After that she stayed more with Richard, and once, of her own accord, she put her arm in his and stood half leaning against him with both hands clasped together, while he held the bouquet which Mrs. Senator Woodhull had sent by express from New York. It is true that Richard smelled and breathed upon the flowers oftener than was desirable; and once Ethelyn saw him extracting leaves from the very choicest blossoms; but on the whole he did very well, considering that it was the first time he had ever held a lady’s bouquet in such an expensive holder.
As Ethelyn had predicted, the evening was hot and sultry; but the bugs and beetles and millers she had dreaded did not come in to annoy her, and when, as the clock struck twelve, the company dispersed, they were sincere in their assertions of having passed a delightful evening, and many were the good wishes expressed for Mrs. Judge Markham’s happiness as the guests took their way to their respective homes.
An hour later and the lights had disappeared from Miss Barbara Bigelow’s windows, and the summer stars looked down upon the quiet house where that strange bridal had been.
From Mrs. Senator Woodhull’s elegant house—where Mrs. Judge Markham had been petted, and flattered, and caressed, and Mr. Judge Markham had been adroitly tutored and trained without the least effect—the newly wedded pair went on to Quebec and Montreal, and thence to the White Mountains, where Ethelyn’s handsome traveling dress was ruined and Richard’s linen coat, so obnoxious to his bride, was torn past repair and laid away in one of Ethelyn’s trunks, with the remark that “Mother could mend it for Andy, who always took his brother’s cast-off clothes.” The hair trunk had been left in Chicopee, and so Ethelyn had not that to vex her.
Noticed everywhere, and admired by all whom she met, the first part of her wedding trip was not as irksome as she had feared it might be. Pleased, as a boy, with his young bride, Richard was all attention, and Ethelyn had only to express a wish to have it gratified, so that casual lookers-on would have pronounced her supremely happy. And Ethelyn’s heart did not ache one-half so hard as on that terrible day of her bridal. In the railway car, on the crowded steamboat, or at the large hotels, where all were entire strangers, she forgot to watch and criticise her husband, and if any dereliction from etiquette did occur, he yielded so readily to her suggestion that to him seemed an easy task. The habits of years, however, are not so easily broken, and by the time Saratoga was reached, Richard’s patience began to give way beneath Ethelyn’s multifarious exactions and the ennui consequent upon his traveling about so long. Still he did pretty well for him, growing very red in the face with his efforts to draw on gloves a size too small, and feeling excessively hot and uncomfortable in his coat, which he wore even in the retirement of his own room, where he desired so much to indulge in the cool luxury of shirt-sleeves—a suggestion which Ethelyn heard with horror, openly exclaiming against the glaring vulgarity, and asking, a little contemptuously, if that were the way he had been accustomed to do at home.