A couple of hours passed and found him in the same state. Mr. Somers came and tapped upon his door. Unwilling to awaken a suspicion of any unusual discomposure, John opened it and let him in.
“Hope I don’t intrude”, said Mr. Somers, “but I want you to look at the horse Mummychog has brought for me”.
“Ah! yes”, said John, and seizing his hat, he accompanied his friend to the stables.
Their observations over, they returned to the house.
“You have had a fit of solitude, quite unusual, my boy”, said Mr. Somers, planting his hand on John’s shoulder.
“Yes, quite. For a novelty, I have been collecting my thoughts”. John meant to speak in a gay, indifferent tone, and thought he had done so, but this was a mistake.
Besides he had in fact a decidedly conscious look.
“If you have any momentous affair on hand, I advise you to wait, until you reach home before you decide upon it, my boy”, said Mr. Somers, with a light laugh, but a strong emphasis upon the word, home.
And he passed up-stairs, leaving John, standing bewildered in the hall-door.
“Ah! Ned has discovered it all”, said he to himself. But he was too much occupied with other thoughts to be annoyed by it now.
Mr. Somers’s last remark had turned the course of his meditations somewhat. He began to question what opinion his parents might have in regard to the sentiments he entertained towards Adele, and the plan he had formed of endeavoring to secure her love. He knew, they considered him as yet hardly out of boyhood. He had indeed, until within a few weeks, looked upon himself in that light.
Not yet freed from college halls,—would they not think him foolish and precipitate? Would they approve his choice?
But these queries and others of like character he disposed of summarily and decisively. He felt that, no matter how recently he had passed the limits of boyhood and become a man, it was no boy’s passion that now swayed his whole being, it seemed to him that, should he make the effort, he could not expel it from his soul. But he did not wish to make the effort. Adele was worthy the love of any man.
It had been his fortune to find a jewel, when he least expected it. Why should he not avail himself of the golden opportunity and secure the treasure? Would his parents approve his choice? Certainly, Adele was “beautiful as the Houries and wise as Zobeide”. Considerations of policy and expediency, which sometimes appear on the mental horizon of older people, were quite unknown to our young hero.
So he returned to the only aspect of the case that gave him real disquiet. He had fears respecting Adele’s sentiments towards himself, and doubts of his ability to inspire in her a love equal to his own. But he must be left for the present to adjust himself to his new situation as best he can.