“Of course not! But it would be fun for us too some day to have a marriage. Why should only one kind of love have its marriage ceremony? When Mike’s and your wedding is over, let’s tell him that we’re going to send out cards for ours!”
“All right. What form shall the ceremony take—Parfait Amour?”
“You haven’t forgotten?”
“I shall forget just the second after you—not before—and, no, I won’t be mean, I’ll not even forget you then.”
“Kiss me, Esther,” said Henry.
“Kiss me again, Esther,” he said. “Do you remember?”
“The cake and the beating?”
“Yes, that was our marriage.”
* * * * *
When all the glory of that happy day hung in crimson low down in the west, like a chariot of fire in which Mike and Esther were speeding to their paradise, Henry walked with Angel, homeward through the streets of Tyre, solemn with sunset. In both that happy day still lived like music richly dying.
“Well,” said Angel, in words far too practical for such a sunset, “I am so glad it all went off so well. Poor dear Mrs. Mesurier, how bonny she looked! And your dear old Aunt Tipping! Fancy her hiding there in the church—”
“Of course we’d asked her,” said Henry; “but, poor old thing, she didn’t feel grand enough, as she would say, to come publicly.”
“And your poor father! Fancy him coming home for the lunch like that!”
“After all, it was logical of him,” said Henry. “I suppose he had made up his mind that he would resist as long as it was any use, and after that—gracefully give in. And he was always fond of Mike.”
“But didn’t Esther cry, when he kissed her, and said that, since she’d chosen Mike, he supposed he must choose him too. And Mike was as good as crying too?”
“I think every one was. Poor mother was just a mop.”
“Well, they’re nearly home by now, I suppose.”
“Yes, another half-hour or so.”
“Oh, Henry, fancy! How wonderful for them! God bless them. I am glad!”
“I wonder when we shall get our home,” said Henry, presently.
“Oh, Henry, never mind us! I can’t think of any one but them to-day.”
“Well, dear, I didn’t mean to be selfish—I was only wondering how long you’d be willing to wait for me?”
“Suppose I were to say ‘for ever!’ Would that make you happy?”
“Well, I think, dear—I might perhaps arrange things by then.”