We did not return to the subject.
In the course of time came Mrs. Considine to carry off Liosha to the First Class Boarding House which she had found in Queen’s Gate. Liosha left us full of love for Barbara and Susan and I think of kindly feeling for myself. A few days afterwards Jaffery went off to sail a small boat with another lunatic in the Hebrides. A little later Doria and Adrian went to pay a round of short family visits beginning with Mrs. Boldero. So before August was out, Barbara and Susan and I found ourselves alone.
“Now,” said I, “I can get through some work.”
“Now,” said Barbara, “we can run over to Dinard.”
“What?” I shouted.
“Dinard,” she said, softly. “We always go. We only put it off this year on account of visitors.”
“We definitely made up our minds,” I retorted, “that we weren’t going to leave this beautiful garden. You know I never change my mind. I’m not going away.”
Barbara left the room, whistling a musical comedy air.
We went to Dinard.
There is a race of gifted people who make their livelihood by writing descriptions of weddings. I envy them. They can crowd so many pebbly facts into such a small compass. They know the names of everybody who attended from the officiating clergy to the shyest of poor relations. With the cold accuracy of an encyclopaedia, and with expert technical discrimination, they mention the various fabrics of which the costumes of bride and bridesmaids were composed. They catalogue the wedding presents with the correct names of the donors. They remember what hymns were sung and who signed the register. They know the spot chosen for the honeymoon. They know the exact hour of the train by which the happy pair departed. Their knowledge is astonishing in its detail. Their accounts naturally lack imagination. Otherwise they would not be faithful records of fact. But they do lack colour, the magic word that brings a scene before the eye. Perhaps that is why they are never collected and published in book form.
Now I have been wondering how to describe the wedding of Doria and Adrian. I have recourse to Barbara.
“Why, I have the very thing for you,” she says, and runs away and presently reappears with a long thing like a paper snake. “This is a full report of the wedding. I kept it. I felt it might come in useful some day,” she cried in triumph. “You can stick it in bodily.”
I began to read in hope the column of precise information. I end it in despair. It leaves me admiring but cold. It fails to conjure up to my mind the picture of a single mortal thing. Sadly I hand it back to Barbara.
“I shan’t describe the wedding at all,” I say.