Mr. Rushton growls.
“You won’t—then I will.”
“Perhaps the time, and the subject of conversation, might aid you,” says Miss Lavinia, who is nettled at Verty, and thus is guily of what she is afterwards ashamed of.
“A good idea,” says the Squire; “and I am pleased to see, Lavinia, that you take so much interest in Verty and Mr. Roundjacket.”
Miss Lavinia blushes, and looks solemn and stiff.
“Hum!” continues the Squire. “Oyez! the court is opened! First witness, Mr. Verty! Where, sir, did this conversation occur?”
Verty smiles and colors.
“At Mr. Roundjacket’s, sir,” he replies.
“The hour, as near as you can recollect.”
“In the forenoon, sir.”
“Were there any circumstances which tend to fix the hour, and the day, in your mind?”
“What were they?”
“I recollect that Miss Lavinia called to see Mr. Roundjacket that day, sir; and as she generally comes into town on Tuesday or Wednesday, soon after breakfast it must have been—”
Verty is interrupted by a chair pushed back from the table. It is Miss Lavinia, who, rising, with a freezing “excuse me,” sails from the room.
The Squire bursts into a roar of laughter, and leaving the table, follows her, and is heard making numerous apologies for his wickedness in the next room. He returns with the mischievious smile, and says:
“There, Verty! you are a splendid fellow, but you committed a blunder.”
And laughing, the Squire adds:
“Will you come and see the titles, Rushton?”
The lawyer growls, rises, and bidding Verty remain until he comes out, follows the Squire.
THE ROSE OF GLENGARY.
Redbud rose, smiling, and with the gentle simplicity of one child to another, said:
“Oh! you ought not to have said that about cousin Lavinia, Verty—ought you?”
Verty looked guilty.
“I don’t think I ought,” he said.
“You know she is very sensitive about this.”
“Anan?” Verty said, smiling.
Redbud looked gently at the young man, and replied:
“I mean, she does not like any one to speak of it?”
“Why?” said Verty.
“Because—because—engaged people are so funny!”
And Redbud’s silver laughter followed the words.
“Are they?” Verty said.
“Next time I will be more thoughtful,” he said; “but I think I ought to have answered honestly.”
Redbud shook her curls with a charming little expression of affected displeasure.
“Oh, no! no!”
“Certainly not, sir—fie! in the cause of ladies!”
“I understand,” he said, “you are thinking of the books about the knights—the old Froissart, yonder, in four volumes. But you know there were’nt any courts in those days, and knights were not obliged to answer.”