And truly never had the old house seemed so beautiful, so quaint, and peaceful as now. It’s every stone and beam had become familiar and, as he looked, seemed to find an individuality of its own, the very lattices seemed to look back at him, like so many wistful eyes.
Therefore George Bellew, American Citizen, millionaire, traveller, explorer, and—LOVER, sighed as he turned away,—sighed as he strode on through the green and golden morning, and resolutely—looked back no more.
Of the moon’s message to Small Porges, and how he told it to Bellew—in a whisper
Bellew walked on at a good pace with his back turned resolutely towards the House of Dapplemere, and thus, as he swung into that narrow, grassy lane that wound away between trees, he was much surprised to hear a distant hail. Facing sharp about he espied a diminutive figure whose small legs trotted very fast, and whose small fist waved a weather-beaten cap.
Bellew’s first impulse was to turn, and run. But Bellew rarely acted on impulse; therefore, he set down the bulging portmanteau, seated himself upon it, and taking out pipe and tobacco, waited for his pursuer to come up.
“Oh Uncle Porges!” panted a voice, “you did walk so awful fast, an’ I called, an’ called, but you never heard. An’ now, please,—where are you going?”
“Going,” said Bellew, searching through his pockets for a match, “going, my Porges, why—er—for a stroll, to be sure,—just a walk before breakfast, you know.”
“But then—why have you brought your bag?”
“Bag!” repeated Bellew, stooping down to look at it, “why—so—I have!”
“Please—why?” persisted Small Porges, suddenly anxious. “Why did you—bring it?”
“Well, I expect it was to—er—to bear me company. But how is it you are out so very early, my Porges?”
“Why, I couldn’t sleep, last night, you know, ’cause I kept on thinking, and thinking ’bout the fortune. So I got up—in the middle of the night, an’ dressed myself, an’ sat in the big chair by the window, an’ looked at the Money Moon. An’ I stared at it, an’ stared at it till a wonderful thing happened,—an’ what do you s’pose?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well,—all at once, while I stared up at it, the moon changed itself into a great, big face; but I didn’t mind a bit, ’cause it was a very nice sort of face,—rather like a gnome’s face, only without the beard, you know. An’ while I looked at it, it talked to me, an’ it told me a lot of things,—an’ that’s how I know that you are—going away, ’cause you are, you know,—aren’t you?”
“Why, my Porges,” said Bellew, fumbling with his pipe, “why Shipmate, I—since you ask me—I am.”
“Yes, I was ’fraid the moon was right,” said Small Porges, and turned away. But Bellew had seen the stricken look in his eyes, therefore he took Small Porges in the circle of his big arm, and holding him thus, explained to him how that in this great world each of us must walk his appointed way, and that there must, and always will be, partings, but that also there must and always shall be, meetings: