Mr. Garie briefly explained what had just occurred, and informed her, in addition, of Mr. Ellis having gone to see if he could get Father Banks, as the venerable old minister was called.
“It seems, dear,” said she, despondingly, “as if Providence looked unfavourably on our design; for every time you have attempted it, we have been in some way thwarted;” and the tears chased one another down her face, which had grown pale in the excitement of the moment.
“Oh, don’t grieve about it, dear; it is only a temporary disappointment. I can’t think all the clergymen in the city are like Dr. Blackly. Some one amongst them will certainly oblige us. We won’t despair; at least not until Ellis comes back.”
They had not very long to wait; for soon after this conversation footsteps were heard in the garden, and Mr. Ellis entered, followed by the clergyman.
In a very short space of time they were united by Father Banks, who seemed much affected as he pronounced his blessing upon them.
“My children,” he said, tremulously, “you are entering upon a path which, to the most favoured, is full of disappointment, care, and anxieties; but to you who have come together under such peculiar circumstances, in the face of so many difficulties, and in direct opposition to the prejudices of society, it will be fraught with more danger, and open to more annoyances, than if you were both of one race. But if men revile you, revile not again; bear it patiently for the sake of Him who has borne so much for you. God bless you, my children,” said he, and after shaking hands with them all, he departed.
Mr. and Mrs. Ellis took their leave soon after, and then Mrs. Garie stole upstairs alone into the room where the children were sleeping. It seemed to her that night that they were more beautiful than ever, as they lay in their little beds quietly slumbering. She knelt beside them, and earnestly prayed their heavenly Father that the union which had just been consummated in the face of so many difficulties might prove a boon to them all.
“Where have you been, you runaway?” exclaimed her husband as she re-entered the parlour. “You stayed away so long, I began to have all sorts of frightful ideas—I thought of the ‘mistletoe hung in the castle hall,’ and of old oak chests, and all kind of terrible things. I’ve been sitting here alone ever since the Ellises went: where have you been?”
“Oh, I’ve been upstairs looking at the children. Bless their young hearts! they looked so sweet and happy—and how they grow! Clarence is getting to be quite a little man; don’t you think it time, dear, that he was sent to school? I have so much more to occupy my mind here than I had in Georgia, so many household duties to attend to, that I am unable to give that attention to his lessons which I feel is requisite. Besides, being so much at home, he has associated with that wretched boy of the Stevens’s, and is growing rude and noisy; don’t you think he had better be sent to school?”