Barriers Burned Awayby Edward Payson Roe
From its long sweep over the unbroken prairie a heavier blast than usual shook the slight frame house. The windows rattled in the casements, as if shivering in their dumb way in the December storm. So open and defective was the dwelling in its construction, that eddying currents of cold air found admittance at various points-in some instances carrying with them particles of the fine, sharp, hail-like snow that the gale was driving before it in blinding fury.
Seated at one of the windows, peering out into the gathering gloom of the swiftly coming night, was a pale, faded woman with lustrous dark eyes. An anxious light shone from them, as she tried in vain to catch a glimpse of the darkening road that ran at a distance of about fifty yards from the house. As the furious blast shook the frail tenement, and circled round her in chilly currents from many a crack and crevice, she gave a short, hacking cough, and drew a thin shawl closer about her slight frame.
The unwonted violence of the wind had its effect upon another occupant of the room. From a bed in the corner near the stove came a feeble, hollow voice-"Wife!"
In a moment the woman was bending over the bed, and in a voice full of patient tenderness answered, "Well, dear?"
"Has he come?"
"Not yet; but he MUST be here soon."
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