Emily's Quest

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"JUNE 15, 19—

"I picked strawberries on the banks of Blair Water this afternoon among the windy, sweet-smelling grasses. I love picking strawberries. The occupation has in it something of perpetual youth. The gods might have picked strawberries on high Olympus without injuring their dignity. A queen—or a poet—might stoop to it; a beggar has the privilege.

"And to-night I've been sitting here in my dear old room, with my dear books and dear pictures and dear little window of the kinky panes, dreaming in the soft, odorous summer twilight, while the robins are calling to each other in Lofty John's bush and the poplars are talking eerily of old, forgotten things.

"After all, it's not a bad old world—and the folks in it are not half bad either. Even Emily Byrd Star is decent in spots. Not altogether the false, fickle, ungrateful perversity she thinks she is in the wee sma's—not altogether the friendless, forgotten maiden she imagines she is on white nights—not altogether the failure she supposes bitterly when three MSS. are rejected in succession. And not altogether the coward she feels herself to be when she thinks of Frederick Kent's coming to Blair Water in July."

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