« PoprzedniaDalej »
ness and loveliness of the time. “ That's the beauty of it, I think. There is such a worldful, and you never know what you may be coming to next !”
“ Well, this is our last — of the mountains. We go on Tuesday.”
"It is n't your last of us, though, or of what we want of you,” rejoined Sin Saxon. “We must have the tableaux for Monday. We can't do without you in Robin Gray, or Consolation. And about Tuesday, — it's only your own making up of minds. You have n't written, have you? They don't expect you? When a week 's broken in upon, like a dollar, the rest is of no account. And there 'll be sure to be something doing, so many are going the week after.”
“ We shall have letters to-night,” said Susan. “ But I think we must go on Tuesday.”
Everybody had letters that night. The mail was in early, and Captain Green came up from the post-office as the Minster party was alighting from the wagons. He gave Dakie Thayne the bag. It was Dakie's delight to distribute, calling out the fortunate names as the expectant group pressed around him, like people waiting the issue of a lottery-venture.
“ Mrs. Linceford, Miss Goldthwaite, Mrs. Linceford, Mrs. Lince-ford ! Master — hm ! Thayne,” and he pocketed a big one like a despatch. “ Captain Jotham Green. Where is he? Here, Captain Green ; you and I have got the biggest, if Mrs. Linceford does get the most. I believe she tells her friends to write in bits, and put one letter into three or four envelopes. When I was a very little boy, I used to get a dollar changed into a hundred coppers, and feel ever so much richer.”
** That boy's forwardness is getting insufferable !” exclaimed Mrs. Thoresby, sitting apart, with two or three others, who had not joined the group about Dakie Thayne. “And why Captain Green should give him the bag always, I can't understand. It is growing to be a positive nuisance."
Nobody out of the Thoresby clique thought it so. They had a merry time together, —" you and I and the post,” as Dakie said. But then, between you and me and that confidential personage, Mrs. Thoresby and her daughters had n't very many letters.
“ That is all,” said Dakie, shaking the bag. “ They 're only for the very good, to-night.” He was not saucy: he was only brimming-over glad. He knew " Noll's ” square handwriting, and his big envelopes.
There was great news to-night at the Cottage. They were to have a hero - perhaps two or three - among them. General Ingleside and friends were coming, early in the week, the Captain told them with expansive face. There are a great many generals and a great many heroes now. This man had been a hero beside Sheridan, and under Sherman. Colonel Ingleside he was at Stone River and Chattanooga, leading a brave Western regiment in desperate, magnificent charges, whose daring helped to turn that terrible point of the war and made his fame.
But Leslie, though her heart stirred at the thought of a real, great commander fresh from the field, had her own news that half neutralized the exVOL. II. — NO. XI.
citement of the other. Cousin Delight was coming, to share her room with her for the last fortnight.
The Josselyns got their letters. Aunt Lucy was staying on. Aunt Lucy's husband had gone away to preach for three Sundays for a parish where he had a prospect of a call. Mrs. Josselyn could not leave home immediately, therefore, although the girls should return; and their room was the airiest for Aunt Lucy. There was no reason why they should not prolong their holiday if they chose, and they might hardly ever get away to the mountains again. More than all, Uncle David was off once more for China and Japan, and had given his sister two more fifties, — "for what did a sailor want of greenbacks after he got afloat?” It was a “clover summer” for the Josselyns. Uncle David and his fifties would n't be back among them for two years or more. They must make the most of it.
Sin Saxon sat up late, writing this letter to her mother.
“ DARLING MAMMA: –
“I've just begun to find out really what to do here. Cream does n't always rise to the top. You remember the Josselyns, our quiet neighbors in town, that lived in the little house in the old-fashioned block opposite, - Sue Josselyn, Effie's schoolmate? And how they used to tell me stories, and keep me to nursery-tea? Well, they 're the cream, — they and Miss Craydocke. Sue has been in the hospitals, — two years, mamma ! — while I 've been learning nocturnes, and going to Germans. And Martha has been at home, sewing her face sharp; and they're here now to get rounded out. Well, now, mamma, I want so -- a real dish of mountains and cream, if you ever heard of such a thing! I want to take a wagon, and invite a party as I did my little one to Minster Rock, and go through the hills, — be gone as many days as you will send me money for. And I want you to take the money from that particular little corner of your purse where my carpet and wall-paper and curtains, that were to new-furnish my room on my leaving school, are metaphorically rolled up. There 's plenty there, you know; for you promised me my choice of everything, and I had fixed on that lovely pearl-gray paper at — 's, with the ivy and holly pattern, and the ivy and scarlet-geranium carpet that was such a match. I 'll have something cheaper, or nothing at all, and thank you unutterably, if you 'll only let me have my way in this. It will do me so much good, mamma! More than you 've the least idea of. People can do without French paper and Brussels carpets, but everybody has a right to mountain and sea and cloud glory, — only they don't half of them get it, and perhaps that's the other half 's look-out!
“I know you 'll understand me, mamma, particularly when I talk sense ; for you always understood my nonsense when nobody else did. And I'm going to do your faith and discrimination credit yet.
“Your bad child, — with just a small, hidden savor of grace in her, being your child. ASENATH SAXON."
Author of “ Faith Gartney's Girlhood.”
THE GIRL AND THE GLEANER.
THAT poor little miserable bird
art thou ? asy Where is thy home? Does some
old oak-bough, Some hole in the wall, some crevice
narrow, Serve as a home for thee, poor spar
I cannot but laugh to see with what pains
“ Laugh away in your pride, laugh away;
What do you think I care ? Call me a beggar you may,
But I 'm a bird of the air. Think you I'd a prisoner be? No; liberty is life to me.
“Do you suppose that your foreign birds
Prefer with you to stay?
I 'll warrant they'd fly away.
“A nest, to be sure, in a tree
Is the only home I know;
And you would not pity me so
“ And if I do have to fly
The fields and gardens o'er
I enjoy it all the more.
Maria S. Cummins.