“But wad that be a true marriage?” she asked, scarcely able to credit what he told her. “Wad I get marriage lines?”
“Oh, yes. It would be legal, and you’d get marriage lines. Now what do you say?”
“I dinna like the thocht o’ no’ tellin’ my mither. Will I hae to gang away, an’ no’ tell her?”
“Oh, you must not tell anyone,” he replied quickly. “No one must know or all our plans will go crash, and we’ll both be left to face the shame of the whole thing. So you must not tell.”
“Mither will break her heart,” she broke in again with a hint of a sob. “She’ll wonder where I am, an’ worry aboot me, wi’ nae word o’ me! Am I just to disappear oot o’ everybody’s kennin’ altogether? Oh, dear! It’ll break my mither’s heart,” and she cried again at the thought of the pain and anxiety which her parents would experience.
So they sat and talked, he trying to soothe and allay her anxiety and she, at first openly skeptical, and then by and by allowing herself to be persuaded.
All this time they had been too engrossed in their own affairs to notice how the wind had risen and that a storm was already breaking over the moor. Then suddenly realizing it, they started for home.
It was nearing midnight, and the clouds being thick and low made the mossy ground very dark. The rain was coming down heavily and everything pointed to a wild night.
“I’m sorry I did not bring a coat with me,” said Peter, taking the windward side of Mysie, so as to break the storm for her. “I had no idea that it was going so rain when I came away,” and they plowed their way through the long rough grass, plashing through the little pools they were unable to see, while the wind raged and tore across the moor in a high gale.
He had a key in his pocket and when they arrived at Rundell House he noiselessly opened the door, and they entered, slipping along like burglars.
When Mysie reached her room, she sat down to think matters over for herself, forgetful of the fact that she was wet. She sat a long time pondering in her slow untrained way over the arrangements which had been come to, her mind trying to get accustomed to the thought that she was going to be Peter’s wife and to leave Lowwood.
But somehow the thought of being his wife did not appeal to her now, as it had done when she had pictured herself the lady of the district with her dreams of everything she desired, and fancying herself the envy of every woman who knew her.
The secrecy of the business she did not like; but she told herself it would all come right; that it was necessary under the circumstances and that afterwards when she had been taught and trained in the ways of his people she would come back and all would be well.
Then in the midst of all this looking into the future with its doubts and promises, came the thought of Robert, and her pulses thrilled and her blood quickened; but it had come too late.