Who laughs? Is it at Verty going along with drooping forehead, and deep sighs; or at the unappreciated great poet, whose prose-strains we have recorded? Well, friends, perhaps you have reason. Therefore, let us unite our voices in one great burst of “inextinguishable laughter”—as of the gods on Mount Olympus—raised very high above the world!
Let us rejoice that we have become more rational, and discarded all that folly, and are busying ourselves with rational affairs—Wall-street, and cent per cent. and dividends. Having become men, we have put away childish things, and among them, the encumbrances of a heart. Who would have one? It makes you dream on autumn days, when the fair sunlight streams upon the sails which waft the argosies of commerce to your warehouse;—it almost leads you to believe that stocks are not the one thing to be thought of on this earth—that all the hurrying bustle of existence is of doubtful weight, compared with the treasures of that memory which leads us back to boyhood and its innocent illusions. Let us part with it, if any indeed remains, and so press on, unfettered, in the glorious race for cash. The “golden age” of Arcady is gone so long—the new has come! The crooks wreathed round with flowers are changed into telegraph-posts, and Corydon is on a three-legged stool, busy with ledgers—knitting his brow as he adds up figures. Let us be thankful.
Therefore, as we have arrived at this rational conclusion, and come to regard Verty and his feelings in their proper light, we will not speak further of the foolish words which escaped from his lips, as he went on, in the crimson sunset slowly fading. In time, perhaps, his education will be completed in the school of Rational Philosophy, under that distinguished lady-professor, Miss Sallianna. At present we shall allow him to proceed upon his way toward his lodge in the wilderness, where the old Indian woman awaits him with her deep love and anxious tenderness.
CONSEQUENCES OF MISS SALLIANNA’S PASSION FOR VERTY.
When Verty made his appearance at the office in Winchester, on the morning of the day which followed immediately the events we have just related, Roundjacket received him with a mysterious smile, and with an expression of eye, particularly, which seemed to suggest the most profound secrecy and confidence. Roundjacket did not say anything, but his smile was full of meaning.
Verty, however, failed to comprehend;—even paid no attention to his poetical friend, when that gentleman put his hand in his breast-pocket, and half-drew something therefrom, looking at Verty.
The young man was too much absorbed in gloomy thought to observe these manoeuvres; and, besides, we must not lose sight of the fact, that he was an Indian, and did not understand hints and intimations as well as civilized individuals.
Roundjacket was forced, at last, to clear his throat and speak.