The new day came up out of the white east in a great peace, pale as Christ newly risen from the dead, with the splendor of God’s love upon Him.
A great peace and light stole together into the little room.
Hugh stirred, and Rachel saw a change pass over his pinched, sunken face.
“It was the only way to reach her,” he said, slowly and distinctly; “the only way. I shall get through, and I shall find her upon the other side, as I did before. It is very cold, but I shall get through. I am nearly through now.”
He sat up, and looked directly at her. He seemed suddenly freed, released. A boyish look that she had never seen came into his face, a look which remained in Rachel’s heart while she lived.
Would he know her?
The pure light was upon his face, more beautiful than she had ever seen it. He looked at her with tender love and trust shining in his eyes, and laughed softly.
“I have found you,” he said, stretching out his arms towards her. “I lost you, I don’t remember how, but I came to you through the water. I knew I should find you, my Rachel, my sweet wife.”
He was past the place of our poor human forgiveness. He might have cared for it earlier, but he did not want it now. He had forgotten that he had any need of it, for the former things had passed away. Love only remained.
She took him in her arms. She held him to her heart.
“I knew you would,” he said, smiling at her. “I knew it. We will never part again.”
And with a sigh of perfect happiness he turned wholly to her, his closed eyes against her breast.
It was autumn once more. The brambles were red in the hollow below Warpington Vicarage. Abel was gathering the apples in the orchard.
Mr. and Mrs. Gresley were sitting together in the shade of the new porch, contemplating a triumphal arch which they had just erected across the road. “Long life and happiness” was the original motto inscribed thereon.
Mrs. Gresley, in an alarming new hat, sank back exhausted in her garden-chair.
“The Pratts are having six arches, all done with electric-light designs of hearts with their crest on the top,” she said. “They are to be lit up at nine o’clock. Mr. Pratt said he did not mind any expense on such an occasion. He said it made an epoch in the life of the county.”
“Well,” said Mr. Gresley, “I lead too busy a life to be always poking my nose into other people’s affairs, but I certainly never did expect that Lady Newhaven would have married Algy Pratt.”
“Ada and Selina say Algy and she have been attached for years: that is why the wedding is so soon—only nine months—and she is to keep her title, and they are going to live at Westhope. I told Ada and Selina I hoped they did not expect too much from the marriage, for sometimes people who did were disappointed, but they only laughed and said Vi had promised Algy to take them out next season.”