Page:Aunt Phillis's Cabin.djvu/123

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Chapter XI.

"Come, Alice," said Mr. Barbour, "I hear, not the trump of war, but the soul-inspiring scrape of the banjo. I notice the servants always choose the warmest nights to dance in. Let us go out and see them."

"We'll go to the arbor," said Alice; "where we will be near enough to see Uncle Bacchus's professional airs. Ole Bull can't exceed him in that respect."

"Nor equal him," said Mr. Barbour. "Bacchus is a musician by nature; his time is perfect; his soul is absorbed in his twangs and flourishes."

"I must come, too," said Mr. Weston. "You are afraid of the night air, Cousin Janet?"

"Never mind me," said Cousin Janet; "I'll sit here and fan myself."

"And as I prefer music, especially the banjo, at a distance, I will stay too," said Mrs. Weston.

Aunt Phillis was smoking outside her door, her mind divided between speculations as to what had become of Jim, and observations on the servants, as they were collecting from every direction, to join in the dancing or to find a good seat to look on.

The first sound of the banjo aroused Bacchus the younger from his dreams. He bounded from his bed on the chest, regardless of the figure he cut in his very slight dishabille, and proceeded to the front door, set, as his mother would have said, on having his own way.

"Oh, mammy," he said, "dare's de banjo."

"What you doin here?" said Phillis. "Go long to bed this minute, 'fore I take a switch to you."