About this time, St. Clares brother Alfred, with his eldest son, a boy of twelve, spent a day or two with the family at the lake.
No sight could be more singular and beautiful than that of these twin brothers. Nature, instead of instituting resemblances between them, had made them opposites on every point; yet a mysterious tie seemed to unite them in a closer friendship than ordinary.
They used to saunter, arm in arm, up and down the alleys and walks of the garden. Augustine, with his blue eyes and golden hair, his ethereally flexible form and vivacious features; and Alfred, dark-eyed, with haughty Roman profile, firmly-knit limbs, and decided bearing. They were always abusing each others opinions and practices, and yet never a whit the less absorbed in each others society; in fact, the very contrariety seemed to unite them, like the attraction between opposite poles of the magnet.
Henrique, the eldest son of Alfred, was a noble, dark-eyed, princely boy, full of vivacity and spirit; and, from the first moment of introduction, seemed to be perfectly fascinated by the spirituelle graces of his cousin Evangeline.
Eva had a little pet pony, of a snowy whiteness. It was easy as a cradle, and as gentle as its little mistress; and this pony was now brought up to the back verandah by Tom, while a little mulatto boy of about thirteen led along a small black Arabian, which had just been imported, at a great expense, for Henrique.
Henrique had a boys pride in his new possession; and, as he advanced and took the reins out of the hands of his little groom, he looked carefully over him, and his brow darkened.
Whats this, Dodo, you little lazy dog! you havent rubbed my horse down, this morning.
Yes, Masr, said Dodo, submissively; he got that dust on his own self.
You rascal, shut your mouth! said Henrique, violently raising his riding-whip. How dare you speak?
The boy was a handsome, bright-eyed mulatto, of just Henriques size, and his curling hair hung round a high, bold forehead. He had white blood in his veins, as could be seen by the quick flush in his cheek, and the sparkle of his eye, as he eagerly tried to speak.
Masr Henrique! he began.
Henrique struck him across the face with his riding-whip, and, seizing one of his arms, forced him on to his knees, and beat him till he was out of breath.
There, you impudent dog! Now will you learn not to answer back when I speak to you? Take the horse back, and clean him properly. Ill teach you your place!
Young Masr, said Tom, I specs what he was gwine to say was, that the horse would roll when he was bringing him up from the stable; hes so full of spirits,thats the way he got that dirt on him; I looked to his cleaning.
You hold your tongue till youre asked to speak! said Henrique, turning on his heel, and walking up the steps to speak to Eva, who stood in her riding-dress.
Dear Cousin, Im sorry this stupid fellow has kept you waiting, he said. Lets sit down here, on this seat till they come. Whats the matter, Cousin?you look sober.
How could you be so cruel and wicked to poor Dodo? asked Eva.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|