my way leisurely down towards the bridge, whittling at the stick and thinking of what I should say to Mr. Etheridge when I met him. And now for Fate’s final and most fatal touch! Nothing which came into my mind struck me quite favourably. The encounter which seemed such a very simple matter when I first contemplated it, began to assume quite a different aspect as the moment for it approached. By the time I had come abreast of the Hollow, I was tired of the whole business, and hearing his whistle and knowing by it that he was very near, I plunged up the slope to avoid him, and hurried straight away into town. That is my story, father. If I heard your steps approaching as I plunged across the path into which I had thrown the stick in my anger at having broken the point of my knife-blade upon it, I thought nothing of them then. Afterwards I believed them to be Scoville’s, which may account to you for my silence about this wholr both before and during the trial. I was afraid of the witness-stand and of what might be elicited from me if I once got into the hands of the lawyers. My abominable reticence in nike air max shoes regard to his former crime would be brought up against me, and I was yet too young, too shy and uninformed t nike air max women o face such an ordeal of my own volition. Unhappily, I was not forced into it, and — But we will not talk of that, father.” “Son,”— a long silence had intervened,—“there is one thing more. When — how — did you first learn my real reason for sending you from home? women nike air max I saw that my position was understood by you when our eyes first met in this room. But twelve years had passed since you left this house in ignorance of all but my unnatural attitude towards you. When, Oliver, when?” “That I nike air max 87 cannot answer, father; it was just a conviction which dawned gradually upon me. Now, it seems as if I had known it always; but that isn’t so. A boy doesn’t nike air max 2003 reason; and it took reasoning for me to — to accept —” “Yes, I understand. And that was your secret! Oh, Oliver, I shall never ask women nike air max for your forgiveness. I am not worthy it. I only ask that you will not let pride or any other evil passion stand in the way of the happiness I see in the future for you. I cannot take from you the shame of my crime and long deception, but spare me this final sorrow! There is nothing to part you from Reuther now. Alike unhappy in your parentage, you can start on equal terms, and love will do the rest. Say that you will marry her, Oliver, and let me see her smile before I die.” “Marry her? Oh, father, will such an angel marry me?” “No, but such a wo nike air max tn man might.” Oliver came near, and nike air max 97 stooped over his father’s bed. “Father, if love and attention to my profession can make a success of the life you prize, they shall have their opportunity.” The father smiled. If it fell to others to remember him as he appeared in his mysterious prime, to Oliver it was given to recall him as he looked then with the light on his face and the last tear he was ever to shed glittering in his fading eye. “God is good,” came from the bed; then the s nike air max womens olemnity of death settled over the room. The soft footfalls overhead ceased. The long hush had brought the two women to the door where they stood sobbing. Oliver was on Air Max 2011 his knees beside the bed, his head buried in his arms. On the face so near him there rested a ray from the westering sun; but the glitter was gone from the eye and the unrest from the heart. No more weary vigils in a room dedicated td self~punishment. No more weary circling of the house in the dark lane whose fences barred out the hurrying figure within from every eye but that of Heaven. Peace for him; and for Reuther and Oliver, hope! The End Chapter 1 The Men of Kent Sometimes I am rewarded for fretting myself so much about present matters by a quite unasked-for pleasant dream. I mean when I am asleep. This dream is as it were a present of an architectural peep-show. I see some beautiful and noble building new made, as it were for the occasion, as clearly as if I were awake; not vaguely or absurdly, as often happens in dreams, but with all the detail clear and reasonable. Some Elizabethan house with its scrap of earlier fourteenth-century building, and its later degradations of Queen Anne and Silly Billy and Victoria, marring but not destroying it, in an old village once a clearing amid the sandy woodlands of Sussex. Or an old and unusually curious church, much churchwardened, and beside it a fragment of fifteenth-century domestic architecture amongst the not unpicturesque lath and plaster of an Essex farm, and looking natural enough among the sleepy elms and the meditative hens scratching about in the litter of the farmyard, whose trodden yellow straw comes up to the very jambs of the richly carved Norman doorway of the church. Or sometimes ’tis a splendid collegiate church, untouched by restoring parson and architect, standing amid an island of shapely trees and flower-beset cottages of thatched grey stone and cob, amidst the narrow stretch of bright green water-meadows that wind between the sweeping Wiltshire downs, so well beloved of William Cobbett. Or new-seen and yet familiar cluster of houses in a grey village of the upper Thames ov cheap air max 1 ertopped by the delicate tracery of a fourteenth-century church; or even sometimes the very buildings of the past untouched by the degradation of the sordid utilitarianism that cares not and knows not of beauty and history: as once, when I was journeying (in a dream of the night) down the well-remembered reaches of the Thames betwixt Streatley and Wallingford, where the foothills of the White Horse fall back from the broad stream, I came upon a clear-seen mediaeval town standing up with roof and tower and spire within its walls, grey and ancient, but untouched from the days of its builders of old. All this I have seen in the dreams of the night clearer than I can force myself to see them in dreams of the day. So that it would have been nothing new to me the other night to fall into an architectural dream if that were all, and yet I have to tell of things strange and new that befell me after I had fallen asleep. I had begun my sojourn in the Land of Nod by a very confused attempt to conclude that it was all right for me to have an engagement to lecture at Manchester