This terrific picture caused Verty to open his eyes, and look with astonishment at his interlocutor.
“I may have bought them in to spite that young villain at the store. I heard him,” said Mr. Rushton, vindictively—“yes, distinctly heard him whisper, ’There’s old Rushton again, come to growl, and not buy anything.’ The villain! but I disappointed him; and when he said, “Shall they be sent to your office, sir?” in his odious obsequious voice, I replied, ’No, sir! I am not a dandy or fine gentleman, nor a woman;—you, sir, may be accustomed to have your bundles sent—I carry mine myself.’ And so, sir, I took the bundle on my shoulder and brought it away, to the astonishment of that young villain, who, I predict, will eventually come to the gallows!”
And the lawyer, having grown tired of talking, abruptly went into his sanctum, and slammed the door.
Verty gazed after him for some moments with a puzzled expression—then smiled—then shook his head; then glanced at the bundle. It was heavy enough for two porters, and Verty opened his eyes at the thought of Mr. Rushton’s having appeared in public, in the town of Winchester, with such a mass upon his back.
“He’s very good, though,” said Verty; “I don’t know why he’s so kind to me. How ma mere will like them—I know they are what she wants.”
And Verty betook himself to his work, only stopping to partake of his dinner of cold venison and biscuits. By the afternoon, he had done a very good task; and then mounting Cloud, with the bundle before him, he took his way homeward, via Apple Orchard.
THE PORTRAIT SMILES.
Our fine Virginia autumn not only dowers the world with beautiful forests, and fresh breezes, and a thousand lovely aspects of the beautiful world—fine golden sunsets, musical dawns, and gorgeous noontides full of languid glory;—it also has its direct influence on the mind.
Would you dream? Go to the autumn woods; the life there is one golden round of fancies, such as come alone beneath waning forests, where the glories of the flower-crowned summer have yielded to a spell more powerful, objects more enthralling—because those objects have the charm of a maiden slowly passing, with a loveliness a thousand times increased, and sublimated, to the holy skies.
Would you have active life? That is there too—the deer, and sound of bugles rattling through the trees, and rousing echoes which go flashing through the hills, and filling the whole universe with jubilant laughter. Every mood has something offered for its entertainment in the grand autumns of our Blue-Ridge dominated land: chiefly the thoughtful, however, the serene and happy.