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A Young Girl's Wooing eBook

Edward Payson Roe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 342 pages of information about A Young Girl's Wooing.
showed his favorite nooks and haunts, where the wild beauty of the hills dwelt like a living presence, and the scenery not yet painted which, from certain standpoints, almost composed itself on the canvas.  Thus he taught her to see the region somewhat as he did, and to find in the general beauty definite, natural pictures that were like flowers in the wilderness.  She greatly enjoyed watching with him the wonderful moonlight effects on the vast shaggy sides and summit of High Peak, that reared its almost untrodden solitudes opposite the hotel.  This mountain was the favorite haunt of fantastic clouds.  Sometimes in the form of detached mists they would pass up rapidly like white spectres from the vast chasm of the Kaaterskill.  Again a heavy mass would settle on the whole length of the mountain, the outlines of which would be lost, and the whole take the semblance of one vast height crowned with the moon’s radiance.  Nothing fascinated Madge more than to observe how the artist caught the essential elements of beauty in the changing cloud scenery and reproduced the effects on a few inches of canvas, and in her better appreciation of similar scenery thereafter, she saw how true it is that art may be the interpreter of nature.

The fine music and varied entertainments at the house served also to beguile her time.  On one occasion the young people were arranging a series of tableaux, and she was asked to personate Jephtha’s daughter.  When the curtain rose on her lovely face and large, dark eyes, the Hebrew maiden and her pathetic history grew into vivid reality against the dim background of the past.

After all, the time that intervened between Monday and Friday afternoon was spent in waiting, and even the hours toward the last were counted.  The expression in Graydon’s dark blue eyes was always the same when he greeted her, and recalled the line: 

  “Kinder than Love is my true friend.”

On Saturdays they took long tramps, seeking objective points far beyond the range of ordinary ramblers.

CHAPTER XL

THE END OF THE WOOING

Madge had often turned wistful eyes toward High Peak, and on the last Saturday before their final return to the city she said to Graydon, “Dare we attempt it?  Perhaps if we gave the day to the climb, and took it leisurely—­”

“There’s no ‘perhaps’ about it.  We’ll go if you wish.  I should like nothing better than to get lost with you.”

“There is no danger of getting lost,” she replied, hastily.  “The hotel must be visible from the whole line of its summit, and I am told that there is a path to the top of the mountain.”

“I will be ready in half an hour,” he said.

It was a lovely day in early September.  The air was soft, yet cool and bracing enough to make climbing agreeable.  Graydon had a lunch basket, which he could sling over his shoulder, well filled, and ordered a carriage.  “There is no need of our tramping over the intervening miles of dusty roads which must be passed before we begin our climb,” he said, “and the distance we ride will make a pleasant drive for Mary and the children.”

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