1 Another wild thought tore through him.
2 "It's like being in an exhausted receiver," he thought.
3 "She'll be rocking in it herself this time to-morrow," Ethan thought.
4 The girl was more than the bright serviceable creature he had thought her.
5 "It's natural enough you should be leaving us" he floundered on, following his thought.
6 Now he thought she understood him, and feared; now he was sure she did not, and despaired.
7 But the thought of a definite rupture had never come to him, and even now could not lodge itself in his mind.
8 He had often thought since that it would not have happened if his mother had died in spring instead of winter.
9 Watching Mattie whirl down the floor from hand to hand he wondered how he could ever have thought that his dull talk interested her.
10 The sudden heat of his tone made her colour mount again, not with a rush, but gradually, delicately, like the reflection of a thought stealing slowly across her heart.
11 Ethan tried to say something befitting the occasion, but there was only one thought in his mind: the fact that, for the first time since Mattie had come to live with them, Zeena was to be away for a night.
12 When the end came it was she who had to tell him to hitch up and go for the undertaker, and she thought it "funny" that he had not settled beforehand who was to have his mother's clothes and the sewing-machine.
13 It pleased Ethan to have surprised a pair of lovers on the spot where he and Mattie had stood with such a thirst for each other in their hearts; but he felt a pang at the thought that these two need not hide their happiness.
14 He thought that by starting out again with the lumber as soon as he had finished his dinner he might get back to the farm with the glue before Jotham and the old sorrel had had time to fetch Zenobia from the Flats; but he knew the chance was a slight one.
15 Mattie Silver came from Stamford, and when she entered the Fromes' household to act as her cousin Zeena's aid it was thought best, as she came without pay, not to let her feel too sharp a contrast between the life she had left and the isolation of a Starkfield farm.
16 He even noticed two or three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him: a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when anything charmed or moved her.
17 Four or five years earlier he had taken a year's course at a technological college at Worcester, and dabbled in the laboratory with a friendly professor of physics; and the images supplied by that experience still cropped up, at unexpected moments, through the totally different associations of thought in which he had since been living.
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