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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about The Last of the Foresters.

“Think it right!” cried Verty, rising half up, and resting on his hand, “why, what’s the harm?”

“I don’t know,” Redbud said, blushing, “but I think you had better ask cousin Lavinia.”

Her head sank again.

Verty remained silent for some moments, then said: 

“Well, I will!  I’ll go this very day, on my way home.”

“That’s right, Verty,” replied the young girl, smiling hopefully, “and I think you will get cousin Lavinia to let you come.  You know that I want you to.”

Verty smiled, then looking at his companion, said: 

“What made you so cold to me when I came at first?  I thought you had forgotten me.”

Redbud, conscious of her feelings, blushed and hesitated.  Just as she was about to stammer out some disconnected words, however, voices were heard behind the shrubbery, which separated the arbor from a neighboring walk, and this created a diversion.

Verty and Redbud could not help overhearing this conversation.

CHAPTER XIII.

VERTY EXPRESSES A DESIRE TO IMITATE MR. JINKS.

The voice which they heard first was that of Mr. Jinks; and that gentleman was apparently engaged in the pleasant occupation of complimenting a lady.

“Fairest of your sex!” said the enthusiastic Mr. Jinks, “how can I express the delight which your presence inspires me with—­ahem!”

The sound of a fan coming in contact with a masculine hand was heard, and a mincing voice replied:—­

“Oh, you are a great flatterer, Mr. Jinks.  You are really too bad.  Let us view the beauties of nature.”

“They are not so lovely as those beauties which I have been viewing since I saw you, my dearest Miss Sallianna.”

("That’s old Scowley’s sister, he said so,” whispered Verty.)

“Really, you make me blush,” replied the mincing and languishing voice—­“you men are dreadful creatures!”

“Dreadful!”

“You take advantage of our simplicity and confidence to make us believe you think very highly of us.”

“Highly! divinest Miss Sallianna! highly is not the word; extravagantly is better!  In the presence of your lovely sex we feel our hearts expand; our bosoms—­hem!—­are enlarged, and we are all your slaves.”

("Just listen, Redbud!” whispered Verty, laughing.)

“La!” replied the voice, “how gallant you are, Mr. Jinks!”

“No, Madam!” said Mr. Jinks, “I am not gallant!”

“You?”

“Far from it, Madam—­I am a bear, a savage, with all the rest of the female sex; but with you—­you—­hem! that is different!”

("Don’t go, Redbud!—­”

“But, Verty—­”

“Just a minute, Redbud.”)

“Yes, a savage; I hate the sex—­I distrust them!” continued Mr. Jinks, in a gloomy tone; “before seeing you, I had made up my mind to retire forever from the sight of mankind, and live on roots, or something of that description.  But you have changed me—­you have made me human.”

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