Verty continued to gaze toward Redbud, who was gathering flowers.
“How kind and good she is!” he murmured.
And these words were accompanied by a smile of so much tender sincerity, that Fanny relented.
“Yes, she is!” said that young lady; “I’m glad to see that some of your sex, sir, have a little taste. It is not their failing.”
“Anan!” said Verty, smiling.
Fanny laughed; and her good humor began to return completely.
“I know some who are utterly deficient,” she said.
And Verty gazed after Redbud.
Fanny burst out laughing; but then remembering her promise to Redbud, to treat Verty well, and amuse him, checked this exhibition of satirical feeling, and said:
“Your taste, Mr. Verty, is such that I ought to quarrel with it—but I’m not going to;—no, not for fifty thousand worlds! If I have any quarreling to do, it will be with some one else!”
“That coxcomb cousin of mine, Ralph Ashley.”
Verty’s countenance became clouded; it was the second time his rival’s name had been uttered that morning.
“He is a fop,” said Fanny—“a pure, unadulterated, presumptuous and intolerable fop. As I live, there he is coming up the road! Oh, won’t we have fine times—he promised to show me his college album!”
And the impulsive Fanny clapped her hands, and more loudly than ever. Five minutes afterward Mr. Ralph Ashley dismounted at the door of the Bower of Nature.
RALPH MAKES LOVE TO MISS SALLIANNA.
We shall now return to Miss Sallianna, and see what effect the viper tendencies of Mr. Verty had produced upon that young lady.
The hysterics did not last long.. Miss Sallianna had a large and useful assortment of feminine weapons of this description, and was proficient in the use of all—from the embarrassed, simpering laugh and maiden blush, with down-cast eyes, raised suddenly, at times, toward the “beloved object,” then abased again—to the more artistic and effective weapons of female influence, tears, sobs, convulsions, hysterics and the rest. In each and all of these accomplishments was Miss Sallianna versed.
The hysterics, therefore, did not last long; the eyes grew serene again very soon; and contenting herself with a few spiteful looks toward the group in the garden, which glances she accompanied with a determined and vigorous rubbing of her antique nose, Miss Sallianna gently raised her fan, and seeing a cavalier approaching from the town, assumed her habitual air of languishing and meditative grace.
This cavalier was our friend Ralph, who, having deposited Mr. Jinks upon the earth before they emerged from the willows in sight of the Bower of Nature, now came on, laughing, and ready for any adventure which should present itself.