As she wrote the name of the village she laughed, "He'll never know where that is, anyhow," and pushed the picture well down in one of the socks. Then she pulled it out again, the sock she had inadvertently chosen had a white stripe. She didn't like small men. Then she pushed it into one bearing the red stripe, and, folding the parcel carefully, jumped into bed. All that night she dreamed of grey socks, with red stripes, worn by men surrounded by smoke. She could only see their forms, but in one sock she could see a flat form, as if there was a card inside, and she knew this man was wearing her photograph inside his sock, and something told her he had never found it. When she awoke in the morning she laughed at her dream and chided herself vigorously for being so foolish. "I'll take that thing out the very minute after breakfast," she resolved; "I must have been crazy." But her mother sent her on an errand that morning and when she came back the parcel in her bedroom was gone. "Mother," she inquired, "what did you do with the soldiers' socks in my room?" "I took them up to Mrs. Hammond's, she wants to send the box to St. John's to-morrow; she was packing it when I got there and put yours right in. She said she needn't open your socks, they were always right."
It was some weeks later when word went round that the stuff had come for the Newfoundland boys. "Not any too soon, Bob, for the socks you're to get. Yours are bad enough now." "Well, sure, 'tis well off I'll be to-morrow with a new pair of them beauties." The next day every boy had fresh clothing and good new socks. True to his promise the Quartermaster made good Bob's loss, and also replaced the pair given to Jack. Late that night, as he sat in his dugout. Bob drew from his kit bag two pairs of grey socks. In one of them there was a flat card. "A billy doo," said Bob with a chuckle, and drew out a small photograph. A girl's sweet eyes smiled right into his, and her laughing lips seemed to say, "How do you do?" Bob looked at the picture again and again. The face was familiar, but nowhere could he place her. She was surely a stranger but certainly a friend, for it was only a friend that could look at him and say, "How do you do" in so sweet a manner. Bob had a foolish wish to kiss the half-parted lips. Certainly the girl's picture had bewitched him. He raised the card half to his lips, and then suddenly lowered it – the eyes had changed suddenly and were looking reproachful, and the lips had ceased saying "How do you do?" "Bob, your sure daft," he said to himself, and then turned the card over.
Seven years later two tiny tots played in the attic of the Within household. The elder, a lusty boy, dragged from a dusty corner an old kit bag and began to pull out the contents. "Fader's soldiers' clothes; put 'em on, Jackie," the small blue-eyed maiden counselled. Jackie tried but failed, then gathered all in his arms and descended the stairs. "Mudder, put daddy's clothes on me," he demanded as he entered the kitchen. "Bless the child, what next! Where did you get those clothes?" As the boy crossed the floor he dropped from the bundle a pair of much worn grey socks. His father stooped and picked them up. "Here, young man, you ought to take more care of things; you've dropped the most valuable article of the lot." "No, them's old, old." The child shook his head in rejection. "But they're the most valuable in the lot for all that," announced his father. His mother's flushed countenance caught his eye and he paused in his manipulations of the old khaki coat and looked wonderfully. "Bob, put them in the stove," she remonstrated; "I'm ashamed." "You needn't be, sweetheart," and still holding the old grey socks Bob tenderly stooped and kissed her.
Not only at Government House were busy fingers at work; the grey socks were inevitable wherever one went, they were found on table or work basket in every house, both in parlour and kitchen. They were found at bridge tables; dummy knitted while her partner played the hand. They accompanied the worker to committee meetings and social calls. Knitting parties became the fashion, and they have even been seen in the theatre, and now some knit them even on Sundays. A pair of grey socks is a never-failing source of conversation. The different qualities of the wool, the various shapes of the heels, the many ways of narrowing the toes, the numbers of pairs accomplished, and above everything, the excellencies and discrepancies of our neighbour's knitting. They are a bond of unity between rich and poor, high and low, between all mothers who have sons at the war, between all women who knit. The grey sock has become the tie that binds.
FACTS AND FANCIES.
LOVINGLY DEDICATED TO THE BOYS
By MRS. T. J. DULEY.