And the next evening, as they were sauntering slowly through the darkening lanes to the windmill, to see the life-lights flash out all round the horizon, it happened that they met the doctor just turning out of his gate.
“Hello, doctor! How’s old Mme. Vautrin to-day?” asked Graeme.
“She’s going on all right,” said the doctor, with a touch of surprise. “There seems a quite unusual amount of interest in that old lady all of a sudden. How is it?”
“What is it’s wrong with her?”
And the doctor eyed him curiously for a moment, and then said, “Well, she says she hurt her leg ormering, slipped on a rock and got the hook in it. But—Well, it’s a bad leg anyway, and she won’t go ormering or anything else for a good long time to come.”
Which matter, in the light of old Tom Hamon’s silver bullets and evident knowledge of Marielihou’s injury, left them all very much puzzled, though, as Graeme acknowledged, there might be nothing in it after all.
It was just after the second lesson, the following Sunday, that the Vicar stood up, tall and stately, his youthful face below the gray hair all alight with the enjoyment of this unusual break in the even tenour of his way, and soared into unaccustomed and very carefully enunciated English.
“I pub-lish thee Banns of Marrr-i-ache between John Cor-rie Graeme of Lonn-donn and Mar-garet Brandt of Lonn-donn. If any of you know cause, or just im-ped-i-ment, why these two pair-sons should not be joined to-gether in holy matri-mony, ye are to de-clare it. This is thee first time of as-king.”
Margaret and Miss Penny and Graeme heard it from their back seat among the school-children, and found it good.
There were not very many visitors there. Such as there were felt a momentary surprise at two English people choosing to get married in Sark, though, if it had been put to them, they must have confessed that there was no lovelier place in the world to be married in. They also wondered what kind of people they were.
Some few of the habitants knew them and turned and grinned encouragingly, though even they were not quite certain in their own minds as to which of the two ladies was the one who was to be married. The children all smiled as a matter of course and of nature.
And Margaret felt no shadow of regret at thought of the gauds and fripperies of a fashionable wedding which would not be hers. In John Graeme’s true love she had the kernel. The rest was of small account to her.
And that little church of Sark, plain walled and bare of ornament, always exerted upon her a most profoundly deepening and uplifting influence. It epitomised the life of the remote little island. Here its people were baptized, confirmed, married, buried.
And here and there, on the otherwise naked walls, was a white marble tablet to the memory of some who had gone down to the sea and never returned. And these she had studied and mused upon with emotion the first time she went there, for surely none could read them without being deeply touched.