Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Carl Werner: An Imaginative Story >> Page 98

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 98CARL WERNER
dreamy unconsciousness, among the broken walls, turning thought-
lessly over the marble stones, laboring now and then to decipher the
inscriptions, and toiling through the ancient grounds and over the
green grave knolls about the edifice; until, as the sun began to
wane, Matilda, with a growing and beautiful timidity always be-
coming in a young and lovely woman—would hurry them homeward,
leaving the unfinished story of Carl to find its conclusion at the
evening fireside, which generally brought them all together like one
family. They were soon to become one, it may as well be said, for,
seizing a favorable moment, the gentle and fond Carl had whispered
to the maiden that he loved her, and she did not hesitate long to
promise that she would be his. The time was designated for the
nuptials, and the two were quite as happy as mutual love, and so
pleasant a hope, could possibly make them.
"One afternoon, a few weeks prior to the time appointed for the
marriage, Carl and Matilda went forth upon their usual rambles.
Herman went not with them. He had gone away from the village
on some alleged business, though, it is more than probable, that he
had simply excused himself, with a delicate sense of propriety, from
adding to a party which under existing circumstances could do very
well without him. The fond Carl had more than once been indebted
in this manner to the kind consideration of his friend. Thus, left to
themselves, the lovers wandered off in the usual direction, and were
soon embosomed in the haunted shades of the ancient abbey. They
seated themselves among the monuments, and discoursed of the old
time stories; and, with each remembered legend, the timid Matilda,
with a most natural fear, would creep closer to her lover, and the
fond Carl, with a most natural protection, at length encircled her
waist with his arms; and the ghosts of ancient years were forgotten
by the happy pair, in the delicious realities of their present situation.
"But a sudden step, as of one approaching, disturbed their dream
of felicity. It was Herman. He came, with an air of impatient pleas-
ure and slow regret, mingled up in his manner. As he drew nigh, he
handed a letter to Carl, and bade him read it.