I am told that the bride looked superb, both in church and at the reception which took place in the house of Kitty; and that General Rieppe, in spite of his shattered health, maintained a noble appearance through the whole ordeal of parting with his daughter. I noticed that Beverly Rodgers and Gazza figured prominently among the invited guests: Bohm did not have to be invited, for some time before the wedding he had become the husband of the successfully divorced Kitty. So much for the nuptials of Hortense and Charley; they were, as one paper pronounced them, “up to date and distingue.” The paper omitted the accent in the French word, which makes it, I think, fit this wedding even more happily.
“So Hortense,” I said to myself as I read the paper, “has squared herself with Charley after all.” And I sat wondering if she would be happy. But she was not constructed for happiness. You cannot be constructed for all the different sorts of experiences which this world offers: each of our natures has its specialty. Hortense was constructed for pleasure; and I have no doubt she got it, if not through Charley, then by other means.
The marriage of Eliza La Heu and John Mayrant was of a different quality; no paper pronounced it “up to date,” or bestowed any other adjectival comments upon it; for, being solemnized in Kings Port, where such purely personal happenings are still held (by the St. Michael family, at any rate) to be no business of any one’s save those immediately concerned, the event escaped the famishment of publicity. Yes, this marriage was solemnized, a word that I used above without forethought, and now repeat with intention; for certainly no respecter of language would write it of the yellow rich and their blatant unions. If you’re a Bohm or a Charley, you may trivialize or vulgarize or bestialize your wedding, but solemnize it you don’t, for that is not “up to date.”
And to the marriage of Eliza and John I went; for not only was the honor of my presence requested, but John wrote me, in both their names, a personal note, which came to me far away in the mountains, whither I had gone from Kings Port. This was the body of the note:—
“To the formal invitation which you will receive, Miss La Heu joins her wish with mine that you will not be absent on that day. We should both really miss you. Miss La Heu begs me to add that if this is not sufficient inducement, you shall have a slice of Lady Baltimore.”
Not a long note! But you will imagine how genuinely I was touched by their joint message. I was not an old acquaintance, and I had done little to help them in their troubles, but I came into the troubles; with their memory of those days I formed a part, and it was a part which it warmed me to know they did not dislike to recall. I had actually been present at their first meeting, that day when John visited the Exchange to order his wedding-cake, and Eliza had rushed after him, because in his embarrassment