When Lady Rosamond again joined the dance, she was playfully advised to act well the policy of the character, by preserving towards the rival earls a well balanced line of judgment, and concealing any strong attachment toward the knight of the cloak, to Squire Lack-Cloak, as Raleigh was termed by the attendants at court.
Throughout the whole evening there was one who entered with heart and hand into the spirit of such gaiety—one foremost in the dance, foremost at the whist table, and foremost in gay and animating conversation. Notwithstanding those demands, there was another subject foremost in the mind of His Excellency’s private secretary. Mr. Howe was a man of the world, gay, fascinating and striving to please. He had some faults, (and who has not?) but he had his good qualities full as well. He had a generous nature—a heart that wished well to his fellow man, and above all, his friends.
Since his arrival in New Brunswick, Mr. Howe had formed a strong attachment to his “boy friend,” as he often designated the young lieutenant. Sir Howard was pleased with the fact and showed every encouragement by allowing Guy Trevelyan full privilege in his household. There were on several occasions within our notice, a troubled and half defined expression on the hitherto radiant and joyous countenance of Guy Trevelyan. This fact had given much food for the mind of the secretary. After a scrutinizing search and untiring effort the hidden secret revealed itself in the bosom of Mr. Howe. He now possessed a secret that gave a secret pleasure by which the true nature of human sympathy could assert itself. Thus musing, and overjoyed at his recent success, Mr. Howe being reminded of the last dance, participated in the closing festivity celebrating St. John’s Eve.
Winter had far advanced; its reign of severity and pitiless defiance was near its end. Already the genial days of joyous spring were heralded by a vigorous effort of the shrubs and plants to show themselves in resistance to the tyrannizing sway of the ice-crowned monarch. An occasional note from the returning songster was welcomed as the brightest harbinger of the truly delightful season. Merry voices mingled in tones of deep gratitude as they once more sallied forth to enjoy the pleasure of the woods.
None were more exultant than the inmates of Government House. From Sir Howard to the child at the feet of Lady Douglas, all shared alike in the pleasure of anticipation. Foremost in gleeful demonstration was the pioneer Johnnie, who danced and sang in the enjoyment of his native element—light and sunshine. Every hour that could be laid aside for this purpose was equal to a fortune.
But our young friend was no miser in this respect. Every available guest must be in readiness to join the incorrigible Johnnie when bent on his excursions. All stood on equal rights. Youth and age were all in the same order of classification. It was a remarkable trait of Johnnie’s character that denials were not considered as sufficient excuse for delinquency on the part of any favored with invitations, and, in consequence, all made a point of being in readiness.