“I like it,” said Julia, “and it isn’t a bit in the way.”
Then he referred to a certain other grave matter, and wanted to know when?
“That isn’t for you to ask, Papa Judge—is it, mamma?”
FINAL DREAM LAND.
Later still, when the elders had left the lovers to each other, Bart found himself reclining on the sofa, with his head in Julia’s lap. And those little rosy tipped fingers toyed caressingly with that coveted moustache, and were kissed for it, and went and did it again, and so on; and then tenderly with the long light brown wavy curls.
“Julia, these blessed moments of love and rest, though they run into days or weeks, will end.”
“Time will not stand and leave us to float, and come and go on a sweet shaded river of delight; sometime I must go out to show that I am not unworthy of you, to find, and to make. You shall have your own sweet way, and will, and yet you will also—will you not?—tell me when this happiness shall be lost in the greater, merely that I may do my man’s part.”
“Arthur, I take you at your word. My will is that for two blessed months, of which this shall not be counted as one day, for it must stand forever apart, you shall say nothing of books, or wanting them; or of business, or cases, or location, but shall stay with us, our mothers and father, with me, and run, and ride, and hunt, and fish, and grow strong, and eat, and I will let you go, and alone, when you wish; and at the end of two months, I will tell you when.”
“And Arthur,” stooping low over him, “a young girl’s heart and ways are curious, and not worth a man’s knowing, or thought, perhaps. Let me know you, let me be acquainted with you, and I would like you to know me also, though it may not repay you; and let me grow to be your wife. We have such funny notions, such weak girl ways and thoughts. I have not had my lover a full day yet. A young girl wishes to be courted and sought, and made believe that she is supreme; and she likes to have her lover come at a set time, and sit and wait and think the clock has been turned back, and that he won’t come, and yet he must come, at the moment; and she will affect to have forgotten it. She likes to be wooed with music, and flowers, and poetry, and to remain coy and only yield when her full heart had gone long before; and then to be engaged, and wear her ring, and be proud of her affianced, and to be envied—oh, it is a thousand, thousand times more to us than to you. It is our all, and we can enjoy it but once, and think what is lost out of the life of the young girl who has not enjoyed it at all. See, Arthur, what poor, petty, weak things we are, not worth the understanding, and not worth the winning, as we would be won.”
Arthur had started up, and glided to the floor, on his knees, had clasped his hands about her slender waist, and was looking earnestly and tenderly into her coy, half-averted face, as, half seriously and half in badinage, she made her plaint.