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The Quest of the Silver Fleece eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about The Quest of the Silver Fleece.

“But the other gown?”

“Where is it?” asked the dressmaker, looking about.  “It would make a pretty morning-dress—­”

But Helen had taken a sudden dislike to the thought of it.

“I don’t want it,” she declared.  “And besides, I haven’t room for it in my trunks.”

Of a sudden she leaned down and whispered to Zora:  “Zora, hide it and keep it if you want it.  Come,” to the dressmaker, “I’m dying to try this on—­now....  Remember, Zora—­not a word.”  And all this to Zora seemed no surprise; it was the Way, and it was opening before her because the talisman lay in her trunk.

So at last it came to Easter morning.  The world was golden with jasmine, and crimson with azalea; down in the darker places gleamed the misty glory of the dogwood; new cotton shook, glimmered, and blossomed in the black fields, and over all the soft Southern sun poured its awakening light of life.  There was happiness and hope again in the cabins, and hope and—­if not happiness, ambition, in the mansions.

Zora, almost forgetting the wedding, stood before the mirror.  Laying aside her dress, she draped her shimmering cloth about her, dragging her hair down in a heavy mass over ears and neck until she seemed herself a bride.  And as she stood there, awed with the mystical union of a dead love and a living new born self, there came drifting in at the window, faintly, the soft sound of far-off marriage music.

“’Tis thy marriage morning, shining in the sun!”

Two white and white-swathed brides were coming slowly down the great staircase of Cresswell Oaks, and two white and black-clothed bridegrooms awaited them.  Either bridegroom looked gladly at the flow of his sister’s garments and almost darkly at his bride’s.  For Helen was decked in Parisian splendor, while Mary was gowned in the Fleece.

“’Tis thy marriage morning, shining in the sun!”

Up floated the song of the little dark-faced children, and Zora listened.

Twenty-two

MISS CAROLINE WYNN

Bles Alwyn was seated in the anteroom of Senator Smith’s office in Washington.  The Senator had not come in yet, and there were others waiting, too.

The young man sat in a corner, dreaming.  Washington was his first great city, and it seemed a never-ending delight—­the streets, the buildings, the crowds; the shops, and lights, and noise; the kaleidoscopic panorama of a world’s doing, the myriad forms and faces, the talk and laughter of men.  It was all wonderful magic to the country boy, and he stretched his arms and filled his lungs and cried:  “Here I shall live!”

Especially was he attracted by his own people.  They seemed transformed, revivified, changed.  Some might be mistaken for field hands on a holiday—­but not many.  Others he did not recognize—­they seemed strange and alien—­sharper, quicker, and at once more overbearing and more unscrupulous.

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