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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Walter Harland.
As we grew older I could see but one fault in Joshua, he was inclined to be unreasonably jealous, and that was the beginning of our trouble.  I was young and giddy, and much as I loved him rather enjoyed teasing him, and doing trifling things which I knew would vex him, while at the same time I cared for no one else in the world; and I am now ashamed to say I often accepted of the attentions of others for the mischievous delight I took in making him angry and seeing him look cross, and it may be there was a lurking pride in knowing that I had the power to make him jealous.  Truly, Walter, the human heart is a singular compound of good and evil.  I shall ever remember the last evening we spent together, it was at a party.  I know not what spirit of mischief possessed me, but I took particular pains to annoy Joshua by my giddy and frivolous conduct.  When we were ready to return home he offered me his arm without speaking, this made me angry and I walked proudly by his side.  We walked on in silence till we reached the gate at my own home.  As he was turning away he said, ’I suppose, Miss Adams, it will cause you no sorrow if I tell you this is probably the last time we shall ever meet.’  I know that even then, had I answered him differently the matter would not have ended as it did, but my spirit rose proud and defiant, and I said with a tone of mock levity, ’How long a journey do you purpose taking, Mr. Blake? is it to the grist-mill, or to the sawmill, which is a little farther away?’ ‘You may make light of my words, if you choose,’ replied he; ’but I am in no mood for jesting.  The truth is, Miss Adams, that I can no longer endure this life of suspense and torture, and it is evident you care more for a giddy throng of admirers than for the love of one who has loved you from childhood.  I leave here to-morrow morning, trusting to time and distance to assist me in forgetting you.’  He looked earnestly in my face, in the bright moonlight, as he said these words, but could read there nothing but self-will and defiance.  It is even now a matter of wonder to me what caused me to act as I did, against my own feelings.  He held out his hand, saying:  ’Let us at least part as friends, Miss Adams.’  I gave him my hand, saying lightly:  ’I hope, Mr. Blake, you won’t be like the boy who ran away from home and came back to stay the first night.’  I turned and walked toward my own door, and he went away without speaking another word.  I watched him in the clear moonlight till a turn in the road hid him from my view.  Had I entertained the slightest idea that he would fulfil his threat of going away, I know I should have acted differently; and it was not till I learned, the next day, that he had left Fulton and gone no one knew whither, that I realized what I had done.  I knew not whether his parents had a suspicion of the cause of his sudden departure, if they had they never named it to me.  I told my sorrow to no one but my mother, but Nathan always said he knew well enough without being told by any
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