“Sure? That I love you? Oh Selma!”
She shut her eyes under the thrill which his kiss gave her. “Then we will be married whenever you wish,” she said.
It was already late in the afternoon, so that the prospects of obtaining a license did not seem favorable. Still it happened that Littleton knew a clergyman of his own faith—Unitarian—in Benham, a college classmate, whom he suggested as soon as he understood that Selma preferred not to be married by Mr. Glynn. They found him at home, and by diligent personal effort on his part the necessary legal forms were complied with and they were made husband and wife three hours before the departure of the evening train for New York. After the ceremony they stepped buoyantly, arm in arm in the dusk, along the street to send the telegram to Miss Littleton, and to snatch a hasty meal before Selma went to her lodgings to pack. There were others in the restaurant, so having discovered that they were not hungry, they bought sandwiches and bananas, and resumed their travels. The suddenness and surprise of it all made Selma feel as if on wings. It seemed to her to be of the essence of new and exquisite romance to be walking at the side of her fond, clever lover in the democratic simplicity of two paper bags of provender and an open, yet almost headlong marriage. She felt that at last she was yoked to a spirit who comprehended her and who would stimulate instead of repress the fire of originality within her. She had found love and she was happy. Meanwhile she had decided to leave Benham without a word to anyone, even Mrs. Earle. She would write and explain what had happened.
Littleton had not expected that Selma would accede to his request to be married at once, but he was delighted at her decision. He had uttered his wish in sincerity, for there was really no reason for waiting, and by an immediate marriage they would escape the tedium of an engagement during which they could hope to see each other but rarely. He was able to support a wife provided they were to live simply and economically. He felt sure that Selma understood his circumstances and was no less ready than he to forego luxuries in order that they might be all in all to each other spiritually as husband and wife. Besides he had hopes that his clientage would continue to grow so that he would be able to provide all reasonable comforts for his new home. Consequently he drove up from the station in New York with a light heart, fondly pointing out to his wife this and that building and other objects of interest. He mistook her pensive silence for diffidence at the idea of descending suddenly on another woman’s home—a matter which in this instance gave him no concern, for he had unlimited confidence in Pauline’s executive ability and her tendency not to get ruffled. She had been his good angel, domestically speaking, and, indeed, in every way, since they had first begun to keep house together, and it had rather amused him to let fall such a bombshell as the contents of his telegram upon the regularity of her daily life.