“Miss K——, nobody hain’t never introduced you to me, but I’ve seen you a good many times, and I know your husband very well, so I thought I might just as well come and speak to you—my name is A——.”
“Ah! Mr. A——, good-evening. I hope you are enjoying yourself. How is your sister?”
“Oh! she is a great deal worse—her cold has got into her eye, and it is all shot up.”
Then turning full upon a lady who sat near, radiant with youth and beauty, sparkling with wit and genuine humor:
“Oh! Mrs. Beall,” he began, “what a beautiful gown you have got on, and how handsome you do look! I declare you’re the prettiest woman in the room, and dance the handsomest.”
“Indeed, Mr. A——,” replied she, suppressing her love of fun and assuming a demure look, “I am afraid you flatter me.”
“No, I don’t—I’m in earnest. I’ve just come to ask you to dance.”
Such was the penalty of being too charming.
VOYAGE UP FOX RIVER.
It had been arranged that Judge Doty should accompany us in our boat as far as the Butte des Morts, at which place his attendant would be waiting with horses to convey him to Mineral Point, where he was to hold court.
It was a bright and beautiful morning when we left his pleasant home, to commence our passage up the Fox River Captain Harney was proposing to remain a few days longer at “the Bay,” but he called to escort us to the boat and instal us in all its comforts.
As he helped me along over the ploughed ground and other inequalities in our way to the river-bank, where the boat lay, he told me how impatiently Mrs. Twiggs, the wife of the commanding officer, who since the past spring had been the only white lady at Fort Winnebago, was now expecting a companion and friend. We had met in New York, shortly after her marriage, and were, therefore, not quite unacquainted. I, for my part, felt sure that when there were two of our sex—when my piano was safely there—when the Post Library which we had purchased should be unpacked—when all should be fairly arranged and settled, we should be, although far away in the wilderness, the happiest little circle imaginable. All my anticipations were of the most sanguine and cheerful character.
It was a moderate-sized Mackinac boat, with a crew of soldiers, and our own three voyageurs in addition, that lay waiting for us—a dark-looking structure of some thirty feet in length. Placed in the centre was a frame-work of slight posts, supporting a roof of canvas, with curtains of the same, which might be let down at the sides and ends, after the manner of a country stage-coach, or rolled up to admit the light and air.