“Well, what about your would-be breaker of the peace?” asked the Seigneur, with a smile.
“He’s come to his senses. I was going to bring you word as soon as I thought you’d be up. He’s promised to be best man, and I’m hoping to get him to play heavy father also and give the bride away.”
“He was very anxious last night to know what would have happened if, as he put it, he’d persisted in playing mule and kicking up his heels in church.”
“We’d have tied his heels so that he couldn’t kick much,” said the Seigneur, with his deep quizzical smile.
“That’s what I told him. He seemed to think Sark a decidedly odd kind of place. But he’s getting to like it, and I’ve invited him to come and visit us later on.”
“That’s all right as long as he behaves himself.”
“Oh, he’s a very decent chap. The only thing I had against him was that he wanted to marry my wife.”
“Then all the ways are smooth now?”
“All smooth now, thanks to your assistance!”
“Well, all happiness to you both!” said the Seigneur as he rose. “My wife sends all good wishes”—for the Lady of the Manor lay sick in the great house among the trees and he would not leave her.
As Graeme proposed, they talk still of that wedding in Sark.
Everything went smoothly. The Vicar had coached himself, by wifely tuition and much private repetition, into a certain familiarity with the Wedding Service in English, but would still have been more at home with it in French.
The church was more crowded than it had been within the memory of woman. Margaret looked charming, and Miss Penny absolutely pretty. Charles Svendt could hardly take his eyes off her, and caught himself wondering what the dooce she had done to herself since last night. For, by Jove! she’s as pretty almost as Margaret herself—he said to himself.
And if Jeremiah Pixley could have seen his son, in fatherly fashion give away the bride that should have been his, he would without doubt have had fits—if the first one had not been of such a character as to obviate the necessity for any additional ones.
The habitants, old and young, had made holiday, donned their best as if it were Sunday, and crowded the church as if it were all the Sundays of the year rolled into one.
The Vicar had serious thoughts of improving so unique an occasion, but wisely decided to confine himself to the intricacies of the English language as displayed in The Form of the Solemnisation of Matrimony.
Mrs. Vicar presided at the harmonium, which had been specially tuned for the occasion, and the choir enjoyed to the full their privileges of position and observation and made ample use of them.
And when his friends knelt before the chancel rail,—to the exceeding scandal of the Vicar and Mrs. Vicar and the choir and all who saw, and to the vast enjoyment of Miss Penny and Charles Svendt and all the other youngsters in the place,—Punch walked solemnly up the aisle and stood behind them, with slow-swinging tail and a look of anticipation on his gravely interested face, while outside, Scamp, in the hands of some enterprising stickler for forms and ceremonies, rent the air with sharp cries of disappointment.