“Well, go then—much of a lawyer you’ll ever make.”
Verty laughed, and turning towards Longears, called him. But Longears hesitated—looking with the most profound astonishment at his master.
“He don’t know me!” said the young man, laughing; “I don’t think he’ll hunt if I wear these, sir.”
But Mr. Rushton had retired, and Verty only heard a door slam.
“I’m going to see Redbud, Mr. Roundjacket,” he said, “and I think she’ll like my dress—good-bye.”
Roundjacket only replied by flourishing his ruler.
Verty put on his cocked hat, admired himself for an instant in the mirror over the fire-place, and went out humming his eternal Indian song. Five minutes afterwards he was on his way to see Redbud, followed dubiously by Longears, who evidently had not made up his mind on the subject of his master’s identity.
In order to explain the reception which Verty met with, it will be necessary to precede him.
HOW MISS LAVINIA DEVELOPED HER THEORIES UPON MATRIMONY.
The Apple Orchard carriage, containing the solemn Miss Lavinia, very soon arrived at the abode of old Scowley, as our friend Verty was accustomed to call the respectable preceptress of Miss Redbud; and Miss Lavinia descended and entered with solemn dignity.
Miss Sallianna and herself exchanged elaborate curtseys, and Miss Lavinia sailed into the pleasant sylvan parlor and took her seat reverely.
“Our dear little girls are amusing themselves this morning,” said Miss Sallianna, inclining her head upon one shoulder, and raising her smiling eyes toward the ceiling; “the youthful mind, my dear madam, requires relaxation, and we do not force it.”
Miss Lavinia uttered a dignified “hem,” and passed her handkerchief solemnly over her lips.
“In this abode of the graces and rural sublunaries,” continued Miss Sallianna, gently flirting her fan, “our young friends seem to lead a very happy life.”
“Yes—I suppose so.”
“Indeed, madam, I may say the time passes for them in a golden cadence of salubrious delights,” said Miss Sallianna.
Her visitor inclined her head.
“If we could only exclude completely all thoughts of the opposite sex—”
Miss Lavinia listened with some interest to this peroration. “If we could live far from the vain world of man—”
The solemn head indicated a coincidence of opinion.
“If we could but dedicate ourselves wholly to the care of our little flock, we should be felicitous,” continued Miss Sallianna. “But, alas! they will come to see us, madam, and we cannot exclude the dangerous enemy. I am often obliged to send word that I am not ‘at home’ to the beaux, and yet that is very cruel. But duty is my guide, and I bow to its bequests.”
With which words, Miss Sallianna fixed her eyes resignedly upon the ceiling, and was silent. If Miss Lavinia had labored under the impression that Miss Sallianna designed to utter any complaints about Redbud, she did not show that such had been her expectation. She only bowed and said, politely, that if her little cousin Redbud was disengaged, she should like to see her.