“Oh, yes, I see—Rarey’s method. Now I never could make that work. Have to lick ’em sometimes, but I’ll remember Rocket. Good-day,” and gathering up his reins Colonel Tiffton rode slowly away.
Hugh rode back to Frankfort and dismounted at Harney’s door.
In silence Harney received the money, gave his receipt, and then watched Hugh as he rode again from town, muttering: “I shall remember that he knocked me down, and some time I’ll repay it.”
It was dark when Hugh reached home, his flashing eyes indicating the storm which burst forth the moment he entered the room where ’Lina was sitting. In tones which made even her tremble he accused her of her treachery, pouring forth such a torrent of wrath that his mother urged him to stop, for her sake if no other. She could always quiet Hugh, and he calmed down at once, hurling but one more missile at his sister, and that in the shape of Rocket, who, he said, was sold for her extravagance.
’Lina was proud of Rocket, and the knowledge that he was sold touched her far more than all Hugh’s angry words. But her tear a were of no avail; the deed was done, and on the morrow Hugh, with an unflinching hand, led his idol from the stable and rode rapidly across the fields, leading another horse which was to bring him home.
The next morning Lulu came running up the stairs, exclaiming:
“He’s done come home, Rocket has. He’s at the kitchen door.”
It was even as Lulu, said, for the homesick brute, suspecting something wrong, had broken from his fastenings, and bursting the stable door had come back to Spring Bank, his halter dangling about his neck, and himself looking very defiant, as if he were not again to be coaxed away. At sight of Hugh he uttered a sound of joy, and bounding forward planted both feet within the door ere Hugh had time to reach it.
“Thar’s the old colonel now,” whispered Claib, just as the colonel himself appeared to claim his runaway.
“I’ll take him home myself,” he said to the old colonel, emerging from his hiding place behind the leach, and bidding Claib follow with another horse Hugh went a second time to Colonel Tiffton’s farm.
MRS. JOHNSON’S LETTER
The spring had passed away, and the warm June sun was shining over Spring Bank, whose mistress and servants were very lonely now, for Hugh was absent, and with him the light of the house had departed. Business of his late uncle’s had taken him to New Orleans, where he might possibly remain all the summer. ’Lina was glad, for since the fatal dress affair there had been but little harmony between herself and her brother. The tenderness awakened by her long illness seemed to have been forgotten, and Hugh’s manner toward her was cold and irritating to the last degree, so that the young lady rejoiced to be freed from his presence.