“Well then, perhaps, Dick, I do love you a little,” she whispered tenderly; “but I wish you wouldn’t say any more now.”
“I won’t say any more now, then, if you don’t like it, dear. But you do love me a little, don’t you?”
“Now you ought not to want me to keep saying things twice; I can’t say any more now, and you must be content with what you have.”
“I may at any rate call you Fancy? There’s no harm in that.”
“Yes, you may.”
“And you’ll not call me Mr. Dewy any more?”
Dick’s spirits having risen in the course of these admissions of his sweetheart, he now touched Smart with the whip; and on Smart’s neck, not far behind his ears. Smart, who had been lost in thought for some time, never dreaming that Dick could reach so far with a whip which, on this particular journey, had never been extended further than his flank, tossed his head, and scampered along with exceeding briskness, which was very pleasant to the young couple behind him till, turning a bend in the road, they came instantly upon the farmer, farmer’s man, and farmer’s wife with the flapping mantle, all jogging on just the same as ever.
“Bother those people! Here we are upon them again.”
“Well, of course. They have as much right to the road as we.”
“Yes, but it is provoking to be overlooked so. I like a road all to myself. Look what a lumbering affair theirs is!” The wheels of the farmer’s cart, just at that moment, jogged into a depression running across the road, giving the cart a twist, whereupon all three nodded to the left, and on coming out of it all three nodded to the right, and went on jerking their backs in and out as usual. “We’ll pass them when the road gets wider.”
When an opportunity seemed to offer itself for carrying this intention into effect, they heard light flying wheels behind, and on their quartering there whizzed along past them a brand-new gig, so brightly polished that the spokes of the wheels sent forth a continual quivering light at one point in their circle, and all the panels glared like mirrors in Dick and Fancy’s eyes. The driver, and owner as it appeared, was really a handsome man; his companion was Shiner. Both turned round as they passed Dick and Fancy, and stared with bold admiration in her face till they were obliged to attend to the operation of passing the farmer. Dick glanced for an instant at Fancy while she was undergoing their scrutiny; then returned to his driving with rather a sad countenance.
“Why are you so silent?” she said, after a while, with real concern.
“Yes, it is, Dick. I couldn’t help those people passing.”
“I know that.”
“You look offended with me. What have I done?”
“I can’t tell without offending you.”