to abandon my task and plung into th narby brook. I longd orth luxury o on hour, on minut, that ndd nothing don.And mor than anything, I wishd John Prscott would nallyask or my hand in marriag.I was truly wrtchd. And I knw it. But th problm lay in mypast. I had bn such a mk, dutiul, obdint child that popl had
grown to xpct nothing lss rom m. Th wight o my unblmishdpast bor down upon my conscinc unmrciully. What i today wrth day whn my scrt thoughts bcam known? What i today wr
th day whn th town ound out how wickd I truly was?
Would that I wr lik Mary, who had bn a hllion and constant thorn in my parnts’ fsh. Anything might b xpctd rom hr. And
th last bit o goodnss was caus or prais. I, howvr, was rlycitd as an xampl o th godly woman vry young girl wishd tob. excpt that somtims, I did not want to b that woman at all.I only I could tll on prson what darknss lurkd insid . . .thn at last I might b abl to contain it. And who but Mary wouldbttr undrstand?Grandathr.My grandathr would hav undrstood. I could tll him any-
thing . . . could have told him anything. For a minister he was
uncommonly undrstanding. But w had lt him bhind whn wmovd rom Boston.A droplt o swat slid bnath th collar o my shit, and thncontinud btwn my brasts on its journy to dampn th waist-
band of my skirt. I might have removed my hat, leaving only the
linn coi covring my hairs to shltr m rom th sun, but it would
not hav bn modst. Yt prhaps I could admit to just on thing.“I would giv anything to rmov my hat or a momnt.”Mary pausd in hr picking to look at m. “Anything? evn tak-ing on th wk’s ironing? Twic in succssion?”I shruggd. I should nvr hav admittd such a thing.Quitly, sotly, sh bgan to hum a hymn.
My ys litd rom th brry cans as I lookd at my companions