So the merry voices become faint, and the bright sunset slowly wanes away, a rosy flush upon the splendid sky, dragging another day of work or idleness, despair or joy, into oblivion!
Redbud lies and gazes at the noble woods, bathed in that rosy flush and smiles. Then her eyes turn toward a portrait settling into shadow, but lit up with one bright beam—and the dear mother’s eyes shine on her with a tender light, and bless her. And she clasps her hands, and her lips murmur something, and her eyes turn to the western sky again. And evening slowly goes away, leaving the beautiful pure face with evident regret, but lighting up the kind blue eyes, and golden hair, and delicate cheek, with a last vagrant gleam.
So the dim cheerful night came down—the day was dead.
HOURS IN THE OCTOBER WOODS.
In a week Redbud was going about again: slowly, it is true, and taking care not to fatigue herself, but still she was no longer confined to the house.
She rose one morning, and came down with a face full of happy expectation.
That day had been appointed for a holiday in the woods, and Fanny, Verty and Ralph were coming. Soon they came.
Ralph was resplendent in a new suit of silk, which he had procured after numerous directions from our friend Mr. O’Brallaghan; Verty resembled the young forest emperor, which it was his wont to resemble, at least in costume;—and Fanny was clad in the finest and most coquettish little dress conceivable. After mature deliberation, we are inclined to believe that her conquest of Ralph was on this day completed and perfected:—the conduct of that gentleman for some days afterwards having been very suspicious. We need only say, that he sat at his window, gazing moonward—wrote sonnets in a very melancholy strain, and lost much of his ardor and vivacity. These symptoms are sufficient for a diagnosis when one is familiar with the disease, and they were exhibited by Mr. Ralph, on the occasion mentioned. But we anticipate.
The gay party went out in the grove, and wandering about in the brilliant October sunlight, gathered primroses and other autumn flowers, which, making into bunches, they topped with fine slender, palm-like golden rods:—and so, passing on, came to the old glen behind, and just beneath the acclivity which made the western horizon of Apple Orchard.
“Look what a lovely tulip tree!” said Fanny, laughing, “and here is the old lime-kiln—look!”
“I am looking,”—he said.
“You are not!”
“I asked you to look at the old kiln—”
“I prefer your charming face, my heart’s treasure.”
Redbud laughed, and turning her white, tender face, to the dreamy, Verty said:
“Are they not affectionate, Verty?”