And strangling a passionate sob, the lawyer sank again into his chair, covering his face.
A CHILD AND A LOGICIAN.
To describe the astonishment of Verty, as he hastily went out and closed the door, would be impossible. His face passed from red to pale, his eyes were full of bewilderment—he sat down, scarcely knowing what he did,
Roundjacket sat writing at his desk, and either had not heard, or pretended that he had not, any portion of the passionate colloquy.
Verty could do nothing all day, for thinking of the astonishing scene he had passed through. Why should there be anything offensive in raising the curtain of a portrait? Why should so good a man as Mr. Rushton, address such insulting and harsh words to him for such a trifling thing? How was it possible that the simple words, ’Trust in God,’ had been the occasion of such anger, nay, almost fury?
The longer Verty pondered, the less he understood; or at least he understood no better than before, which amounted precisely to no understanding at all.
He got through his day after a very poor fashion; and, going along under the evening skies, cudgelled his brains, for the thousandth time, for some explanation of this extraordinary circumstance. In vain! the explanation never came; and finding himself near Apple Orchard, the young man determined to banish the subject, and go in and see Redbud.
The young girl had been imprudent in remaining out so late, on the preceding evening, and her cold had returned, with slight fever, which, however, gave her little inconvenience.
She lay upon the sofa, near the open window, with a shawl over her feet, and, when Verty entered, half-rose, only giving him her hand tenderly.
Verty sat down, and they began, to talk in the old, friendly way; and, as the evening deepened, to laugh and mention old things which they both remembered—uniting thus in the dim twilight all the golden threads which bind the present to the past—gossamer, which are not visible by the glaring daylight, but are seen when the soft twilight descends on the earth.
Redbud even, at Verty’s request, essayed one of the old Scottish songs which he was fond of; and the gentle carol filled the evening with its joy and musical delight. This was rather dangerous in Verty—surely he was quite enough in love already! Why should he rivet the fetters, insist upon a new set of shackles, and a heavier chain!
Verty told Redbud of the singular circumstance of the morning, and demanded an explanation. Her wonder was as great as his own, however; and she remained silently gazing at the sunset, and pondering. A shake of the head betrayed her want of success in this attempt to unravel the mystery, especially the lawyer’s indignation at the words written by Verty.
They passed from this to quite a grave discussion upon the truth of the maxim in question, which Redbud and her companion, we may imagine, did not differ upon. The girl had just said—“For you know, Verty, everything is for the best, and we should not murmur,”—when a gruff voice at the door replied: