“So would I,” Zoe said, with an involuntary sigh.
Ella gave her a keen, inquiring look; and Zoe flushed hotly under it.
“Shall we go down now?” she asked. “It is nearly dinner-time; and we shall have to dine alone unless some one drops in unexpectedly,” she added, as they left the room together, and passed down the stairs, arm in arm.
“If Arthur should, wouldn’t it be a trial to Miss Deane to have to dine in her own room?” exclaimed Ella, with a gleeful laugh.
“Why, what do you mean?” asked Zoe, opening her eyes wide with surprise.
“That she would not have the slightest objection to becoming Mrs. Dr. Conly.”
“But you don’t think there’s any danger?” queried Zoe, by no means pleased with the idea of having the lady in question made a member of the family connection.
“No, and I certainly hope not. It wouldn’t be I that would want to call her sister,” returned Ella emphatically.
“I should think Art had sufficient penetration to see through her,” said Zoe. “But no; on second thoughts, I’m not so sure; for Ned will have it that it’s more than half my imagination when I say she sneers at me.”
“That’s too bad,” said Ella. “But Art is older than Ned by some years, and has probably had more opportunity to study character.”
“Yes,” replied Zoe, speaking with some hesitation, not liking to admit that any one was wiser than her husband, little as she was inclined to own herself in the wrong when he differed from her.
“Is there no constancy in earthly things?
No happiness in us, but what must alter?”
Zoe drove over to the village in good season to meet the last train for that day, coming from the direction in which Edward had gone, ardently hoping he might be on board.
The carriage was brought to a stand-still near the depot; and she eagerly watched the arrival of the train, and scanned the little crowd of passengers who alighted from it.
But Edward was not among them, and now it was quite certain that she could not see him before another day.
Just as she reached that conclusion, a telegram was handed her:—
“Can’t be home before to-morrow or next day. Will return as soon as possible. E. Travilla.”
To the girl-wife the message seemed but cold and formal. “So different from the way he talks to me when he is not vexed or displeased, as he hardly ever is,” she whispered to herself with starting tears during the solitary drive back to Ion. “I know it’s silly—telegrams can’t be loving and kind: it wouldn’t do, of course—but I can’t help feeling as if he is angry with me, because there’s not a bit of love in what he says. And, oh, dear! to think he may be away two nights, and I’m longing so to tell him how sorry I am for being so cross this morning, and before that, too, and to have him take me in his arms and kiss me, and say all is right between us, that I don’t know how to wait a single minute!”