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Hakone is an independent publication launched in December 2023 by Ahmad Ajmi. If you subscribe today, you'll get full access to the website as well as email newsletters about new content when it's available. Your subscription makes this site possible, and allows Hakone to continue to exist. Thank you!

It began to have the lonesome look which a house has when the heart has gone out of it and nobody puts a new heart in. The garden was growing sad and careless. The flowers drooped and pouted, and leaned peevishly against one another.

Only the weeds seemed glad,—as undisturbed weeds do,—and made the most of their holiday to grow tall and impertinent and to crowd their more sensitive neighbors out of their very beds.

But one September day something happened to the old house. A lady and gentleman, a big girl and a little boy, came walking over the slate[2] stones between the rows of sulky flowers. The gentleman, who was tall and thin and pale, opened the front door with a key bearing a huge tag.