“These countless farms seen from this mountain top resemble garden plots, distinguishable from each other by vegetation varying in tints from the dark green of the maize to the brilliant gold of barley, rye, and oats. Over the billowy grain, cloud shadows chase each other as if in play. Grazing herds are on every hillside and in all the valleys.”
Gertrude’s words were music to George’s ear. Her voice and the magnificent landscape charmed him. When released from the spell he said, “Yes, dear, you have this day hung a never-to-be-forgotten picture in my memory. I shall always remember the arching elms, white gables, college towers, and spires pointing heavenward that mark the towns in this historic and lovely intervale. I seem to hear far off sounds of busy people, thrifty mills, and successful railways. These reveal the secret of New England’s power at home and abroad. The greatness of this people springs from their respect for, and practice of, the virtues so long taught in their schools and churches; viz., honesty, industry, economy, love of liberty, and belief in God. Here can be found inspirations for poet, painter, and sculptor.”
How glorious the picture as the two young lovers looked out upon the world of promise! It was well thus, for much too soon in life, humanity experiences the same old story of unsatisfied ambitions and weary struggles after the unattainable.
Thus a happy summer afternoon was enjoyed till the sun hid his face behind the western hills. Clouds floated low on the horizon, revealing behind the gold and purple to ambitious souls the indistinct outlines of a gorgeous temple of fame; and birds of rich plumage among the mountain foliage were lulled to sleep by their own sweet songs.
“Life without Gertrude,” thought George, “would prove a failure.” Then taking her white hand in his, he whispered, “I love you, dearest, with all my heart, and you must be my wife.”
“George,” she replied, “in a thousand ways you have shown it. I have known your heart ever since we studied together at the high school. My own life has been ennobled by contact with yours.” Her voice and hand trembled as she added, “Yes, George, my life and happiness I gladly place in your sacred keeping, and I promise purity and loyalty for eternity.”
Then George opened the little case which he had brought from New York, and gave Gertrude a ring containing two diamonds and a ruby, which surprised and delighted her. She placed it on her first finger, saying, “George, we will advance this crystal pledge to the third finger just as soon as we get the consent of father and mother.”
Gertrude had found on a former trip some purple crystals on the mountainside, and had had two unique emblems of their love made in New York City. George pinned upon Gertrude a gold star set with a purple amethyst, a tiny cross and a guard chain being attached, and she gave George a gold cross set with an amethyst, the guard pin being a tiny star and chain. Before midnight the two happy lovers had joined the mother and Lucille in New York, and at the close of the week all had returned to Harrisville.