Ellen Walton, ere she left the home of her childhood for the scenes of border life, was the affianced bride of Walter Hamilton, a young man of most promising talent, irreproachable character, and fine looking withal; and, in a word, was worthy of the high favor he found in the eyes and the heart of his beloved. As gathered from the narrations of the last chapter, he was now on a visit to the wilderness home of his betrothed, to arrange for the nuptials, which were to be solemnized on Christmas Eve, the winter season being deemed most safe from the predatory excursions of the Indians. All these particulars their bitter adversary was familiar with; and he so exulted over the sad termination of their plans, he could scarcely command his feelings, or act with becoming sanity.
Without further ado, we will introduce the lovers at their last interview in the forest, previous to Hamilton’s return home. The same spot finds them seated again, as though fate led them surely on into the jaws of destruction, and opened the way of triumph for the plotting villain.
“And this is the last time we shall enjoy together the sweet solitude of this sylvan temple of love?” said Hamilton, after they had been conversing for some time on the hopes before them.
“Oh, I pray it may not be the last time! What fatal words!” replied the fair Ellen, as a momentary pallor overspread her beautiful face.
“You know, love I only meant for this visit. Of course, I hope to enjoy the same felicity many times when we shall mutually sustain to each other those dearest of all relations; after that our hopes shall have been fully consummated.”
“I know you did not intend to say the last time for life; but the word last struck with a chill to my heart, and called up old dreads, which, unbidden, sent a thrill of fear through my spirit. I could not avoid the thought that this might be, indeed, our last meeting. Would to heaven the unwelcome thought were banished from my mind, never again to return.”
“Well, love, just banish it. You are certainly in no personal danger; and there is hardly a possibility, let alone a probability, protected as I shall be, of my encountering serious danger on my way home.”
“I know all you say; I can see no cause of fear; no reason to apprehend danger; yet I do feel alarmed; but it is a vague, undefined sensation, which I hope reason will soon banish from my mind. I am not now, and never have been, a believer in presentiments, and I do not intend to become a convert to the notion to-day.”