"Well, Prodigy, I congratulate you on your promotion. I even agree with your enthusiastic admirers, who say that no young man better deserves his advancement than you," said Miss Kate Portington, standing in the entry of her father's house at Newport, holding Mr. Ensign John Somers by the hand.
"Thank you, Miss Portington," replied the young officer, with a blush caused as much by the excitement of that happy moment, as by the handsome compliment paid by the fair girl, who, we are compelled to acknowledge, had formed no inconsiderable portion of the young man's thoughts, hopes, and aspirations during the preceding year.
John Somers had been examined by the board of naval officers appointed for the purpose, had been triumphantly passed, and promoted to the rank he now held. A short furlough had been granted to him, and he had just come from Pinchbrook, where he had spent a week. A visit to Newport was now almost as indispensable as one to the home of his childhood, and on his way to join the ship to which he had been ordered, he paused to discharge this pleasing duty.
Ensign Somers was dressed in a new uniform, and a certain boyish look, for which he was partly indebted to the short jacket he had worn as a midshipman, had vanished. Perhaps Miss Portington felt that the pertness, not to say impudence, with which she had formerly treated him, though allowable, under a liberal toleration, towards a boy, would hardly be justifiable in her intercourse with a young man. Though, from the force of habit, she called him "Prodigy," there was a certain maidenly reserve in her manner, which rather puzzled Somers, and he could not help asking himself what he had done to cause this slight chill in her tones and actions.
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