Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/146

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appeared half-way up the ladder the pretty person of a young damsel, whose rosy face was so cheerful, that even amid the gloomy light it seemed as if the sun-beams were peeping under her bonnet. We next saw the dark and handsome features of a young man, who, with easier gallantry than might have been expected in the heart of Yankee-land, was assisting her into the wagon. It became immediately evident to us, when the two strangers stood within the door, that they were of a profession kindred to those of my companions; and I was delighted with the more than hospitable, the even paternal kindness, of the old show-man's manner, as he welcomed them; while the man of literature hastened to lead the merry-eyed girl to a seat on the long bench.

'You are housed but just in time, my young friends,' said the master of the wagon. 'The sky would have been down upon you within five minutes.'

The young man's reply marked him as a foreigner, not by any variation from the idiom and accent of good English, but because he spoke with more caution and accuracy, than if perfectly familiar with the language.

'We knew that a shower was hanging over us,' said he, 'and consulted whether it were best to enter the house on the top of yonder hill, but seeing your wagon in the road——'

'We agreed to come hither,' interrupted the girl, with a smile, 'because we should be more at home in a wandering house like this.'

I, meanwhile, with many a wild and undetermined fantasy, was narrowly inspecting these two doves that