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"Some of these briars still were there, or perhaps some of their descendants, straggling weakly among the nettles, and mullein, and other wild stuff, but making all together a pretty good screen, through which I could get a safe side-view of the bottom of the timber gangway.

There are many of the city's glories and conveniences lacking here on Mullein Hill, but Mullein Hill has some of the necessities that are lacking in the city wide distances and silent places, and woods and stumps where you can sit down and feel that you are greater than anything in sight. In the city the buildings are too vast; the people are too many.

The machinery of orders had rooted these soldiers deeply into the mud, precisely as almighty nature roots mullein stalks. They listened and speculated when a tumult of fighting came from the dim town across the river. When the noise lulled for a time they resumed their descriptions of the mud and graphically exaggerated the number of hours they had been kept waiting.

Here we have stayed even through the winters, exempt from public benefits, blessing ourselves, every time it snows on Saturday, that we are here and not there for our week ends, here within the "tumultuous privacy" of the storm and our own roaring fireplace, with our own apples and popcorn and books and selves; and when it snows on Monday wishing the weather would always temper itself and time itself to the peculiar needs of Mullein Hill its length of back country road and automobile.

At first she thought to leave it on the wayside and she had put it down in the snow, and standing a little distance off had thrown mullein stalks at it, but something in the way the little bundle lay covered in the snow appealed to the mother's heart. She picked it up and went on. "Somewhere," she murmured, "I shall find a door of kindness open to it."

A frog was leaping along the open space about the rude step at Augusta's feet. A clump of mullein leaves, silvered by the light, spangled by the dew, hid him presently.

Was this not true? As if in answer to my question, as if to explain his coming out to Mullein Hill, the Pilgrim drew forth a folded sheet of paper from his pocket and without opening it or looking at it, said: "I wrote it the other day beside Thoreau's grave. You love your Thoreau you will understand." The chanting voice died away and the woods were still.

A wild heath, whistled over by October blasts, meagrely adorned with the dry stalks of scented shrubs and the bald heads of the sapless mullein, was succeeded by a fenced field and a corn-stack. The dwelling to which these belonged was eagerly sought. I was not surprised that all voices were still and all lights extinguished, for this was the hour of repose.

He stooped to the bright little stream and filled his rural goblet several times. "I never knew what it was to have a fairy for my cup-bearer before," said he. "That was better than anything Bordeaux or Xeres ever sent forth." He seemed to have swallowed his seriousness, or thrown it away with the mullein leaf. It was quite gone. "This is the best spring in all grandpa's ground," said Fleda.

Leafing Day is one of the days in red on the Mullein Hill Calendar; and of all our days in the woods surely none of them is fresher, more fragrant, more joyous, and fuller of poetry than the day we go to rake and sack and bring home the leaves for the pig. You never went after leaves for the pigs? Perhaps you never even had a pig.