“What do you see?” cry I, sharply.
“Nothing, nothing! I only meant to say I understand, I comprehend.”
“There is nothing to understand,” reply I, brusquely, and rising. “I am tired—I shall go home!”
We walk back rather silently; there is nothing so trying to eyes and mind as picture-seeing, and I am fagged, and also indefinitely, yet certainly, cross. As we reach the door of the Saxe, I hold out my hand.
“Now that we have come to the end of our walk,” say I, “and that you cannot think that I am hinting to you, I will tell you that I think it was very ill-mannered and selfish of you not to insist on carrying this” (holding out the brown-paper parcel); “there is not one of the boys—not even Bobby, whom we always call so rough, who would have dreamed of letting a lady carry a parcel for herself, when he was by to take it. There! I am better now! I had to tell you; I wish you good-day!”
“If he does not like it,” say I, setting it on the floor, and regarding it from a little distance, with my head on one side, while friendly criticism and admiration meet in happy wedlock in my eyes, “I can give it to you; I had much rather make you a present than him”
“Then Heaven grant that it may find disfavor in his sight!” says Sir Roger, piously.
We are talking of the traveling-bag, which at last, in despair of any thing suitable occurring to my mind, I have bought, and now regard with a sort of apprehensive joy. The blinds are half lowered for the heat, but, through them and under them, the broad gold sunshine is streaming and pushing itself, washing the careful twists of my flax hair, the bag’s stout red leather sides, and Sir Roger’s nose, as he leans over it, with manly distrust, trying the clasp by many searching snappings.
“I never gave you a present in my life—never—did I?” say I, squatting down on the floor beside him, crumpling my nice crisp muslin frock with the recklessness of a woman who knows that there are many more such frocks in the cupboard, and to whom this knowledge has but newly come; “never mind! next birthday I will give you one—a really nice, handsome, rather expensive one—all bought with your own money, too—there!”
This is on the morning of our last day in Dresden. Yes! to-morrow we set off homeward. Our wedding-tour is nearly ended: tyrant Custom, which sent us off, permits us to rejoin our fellows. Well, it really has not been so bad! I do not know that I should care to have it over again— that is, just immediately; but it has gone off very well altogether— quite as well as most other people’s, I fancy. These are my thoughts in the afternoon, as (Sir Roger having gone to the post-office, and I having made myself very hot by superintending the packing of the presents—most of them of a brittle, crackable nature) I am