It was the autumn of the year, and the dress of the Canadian woods at that season, forty years ago, differed little from the gaudy garbs of now. Near a small village not far from the town of Little York, I choose as the place for the opening of this true story. The maple, of all the trees in the forest, was the only one so far frost-smitten and sun-struck.

Indeed the little boy fairly blinked as he looked at the sparkling beauty of those pages where the blossoms were to live on, through the centuries, bright and beautiful and unharmed by wind or rain or the driving snow, that even then was covering up all the bare frost-smitten meadows without.

"No; I'll let him have that pleasure, after the fact if we can get him pardoned out before you go back East." She was silent so long that he stole another sidewise look between his snubbings of the brake-pedal. Her face was white and still, like the face of one suddenly frost-smitten, and he was instantly self-reproachful. "Don't look that way," he begged.

Around him the frost-smitten aspens were shivering in the wind, their sparse leaves dangling like coins of red-and-yellow gold, and all the billowing land below, to the west, was iridescent with green and flame-color and crimson. A voiceless regret, a dim, wide-reaching, wistful sadness came over him, but did not shake his resolution.