“YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED”
Graydon felt that it was scarcely possible to resent Mr. Arnault’s tactics or to blame Miss Wildmere. The former certainly had as good a right to be a suitor as himself, and even to his prejudiced mind it would have been ungracious in the lady had she not given some reward for his rival’s long journey. It was natural that Mr. Arnault, an old friend of the Wildmeres, should sit at their table and receive the consideration that he enjoyed. Graydon had little cause for complaint or vexation, since his rival would depart in the morning, and, judging from to-day, his own suit was approaching a successful termination. The coast would be clear on the morrow, and he determined to make the most of opportunities. He now even regretted that Madge and his relatives were at the house, for in some degree they trammelled his movements by a watchful attention, which he believed was not very friendly. It would not be well to ignore them beyond a certain point, for it was his wish to carry out his purposes with the least possible friction. Madge’s course had compelled a revision of his plans and expectations, but his intimate relations with his brother in business made harmony and peace very essential. He felt keenly, however, the spur of Mr. Arnault’s open and aggressive rivalry, and determined to enter upon an equally vigorous campaign.
Having reached this definite conclusion, he joined Mr. and Mrs. Muir on the piazza, and after some desultory talk asked, “Where is Madge?”
Mrs. Muir explained, adding, “I think you might go over to the chapel and accompany her home.”
“I’ll be there by the time service is over,” he replied.
There was sacred music in the hotel parlor, but it seemed to him neither very sacred nor very attractive. Then he strolled toward the chapel. As the service was not over, he stood and watched the great moonlit mountains, with their light and shade. The scene and hour fostered the feelings to which he had given himself up. In revery he went over the hours he had spent with Miss Wildmere since his return, and hope grew strong. In view of it all—and vividly his memory retained everything, even to the droop of her eyelids or the tone in which some ordinary words had been spoken—there could scarcely be a doubtful conclusion. Thoughts of him had kept her free, and now that they had met again she was seeking to discover if her old impressions had been true, and in their confirmation was surely yielding to his suit.
He started. Through the open windows of the adjacent chapel came the opening notes of a hymn, sung with a sweetness and power that in the still summer night seemed almost divine. Then other voices joined, and partially obscured the melody; but above all floated a voice that to his trained ear had some of the rarest qualities of music.
“That’s Madge,” he muttered, and strode rapidly to the door. Again, in the second stanza, the rich, pure voice thrilled his every nerve, gaining rather than losing in its effect by his approach.