Lyndes plan involved nothing more criminal than a horseback excursion through the northern part of the State of New Hampshire. A statement like this at the present time, when integrity in a place of trust has become almost an anomaly, immediately suggests a defalcation but Mr. I fear my early education has been fearfully neglected. Between the Pont des Bergues and the Pont du Montblanc lay the island of Jean Jacques Rousseau, linked to the quay by a tiny chain bridge. I say, we were all seized— the women attendants and nurses as well—and locked up. Matrimony was uncle David's marble ship--he launched his! When he was writing his letters, there it was, with a prim, furtive air of looking on.
It was clear to Lynde that he himself, the old clergyman, and the girl were the victims of some dreadful misconception, possibly brought about by the wretch who had purloined the saddle. She flushed, for I fancy I stared at her rather rudely, and a faint mark, like a star, came into her cheek and faded. The party was now at the base of the declivity. Directly behind the girl and, like her, mounted on a horse led by a couple of rustics, was the white-haired old gentleman who had repulsed Lynde so rudely. How did you meet her? When Edward Lynde had finished dinner, Mary was brought to the door.
A statement like this at the present time, when integrity in a place of trust has become almost an anomaly, immediately suggests a defalcation; but Mr. Lynde made a fresh spurt here, and lost his hat; but he had no time to turn back for it. A leave of absence of three weeks, which had been accorded him in recognition of several years conscientious service, offered young Lynde the opportunity he had desired. Lynde's plan involved nothing more criminal than a horseback excursion through the northern part of the State of New Hampshire. We have seen very much of each other. He felt that this marble ship was a conception of high humor and was not without its pathetic element. His next step was to examine his surroundings.
No polluting brewery or smoky factory, with its hideous architecture, marred the idyllic beauty of the miniature town--for everything which is not a city is a town in New England. The shutters were up at all the shop-windows in the cobble-paved street, and had the appearance of not having been taken down since he left. For a month or six weeks I have been occupied with a matter that has rather unsettled me--more, perhaps, than I ought to have allowed. It is wonderfully and fearfully Swiss. By and by he let his gaze wander back to the town, in which he detected an appearance of liveliness and bustle not usual in New England villages, large or small. Some one picked up his hat and set it on the back of his head, giving him quite a rakish air. Shall I meet her again, I wonder? We chanced to be short-handed at the time, two of the attendants being ill, and another absent.
What is the name of this town? But permit me to finish, Mr. What an unconventional costume for a young lady to promenade in--for she was a lady down to her finger- nails! We have been together some portion of each day for more than a month. He's an early bird--I'll say that for him--to have secured his intoxicating worm at this hour of the morning. I have done a good piece--from Lindau to Lucerne, from Lucerne to Martigny by way of the Furca; through the Tete Noire Pass to Chamouni, and from Chamouni, here. The other man, on the contrary, appeared perfectly fresh; he wore light shoes, and had not a superfluous ounce of flesh to carry.
The man came to Lynde's side. You can't get in here. On his way home from the bank, one afternoon in that same week, Lynde overtook Miss Mildred walking, and accompanied her a piece down the street. But he has met with heavy losses. Perhaps he was the village clergyman. There were knots of persons at the street corners and at garden gates, discussing the event of the day.
I should be in despair if he had not been immediately retaken. It was not there, however, that the eye would have lingered. I had come to Geneva for a day or so; but I resolved to stay here a month if they stayed, or to leave the next hour if they left. I never saw a girl at once so--so audacious and modest, or so lovely. When Lynde reached the outskirts of the village, on the road by which he had entered, the agile ship-builder was more than halfway up the hill.
Tell me the entire story. In the village they won't know whether I am the upper or the lower half of a centaur. At that moment he was aware of the presence of a tall, cadaverous man of about forty, who was so painfully pinched and emaciated that a sympathetic shiver ran over Lynde as he glanced at him. Sometimes he was tempted to lock it up or throw it away. Then he looked at the doctor suspiciously; Lynde's late experience had shaken his faith in the general sanity of his species. And what an odd salutation! Lynde threw a hasty glance up the street, and started in pursuit of the naval-architect, who was running with incredible swiftness and bearing the saddle on his head with as much ease as if it had been a feather. As I say, we were all seized-- the women attendants and nurses as well--and locked up.
Sometimes when he turned off the gas at night, or just as he was falling asleep, the sharp, attenuated figure of the ship-builder limned itself against the blackness of the chamber, or the old gentleman's vacuous countenance in its frame of silver hair peered in through the hangings of the bed. Some of us were still in our bedrooms when the assault began and were there overpowered. If I should happen to catch up with him, I trust I shall have the moral strength not to knock his head off--his skull off; it isn't a head. The slipper had stood on the writing-table four or five months--an object of consuming curiosity and speculation to the young woman who dusted Lynde's chambers--when an incident occurred which finally led to its banishment. He was, in fact, unaccountably depressed by his adventure in the hill country; he could not get it out of his mind.