But John Graeme’s soul, uplifted mightily within him at this glorious consummation of his hopes, and ranging high among the stars, saw none of these things. He held Margaret’s hand in his, and looked into her radiant and blushing face, and vowed mighty vows for her happiness, and thanked God fervently for bringing this great thing to pass.
And Margaret’s eye caught the marble slab, placed in the side wall of the chancel by the late Seigneur who built it, and prayed in her heart that the temple of their two lives might equally be builded—“to the Glory of God and with much care.”
The small girls from the school, all specially arrayed in fancy white pinafores with knots of pink ribbon, burst out of the church like a merry bombshell while the less picturesque final ceremonies were being completed. When Graeme and Margaret came smiling down the aisle, the busy little maids were still vociferously strewing the path outside with green rushes and wild iris, and as they passed, those who had emptied their baskets ran back and picked up hasty armfuls of the scattered flowers, and ran on in front and strewed them again, so that for quite a long way their progress was one of gradually diminishing splendour.
But past the gap in the road, which led across country to the Red House, no flower-strewers came. For there the excited chatterers broke and whirled through like a flight of sea-pies, and made straight for the field of more substantial delights lest the boys should secure all the best places.
The wedding-party, however, having disdained the use of carriages for so short a distance, strolled quietly along the scented lanes, past the Boys’ School, and by the Carrefour, with no apprehension of the feast beginning until they arrived, or of being relegated to back seats if they were late.
The cottage and the Red House had been buzzing hives since dawn, Mrs. Carre handling her forces and volunteers and supernumeraries with the skill of a veteran, and with encouragement so shrill and animated that it sounded like scolding, but was in reality only emphatic patois.
She had, indeed, left matters in the hands of certain tried elders while she sped across the fields to the church for a few minutes, just to see that everything there was done properly and in order. But she was back in the thick of things before the wedding-party reached home, and everything was ready and in apple-pie order for a merry-making such as Sark had not seen for many a day.
First, the children were settled at their long tables in the field behind the house, with good things enough in front of them, and active assistants enough behind them, to keep them quiet for a good long time to come.
Graeme and Margaret went round bidding them all enjoy themselves to their fullest, which they cheerfully promised to do, and the eager youngsters gave them back wish for wish, with one eye for them and one for the unusual dainties on the tables.