Solomon then took his hands from before his face, wiped his eyes with his handkerchief on which they had been embedded, and with a serene and rather heavenly countenance looked up to the preacher, then closing his eyes as if in a state of ethereal enjoyment, he clasped his hands with a sweet smile, twirling his thumbs and bowing his head, as the speaker closed every paragraph of the discourse.
These observations account very plainly for the opinions touching Solomon which were expressed by M’Loughlin. Solomon was at this time an unadulterated saint—a professor—in fact one of the elect who had cast his anchor sure. But as the proverb gays, time will tell.
That night M’Loughlin and his family retired to bed for the first time overshadowed, as it were, by a gloomy presentiment of some change, which disturbed and depressed their hearts. They slept, however, in peace and tranquillity, free from those snake-like pangs which coil themselves around guilt, and deaden its tendencies to remorse, whilst they envenom its baser and blacker purposes.
M’Slime himself at this crisis was beginning privately to feel some of the very natural consequences of his own oft acknowledged frailty. Phil, who had just left Constitution Cottage a few minutes before Darby’s arrival, had not seen him that morning. The day before he had called upon his grandfather, who told him out of the pallor window to “go to h—–; you may call tomorrow, you cowardly whelp, if you wish to see me—but in the meantime,” he added as before, “go where I desired you.”
Phil, who possessed a great deal of his father’s selfishness and also of his low cunning, but none at all of his ability, turned back indignantly and rode home again. He had not passed more than about a hundred yards from the avenue out into the highway, when he met Sharpe, one of the heroes of the cabin.
We shall not detail their conversation, which, of course, embraced many of the circumstances connected with their duties, excepting a few interjectional imprecations which Phil in an occasional parenthesis dutifully bestowed upon his grandfather.