She stretched up her arms to him with a little sob of pure and glad surrender. There was no hiding what was in her heart. She revealed it to him without words, but fully, gloriously, convincingly, as she yielded her lips to his. And she forgot that she had desired to marry him for his money. She forgot that the family clothes were threadbare and the family cares almost impossible to cope with. She knew only that better thing which is greater than poverty or pain or death itself. And, knowing it, she possessed more than the whole world, and found it enough.
Late that night, when at last Molly lay down to rest with the morrow’s bride by her side, there came the final revelation of that amazing day. Neither she nor Wyverton had spoken a word to any of that which was between them. It was not their hour; or, rather, the time had not arrived for others to share in it.
But as the two girls clasped one another on that last night of companionship Phyllis presently spoke his name.
“I actually haven’t told you what Lord Wyverton did, Moll,” she said. “You would never guess. It was so unexpected, so overwhelming. You know he came to tea. You were busy and didn’t see him. Jim was there, too. He came straight up to me and said the kindest things to us both. We were standing away from the rest. And he put an envelope into my hand and asked me, with his funny smile, to accept it for an old friend’s sake. He disappeared mysteriously directly after. And—and—Molly, it was a cheque for a thousand pounds.”
“Good gracious!” said Molly, sharply.
“Wasn’t it simply amazing?” Phyllis continued. “It nearly took my breath away. And then Lady Caryl arrived, and I showed it to her. And she said that the story of his ruin was false, that she thought he himself had invented it for a special reason that had ceased to exist. And she said that she thought he was richer now than he had ever been before. Why, Molly, Molly—what has happened? What is it?”
Molly had suddenly sprung upright in bed. The moonlight was shining on her beautiful face, and she was smiling tremulously, while her eyes were wet with tears.
She reached out both her arms with a gesture that was full of an infinite tenderness.
“Yes,” she said, “yes, I see.” And her glad voice rang and quivered on that note which Love alone can strike. “It’s true, darling. It’s true. He is richer now than he ever was before, and I—I have found endless riches too. For I love him—I love him—I love him! And—he knows it!”
“Molly!” exclaimed her sister in amazement.
Molly did not turn. She was staring into the moonlight with eyes that saw.
“And nothing else counts in all the world,” she said. “He knows that too, as we all know it—we all know it—at the bottom of our hearts.”
And with that she laughed—the soft, sweet laugh of Love triumphant—and lay back again by her sister’s side.