Inside of this circle the girl prostrated herself before the groom-elect and the marriage was complete when the royal giant stepped into the wedding ring and lifted her to her feet, leading her to a place among her predecessors, who sat on the ground near by. Then the celebration ran to its highest pitch. Late in the night the weird revelry ceased and the two spectators entered the temple, her hand in his. He led her to the curtained door of her apartment.
“Good-night, dear one,” he said softly. She turned her face to his and he held her for an instant to his heart, their lips meeting in a long thrill of ecstasy.
“Good-night,” she whispered. He pulled the curtain aside and she slowly entered the room. For an hour afterward he lay awake, wondering what manner of love it was he had given to Grace Vernon. It was not like this.
It was barely daylight when he arose from his couch, dressed and started for a brisk walk over the hills. His ramble was a long one and the village was astir when he came through the woodland, some distance from the temple. Expecting to find Tennys waiting for him, he hastened to their abode. She evidently had not arisen, so, with a tinge of disappointment, he went to his room. Then he heard her, with her women, taking her morning plunge in the pool. The half hour before she made her appearance seemed a day to him. They met in the hallway, he glad and expectant, she shy and diffident. The red that burned in her cheeks turned to white when he kissed her, and her eyelids fell tremblingly with the proof positive that she had not dreamed the exquisite story of the night before.
Later in the morning they called on the king, and that individual promptly prostrated himself. They found the new bride repairing a section of the king’s palace that had been blown down by a recent hurricane. Before the white people left, Tennys had the satisfaction and Hugh the amusement of seeing the big chief repairing the rent and the bride taking a rest.
“I’ve been thinking pretty hard this morning, dear,” he said as they walked back to the temple, “especially when I was alone in the forest.”
“Can’t you think unless you are alone?” she asked, smiling.
“We all think differently sometimes when we are alone, you know. I was just thinking what a dickens of a position we are in for a pair of lovers.”
“It seems to me that it is ideal.”
“But where is the minister or magistrate?”
“What have they to do with it?”
“Everything, I should say. We can’t get married without one or the other,” he blurted out. She stopped stockstill with a gasp.
“Get married? Why—why, we have said nothing of getting married.”
“And that’s just why I am speaking of it now. I want you to be my wife, Tennys. Will you be my wife, dear?” he asked nervously.
“How absurd, Hugh. We may be on this island forever, and how are we to be married here? Besides, I had not thought of it.”