They gazed with quiet pleasure upon the lovely landscape, and listened to the negroes as they sang their old, rude, touching madrigals, shouting, at times, to the horses of their teams, and not seldom sending on the air the loud rejoiceful outburst of their laughter.
The moonlight slept upon the wains piled up with yellow sheaves—and plainly revealed the little monkey-like black, seated on the summit of the foremost; and this young gentleman had managed to procure a banjo, and was playing.
As he played he sang; and, as he sang, kept time—not with the head alone, and foot, but with his whole body, arms, and legs and shoulders—all agitated with the ecstacy of mirth, as—singing “coony up the holler,” and executing it with grand effect moreover—the merry minstrel went upon his way. Various diminutive individuals of a similar description, were observed in the road behind, executing an impromptu “break down,” to the inspiring melody; and so the great piled-up wagon came on in the moonlight, creaking in unison with the music, and strewing on the road its long trail of golden wheat.
The moon soared higher, bidding defiance now to sunset, which it drove completely from the field; and in the window of Apple Orchard a light began to twinkle; and Redbud rose. She should not stay out, she said, as she had been sick; and so they took their way, as says our friend, “in pleasant talk,” across the emerald meadow to the cheerful home.
The low of cattle went with them, and all the birds of night waked up and sang.
The beautiful moon—the very moon of all the harvest-homes since the earth was made—shone on them as they went; and by the time they had reached the portico of the old comfortable mansion, evening had cast such shadows, far and near, that only the outlines of the forms were seen, as they passed in through the deep shadow.
They did not see that Verty’s hand held little Redbud’s; and that he looked her with a tenderness which could not be mistaken. But Redbud saw it, and a flush passed over her delicate cheek, on which the maiden moon looked down and smiled.
So the day ended.
BACK TO WINCHESTER, WHERE EDITORIAL INIQUITY IS DISCOURSED OF.
Busy with the various fortunes of our other personages, we have not been able of late to give much attention to the noble poet, Roundjacket, with whose ambition and great thoughts, this history has heretofore somewhat concerned itself.
Following the old, fine chivalric mansion, “Place aux dames!” we have necessarily been compelled to elbow the cavaliers from the stage, and pass by in silence, without listening to them. Now, however, when we have written our pastoral canto, and duly spoken of the sayings and doings of Miss Redbud and Miss Fanny—used our best efforts to place upon record what they amused themselves with, laughed at, and took pleasure in, under the golden trees of the beautiful woods, and in the happy autumn fields—now we are at liberty to return to our good old border town, and those other personages of the history, whose merits have not been adequately recognized.