“A curious and interesting ceremony,” remarked Mrs. Wolston, “and one that may possibly do good, inasmuch as it may induce the young people composing the association to persevere in generous resolutions.”
The two families again separated for the night. And whilst the young men were escorting the Wolstons to their tree, Sophia went towards Jack. “Will you tell me,” inquired she, “what happened whilst I had my ears closed up, Jack?”
“Yes, with all my heart, if you will tell me first what the chimpanzee had been about during our absence.”
“Well, he got up into our tree when we were out of the way. After soaping his chin, he had taken one of papa’s razors, and just as he was beginning to shave himself, some one entered and caught him.”
“Oh, is that all? What I have to tell you is a great deal more appalling than that.”
“Well, then, be quick.”
“But I am afraid you will be shocked.”
“Is it very dreadful?”
“More so than you would imagine. If you dream about it during the night, you will not be angry with me for telling you?”
“No, I will be courageous, and am prepared to hear the worst.”
“What was your father saying when you shut up your ears?”
“Herbert had just pulled out a dagger.”
“And when you took your hands away?”
“All was then over; Herbert had done some dreadful thing with the dagger, and I want to know what it was.”
“He pared an apple with it,” replied Jack, bursting into a roar of laughter, and, running off, he left Sophia to her reflections.
A few seconds after he returned. This time he had almost a solemn air, the laughter had vanished from his visage, like breath from polished steel.
“Miss Sophia,” inquired he gravely, “are you rich?”
“I don’t know, Master Jack; are you?”
“Well, I have not the slightest idea either.”
THE TEARS OF CHILDHOOD AND RAIN OF THE TROPICS—CHARLES’S WAIN—VOLUNTARY ENLISTMENT—A LIKENESS GUARANTEED—THE WORLD AT PEACE—ALAS, POOR MARY!—THE SAME BREATH FOR TWO BEINGS—THE FIRST PILLOW—THE LOGIC OF THE HEART—HOW FRITZ SUPPORTED GRIEF—A GRAIN OF SAND AND THE HIMALAYA.