“Sir Henry leads the expedition to South Carolina to-night, Betty, and I go with him. Nay, sweetheart, sweetheart, we shall meet again in happier days.”
She gave a little cry and flung herself into his arms; she kissed him with all her warm frank heart on her lips, and then she slipped from his embrace and was gone as Yorke dashed from the house, mounted his horse, and galloped swiftly away.
MOPPET MAKES A DISCOVERY
It was early autumn in Connecticut, and the maples had put on their most gorgeous robes of red and yellow. The weather had been mild for that region up to the middle of October, when a sudden light frost had flung its triumphant banner over hill and dale with a glow and glory seen to its greatest perfection in New England. The morning air was somewhat fresh, and Miss Bidwell, hearing Moppet’s feet flying along the hall, opened the door of the sitting-room and called the child.
“You will need your tippet if you are going beyond the orchard, and I think perhaps your hood.”
“Hood!” echoed Miss Moppet disdainfully, shaking her yellow curls over her shoulders until they danced almost of themselves; “I do not need to be muffled up as if I were a little girl, Miss Bidwell. You forget I was twelve years old yesterday,” and she waltzed around the room, spreading her short skirt in a courtesy, to Miss Bidwell’s admiring gaze.
“Indeed, I am likely to recollect when I myself arranged the twelve candles in your birthday cake.”
“To be sure!” cried Moppet, with swift repentance, “and such an excellent, rich cake as it was, too. Do you think”—insinuatingly—“that I might have a slice, a very tiny slice, before I go forth with Betty to gather nuts in the Tracys’ woods?”
“No,” replied Miss Bidwell, laughing, “you will assuredly be ill if you touch one morsel before dinner. Run along, Miss Moppet, I see your sister waiting for you at the gate,” and Moppet, with a jump and a skip, flew off through the side door and down the path, at the end of which stood Betty.
It was a very lovely Betty over whom the October sunshine played that morning, but to a keenly observant eye a different Betty from her who had danced at the De Lancey ball, now nearly three years past. This Betty had grown slightly taller, and there was an air of quiet dignity about her which suggested Pamela. But the beautiful merry eyes had deepened in expression, and it was, if anything, a still more attractive face than of old, although the fair unconsciousness of childhood had departed; and if mischief still lurked in the dimpled cheeks, that was because Betty’s heart could never grow old; no matter what life might hold for her of joy or sorrow, she would always be to a certain extent a child. And well for her that it was so; do we not all know a few rare natures whose fascination dwells in this very quality?