“‘My lord, you nod: you
do not mind the play.’
“’Yes, by Saint Anne, do I.... Madam lady.... Would ‘twere done!’”
The Taming of the Shrew.
Jean awoke early on her wedding morning and lay and thought over the twenty-three years of her life, and wondered what she had done to be so blessed, for, looking back, it seemed one long succession of sunny days. The dark spots seemed so inconsiderable looking back as to be hardly worth thinking about.
Her window faced the east, and the morning sun shone in, promising yet another fine day. Through the wall she could hear Mhor, who always woke early, busy at some game—possibly wigwams with the blankets and sheets—already the chamber-maid had complained of finding the sheets knotted round the bed-posts. He was singing a song to himself as he played. Jean could hear his voice crooning. The sound filled her with an immense tenderness. Little Mhor with his naughtiness and his endearing ways! And beloved Jock with his gruff voice and surprised blue eyes, so tender hearted, so easily affronted. And David—the dear companion of her childhood who had shared with her all the pleasures and penalties of life under the iron rule of Great-aunt Alison, who understood as no one else could ever quite understand, not even Biddy.... But as she thought of Biddy, she sprang out of bed, and leaning out of the window she turned her face to Little St. Mary’s, where her love was, and where presently she would join him.
Five hours later she would stand with him in the church among the blossoms, and they would be made man and wife, joined together till death did them part. Jean folded her hands on the window-sill She felt solemn and quiet and very happy. She had not had much time for thinking in the last few days, and she was glad of this quiet hour. It was good on her wedding morning to tell over in her mind, like beads on a rosary, the excellent qualities of her dear love. Could there be another such in the wide world? Pamela was happy with Lewis Elliot, and Lewis was kind and good and in every way delightful, but compared with Richard Plantagenet—In this pedestrian world her Biddy had something of the old cavalier grace. Also, he had more than a streak of Ariel. Would he be content always to be settled at home? He thought so now, but—Anyway, she wouldn’t try to bind him down, to keep him to domesticity, making an eagle into a barndoor fowl; she would go with him where she could go, and where she would be a burden she would send him alone and keep a high heart, till she could welcome him home.
But it was high time that she had her bath and dressed. It would be a morning of dressing, for about 10.30 she would have to dress again for her wedding. The obvious course was to breakfast in bed, but Jean had rejected the idea as “stuffy.” To waste the last morning of April in bed with crumbs of toast and a tray was unthinkable, and by 9.30 Jean was at the station giving Mhor an hour with his beloved locomotors.