And there Herbert Buckley found her. He had traveled far afield on that autumn afternoon; but it is not every day that the daughter of the owner of one-half the mills in a manufacturing town is married to the owner of the other half, and when such things do occur to the accompaniment of illustrious visitors, a half-holiday in all the mills, perfect weather, and unlimited hospitality, it behooves the progressive journalist and reporter for miles around to sing “haste to the wedding,” and to draw largely upon his adjectives and his fountain pen. The editorial staff of the Arcady Herald-Journal turned homeward, and was evolving phrases in which to describe that gala day when his eye caught the color of a familiar little sunbonnet, the outline of a familiar little figure. But such a drooping little sunbonnet! Such a relaxed little figure! Such a weary little face! And such a wildly impossible place in which to find a little daughter. Then he remembered having seen Miss Ann and Miss Agnes among the spectators and his wonder changed to indignation.
It was nearly dark when Mary opened her eyes again and found herself sheltered in her father’s arm and rocked by the old familiar motion of the buggy.
“And then,” she prompted sleepily as her old habit was, “what did they do then?”
“They were married,” his quiet voice replied.
“Oh, then they went away together and lived happily ever after.”
For some space there was silence and a star came out. Mary watched it drowsily and then drowsily began:
“When I was to Camelot—”
“Where?” demanded her father.
“When I was to Camelot,” she repeated, cuddling close to him as if to show that there were dearer places than that gorgeous city, “I saw a knight and a lady getting married. And lots of other knights were there—they didn’t wear their fighting clothes—and lots of other ladies, pink ones. An’ Arthur wore a stovepipe hat an’ Guinevere wore a white dress, an’ she had white feathers in her crown. An’ Lancelot, he was there, all getting married. Daddy, dear,” she broke off to question, “were you ever to Camelot?”
“Oh, yes, I was there,” he answered, “but it was a great many years ago.”
“Did you find roses?” she asked, exhibiting her wilted treasures.
“I found your mother there, my dear.”
“And then, what did you do then?”
“Well, then we were married and lived happily ever after.”
“There was you, and we lived happier ever after.”
And Mary fell on sleep again in the shelter of her father’s arm while the stars came out and the glow of joyant Camelot lit all the southern sky.