“Not to my surprise, but to my great gratification, soon after this, the gentle Countess de Morny consented to become the Countess de Rossillon”.
“Surrounded by a joyous group of friends, one bright September morning, in the chapel of St. Marie, they were married, and then the priest united me to your father. The sweet mother looked down from above the altar and seemed to give us a smiling blessing. We were very happy, my Adele”.
“In a few days we set sail for New Brunswick. We arrived at St. John in October and there spent the following winter. In the spring, your father explored this region and made a large purchase of land here. At that time it seemed a desirable investment. But you see how it is, my Adele. All has resulted strangely different from what we anticipated. And somehow it has always been difficult to change our home. From time to time, we have thought of it,—obstacles have arisen and—we are still here”.
“But where is the Count de Rossillon, mother? It is twenty years, is it not, since you left France? Does he yet live?”
“Ah! ma chere, we know not. After our departure from France we received frequent letters from him and the dear Countess until five years since, when the letters ceased. They constantly urged our return to Rossillon. You remember well the thousand pretty toys and gifts they showered upon your childhood?”
“Ah! yes, mother, I remember. And you have not heard a word from them for five years!”
“Not a word”.
“Do you wish to go back to France, mother?”
“It is the only wish of my heart that is unsatisfied. I am full of ceaseless yearnings for the beautiful home of my youth. Would that we could return there. But it may not be. France is in a state of turmoil. I know not what fate has befallen either my uncle, or his estate. He may be dead. Or, if living, he may no longer be the proprietor of beautiful Rossillon. We cannot learn how it is”.
“Cannot my father go to France and ascertain what has happened there? Perhaps, mother, he might find a home for you once more in your dear Picardy”.
“He is thinking of it even now, ma fille”.
“Is he, mother? Then be comforted. You will see that sweet home once more, I feel assured”.
She rose and flung her arms around Mrs. Dubois, exclaiming, “Dear, beautiful mother!”
An hour later, Adele might have been seen, wandering about in Micah’s grove, her mind and heart overflowing with new, strange thoughts and emotions. She had just received the first full revelation of the early life of her parents. Her knowledge of it before had been merely vague and confused. Now a new world was opened for her active fancy to revel in, and fresh fountains of sympathy to pour forth, for those whom she so fondly loved. She sighed as she recalled that yearning, wistful look upon her mother’s face, in those hours when her thoughts seemed far away from the present scene, and grieved that her gentle spirit should so long have suffered the exile’s woe.