Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 200 pages of information about Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories.

“Don’t you bother about me,” was the ungracious response of his comrade.  “I cut my eye-teeth a good while before you did, even though you may be a few years older.  I’ll take care of myself, you may depend upon it, and of you, too, if you get yourself into a scrape, which you seem bent upon doing.”

“Now, do be amiable, Harry,” urged the other with gentle persuasiveness.  “I can’t take it upon my conscience to introduce you to a lady, and far less to a goddess, unless you promise to put on your best behavior.  You know from your mythology that goddesses are capable of taking a terrible vengeance upon mortals who unwittingly offend them.”

Mr. John Cranbrook—­for that was the name of the demonstrative tourist—­was a small, neat-looking man, with an eager face and a pair of dark, vivid eyes.  His features, though not in themselves handsome, were finely, almost tenderly, modelled.  His nose was not of the classical type, but nevertheless of a clear and delicate cut, and his nostrils of extreme sensitiveness.  On the whole, it was a pleasant, open, and enthusiastic face,—­a face in which there was no guile.  By the side of his robust and stalwart friend, Cranbrook looked almost frail, and it was evident that Vincent, who felt the advantages of his superior avoirdupois, was in the habit of patronizing him.  They had been together in college and had struck up an accidental friendship, which, to their mutual surprise, had survived a number of misunderstandings, and even extended beyond graduation.  Cranbrook, who was of a restless and impetuous temperament, found Vincent’s quiet self-confidence very refreshing; there was a massive repose about him, an unquestioning acceptance of the world as it was and an utter absence of intellectual effort, which afforded his friend a refuge from his own self-consuming ambition.  Cranbrook had always prophesied that Harry would some day wake up and commit a grand and monumental piece of folly, but he hoped that that day was yet remote; at present it was his rich commonplaceness and his grave and comfortable dulness which made him the charming fellow he was, and it would be a pity to forfeit such rare qualities.

Cranbrook’s own accomplishments were not of the kind which is highly appreciated among undergraduates.  His verses, which appeared anonymously in the weekly college paper, enjoyed much popularity in certain young ladies’ clubs, but were by the professor of rhetoric pronounced unsound in sentiment, though undeniably clever in expression.  Vincent, on the other hand, had virtues which paved him an easy road to popularity; he could discuss base-ball and rowing matters with a gravity as if the fate of the republic depended upon them; he was moreover himself an excellent “catcher,” and subscribed liberally for the promotion of athletic sports.  He did not, like his friend, care for “honors,” nor had he the slightest desire to excel in Greek; he always reflected the average undergraduate opinion

Project Gutenberg
Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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