“I’m going to show ’em what a wedding’s like,” she remarked ominously—“I’m going to do everything in the real, proper, slap-up style. I’m going to have a white dress and a veil and carriages and bridesmaids and favours—” this was the old Joanna—“you don’t mind, do you, Martin?” this was the new.
Of course he could not say he minded. She was like an eager child, anxious for notice and display. He would endure the wedding for her sake. He also would endure for her sake to live at Ansdore; after a few weeks he saw that nothing else could happen. It would be ridiculous for Joanna to uproot herself from her prosperous establishment and settle in some new place just because in spirit he shrank from becoming “Mr. Joanna Godden.” She had said that “Martin and Joanna Trevor” should be painted on the scrolled name-boards of her waggons, but he knew that on the farm and in the market-place they would not be on an equal footing, whatever they were in the home. As farmer and manager she would outshine him, whose tastes and interests and experiences were so different. Never mind—he would have more time to give to the beloved pursuit of exploring the secret, shy marsh country—he would do all Joanna’s business afield, in the far market towns of New Romney and Dymchurch, and the farms away in Kent or under the Coast at Ruckinge and Warhorne.
Meanwhile he spent a great deal of his time at Ansdore. He liked the life of the place with its mixture of extravagance and simplicity, democracy and tyranny. Fortunately Ellen approved of him—indeed he sometimes found her patronage excessive. He thought her spoilt and affected, and might almost have come to dislike her if she had not been such a pretty, subtle little thing, and if she had not interested and amused him by her sharp contrasts with her sister. He was now also amused by the conflicts between the two, which at first had shocked him. He liked to see Joanna’s skin go pink as she faced Ellen in a torment of loving anger and rattled the fierce words off her tongue, while Ellen tripped and skipped and evaded and generally triumphed by virtue of a certain fundamental coolness. “It will be interesting to watch that girl growing up,” he thought.