Green Fields and Foreign Faring 35
qualify my reference to lambs, remembering well the singularly
ungentle lamb which later became a pet also in the family.
In those country days before the advent of the motor, the
woods and lanes of New Jersey were safe haunts for happy
childhood, and we were given much liberty, and, accompanied
by our two little cousins from Savannah, John and Maud Elliott,
who spent those two summers with us, having suffered greatly
from the devastating war, we roamed at will, leading or riding our pony, playing endless games, or making believe we were Indians-always responsive to some story of Theodore's which seemed to cast a glamour around our environment.
I can still feel the somewhat uncanny thrill with which I received the suggestion that a large reddish stain on a rock in the woods near by was the blood of a white girl, lately killed by the chief of the Indian tribe, to which through many mysterious rites we were supposed to belong. I remember enticing there in the twilight our very Hibernian kitchen-maid, and taking delight in her shrieks of terror at the sight of the so-called blood.
My brother always felt in later years, and carried the feeling into practice with his own children, that liberty in the summer-time, for a certain period at least, stimulated greatly the imagination of a child. To rove unhampered, to people the surroundings with one's own creations, to watch the habits of the feathered or furry creatures, and insensibly to react to the beauty of wood and wind and water-all this leaves an indelible impression on the malleable nature of a young child, and we five happy cousins, in spite of Theodore's constant delicacy, were allowed this wonderful freedom to assimilate what nature had to give.
I never once remember that we came to the "grown people" with that often-heard question "What shall we do next?" The days never seemed long enough, the hours flew on golden wings. Often there would be days of suffering for my brother, even in the soft summer weather, but not as acute as in the winter-time,