“She is going to Colonel Tiffton’s first, though they’ve all got the typhoid fever, I hear, and that’s no place for her. That fever is terrible on Northerners—terrible on anybody. I’m afraid of it myself, and I wish this horrid throbbing I’ve felt for a few days would leave my head. It has a fever feel that I don’t like,” and the young man pressed his hand against his temples, trying to beat back the pain which so much annoyed him.
Just then Collonel Tiffton was announced, his face wearing an anxious look, and his voice trembling as he told how sick his Nell was, how sick they all were, and then spoke of Alice Johnson.
“She’s the same girl I told you about the day I bought Rocket; some little kin to me, and that makes it queer why her mother should leave her to you. I knew she would not be happy at Saratoga, and so we wrote for her to visit us. She is on the road now, will be here day after to-morrow, and something must be done. She can’t come to us without great inconvenience to ourselves and serious danger to her. Hugh, my boy, there’s no other way—she must come to Spring Bank,” and the old colonel laid his hand on that of Hugh, who looked at him aghast, but made no immediate reply.
“A pretty state of things, and a pretty place to bring a lady,” he muttered, glancing ruefully around the room and enumerating the different articles he knew were out of place. “Fish worms, fishhooks, fishlines, bootjack, boot-blacking, and rifle, to say nothing of the dogs—and me!”
The last was said in a tone as if the “me” were the most objectionable part of the whole, as, indeed, Hugh thought it was.
“I wonder how I do look to persons wholly unprejudiced!” Hugh said, and turning to Muggins he asked what she thought of him.
“I thinks you berry nice. I likes you berry much,” the child replied, and Hugh continued:
“Yes; but how do I look, I mean? What do I look like, a dandy or a scarecrow?”
Muggins regarded him for a moment curiously, and then replied:
“I’se dunno what kind of thing that dandy is, but I ’members dat yer scarecrow what Claib make out of mas’r’s trouse’s and coat, an’ put up in de cherry tree. I thinks da look like Mas’r Hugh—yes, very much like!”
Hugh laughed long and loud, pinching Mug’s dusky cheek, and bidding her run away.
“Pretty good,” he exclaimed, when he was left alone, “That’s Mug’s opinion. Look like a scarecrow. I mean to see for myself,” and going into the sitting-room, where the largest mirror was hung, he scanned curiously the figure which met his view, even taking a smaller glass, and holding it so as to get a sight of his back. “Tall, broad-shouldered, straight, well-built. My form is well enough,” he said. “It’s the clothes that bother. I mean to get some new ones. Then, as to my face,” and Hugh turned himself around, “I never thought of it before; but my features are certainly regular, teeth can’t