“George Marshall, too, good fellow that he is, says I think too much about the girl. Maybe I do; but I should like him to tell me how a fellow is to help it. That Jewess bewilders me! If old Mordecai was not rich, I should love her for her dreamy eyes. I’ll swear, ever since she spoke to me so sweetly a week ago, and gave me a clasp of her white, slender hand, I haven’t cared whether I was prompt at parade, studies, or anything else—so I could always be prompt at meeting her. She looks doleful sometimes. She cannot be very happy. I wonder what my mother would think if she could read this journal. But, old book, you never tell any tales, do you?
“May.—The days are growing warmer—beautiful days, too. Everything is in bloom, and the old Queen City looks charming. The girls, too, Madam Truxton’s and all others, swarm about the town like bees in a rose-garden. I meet them at every turn.
“My uniform is getting rather shabby; the buttons and lace are quite tarnished. I must have a new suit before long.
“I am a lucky fellow of late—have seen Leah M. many times. She came home with Helen twice, and I have walked with her many times. I have told her that I love her, but she does not seem inclined to trust me. Only to-day I sent her a magnolia leaf, upon which was written, ‘Je vous aime, ma belle Juive.’ Helen said she smiled as she took it and said, ‘Thank him, if you please.’ That was favorable, I think. Yes I consider myself a lucky fellow.
“June 1.—I am all out of sorts to-night. Things have not gone smoothly at the Citadel to-day. I was again reprimanded by that old bald-headed Brown. He must forget that I am a man, and not a mere boy. I don’t care whether ‘I pass,’ or not, as the boys say.
“‘Deficient in mathematics,’ the professor said, gravely; and I suppose I am. I never could endure figures, and yet I must make my living by them.
“French I understand pretty well. I depend upon that to help me through.
“George Marshall will do all he can for me, I know; there’s no better cadet in the institute; old Brown says that himself. I find that George was right when he told me long ago that I had too many thoughts in my head about the girls. Deuce take the thoughts! but they are there. My very proper and punctilious mother, too, has been scoring me lately. Somehow she found out my fancy. Whew! how she did scold me! Said she would like to know if I had forgotten the blood that flowed in the Le Grande veins! If I were lost to family pride and honor so far as to mingle my blood with that of the old pawnbroker, Mordecai! How she looked! How she stamped the floor with her dainty foot when I hinted at the fact that my maternal grandfather was neither duke nor lord! How she hushed my ‘impertinence,’ as she styled it, with such invectives as ’fool, idiot, plebeian’! Heigho! But I felt that it was unmanly in me to provoke mother so, and I begged her pardon.