They wanted to ask a question, but they dared not -- wanted to ask a hundred ques- tions. But back of the gentleness was a hauteur, and they were still.
"Tell me," she said, breaking her reverie, "of what your husbands do. Are they carpenters? Do they build houses for men, like the blessed Jesus? Or are they tillers of the soil? Do they bring fruits out of this bountiful valley?"
They answered, with a reservation of ap- proval. "The blessed Jesus!" It sounded like popery.
She had gone from these brief personal matters to other things.
"How very strong you people seem," she had remarked. "Both your men and your women are large and strong. You should be, being appointed to subdue a continent. Men think they choose their destinies, but indeed, good neighbors, I think not so. Men are driven by the winds of God's will. They are as much bidden to build up this valley, this storehouse for the nations, as coral insects are bidden to make the reefs with their own little bodies, dying as they build. Is it not so?"
"We are the creatures of God's will, I suppose," said one of her visitors, piously.
She had given them little confidences in return.
"I make my bread," she said, with child- ish pride, "pray see if you do not think it excellent!" And she cut a flaky loaf to dis- play its whiteness. One guest summoned the bravado to inquire, --