Though setting a high value upon money, Madam Conway was not penurious, and the bridal trousseau far exceeded anything which Theo had expected. As the young couple were not to keep house for a time, a most elegant suite of rooms had been selected in a fashionable hotel; and determining that Theo should not, in point of dress, be rivaled by any of her fellow-boarders, Madam Conway spared neither time nor money in making the outfit perfect. So for weeks the old stone house presented a scene of great confusion. Chairs, tables, lounges, and piano were piled with finery, on which Anna Jeffrey worked industriously, assisted sometimes by her aunt, whom Madam Conway pronounced altogether too superannuated for a governess, and who, though really an excellent scholar, was herself far better pleased with muslin robes and satin bows than with French idioms and Latin verbs. Perfectly delighted, Maggie joined in the general excitement, wondering occasionally when and where her own bridal would be. Once she ventured to ask if Henry Warner and his sister might be invited to Theo’s wedding; but Madam Conway answered so decidedly in the negative that she gave it up, consoling herself with thinking that she would some time visit her sister, and see Henry in spite of her grandmother.
The marriage was very quiet, for Madam Conway had no acquaintance, and the family alone witnessed the ceremony. At first Madam Conway had hoped that Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, senior, together with their daughter Jenny, would be present, and she had accordingly requested George to invite them, feeling greatly disappointed when she learned that they could not come.
“I wanted so much to see them,” she said to Maggie, “and know whether they are worthy to be related to the Conways—but of course they are, as much so as any American family. George has every appearance of refinement and high-breeding.”
“But his family, for all that, may be as ignorant as Farmer Canfield’s,” answered Maggie; to which her grandmother replied: “You needn’t tell me that, for I’m not to be deceived in such matters. I can tell at a glance if a person is low-born, no matter what their education or advantages may have been. Who’s that?” she added quickly, and turning round she saw old Hagar, her eyes lighted up and her lips moving with incoherent sounds.
Hagar had come up to the wedding, and had reached the door of Madam Conway’s room just in time to hear the last remark, which roused her at once.
“Why don’t she discover my secret, then,” she muttered, “if she has so much discernment? Why don’t she see the Hagar blood in her? for it’s there, plain as day;” and she glanced proudly at Maggie, who, in her simple robe of white, was far more beautiful than the bride.
And still Theo, in her handsome traveling dress, was very fair to look upon, and George Douglas felt proud that she was his, resolving, as he kissed away the tears she shed at parting, that the vow he had just made should never be broken. A few weeks of pleasant travel westward, and then the newly wedded pair came back to what, for a time, was to be their home.