And Miss Sallianna looked dignified and ladylike.
“Fanny in love with him,” said Ralph, reflecting.
“Look through the window,” said Miss Sallianna, smiling.
Ralph obeyed, and beheld Verty and Fanny sitting on a knoll, in the merriest conversation;—that is to say, Fanny was thus talking. Young ladies always begin to converse very loud when visitors arrive—for what reason has not yet been discovered. Verty’s absent look in the direction of Fanny’s face might very well have been considered the stare of a lover.
“Do you doubt any longer?”
“Then, Mr. Ashley—”
“In future you will—”
“Care nothing for—”
“Who seems to me the concentration of folly and everything of that description—no, madam! In future I will carefully avoid her!”
And with this ambiguous speech, Mr. Ralph rose, begged Miss Sallianna to excuse him for a short time, and making her a low and devoted bow, took his way into the garden, and toward the spot where Fanny and Verty were sitting.
VERTY STATES HIS PRIVATE OPINION OF MISS SALLIANNA.
Fanny complimented Mr. Ralph Ashley with a very indifferent bow, and went on talking with, or rather to, her companion Verty.
Ralph tried to laugh at this; but not succeeding very well, came suddenly to the very rational conclusion that something unusual was going on in his breast. He had never before failed to utter the most contagious laughter, when he attempted the performance—what could the rather faint sound which now issued from his lips be occasioned by?
Puzzled, and at his philosophy’s end, Ralph began to grow dignified; when, luckily, Redbud approached.
The young girl greeted him with one of her kind smiles, and there was so much light and joy in her face, that Ralph’s brow cleared up.
They began to converse.
The chapter of accidents, whereof was author that distinguished inventor of fiction, Miss Sallianna, promised to make the present interview exceedingly piquant and fruitful in entertaining misunderstanding; for the reader will observe the situation of the parties. Miss Sallianna had persuaded Verty that Redbud was in love with Ralph; and, in the second place, had assured Ralph, a few moments before, that Fanny was in love with Verty.
Redbud was clinching Verty’s doubts by smiling sweetly on Ralph;—Fanny was causing dreadful jealousy and conviction of his misfortune in Ralph, by making herself agreeable to Verty.
The schemes of the great Amazonian General, Sallianna, seemed to be crowned with complete success; and, doubtless, all would have turned out as she desired, but for one of those trivial circumstances which overturn the most carefully matured conceptions of the greatest intellects.