I DREAD his knowing.
She was his favorite sister
| Older than he, and very far away.|
| Think of itno one with her at the last!|
| Better delay the telling
such a sorrow
Ah, you remember how he loved our mother!
| And yet, last summer, after she had died|
| He never seemed to take it hard at all.|
| He seemed too much resigned, too much himself.|
| It would have killed him twenty years ago!|| 10|
It is the age they come to. Something goes out,
| Goes mercifully out. I often think|
| They learn to take death as they take their broth,|
| Their daily walk, their game of solitaire.|
And you and I, sister? Already youth
| Slips far and far behind us. Shall we, too
|Second Daughter [Tearfully]|
How can you say it? How can you say it? Oh!
Here comes old Nurse Lucretia up the street,
| Heavy with her dull robes, and hurrying|
| To be the first to bear the word to him.|| 20|
Sign to her, wave her away, wave her away!
| He has seen her close so many dead eyes!|
|First Daughter No,|
| She has passed along, she was not coming in.|
Hush, he may hear!
|First Daughter His mind is on his paper.|
Make some good reason, take the paper from him
| Before he reads
the names. Who knows but hers|
| Might be already there?|
|First Daughter It is too late.|| 30|
| His finger finds the column.|
|The Old Man [Calling] Here! See here!|
| Why, Adelaide is dead! My sister Adelaide!|
O father, father!
|The Old Man I suppose its true.|| 35|
A letter came. Now read it, deary, read it.
|The Old Man|
No, let it wait. So Adelaide is dead!
| Well, she was restlessgo and go she must,|
| First to this place, then that place, till at last|
| She settled in Nevada. As for me,|| 40|
| Here I am still, and I shall count my hundred.|
| Well, well, well, well, so Adelaide is dead!|