Sivut kuvina

I HAve had the unexpected satisfaction of beholding the sister of my first English friend. Yes, Maandaara, Charlotte Percy is now the guest of Mr. Denbeigh, and you may judge how much such a circumstance has augmented the pleasure of Zaarmilla.

I did not till lately discover, that Morleyfarm was in the neighbourhood of Violetdale, and not many hours elapsed after the discovery, till, in company with Denbeigh and his sister Emma, I went to visit the late residence of the benevolent old man, whose character is still spoken of in this neighbourhood in terms of respect, gratitude, and affection. The weather was serene and temperate, such as, at Almora, we frequently enjoy in the depth of winter; it was what is here called a fine autumnal morning. The trees, which were so lately clothed in the livery of the Mussulman Prophet, have now assumed a greater variety of colouring —while some have had their green coats changed into the sober tint of the cinnamon: and others have taken the tawny hue of the orange. The leaves of many, which like ungracious children, had forsaken their parent stem, rustled in our path. Of all the vocal inhabitants of the woods, one little bird alone, like the faithful friend, who reserves his services for the hour of adversity, sitting on the half striped boughs, raised the soft note of consolation to the deserted grove. Emma, who was our conductress, said she would take us by the private road, which had been a few years ago made by Mr. Morley and her father, to facilitate the intercourse of their families. We soon arrived where the wooden bridge had stood; but, alas ! it was now no longer passable. A few of its planks half floated on the stream —the rest had been carried away by the farmer, to make up a breach in the fence, “Ah !” said Emma, “ could poor Mr. Morley now see that bridge t—but do not men tion it to my father. I know how it would vex him to hear of it.” We proceeded on another road, and at the distance of a few paces from the house, we met with a second disappointment. Attempting to open a small gate that led to the front door of the house, a little boy came out to tell us that it had been mailed up, that we must go through the yard where the cattle were feeding. Emma begged we might proceed on farther, and we were about to comply with her request, when the wife of the person who now rents the farm came to us. “Ah . . how glad Miss Percy witl be to see you Miss ''' cried she. “I did not think that my son could have been back from the Dale so soon.” “Miss Percy " said Emma. “What of Miss Percy 2. When did you hear of her " “Did you not know that she came here yesterday !” returned the woman. “She sent a letter to let you know that she iutended going over to the Dale to-night.”

“Sent a letter!” returned Emma. “Charlotte used not to be so ceremonious.”

“Indeed she is not what she used to be,” returned the farmer's wife. “She is so melancholy, that I never saw the like. Soon after she came yesterday evening, she went out to the garden, and, would you believe it? the sight of the potatoes my husband planted in the place my old master used to call his Velvet Walk, and which he used to have mown every week (though the grass was good for nothing, to be sure, but to be swept away as if it had been rubbish) and where he used to sit of an evening in the queer-looking chair, that now, when it is turned upside down, does so well for a hayrack for the young calves; would you believe it ! her eyes filled with tears at the very sight of it. Now what could make any one cry at the sight of a good crop or potatoes, is more than I can imagine. But, says my husband, don't you see that it is being so very lonely that makes Miss so melancholy 2 So I went to her, and though she said she liked to be lonely, I would not leave her to herself the whole evening.” “Your company would be a great relief to her spirits, to be sure, said Denbeigh. “Yes, for certain,” returned the good woman; “ though she took on a little still. And when she went into the paddock, where the little poney that Mr. Morley used to ride about the farm now runs, La see Miss, says I, if there is not your uncle's poney, I dare to say it knows you. She held out her hand, and called it by its name, and, would you believe it ! it no sooner heard her voice, than it came scampering up.– Poor Mopsy, said she, as she stroaked its ears, and again the tears came into her eyes. She turned away, but the beast still followed her, neighing, till we came to the gate. She then so begged me to leave her for a few minutes, that I went on the other side of the hedge, and saw her go back to poor Mopsy, and laying her hand upon its head, as it held it out for her to stroak—she burst

into tears. Dear heart, says I, Miss, don't VOL. II.

« EdellinenJatka »