All this was what was surging and boiling in his mind when he came in from his work to the supper that night.
Diana Pitkin was like some of the fruits of her native hills, full of juices which tend to sweetness in maturity, but which when not quite ripe have a pretty decided dash of sharpness. There are grapes that require a frost to ripen them, and Diana was somewhat akin to these.
She was a mettlesome, warm-blooded creature, full of the energy and audacity of youth, to whom as yet life was only a frolic and a play spell. Work never tired her. She ate heartily, slept peacefully, went to bed laughing, and got up in a merry humor in the morning. Diana’s laugh was as early a note as the song of birds. Such a nature is not at first sympathetic. It has in it some of the unconscious cruelty which belongs to nature itself, whose sunshine never pales at human trouble. Eyes that have never wept cannot comprehend sorrow. Moreover, a lively girl of eighteen, looking at life out of eyes which bewilder others with their brightness, does not always see the world truly, and is sometimes judged to be heartless when she is only immature.
Nothing was further from Diana’s thoughts than that any grave trouble was overhanging her lover’s mind—for her lover she very well knew that James was, and she had arranged beforehand to herself very pretty little comedies of life, to be duly enacted in the long vacation, in which James was to appear as the suitor, and she, not too soon nor with too much eagerness, was at last to acknowledge to him how much he was to her. But meanwhile he was not to be too presumptuous. It was not set down in the cards that she should be too gracious or make his way too easy. When, therefore, he brushed by her hastily, on entering the house, with a flushed cheek and frowning brow, and gave no glance of admiration at the pretty toilet she had found time to make, she was slightly indignant. She was as ignorant of the pang which went like an arrow through his heart at the sight of her as the bobolink which whirrs and chitters and tweedles over a grave.