Wainwright waved away all such trifling barriers as “Mister” and “Miss.” He came towards her with his face stern and determined. “Eleanore,” he said, “I have a hansom at the door, and I want you to come down and get into it.”
Was this the young man she had been used to scold and advise and criticise? She looked at him wondering and happy. It seemed to rest her eyes just to see him, and she loved his ordering her so, until a flash of miserable doubt came over her that if he was confident, it was because he was not only sure of himself, but of some one else on the other side of the sea.
And all her pride came to her, and thankfulness that she had not shown him what his coming meant, and she said, “Did my mother send you? How did you come? Is anything wrong?”
He took her hand in one of his and put his other on top of it firmly. “Yes,” he said. “Everything is wrong. But we’ll fix all that.”
He did not seem able to go on immediately, but just looked at her. “Eleanore,” he said, “I have been a fool, all sorts of a fool. I came over here to go back again at once, and I am going back, but not alone. I have been alone too long. I had begun to fancy there was only one woman in the world until I came back, and then—something some man said proved to me there was another one, and that she was the only one, and that I—had come near losing her. I had tried to forget about her. I had tried to harden myself to her by thinking she had been hard to me. I said—she does not care for you as the woman you love must care for you, but it doesn’t matter now whether she cares or not, for I love her so. I want her to come to me and scold me again, and tell me how unworthy I am, and make me good and true like herself, and happy. The rest doesn’t count without her, it means nothing to me unless she takes it and keeps it in trust for me, and shares it with me.” He had both her hands now, and was pressing them against the flowers in the breast of the long coat.
“Eleanore,” he said, “I tried to tell you once of the one thing that would bring me back and you stopped me. Will you stop me now?”
She tried to look up at him, but she would not let him see the happiness in her face just then, and lowered it and gently said, “No, no.”
It must have taken him a long time to tell it, for after he had driven them twice around the Park the driver of the hansom decided that he could ask eight dollars at the regular rates, and might even venture on ten, and the result showed that as a judge of human nature he was a success.
They were married in May, and Lord Lowes acted as best man, and his sister sent her warmest congratulations and a pair of silver candlesticks for the dinner-table, which Wainwright thought were very handsome indeed, but which Miss Cuyler considered a little showy. Van Bibber and Travers were ushers, and, indeed, it was Van Bibber himself who closed the door of the carriage upon them as they were starting forth after the wedding. Mrs. Wainwright said something to her husband, and he laughed and said, “Van, Mrs. Wainwright says she’s much obliged.”