Aleck glowed; she was profoundly happy. She said:
“Think of it, Sally—it is a family that has never married outside the Royal and Imperial Houses of Europe: our grandchildren will sit upon thrones!”
“True as you live, Aleck—and bear scepters, too; and handle them as naturally and nonchantly as I handle a yardstick. it’s a grand catch, Aleck. He’s corralled, is he? Can’t get away? You didn’t take him on a margin?”
“No. Trust me for that. He’s not a liability, he’s an asset. So is the other one.”
“Who is it, Aleck?”
“His Royal Highness
> Blutwurst, Hereditary Grant Duke of Katzenyammer.”
“No! You can’t mean it!”
“It’s as true as I’m sitting here, I give you my word,” she answered.
His cup was full, and he hugged her to his heart with rapture, saying:
“How wonderful it all seems, and how beautiful! It’s one of the oldest and noblest of the three hundred and sixty-four ancient German principalities, and one of the few that was allowed to retain its royal estate when Bismarck got done trimming them. I know that farm, I’ve been there. It’s got a rope-walk and a candle-factory and an army. Standing army. Infantry and cavalry. Three soldier and a horse. Aleck, it’s been a long wait, and full of heartbreak and hope deferred, but God knows I am happy now. Happy, and grateful to you, my own, who have done it all. When is it to be?”
“Good. And we’ll want to do these weddings up in the very regalest style that’s going. It’s properly due to the royal quality of the parties of the first part. Now as I understand it, there is only one kind of marriage that is sacred to royalty, exclusive to royalty: it’s the morganatic.”
“What do they call it that for, Sally?”
“I don’t know; but anyway it’s royal, and royal only.”
“Then we will insist upon it. More—I
will compel it.
It is morganatic marriage or none.”
“That settles it!” said Sally, rubbing
his hands with delight.
“And it will be the very first in America. Aleck, it will make
Then they fell silent, and drifted away upon their dream wings to the far regions of the earth to invite all the crowned heads and their families and provide gratis transportation to them.
During three days the couple walked upon air, with their heads in the clouds. They were but vaguely conscious of their surroundings; they saw all things dimly, as through a veil; they were steeped in dreams, often they did not hear when they were spoken to; they often did not understand when they heard; they answered confusedly or at random; Sally sold molasses by weight, sugar by the yard, and furnished soap when asked for candles, and Aleck put the cat in the wash and fed milk to the soiled linen. Everybody was stunned and amazed, and went about muttering, “What can be the matter with the Fosters?”