“You do not think I’d let one treat me that way unless I expected to marry him, do you ?” said Polly, as she fussed with a ribbon bow, her face red with blushes. “You’ve mussed me all up.”
“I’m to be a teacher in the big school, and if you were willing, we could be married soon.”
“Oh, dear!” said she, sighing, and looking up at him with a smile; “I’m too happy to think.” Then followed another moment of silence, in which the little god, if he were near them, must have smiled.
“Won’t you name the day now?” he insisted.
“Oh, let’s keep that for the next chapter!” said she. “Don’t you know supper is waiting?”
“It’s all like those tales ‘to be continued in our next,’” he answered with a laugh.
Then they walked slowly up the long hill, arm in arm.
“How very grand you look!” said she, proudly. “Did you see the Governor?”
“Yes, but he can do nothing now. It’s the only cloud in the sky.”
“Dear old man!” said Polly. “We’ll find a way to help him.”
“But he wouldn’t thank us for help—there’s the truth of it,” said Trove, quickly. “He’s happy and content. Here is a letter that came to-day. ‘Dear Sidney,’ he writes. ’Think of all I have said to thee, an’, if ye remember well, boy, it will bear thee up. Were I, indeed, as ye believe, drinking the cup o’ bitterness for thy sake, know ye not the law will make it sweet for me? After all I have said to thee, are ye not prepared? Is my work wasted; is the seed fallen upon the rocks? And if ye hold to thy view, consider—would ye rob the dark world o’ the light o’ sacrifice? “Nay,” ye will answer. Then I say: “If ye would give me peace, go to thy work, boy, and cease to waste thyself with worry and foolish wandering."’
“Somehow it puts me to shame,” said Trove, as he put the letter in his pocket. “I’m so far beneath him. I shall obey and go to work and pray for the speedy coming of God’s justice.”
“It’s the only thing to do,” said she. “Sidney, I hope now I have a right to ask if you know who is your father?”
“I believe him to be dead.”
“Dead!” there was a note of surprise in the word.
“I know not even his name.”
“It is all very strange,” said Polly. In a moment she added, “I hope you will forgive my mother if she seemed to doubt you.”
“I forgive all,” said the young man. “I know it was hard to believe me innocent.”
“And impossible to believe you guilty. She was only waiting for more light.”
The widow and her two boys came out to meet them.
“Mother, behold this big man! He is to be my husband.” The girl looked up at him proudly.
“And my son?” said Mrs. Vaughn, with a smile, as she kissed him. “You’ve lost no time.”
“Oh! I didn’t intend to give up so soon,” said Polly, “but—but the supper would have been ruined.”