“Yes, for you. But, Eugene, my heart seems to die when I think of those coming five years. How shall I live without you? Oh, what shall I do?”
“There, Beulah! do not look so wretched. You will have a thousand things to divert your mind. My father says he will see that you are sent to the public school. You know the tuition is free, and he thinks he can find some good, kind family, where you will be taken care of till your education is finished. Your studies will occupy you closely, and you will have quite enough to think of, without troubling yourself about my absence. Of course you will write to me constantly, and each letter will be like having a nice, quiet chat together. Oh. dear! can’t you get up a smile, and look less forlorn? You never would look on the bright side.”
“Because I never had any to look on, except you and Lilly; and when you are gone, everything will be dark—dark!” she groaned, and covered her face with her hands.
“Not unless you determine to make it so. If I did not know that my father would attend to your education, I should not be so delighted to go. Certainly, Beulah, in improving yourself, you will have very little leisure to sit down and repine that your lot is not among the brightest. Do try to hope that things may change for the better. If they do not, why, I shall not spend eternity in Europe; and when I come home, of course I shall take care of you myself.” She stood with one hand resting on his arm, and while he talked on, carelessly, of her future, she fixed her eyes on his countenance, thinking of the desolate hours in store for her, when the mighty Atlantic billows surged between her and the noble, classic face she loved so devotedly. A shadowy panorama of coming years glided before her, and trailing clouds seemed gathered about the path her little feet must tread. A vague foreboding discovered to her the cheerlessness, and she shivered in anticipating the dreariness that awaited her. But there was time enough for the raging of the storm; why rush so eagerly to meet it? She closed her eyes to shut out the grim vision, and listened resolutely to the plans suggested for her approval. When Eugene rose to say “good-night,” it was touching to note the efforts she made to appear hopeful; the sob swallowed, lest it should displease him; the trembling lips forced into a smile, and the heavy eyelids lifted bravely to meet his glance. When the door closed after his retreating form, the hands were clasped convulsively, and the white, tearless face, mutely revealed the desolation which that loving heart locked in its darkened chambers.