Tales of Trail and Town eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about Tales of Trail and Town.

But there was one honest loyal little heart that carried back—­three thousand miles—­to England the man as it had known and loved him.  Lady Elfrida Runnybroke never married; neither did she go into retirement, but lived her life and fulfilled her duties in her usual clear-eyed fashion.  She was particularly kind to all Americans,—­barring, I fear, a few pretty-faced, finely-frocked title-hunters,—­told stories of the Far West, and had theories of a people of which they knew little, cared less, and believed to be vulgar.  But I think she found a new pleasure in the old church at Ashley Grange, and loved to linger over the effigy of the old Crusader,—­her kinsman, the swashbuckler De Bracy,—­with a vague but pretty belief that devotion and love do not die with brave men, but live and flourish even in lands beyond the seas.


Perhaps if there was anything important in the migration of the Maynard family to Europe it rested solely upon the singular fact that Mr. Maynard did not go there in the expectation of marrying his daughter to a nobleman.  A Charleston merchant, whose house represented two honorable generations, had, thirty years ago, a certain self-respect which did not require extraneous aid and foreign support, and it is exceedingly probable that his intention of spending a few years abroad had no ulterior motive than pleasure seeking and the observation of many things—­principally of the past—­which his own country did not possess.  His future and that of his family lay in his own land, yet with practical common sense he adjusted himself temporarily to his new surroundings.  In doing so, he had much to learn of others, and others had something to learn of him; he found that the best people had a high simplicity equal to his own; he corrected their impressions that a Southerner had more or less negro blood in his veins, and that, although a slave owner, he did not necessarily represent an aristocracy.  With a distinguishing dialect of which he was not ashamed, a frank familiarity of approach joined to an invincible courtesy of manner, which made even his republican “Sir” equal to the ordinary address to royalty, he was always respected and seldom misunderstood.  When he was—­it was unfortunate for those who misunderstood him.  His type was as distinctive and original as his cousin’s, the Englishman, whom it was not the fashion then to imitate.  So that, whether in the hotel of a capital, the Kursaal of a Spa, or the humbler pension of a Swiss village, he was always characteristic.  Less so was his wife, who, with the chameleon quality of her transplanted countrywomen, was already Parisian in dress; still less so his daughter, who had by this time absorbed the peculiarities of her French, German, and Italian governesses.  Yet neither had yet learned to evade their nationality—­or apologize for it.

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Tales of Trail and Town from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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