Passing into her dressing-room, she found her husband there, pacing thoughtfully to and fro. At sight of her a smile irradiated his whole countenance, while his arms opened wide to receive her.
“My dear, dear husband!” she said, laying her head on his shoulder, while he folded her to his heart, “how bravely you bear trials; how patient and cheerful you always are under all circumstances.”
“Not more so than my little wife; we have heard much saddening news to-day, love; but most of it such as to make us weep for our friends and neighbors rather than for ourselves.”
“That is true; our losses are slight, very slight, compared with those of multitudes of others; and yet it must sadden your heart to know that your dear old home is in ruins.”
“Yes, wife, it does; but I were an ungrateful wretch to murmur and repine, had I lost everything but you and our four treasures in yonder room: but you are all spared to me, and I am by no means penniless yet.”
“Very far from it, my own noble husband,” she answered, with a look of proud, loving admiration; “for all I have is yours as much as mine.”
“Thanks, dearest; I am not too proud to accept your assistance, and we will build up the old home and make it lovelier than ever, for ourselves and for our children; what a pleasant work it will be to make it as nearly as possible an earthly paradise for them.”
“Yes,” she said, smiling brightly; “the cloud has a silver lining.”
“As all our clouds have, dearest.”
“Yes; for ’we know that all things work together for good to them that love God!’ But oh, Edward, what an awful end was Jackson’s. I shudder to think of it? and yet—oh, I fear it is not right—but I cannot help feeling it a relief to know that he is dead. Even in Europe, I could not divest myself of the fear that he might turn up unexpectedly, and attempt the lives of my dear ones.”
“It is a relief to me also, and not wrong, I think, to feel it so; for we do not rejoice in his destruction, but would have saved him, if we could. Has not the news of Walter comforted you in some measure?”
“Yes, oh yes; the dear, dear fellow! You have not seen this,” she added, taking the photograph from her pocket.
“No; it is a striking likeness, and you will value it highly.”
“Indeed I shall. Ah, how strange it will be to go home and not find him there.”
what art thou?
At once the proof and scourge of man’s fallen state.”
Richard Allison had gone to Lansdale for his bride a fortnight ago; they were now taking their bridal trip and expected to reach Elmgrove a day or two before the wedding of May and Harry Duncan. The latter would bring Aunt Wealthy with him, and leave her for a short visit among her friends.
Sophie’s mother and sister-in-law, Mrs. Carrington, and Lucy Ross, came earlier, arriving only two days after our party from Europe.