The next day Winston was introduced to Mr. Walters, who expressed great pleasure in making his acquaintance, and spent a week in showing him everything of any interest connected with coloured people.
Winston was greatly delighted with the acquaintances he made; and the kindness and hospitality with which he was received made a most agreeable impression upon him.
It was during this period that he wrote the glowing letters to Mr. and Mrs. Garie, the effects of which will be discerned in the next chapter.
The Garies decide on a Change.
We must now return to the Garies, whom we left listening to Mr. Winston’s description of what he saw in Philadelphia, and we need not add anything respecting it to what the reader has already gathered from the last chapter; our object being now to describe the effect his narrative produced.
On the evening succeeding the departure of Winston for New Orleans, Mr. and Mrs. Garie were seated in a little arbour at a short distance from the house, and which commanded a magnificent prospect up and down the river. It was overshadowed by tall trees, from the topmost branches of which depended large bunches of Georgian moss, swayed to and fro by the soft spring breeze that came gently sweeping down the long avenue of magnolias, laden with the sweet breath of the flowers with which the trees were covered.
A climbing rose and Cape jessamine had almost covered the arbour, and their intermingled blossoms, contrasting with the rich brown colour of the branches of which it was constructed, gave it an exceedingly beautiful and picturesque appearance.
This arbour was their favourite resort in the afternoons of summer, as they could see from it the sun go down behind the low hills opposite, casting his gleams of golden light upon the tops of the trees that crowned their summits. Northward, where the chain of hills was broken, the waters of the river would be brilliant with waves of gold long after the other parts of it were shrouded in the gloom of twilight. Mr. and Mrs. Garie sat looking at the children, who were scampering about the garden in pursuit of a pet rabbit which had escaped, and seemed determined not to be caught upon any pretence whatever.
“Are they not beautiful?” said Mr. Garie, with pride, as they bounded past him. “There are not two prettier children in all Georgia. You don’t seem half proud enough of them,” he continued, looking down upon his wife affectionately.
Mrs. Garie, who was half reclining on the seat, and leaning her head upon his shoulder, replied, “Oh, yes, I am, Garie; I’m sure I love them dearly—oh, so dearly!” continued she, fervently—“and I only wish”—here she paused, as if she felt she had been going to say something that had better remain unspoken.
“You only wish what, dear? You were going to say something,” rejoined her husband. “Come, out with it, and let me hear what it was.”