Virgie dropped a light kiss upon his forehead, and then went out, her heart heavy in spite of the great love which she bore the man whose wife she was to become on the morrow, and the bright hopes which the future held for her in spite of the shadow of death which was every moment drawing nearer.
As Virgie passed out of her father’s room, Sir William captured her.
“I am not going to keep you from your rest,” he said, after caressing her fondly, “but I wanted to tell you that I have been feeling a trifle jealous regarding the appearance of the future Lady Heath upon her wedding-day, and you will find everything that you will need for to-morrow in a trunk, which I have had carried up into your room.”
Virgie lifted her head from his breast, and regarded him questioningly.
“I sent an order by Dr. Waters,” he explained, “to the best dressmaker that he could find in Virginia City, to provide a simple yet appropriate outfit for a bride, and you will find the best that could be obtained at so short a notice, awaiting your approval up stairs.”
“How kind, how thoughtful you are!” Virgie murmured gratefully, and with a flush of pleasure. “Papa will be so pleased. He was just lamenting that I was not properly provided for.”
“Then it will be a gratifying surprise when he sees you to-morrow,” Sir William returned.
“Indeed it will. How can I think you? Perhaps I have been very remiss, but, truly, I had not given a thought to my dress,” Virgie confessed, with some confusion.
“How could you, dear, with your heart so full of other things?” Sir William replied, tenderly; “and I want no thanks other than to see you looking like a bride,” he concluded, smiling. “I did this chiefly to gratify my own pride in my love.”
He led her to the foot of the stairs, and then, with a lingering clasp, let her go.
It was quite late, and Virgie thought that she would only allow herself a peep into the mysterious trunk that night; but she resolved that she would rise very early in the morning and lay out everything in readiness for the wedding.
She wondered how Sir William could have managed it all, and was somewhat anxious regarding the fit of her bridal dress; but she was set at rest upon that point when she lifted the lid of the trunk and found a waist of one of her own dresses lying upon the top of various packages, and she knew that he had sent it as a measure and guide.
Everything else was wrapped in fine packing paper, and she concluded not to open anything until morning, although her curiosity was greatly excited.
She knelt and prayed long and fervently, for she felt very solemn in view of the important event that was to occur on the morrow.
Then she retired, and was soon sleeping peacefully and restfully, as only the pure and innocent can sleep.