THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

more the dews of Heaven upon the heads of those who had so often

poured forth the tender emotions of their souls under its boughs.

He was aware of the pleasure that he had seen there. So one evening ,as

he was returning from his reading, he concluded he would pay a visit

to this enchanting spot. Little did he think of witnessing a shadow

of his former happiness, though no doubt he wished it might be so.

He continued sauntering by the roadside, meditating on the past.

The nearer he approached the spot, the more anxious he became.

At that moment a tall female figure flitted across his path, with a

bunch of roses in her hand; her countenance showed uncommon vivacity,

with a resolute spirit; her ivory teeth already appeared as she

smiled beautifully, promenading–while her ringlets of hair dangled

unconsciously around her snowy neck. Nothing was wanting to complete

her beauty. The tinge of the rose was in full bloom upon her cheek;

the charms of sensibility and tenderness were always her associates.

In Ambulinia’s bosom dwelt a noble soul–one that never faded–

one that never was conquered.

Ambulinia! It can hardly be matched in fiction. The full name

is Ambulinia Valeer. Marriage will presently round it out and

perfect it. Then it will be Mrs. Ambulinia Valeer Elfonzo.

It takes the chromo.

Her heart yielded to no feeling but the love of Elfonzo, on whom

she gazed with intense delight, and to whom she felt herself

more closely bound, because he sought the hand of no other.

Elfonzo was roused from his apparent reverie. His books no longer

were his inseparable companions–his thoughts arrayed themselves

to encourage him to the field of victory. He endeavored to speak

to his supposed Ambulinia, but his speech appeared not in words.

No, his effort was a stream of fire, that kindled his soul into

a flame of admiration, and carried his senses away captive.

Ambulinia had disappeared, to make him more mindful of his duty.

As she walked speedily away through the piny woods, she calmly echoed:

“O! Elfonzo, thou wilt now look from thy sunbeams. Thou shalt

now walk in a new path–perhaps thy way leads through darkness;

but fear not, the stars foretell happiness.”

To McClintock that jingling jumble of fine words meant something,

no doubt, or seemed to mean something; but it is useless for us to try

to divine what it was. Ambulinia comes–we don’t know whence nor why;

she mysteriously intimates–we don’t know what; and then she goes

echoing away–we don’t know whither; and down comes the curtain.

McClintock’s art is subtle; McClintock’s art is deep.

Not many days afterward, as surrounded by fragrant flowers she sat

one evening at twilight, to enjoy the cool breeze that whispered

notes of melody along the distant groves, the little birds perched

on every side, as if to watch the movements of their new visitor.

The bells were tolling, when Elfonzo silently stole along by the wild

wood flowers, holding in his hand his favorite instrument of music–

his eye continually searching for Ambulinia, who hardly seemed

to perceive him, as she played carelessly with the songsters

that hopped from branch to branch. Nothing could be more striking

than the difference between the two. Nature seemed to have given

the more tender soul to Elfonzo, and the stronger and more courageous

to Ambulinia. A deep feeling spoke from the eyes of Elfonzo–

such a feeling as can only be expressed by those who are blessed

as admirers, and by those who are able to return the same with

sincerity of heart. He was a few years older than Ambulinia:

she had turned a little into her seventeenth. He had almost grown

up in the Cherokee country, with the same equal proportions as one

of the natives. But little intimacy had existed between them until

the year forty-one–because the youth felt that the character of such

a lovely girl was too exalted to inspire any other feeling than

that of quiet reverence. But as lovers will not always be insulted,

at all times and under all circumstances, by the frowns and cold

looks of crabbed old age, which should continually reflect dignity

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135

Categories: Twain, Mark