rumpled and wilted, and it
mightily increased his dismal felicity. He wondered if she would pity him if she
knew? Would she cry, and wish that she had a right to put her arms around his
neck and comfort him? Or would she turn coldly away like all the hollow
world? This picture brought such an agony of pleasurable suffering that he
worked it over and over again in his mind and set it up in new and varied lights
till he wore it threadbare. At last he rose up sighing, and departed in the

About half past nine or ten o’clock he came along the deserted street to where
the Adored Unknown lived; he paused a moment; no sound fell upon his
listening ear; a candle was casting a dull glow upon the curtain of a second-story

Was the sacred presence there? He climbed the fence, threaded his stealthy way
through the plants, till he stood under that window; he looked up at it long, and
with emotion; then he laid him down on the ground under it, disposing himself
upon his back, with his hands clasped upon his breast and holding his poor
wilted flower. And thus he would die-out in the cold world, with no shelter
over his homeless head, no friendly hand to wipe the death-damps from his
brow, no loving face to bend pityingly over him when the great agony came.
And thus she would see him when she looked out upon the glad morning-and
O! would she drop one little tear upon his poor, lifeless form, would she heave
one little sigh to see a bright young life so rudely blighted, so untimely cut
down? The window went up, a maid-servant’s discordant voice profaned the
holy calm, and a deluge of water drenched the prone martyr’s remains!

The strangling hero sprang up with a relieving snort, there was a whiz as of a
missile in the air, mingled with the murmur of a curse, a sound as of shivering
glass followed, and a small, vague form went over the fence and shot away in
the gloom.

Not long after, as Tom, all undressed for bed, was surveying his drenched
garments by the light of a tallow dip, Sid woke up; but if he had any dim idea of
making any “references to allusions,” he thought better of it and held his peace-
for there was danger in Tom’s eye.

Tom turned in without the added vexation of prayers, and Sid made mental note
of the omission.

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