from the Collection «The Voice of the City»
Ravenel, a traveler, artist, and poet, was frustrated with the lack of romance in modern literature. He discussed this with his friend Sammy Brown, a broker's clerk, who often visited Ravenel's apartment. One day, while looking out the window at the garden of an old mansion next door, Ravenel saw a beautiful young woman. He was instantly smitten and believed that romance had returned to his life.
Romance is dead, said Ravenel, lightly. When Ravenel spoke lightly he was generally serious.
The next day, Ravenel noticed four roses in the young woman's window and a nutmeg geranium plant. He interpreted this as a message from her, inspired by his poem "The Four Roses." He believed that she was signaling her desire for a meeting. Ravenel was excited about the prospect of a romantic encounter and began planning how to make it happen.
One rose I twined within your hair — (White rose, that spake of worth); And one you placed upon your breast — (Red rose, love's seal of birth).
Sammy Brown visited again and revealed that he was engaged to the young woman, Edith, who lived in the old mansion. He explained that they had a secret system of communication using roses and geraniums to signal when and where they would meet. Sammy's revelation shattered Ravenel's romantic fantasies, as he realized that the flowers in the window were not meant for him but for his friend.