She never doubted his coming. He would probably miss the bridle-path, the opening of which she had carefully hidden, and be forced to make the ascent on foot. But he would come. See, she was laying out his clothes for him! He had sent to Sweetwater, at her request, two valises full, packed by Manasseh; and she had conveyed them hither with the rest of the furniture. Carefully now she made her selection from the store: coat, breeches of homespun and leather, stout boots, moccasined leggings such as the Indians wore, woollen shirts—but other shirts also of finest cambric—with underclothes of silk, and delicate nightshirts, and silken stockings that could be drawn like soft ribbons between the fingers. She thrilled as she handled them garment by garment. Along the wall hung his two guns, with shot-bag and powder-flask.
Here was his home. Here were his clothes. . . . She had forgiven him, hours ago, without necessity for his pleading. So would he forgive her. After all, what store did he set by church ceremony. He had vowed to her a dozen times that he set none. He loved her; that was enough, and assurance of his following. He would confess that she had been right. . . . As she moved about, touching, smoothing this garment and that, there crossed her memory the Virgilian refrain—
ille deos, nil carmina curat.
Ducite ab urbe domum, mea carmina, ducite Daphnin.”
She murmured it, smiling to herself as she recalled also the dour figure of Mr. Hichens in the library at Sabines, seated stiffly, listening while she construed. If only tutors guessed what they taught!
She hummed the lines: “Nihil ille deos”—he cared nothing for church rites; “nil carmina”—she needed no incantations.
She never doubted that he would arrive; but, as the day wore on, she told herself that very likely he had missed his road. He would arrive hungered, in any event. . . . She stepped out to the cooking-pot, and, on her way, paused for a long look down the glen. The sun, streaming its rays over the high pines behind her, made rainbows in the spray of the fall and cast her shadow far over the hollow at her feet. The water, plunging past her, shot down the valley in three separate cascades, lined with slippery rock, in the crevices of which many ferns had lodged and grew, waving in the incessantly shaken air. From the pool into which the last cascade tumbled—a stone dislodged by her foot dropped to it almost plumb—the stream hurtled down the glen, following the curve of its sides until they overlapped; naked cliffs above, touched with sunlight, their feet set in peat, up which the forest trees clambered as if in a race for the top—pines leading, with heather and scrubby junipers, oaks and hemlocks some way behind; alders, mostly by the waterside, with maples in swampy patches, and here and there a birch waving silver against the shadow. The pines kept their funereal plumes,