And now, Adele did not, as then, fly from his presence. She simply put her hand in his, and pronounced in sweet and almost solemn accents, the irrevocable promise.
In the meantime, Mrs. Lansdowne had been cultivating the friendship of M. and Mdme. Dubois. She was gratified to have an opportunity of thanking them in person, for their hospitality and kindness to her son and brother in Miramichi. Her profound gratitude for attentions to those so dear to her, would have proved a bond of sufficient strength to unite her to these new acquaintances. But she was attracted to them also by traits of mind and character unfolded in their daily intercourse.
The discovery of John’s attachment to Adele explained many things in his conduct, during the last few years, that had appeared enigmatical. With this fact made clear to her mind, it may well be supposed that she observed the young lady with keen scrutiny. At the end of a week, John confessed his intention to win Adele if possible for his wife. His mother had no objection to such an alliance, and only wished him success in his efforts.
Having spent six weeks together at Naples and Sorrento, the party pursued their travels leisurely, for several months, through Italy and Germany, until at length they reached France. After a visit at Paris, they located themselves quietly at the chateau de Rossillon, where preparations were soon commenced for the marriage.
It was observed, that the lovers, supposed to be the parties most particularly interested, were remarkably indifferent in regard to these affairs. When needed for consultation on important arrangements, they were reported to be off, riding or driving or wandering in some remote part of the park, and when at last, an opportunity occurred to present some point for their consideration, they seemed to have no particular opinions on the subject.
With a very decided taste of her own, in matters of dress, not less than in other things, Adele could not be made to attend to the details of the trousseau, and at last the two older ladies took it into their own hands.
In the mean time, the lovers were leading a rapturous life in the past, the present, the future. In the past they remembered the morning glories of Miramichi; in the present they saw, daily, in each other’s eyes, unfathomed depths of love; as to the future it shone out before them, resplendent with the light of an earthly Paradise.
At last, the wedding day came, and the parting between Adele and her parents. It was a great sacrifice on the part of M. and Mdme. Dubois. But, remembering their own early trials, they made no opposition to Adele’s choice. They sought only her happiness.
On a dark, stormy day, in the winter of 1845, at ten o’clock, afternoon, a tall, stout, elderly man, muffled in fur, rang at the door of Mr. Lansdowne.