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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

Dallas was knitting some bright wools


she said, once when the colonel stirred and let his book fall for a minute, 'do you think Pitt Dallas will come home at all?'

'William Dallas! why should he not come home? His parents will want to see him. I have some idea they expect him to come over next summer.'

'To _stay_, papa?'

'To stay the vacation. He will go back again, of course, to keep his terms.'

'At Oxford?'

'Yes; and perhaps afterwards in the Temple.'

'The Temple, papa? what is that?'

'A school of law. Do you not know so much, Esther?'

'Is he going to be a lawyer?'

'His father wishes him to study for some profession, and in that he is as usual judicious. The fact that William will have a great deal of money does not affect the matter at all. It is my belief that every man ought to have a profession. It makes him more of a man.'

'Do you think Pitt will end by being an Englishman, papa?'

'I can't tell, my dear. That would depend on circumstances, probably. I should think it very likely, and very natural.'

'But he _is_ an American.'



colonel took up his book again.

'Papa,' said Esther eagerly, 'do you think Pitt will come to see us here?'

'Come to see us? If anything brings him to New York, I have no doubt he will look us up.'

'You do not think he would come all the way on purpose? Papa, he would be very much changed if he did not.'

'Impossible to say, my dear. He is very likely to have changed.' And the colonel went back to his reading.

'Papa does not care about it,' thought Esther. 'Oh, can Pitt be so much changed as that?'



The identically same doubt busied some minds in another quarter, where Mr. and Mrs. Dallas sat expecting their son home. They were not so much concerned with it through the winter; the Gainsboroughs had been happily got rid of, and were no longer in dangerous proximity; that was enough for the time. But as the spring came on and the summer drew nigh, the thought would recur to Pitt's father and mother, whether after all they were safe.

'He mentions them in every letter he writes,' Mrs. Dallas said. She and her husband were sitting as usual in their respective easy chairs on either side of the fire. Not for that they were infirm, for there was nothing of that; they were only comfortable. Mrs. Dallas was knitting some bright wools, just now mechanically, and with a knitted brow; her husband's brow showed no disturbance. It never did.

'That's habit,' he answered to his wife's remark.

'But habit with Pitt is a tenacious thing. What will he do when he comes home and finds they are gone?'

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