Doctor Hoyle had built his cabin on one of the pinnacles of the earth, and David, looking down on blue billowing mountain tops with only the spaces of the air between him and heaven—between him and the ocean—between him and his fair English home—felt that he knew why the old doctor had chosen it.
Seated on a splint-bottomed chair in the doorway, pondering, he thought first of his mother, with a little secret sorrow that he could not have taken to his heart the bride she had selected for him, and settled in his own home to the comfortable ease the wife's wealth would have secured for him. It was not that the money had been made in commerce; he was neither a snob nor a cad. Although his own connections entitled him to honor, what more could he expect than to marry wealth and be happy, if—if happiness could come to either of them in that way. No, his heart did not lean toward her; it was better that he should bend to his profession in a strange land. But not this, to live a hermit's life in a cabin on a wild hilltop. How long must it be—how long?
Brooding thus, he gazed at the distance of ever paling blue, and mechanically counted the ranges and peaks below him. An inaccessible tangle of laurel and rhododendron clothed the rough and precipitous wall of the mountain side, which fell sheer down until lost in purple shadow, with a mantle of green, deep and rich, varied by the gray of the lichen-covered rocks, the browns and reds of the bare branches of deciduous trees,