He stopped her lips with a kiss, and drew her to his arms again.
“There is no but,” he whispered. “The shadows are gone, and the world is bright. Dearest, you will be my wife?”
He read his answer in her eloquent eyes, in the passion of the lips that met his. A joy too deep for words filled his heart, and he felt himself amply compensated for all that he had suffered.
* * * * *
The marriage took place in June, at old Shepperton church, and Jimmie was best man. Sir Lucius Chesney witnessed the quiet ceremony, and then considerately went off to Paris for a fortnight, while the happy pair traveled down to Priory Court, to spend their honeymoon in the ancestral mansion that would some day be their own. And, later, Jack took his wife abroad, intending to do the Continent thoroughly before buckling down in London to his art; he could not be persuaded to relinquish that, in spite of the sad memories that attached to it.
Jimmie took a sudden longing for his native heath, and returned to New York; but it is more than likely that he will spend a part of each year in England, as so many Americans are eager to do. Madge does not forget her father, unworthy though he was of such a daughter; and to Jack the memory of Diane is untempered by bitter feelings; for he knows that she repented at the last. The Honorable Bertie Raven has learned his hard lesson, and his present conduct gives reasonable assurance that he will run a straight course in the future, thanks to the friend who saved him. Noah Hawker is doing five years “hard,” and Victor Nevill is an outcast and an exile in Australia, eking out a wretched existence on a small income that Sir Lucius kindly allows him.
As for the two Rembrandts, the original, of course, reverted to Lamb and Drummond. The duplicate hangs in the gallery at Priory Court, and Sir Lucius prizes it highly because it was the main link in the chain of circumstances that gave him a nephew worthy of his honored name.