So it was settled that Charlie should go with her, and his presence made her far less impatient than she would otherwise have been, when, owing to some accident, they were delayed so long that the Cleveland train was gone, and there was no alternative but to wait in Buffalo. At Cincinnati there was another detention, and it was not until the very day appointed for the wedding that, with Charlie still beside her, Anna entered the carriage hired at Lexington, and started for Spring Bank, whither for a little we will precede her, taking up the narrative prior to this day, and about the time when ’Lina first returned from New York, laden with arrogance and airs.
MATTERS AT SPRING BANK
It had been a bright, pleasant day in March, when ’Lina was expected home, and in honor of her arrival the house at Spring Bank wore its most cheery aspect; not that any one was particularly pleased because she was coming, unless it were the mother; but it was still an event of some importance, and so the negroes cleaned and scrubbed and scoured, wondering if “Miss ’Lina done fotch ’em anything,” while Alice arranged and re-arranged the plainly-furnished rooms, feeling beforehand how the contrast between them and the elegancies to which ’Lina had recently been accustomed would affect her.
Hugh had thought of the same thing, and much as it hurt him to do it, he sold one of his pet colts, and giving the proceeds to Alice, bade her use it as she saw fit.
Spring Bank had never looked one-half so well before, and the negroes were positive there was nowhere to be found so handsome a room as the large airy parlor, with its new Brussels carpet and curtains of worsted brocatelle.
Even Hugh was somewhat of the same opinion, but then he only looked at the room with Alice standing in its center, or stooping in some corner to drive again a refractory nail, so it is not strange that he should judge it favorably. Ad would be pleased, he knew, and he gave orders that the carriage and harness should be thoroughly cleaned, and the horses well groomed, for he would make a good impression upon his sister.
Alas, she was not worth the trouble, the proud, selfish creature, who, all the way from Lexington to the Big Spring station had been hoping Hugh would not take it into his head to meet her, or if he did, that he would not have on his homespun suit of gray, with his pants tucked in his boots, and so disgrace her in the eyes of Mr. and Mrs. Ford, her traveling companions, who would see him from the window. Yes, there he was, standing expectantly upon the platform, and she turned her head the other way pretending not to see him until the train moved on and Hugh compelled her notice by grasping her hand and calling her “Sister ’Lina.”
She had acquired a certain city air by her sojourn in New York, and in her fashionably made traveling dress and hat was far more stylish looking than when Hugh last parted from her. But nothing abashed he held her hand a moment while he inquired about her journey, and then playfully added: