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x s din toan

Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-06-14 03:48:21
Typefacelarge in Small

x s din toan

"It's her darkey—he's got an answer—oh, major!" "Steady, boy, steady!" said the major, arising hastily and laying his hand on the young man's shoulder, as that excited person was hastening to the door. "'Officer and gentleman,' you know. Let Sam open the door." The bell rang, the door was opened, a word or two passed between the two servants, and Mrs. Wittleday's coachman appeared in the dining-room, holding the letter. The lieutenant eagerly reached for it, but the sable carrier grinned politely, said: "It's for de major, sar—wuz told to give it right into his han's, and nobody else," fulfilled his instructions, and departed with many bows and smiles, while the two soldiers dropped into their respective chairs. "Hurry up, major—do, please," whispered the lieutenant. But the veteran seemed an interminably long time in opening the dainty envelope in his hand. Official communications he opened with a dexterity suggesting sleight-of-hand, but now he took a penknife from his pocket, opened its smallest, brightest blade, and carefully cut Mrs. Wittleday's envelope. As he opened the letter his lower jaw fell, and his eyes opened wide. He read the letter through, and re-read it, his countenance indicating considerable satisfaction, which presently was lost in an expression of puzzled wonder. "Fred," said he to the miserable lieutenant, who started to his feet as a prisoner expecting a severe sentence might do, "what in creation did you write Mrs. Wittleday?" "Just what you gave me to write," replied the young man, evidently astonished. "Let me see my draft of it," said the major. The lieutenant opened a drawer in the major's desk, took out a sheet of paper, looked at it, and cried: "I sent her your draft! This is my letter!" "And she imagined I wrote it, and has accepted me!" gasped the major. The wretched Frederick turned pale, and tottered toward a chair. The major went over to him and spoke to him sympathizingly, but despite his genial sorrow for the poor boy, the major's heart was so full that he did not dare to show his face for a moment; so he stood behind the lieutenant, and looked across his own shoulder out of the window. "Oh, major," exclaimed Fred, "isn't it possible that you're mistaken?" "Here's her letter, my boy," said the major; "judge for yourself." The young man took the letter in a mechanical sort of way, and read as follows: July 23d, 185—. Dear Major—;I duly received your note of this morning, and you may thank womanly curiosity for my knowing from whom the missive (which you omitted to sign) came. I was accidentally looking out of my window, and recognized the messenger. I have made it an inflexible rule to laugh at declarations of 'love at first sight,' but when I remembered how long ago it was when first we met, the steadfastness of your regard, proved to me by a new fancy (which I pray you not to crush) that your astonishing fondness for East Patten was partly on my account, forbade my indulging in any lighter sentiment than that of honest gratitude. You may call this evening for your answer, which I suppose you, with the ready conceit of your sex and profession, will have already anticipated. Yours, very truly, Helen Wittleday. The lieutenant groaned. "It's all up, major! you'll have to marry her. 'Twould be awfully ungentlemanly to let her know there was any mistake." "Do you think so, Fred?" asked the major, with a perceptible twitch at the corners of his mouth. "Certainly, I do," replied the sorrowful lover; "and I'm sure you can learn to love her; she is simply an angel—a goddess. Confound it! you can't help loving her."


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