"All aboard!" shouted the conductor.
With a shrill scream the locomotive started.
Frank and his mother stood on the platform watching the receding train till it was quite out of sight, and then in silence our young hero assisted his mother into the carryall and turned the horse's head homeward.
It was one of those quiet October mornings, when the air is soft and balmy as if a June day had found its way by mistake into the heart of autumn. The road wound partly through the woods. The leaves were still green and abundant. Only one or two showed signs of the coming change, which in the course of a few weeks must leave them bare and leafless.
"What a beautiful day!" said Frank, speaking the words almost unconsciously.
"Beautiful indeed!" responded his mother. "On such a day as this the world seems too lovely for war and warlike passions to be permitted to enter it. When men might be so happy, why need they stain their hands with each other's blood?"
Frank was unprepared for an answer. He knew that it was his father's departure which led his mother to speak thus. He wished to divert her mind, if possible.
Circumstances favored his design.