"Miss Ringtop gave her opinion in another quotation:
"`The rainbow hues of the Ideal Condense to gems, and form the Real!'
"Abel Mallory, of course, did not need to have the proposal repeated. He was ready for any thing which promised indulgence, and the indulgence of his sentimental tastes. I will do the fellow the justice to say that he was not a hypocrite. He firmly believed both in himself and his ideas--especially the former. He pushed both hands through the long wisps of his drab-colored hair, and threw his head back until his wide nostrils resembled a double door to his brain.
"`Oh Nature!' he said, `you have found your lost children! We shall obey your neglected laws! we shall hearken to your divine whispers I we shall bring you back from your ignominious exile, and place you on your ancestral throne!'
"`Let us do it!' was the general cry.
"A sudden enthusiasm fired us, and we grasped each other's hands in the hearty impulse of the moment. My own private intention to make a summer trip to the White Mountains had been relinquished the moment I heard Eunice give in her adhesion. I may as well confess, at once, that I was desperately in love, and afraid to speak to her.
"By the time Mrs. Sheldrake brought in the apples and water we were discussing the plan as a settled thing. Hollins had an engagement to deliver Temperance lectures in Ohio during the summer, but decided to postpone his departure until August, so that he might, at least, spend two months with us. Faith Levis couldn't go--at which, I think, we were all secretly glad. Some three or four others were in the same case, and the company was finally arranged to consist of the Shelldrakes, Hollins, Mallory, Eunice, Miss Ringtop, and myself. We did not give much thought, either to the preparations in advance, or to our mode of life when settled there. We were to live near to Nature: that was the main thing.
"`What shall we call the place?' asked Eunice.
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