“And when—may I come home—to stay?” he asked presently, knowing full well that the old home must be theirs.
Lynda looked up and smiled radiantly. “I had hoped,” she said, “that I might have the honour of declining the little apartment. I’m so glad, Con, dear, that you want to come home to stay and will not have to be—forced here!” And at that moment Lynda had no thought of the money. Bigger, deeper things held her.
“And—our wedding day, Lyn? Surely it may be soon.”
“Let me see. Of course I’m a woman, Con, and therefore I must think of clothes. And I would like—oh! very much—to be married in a certain little church across the river. I found it once on a tramp. There are vines running wild over it—pink roses. And roses come in early June, Con.”
“But, dearest, this is only—March.”
“I must have—the roses, Con.”
And so it was decided.
Late that night, in the stillness of the five little rooms of the big apartment, Truedale thought of his past and his future.
How splendid Lynda had been. Not a word of all that he had told her, and yet full well he realized how she had battled with it! She had accepted it and him! And for such love and faith his life would be only too short to prove his learning of his hard lesson. The man he now was sternly confronted the man he had once been, and then Truedale renounced the former forever—renounced him with pity, not with scorn. His only chance of being worthy of the love that had come into his life now, was to look upon the past as a stepping stone. Unless it could be that, it would be a bottomless pit.
The roses came early that June. Truedale and Lynda went often on their walks to the little church nestling deep among the trees in the Jersey town. They got acquainted with the old minister and finally they set their wedding day. They, with Brace, went over early on the morning. Lynda was in her travelling gown for, after a luncheon, she and Truedale were going to the New Hampshire mountains. It was such a day as revived the reputation of June, and somehow the minister, steeped in the conventions of his office, could not let things rest entirely in the hands of the very eccentric young people who had won his consent to marry them. An organist, practising, stayed on, and always Lynda was to recall, when she thought of her wedding day, those tender notes that rose and fell like a stream upon which the sacred words of the simple service floated.
“The Voice That Breathed O’er Eden” was what the unseen musician played. He seemed detached, impersonal, and only the repeated strains gave evidence of his sympathy. An old woman had wandered into the church and sat near the door with a rapt, wistful look on her wrinkled face. Near the altar was a little child, a tiny girl with a bunch of wayside flowers in her fat, moist hand.