Walter Harland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about Walter Harland.
To one of my nature, this jealous exclusive disposition was something incomprehensible; later in life I learned to pity him for a defect of character, which in his case was hereditary, and which he could no more help than the drawing of his life-breath.  I was to leave Elmwood by the early morning train so we were up betimes; but, early as it was, we found my mother already up and breakfast awaiting us.  The railway station was a little beyond the village, and more than a mile from our dwelling.  Dr. Gray sent over the horse and carriage very early, and Charley, with my mother and Flora, was to accompany me to the depot.  The morning air was fresh and invigorating, and under other circumstances we should highly have enjoyed the drive, as it was that morning, we were rather a sad and silent party.  When we arrived at the station I moved rapidly about and looked after my luggage with far more care than was necessary, in order to conceal the sorrow I felt at leaving home; and I was heartily glad to hear the whistle which announced the approaching train, that the parting might be the sooner over.  During the few moments we stood upon the platform awaiting the arrival of the train Charley stood by with the most solemn face imaginable.  His countenance was always remarkably expressive of either joy or sorrow, and at this time his expression was certainly not one of joy.  Many a time since, have I smiled as memory suddenly recalled the woe-begone face of Charley Gray, as I left him that morning.  In order to make him laugh I enquired if he could not imagine the look of astonishment with which Farmer Judson would regard us when we should drive past his farm in our fine carriage, which (in imagination) we had possessed the night before.  Any one acquainted with Mr. Judson could not have helped laughing at the idea; Charley did laugh but there were tears in his eyes.  As the train rapidly neared the station he suddenly extended his hand to me for a last good-bye, and hurried swiftly from the spot, he could not bear to witness my parting with my mother and sister which was yet to come.  My mother had borne up until now, but when the time came that I must indeed go, her tears could no longer be kept back.  I kissed Flora good-bye, and last of all turned to my mother.  She imprinted a parting kiss upon my brow, and as she held my hand with a long, lingering pressure, said in a choking voice, “Remember my counsels, respect yourself, and others will respect you, and may God bless and preserve you from evil!”

I was deeply moved, but to spare my mother’s feelings I kept back my tears.  The conductor’s loud voice was heard calling “All aboard.”  I hastily entered the car, and taking my seat, the tears I had so long repressed now flowed freely, till some of my fellow-passengers began to question me, when I became ashamed of my weakness.  To the many pitying enquiries I replied that I was going a long distance from home and was grieved at parting with my friends.

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Walter Harland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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