“I received a slight though rather painful wound during the engagement, and placed it in a sling for convenience and relief; but, Inez, it is well-nigh day, see how the stars are waning. You need rest, so good night, or rather morning; I will see you again to-morrow.” And Frank sought his sister, knowing full well her anxiety, and wishing speedily to allay it.
the place of meeting?
At what hour rises the moon?
I repair to what? to hold a council in the dark
With common ruffians leagued to ruin states!”
The fierce storm of war had swept over the town, and quiet seemed succeeding. No sound of strife disturbed the stillness which settled around. Many had fallen, and the grass began to bud on the grave of Manuel; no tear moistened the sod beneath which he rested. Inez often stood beside the newly-raised mound with folded arms, and a desolate, weary look on her beautiful features, which too plainly indicated a longing to sleep near him. Yet she never wept; for her love for Nevarro had been that of a cousin, perhaps not so fervent. Still, now that his steps no longer echoed at their door, and his deep voice sounded not again on her ear, a lonely feeling stole into her heart, and often she crept from her dreary home and sought the churchyard.
Christmas had come and gone; a joyless season to many saddened hearts accustomed to hail it with delight. The cousins had returned to their home, and were busily arranging their yard, and making some alterations for the New Year. Florence had begun of late to grow cheerful again, and Mary watched, with silent joy, the delicate tinge come back to her marble cheek. She seemed very calm, and almost hopeful; and the spirit of peace descended and rested on their hearth. Only one cause of sorrow remained—Mary’s declining health: yet she faded so gently, and almost painlessly, that their fears were ofttimes lulled.
Dr. Bryant was still engaged in nursing the wounded, and only came occasionally, regretting often that it was not in his power to see them more frequently. A change had come over him of late; the buoyancy of his spirits seemed broken, and his gay tone of raillery was hushed; the bright, happy look of former days was gone, and a tinge of sadness was sometimes perceptible on his handsome face. Mrs. Carlton had spoken on her last visit of Frank’s departure. She said she hoped he would return soon, as his business required attention at home. He would not leave, however, as long as his services were in requisition.