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Walter Harland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Walter Harland.
numerous invitations to visit friends, accompanied by my aunt.  Scarcely a day passed that failed to bring something in the way of recreation and amusement.  There were picnic excursions, drives and walks, in which both old and young participated—­even Aunt Lucinda often making one of the company, and enjoying it too—­although she was sometimes heard to wonder, what Deacon Martin’s wife over at Fulton would say if she saw an old woman like her take such an active part in the pastimes of the young.  It would seem that Deacon Martin’s wife felt it her duty to be the first to point out any delinquency among those in her immediate sphere.  Aunt Lucinda fearful the good Deacon himself would be inclined to think she was evincing a spirit of too much conformity to the world, by joining so frequently in the amusements of the young, and gay.  “I think” said my mother, “your best way is to consult your own conscience, instead of the opinion of either Deacon Martin or his wife; and I am sure your conscience can accuse you of no wrong in joining the young people in their innocent amusements.”  Advised by my mother my aunt purchased a new bonnet of quite modern style and a shawl to match, both to be worn to a picnic which was to be held in a beautiful grove near our village.  When she brought home her purchases I laughingly told her if any young lady we might meet on our homeward journey should enquire their price she could easily satisfy her curiosity, as the purchase was of such recent date.  “I am sure of one thing,” replied my aunt, “if we meet the same young lady we met on our way here, she won’t ask me the price of my bonnet.  I don’t know after all but her remark did me good, for it set me thinking how long I have had this old bonnet, and I believe it was time for me to buy a new one.”

The holidays were nearly over and we must soon return to our respective duties.  Charley Gray and I had fully enjoyed the time we passed together.  I fancied that contact with the world had blunted the keen edge of Charley’s nature; for, during all the time we passed together, I saw nothing of the peculiar disposition which had so often been a source of trouble, even when we were mere children.  I suppose it must have been that nothing called it forth, for his old enemy still remained in his heart, but so genial and pleasant was he that I really indulged the hope when we parted that his nature was undergoing a change.

During my visit at Elmwood I once met with Farmer Judson.  Any resentment I might once have cherished toward him had long since died out, and, having lost all fear of the crusty farmer, I accosted him pleasantly, and offered him my hand.  The man felt ashamed to refuse taking the hand so freely offered; but his grasp was certainly not very cordial; and, with a few words, which, if they had meaning, were uttered in too low a voice to be intelligible, he passed on his way.  As I gazed after his retreating form I could not fail to mark the change which a year had

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