When the figure was opposite to him, he again ejaculated hoarsely,
"Something is wrong with Miss Van Tyne," cried half a dozen voices.
That evening the old banker scarcely ceased rubbing his hands in general felicitation, while practical, housewifely Mrs. Kemble already began to plan what she intended to do toward establishing Helen in the adjoining cottage.
She silently and eloquently gave him her hand; but her lips quivered so she could not speak. He kissed her hand as gallantly as any olden-time knight, then added a little brusquely:
"Mrs. Alston," said a friend at her elbow, "you ought to forewarn your cousin and tell him of Mr. Munson's fate."
"Yes, when you feel well enough."
"Not till you become engaged."
"You see me now by daylight," was the quiet reply. "I am not very well."
She looked at him with a laughing and perplexed little frown, but only said, "No irony, sir."
The clouds along the eastern horizon were stained with red before the reconnoitring party returned. Stokes had managed, by hobbling about, to keep up the fire and to fill the mess-kettle with the inevitable pork and beans. The hungry, weary men therefore gave their new cook a cheer when they saw the good fire and provision awaiting them. A moment later, however, Jarvis observed how lame Stokes had become; he took the cobbler by the shoulder and sat him down in the warmest nook, saying, "I'll be assistant cook until you are better. As Zeke says, I'm a wolf sure enough; but as soon's the beast's hunger is satisfied, I'll rub that leg of yours till you'll want to dance a jig;" and with the ladle wrung from Stokes's reluctant hand, he began stirring the seething contents of the kettle.下载
No one understood the young man or knew his plans except his patient, sad-eyed mother, and she learned more by her intuitions than from his spoken words. She idolized him, and he loved and revered her: but the terrible Puritan restraint paralyzed manifestations of affection. She was not taken by surprise when one evening he said quietly, "Mother, I guess I'll start in a day or two."