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laughed and talked with Caroline Hay, and the smiles that she gave him! Seymour tried to discover what it could be that gave Tom such advantages, but he could not make it out.
"What dismal cries are those?
- Nothing: a trifling sum of misery, New added to the foot of thy account."
Ir so happened that, on a far distant part of the farm, when the process of clearing had but just commenced, John Kendall and Seymour, who went thither as choppers, on a fine day in autumn, found each a prize: Kendall's was a huge snapping-turtle, that was sunning himself on the borders of a small lake, which lay near the scene of the day's operations, when John's unerring aim put an end to his musings and his life together, with the aid of no weapon but a stone, such as few arms could have hurled so far. Seymour's treasure was a load of purple wild grapes which he had espied at no great distance in the wood, and which he determined to carry home as an offering to Caroline Hay. His thoughts were occupied
during the remainder of the day in deciding in what manner best to approach the shrine which had so many terrors for his bashful soul; in planning speeches of six words each; and in wondering how Miss Hay would reply to such unwonted familiarity.
The declining sun saw our two heroes, loaded each with his prize, making the best of their way homeward; but their pace had been so much moderated by the weight of their acquisitions (the old difficulty — embarras des richesses), that they did not reach the farm-house until the supper-bell had rung and the family were assembled. Seymour hurried to bestow his load of grapes in a hollow tree which stood near the well, and Kendall laid his hideous turtle by the kitchen door, its head drawn far out, its eyes protruding, and the stick by which the captor had carried it still fast in its mouth.
"Hilloa!" shouted Tom Rice, as he jumped over the back fence in his haste to meet the well-known punctuality of the supper-bell," Are you late too?"
"Oh! we work," said Seymour; "we
can't afford to peel the hills and jump fences as you do, Tom."
"Work!” replied Tom, with a knowing laugh, as he plunged his glowing-face in the wash-basin, "I do head-work, my boy!" "Precious light work that must be," said Seymour.
"Never mind, my son; don't be cross," said Mr. Rice, with a mock-patronising air; "it'll be your turn by and by, if you're a good boy." Then turning to go into the house for a towel, he fairly jumped at sight of the turtle.
"What black d-1 is this!" said he; "oh! a snappin' turcle, eh! famous good soup Mrs. Hay 'll make of that, I know. Who caught it?"
"I did," said John, "but Simmer's got something too;" and he indicated the grapes in the hollow tree, and added a conjecture as to their destination. And then he and Seymour went in to supper, tired of waiting for Tom.
The very moment Seymour beheld Caroline seated at table, looking more animated
than usual, and of course more beautiful, his courage failed him, and he felt sure that he should never be able to make the contemplated proffer of the grapes with his own lips. So as soon as supper was done, he called one of the little girls aside, and gave her an awkward message to her sister, telling her she would find something in the hollow tree by the well. His purpose was then to be off as soon as possible, but the little sister hurried Caroline to the spot so quickly, that he could not avoid witnessing, himself unseen, their approach to the tree, the hole in which was on the side farthest from the house.
What was his horror when Caroline, scarcely casting her eyes towards the place, uttered a loud shriek, and, bursting into a flood of tears, ran away as fast as she was able. The whole family crowded round her with wondering questions, but the petted beauty would only exclaim, ""Tis that hateful Seymour Bullitt! noboby else could do so!"
Poor Seymour waited in his hiding-place