Marriage at st. John’s.
There were more than a few lookers-on to see Katy Lennox married, and the church was literally jammed for full three-quarters of an hour before the appointed time. Back by the door, where she commanded a full view of the middle aisle, Marian Hazelton sat, her face as white as ashes, and her eyes gleaming strangely wild even from beneath the thickly dotted veil she wore over her hat. Doubts as to her wisdom in coming there were agitating her mind, but something kept her sitting just as others sat waiting for the bride until the sexton, opening wide the doors, and assuming an added air of consequence, told the anxious spectators that the party had arrived—Uncle Ephraim and Katy, Wilford and Mrs. Lennox, Dr. Morris and Helen, Aunt Hannah and Aunt Betsy—that was all, and they came slowly up the aisle, while countless eyes were turned upon them, every woman noticing Katy’s dress sweeping the carpet with so long a trail, and knowing by some queer female instinct that it was city-made, and not the handiwork of Marian Hazelton, panting for breath in that pew near the door, and trying to forget herself by watching Dr. Grant. She could not have told what Katy wore; she would not have sworn that Katy was there, for she saw only two, Wilford and Morris Grant. She could have touched the former as he passed her by, and she did breathe the odor of his garments while her hands clasped each other tightly, and then she turned to Morris Grant, growing content with her own pain, so much less than his as he stood before the altar with Wilford Cameron between him and the bride which should have been his. How pretty she was in her wedding garb, and how like a bird her voice rang out as she responded to the solemn question:
“Will you have this man to be thy wedded husband?” etc.
Upon Uncle Ephraim devolved the duty of giving her away, a thing which Aunt Betsy denounced as a “’Piscopal quirk,” classing it in the same category with dancing. Still if Ephraim had got it to do she wanted him to do it well, and she had taken some pains to study that part of the ceremony, so as to know when to nudge her brother in case he failed of coming up to time.
“Now, Ephraim, now; they’ve reached the quirk,” she whispered, audibly, almost before Katy’s “I will” was heard, clear and distinct; but Ephraim did not need her prompting, and his hand rested lovingly upon Katy’s shoulder as he signified his consent, and then fell back to his place next to Hannah. But when Wilford’s voice said: “I, Wilford, take thee Katy to be my wedded wife,” there was a slight confusion near the door, and those sitting by said to those in front that some one had fainted.