There are a number of things that are pleasanter than being sick in a New York boarding-house when one's nearest dearest is a married sister up in faraway Michigan. Some one must have been very kind, for there were doctors, and a blue-and-white striped nurse, and bottles and things. There was even a vase of perky carnations -- scarlet ones. I discovered that they had a trick of nodding their heads, saucily. The discovery did not appear to surprise me. "Howdy-do!" said I aloud to the fattest and reddest carnation that overtopped all the rest. "How in the world did you get in here?"
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CHAPTER III GOOD AS NEW OO Spring danced away, and Summer saun- tered in. My pillows looked less and less tempting. The wine of the northern air imparted a cocky assurance. One blue-and-gold day followed the other, and I spent hours together out of doors in the sunshine, lying full length on the warm, sweet ground, to the horror; of the entire neighborhood. To be sure, I was sufficiently discreet to choose the lawn at the rear of the house. There I drank in the atmosphere, as per doctor's instructions, while the genial sun warmed the watery blood in my veins and burned the skin off the end of my nose. All my life I had envied the loungers in the parks those silent, inert figures that lie under the trees all the long summer day, their shabby; hats over their faces, their hands clasped above their heads, legs sprawled in uncouth comfort, while the sun dapples down between the leaves and, like a good fairy godmother, touches their frayed and wrirfkled garments with flickering figures of golden splendor, while they sleep. They always seemed so blissfully care-free and at ease those sprawling men figures and I, x whom such simple joys were forbidden, being a woman, had envied them. Now I was reveling in that very joy, stretched prone upon the ground, blinking sleepily up at the sun and the cobalt sky, feeling my rery hair grow, and health returning in warm, electric waves. I even dared to cross one leg over the other and to swing the pendant member with nonchalant air, first taking a cautious survey of the neighboring back windows to see if any one peeked. Doubtless they did, behind those ruffled curtains, but I grew splendidly indifferent. Even the crawling things and there were myriads of them added to the enjoyment of my ease. With my ear so close to the ground...