“Livingstone, Livingstone, how came you here?” shouted Durward, leaning from the open window.
The cars were already in motion, but at the risk of his life John Jr. bounded upon the platform, and was soon seated by the side of Durward.
“You are a great one, ain’t you?” said he. “Here I’ve been looking for you all over Christendom, to tell you the news. You’ve got a new sister. Did you know it?”
“’Lena! Is it true? Is it ’Lena?” said Durward, and John replied by relating the particulars as far as he knew them, and ending by asking Durward if “he didn’t think he was sold!”
“Don’t talk,” answered Durward. “I want to think, for I was never so happy in my life.”
“Nor I either,” returned John Jr. “So if you please you needn’t speak to me, as I wish to think, too.”
But John Jr. could not long keep still, he must tell his companion of his engagement with Nellie—and he did, falling asleep soon after, and leaving Durward to his own reflections.
We hope the reader does not expect us to describe the meeting between Durward and ’Lena, for we have not the least, or, at the most, only a faint idea of what took place. We only know that it occurred in the summer-house at the foot of the garden, whither ’Lena had fled at the first intimation of his arrival, and that on her return to the house, after an interview of two whole hours, there were on her cheeks traces of tears, which the expression of her face said were not tears of grief.
“How do you like my daughter?” asked Mr. Graham, mischievously, at the same time laying his arm proudly about her neck.
“So well that I have asked her to become my wife, and she has promised to do so, provided we obtain your consent,” answered Durward, himself throwing an arm around the blushing girl, who tried to escape, but he would not let her, holding her fast until his father’s answer was given.
Then turning to Mrs. Graham, he said, “Now, mother, we will hear you.”
Kind and affectionate as she tried to be toward ’Lena, Mrs. Graham had not yet fully conquered her olden prejudice, and had the matter been left wholly with herself, she would, perhaps, have chosen for her son a bride in whose veins no plebeian blood was flowing; but she well knew that her objections would have no weight, and she answered, that “she should not oppose him.”
“Then it is settled,” said he, “and four weeks from to-night I shall claim ’Lena for my own.”
“No, not so soon after grandma’s death,” ’Lena said, and Durward replied:
“If grandma could speak, she would tell you not to wait!” but ’Lena was decided, and the most she would promise was, that in the spring she would think about it!
“Six months,” said Durward, “I’ll never wait so long!” but he forbore pressing her further on the subject, knowing that he should have her in the house with him, which would in a great measure relieve the tedium of waiting.