“They are waiting for you,” was said several times ere the parties waited for were quite ready to go; but everything was done at last, and slowly down the stairs passed Mark Ray and Helen, Lieutenant Bob and Bell, with Dr. Grant and Katy, whose face, as she stood again before the clergyman and spoke her marriage vows, shone with a strange, peaceful light, which made it seem to those who gazed upon her like the face of some pure angel.
There was no thought then of that deathbed in Georgetown—no thought of Greenwood, or the little grave in Silverton, where the crocuses and hyacinths were blossoming—no thought of anything save the man at her side, whose voice was so full and earnest, as it made the responses, and who gently pressed the little hand as he fitted the wedding ring. It was over at last, and Katy was Morris’ wife, blushing now as they called her Mrs. Grant, and putting up her rosebud lips to be kissed by all who claimed that privilege. Helen, too, came in for her share of attention, and the opinion of the guests as to the beauty of the respective brides, as they were termed, was pretty equally divided; both were beautiful, and both bore traces of the suffering and suspense which had purified and made them better.
In heavy, rustling silk, which actually trailed an inch, and cap of real lace, Aunt Betsy hobbled among the crowd, her face aglow with the satisfaction she felt at seeing her nieces so much admired and appreciated, and her heart so full of good will and toleration that after the supper was over, and she fancied a few of the younger ones were beginning to feel tired, she suggested to Bell that she might start a dance if she had a mind to, either in the kitchen or parlor, it did not matter where, and “Ephraim would not care an atom,” a remark which brought from Mrs. Deacon Bannister a most withering look of reproach, and slightly endangered Aunt Betsy’s standing in the church. Perhaps Bell Cameron suspected as much, for she replied that they were having a splendid time as it was, and as Dr. Grant did not dance, they might as well dispense with it altogether. And so it happened that there was no dancing at Katy’s wedding, and Uncle Ephraim escaped the reproof which his brother deacon would have felt called upon to give him had he permitted so grievous a sin, while Mrs. Deacon Bannister, who, at the first trip of the toe, would have felt it her duty to depart, lest her eyes should look upon the evil thing, was thus permitted to remain until “it was out,” and the guests retired en masse to their respective homes.
* * * * *
The carriage from Linwood stood at the farmhouse door, and Katy, wrapped in shawls and hood, was ready to go with her husband to the home where she knew so much of rest and quiet awaited her. There were no tears shed at this parting, for their darling was not going far away; her new home was just across the fields, and through the soft moonlight they could see its chimney tops, and trace for some little distance the road over which the carriage went, bearing her swiftly on, her hands fast locked in Morris’, her head upon his arm, and the hearts of both too full of bliss for either to speak a word until Linwood was reached, when, folding Katy to his bosom in a passionate embrace, Morris said to her: