“I know a little country maid, who no one would suppose had not spent all her life in the city,” said Aunt Marcia, with a smile, “only that she enjoys every pleasure with a keen delight unknown to the girl who feels that she has seen all that there is to be seen many, many times.”
“I shall never feel that way,” said Randy, “how could I tire of the sweet music, or of watching the crowd in the city streets? I was never tired of listening to the birds at home and I’m sure,” she added with a laugh, “I even enjoyed watching the people coming into our little church. There is always something new everywhere; and I am looking for it.”
“That is a part of the secret of your happiness, Randy,” said Aunt Marcia, “you intend to be delighted and usually succeed.”
“Why, I am still holding the flowers which Madam Valena gave me,” said Randy, “I must place them in water,” and she hastened to find a suitable vase in which to arrange them. They formed a brilliant bit of color in the centre of the table when dinner was served, and caused Randy to talk once more of the concert.
“It was all so charming that I suppose I stared; at least Polly Lawrence said that I did.”
“I saw Polly with you just as we were leaving the hall,” said Helen, “what did you say that she said?”
“She said, ’Why Randy Weston, you are staring at everybody and everything as if you’d never attended a concert before!’”
“How singularly rude,” said Aunt Marcia, little pleased that Randy should be thus spoken to.
“And what did you say to that, Randy,” asked Helen, wondering if Polly’s speech had cut deeply.
With a frank smile Randy answered,—“I said, ’Well this is my first concert. Possibly you would be surprised if you had never before experienced such a pleasure.’”
Helen and her aunt were much amused that Randy could answer so readily a remark which was intended to embarrass her, and they realized that Randy’s frankness in admitting herself a country girl quite unused to city pleasures, would disarm a girl like Polly, more successfully than any amount of artifice or pretense.
A SCOTCH LINNET
The sky was a cold, leaden gray, and down from the mountains swept a pitiless wind, which whistled through the bare branches of the trees and tossed a few dried leaves before it, as it hurried on as if with a fixed determination to reach every corner of the village and chill everything which it could touch.
It leveled the few standing cornstalks and caused the dry twigs to rap a tattoo upon the windows of the farm houses. It attacked the shivering form of a lonely little cur who took his tail between his legs and scurried away down the road in search of some sheltering barn or shed; it nipped little Hi Babson’s ears and snatching his cap, tossed it over the wall and across the field where it lay, held fast in a clump of bushes.