It was impossible to refuse to take the hand so offered, but it was with no cordial grasp the Assistant received it: and the two parted with feelings of aversion to one another, strengthened by the interview.
And, Douglass, more I tell thee here,
Even in thy pitch of pride,—
Here, in thy hold, thy vassals near,
* * * *
I tell thee thou’rt defied.
Three weeks followed after the events recorded, without the occurrence of anything deserving special mention. The life of the colonists went on as usual, in erecting new tenements, in cultivating their farms, and in such other occupations as their situation made necessary. But little was seen of the Knight in the settlement, it being understood that he was amusing himself as usual in the sports of the forest. He did occasionally, however, make his appearance in the village, in the prosperity of which he manifested an interest. Notwithstanding the slighting manner in which he had spoken of Arundel, and the displeasure of Spikeman at the favor which he showed the young man, his conduct toward him remained unchanged. As before, Arundel was frequently at Sir Christopher’s place, and often accompanied him on short expeditions, though never on distant excursions, which required several days.
The interest of the young man in the Knight increased daily. Sir Christopher’s manners were so gracious, his temper so sweet and equable, and the sentiments he expressed so noble, that it was impossible an ingenuous youth should escape their fascination. Yet did Arundei fancy that the attachment which he felt was hardly returned. It might be a mere fancy springing from a jealous sensitiveness, which is disappointed if it be not paid in the full measure of its own coin. Perhaps the inexperienced youth was unreasonable in expecting from his senior, schooled to greater caution by intercourse with the world, the demonstrativeness which characterized his own conduct. Be it as it may, upon more acquaintance, the Knight seemed to his young friend to resemble nothing so much as a polished rapier, which, while it shines to the eye, is cold to the touch. Of the pale lady Geraldine he saw little. He had noticed accidentally a circumstance in reference to her, for which he was unable to account. Having arrived late one afternoon at the residence of the Knight, he found, upon inquiring after him, that he had been absent several days, and was not expected to return for two or three more. Arundel then asked to see the lady, but was answered that she was confined sick to her room and unable to receive any one. Late as it was, for the sun was setting, he was preparing to return to the settlement, when he heard sounding from the edge of the forest the Knight’s hunting horn. He stepped to the outer door, and beheld Sir Christopher advancing with the lady.