Published in Six Common Things, 1893
(First read 21/07/2014)
The sight of some very familiar object, observed again even half unconsciously after some great change has happened, is full of a pathos almost unbearable.Unidentified Narrator recalls the occasion, many years ago, of his wife's death in childbirth. He remembers the game of croquet they'd been playing shortly before this double life-changing event, and goes in search of the 'familiar object' ~ a croquet ball shunted off into the bushes: there it still lies, decades later.
An exquisitely sad vignette, simultaneously shot through with quiet bitterness and quiet joy. I had a terrific sensation of déjà vu all through this: I'm fairly sure EFB recycled the exact same motif in a later piece of work ~ number one suspect was The Book of Months (1903) but I've not been able to find it so it may have been in something else, or I may be mistaken. For the continuation see A Winter Morning, also in Six Common Things.
You can read it online here.