The Weary Watcher





Before the opening of the great bridge sent commerce rattling up

Washington Street in Brooklyn that thoroughfare was a shaded and

beautiful avenue, and among the houses that attested its respectability

was one, between Tillary and Concord Streets, that was long declared to

be haunted. A man and his wife dwelt there who seemed to be fondly

attached to each other, and whose love should have been the stronger

because of their three children none grew to years. A mutual sorrow is as

close a tie as a common affection. One day, while on a visit to a friend,

the wife saw her husband drive by in a carriage with a showy woman beside

him. She went home at once, and when the supposed recreant returned she

met him with bitter reproaches. He answered never a word, but took his

hat and left the house, never to be seen again in the places that had

known him.



The wife watched and waited, daily looking for his return, but days

lengthened into weeks, months, years, and still he came not. Sometimes

she lamented that she had spoken hastily and harshly, thinking that, had

she known all, she might have found him blameless. There was no family to

look after, no wholesome occupation that she sought, so the days went by

in listening and watching, until, at last, her body and mind gave way,

and the familiar sight of her face, watching from a second floor window,

was seen no longer. Her last day came. She had risen from her bed; life

and mind seemed for a moment to be restored to her; and standing where

she had stood so often, her form supported by a half-closed shutter and a

grasp on the sash, she looked into the street once more, sighed

hopelessly, and so died. It was her shade that long watched at the

windows; it was her waxen face, heavy with fatigue and pain, that was

dimly seen looking over the balusters in the evening.





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