Mary's Neck

Mary's Neck

Mary's Neck

Mary's Neck

Excerpt

The middle-aged stranger whom I met by chance upon the lower rocks at Mary's Neck, that salt-washed promontory of the New England coast, was at first taciturn but became voluble when a little conversation developed the fact that we were both from the Midland country. We were indulging in the unexciting pastime of fishing for rock-cod, and the reason for his taciturnity, he explained, was that he had mistaken me for a native of Mary's Neck; and, when I informed him that nothing was more unlikely than that a native would be fishing for rock-cod, he expressed astonishment that I, a fellow- Midlander, should seem to know anything about what a native would or would not do.

It was certainly a relief, he said, to meet a fellowbeing from the Middle West--from "back home" was the way he put it--and I was the first person he could really talk to that he had encountered since his recent arrival at Mary's Neck. He had been through a great deal in that short time, he told me, and he shook his head ruefully; then, with the confidential trustfulness that one Midlander on foreign soil nearly always reposes in another, he began straightway to tell me all about his troubles. We ceased to annoy the rock-cod with murder, sat upon a ledge over the salty sea-weed that heaved and . . .

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