‘I don’t want it,’ said Tom, moodily; ’she has not been as true to me as I’ve been to her, and if she isn’t what I took her for, I do not care to hear of her again. I used to look at the mountain-tops, and think she was as pure as they; and that she should have been making herself the talk of a fellow like that, and writing so sweet to me all the time!—No, my Lord, there’s no excusing it; and ’twas her being gone after the rest that made it so bitter hard to me! If she had been true, I would have gone through fire and water to be an honest man worthy of her; but when I found how she had deceived me, it went hard with me to cut myself off from the wild mountain life that I’d got to love, and my poor niggers, that will hardly have so kind a master set over them.’
‘You have stood the fiery ordeal well,’ said Louis; ’and I verily believe that you will soon find that it was only an ordeal.’
The care of Tom was a wholesome distraction to the suspense that became almost agony as Louis approached Peru, and beheld the gigantic summits of the more northern Andes, which sunset revealed shining out white and fitfully, like the Pilgrim’s vision of the Celestial City, although, owing to their extreme distance, even on a bright noonday, nothing was visible but clear deep-blue sky. They seemed to make him realize that the decisive moment was near, when he should tread the same soil with Mary, and yet, as he stood silently watching those glorious heights, human hopes and cares seemed to shrink into nothing before the eternity and Infinite Greatness of which the depth and the height spoke. Yet He remembereth the hairs of our heads, Who weigheth the mountains in the balance, and counteth the isles as a very little thing. Louis took comfort, but nerved himself for resignation; his prayer was more, that he might bear rightly whatever might be in store, than that he should succeed. He could hardly have made the latter petition with that submissiveness and reserve befitting all entreaty for blessings of this passing world.
O! would you hear of a Spanish lady,
How she woo’d an Englishman?
Garments gay, as rich as may be,
Decked with jewels she had on.
The white buildings of Callao looked out of the palm gardens, and, with throbbing heart, Fitzjocelyn was set on shore, leaving Madison on board until he should hear from him that evening or the next morning.
Hiring a calesa, he drove at once to Lima, to the house of the late Mr. Ponsonby. The heavy folding gates admitted him to the archway, where various negroes were loitering; and as he inquired for the ladies, one of them raised a curtain, and admitted him into the large cool twilight hall, so dark that, with eyes dazzled by the full glare of day, he could hardly discern at the opposite end of the hall, where a little more light was admitted from one of the teatina windows, two figures seated at a table covered with ledgers and papers. As if dreaming, he followed his barefooted guide across the soft India matting, and heard his Spanish announcement, that, might it please her Grace, here was a Senor from England.