“Yer wuz right,” remarked the innkeeper. “The young-lookin’ feller wuz Ginral Washington.”
“Ay,” exclaimed the man; “and, mark me, if a face goes for aught, he’s general enough to beat Gage—and that the man paused, and then added: “that sluggard Howe. And would to God I could help in it!”
It was the middle of July when the squire and Phil returned from New York, bringing with them much news of the war preparations, of Washington’s passing through the city, and of the bloody battle of Bunker Hill. Of far more importance, however, to the ladies of Greenwood, were two pieces of information which their lord and master promptly announced. First, that he wished the marriage to take place speedily, and second, that at New York he had met Mr. Evatt, just landed from a South Carolina ship, and intending, as soon as some matter of business was completed, to repeat his former visit to Greenwood,—an intention that the squire had heartily indorsed by the warmest of invitations. Both brought the colour to the cheeks of Janice, but had the parents been watchful, they would have noted that the second bit of news produced the higher tint.
Although Phil was still on apparently good terms with his father, he was, from the time of his return, much at Greenwood; and, his simple nature being quite incapable of deceit, Janice very quickly perceived that his chief motive was not so much the lover’s desire to be near, as it was to keep watch of her. Had the fellow deliberately planned to irritate the girl, he could have hit upon nothing more certain to enrage her, and a week had barely elapsed when matters reached a crisis.
Janice, who, it must be confessed, took pleasure in deliberately arousing the suspicion of Philemon, and thus forcing him to reveal how closely he spied upon her, one evening, as they rose from the supper-table, slipped out of the window and walked toward the stable. Her swain was prompt in pursuit; and she, quite conscious of this, stepped quickly to one side as she passed through the last opening in the box, and stood half-buried in the hedge. Ignorant of her proximity, Philemon came quickly through the hedge, and was promptly made aware of it by her hot words.
“’T is past endurance. I’ll not be spied on so.”
“I—I—Why, Janice, you know how I likes ter be with you,” falteringly explained Hennion.
“Spy, spy, spy—nothing but spy!” rebuked Janice; “I can’t so much as—as go to pick a flower but you are hiding behind a bush.”
“’Deed, Janice, you ’re not fairsome ter me. After you sayin’ what you did about that rake-helly bondsman, ’t is only human ter—”