It is rather an anti-climax, after this somewhat practical account of our little heroine, to inform the reader that Redbud was sitting down, crying. Such was, however, the fact; and as conscientious historians we cannot conceal it. Overwhelmed by Miss Lavinia’s fatal logic, she had no choice, no course but one to pursue—to avoid Verty, and thus ward off that prospective “suffering;” and so, with a swelling heart and a heated brain, our little heroine could find no better resource than tears, and sobs, and sighs.
HOW MISS FANNY SLAMMED THE DOOR IN VERTY’S FACE.
As Redbud sat thus disconsolate, a footstep in the apartment attracted her attention, and raising her tearful eyes, she saw her friend Fanny, who had run in, laughing, as was her wont. Fanny was a handsome little brunette, about Redbud’s age, and full of merriment and glee—perhaps sparkle would be the better word, inasmuch as this young lady always seemed to be upon the verge of laughter—brim full with it, and ready to overflow, like a goblet of Bohemian glass filled with the “foaming draught of eastern France,” if we may be permitted to make so unworthy a comparison. Her merry black eyes were now dancing, and her ebon curls rippled from her smooth dark brow like midnight waves.
“Oh! here’s your beau, Reddy!” cried Miss Fanny, clapping her hands; “you pretended not to know him as he came up the hill. Make haste! you never saw such an elegant cavalier as he has made himself!”
Redbud only smiled sadly, and turned away her head.
Miss Fanny attributed this manoeuvre to a feeling very different from the real one; and clapping her hands more joyfully than ever, cried:
“There you are! I believe you are going to pretend he ain’t your beau! But you need not, madam. As if I did’nt know all about it—”
“Oh, Fanny!” murmured poor Redbud.
“Come! no secrets from me! That old Miss Lavinia has treated you badly, I know; I don’t know how, but she made you cry, and I will not have anything to say to her, if she is your cousin. Forget all about it, Reddy, and make haste down, Verty is waiting for you—and oh! he’s so elegant. I never saw a nicer fellow, and you know I always thought he was handsome. I would set my cap at him,” said Miss Fanny, with a womanly air, “if it was’nt for you.”
Redbud only murmured something.
“Come on!” cried Fanny, trying to raise her friend forcibly, “I tell you Verty is waiting, and you are only losing so much talk; they never will let our beaux stay long enough, and as to-day’s holiday, you will have a nice chat. My cousin Ralph, you know, is coming to see me to-day, and we can have such a nice walk out on the hill—come on, Reddy! we’ll have such a fine time!”
Suddenly Miss Fanny caught sight of the tears in Redbud’s eyes, and stopped.