Between these two Fenneben guessed there was no change. But he did not grieve deeply. There must be a personal phase in this grudge that no third person could handle. It might be a girl--but the face of the returns indicated otherwise. Meanwhile the college was doing its perfect work for Burleigh, whose strength of mind, and self-control, and growing graciousness of manner betokened the splendid manhood that should rest on this foundation. While the spirit of the prairie sod, the benediction of the broad-sweeping air of heaven, and the sturdy, wholesome life of the sons and daughters of freedom-loving, broad-spirited men and women--all were giving to Vincent Burgess a new happiness in his work unlike any pleasure he had ever known before.
Little Bug Buler, now four years of age, had changed least of all among changing things about Lagonda Ledge. A sweet-faced, quaint little fellow he was, with big appealing eyes, a baby lisp to his words, and innocent ways. He was a sturdy, pudgy, self-reliant youngster, however, who took long rambles alone and turned up safe at the right moment. All Lagonda Ledge petted him, even to Burgess, who never forgot the day in the rotunda when Bug's pitying voice had broken Burleigh's grip on his neck.
Bond Saxon had not changed, nor the white-haired woman of Pigeon Place-- nor the reputation of the ravines and rocky coverts for hiding law breakers across the Walnut River. And Fenneben noted often the slender blue smoke rising where nobody had a house.
It was an April day in the Walnut Valley, with all the freshness of the earth just washed and perfumed by April showers. The sunshine was pale gold. There was a gray-green filmy light from budding trees, and the old-time miracle of the grass was wrought out once more before the eyes of men. The orchards along the Walnut were faintly pink, and the eggs in the robin's nest, the south winds purring through the wooded spaces, the odor of far-plowed furrows on the prairie farms, all gave assurance of the year's gladdest days. From the Sunrise ledge the beauty of the landscape was exquisite. There was no haze overhanging the earth now, and the Walnut Valley was a picture beyond a Master's dream. Victor Burleigh sat on the top of the flight of steps leading from the lower campus, looking lazily out with dreamy eyes on all that the earth had to give on this sweet April afternoon.
Presently Elinor Wream came around the north angle of the building, hesitated a little, then walked straight to the steps.
"Good afternoon, Victor," she said.
Burleigh looked up, glad then of his months of discipline and self-control. A sight good for anybody on a day like this was this college girl with beautiful dark hair and laughing dark eyes, a satiny pink and white complexion, and a slender form, clad just now in dainty pink gingham with faint little edgings of white and pale green, all stylishly put together to reveal rounded arms, and white neck, and dimpled chin.
"Hello, Elinor," Vic said, calmly, making room for her on the stone steps. "Take a seat."