The sun hung glaring red near the horizon. In the valleys of the mountain ranges dark-blue shadows were gathering, while high on the forest-crowned tops the warm evening light was still aglow. The trees were gorgeous in their gay autumn livery, but in this part of the mountain dark forests of sombre evergreens covered the narrow ravines up and down, and all the swelling heights. On the turnpike which led in manifold windings towards the main ridge of the mountains, and was lined on both sides with unbroken rows of dwarf fruit-trees, an old-fashioned carriage was slowly making its way. It was one of those broad but clumsy vehicles, drawn by two raw-boned, broken-kneed horses, and carefully provided with a huge drag-chain, which are hired in the cities for a few days' excursion into the mountains. The horses lagged, with drooping heads, heavily in their harness, and labored painfully step by step up the hill, for the road was steep and the carriage heavy. The driver encouraged them from time to time with a friendly Gee, bay! up, sorrel! as he walked slowly by their side, and the two gentlemen who had employed him for some days had gotten out at the foot of the mountain and were leisurely following at some distance behind him. They were a couple of young men, evidently belonging to the best classes of society, that is, to the middle classes, in which intelligence and culture are nowadays almost exclusively found. They were both tall and showed the slight build and the elasticity belonging to their years. One, the smaller one, whose mouth and cheeks were nearly hid under a close, deep-black beard, would probably have been thought the more interesting of the two, as his finely-cut features, full of intelligence, were sure to please the more careful observer, and yet he was neither as tall nor as handsome as his companion, who at once attracted the eyes of all fair maidens and matrons in the towns and villages through which they had passed.